The Alabama State Board of Education gave the impression they listened to the people and started the 2014 legislative season with changes to Common Core in english and math. However, a closer look shows nothing changed.
State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice said today’s revisions will make the standards better meet the learning needs of Alabama students while simultaneously addressing concerns raised by Common Core detractors.
“This adoption affirms the consistent message of the State Board of Education members and the state superintendent of education that the governance and approval of academic standards remains with the State Board of Education,” the state education department said in a statement.
The board decision eliminates from Alabama’s Common Core standards Appendix B, which included several examples of books that could be used for English language arts classes.
The revisions also install a new math progression that state education officials said negates claims by Common Core detractors that the standards only allow students to take Algebra I in the ninth grade or higher.
Stephanie Bell, a 18-years Board member in her sixth term, reached out to Breitbart News and provided in-depth information the local media left out in their reports.
“This was simple house keeping,” Bell told Breitbart News. “The content did not change.”
Bell was one who voted against the changes because it did not go far enough. She told Bice that despite the changes, Alabama is still a Common Core state. The states using Common Core standards are allowed to add up to 15% of their own standards, but they still use Common Core aligned assessments and curriculum. Bice tried to convince her they were now using the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, but she knew despite the name change it was still Common Core.
“The website CommonCore.org still has Alabama as a Common Core state,” she said.
Bell told Breitbart News many people attended a forum on Saturday, January 18, a day after the board voted for the changes.
“Over 700 people were there because they are not falling for the deception,” she said.
The changes passed 5-2, and it is the second time the board made changes to Common Core. In November, they scrapped the original agreement they signed in 2009 with the National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers.
The Alabama Tea Party has been applying pressure to the education board and the Alabama government to completely repeal Common Core. They were outraged in December when Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said he would not make any effort to repeal Common Core, even though Governor Robert Bentley (R) and Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) support the repeal.
They found a powerful ally in Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale), who joined them on the capitol steps on January 14. He read his daughter’s reading assignment as proof of why Common Core is bad for the state. He promised the people he will do everything he can to repeal the standards. Hubbard said he will bring a repeal to the House floor.
**This article was updated after a discussion with Board of Education member Stephanie Bell.