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Does education win in today's election? If so, how?

Any predictions on what today’s election results might mean for education in Georgia?

I don’t think much will change on the federal level regardless of shifts in Congress. We haven’t seen much progress as other issues – the economy, terrorism and now Ebola – have eclipsed education.

However, election results at the state level could generate changes. Certainly, education has dominated the governor’s race.

And, by the close of the day, Georgia will have a new state school superintendent since Republican incumbent John Barge chose to run for governor rather than seek a second term.

So there will be changes in the Department of Education whether Democrat Valarie Wilson or Republican Richard Woods carries the day. New leaders bring new agendas and staffs.

We will also likely see a renewed effort to displace Common Core when the General Assembly resumes in January. Common Core opponents may get help from Woods if he's elected, but it will still be a tough battle to undo the standards.  Schools in Georgia are reporting good results, and districts have already invested heavily in training.

By the way, anyone read former Gov. Sonny Perdue's passionate defense of Common Core on a few weeks back?

Here is a brief excerpt. You can read the full piece here.

By Sonny Perdue

In 2009, I wholeheartedly endorsed the concept of the Common Core State Standards, as I do now. I participated in their formation because they marked a strong and even step up from the patchwork of standards states were using. Even opponents agreed the Standards are more demanding than 39 states’ math standards, and 37 states’ English standards. I support them because they give teachers and schools the ability to compare and measure what is working with others across the country. And they help close achievement gaps by setting high expectations for all students.

Conservatives owe it to the men, women and children in our classrooms to see through the work we began. Now is no time to give up on the Common Core State Standards.  Our students can and will rise to the challenge, if we but give them a chance.


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.