Studies have consistently shown that Common Core is hurting student performance in schools, and Alabama voters have long urged the state legislature to do away with the burdensome learning standards. Now, State Rep. Barry Moore (R- Enterprise) has begun taking action to fully repeal Common Core.
This week, Rep. Moore introduced House Bill 558, which would repeal Common Core, also known as the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (ACCRS). The bill would return student curriculum to pre-ACCRS guidelines, and protects local control by preventing state officials from adopting other national standards in the future.
Moore points to reports from the National Assessment of Education Progress, the 11th grade ACT college entrance test, and the Common Core-aligned ACT Aspire assessments, which all reflect declining performance by Alabama students. From the time immediately preceding Common Core’s implementation until now, the state has plummeted from 25th to 50th in some education rankings.
“It’s a failed social experiment,” Rep. Moore said. “It’s not about education, it’s about indoctrination.”
Rep. Moore says one of his primary motivations for wanting returning to pre-Common Core standards is the toll it’s taken on his own children, who began struggling over subjects they excelled in prior to the introduction of Common Core. Additionally, he noticed that the subject material was becoming increasingly liberal in nature.
“Without question, almost everything that we read was left-wing,” Rep. Moore said in an interview. “It was from a standpoint of redistribution of wealth. If one fellow had 14 coins and one had two coins, it was almost like it was bad that one had made 14 coins. Some of the reading comprehension paragraphs were about other liberal issues like global warming.”
“It should be about education,” he added. “We don’t need to be teaching our kids social things. We don’t need to be teaching them religion. We don’t need to be teaching them anything but the basics they need. Let the parents do the job that they were called to do and quit letting government do it.”
The Enterprise lawmaker says that many of his colleagues in the State House agree that Common Core needs to be addressed. He feels the current political climate and support from President Trump- who has remained outspoken against Common Core- presents a positive opportunity.
“Now that the president is looking at the repeal, I feel like it’s time for us in Alabama to take back control over how we choose to educate our kids,” Moore said.
House Bill 558 now awaits action in the House Education Committee.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Apr. 27, 2017) – An Alabama House bill would withdraw the state from Common Core standards, an important step toward nullifying nationalized education in the state.
Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) introduced House Bill 558 (HB558), called the Alabama Traditional Education Standards Act to void Common Core standards and create a framework to establish state standards to replace them.
The Common Core standards would be replaced with the educational standards previously in place. HB558 reads, in part:
In order to codify the intent of the board, the State of Alabama hereby terminates all plans, programs, activities, efforts, and expenditures relative to the implementation of the educational initiative commonly referred to as the Common Core State Standards, or any derivative or permutation thereof, including, but not limited to, the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards which have been adopted or may be adopted by the board or its employees, including any assessments, data collection, and instructions based on or involving any such standard or protocol…
As part of the transition to an improved Alabama standards process, the board shall replace the current Common Core Standards, also known as the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, with the courses of study for Math in place until May 2011, and for English Language Arts in place until May 2012, both of which were used in classrooms immediately prior to implementation of the Common Core Standards. These standards shall be known as the Transition Standards and shall remain in effect for the 2016-2017 school year.
HB558 contains provisions that would prevent Common Core from being re-branded under a new name, which has happened in several other states.
The Legislature further prohibits the adoption or implementation of any national standards from any source, or the use of any assessments aligned with them, that cede control of Alabama educational standards in any manner, including, but not limited to, the Next Generation Science Standards, History Standards, Social Studies Standards, or Sexuality Standards…
Any education entity or any state official shall not join any consortium or any other organization when participation in that consortium or organization would cede any measure of control over any aspect of Alabama public education to any such entity.
Although there are no provisions in the bill to explicitly protect the personally-identifiable information of students from being harvested by public and private interests, HB558 would still be a powerful rebuke against Common Core by getting rid of the federally-driven standards and replacing them with proven alternatives.
Common Core was intended to create nationwide education standards. While touted as a state initiative through the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the U.S. Department of Education was heavily involved behind the scenes. Up until recently, the DoE tied the grant of waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act to adoption of Common Core, using the standards as powerful strings to influence state educational policy. The Every Student Succeeds Act passed by Congress in 2015 now prohibits the DoE from attempting to “influence, incentivize, or coerce State adoption of the Common Core State Standards … or any other academic standards common to a significant number of States.”
Even with the federal strings cut from Common Core for the time being, it is still imperative for each state to adopt its own standards. The feds can once again use these national standards to meddle in state education at any time if they remain in place. Just as importantly, one-size-fits-all standard simply don’t benefit children. State and local governments should remain in full control of their own educational systems.
Rejecting nationalized education standards is the first step toward bringing true academic choice, and freedom. Passage of this legislation into law represents a positive step forward for the people of Alabama and a path for other states to follow.
HB558 has been referred to the House Education Policy Committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.