Lawmakers pass bills to push for change in Alabama education system
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama is dead last in math scores. Lawmakers want to improve those, but students are also still getting caught up on reading after so much learning loss from the pandemic.
The recently passed Numeracy Act zeroes in on raising math scores. Nearly 900 instructional math coaches will be deployed to every K through five school across the state. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey says that is really the core of the act. Mackey hopes coaches will play a pivotal role in student achievement.
“It’s getting these coaches in to help elementary teachers really look at the way we teach math and the way we help students be prepared for the assessments, but also be prepared for higher math,” Mackey said.
Reading scores are also struggling statewide. Earlier this week, the Alabama House voted to delay the Literacy Act to the 2023-24 school year. Right now, the act calls on third graders to pass a reading test to move onto the next grade. If they don’t pass, they’ll be held back a year.
“We certainly believe that the delay in this particular piece of legislation will ultimately be helpful for all the students,” William Tunnell with the Alabama Education Association said.
Tunnell says students and teachers are still catching up from the pandemic. He doesn’t want to see students fall behind even further and see students promoted when they’re not ready to be promoted which can impact them later in life.
“We want all of our students in every K-12 school in Alabama to leave their high school ultimately at a level of proficiency where they can be successful in society,” Tunnell said.
The Literacy Act legislation is now in the hands of the Senate.
Last year, Governor Ivey vetoed the 3rd grade retention provision saying any delay before reviewing reading assessment data would be “hasty” and “premature”.
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