By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Prior to the 2013 Alabama legislative session it seemed all but certain that the Republican super majority would overturn the unpopular Common Core Standards that the Obama Administration is promoting. 19 state Senators had told Tea Party groups before the session that they were opposed to implementing common core. Governor Robert Bentley (R) has been a stalwart opponent of the Common Core. Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead has called for the Republican legislature to defund the implementation of common core as has the conservative Heritage Foundation. The Alabama Republican Executive Committee and Republican National Committee both endorsed efforts to repeal common core.
Despite the continued efforts of conservative grassroots activists, some Republican State Senators have defiantly refused to support repeal efforts, in a reversal of earlier positions. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) from Anniston has said the state Senate will not vote on the legislation to repeal common core this year, paving the way for implementation of the common core standards throughout Alabama and incurring the wrath of conservative activists who have made repeal their number one goal of the session.
The President of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women Elois Zeanah said on Facebook Thursday, “COMMON CORE: Senate President Pro Tem Marsh WALKS OUT of the Senate Caucus when education policy analysis for the Heritage Foundation begins to speak, then says he doesn’t have enough info to vote on Common Core, and blocks a floor vote. Will the real conservative senators please stand up and defend the democratic process and demand that their constituents have a vote and a voice? Did they elect Marsh as facilitator or dictator?”
The Alabama Legislative Watchdogs wrote on Twitter, “What’s point of having GOP majority if u won’t stop #CommonCore? Pass SB403.”
Elois Zeanah continued on Facebook, “COMMON CORE WINS, TRANSPARENCY LOSES AGAIN: Senator Del Marsh says he doesn’t know who to trust — his conservative base or AEA and business lobbies. Yet he picks the side of AEA/education community, which he blames for failing schools, and the business lobbies, which see our children as “human capital” and want schools to train their future workers by his decision to pull down the curtain on transparency and refusing to allow debate and a vote. He alone can decide to strait-jacket students, schools, the constitution, and parental and local control?”
The Alabama Legislative Watchdogs wrote on Facebook, “A member sent in this note: “I did call Del Marsh’s office in Montgomery. They claim he needs more info on the bill, so I asked has he read the Common Core law and was told he know he knew all about it so I then asked if he had it would be apparent that it should be abolished then and that it went against every thing Alabamians believed in and if he did not we needed to get him out of office at which point she hung up on me and so I emailed him what I thought and that his person that answered the phone would not give out info and was infact rude.” Is Del Marsh’s staff paid to hang up on his constituents?”
Whitney Neal with Freedomworks wrote, “Education standards, student privacy, and state control: each will be decimated if Common Core is implemented in Alabama. Fortunately, there are bills before the State House (HB 565) and State Senate (SB 403) that would pull Alabama out of the Common Core program. Please call your representatives, and tell them to support HB 565 and SB 403! Common Core, a curriculum set established by President Obama’s 2009 “stimulus” program, will be a disaster for Alabama’s students. Bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. intend to reduce your child’s education to the lowest common denominator. Common Core pushes parents further away from the classroom and increases the power of the federal government. Washington can’t balance a budget. How can we trust federal bureaucrats to run an education system effectively?”
President Zeneah said on Facebook, “COMMON CORE: State Superintendent Tommy Bice applauds Marsh for blocking a floor vote on the repeal of Common Core and says this will give students what they deserve. Meanwhile, Madison parents are ticked that they will lose elective courses under Common Core to make room for other courses mandated by CC. I guess this is what Bice means when he says Common Core gives students what they deserve and that local schools retain full control over what is taught?”
Michigan has joined the conservative states that have rejected Common Core, but Common Core appears to be safely entrenched in Alabama. Senators Dick Brewbaker (R) from Montgomery and Scott Beason (R) as well as Representative Jim Barton (R) from Mobile County continue to carry repeal bills, but without support of the leadership it seems very unlikely that any of these proposals will even be voted on in the remaining days of this session.