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KNOW Summer 2014

Georgia educators want the power to teach deeply and creatively, and to help their students achieve a higher standard of success. They also want to ensure that every child, no matter who they are, where they live or how rich or poor they may be, is provided the same tools and equal set of standards of education needed to achieve their dreams. 18 | KNOW • Volume 12 Issue 2 Bringing Common Sense to Common Core The Common Core State Standards can be the vehicle to help achieve that vision. However, it is key that we make sure that they are implemented properly and that they are designed and driven, not by politicians, but by the very people who bring a genuine passion to fulfill the promise of our children’s future — Georgia’s educators. As Common Core is being rolled-out across Georgia, GAE is here to make sure that implementation of the new standards is done in ways that support teachers, ensuring that we teach first and test later, and that we achieve Common Core’s promise of equity for all students. The standards provide a vital opportunity to improve the education for children of low-income homes, minority families, and those with disabilities. All students should be able to learn 21st century skills and content, and the expectations that we have for them should not vary based on which county they happen to live in. Georgia’s children can all meet more rigorous standards if we provide them the tools and support critical for their success. The standards, which have been adopted by 45 states, by governors both Democratic and Republican, set a higher bar for all students, emphasizing the skills and information that students must know in order to be ready for college and to compete in the current global economy. When the standards were developed, GAE worked to ensure that the voice of teachers was integral to their development. These standards are not a ‘federal mandate,’ but a method to challenge our children to perform to the best of their abilities. We know that raising standards alone will not improve Georgia’s public schools. This is why the Equity and Excellence Commission has created a five part agenda to address these disparities that are internationally unique to communities and public school systems throughout the United States. “The standards are obviously the work of teachers, said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Number one, they’re clear. Number two, there aren’t a thousand of them. And number three, they all can’t be measured using a bubble test. That was not by accident. It’s the input of the people who knew what had to be done.” The Common Core State Standards establish clear and consistent guidelines, that are effectively becoming equivalent among all states nationwide. While many misunderstand the role of Common Core Standards to be solely an increase in testing, in reality, it is the belief and practice that children across the nation and throughout Georgia have the capacity to perform better academically, and the notion of challenging them to achieve this. But the standards -- and their promise


KNOW Summer 2014
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