On March 21, 2019 the Education Policy committee unanimously passed the bill to repeal the use of Common Core State Standards, referred to as the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, in K-12 education in the state. According to the bill, the State Board of Education would be required to adopt replacement standards to be implemented during the 2022-2023 school year. Until new standards are adopted, the Common Core standards will stay in place. Central to the argument to repeal was that In 2017, Alabama’s 8th-grade math scores ranked 49th among the 50 states, and math scores for 4th-grade students were 45th in the nation, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The majority of the 46 states that initially adopted Common Core have either repealed, renamed or made changes. A study released in April through a federally funded research center shows that after 7 years states that dramatically changed their standards by adopting the Common Core didn’t outpace other states on federal NAEP exams. By 2017 the standards appear to have led to modest declines in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math scores. Perhaps the issue is not the standards themselves, but the manner in which they are implemented. In any case, for Alabama, there are some serious problems with dropping Common Core.
According to the reporter, Trisha Powell Crain, dropping Common Core will cost “$10.9 million plus the tens of millions of dollars already spent over the years to train teachers, purchase textbooks and other materials.” She goes on to say the bill will “force teachers to use learning standards from nearly 20 years ago. Alabama State Superintendent Eric Mackey believes the bill will prohibit all national tests, including familiar college entrance exams, such as the ACT and the SAT, and career technical certification for computer science. Business leaders support keeping the current standards in place as they think they set a higher bar for students than previously and they see the bill as resulting in a “dumbing down” of the state educational system. According to social media posts, Alabama teachers support the current standards.
By: Jodi Waugh