Alabama Senate approves Common Core repeal

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate has voted to repeal the Common Core academic standards by 2021.

Senators voted 23-7 for the bill Thursday. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, who sponsored the repeal, said state test scores have failed to improve since the state adopted the Common Core standards.

Marsh said, “It’s time to move on.”

Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, a Democrat from Mobile, criticized the rush to approve the bill without a public hearing.

The Common Core movement was started by the National Governors Association.

The Alabama bill would require the state to develop new standards or the state would revert to those in place before Common Core.

Former state school board member Mary Scott Hunter is generally identified as a proponent of common core curriculum. She tells WHNT News 19 it’s not that she’s set on Common Core — she’s set on standards and rigor, and right now, the path forward is unclear.

Hunter served as a state board of education member for two terms. She says she’s passionate about what students learn in Alabama.

“I have three children in public school ages 15, 12 and 11,” Hunter said.

Marsh is leading the push to get rid of Common Core curriculum. Those are nationally recognized standards for what children in K through 12 should know before they graduate.

“We don’t need to be chaotic, we need to be very methodical when we move away from a standard and move into a new standard because that’s what students need,” Hunter said.

Thursday, senators passed an amended bill to repeal Common Core in 2021. But, Hunter says she’s concerned about students’ tomorrow if lawmakers move forward without a plan.

“We can’t go back to a day where our standards were unclear, when our teachers didn’t know what to teach, our parents didn’t know what to expect and students weren’t getting what they need in say an algebra I class,” Hunter explained.

A changing standard could also set up challenges for military-connected students in Alabama.

“Certainly for the military, they are looking for a baseline of knowledge they can expect, a baseline of academic standards,” Hunter said.

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