Debate on rescinding school standards

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The debate over whether or not Alabama's public schools should use the national "Common Core Standards" was on display during an informational meeting at the Alabama State House.

Opponents to the standards called the meeting in an effort to rally support to rescind the CCS. The Alabama State School Board passed a resolution adopting the standards in November 2010 when Gov. Bob Riley was the president of the board.

The state is currently in the process of fully implementing the CCS which includes changes to textbooks and additional training for faculty.

"Why change something that is working and showing very positive results?" Said Stephanie Bell, a State School Board member. "For once in our state's history we need to stick with what works and perhaps make them even better."

Few people at the meeting asked questions or made comments in support of the Common Core Standards. Sen. Vivian Figures (D – Mobile) said the standards break down divisions in other states who may have higher or lower education requirements in the public schools.

Figures said "The children they are either far behind or they are so far ahead of the kids where they are that they get bored and where all other problems exist. So we do need some sort of common standard across the board for this entire country."

Other opponents to the standards made the point that there is no current estimate over the cost of implementation. They said they don't know the financial impact of training teachers in addition to ordering entirely new textbooks.

Supporters of the standards argue there is no reason to rescind them before they have even taken effect as well, citing the fact that no results have been seen.

Sen. Dick Brewbaker who chairs the Senate Education Policy Committee said he can't justify supporting something for which he doesn't know the price tag.

"What I am opposed to is going in blind and committing to adopt standards that haven't even been written and to obligate the tax payers to implement a program that there's no funding for Sen. Brewbaker (R – Montgomery) said.

Gov. Robert Bentley, at the time the board passed the standards, had just been elected governor. Bentley has urged the board to wait on its decision until he could review the proposal. Instead, the board went ahead and passed them. Governor Bentley is on-record since saying he does not support the Common Core Standards.

If the State School Board of Education were to rescind the state's adoption of the standards, Alabama would become the sixth state in the country joining Alaska, Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Nebraska.

The State School Board will bring up a resolution to rescind the standards at its next board meeting.

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