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The ‘Show’ of Support for Common Core in Georgia

Pro-Common Core groups astro-turf the illusion of overwhelming support for the program.

by
Mary Grabar

Bio

March 26, 2014 - 11:48 pm
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Earlier this week opponents of the “Common Core State Standards” cautiously celebrated their first major victory as Governor Mike Pence signed legislation withdrawing Indiana from the nationalized education program.

But in Georgia, the pro-Common Core big business/big government forces outgunned the grassroots and celebrated victory on the last day of the session last week.  A look at their tricks can provide lessons for other states.

Republican State Senator William Ligon was the sponsor of anti-Common Core legislation this year and last.  The 2013 version of his SB 167, which called for a complete withdrawal from Common Core, failed to get out of committee.  This year’s bill, revised multiple times, also failed to get out of the education committee.  Parts of the bill attached as two amendments to another education bill did not get approval on the last day of the session (with some supporters switching their votes).

On the side fighting Common Core and trying to enact legislation that would withdraw Georgia from the national education standards were tea party groups, alarmed parents and grandparents, dissenting teachers, and such groups as Concerned Women for America and American Principles in Action.

But even Democratic teachers and parents who oppose Common Core would not be able to fight the pro-Common Core rent-seekers — lobbyists, the Chamber of Commerce, principals, teachers, superintendents, and public radio and television employees.

The only thing that passed was a resolution to form a study committee on Common Core.  But even this was too much for Georgia Democratic State Representative Alisha Thompson Morgan, now running for state school superintendent.  In February, Morgan had introduced a House Resolution affirming Georgia’s commitment to Common Core.

To even discuss Common Core in a study committee was crazy talk, she implied in her speech against the measure in the waning hours on the last day.  For evidence, she noted, “I’ve heard all kinds of things, like let’s abolish the U.S. Department of Education.”  To Morgan, the federal Department of Education protects students: “It’s the federal government’s job to ensure that we don’t violate the rights of students.”

She listed the benefits bestowed by the U.S. Department of Education: the $400 million in stimulus funds in exchange for agreement to the Common Core standards, innovation grants, and data-tracking from “preschool to Ph.D.” Morgan insisted this was not a Democratic or Republican issue.  She was speaking as “a mom” of a first-grader, and she was hearing great things from her teacher about Common Core — like developing “critical thinking skills.”

“Why are we still having this conversation?” Morgan asked.  No further discussion should be allowed: a March 5 education committee hearing on Ligon’s bill had 68 people testifying, with the vast majority, 58, opposing Ligon’s bill.

“I don’t ever remember so many people testifying,” she said: “It was the first time I recall groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Coalition of 100 Black Men joining together.”

Plus, she had been overwhelmed by emails and other communication from teachers, parents, and citizens pleading to keep Common Core, a claim she repeated from what she had said at the education committee hearings on March 5 and March 12.  These Common Core fans, Morgan said, spoke up at “listening sessions” held across the state in the months leading up to the start of the session in January.  They greatly outnumbered those who spoke against it — proof that the public supported Common Core.

In spite of Morgan’s arguments, the resolution for a study committee on Common Core passed, but it was the only — and largely symbolic — state level effort against Common Core this year.

Representative Morgan’s characterization of the groundswell of support for Common Core, however, does not fit with what documents obtained from an open records request reveal.  Those testifying against Ligon’s bill were largely members of the Chamber of Commerce — and public school employees: teachers, principals, superintendents, and administrators.  By my own count, 12 of them came from Tift County, 181 miles to the south of Atlanta, and they used school buses to get there.

They had apparently also used school buses to travel to the “listening sessions” across the state.  These were sham forums and used to present a show of openness on the issue.  In reality, the establishment, from Republican Governor Nathan Deal to the Education Committee chairman, Brooks Coleman (also a Republican), had made their decisions that Common Core was going to stay.  After the testimony of Tift County principal Mickey Weldon at the March 5 education committee hearing, Chairman Brooks Coleman thanked her and those who have been arranging the bus trips: “They bring those buses, and we appreciate them.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Comrade, there will be no competition with the Chinese, our children will be in Agenda 21 zoned factories working for their Chinese bosses. no need for them to know much of anything, actually the less they know the better for the NWO.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Miss Grabar:
Thank you for this honest assessment of Common Core. I have observed that Common Core implementation has much in common with the way the Obamacare was passed. First there are big money liberal backers like Billl and Melinda Gates who are the God Parents of Common Core who have liberally greased the skids in all 50 states. Who in their right mind could possibly protest such esteemed and well endowed God Parents. They are rich and selfless so they must know what is best for us. Right? Also note the support from the teachers unions and owners of the education establishment. Note the insidious messaging coming from the text books on math and english which come from the left of Marx. Not to mention math pushes kids backward according to most experts. Also note the lack any "critical thinking" from parents and for that matter the total lack of awareness that this is happening. They were able to hijack our health care system in the darkness of night and now they are coming for the children.
This is pure evil before our eyes and in plain sight. Ironically in Georgia every Senate candidate is AGAINST common core. Note too that Sonny Purdue was the first enabler of this substandard nonsense and followed by our new republican Nathan Deal who actively support common core. How does the average guy on the street handle this strange alliance in what is supposed to be a conservative state. Guess what Common Core is the long term game plan to turn georgia into a blue state by propagandizing our students into liberalism. No kidding. Time for a wake up call to parents but it may be too late. Keep up the fight and pray for reinforcements.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Common Cor(ruption) is just one more great reason to never let your kids darken the doors of any gummint skewl...... teach them at home. They will be happier, better adjusted AND "socialised" and be far more intelligent and capable when they're done learning. Actually, I should say "when they've finished formal schooling", because nearly every home schooled kid I know (hundreds of them) are life-long learners. Which is WHY they will succeed.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
benefits bestowed by the U.S. Department of Education: the $400 million in stimulus funds in exchange for agreement to the Common Core standards, innovation grants, and data-tracking from “preschool to Ph.D.

and these are supposed to be in support of Common COre? Federal bribes to adopt "THEIR" programme? MORE data grabbing and tracking... so when Johnny points his finger at Jimmie and sez BANG that becomes a part of his file for his Doctoral Degree twenty years later? And they call these "benefits"? How stupid do they think we are?

It is quite evident those promoting this will benefit... a huge make-work scam, and who suffers? The kids who already have been so dumbed down they can hardly read or write, and certainly can't make change for a five dollar bill when I buy a sandwich for two dollars forty seven with tax.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Progressives will not be stopping at a "blue state", they never ever stop "Progressing Forward", history is littered with their failed utopias and corpses.
Maybe that's why History is revised by these Socialists.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
To appreciate the depth of the poop the USSA is in, this is a story about so called "redstate" sElectedRepubs, Florida is probably even worse. And the District of Control is even worse.
Take action accordingly........
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just think how our kids will do in the future when they are competing against the Chinese or other real world countries' children in engineering or tech industries. They will be able to supply the friendliest answer as to how strong the wing must be instead of the "Other" country's mathematical answer that is exact. There are some principles that have to be learned no matter the high tech equipment available. In the sciences the basic foundation of knowledge has to be learned and remembered to be sucessful.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Comrade, there will be no competition with the Chinese, our children will be in Agenda 21 zoned factories working for their Chinese bosses. no need for them to know much of anything, actually the less they know the better for the NWO.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Miss Grabar:
Thank you for this honest assessment of Common Core. I have observed that Common Core implementation has much in common with the way the Obamacare was passed. First there are big money liberal backers like Billl and Melinda Gates who are the God Parents of Common Core who have liberally greased the skids in all 50 states. Who in their right mind could possibly protest such esteemed and well endowed God Parents. They are rich and selfless so they must know what is best for us. Right? Also note the support from the teachers unions and owners of the education establishment. Note the insidious messaging coming from the text books on math and english which come from the left of Marx. Not to mention math pushes kids backward according to most experts. Also note the lack any "critical thinking" from parents and for that matter the total lack of awareness that this is happening. They were able to hijack our health care system in the darkness of night and now they are coming for the children.
This is pure evil before our eyes and in plain sight. Ironically in Georgia every Senate candidate is AGAINST common core. Note too that Sonny Purdue was the first enabler of this substandard nonsense and followed by our new republican Nathan Deal who actively support common core. How does the average guy on the street handle this strange alliance in what is supposed to be a conservative state. Guess what Common Core is the long term game plan to turn georgia into a blue state by propagandizing our students into liberalism. No kidding. Time for a wake up call to parents but it may be too late. Keep up the fight and pray for reinforcements.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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