Anti-Common Core bill suffocated by amendments from the Georgia House

March 14, 2014

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Ben Velderman Ben Velderman

Ben was a communications specialist for EAG from 2010 until August 2014. He is a former member of the Michigan Education Association.
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ATLANTA – An anti-Common Core bill that appeared a safe bet to become law just a couple of weeks ago is now moldering in Georgia’s legislative graveyard.

toe tagThe Marietta Daily Journal reports the legislation – Senate Bill 167 – was so severely amended by the Republican-controlled House Education Committee that its author – Republican state Sen. William Ligon – pulled his support from the measure, which led to SB 167’s demise.

Ligon called the reworked House Education Committee bill “substantially weaker” than his original proposal, and said it did “nothing to stop our state from continuing its involvement in the national standards movement.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Ligon’s bill would have “prohibited Georgia from testing students on any set of national academic standards like Common Core. It would also have placed restrictions on how student data is collected and shared. The legislation would also have given local school districts the ability to essentially opt out of Common Core until the state Board of Education and an advisory panel completes a review of whether Georgia should remain in Common Core.”

But Ligon’s bill apparently never stood a chance in the House Education Committee, which is chaired by Republican Rep. Brooks Coleman, a former assistant school superintendent. Coleman and company buckled to the demands of business and school leaders who have been brainwashed into believing Common Core will suddenly make Georgia’s schools world-class and help the state compete in the global marketplace.

Such claims are entirely speculative, as Common Core was never piloted in an actual American classroom before it was adopted by more than 40 states. It’ll be years before anyone can say with authority what kind of impact the one-size-fits-all learning standards are having on students.

Many observers thought Ligon’s bill had a good chance of passing the full House of Representatives – if only the House Education Committee would have let it proceed.

Common Core opponent Leslie McPherson told Times-Georgian.com, “I’m not just angry because we lost – but because the representatives we voted for never got the chance to vote on it, as it never made it to the floor. Despite the fact that there was a groundswell of opposition to this, the committee voted to strike it down altogether, which is just disappointing.”

“Ligon said he’ll consider his options before deciding whether to take up the issue again next year,” WABE.org reports.

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