This is a huge week for educational liberty and for the future quality of education in Alabama. Other states are watching breathlessly.
The AL legislature will listen to testimony from both sides of the argument and will decide whether or not to pass SB 190. If passed, the bill would:
- prohibit implementation of Common Core;
- prohibit state bodies from compiling/sharing data about students or teachers except under limited circumstances;
- prohibit the State Board of Education from ceding control to an entity outside the state; and
- require notice and public hearings before the State Board of Education adopts or implements any statewide standards.
This is such a good and important bill –for reasons that are academic, financial and constitutional.
Yet, Alabama’s pro-common core superintendent fears that Alabama will be “an island” if the state votes to withdraw from Common Core.
An island of educational freedom in a nation of now mostly fettered states– is bad thing?
An island of potentially high educational standards that could soar beyond the unpiloted experiment called Common Core– that’s a bad thing?
An island of educational solvency, no longer under mandate to implement the costly and unwanted technologies demanded by Common Core– also a bad thing?
Both the pro- and anti- Common Core groups cite detrimental effects on the economy and on the children’s academic achievements as reasons to implement –or to drop– Common Core. Only the pro-common core side cites a fear of being isolated.
I’ll bet there were people in the 1700’s who feared withdrawing from Great Britain’s rule over the American colonies for the same reason. There are always those who would prefer to risk dying like a lemming than to stand independently.
My questions to the AL superintendent would be:
How bad was it before, when we were “isolated,” before the advent of Common Core? Were we unable to work collaboratively with other states before? If not, what prevents us from working with others now? We don’t have to be fettered to others to collaborate with the best they have to offer.
What Alabama –or any state– would be isolated from, would be great things to skip out on: skip the unpiloted experiment, skip the micromanagement of state education data by the federal testing/data collection system; skip “standards” mandates coming forth from secret closed-door meetings of the CCSSO (the Council of Chief State School Officers, FYI, is a group that, along with whomever Bill Gates pays to join his agenda– created, and continues to create, the federally-promoted common standards.)
Many people across the nation are praying for Alabama this week. We are praying that those who study this issue look at the whole issue and all of its intended and unintended consequences.
It is not enough to study common core on academic points, although they are in trouble on their own; the Common Core initiative hurts the states it touches in many ways– in academics, in finances, in constitutionality, and in the ability to have any voice in future decisions over local education.