Traditional teaching replaced with new rigorous standards

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County schools are undergoing a major transition in the classroom.

The change affects students, teachers and administrators. The new initiatives are a direct spin-off of President Obama's, "Race to the Top" program which was implemented in 2009.

Primarily, the program's purpose is to reform the way education is taught in the classroom. The days of sitting in a desk, taking notes and proving what you've learned during test time, a method known to generations, is now moving toward a college and career readiness path. Muscogee County's Race to the top administrator, Ginger Starling, is at the helm of this new way of learning.

"It's going to be very different, very rigorous and we really have to do a good job of implementing Common Core," explained Starling.

Common Core Performance Standards are what students have to now master.

"Students are going to be asked to demonstrate what they know and there won't be as many multiple choice based questions," recalled Startling.

Common Core calls for a much deeper knowledge than the requirements outlined under the Georgia Performance Standards or CRCT standards.

Midland Middle School Principal, Richard Green, says revamping the standards crosses state lines. It's a big benefit for relocating students, especially those from the military. He also emphasized the transition is not without its challenges.

"It is causing some growing pains because this is all new and with anything new there's going to be change," Green said. "The amount of documentation that's required and the hoops teachers have to jump through, it just seems a little out of touch right now."

As for parents who are feeling a little uneasy about the new standards, Starling said the district is planning to hold parent clusters starting next month.

The dates, times and locations have not yet been announced.

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