Yesterday was a tremendous day for Alabama students. A+ Education Partnership is grateful to the Alabama State Board of Education for approving the proposed updated Math Course of Study at their December 12th board meeting. This updated course of study adds up to a win for Alabama students because they are Alabama standards created by Alabama teachers, specifically math experts with over 500 combined years of education experience from across the state who worked diligently for two years to develop and refine the standards.
With a particular focus on equity, the revised course of study is based on the best research available. It will challenge students in the classroom while teaching “real-world” skills that will benefit them in life. It establishes rigorous requirements that tell teachers and parents what students should learn in math during each academic year (outlining what teachers should teach, not how they teach it), and increases alignment to NAEP and the ACT. But most importantly, it better ensures ALL Alabama students are prepared for college, career, and life.
We thank the Math Course of Study Committee for their hard work on developing these standards and collaborating with educators from across the state to refine them. We also thank the teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and community advocates who supported both the tremendous efforts of the committee and their resulting course of study.
Our last-in-the-nation NAEP results in math were the rallying cry our state has needed for a long time. Adopting this course of study is the first step in our effort to help ensure Alabama students are successful.
But the work doesn’t stop here. Now we must ensure these standards are implemented well in the classroom.
We must provide teachers the training and support they need to meet these standards. We need quality curricula to help bring them to life. And we must hold ourselves accountable for results.
We have learned some valuable lessons from our neighbors in Mississippi, who took this very approach and met the national average in 4th grade math in 2019. Their method was simple: They were committed to consistency, set high standards, provided quality support, and maintained consistent assessments and accountability.
We are thankful that Alabama is beginning to make a similar commitment. We know that Alabama students can reach that same bar and compete nationally in math.
Let’s get to work.