Georgia Public Schools Curriculum Creates New Challenges

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- Valdosta, Ga. - Sept. 17, 2012 -

A room full of nervous teachers listen as a stranger tells them to change the way they work. But Education Consultant Karen Bailey says it is okay to feel uneasy.

"CCGPS is new for all of us. This is the first year that Georgia has taken charge and decided that they're going to investigate Common Core Standards," Bailey said.

They're called "Common Core Georgia Performance Standards", or CCGPS for short-hand.

Bailey says the plan will raise the bar for Georgia students by testing them against a national standard. But that means no coddling and no teaching down for struggling students.

"Now all of a sudden we're all together trying to figure out what are these common expectations for kids," Bailey said.

This is a statewide initiative. That means it includes Valdosta City Schools, Lowndes County Schools, Thomas County Schools and so on.

It also changes the way subjects are taught, like math. Students will be given less problems to solve and more situations to resolve.

"So we're asking kids to not really just sit and get the information but to interact with it. To problem solve," said Scarlet Brown, Assistant Superintendent of Valdosta City Schools. "And that's challenging, especially if you're not used to doing that."

"It is about making sure the kids of Georgia are never left behind," said Bailey.