Muscogee County School District to conduct forums this week about state's new curriculum

Anyone interested in the new English and math curriculum in Georgia's public schools and how the Muscogee County School District is teaching it can attend one of the six public forums the MCSD will conduct this week.

Georgia is among the 47 states, plus the District of Columbia, that is implementing the Common Core curriculum. After a year and a half of planning, the MCSD started using Common Core this fall semester.

The district is in its third year of a four-year $11 million federal grant called Race to the Top to make the curriculum transition leading to national assessments that will start in the 2014-15 school year and replace the state's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

Ginger Starling, MCSD's Race to the Top administrator, said Common Core is a "more rigorous curriculum and requires a shift in not only what is taught but how it's taught."

This week's forums will help parents understand how they can help their children with the new curriculum, Starling said, and the reasons for the change.

"It's mainly to get kids ready for jobs that don't even exist yet," Starling said. "We're still training the way we were taught. But students are different, and the economy is different, and the world is different."