Resolution Opposing “Nationalized” Common Core Standards; Opposing PARCC Testing; Protecting Student Privacy; and Commending the Governor’s Executive Order
WHEREAS, the control of education is left to the States and the people and is not an enumerated power of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; and
WHEREAS, in 2010 Georgia Executive Branch officials committed this state to adopting common standards with a consortium of states through the Race to the Top grant created by the federal Executive Branch; and
WHEREAS, this participation required Georgia to adopt common standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics (now known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative) and to commit to implementing the aligned assessments developed by a consortium of states with federal money, all without the consent of the people exercised through their Legislative Branch despite the fact that the people fund K-12 education with over $13 billion in state and local taxes each year; and
WHEREAS, the Common Core standards have been evaluated by educational experts and were determined to be no better than Georgia’s previous performance standards and according to key members of the Validation Committee, the standards were even inferior; and
WHEREAS, adoption of Common Core obliterates Georgia’s constitutional autonomy over the educational standards for Georgia’s children in English language arts and mathematics because 100 percent of the Common Core standards must be delivered through Georgia’s curriculum, yet the standards belong to unaccountable private interests in Washington, D.C. Which have copyright authority and do not allow any standards to be deleted or changed, but only allow Georgia to add 15 percent to those standards; and
WHEREAS, this push to nationalize standards will inevitably lead to more centralization of education in violation of federalism and local control and violates the spirit, if not the letter, of three federal laws; and
WHEREAS, both the Common Core standards and the PARCC tests will create new tax burdens to pay for enormous unfunded mandates on our state and our local school districts; and
WHEREAS, the Race to the Top grant conditions require the collection and sharing of massive amounts of student-level data through the PARCC agreement which violates student privacy;
THEREFORE the Georgia Republican Party delegates to the 2013 Convention resolve that state leaders should:
•Withdraw Georgia from the Common Core State Standards Initiative;
•Withdraw Georgia from the PARCC consortium and its planned assessments for Georgia’s students, and any other testing aligned with the Common Core standards;
• Prohibit all state officials from entering into any agreements that cede any measure of control over Georgia education to entities outside the state and ensure that all content standards as well as curriculum decisions supporting those standards are adopted through a transparent statewide and/or local process fully accountable to the citizens in every school district of Georgia; and
• Prohibit the collection, tracking, and sharing of personally identifiable student and teacher data except with schools or educational agencies within the state.
Be it further resolved that we appreciate Governor Nathan Deal’s principled Executive Order issued on May 15th which strongly recognized the need to honor the constitutional sovereignty of the people of Georgia over education and the urgent need to protect student privacy.