AFP Activist Common Core Letter To State School Superintendent John Barge

July 24, 2013

This is a letter from AFP GA 2012 co-Activist of the Year, Mike McPherson, a veteran educator, to State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge following the decision last week to pull Georgia from the testing involved in Common Core.

Dear Superintendent Barge:

We would like thank you for your decision to withdraw from the PARCC testing consortium. Having been in public education for 39 years, I have seen many attempts to revolutionize education. I saw the classroom walls taken down in the name of the Open Classroom concept only to be put back up after 3 years of academic disaster. I observed a generation of children who were subjected to sight reading/whole language with the removal of the key component of phonics. This resulted in millions of children unable to read effectively. Most recently, No Child Left Behind, which is a Federal Program, was, to say the least, a dismal failure. The state of Georgia adopted the Integrated Math Curriculum and it, too, was a failure.

My point is that over the years we in education have tried educational reforms with the best of intentions but it is the children who have suffered as a result of our good intentions. Common Core has never been field tested and history has proven that The Federal Government is unable to run any program in an efficient and economical manner. We do not need to have the Federal Government involved in the educational matters concerning the education of our state’s children. We also do not need
trade organizations establishing standards in a one size fits all curriculum. You noted that after careful review that the PARCC testing was was a poor decision for our state. Our former Governor and State School Superintendent blindly accepted Common Core without considering the ramifications. I hope that you, as the educational leader of our state, will reconsider Common Core. We, the taxpayers, employ you, your staff and 160 plus local superintendents to lead our state’s educational system. Why do we need Federal involvement? I know that you and the people named can lead and provide our children with a world class educational experience. Please stop Common Core.

Sincerely yours,
Mike McPherson

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