Common Core math books pass Fayette BoE’s test 4-1

New math textbooks to be used in the Fayette County School System were approved by a 4-1 vote Monday by the Fayette County Board of Education. The motion also came with a provision that will examine how Fayette students can compete globally and will lead to an opinion that assesses both traditional and integrated math offerings.

The lone dissenting vote in the 4-1 approval came from board member Mary Kay Bacallao, who said her opposition dealt only with the textbook adoption portion of the motion.

Bacallao prior to the vote expressed concerns over the adoption, noting that some of the math skills under the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are not being taught at the same grade level as had been done under the previous Ga. Performance Standards.

Several of the math teachers in the audience spoke up, saying those items are taught even if they are not included in a textbook.

“The only thing I want is for these kids to be challenged in math, and if we adopt (the textbooks) we will feed into Common Core and we’ll be behind other countries,” Bacallao said.

Math coordinator Lynn Ridgeway in response said, “Fayette County always writes its own math curriculum. We add to the textbooks. Some grade-level (items) change, but the math is being taught.”

The school board meeting Monday night had 12 people sign up for public comments to weigh in on the proposal. Seven of the speakers were teachers, most of whom served on the textbook adoption committee that recommended the math textbooks. All reiterated their endorsement of the recommendation.

The remaining five speakers were opposed to the math textbook adoption, citing concerns with the Common Core standards for math and English language arts. The math textbooks for grades K-12 were approved by the Ga. Dept. of Education. Common Core standards were adopted by the Ga. State Board of Education in 2010 and classroom implementation began last school year.

One of those speaking in opposition was Charles Bennett, who described himself as being anti-Common Core. Bennett said the math textbooks might not meet the needs of students and suggested the school board “wait and find the books we need.”

Physician John Potts was another opposed to the adoption. Potts maintained that education is best accomplished when it occurs at the local level, not from the national level.

The last math textbook adoption for Fayette County schools was approximately eight years ago.

Incoming Superintendent Jody Barrow, who was at the meeting, agreed that the other two provisions of the motion dealing with an examination of how Fayette students can compete globally and, based on a recommendation by board member Barry Marchman, an assessment of integrated versus traditional math both be reported on at a later date.

123mom's picture
Joined: 01/14/2009
Common Core and Other Issues

Not one person associated with the Fayette County School System is going to remember SY2012-13 as a stellar year in the history of our county. Tough decisions had to be made from the top down. Major changes were made that will have ripple effects in the years ahead. Enough said - now let's get to the business of rebuilding our school system in every area.
As a teacher, I have seen curriculums come and go. Personally, I was not pleased when we moved away from national-normed testing at all grade levels to tests based on the Georgia curriculum. Many people did not reaize that students who moved out of Georgia took meaningless test scores with them and often had to be retested for programs such as Enrichment/Gifted programs. Common Core is in what I call its infancy. Fayette County teachers have been being trained in, studying, and implementing these standards since SY2011-12. We, for the most part, are ahead of many of our counterparts across the state and the nation. Are there weaknesses - yes. Are there strengths - yes! Have things we have taught for years been reassigned to other grade levels - in some cases, yes. Will our children receive less of an education because of Common Core - no! Although our system has lost many wonderful, dedicated professionals to retirement and moves to other systems, there are still many of us who will continue to do what Fayette County teachers have done best through the years - accept the students who walk through our doors, try our best to meet their needs, and use all of our professional knowledge to take them as far as we are able in the time we have them.
So as a teacher, and a mother of teenagers who read and hear comments about their school system, I am asking the public to do what teachers have been doing for over a year - go on the GDOE website and study the curriculum, as well as the procedures for textbook adoption in Georgia. When you walk into your child's classroom in August, either in a new school or a familiar school, take the time to get to know the staff. Look at all the resources that will be used to teach the students. Ask the teacher and other staff members what you can do to support them as they work with your child. Take the time to look over your child's homework and other assignments. You may find that Common Core is not such a bad thing after all. One other side item, changes made that many people are still angry about have allowed our system to add back instructional days that had been cut - is that such a bad thing? Perhaps we will soon be able to compete with other counties when new teachers are looking at salary and benefits as they are making career decisions!

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
Common Core is not so Common

You know when you go to the store and you see that shirt that says.. "one size fits all" just as a 400 pounder walks by and you realize that, no, one size does not, in fact, fit all.

Common Core is that "One size Fits all" shirt. First the curriculum is set by the Government. Now I know those that love the program are going to say the Government didn't set the curriculum.. well you're wrong. Government funded and directed groups did so just because they removed one step away does not mean they were not involved. Common Core is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Linda Darling‑Hammond, an education adviser for Barack Obama’s campaign.

Second it is all about the MONEY... Follow the Money. $4.35 billion was set aside for those States that would take the bait. If you take the money you take the program.. Cancel the program you don't get the money.

Pretty Simple.

Third... Common Core also shifts away from classic literature and allows for the reading of informational texts. Now just what type of "informational text" are we speaking about?

Some of the "suggested" informational text are:

Text on Global Warming

Handbooks from the EPA

Text on Universal Healthcare and many others...

One of the "allowed" modifications to "Common Core" is the expression of ideas "other then traditional". One such "idea other then tranditional" came in the form of students being told to create a new flag..


"Texas students were told to make a flag for a “new socialist nation” and to use symbols of communism and socialism in the presentation."

This is Common Core.

Not so Common is it?

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Joined: 07/23/2012
Mary Kay must go

Why is she always the lone dissenting vote and always proven wrong.

Perhaps if she had talked with the math coordinator before the meeting she would have known that FC writes its own curriculum and add to the textbooks in order to keep our students ahead of the curve.

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