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Georgia Legislature, Teachers Clash Over Draft of New Education Standards

Georgia Legislature, Teachers Clash Over Draft of New Education Standards

Though Georgia has reached out to the community to seek input for the new education standards they are creating, many of the state’s educators say their input hasn't been duly accounted for, especially not compared to that of politicians.

Georgia released a draft of its standards, being called Georgia Standards of Excellence, to the dismay of many educators who thought their input would be better reflected.

One such disappointed teacher wrote to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to express her dissatisfaction.

"I have been a Social Studies educator, teacher leader, and content specialist for over a decade. I, like thousands of my colleagues and fellow citizens, spent hours reviewing and providing feedback on the proposed Social Studies standards that were posted for public comment,” she said.

"The set of standards provided to the Board do not reflect the feedback or approval of the stakeholders in the State of Georgia. There were additions and changes made to the standards after the committee approved the final draft on March 17, 2016.”

The current draft of the standards, she said, is a disregard of the time spent by thousands of educators and stakeholders as they committed to creating great standards.

The collective outrage from educators warranted a response from the state’s Legislature. It was not, however, the response teachers expected.

The letter first laid out several of the most common complaints it has so far received about the standards as seen in the draft, but than argued that these complaints were “random” and did not reflect the consensus of Georgia’s stakeholders or majority of educators. It argued that many of the complaints it received were from individuals not involved in the review process. 

"At the 3/16 review committee meeting, there were emails and letters from public figures that were not a part of the teacher surveys. Furthermore, these emails and letters contain many of the random items listed above and were rarely supported in the teacher surveys. Some of the information was used if appropriate in the revised document,” the letter said.

It invited still-concerned educators to attend the State Board Meeting on Thursday to voice their opinions.

Read the full post.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/29/2016

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