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Common Core State Performance Standards See First Implementation In

Georgia Schools
When Georgia students return to school this year, they will be taught in
accordance with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) in
math, English language arts, science, social studies and technical subjects, reports
Maureen Downeys Get Schooled blog. The CCGPS are part of the Common Core
State Standards, a set of academic benchmarks aimed at raising the bar for
teaching and learning across the country. These national standards were
encouraged by the Obama administration, and came about through the
collaboration of governors, state schools chiefs and Gates Foundation funding. The
goal of the state-led initiative is to establish a uniform set of expectations for what
students will learn no matter where they attend school, and to ensure students are
college- and career-ready after high school graduation.
The standards focus on teaching fewer things, in greater depth, and have
been adopted by 46 states, the U.S. Department of Defenses education programs
and three U.S. territories. Georgia formally adopted the standards in July 2010, and
the states educators have been training in them since March 2011. Georgia
allocated about $900,000 in grant money to cover Common Core training, which
took place through online and in-person sessions, reports the Atlanta JournalConstitution. According to AJC's Get Schooled blog, the transition to CCGPS wont
present any dramatic changes for Georgia teachers and students because the
states curriculum already overlaps with the standards outlined under the Common
Core. Here are some examples students will see:
Third graders will learn how to multiply and divide large numbers. They also will
learn the function of adverbs, which was previously taught in fourth and fifth grade.
Fourth-graders will tackle adding and subtracting fractions, which was not taught
until fifth grade under the former curriculum.
Eighth-graders will be taught the Pythagorean Theorem, rather than learning the
concept in ninth-grade.
Under Georgia Performance Standards, students were taught pronoun-antecedent
agreement in seventh-grade. Common Core will teach that grammar rule in third
grade.
The AJC reports that the major challenge facing educators transitioning to the
Common Core is learning how to teach concepts that were previously taught in
higher grades. There is also concern that switching which grades certain topics are
taught in will lead to gaps in student learning unless teachers adequately
compensate for them. Boyd Elementary School Principal Keisha Gibbons says that
teachers at the year-round school started testing some of the Common Core lessons
during the final weeks of the 2011-12 school years. She told the AJC that the new

standards are being met with mixed emotions. "It's change and no one likes
change," she said. "It's up to me and my team to make sure we alleviate some of
the stresses and let them knows they can do this. A new national test is scheduled
to be introduced in the 2014-15 academic year that will gauge how well students
are learning the Common Core. Until then, Georgia students will continue taking the
Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.