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 Update - April 14, 2014

Current Georgia news:

Georgia Lawmaker Can’t Answer Her Own Question about Common Core (i.e., Rep. Amy Carter –R, Valdosta), April 5, 2014, Heartland.org

More Dubious Pre-K Science, April 2, 2014, Brookings (article about Georgia Pre-K) 

Where's The Common Ground in Common Core?, November 12, 2013, GPB

  Update - March 23, 2014 

Legislative action: The state legislature failed to pass SB 167, and as a result Georgia will continue to align itself with the national standards and testing movement, In addition, the collection and tracking of student data by the GaDOE and private vendors will go unabated. 

 Recap of voting of SB167:

  • Passed unanimously out of Senate Education and Youth Committee.
  • Passed out of full Senate.
  • Failed to pass out of House Education Committee.
  • Sen. William Ligon presented two amendments on the floor of the Senate the last day of the session. The first amendment would have set forth clear legislative intent for Georgia to cease its participation in the national standards movement. The second amendment would have set restrictions on student data collection.  Both amendments failed to pass.
  • See below for a list of senators who voted against the amendments.

What’s next for the Common Core?
Over the past year and a half a groundswell of support has been growing all across this state to withdraw Georgia from the Common Core standards, national tests and the intrusive data-tracking system. Our fight continues to regain local control of education in Georgia and we will not rest until we have reversed course and stopped the national standards movement in Georgia. 

Be watching for the next steps in the battle for educational sovereignty. 


DAY 40 AMENDMENTS OFFERED BY SEN. WILLIAM LIGON


 Amendment 4- Set restrictions on student data-collection and data-tracking.  Yea 21, Nay 28

The following Republican Senators voted in favor of SB 167 when the bill was voted on by the full Senate, but voted against the amendment when offered up by Sen. William Ligon on the last day of the session. 

Voted against amendment:

  • Brandon Beach (Alpharetta)
  • Ronnie Chance (Tyrone)
  • John Crosby (Tifton)
  • Jack Hill (Reidsville)
  • Tim Golden (Valdosta)
  • Bill Jackson (Appling)
  • Rick Jeffares (McDonough)
  • Fran Millar (Atlanta)
  • Butch Miller (Gainesville)
  • Cecil Stanton (Macon)
  • Jesse Stone (Waynesboro)
  • Bruce Thompson (White)
  • Ross Tolleson (Perry)
 Exempt:

Tyler Harper (Ocilla)

 Republicans who did not vote:
  • Josh McKoon (Columbus)
  • Lindsey Tippins (Marietta)
  • Renee Unterman (Buford)
  • John Wilkinson (Toccoa)

Amendment 6- Set forth clear legislative intent for Georgia to cease its participation in the national standards movement. Yea 25, Nay 26

The following Republican Senators voted in favor of SB 167 when the bill was voted on by the full Senate, but voted against the amendment when offered up by Sen. William Ligon on the last day of the session. 

Voted against amendment:

  • Brandon Beach (Alpharetta)
  • John Crosby (Tifton)
  • Jack Hill (Reidsville)
  • Rick Jeffares (McDonough)
  • Cecil Stanton (Macon)
  • Jesse Stone (Waynesboro)
  • Bruce Thompson (White)
  • Ross Tolleson (Perry)
 Exempt:

Tyler Harper (Ocilla)

 Republicans who did not vote:
  • Josh McKoon (Columbus)
  • Fran Millar (Atlanta)
  • Lindsey Tippins (Marietta)
  • John Wilkinson (Toccoa)
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March 16, 2014
Urgent! Bad Common Core Bill Resurfaces in House
 
Immediate calls/e-mails needed to  
Speaker David Ralston

 Phone: 404-656-5020

  E-mail (david.ralston@house.ga.gov)

 

 

With only two days left in the legislative session, it appears that an attempt will be made in the House to "salvage" parts of SB 167, which was killed in the House Education Committee last week. The apparent plan is to strip a Senate bill of its language and insert into it the weak House substitute bill that Sen. William Ligon rejected last week. Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia and American Principles in Action (APIA) oppose this effort.

 

The salvaged sections would be those that establish a statutory process for developing and reviewing standards, along with some of the data-privacy language. But critical portions of SB 167 would not be included. Specifically, there would be no language making it clear that Georgia rejects the movement toward nationalization of standards; nor would there be express permission for local school systems to exit Common Core standards during the standards-revision process.

 

The absence of these critical sections makes it impossible for CWA and APIA to support this effort. A bill that allows the nationalization process to continue and that binds the local districts to Common Core for at least another two years is not acceptable.   

Please call and/or e-mail Speaker David Ralston by Tuesday morning, March 18, and let him know the following:

  • Any substitute language for SB 167 that passes the House must (1) clearly prohibit the State School Board from adopting, re-adopting, or implementing national standards or participating in the national standards movement; (2) starting in September 2014, allow local school systems flexibility to tailor their curriculum and instruction so that they are no longer locked into Common Core standards; and (3) protect students from corporate data-mining, federal data-collection, and an invasive student-tracking system. 
  • Any bill that does not accomplish these things will be considered nothing but a political ploy to allow legislators to claim they voted against Common Core when they did no such thing.
The legislative session ends this Thursday, March 20. We must remain diligent in the fight for the children of Georgia. 

  

Please call or e-mail Speaker Ralston ASAP. 

   Update on House Education Committee Hearing- March 12, 2014

Georgia House Education Committee strikes down SB 167 by a vote of 13-5

SB 167 was a ping pong game.  On Monday, March 10, the House offered up their very weak substitute. We opposed this version of the bill. However, on Wednesday, March 12, the House decided not to take up their substitute version of SB 167, but to take up a Senate substitute per Sen. Ligon's request. We supported this version. Therefore, the House voted down the stronger bill.  All this happened in a matter of hours on March 12.

The thirteen committee members who opposed SB 167 have now openly aligned themselves with Washington, D.C. bureaucrats, special interests, the Chamber and the education establishment against the children, parents and concerned citizens of Georgia.  By opposing SB 167, the legislators said “yes” to continued participation in the national standards movement.  It won’t be long before our children are subjected to national science, social studies, health and sex education standards.

Georgia House Education Committee strikes down SB 167 by a vote of 13-5

These same thirteen have also said “yes” to the continued data-tracking on Georgia’s students. The Georgia Department of Education will now continue to develop, unimpeded, a longitudinal data tracking system that will track students from the cradle to the grave. Personally identifiable data collected by third parties, done so outside the bounds of any contract, as that which often happens in the virtual world of free educational software applications, is left totally unprotected. Student privacy is now a free-for-all and ready to be harvested by any vendor who chooses to do business in Georgia.

The influencers who had the chance to protect Georgia’s children chose to put politics over their progress. Common Core will do to our educational system what ObamaCare has done to the healthcare industry.”

Would you please take the time to thank the five committee members who voted on the side of Georgia children?

Voted in favor of passing SB 167
Rep. Mike Dudgeon - R
Phone: 404-656-0298 | E-mail  

Rep. Ed Seztler - R
Phone: 404-656-7857 | E-mail 

Rep. Sam Teasley - R
Phone: 404-656-0177 | E-mail 

Rep. Joyce Chandler - R
Phone: 404-656-0254 |
E-mail  

Rep. David Casas - R
Phone: 404-656-0254 | E-mail 

Voted in opposition to SB 167
Rep. Tommy Benton-R
Rep. Amy Carter-R
Rep. Valerie Clark-R
Rep. Tom Dickson-R
Rep. Hugh Floyd- D
Rep. Mike Glanton-D
Rep. Wayne Howard-D
Rep. Margaret Kaiser-D
Rep. Howard Maxwell-R
Rep. Rahn Mayo-D
Rep. Alisha Morgan-D
Rep. Randy Nix-R
Rep. Willie Talton- R

Present and did not vote
Rep. Brooks Coleman- R (Chairman does not typically vote)

Absent and did not vote
Rep. Pamela Dickerson-D
Rep. Terry England- R
Rep. Jan Jones- R
Rep. Ed Lindsey- R
Rep. Kevin Tanner-R


                          March 10, 2014- We have pulled our support of SB 167
3-11-14- update information on press conference

Conference Call Alert: Tuesday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m.
The House Education Committee today released a potential substitute bill for SB 167 in advance of its upcoming Wednesday committee meeting.   Sen. Ligon has indicated to Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia and American Principles in Action (APIA) that he cannot support this House substitute. He would like the opportunity to let all grassroots supporters of SB 167 know his reasons for being unable to support this House version.  Sen. Ligon is inviting the entire grassroots team to join him on a conference call hosted by CWA of Georgia and APIA Tuesday evening.  Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m.  
Conference Dial-in Number: (530) 881-1000
Participant Access Code: 632867#

Action Alert: Phone call needed to OPPOSE SB 167
On Sunday, March 9, an e-mail was sent asking you to make calls to members of the House Education Committee urging them to support SB 167.  That was before the gutted version of SB 167 was released.  We no longer support this bill and need for you to make calls again.  Please call the Governor, the members of the House Education Committee, and your own representatives to ask them to support the stronger Senate version of SB 167, not the weakened House substitute version.

Click here for the House Education Committee phone number and e-mail list.

Press Conference Alert: Wednesday, March 12
Please plan to attend the press conference at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 12, to show your opposition to SB 167. At the press conference, CWA of Georgia and American Principles in Action will join Sen. Ligon and will discuss our reasons why we can no longer support SB 167 in the form presented by the House Education Committee.  Here are the details:
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Senate Press Office- located on the second floor of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. Make a right after going through security.

Plan to stay and attend the House Education Committee meeting at 3:00 P.M. in room 606 in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

Why We Oppose SB 167
Contrary to the Senate version, the substitute 167 no longer prohibits Georgia from signing on to national standards; no longer expressly grants local districts the flexibility to return to the superior Georgia Performance Standards during the transition to newly developed standards; no longer gives parents (who have always been shut out of the standards-review process) a majority voice on the newly created Advisory Council; and no longer reins in data-tracking and data-sharing functions of the student longitudinal database. In addition, it allows corporate vendors to collect personally identifiable data on students through “free” educational apps and to use that information for non-education purposes. While the substitute bill is a step forward for student privacy, it is not what children need and parents want. 

In other words, the authors and backers of the substitute bill yielded to the pressures of the powerful education and corporate establishments, who don’t want to upset the status quo. And the substitute proponents accomplished this turnaround with record speed -- during the 24 hours since we sent out the last email alert asking for your help in getting SB 167 over the finish line.

We are grateful for all the help you’ve provided to propel SB 167 to victory in the Senate. Without you, the issue would have died last year. Again, we ask you (if you have any energy left!) to contact the Governor, the members of the House Education Committee, and your own representatives to ask them to support the Senate version of SB 167, not the House substitute version. This is the last push we can make to reclaim a bill that truly restores Georgia educational sovereignty and student privacy.

SB 167- Senate version
SB 167- House substitute

_______________________________________________________________________________________

SB 167 passed out of the Senate today 34-16 today, Tuesday, February 25. The bill now moves on to the House Education Committee, and is expected to be heard in committee on Wednesday, March 5.

House Education Committee hearing information: 
Wednesday, March 5
3:00 p.m.  - 5:00 p.m.
Room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building (across from State Capitol).

The committee is allowing testimony but will be limiting it to about 1 minute due to the number of people expected to speak.   The vote on SB 167 will take place on Wednesday, March 12.

WE NEED EVERYONE WHO IS ABLE TO ATTEND.  THE OPPOSITION IS SUPPOSEDLY BUSING IN TEACHERS TO OPPOSE THE BILL.

Here is one paragraph from Sen. Ligon's press release.

"Passage of this bill today represents the hard work of many people over the course of two years. This bill is the first major piece of legislation that has passed anywhere in the nation that has allowed the voice of the people to clearly say that national standards are unacceptable," stated Sen. Ligon. "This bill draws the line in the sand that Georgia will no longer be bound by national standards or the testing of national standards or be obligated to special interests. The people of Georgia, through this legislation, finally can begin to reclaim their educational sovereignty over what their children are taught in public schools. Georgia citizens should never again be shut out of the process as they were when the Common Core was ushered into this state."

Georgia Senate Passes Senate Bill 167 to Withdraw from National “Common Core” Standards

Senate Passes Bill Aimed at Separating Georgia from Common Core

Next step- SB 167 now moves to the House Education Committee which is expected to hear the bill on Wednesday, March 5. We will keep you posted of the exact time and location.

Next action item:
  • Contact Rep. Brooks Coleman (R- Duluth), Chairman of the House Education Committee at 404-656-9210 and Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R-Johns Creek), Vice Chair of the committee  at 404-656-0298.
  • Contact the members of the House Education Committee and urge them to do the same thing. Click here for a list of the committee members.
Urge each one to vote in favor of SB 167, and to vote in favor of only the amendments approved by Sen. Ligon (bill sponsor).



Click here for a description of SB 167.
Click here to read SB 167

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Why we oppose Common Core and support SB 167


________________________________________


Click to read
UPDATE on HB 897  (February 28, 2014)

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              Hundreds descend on the State Capitol to rally against the Common Core!

     
     

_____________________________________________
Open Letter to Governor Deal

33 groups signed on to this letter.
Click to read the letter.

________________________________________________________________
                                Student data-tracking in Georgia 
                                 What is Governor Deal hiding?

 

Todd Park, Obama's Tech Expert, Too Busy Fixing Health Care Site To Testify” 
 Huffington Post, 11-7-13

 In October 2012, GaDOE’s Chief Information Officer Robert Swiggum was invited to  speak at an Education Datapalooza event hosted by the White House.   Mr. Swiggum  shared about all the great things Georgia is doing with the State Longitudinal Data  System (i.e., student data-tracking system). 

 The moderator of the Datapalooza event was Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer of  the United States who directly reports to President Obama.  Mr. Park’s previous position  was with Health and Human Services and was involved in the Healthcare.gov web site.  That should raise lots of concerns for Georgians!

 


Robert Swiggum presents Georgia's data plan at a White House sponsored Datapalooza event.


 Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia was  very concerned that Mr. Swiggum, at the invitation of the White House, was boasting  of how Georgia would be sharing data across state lines.  After watching Mr. Swiggum’s  presentation, CWA of Georgia submitted an Open Records Request to the  Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) in an effort to find answers to what  types of data collection and data exchanges were taking place in Georgia.

 


Request #1
Open Records Request- Dec. 17, 2013
GOSU Response to request #1

 Request #2
Open Records  Request -Dec. 20, 2013
GOSU Response to request #2

Request #3

Open Records Request-Dec. 30, 2013
GOSU Response to request #3

 

CWA of Georgia’s submitted three Open Record Requests to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.  Why three?  Because it took three requests to get the wording exactly right before the GOSA would finally even admit they have information on the data tracking system.  GOSA also stated in the third Open Records Request that they would reveal the information we asked for – if we paid over  $29,000 to obtain the records.

 And the Governor wonders why we are concerned.



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Alert!  Georgia's senatorial candidates answer if they support the Common Core. 
                                 Click here to hear their answer.
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 Common Core in the News
  • Race to the Top: Beware of strings that bind- January 3, 2014
    Beware of federal dollars that come with strings attached. They can get expensive. And bind. That seems to be the message from some local school officials, who publicly fretted last week about a new, merit-based pay plan for teachers in the Savannah-Chatham County public school system that will be implemented next year.

 Addiction Alert!
  • Georgia's state leaders continue to be addicted to federal education funds. The question they should be asking is, "what are the federally controlled mandates?"   Georgia wins $51 million education grant, December 19, 2013







Welcome
to Georgia's Stop Common Core web site.  This site will focus specifically on the efforts to eradicate the Common Core in Georgia. Stay informed on national efforts on defeating the Common Core at stopcommoncore.com.

If you’ve never heard of Common Core (relabeled the “Common Core Georgia Performance Standards” in Georgia), it’s a nationwide initiative designed to herd states into national K-12 standards and national tests – which ultimately will lead to a national curriculum and silence curriculum input from local parents, taxpayers, and educators.

Proponents insist that the Common Core initiative is “state-led” and “voluntary,” and that the national standards are “rigorous,” “internationally benchmarked,” and designed to make our students “college-and career-ready.” They also insist that Georgia is not relinquishing control over its standards and curriculum by adopting Common Core, and that the federal government is not controlling this effort. In fact, none of these statements is accurate. This website will show you the truth.


Our Purpose:
  1. To equip our Georgia neighbors and fellow citizens with accurate knowledge about the national effort to seize control over curriculum standards in all 50 states.
  2. To provide Georgia citizens the tools and an action plan to defeat the Common Core State Standards in Georgia.
  3. To provide a forum where Georgians can share information about the Common Core and network together for a unified effort to restore local and state control over the curriculum.