When the state Republican executive committee met Aug. 24 to debate whether or not to support the constitutional amendment to keep an elected state school board or to have one appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate, there was confusion as to how the standards called for in Common Core played a role.
Some seemed to think that going to an appointed board would lock us into what are called Alabama College & Career Ready standards, while others argued just the opposite.
When you read the legislation calling for the amendment, it is easy to see why folks are confused.
The bill says an appointed board shall adopt:
“Course of study standards that ensure nationwide consistency and the seamless transfer of students from within and outside of the state, in lieu of common core.”
Talk about legislative double speak? This should be exhibit A.
Go back and read this again. This directive contradicts itself. From the outset of talk about Common Core, it has been about having standards that are common for all states. This is so a student moving to Alabama from another state doesn’t discover the fourth grade class he enrolls in here is not studying what he learned last year in the third grade. Or visa versa.
We have common standards everywhere you look. A football field in Alabama is 100 yards long, just like one in Texas. A touchdown in Ohio counts as six points, same as one in Alabama.
But for reasons I have never understood, some have thought such a notion makes no sense.
So we end up with the legislative mumble jumble cited above, which is akin to saying a red football jersey with a script A on it should not be associated with the University of Alabama.
And once again we see why education policy set by legislators often causes more harm than good.