The Georgia Department of Education released an ESEA Flexibility Request to replace the No Child Left Behind waiver for public input without any notification to the public. Our representatives have a plan to enter into a long term agreement with the federal government with little or no input from those whom they represent. This waiver gives more power to the federal government’s proverbial thumb under which Georgia will be squashed. When do we get a chance to voice what we want for Georgia’s children, for our children?
Georgia to Stop Common Core distributed this press release.
This request for public input is available on the GA DOE website, but it is hidden beneath multiple “clicks” that makes the document, at best, difficult to find. If the public is not aware of a request for input, how do we provide the input? We can’t. This very effectively limits the time the public can provide input on the 200 page document.
The bottom line is that GA DOE is not interested in Georgia’s input on Georgia’s agreement with the federal government that will negatively impact Georgia’s children. This stealthy move speaks volumes about GA DOE’s desire to the waiver application under the public’s radar. The people of Georgians are ready to move out from under the federal government’s Race to the Top Grant and take back local control of education. Hiding this waiver undermines the will of the people.
The negative consequence of this waiver is that Georgia will be locked into Common Core for 3 more years. Georgia will be bound to the high-stress and high stakes testing. Among other negatives, the scores from this testing will be used punitively against teachers and schools. If “growth” is not shown for two years, teachers can be fired and schools will be labeled failing. Georgia cannot afford to lose teachers for 3 consecutive years.
As Georgians continue to get louder about the opposition to the “one size fits all” untested Common Core standards and the high stakes testing that accompanies the standards, the GA DOE’s subversive attempt to hide this waiver only makes sense if the GA DOE is attempting to once again pull the wool over the public’s eyes. The public needs time to understand what this waiver is about and how it will continue to shackle Georgia’s children to damaging standards and stressful standardized tests.
Is this waiver application process legal? GA DOE is following the letter of the law by posting the waiver application on the website. However, GA DOE is blatantly ignoring the spirit of the law by providing a hidden public announcement and not so timely opportunity for public input. Georgians to Stop Common Core say, “Shame on you GA DOE! Those who will suffer the negative consequences of this waiver want to provide input. You are removing our opportunity to say what we want for our children!”