By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, WSFA reported that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) told the Alabama Association of Regional Councils Conference (AARC), “Our education system in this State sucks.” “I don’t use that term very much, but let me tell you. I wanna tell you this: When we are 51st on our NAEP scores in 4th grade math in this State…51st? And we ain’t got but 50 states? That’s pretty sad. And it’s intolerable.”
Not everybody found this humorous.
The Chairman of the Rural CaucusState Representative David Standridge (R-Hayden) released a statement calling on Governor Robert Bentley to retract and apologize for, his “hurtful statement about Alabama’s Teachers and Students.” Standridge said, “As the husband and father of trained educators, and the grandfather of public school students, I am deeply troubled by Governor Bentley’s recent comment that our state’s ‘education system sucks.’”
House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) said in a statement, “You know what I think “sucks”? Our State leaders undermining our children’s education at every turn: taking resources out of the schools, gambling on “reforms” that in other states have failed and been hotbeds for corruption and waste, cutting teachers’ pay and benefits, and demanding higher expectations without the resources or moral support to achieve them! Don’t tell hundreds-of-thousands of Alabama kids, parents, teachers and principals that they “suck” when you’ve done nothing to help them and, in fact, have actively worked against them!”
Rep. Standridge said, “Are there things that we could improve in our education system? Of course. Do we need to do more to ensure that teachers have the resources they need and that students are being challenged to reach greater heights of achievement? Absolutely. However, it is totally and wholly unacceptable for the governor to slam both hard working teachers and students with a blanket statement of disapproval.”
Rep. Standridge concluded, “Most of Alabama’s teachers love their students, work hard at their jobs, and are taking money out of their own pockets to better equip their classrooms. Many Alabama students want to work hard and do better for themselves and their families and they aspire to realize the American dream. For Governor Bentley to disrespect both teachers and students with foul language, language which would be unacceptable in the same schools he is demeaning, is unbecoming of the Office of the Governor of Alabama. Accordingly, I am calling on Governor Robert Bentley to immediately retract his statement and to apologize to the educators and students of this State.”
The Alabama Political Reporter asked Alabama Legislative Watch Dogs Director Ann Eubank if the adoption of the controversial common core aligned College and Career Ready Standards was responsible for the failure for the State’s fourth graders to learn math.
Eubank said, “Well duh! Deconstructive math is illogical and developmentally inappropriate. The Russians threw the stuff out decades ago. It was experimental; developed by Socialists to break down the sub-conscience of the student to elicit the response to their instructions “don’t do what’s right, do it the way I tell you.” Euclidean math is what we have always been taught in the past, and we need to return to those principles.”
Efforts to repeal the unproven, experimental new teaching standards have been repeatedly blocked in the legislature by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston).
State School Superintendent Tommy Bice retired in February.
The fourth graders that failed so miserably on the math testing were four year olds when Gov. Bentley was inaugurated. All of their formal education has occurred under Bentley’s governorship.
Bentley promised that he was going to do something about the poor performance; but he has not announced a formal plan yet.