Conservative activists across the state are putting pressure on legislators to advance and pass legislation that would repeal the controversial core standards in Alabama’s public schools.
House Bill 440 is sponsored by state Rep. Bob Fincher, R-Woodland, and cosponsored by Reps. Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs; Tommy Hanes; Ritchie Whorton, R-Scottsboro; Mike Holmes, R-Wetumpka; and Alan Farley, R-McCalla.
Fincher is a retired teacher with 31 years of experience teaching: government, history and economics in the public school system — plus another 10 years as a teacher and administrator for a private school.
According to the synopsis:
“Under existing law, the State Board of Education is required to establish curriculum standards for all K-12 public schools in Alabama. This bill would terminate the use of the curriculum standards commonly known as the Common Core State Standards, the Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards, and any variant of the Common Core State Standards. This bill would require the State Board of Education to replace the Common Core State Standards for Math and English Language Arts with the courses of study for Math and English Language Arts in place immediately prior to implementation of the Common Core State Standards. This bill would require the State Board of Education to update the pre-Common Core State, to be known as the Alabama Course of Study Standards, to be used in all K-12 public schools starting with the 2022-2023 school year. This bill would also prohibit the State Board of Education from adopting or implementing any other national standards from any source or requiring the use of any assessments aligned with national standards and would prohibit schools and school counselors from using programs that steer students toward a career track or use the American School Counselor Association Competencies and Indicators to construct or design guidance programs relating to students’ social and emotional development.”
HB440 has been assigned to the House Education Policy Committee chaired by state Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur. Conservatives are urging Collins to put HB440 on the committee calendar.
The grassroots activist groups Stop Common Core in Alabama wrote:
“AL was 25th before Common Core, then crashed in 2015 to 50th then 52nd in 2019. It is time for Alabama Legislature to Abolish Common Core – countless children have been harmed . Insanely tweaking to keep Common Core is past humiliating. It is now clear Ed Leaders do not care about Academics but more on Indoctrination & Workforce (but what happens when AL can’t raise children with high level skills…oh we just import those jobs…isn’t that giving away our children’s rights and future??). All Legislators must rise up and demand to End the Harm!!”
Critics claim that the complicated methods used to guesstimate calculations rather than simply memorizing the numerical relationships as generations of students did prior to the standards. They argue that the reading selections are disturbing, dystopian and do not lead to a healthy, happy outlook, or a worldview that is pro-family and pro-America.
Whether Common Core is the problem or not, standardized testing has clearly demonstrated that Alabama has some of the worst public schools in the country — and that was before COVID-19, the mass shutdown of the schools due to the global pandemic and e-learning.
The Alabama Legislature has passed a reform package where children who are not at grade level by the end of third grade will be forced to repeat third grade — the grade before the standardized testing in fourth grade that is used for the testing to establish those rankings that show that far too many Alabama children can’t do math, don’t read particularly well and have little understanding of basic science.