Alabama Senate votes to repeal Common Core standards

Alabama Senate votes to repeal Common Core standards
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With a 23 to 7 vote Thursday afternoon, the Alabama Senate passed a bill to repeal Common Core standards.

The bill will now go to the Alabama House of Representatives to consider.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, proposed the bill, which eliminates Common Core standards for Math and English Language Arts, also known as the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.

Common Core is essentially national education standards, not the curriculum. The Senate made changes to the bill Thursday. Sen. Del Marsh said the bill changed to say the State Board of Education has until 2021 to create new standards. Until then, Marsh said the current Common Core standards would stay in place.

Common Core supporters say the national standard helps people know how Alabama students rank.

State Superintendent Dr. Erick Mackey said he did not hear of the bill until Wednesday morning.

“The bill being proposed has a lot of implications and could produce a host of unintended consequences. Changing teaching standards requires a lot of expert work by dedicated education professionals. It will not happen overnight. The Department of Education and State Board have been deliberating for months over revisions to Alabama’s current Math and Reading curriculum standards and as well as new assessment practices that follow behind those standards. We understand and agree with the desire to realize greater academic success. However, reverting back to Alabama Course of Study standards adopted in the late 1990s and early 2000s would be a huge undertaking for standards that will only be used for a short period of time. Those documents were only published in print form and would need to be digitized. Also, many new teachers and administrators have cycled in and out since then; new assessment practices would have to be developed to follow the old standards. Not to mention the cost of new books, professional development, instructional resources – that will be very expensive. Another of the most glaring concerns are other areas that “adopt or implement” national standards, such as the workforce credentials offered through Career Technical Education, assessments such as ACT, SAT, NAEP National Board certification, and coding/computer science standards. We already have a plan to roll new assessments out in 2020, they are going to be the best in the nation. If we go back to standards that are 20 years old, we will have to do a change order in the testing. That could be several million more dollars. Adhering to the bill as it is written could have negative repercussions on all of these areas," Mackey said in a statement Wednesday.

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