Lowndes County BOE opposes senate bills that would allow school systems to opt out of standards
Published 5:47 pm Friday, March 14, 2014
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes County Board of Education approved a resolution Thursday night opposing State Senate Bill S.B. 380, which would repeal the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards and State Senate Bill S.B. 443, which would place a moratorium on the adoption of new standards and allow systems to opt out of existing standards.
According to the resolution, the board is “committed to raising and attaining high expectations and standards for the students it serves and has embraced through training, implementation and assessment, Alabama’s Plan 2020 and the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.”
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Also, the standards were initiated, developed, adopted and implemented with input from stakeholders to establish rigorous and attainable educational standards to prepare public school students for the curriculum to which they will be exposed in college and universities and for career opportunities and expectations.
According to the resolution, SB 380 “would repeal the standards and require the Alabama Department of Education to revert to English language arts standards adopted in 1999 and mathematics standards adopted in 2003 and prohibit the re-introduction of College and Career Ready Standards before 2017.”
Senate Bill 443 “would allow current College and Career Ready Standards to remain in place generally in mathematics and English language arts, but would authorize local school systems to opt out of the standards, impose a moratorium on adoption of additional standards until 2017, leave the implementation of literacy standards across all disciplines in question, and limit all public school systems to assessments based on outdated standards for mathematics and English language arts.”
The resolution reads, “Whereas, adoption of Senate Bill 380 would render useless all current locally-development curriculum and instructional resources in the areas of mathematics and English language arts, all current locally-developed formative assessments and grading criteria, and all recently purchased textbooks and digital content, because these resources are aligned with the antiquated 1999 and 2003 standards for English language arts and mathematics, respectively; disregard all teaching and learning professional development for professionals gained at the local education agency and the state regional in-service centers, and cast aside the need and goal for Alabama students to succeed on revised ACT and SAT college entrance exams or to take remedial courses in college; and
“Whereas, adoption of Senate Bill 443 would usurp the authority of the State Board of Education, negate the consistent application of the Alabama Courses of Study, and result in arbitrary, inconsistent and inadequate educational standards from city to city and county to county across the state of Alabama and solidify our placement in bottom quartile of the performance ranking among other states in the United States; and
“Whereas, both Senate Bill 380 and Senate Bill 443 would undermine the ability of the State Board of Education and local school systems to prepare public school students for the rigorous curricula and career expectations facing them upon graduation from Alabama public schools; and
“Now, therefore be it resolved, by the Lowndes County Board of Education that the board firmly and unanimously expresses its strong opposition to both Senate Bill 380 and Senate Bill 443 and urges all members of the state senate, and in particular, with the Lowndes County delegation, to oppose both of these initiatives.”