The Georgia Board of Education adopted new mathematics standards Thursday that move away from the multistate Common Core standards conservatives have opposed as a federal takeover of education.

The new K-12 standards were developed with input from Georgia teachers, school administrators, parents, students and business leaders. They will take a full year to implement, with the new school year dedicated to retraining math teachers.

The standards are designed to provide a strong foundation beginning in the early grades and present a reasonable amount of content each year, so students can master concepts rather than simply being quickly exposed to them.

“To ensure every Georgian is given the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed, [State School] Superintendent [Richard] Woods, the state school board and I are committed to developing quality academic standards,” Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday.

“I am confident the final math standards eliminate the remnants of Common Core, will provide an excellent education for our students and are based on an unprecedented level of collaboration from across the state.”

Common Core was an effort to write academic standards that would be shared by all 50 states.

The push for federal education standards gained traction in Georgia in 2010 when the state Board of Education adopted national standards for math and English/language arts that had been developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, who was serving at the time as co-chairman of the National Governors Association.

Supporters at the time, including the leadership of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, argued Common Core would help Georgia develop a workforce that could compete with other states.

While 45 states eventually adopted Common Core, support began to wane in Georgia and other Republican-led states amid fears by conservatives that national education standards took away state control.

“These new standards are Georgia-owned and Georgia-grown,” Woods said Thursday. “I am confident these standards are the best step forward for Georgia education.”

With the new math standards secured, the state Board of Education next will begin a review of the English/language arts standards.

Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service


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