Related Stories ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party Share Georgia schools are in the process of implementing a comprehensive new set of public school education standards for grades K-12 called the Common Core. 44 other states have also adopted the standards. Here are some frequently asked questions about the Common Core. The sources for this information,and links to additional information, can be found at the end of this FAQ.Q: What are educational standards and what do they accomplish?A: Educational standards define the skills and knowledge students are expected to have mastered at each point throughout school. Standards provide an objective benchmark for planning curriculum, for setting expectations, and for measuring progress. It’s important to have clear educational expectations for each grade so parents and teachers can know when students have successfully completed one grade and are ready for the next grade.Q: Doesn’t Georgia already have statewide educational standards for public schools?A: Yes, it does. The Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) were developed and phased in over the last several years. These standards set public school performance expectations for each subject area in each grade. In fact, the GPS were used to help write the Common Core. Georgia’s standards are called the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, or CCGPS.Q: So why do we need these new Common Core standards?A: The Common Core standards are described by the Georgia Department of Education as “a common sense next step from the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS).” They are supposed to build upon and extend the GPS standards. Q: What are the advantages of the Common Core?A: Proponents of the Common Core standards say Georgia will see several advantages such as:Continued improvement in the quality of education for Georgia students.Skills and subjects are similar in every Common Core state, thus ensuring Georgia students receive an education that is fully competitive with the education students receive in other states.Allows students to move to other states more easily, knowing their educational requirements will be comparable.Allows direct apples-to-apples comparisons of test scores and student achievement between all the participating states.Should lead to savings in the costs of textbooks and testing by minimizing the differences between state programs, thus giving educational publishers and testing organizations greater benefits of scale.Q: How were the standards developed?A: The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) created an independent group, the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), to oversee and manage the program. CCSSI was given the task of developing new, comprehensive educational standards that states could implement. In its mission statement, CCSSI says the standards “are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” The standards were developed by teachers, parents, and educational experts from around the U.S. and the world.Q: Is this a federal program being imposed on the states by Washington?A: No. The federal government is not mandating the standards. As described above, Common Core began as an initiative sponsored by several states, including Georgia. It is voluntary, and the state of Georgia has chosen to participate. However, the Obama administration has endorsed the standards and has tied them to federal grant money. The administration has incentivized the standards, but they are not a mandate. In fact, Indiana recently repealed its decision to adopt the standards.Q: Does this program tell teachers what to teach and how to teach it?A: No. The Common Core standards can best be seen as a shared set of expectations for students. The teachers and principals in individual local school systems will be the ones deciding how their school will meet the standards. Curriculum decisions will still be made at the local level.Q: Is there a danger that shared standards will result in a “lowest common denominator” effect and pull everyone’s standards lower?A: The goal is for these standards to be the opposite of the lowest common denominator. They are intended to raise everyone’s educational standards and to make sure students in the participating states are getting the skills and knowledge they will need for college or a career regardless of where they graduate. The Georgia Department of Education expects that the Core Standards will actually result in raising the state’s standards, not lowering them. Q: What does the Common Core mean for students?A: Up until now, each state developed its own educational standards without regard to the standards being used in other states. This meant that the expectations for public school students varied considerably from state to state. With the Common Core standards, educators hope to create a level playing field across the country so students will have a common set of educational expectations regardless of where they live.Q: What does it mean for teachers?A: By giving teachers a clear and uniform set of expectations, they should be better able to plan and teach. They will know that incoming students are ready for the challenges of the next grade. It should also streamline assessment and make test scores more meaningful across the country.Q: Does this mean more standardized testing?A: No. CCSSI says the decision of how much testing should be done remains the responsibility of the state. In fact, uniform standards might reduce the number of standardized tests students have to take, since the test designers won’t have to try to work around differing levels of achievement and expectation. Georgia is in the process of developing its own test, after dropping out of a national test consortium. Q: What areas of school are affected by the Core Standards?A: The Common Core standards are only administered for mathematics and English/Language Arts. States can adopt other sets of standards (such as the Next Generation Science Standards) at their discretion. Detailed outlines for each grade and subject have been developed and are available online.Q: Is there a timeline for implementation in Georgia?A: Yes. In fact, Georgia will fully implement the standards by the 2014-2015 school year. Below is the official Common Core State Standards Timeline as published by the Georgia Department of Education:July 8, 2010: the State Board of Education officially adopted the standards school year2010 – 2011: Communication and Administrator Training2011 – 2012: Teacher Training2012 – 2013: Classroom ImplementationQ: Is the Common Core facing resistance from teachers or parents?A: Yes. Any change in how schools teach is bound to face misunderstandings and resistance, but the Common Core standards may be getting more of this than most. It is also the subject of many Internet rumors.Some critics claim that the Common Core is really a plot by the educational publishing and testing industry to sell more textbooks and give more tests while lowering their costs by forcing most of the states to do the same thing. Others claim that the standards de-emphasize fiction and literature in favor of nonfiction and “informational” texts. The CCSSI has compiled a long list of what it says are “myths” about the Common Core standards. In a similar vein, the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Educational Leadership looked at what they considered to be the five biggest misconceptions about the Common Core in an article with the striking title “The Common Core Ate My Baby and Other Urban Legends”.Common Core State Standards Initiative website from the organization that is managing the national standards on behalf of the participating statesGeorgiaStandards.org, an extensive website about the Common Core Georgia standards from the Georgia Department of Education (GA DOE)“Georgia Educators Begin Teaching Common Core Georgia Performance Standards This School Year,” a press release that provides an explanation and overview of the transition to Common Core in Georgia; published on John Barge’s reelection campaign web site.Common Core Georgia Hub, a collection of video presentations for professional educators produced by Georgia Public BroadcastingCommon Core Georgia Performance Standards, a web page of explanations and links to resources maintained by GA DOECCGPS, a 4-page handout that takes a look at what the Common Core is and is not, published by GA DOE (PDF)Georgia Department of Education official documents outlining the Common Core Georgia standards for each subject area and each grade (documents are in PDF format)The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a detailed PowerPoint presentation to Georgia teachers on the transition from Georgia-specific assessment tests to the multi-state PARCC tests, including timelines and grade-specific examples; presented at the Common Core Summit for Georgia Administrators, sponsored by GA DOE and held in Macon, GA, on July 31, 2012[Note: several Georgia school systems have published the Common Core standards and their specific implementation plans on their web sites. Search for the school system name together with the phrase Common Core to see what a specific school system might have published online.] For Whom The Bell Rings Add to My List In My List Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility
UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Generation AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Finance and Policy Previous articleESI Africa Edition 5 2018Next articleGlobal business leaders urge governments to drive climate action Guest ContributorThe views expressed in this article by the author are not necessarily those of the publishers and/or association partners. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publisher and editors cannot be held responsible for any inaccurate information supplied and/or published. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA BRICS Featured image: Stock The African Development Bank Group has approved a $18.17 million senior loan to the 40 MWac (50MWp) Kopere Solar Power Project in Kenya. The project is owned by Voltalia, an international player in the renewable energy sector listed on the Paris stock exchange.The Bank is also in the process of securing a $11.6 million concessional loan from the Climate Investment Fund’s Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP).The Kopere project, which falls under Kenya’s Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) policy, encompasses the design, construction and operation of a 40 MWac (50MWp) solar PV power project in Nandi County. The project also involves the construction of a 33/132 kV substation, and a 1.8 km T-line to evacuate the electricity to the national grid.Commenting on the project, Amadou Hott, the Bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth said: “This project could potentially be Kenya’s first utility-scale solar PV project under the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) Policy. We are confident that the provision of long-term and concessional financing to support the project with terms that are unavailable from commercial sources will have an important demonstration effect in attracting more investors to engage with Kenya’s vast solar opportunities.”The project is expected to generate around 106 GWh per year, and effectively supply electricity to approximately 600,000 people through the grid.Additionally, it will also save 1,081 kt CO2eq in GHG emissions annually throughout the project operation. “Kenya’s Vision 2030, and the ‘Big 4’ agenda ambitions come with a renewed urgency for affordable electricity while pursuing a low carbon development pathway. By providing access to quality energy at a cost below the current generation costs in Kenya, the Kopere project will diversify Kenya’s energy mix, and ultimately contribute to reduced dependence on fossil fuels,” said Wale Shonibare, the Bank’s Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulation.The project is aligned with the Bank’s New Deal on Energy, the High Five priority to ‘Light up and Power Africa’, and the Bank’s country strategy for Kenya. It is also aligned with Kenya’s FiT policy, Vision 2030 Initiative, and with Kenya’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for climate resilient growth. Read more: Nigeria Electrification Project to receive $200m joint financingThe Kopere project will enhance energy access, infrastructure development, and private sector participation in the renewable energy sector while contributing to green growth, and job creation. Read more: AfDB injects R3bn in South Africa’s solar-based power projectImplementation of the project will commence in 2019.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that Pontevedra in north west Spain has been awarded the 2019 ITU Multisport World Championships.“Creating the Multisport World Championships has been incredibly successful in terms of bidding for events,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “We’ve had a massive interest in hosting the week of championship races with three cities vying for the event in 2019, and our 2017 and 2018 locations already confirmed. This is a very encouraging sign that triathlon is moving in the right direction and our growth is continuing to expand.”The Multisport World Championships will see duathlon, long distance triathlon, aquathlon and cross triathlon championship races organized together during a week-long festival. This event, which will be held for the first time in 2017, now allows for athletes to compete in various multisport races, as opposed to electing only one each season.Pontevedra, the home of five-time World Champion Javier Gomez, is a seasoned host of triathlon events, having hosted three Premium European Cups, as well as the 2011 ETU Triathlon European Championships. Most recently, the Spanish city organized the 2014 ITU Duathlon World Championships.“Just as in previous occasions when we have hosted triathlon events in Ponetevdra, we are once again delighted to welcome such a broad community to our city,” said Pontevedra Mayor Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores.“We will, as always, endure in offering all possibilities for athletes to enjoy Pontevedra in its entire dimension, with its natural scenery, its historic centre and its beautiful river. I am certain that the whole city will get behind this global event.”The Spanish Triathlon Federation will again host the Duathlon World Championships in 2016 in Aviles. This combination of experience should make Pontevedra well-suited to welcome the 2019 Multisport World Championships.“We are very grateful for this designation, as Pontevedra has a strong bond with our sport, which was seen in the numerous competitions held here both nationwide and internationally,” said José Hidalgo, President of the Spanish Triathlon Federation. “Pontevedra is a venue that feels and breathes the values and challenges of triathlon.”In 2017, Penticton, Canada will organize the first Multisport World Championships, and the 2018 edition will head to Odense, Denmark.www.triathlon.org Related