Senate Education Committee approves Common Core 'opt out' - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Senate Education Committee approves Common Core 'opt out'

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's not just the Alabama Education Budget but the curriculum at the heart of debate for many people. The state's version of College and Career Ready Standards, or Common Core, was implemented across Alabama in 2012, but not everyone is pleased with the new standards. Quite a few are upset.

Many say the curriculum isn't right for the state, saying they oppose it because it puts a strain on students, and is cookie-cutter, treating every student as the same.

Some educators and parents want state leaders to repeal Common Core standards, despite praise from some school administrators that it's working. The Alabama Senate Education Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would allow school systems to opt out of Common Core and go back to previous standards.

Ralliers gathered outside the Statehouse Wednesday in support of the bill.

"I couldn't force that on my child," said Tammi Taylor, a parent from Adamsville. 

Tammi Taylor strongly opposes Common Core, so much, that she decided to pull her children from public school and enroll them in a private school.

"My son used to come home and be very tired, exhausted, trying to figure out his work and it just came to the point where it was like a form of neglect to my child," said Taylor. 

"I have been getting numerous complaints from parents and grandparents about what's going on with their children," stated State School Board member, Betty Peters. 

According to Peters, Taylor isn't the only one whose child had problems with the curriculum. She says it is an issue throughout the state.  

Peters said, "students who previously had been A students or B students are making F's and being demoralized." 

Although the state's version of College and Career Readiness faces much opposition, there are plenty of educators and administrators who stand behind it.

Connie Spears, school board member for Madison City Schools, says her school system has already seen great improvements. "In one of our elementary schools, we had a sixth grade class, 132 students, and 50 of them came below grade level. In one semester, everyone in that entire class, from the children who were struggling, to the gifted, had progressed on average two grade levels. How do you argue with that? How is that unproven?"

"We just want to stress doing math in different ways and it's not just one way of doing it," stated LaMecha James, a math specialist for the Montgomery Public School system.

James says the change has been a learning curve for students and teachers, but believes it allows children to think and learn outside of the box.

"We don't want students to just think one way," claimed James. "We don't want them to be closed in. We want them to broaden their horizons." 

The Common Core legislation could go to the Senate floor next week but the co-sponsor expects it could easily be filibustered.

State Superintendent, Dr. Tommy Bice, says that Common Core sets the standard for school systems but it's local educators and schools that develop the curriculum.​

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