New academic standards for Muscogee County

MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Some students are learning in a much different manner compared to the way classes were taught just last year in Muscogee County.

New national performance standards called Common Core, a first for the world of education, are now being implemented in 46 states across the United States including Georgia and Alabama.

"Several education researchers found that the Georgia Performance Standards weren't competitive enough in mathematics and communication both verbally and written," said Suzanne Evans, Instructional Specialist with Muscogee County Schools.

Since 2005, Georgia has continuously increased the rigorousness of its content in all of their subject areas, according to Evans. But, the new standards will focus more on teaching students how to apply what they've learned in the classroom.

The changes are taking place in grades K-9 in math and kindergarten – 12th grades in English Language Arts classes throughout Muscogee County. High school math will be phased in. Other subjects like science and social studies are being assessed now for implementation following a second draft by fall 2012.

"They have the same packet I have that I'm displaying on the Smart board," said Christopher Maguire, 9th grade math teacher at Hardaway High. "We talk about it. It's not so much as me instructing. We're discussing how to solve the problem and working through it together."

Maguire also rewrites the lyrics to popular songs like the 70s hit, "We Will Rock You" by Queen. They changed the words to say, "We Will Graph You," a highly energetic and engaging concept that students like Alexis Keley, seems to enjoy.

"I like it," Keley said. "We just have to get use to being goofy and learning at the same time."

One benefit is students who relocate to other states that are using CCPS; they'll already be familiar with the curriculum.

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