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Standards subject of GOP talk
Lawmaker aims to dispel Common Core myths
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The Forsyth County Republican Party Meeting is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 143 on 1045 Dahlonega Hwy. The event is open to the public. For more information, visit

The way one state lawmaker from south Forsyth sees it, there has been a wealth of misinformation regarding Georgia’s participation in Common Core.

To help clarify how the state is using the national education standards, state Rep. Mike Dudgeon will speak to the Forsyth County Republican Party during its meeting Saturday morning.

“I’m calling it ‘Common Core, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,’” said Dudgeon, a Republican who represents District 25. “I’m going to talk about the good parts of Common Core, the bad things related to Common Core and I’ll also talk about the whole list of things that are not Common Core.

“Common Core has become the catch-all term for lots of federal meddling in education and I’m going to try to dispel the myths about what Common Core is and what it’s not.”

The standards, designed to let states compare student performance by using the same standards and tests, have not been well received in Georgia.

Gov. Nathan Deal recently announced the state would not be participating in the testing portion of the setup, citing the high cost of doing so.

That move only fueled more questions about the standards.

Dudgeon, who currently serves on the House Education Committee, served a term on the Forsyth County Board of Education prior to being elected to the legislature.

Though he supported dropping out of the testing portion of Common Core, Dudgeon said he supports the standards.

“The biggest part of the problem is that Common Core has become this general term which means all kinds of things,” he said. “But the actual standards, I’m with the governor on and I would like to find a way to make them work and I support the idea of the standards.”

Brad Wilkins, chairman of the local GOP, said he’s “received quite a few questions from Republican members over the last couple of months about Common Core and I thought it would be good to bring in a speaker who could speak intelligently about it.”

According to Dudgeon, the new standards are important even for those without children in school. Elevating the quality of education in Georgia and the nation is crucial for work force development and for being “competitive with other countries, and it’s important to find out how Common Core fits into that strategy.”

Wilkins noted that there are “still a lot of questions” on the issue.

“We just felt it would be a good time at the beginning of the school year to ring in a speaker who can talk about it,” he said. “Rep. Dudgeon ... has got a real breadth of information when it comes to education policy.”