Bill to eliminate Common Core from schools advances out of committee

Ditching Common Core in Alabama?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - You probably hear about it all the time, but do you know exactly what Common Core is and how it affects your student?

"In the old standards, it may have said identify the main ideas, for example. But in Common Core, it says cite ideas and find support in the passage,” said Dr. Tonya Perry, a professor at UAB’s School of Education.

Dr. Perry’s example about the education standards pertains to English and Language Arts.

Assistant Professor Taajah Witherspoon talks about Common Core as it pertains to math.

"And now students see mathematics as reasoning and thinking. It’s not just isolated facts and procedures,” said Witherspoon.

However, a new bill moving through the Alabama legislature would eliminate those Common Core standards.

Senator President Pro Tem Del Marsh is one of the bill’s sponsors and says change is needed, citing in part the state’s low test scores.

"They had nine years to show us this standard works, it’s not,” said Marsh.

But those in education feel the standards themselves are not the issue.

“I am not sure what people object to about the standards,” said Leslie Richards, a math specialist for Jefferson County Schools.

Richards also helps develop recent curriculum at the state level. She says Common Core provides rigor but also the flexibility that teachers need to teach.

“Teachers say if you don’t believe these standards are effective come to the classroom,” she said.

The bill to eliminate the standards passed committee on Wednesday. It could come up on the Senate floor for debate as early as Thursday.

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