Alabama School Boards Official on Repeal of Common Core: Like Returning to 'Bag Phone from an iPhone'

Alabama School Boards Official on Repeal of Common Core: Like Returning to 'Bag Phone from an iPhone'

The executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards criticized recent proposed legislation to repeal the Common Core standards in her state, stating that repeal would be like going back to a “bag phone from an iPhone.”

Sally Howell criticized a bill sponsored by Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) that would repeal the standards in that state at least until 2017.

“This legislation is politics at its worst. It is bad for students. It is a power grab by the state Legislature, and it is wasteful,” Howell said. “By dictating what is taught in our classrooms, the Legislature would waste hundreds of thousands of hours spent implementing higher standards and would cause school systems to trash classroom materials based on these world-class standards and replace them with old, outdated materials.”

The proposed repeal bill has led to divisiveness among the state’s Republicans.

As reports, Beason’s legislation, filed Thursday, has drawn 14 co-sponsors which, he states, is indicative of the need for debate on the measure in the 35-member state senate.

“Common Core is an unproven, untested education experiment,” Beason said. “If Common Core turns out to be the great educational panacea, then in 2017 the state school board can adopt it. I’m convinced by that time Common Core will be falling apart all over the country.”

Alabama is one of 45 states whose state boards of education adopted the Common Core standards, a federally promoted education initiative introduced in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RTTT). States could apply and compete for federal grant money as long as they adopted the Common Core, a set of uniform standards, aligned curricula, and assessments that allows for a greater role of government in education, higher levels of social indoctrination, student data collection, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on the assessments.

The National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and nonprofit progressive education think tank Achieve, Inc. were mainly responsible for the initiative, and both the NGA and the CCSSO are the publishers of the Common Core State Standards.

The state boards of education, most of them unelected, that signed onto the unproven Common Core standards did so with little, if any, public or media scrutiny prior to even seeing the standards themselves.

The implementation of Common Core has been privately funded primarily by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, underscoring the alliance of big government political elites and corporatists in this academic initiative.

Alabama School Superintendent Tommy Bice urged lawmakers to reject Beason’s repeal effort.

“There’s no indoctrination. There is no conspiracy. We are teaching math. We are teaching kids to read and write,” Bice said. “It just doesn’t make any sense for something that is simply a political issue. It has nothing to do with academics.”

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said while he will continue to monitor the debate over Common Core, a repeal bill will not be brought to the senate floor. Marsh added that the signatures of 15 of 35 state senators did not demonstrate a mandate.

Beason, who is running for Congress, said some lawmakers want to avoid a vote.

“I think there are legislators in both houses that are solidly committed to both sides,” he said.

As reported by Breitbart News, Common Core expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky told Connecticut activists against the standards on Saturday that the latest “tactic” among state legislatures, including those of Connecticut, Colorado, and Massachusetts – among others – is to suppress debate about the nationalized standards by refusing to hear any bills at all on Common Core.

In January, Breitbart News’s Mary Chastain reported that Bice had boasted that the State Board of Education had made changes to the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) and math standards.

“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.

However, State Board of Education members Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters, both of whom oppose the Common Core standards in Alabama, voted against the changes.

Bell said the revisions demonstrate the problems with the Common Core nationalized standards and that Alabama will still be considered a Common Core state with the revisions.

“This does not solve the problem,” she said of the revisions. “Obviously, the answer to my question is that, yes, we are still a Common Core state.”

“No, we’re not,” Bice responded. “We’re the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, and if you want to refer to them that way, that’s your prerogative.”

“This was simple house keeping,” Bell told Breitbart News. “The content did not change.”

Many states, including Arizona, Iowa, and Florida have simply changed the name of the Common Core standards, following the advice of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) who urged the CCSSO to “rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” because the name “Common Core” had become “toxic.”

However, Common Core historian and public school educator Dr. Mercedes Schneider told Breitbart News, “If the states insist that the ‘rebranded’ standards are unique to their own states, let them prove it by discontinuing any connection with the Common Core assessment consortia. To continue to promote testing via PARCC and SBAC is the litmus test for the rebranding lie.”