Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

May 16, 2013

Deal signs order addressing Common Core standards

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday putting in place restrictions on a set of academic standards adopted by the state that have faced growing opposition in recent months by tea party and conservative groups.

Under the order, the state will be prohibited from collecting certain information on students and their families, including religious and political affiliation and voting history. The move comes just days before Republicans gather for their annual state convention in Athens, where the Common Core academic standards are expected to be a big topic of debate.

Deal, a Republican, acknowledged in his remarks that the personal information is not currently being collected, but said his order was designed to ensure no one’s rights are violated.

“Georgia has not been collecting that data, and Georgia will not collect that data. To make the above clear and unambiguous, I have signed an executive order and I will ask the Legislature to embrace the content of that executive order in legislation during the next session of the General Assembly,” Deal said.

At the news conference, Deal was joined by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, state schools Superintendent John D. Barge, a number of Republican state lawmakers and two vocal critics who say the standards amount to federal intrusion and threaten student privacy. Deal did not call for a repeal of the standards and began his remarks by emphasizing their common interests.

“We’re here because we are concerned about the future of education in the state of Georgia. All of us want our children to have the best education possible,” Deal said. “Setting rigorous academic standards is an essential component of increasing student achievement and improving college and career readiness.”

The standards, which create basic requirements for math and English language arts, have been embraced by dozens of states, which helped develop them under the leadership of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Former Gov. Sonny Perdue was a leader on the committee that created the benchmarks and pushed for Georgia to adopt them in 2010.

The federal government was not involved in creating the standards but has encouraged states to adopt them under its “Race to the Top” grant competition. Under the standards, third-graders should know how to add fractions and eighth-graders should understand the Pythagorean theorem.

Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, was among those attending the governor’s announcement Wednesday. Ligon introduced a bill mid-session that would have halted implementation of the standards. It did not pass but remains active for consideration next year.

“While this is a step in the right direction and we appreciate the governor’s efforts, this does not ultimately move Georgia out of the Common Core program,” Ligon said. “The executive order issued today does, however, make a good-faith effort toward preventing the disclosure of our student’s private information. ... Now it’s up to the Georgia Legislature to pick up where the governor left off.”

Debbie Dooley with the Tea Party Patriots praised Deal for taking action but still wants the state to drop the standards.

“I don’t believe it’s enough but it is a step in the right direction and it will protect us from intrusive federal government,” Dooley said. “I think it’s a good first step, and I praise Gov. Deal for taking this first step.”

Virginia Galloway, state director for Americans For Prosperity, echoed those comments.

“We support Gov. Deal’s step toward protecting Georgia students and school systems from the worst aspects of Common Core,” Galloway said. “We hope that this will be followed by a deep consideration of other steps to extract Georgia from Common Core.”

Under the executive order, Deal reiterated that all decisions regarding curriculum and instruction shall be made at the local level and that no educational standards shall be imposed on Georgia by the federal government. The order also orders that any proposed changes to state educational standards shall be posted for public review and comment for at least 60 days. Critics have charged Georgia moved too quickly to adopt the standards.


Follow Christina Almeida Cassidy on Twitter:—Christina.


For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

Text Only
Top News
  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy College Gradu_Stew.jpg Job market for college grads better but still weak

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court TV On t_Stew.jpg Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results