By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday the conservative group, Alabama Legislative Watchdog is car pooling to Montgomery to oppose what they call the “Common Obama-Core” in Alabama.
The new Common Core Curriculum is opposed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) and many conservatives because it traps Alabama’s school students in a federal government approved school curriculum. Under the U.S. Constitution the states control education. Education is not a defined federal power; but the income tax, and the ability to create hundreds of $billions in new paper money every year allows the federal government to wield enormous power to coerce and co-opt the states toward whatever the federal government desires at any moment.
Two identical bills Senate Bill 190 and House Bill 254, would repeal Common Core over the objections of the Alabama State School Board which has twice voted to implement the measure over the objections of Alabama conservatives. SB 190 is sponsored by Senator Dick Brewbaker (R) from Montgomery. The identical HB 254 is sponsored by Representative Jim Barton (R) from Mobile.
Elois Zeanah, the President of the Alabama Federation of Republican Woman accused leaders in the Alabama education community of spreading misinformation to support Common Core. Zeanah wrote that the officials on Tuesday had a spread emails, “Refuting claims in a Resolution I wrote about Common Core, and using false claims to motivate people to contact legislators. What surprises me about these emails is that they are from Education officials, who know better. The Resolution that was passed by the GOP State Executive Committee in February is attached for your reference. It saddens me that Education officials seem to care more about power and evading accountability than about protecting our children and our education sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.”
Zeanah wrote, “Education officials falsely claim that Alabama retains control over standards, over curricula, and over assessments. Education officials state: “ Alabama maintains ‘educational sovereignty’ … and the SBOE remains the ‘sole and exclusive entity vested with authority’.” (See rebuttal in #1 below) They also state that “Supervision of Alabama ’s schools is the duty of the SBOE, not the Legislature.”
According to Zeanah: Alabama does not control its standards, “Alabama must adopt 100% of Common Core standards word for word. The State may not change or delete anything, and may allow only a token amount of additional content (up to 15%, which won’t be covered on national tests). So-called “Alabama Standards” include a mere 2.5% additional materials for English Language Arts and 14% for Math. Alabama does not control its curricula. Standards control curricula.” Alabama also does not control its assessments which must also be aligned with Common Core standards. Zeanah said, “The Alabama Constitution vests the duty to provide for public education ‘squarely upon the shoulders of the Legislature’” as the Supreme Court of Alabama observed.” NOT the state board of education (SBOE) and the State Department of Education. “This is a good thing since the SBOE has ceded our education freedom under our Tenth Amendment to entities outside the state. The Alabama Legislature now has the “duty” in its role as “checks-and-balances” to reclaim state sovereignty and parental control over education.”
Members of the Alabama Legislative Watchdog will participate in a 1:00 pm press conference on Common Core on the State house steps to oppose Common Core then they will attend a 3:00 pm public hearing in the Star Wars Room on the 8th Floor of the Capital building. The joint public hearing on Common Core is being held by the House and Senate Education Policy Committees
Other Committee meetings that the group has stated interested in include: the 1:30 pm meeting of the House Tourism Committee in room 418 about the Gulf State Park Bill, the 2:00 pm meeting of the Senate Tourism Committee in room 610, and the 11:30 meeting on abortion.