State adopts new school standards

Georgia students are getting geared up to be more globally competitive, based on more state standards to be enacted.

Recently, the Georgia Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in English, language arts and mathematics for kindergarten through 12th grade. They are not federally mandated.

"The state board's vote to adopt the Common Core State Standards is a huge step toward giving us a meaningful comparison of our students' achievement with that of students in other states," State Board of Education Chair Wanda Barrs said in a press release. "Our students will be competing for jobs with students from all over the world, and we must be able to compare ourselves to the rest of the U.S. and other countries to ensure that we are providing students with the tools they need to be globally competitive."

The National Governor's Association, co-chaired by Gov. Sonny Perdue, and the Council of Chief State School Officers initiated the academic standards in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including content experts, states, teachers, school administrators and parents, building off the work of other states that had already developed rigorous college- and career-ready standards.

"Georgia has been ahead of the curve in the development of rigorous standards," State School Superintendent Brad Bryant said in the press release. "The Common Core Standards enhance the Georgia Performance Standards and ensure that all of our students will be taught a world-class curriculum that will prepare them for college or a career."

Newton County School System officials said the standards are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards, which is the current curriculum used statewide that has been continuously integrated over the past few years after switching from a Quality Core Curriculum. According to the state, in the new standards are many elements of the GPS, so the CCSS will not be a drastic change for either teachers or students, according to the release.

The new standards also are aligned "with college and work expectations that are commonly known worldwide so that students who graduate from high school will have the skills and knowledge needed to compete globally for jobs and an education in top-tiered universities," said Dr. Linda Hayden, associate superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology at NCSS. "The expectation will be for all students to be able to succeed in our global economy and society and not just in the work force in Georgia."

NCSS already has implemented an Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School and have plans to create the Newton College & Career Academy, also aimed to help their students to compete globally, officials have said.

The new standards, state officials said, will give students knowledge and skills they should have within their K-12 education in order to graduate high school and be fully prepared for college and their careers.

"Today's students must be prepared to compete in a global economy," Perdue said in the press release. "These state-developed standards make sure that our students are prepared for college and the work force."