Vote Yes on Education

Vote yes on education: National standards good for state
Anniston Star

Almost anyone who has been around education has heard of students who transfer in from out-of-state schools and discover they are a grade or more ahead — or behind — of what is being taught in their new community.
As a result, teachers and administrators advance the student to the grade level where they would have been at their previous school, or return them to a grade with younger students.
Administratively, it might seem a good solution, but socially the shift presents problems for students and their teachers.
One of the proposed plans to overcome this is the Common Core State Standards, which outlines what students are expected to do in math and English-language arts in each grade. It is the result of an initiative led by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The goal is not only to have clear standards for each grade, but also to enable students to move from school to school and find a common core of classes being taught.

It also would enable standardized tests to be coordinated so the results could be compared nationally.

Today, 38 states have adopted these common standards. When the Alabama Board of Education meets Thursday, our state might become the 39th. The District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands also have adopted the standards, while four state boards have approved the core and are waiting for their legislatures to give their consent.

Only two states, Texas and Alaska, have declined to join.

Despite this acceptance nationally, there are those on the state board who are not so sure Alabama should sign on.

Board member Stephenie Bell, who has spent her career warning of federal intrusion, raised the alarm again. “A lot of this is being pushed out of Washington,” she told The Birmingham News, and it could be the beginning of a nationalized education system.