Thirteen members of the Alabama Senate have come together to attempt what can only be called a takeover of K-12 public education. They all are sponsors of SB443.
A public hearing has been called for Tuesday, March 11, at 10:00 a.m. in Montgomery in Room 304 (which does not have live audio) of the statehouse.
The High Points of SB443: The Various Areas of Impact
Standards and Curriculum
Moratorium on further adoption or use of common core curriculum subjects until January 1, 2017.
Common Core curriculum includes the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and “any national content standards established by a consortium of states or a third party including, but not limited to
- Next Generation Science Standards
- National Curriculum for Social Studies
- National Health Education Standards
- National Sexuality Standards”
Freezes expenditures for any currently adopted CCSS through January 1, 2017.
Completely frees a local board of education (BOE) from any regulation or mandate regarding curriculum, standards, instruction, or data collection requirements.
Local BOEs Can Opt Out of
Local BOE can opt out of CCSS and/or Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS) curriculum and implement “at a minimum”, the curriculum standards in effect for the subject area or areas before the currently-adopted CCRS were adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE).
Opt out process:
- Letter of intent to opt out of one or both of the subject areas (English Language Arts, Math) and/or the data collection regimen.
- Resolution adopted by local BOE support intent of school system to opt out.
- Submit the plan adopted by the local BOE as the alternative to the CCRS in ELA or Math or both.
Opt out plan must include:
- Date of implementation
- Description of alternative curriculum, standards, or instructional plans to be implemented for each subject area.
- List of schools included within the local school system
State funding cannot change as a result of a local BOE adopting an alternative plan.
Annual testing for Math and ELA only
Standardized tests will be given at three grade levels: primary, intermediate and secondary.
Standardized tests will be based on the curriculum in effect prior to the adoption of the ELA and Math CCRS.
Testing will be done by an “independent testing agency that is not affiliated with any group proposing, implementing, promoting, or aligning with any particular curriculum”.
“All testing shall be based on subject matter proficiency, independent of any particular world view, and not on a particular curriculum or method of problem solving.”
Alabama Curriculum Standards Advisory Committee
Alabama Curriculum Standards Advisory Committee (ACSAC) is created to evaluate and report on test results.
Members appointed by governor:
- One teacher and one parent from each Congressional district. Will reflect diversity of the state.
ACSAC will meet annually to evaluate testing procedures and results of all public schools. Comparisons will be made only between schools sharing similar curriculum.
ACSAC will only use data related to testing: age, race, special education classification, grade level, and test score (no English language proficiency category).
ACSAC must provide results of evaluation to Governor, Chair of Senate Education Committee, and Chair of House Education Policy Committee on or before the fifth legislative day of the 2016 and 2017 regular sessions.
Parents and guardians can submit written requests to local BOE to prohibit data collection.
Local BOEs must provide notice to parents and guardians of this option “in the same manner as used by the local BOE to provide notice of school closings”.
Parents and guardians can submit written requests for a record of all data collected relating to his or her child. Local BOE must correct inaccuracies in the data record.
No data can be provided to any entity outside of the state of Alabama other than an entity conducting the testing required.
No local BOE shall be required to collect any student data beyond the minimum necessary to participate in testing.
Board of Education Behavior and Governance
No members of any BOE (local or state) can be censured, reprimanded, or sanctioned for freely expressing his or her opinion on any issue debated, approved, or disapproved by a BOE.
Any member of a local BOE or state BOE can, upon request and majority approval of the BOE, add an item to an agenda for discussion and action at a BOE meeting.
City and county superintendent qualifications are reduced to only those in the Alabama code (Section 16-12-2 and Section 16-9-2).