A common question many teachers receive from parents these days is, “What is the big deal about Common Core?” They have heard about Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards, which were created by Alabama educators and based on the Common Core State Standards. However, teachers report that many parents are confused by both good information based on facts and the sometimes-scary misinformation based on political hearsay.
The most important thing to know about this issue is that these are Alabama standards based on what Alabama students need to be successful and ready for the next step, whether that means the next grade-level, college and/or career.
In Alabama, we did not HAVE to implement the Common Core State Standards – we CHOSE to base our standards on the Common Core, and then augment those with other learning goals for Alabama students. As a result, this process made Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards even better for Alabama students.
We chose to implement these higher standards in math and English language arts because we believe that our students in Alabama deserve to be prepared for real life when they graduate, and our teachers have what it takes to get them there. They have the GRIT – the determined spirit and perseverance – to achieve at high levels. And these standards are needed to ensure that all Alabama students have the best opportunity to be ready for college and a career – whichever path they choose for themselves after graduation.
While Alabama has made significant progress with programs like the Alabama Reading Initiative and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, the College and Career Ready Standards raise the bar to the next level to accelerate the progress. There is still much work to do to improve Alabama graduation rates and close achievement gaps, and an excellent way to measure our progress is to ensure that the academic levels for all students from state to state are equally challenging.
Recently you received an invitation to join Alabama GRIT — a team of Alabama educators, parents, business leaders, military families and leaders, and others who support high standards for Alabama. Alabama GRIT came together for the purpose of standing behind the remarkable progress being made by our students and teachers and the hard work it takes to achieve at higher academic levels.
You can find out more and sign their GRIT petition on Alabama GRIT’s website. This will enable you to stay informed about progress in Alabama’s schools, have access to resources to help support high standards in your community and answer questions regarding what they mean for our students and our future.
A+ Education Partnership is proud to be a member of Team GRIT and we encourage others to join as well. We have GRIT! Do you?