HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A proposed bill affecting education in Alabama is on the table and includes co-sponsorships from several north Alabama senators including Bill Holtzclaw, Paul Sanford and Clay Scofield.
Right now, the State Board of Education has to establish a core curriculum for every student in Kindergarten through 12th grade. That’s under existing law for all of Alabama’s public schools. This proposed bill, SB190, would prohibit the State Board of Education and the Department of Education from adopting and implementing Common Core State Standards.
Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski says he strongly opposes SB 190.
“Those standards spell what we think children need to be able to master to be college and career ready,” said Dr. Wardynski.
According to Thomas Rains with the A+ Education Partnership, the Common Core State Standards that Alabama’s CCR standards are based on were created by 48 states working with the National Governors’ Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards were then voluntarily adopted by 46 states, including Alabama.
Dr. Wardynski says losing those standards would be detrimental to Alabama’s education system and would impact the learning progress of students who move from other states.
“We have military kids coming to our state,” said Wardynski. “They would have to adjust from going from a county where a vast majority of the states are operating on a common set of standards, and then come to Alabama where there is no clear set of standards.”
Senator Paul Sanford said it’s important for residents to understand that the bill has not been reviewed by the Education Committee yet. He also says that the bill will most likely have changes made to it before it is reviewed.
UPDATE (February 22, 2013):
WHNT News 19 spoke with Senator Sanford about SB190 and he says the bill serves a very specific purpose.
“SB190 is about getting our state school board to take ownership of education in Alabama,” said Sanford. “It will raise the Standards of Education and Curriculum Requirements verse merely rubber stamping the ‘Common Core Standards’ desired by the federal government.”
Sanford said, “Otherwise, who is truly determining what is taught to the children of Alabama?”
WHNT News 19 will continue to follow this proposed bill and will make every effort to advance the story in the near future.