Common Core Standards were adopted by the Alabama Legislature last year. Alabama was one of 45 states, along with District of Columbia and 4 U.S. Territories, to adopt the standards. Core classes are defined as Math, Science, English and History. The Common Core Standards only pertain to Math and English Core classes.
The Common Core standards are not a federal mandate, they were written by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Representatives from the National PTA office also participated in the crafting of Common Core standards. National PTA supports the continued implementation of Comon Core Standards in every state.
So what exactly is Common Core. In a nutshell, the standards create grade level curriculum consistency across the country. The common core standards have more rigor than previous curriculum; giving our students the skills they need for college, and for a future career. Students were leaving high school unprepared for college, and would have to take remedial classes or additional classes, adding extra semesters and extra cost. The business community was concerned about how unprepared students were for the workforce. The common core is one way to begin to repair those problems.
House Bill 254 and the Senate Bill 190 seek to revoke the common core standards in Alabama. The bills go further to state it will be against the law for the State Board of Education or an local school system to continue to use the common core standards. The bill also makes it illegal to keep cumulative data on students. Our AR testing, Star Testing, and college entrance exams, the ACT and the SAT, all keep cumulative data. Should this bill pass, all those tests, by definition, would be illegal in our state. There would be no way to measure student progress.
The Huntsville Council of PTAs supports student enrichment and parental engagement. As such, the HCPTA supports the continued implementation of the Common Core standards in Alabama. In a military town like Huntsville, it is important for our military families, and other families transferring in, to have continuity in their education. It is also important for all students to be challenged and have rigor in their curriculum. Please read the bills referenced below, and let your representative and senator know your opinions on the bill and how, as your representative, you would like them to vote. The House bill is in the Education Policy committee and the Senate Bill is in the Education Committee.
Senate Bill 190 House Bill 254