By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday afternoon, a joint public hearing by the House and Senate Education Policy Committees will be held on whether or not to overturn President Obama’s endorsed controversial new nationwide education standards, Common Core.
Two identical bills SB190 and HB254, would repeal Common Core over the objections of the Alabama State School Board which has twice voted to implement the measure, which are opposed by many conservatives. Alabamians United for Excellence in Education (AUEE) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, February 27th, at 1:00 pm., on the State House Steps in support of both SB190 and HB254.
The joint public hearing by the House and Senate Education Policy Committees on these two bills will be held that afternoon at 3:00 pm in the Star War Room on the eight floor of the capital building.
Former Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott and two attorneys from the American Principles Project, Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty will both be speaking at the rally about the threat that Common Core brings to Alabama. The Director of AUEE Sharon Sewell will also be present at the news conference event.
Senator Dick Brewbaker (R) from Montgomery is the sponsor of Senate Bill 190 and Alabama State Representative Jim Barton’s (R) from Mobile is the sponsor of House Bill 254. Eagle Forum said that the bill would return local control of education, repeal the adoption of Common Core, protect family privacy & prohibit state bodies from compiling/sharing non-academic, “personal” data, and would prohibit the State Board of Education from ceding control over education to any entity outside of the state of Alabama.
Alabama State School Board Members Mary Scott Hunter (R) and Tracy Roberts (R) have both been very outspoken supporters of the Common Core standards. They wrote in an oped, “The Alabama Standards are ours. Yes, they include the Common Core, but they include additional content as well. They are rigorous, and they are requiring a lot of our teachers and students. They posture Alabama students to surge in their achievement. The implementation of these rigorous standards is ongoing and to undo that work would be a setback. A return to our previous, and less rigorous, standards would send the wrong message to the nation. It would frustrate teachers who have worked very hard to successfully teach the new Alabama Standards. Most importantly, a return to less rigor, would be lowering our expectations of our students. They deserve better.“
Hunter and Roberts voted with the Democrats on the State Board of Education to defeat an effort by fellow Republicans, Gov. Robert Bentley, Stephanie Bell, and Betty Peters to rescind the unpopular educational standards at a meeting of the state school board.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R)ff has been a staunch opponent of the federalization of Alabama Education. Gov. Bentley said, “Every state is different. Every Legislature is different. I think having one standard goes against the intent of the founding fathers of the United States.”
Earlier in this month, the Alabama Republican Executive Committee overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the state legislature to pass legislation rejecting the Common Core standards.
Sources in the repeal Common Core movement are claiming that 19 of the 22 Republican State Senators have already committed to supporting SB190 to repeal Common Core, leaving just three Republicans Senators who have not committed. Alabama House Republicans have not been as supportive of the legislation and the bill’s proponents do not think they currently have the votes yet in the House to overturn the national standards. Alabama Eagle Forum and the AUEE are both urging their supports to call their state legislators.
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