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Common Core constantly changing

By Kay S. Pedrotti With disparate groups on either side of whether the Common Core Curriculum is needed in Georgia, local school systems are struggling in the middle with constant changes, says schools superintendent Dr. Bill Truby. ’The one aspect that affects our teachers most,’ he adds, ‘is the yearly changes in the way teaching is done and the accountability factors. That’s the greatest concern that we in the trenches are feeling. Each year of the 12 I’ve been in Georgia, there have been changes. We need a period of peace and consistency to work with this program and try to perfect it.’ There are many misconceptions about the CCC, notably that it is a ‘federal’ program ‘“ it is not ‘“ and all the controls are outside the local systems, Truby says. The program originated with state governors who saw a need to add credibility to school systems by establishing uniform standards and accountability for ‘a very transient school population that has developed,’ the superintendent notes. ’These are broad standards,’ he added. ‘The resources used to get to these ‘˜highest standards’ are up to the local systems. Classroom teachers have a great deal of input in recommendations to their supervisors and the school board. Not all counties or systems will be using exactly the same materials but they’ll all be on the state’s list of accepted resources. These resources aren’t just textbooks but the internet and other relevant materials. There’s a federal connection which has to do with system accountability but it’s up to us to decide how we meet the standards and factors.’ Legislators should be aware an insistence on ‘more civics or more something else,’ puts a school system in the position of having ‘to let something else go because of minutes in the day and days in the school year ‘“ and because of the budget, we have fewer days,’ Truby adds. The one aspect he does not appreciate, says Truby, is ‘an emphasis on evolution that appears to call for its acceptance as fact and not to be able to look at anything else.’ There is that emphasis in seventh grade science and in biology at the high school level, he states. ’It’s a difficult job for systems and teachers to have what was taught last year change this year and so on. We’re open to answering questions about the Common Core Curriculum and would be happy to field inquiries. If we’ve answered by sending someone materials, we’d like to hear back whether we’ve satisfied the questioner. We find it’s sometimes really hard to move people from an established opinion, no matter where they stand,’ he concludes.

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