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Open Letter to State Senator Rusty Glover
 By Ann Marie Corgill

Dear Senator Glover,

I have no doubt that you and all senators involved in writing and sponsoring Senate Bill 101 want what’s best for Alabama’s children. You want students in classrooms across our state to grow, to be successful, and to have productive and prosperous futures.  Because you care so deeply about children and their education, I have to believe that you want to hear from Alabama educators who live, learn, and teach alongside these children every day.  I am one of those educators, and I ask that you hear my voice.

My name is Ann Marie Corgill, and I am a 20-year classroom teaching veteran, a National Board Certified teacher, a published author, Alabama’s Teacher of the Year, and a finalist for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.  My life’s work has been dedicated to supporting and improving our profession and the lives of the children in our care.

Repealing the Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards would be detrimental and destructive to the futures that we’re building in classrooms across the state.

In reading and re-reading SB 101, two extremely important words are missing from the document:  teaching and learning.  The standards are a roadmap for our teaching; they are a catalyst for student learning. They do not dictate our innovation, our creativity, our curriculum, or our relationships with children. They do not control us, nor does our federal government.  The ACCRS do not force us to teach in ways that are unethical or inhumane, and I respectfully request that the Alabama legislature doesn’t force your control on us either by passing this bill.

Our years of study, expertise in teaching children, and common sense guide us when making decisions about how to teach the standards and how to assess student understanding.  We are not teaching standards. We are teaching children with growing minds and beating hearts. Reverting to our previous standards will send the message to educators and children across the state that our years of work, our growth, and our progress forward mean nothing to you.  Please trust us, and give us the time needed to practice, to support one another, and to grow forward. If you truly believe in local control, please listen to those at the most local level—the classroom teachers and children who live and learn in Alabama classrooms every day.

There can be no growth or success if what you believe is in direct contrast to what you do. I believe that you want Alabama to be a state of possibility, of hope, and one that’s filled with successful children who are our future democracy. Don’t make a decision that is in direct contrast to your beliefs. I respectfully request that you not repeal the Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards and give us the trust, the time, the respect, and the hope for building a better future for Alabama’s children.

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With respect,

Ann Marie Corgill, M.A.Ed., NBCT
2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year
Finalist, 2015 National Teacher of the Year

Ann Marie Corgill is the 2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.

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