The order came after the Republican National Committee passed a resolution last month criticizing Common Core as an “inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.” In addition, the Georgia Republican Party will likely consider resolutions about Common Core at its state convention this weekend in Athens.
Deal’s announcement pleased lawmakers and educators who saw it as an effort to find a middle ground.
Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, said he appreciated Deal’s action but wants to go further. A bill he introduced that would have pulled Georgia out of Common Core didn’t pass this year, but he plans to continue his efforts when the General Assembly convenes next year.
“Standards and testing need to remain in Georgia,” Ligon said. “Under Common Core, we wouldn’t be able to change or detract from those standards at all if we find them objectionable.”
State Superintendent John Barge, a Republican who backs Common Core, said Deal helped clarify the difference between national education standards and curriculum decisions, which would still be set by local school boards. He said there’s little difference between Common Core and the state’s previous standards.
“There has been a groundswell nationally against the Common Core,” Barge said. “I think that’s something that’s going on in many states, not just Georgia.”
Educators in Georgia who began teaching under Common Core this year have concerns about future standardized testing that will be tied to the standards, but they’re generally pleased, said Tim Callahan, a spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.
“Our members who have tried them like them,” Callahan said. “No one wants the actual curriculum dictated to them, but there should be some standardization. That makes sense to most people and parents.”