Statement from the Alabama Republican Assembly calling for withdrawal from nationalized Common Core Education Standards:
The issue of quality education and the freedom of states to develop their own strategies with regard to educational standards is of utmost importance to parents, educators and the future of our children. While we recognize that good people can disagree over whether the new Common Core education standards adopted by the state are an improvement, there are also problems with the standards and their adoption that necessitate the call for immediate withdrawal from the national agreement. Furthermore, we understand that many teachers and administrators are working diligently to implement the newly adopted standards in such a way as they believe may improve our education system for the benefit of students.
However, we are opposed to the federal government attempting to use our tax dollars in an effort to sway local or state education policies. Federal laws prohibit the U.S. Department of Education from dictating local education policy. However, the federal government is attempting to “bribe” states to adopt common, national standards with the allocation of $360 million of OUR tax dollars. Short of the abolishment of the federal Department of Education, we believe Alabamians would be better served if federal education dollars were block granted to the states for use as they deem most effective for their students.
Secondly, the State of Alabama, along with many other states, rushed through the adoption of Common Core Standards without reasoned, deliberate and appropriate input from parents, businesses, colleges, and other stakeholders. The haste to adopt the standards in order to apply for President Obama’s Race to the Top program funding was therefore wrongly motivated by a search for more money, not necessarily better standards. Debt-ridden “stimulus” dollars are not how we should fund education.
In closing, the Alabama Republican Assembly believes that in order to protect the integrity of our ability to determine the best educational standards for our children, we should immediately withdraw from the Common Core Agreement. We also believe that state school leaders should immediately begin a process of garnering input from all education systems in the state, including an open, transparent process that includes parents, teachers and local businesses, in order to develop new comprehensive standards for the 2014-15 school year. We further believe that such standards should not be characterized as “common” or “basic”, but that our education standards should reflect the same level of excellence in the classroom that most Alabamians expect on the football field this fall.
For questions about this statement or more information about this organization, you can contact us at www.alabamarepublicanassembly.org or at 205-345-5595, Don Wallace, President, ALRA