Plea from Alabama 8th Grade Teacher   19 comments

 

I teach in Alabama, and will do anything I can do help defeat Common Core. We are experiencing a crucial week in Alabama. We have two bills, SB 190 and HB 254 to stop Common Core. SB 190 was not defeated, but “held indefinitely” in committee while they work on amendments.

The identical House bill, HB 254 was brought up in a subcommittee, and I was asked to speak at that hearing. I was told that we didn’t have the votes in that subcommittee, but that in the actual entire House, we are only TWO votes from knowing we have a passing vote. So the goal of my speech was to “buy time.” And that’s exactly what happened. I spoke from the heart, I cried, and so did many in the room. Again, it was not defeated, but sent to the entire House Committee to be “held” for more research.

This week, it is time to increase pressure on Governor Bentley. He’s ALWAYS been on our side. But we feel we need to kindly pressure him to force the legislators’ hands.

The governor’s office number is 1-334-242-7100, for anyone who’d like to leave a message to repeal Common Core. I think he really needs to hear from other states, to know it’s a huge national issue, and that he could pave the way for other states.”  –8th grade World History Teacher, Tuscaloosa County

The first state to successfully pull out of Common Core will greatly increase other states’ odds of pulling out. Please call!

Phone number for Alabama’s Governor Bentley 334-242-7100

19 responses to “Plea from Alabama 8th Grade Teacher

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  1. Called today!

  2. I am from NY and am greatly upset by what is happening. I WIlLL MAKE THAT CALL FOR YOU on Monday!! Yvonne

    • I humbly ask that you not call. Notice that she gives no reasons to repeal our three-year-old courses of study. See my post below. Many states may be doing it wrong, but Alabama is doing it right. We aren’t even a Race to the Top state. We needed stronger standards, and I am so grateful to have them. I’m actually in the schools every day (I see it).

  3. I am a teacher from Illinois. I will call Monday too. Also, I have been pinning these articles on Pinterest. I have created several boards with different names (teaching ideas, curriculum ideas…) hoping to spread the word too educators who know little about common core.

    • I’m a teacher/admin in a public school system in Alabama. I don’t know what she is talking about. She doesn’t even teach a CCRS class, although history teachers are now encouraged to embed reading and writing literacies in their curriculum. What is the world is her complaint? We are not a RttT state, there is ZERO data mining, and we have complete control of the curriculum, texts, and instruction. The SDE selects the assessments, with ZERO direction from the gov’t. Here is a real AL teacher, speaking about the power of the CCRS: http://thinkshareteach.blogspot.com/2013/02/in-support-of-common-core-standards.html

      I also spoke at the hearing, as a conservative teacher in support of the CCRS. We ONLY added these standards to our courses of study. Nothing else. If any of these anti-CC claims were true, I’d be leading the pack to revolt. We’ve had these standards for three years. All I can see are good things happening, including more local control at the district and classroom level.

      • You are very naive! Kansas is also NOT a RttT state, but any state that applies for the NCLB waiver was required to build a State Longitudinal Data System. In Kansas it is called KIDS. There is NO local or district control anymore, because everything will be tied to the new tests being created. Are you saying your district is going to adopt textbooks that aren’t Common Core aligned? Where is the freedom? We are being fed what to teach, and how to teach it! You need to take some time to read the actual documentation tid to your state. Read the NCLB waiver application. Track the money, because all states received money even if they are not a RttT state.

        • I work at the district level. I know EXACTLY what data is being shared. I have read everything there is to read, believe me. I, too, was hesitant about implementing the CCRS several years ago, but I’ve done my research, and I’m in the schools every day. I can tell you without hesitation that they are a good thing. Trust us – we know what we’re doing. My children are in the schools too.

          • Oh I see you work at the district level that explains everything- you have drank the kool aid! Interesting that you know EVERYTHING that is being shared, but parents don’t. You have no control over these standards, which means you have no control over the ciriculum. I read the Alabama standards, which were word for word the same as Kansas. How is that not nationalized education?

      • @Melissa S with all due respect according to what I read this curriculum cannot be CHANGED, SHORTENED or CURTAILED in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER. You cannot DEVIATE from the teachings of CCSS. It has to be FOLLOWED 100% OR states lose their SUGAR BABY FOOD! Teachers will only HAVE A SAY OF 15% in the actual curriculum in how they are going to APPLY it. Not much when you think about curriculum choice is it? As for data mining YOU truly believe they will NOT be tracking YOU or the CHILDREN? (Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems/SLDS). FYI: They are in the process on doing a CCSS for Social Studies, Science and Sexuality! I won’t even GO into the controversies that will take effect then —- ESPECIALLY the SEXUALITY EDUCATION!

        “These systems are intended to enhance the ability of States to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data, including individual student records. The SLDSs should help states, districts, schools, educators, and other stakeholders to make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes; as well as to facilitate research to increase student achievement and close achievement gaps.” Here is a link : http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/about_SLDS.asp In order to receive grants the states MUST PARTICIPATE in these four stipulations: (1) CCSS (2) Track children from K to workforce) (3) Follow schools performance (4) Report teachers whose class do not score well on the testing. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/about_SLDS.asp

        If I am wrong about what I have read and please provide the links to back it up so I don’t have to dedicate hours and hours of research and take time away from my family.

        From a mother in NY who is as UTTERLY IRATE and who pays to SEND her children to a PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL SCHOOL whom has now been informed that the Diocese has bowed down to the SUGARDADDY $$$$$!! CCSS will go into full implementation (CT & NY) come this fall. I can’t help but think once this goes into place there will be NO DIFFERENCE with sending my daughter to private or a public school. What’s the point? What am I paying for then? A total of $24K/YR in school taxes!! (the public schools taxes I am forced to pay even though we do not utilize the system) I might as well save the $12K for my family. For a program that wants to indoctrinate my child. WHEN PIGS FLY, they will!! A curriculum that was put into place by the diocese without any discussion whatsoever, which has been mandated via the (sugardady) federal government through the Governor’s Association, et al. I might as well put her in the public school system because it will all be the same.

      • Melissa, I ask you to do a little more study before saying that there is “zero data mining.” Every state has a State Longitudinal Database System, and no child can opt out. You can read your own state’s SLDS grant online as I have done. The SLDS is federally paid for and is interoperable with all other states. The Dept. of Ed pushed these on states in the same breath as the Department of Ed altered FERPA (privacy law) regulations so that the data is open and accessible to researchers, consultants, volunteers, and multiple government agencies. Study this a little bit more. Please. Don’t enable something you have not fully understood.

  4. @Julie with all due respect according to what I read this curriculum cannot be CHANGED, SHORTENED or CURTAILED in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER. You cannot DEVIATE from the teachings of CCSS. It has to be FOLLOWED 100% OR states lose their SUGAR BABY FOOD! Teachers will only HAVE A SAY OF 15% in the actual curriculum in how they are going to APPLY it. Not much when you think about curriculum choice is it? As for data mining YOU truly believe they will NOT be tracking YOU or the CHILDREN? (Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems/SLDS). FYI: They are in the process on doing a CCSS for Social Studies, Science and Sexuality! I won’t even GO into the controversies that will take effect then —- ESPECIALLY the SEXUALITY EDUCATION!

    “These systems are intended to enhance the ability of States to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data, including individual student records. The SLDSs should help states, districts, schools, educators, and other stakeholders to make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes; as well as to facilitate research to increase student achievement and close achievement gaps.” Here is a link : http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/about_SLDS.asp In order to receive grants the states MUST PARTICIPATE in these four stipulations: (1) CCSS (2) Track children from K to workforce) (3) Follow schools performance (4) Report teachers whose class do not score well on the testing. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/about_SLDS.asp

    If I am wrong about what I have read and please provide the links to back it up so I don’t have to dedicate hours and hours of research and take time away from my family.

    From a mother in NY who is as mad as hell and who pays to SEND her children to a PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL SCHOOL whom has now been informed that the Diocese has bowed down to the SUGARDADDY!! CCSS will go into full implementation (CT & NY) come this fall. I can’t help but think once this goes into place there will be NO DIFFERENCE with sending my daughter to private or a public school. What’s the point? What am I paying for then? A total of $24K/YR in school taxes!! (the public schools taxes I am forced to pay even though we do not utilize the system) I might as well save the $12K for my family. For a program that wants to indoctrinate my child. WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER they will!! A curriculum that was put into place by the diocese without any discussion whatsoever, which has been mandated via the (sugardady) federal government through the Governor’s Association, et al. I might as well put her in the public school system because it will all be the same.

    God Bless.

  5. Julie I made a mistake with the name. Please excuse the error. My post was in response to Melissa S. asking me not to make the call and for some further links in deciphering all of this.

    Blessings.

  6. Excellent article by the original Matriarch of the Conservative Movement, Phyllis Schlafly http://townhall.com/columnists/phyllisschlafly/2012/10/09/like_obamacare_obama_core_is_another_power_grab/page/full/

  7. Thank you for calling. I am a parent in Alabama and I definitely made the call! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your help!

  8. There is a Tea Party group in Grand Bay Alabama area fighting Common Core. Get in touch with them for more info. They are working with legislators and may be able to give you more insite as to what the progress may be in Alabama. IMO, aligning yourself with Tea Party groups will be very helpful. There is power in numbers and the Tea Party has enough ‘recognition’ behind it to have more influence than just loose pockets of parents here and there.

  9. My sincere appreciation goes out to all who called our governor this week. I started not to respond to the negative posts from Melissa S., but then I realized…her comments were such a good example of what teachers are dealing with if they disagree with the effectiveness of Common Core. Whenever a teacher questions or disagrees, we get comments just like Melissa, ridiculing us, claiming we “don’t know what we’re talking about.” I think everyone on this website is aware that we have all done our research. Melissa S. has no idea of my background or experience, and yet she chooses to ridicule on a forum. In our districts in Alabama, teachers are all hearing this same negative message. If we disagree, we are ridiculed. This is happening to teachers across the nation. So thank you so much for all who called. I sincerely appreciate all you do. Like many of you, I will not stop until Common Core is repealed. We are all in this together…and we are growing everyday. We are making a difference. Thank you.

  10. I just called… Wow, what an accent. He must have felt the same way about my “NY accent”….

  11. People are so blind when it comes to common core!! it is watering down our curriculum!!!!!
    Cara Vaughan-Birmingham, Alabama

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