BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - “No, I don’t think a lot of people know what the state board members do,” says President of the Central Alabama American Federation of Teachers, Marrianne Hayward.
But that didn’t stop voters from overwhelmingly voting against Amendment one Tuesday; denying Governor Kay Ivey the chance to appoint the state school board and keeping that decision in the hands of voters.
"The right to vote is very important to most people and I think that's what defeated it. Just giving up your right to vote is something most people don't want to do."
The amendment’s supporters argued an appointed board would know better how to raise the state’s scores, where Alabama ranks last in math. But the union says the scores are inaccurate, saying a random sampling of 5,000 student scores does not represent the over 740,000 students in the state.
“And so, for them to base all kinds of predictions and blame on education based on 5,000 test scores is very wrong,” says Hayward.
Hayward says education is just one puzzle piece. To fix it, you have to step back and look at the big picture, addressing issues like poverty, hunger and healthcare.
“Cause if you’ve got a failing school, you’ve got a failing community. And we need to start fixing communities. Because the kids don’t just walk into the school building and suddenly, they can’t learn? It’s what they bring with them and we’ve got to address all of those barriers to education before we can start raising our test scores.”
The amendment had the backing of Governor Ivey, Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh, and the Alabama Farmers Federation among others.