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March 11, 2013

State education curriculum on brink of legislative control

College and Career Ready Standards focus on math, language arts

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The common core issue has attracted the interest from a wide range of organizations, including the Tea Party Common Sense Campaign, the Eagle Forum and Alabama Republican Women, as well as the Alabama Education Association and A-Plus Education Partnership.

Ken Freeman of the Alliance for Citizens’ Rights spoke at a Montgomery rally on Feb. 12, and said common core standards would brainwash and transform students, according to alreporter.com.

The Alabama political website reported Freeman told parents at the rally their children “won’t want to know you. They won’t know any mother but Mother Earth. They will know no father but the fatherland, and they will know no God but government.”

The site also quoted Brewbaker at the rally as saying, “Even if you thought the (state) standards are good, you should still oppose the common core if you support limited government.”

Athens resident Tony Llewellyn, who opposes federal government involvement as a coordinator of the local Tea Party Patriots, said he has spoken to state school board member Mary Scott Hunter of Huntsville and several state legislators. He said he does not believe the Alabama standards were formed with federal influence.

“(Hunter) has convinced me there is zero federal involvement in these standards, which I believe were set specifically for students in Alabama,” Llewellyn said.

He compared aligning the Alabama CCRS standards with the national common core curriculum to having an Alabama driver’s license or pistol permit recognized by other states.

“There is a difference between having a standard and being standardized,” he said. “We have a state school board, and they were elected to decide curriculum for our state. There is a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding with this issue because this involves parents and their children.”

Limestone School Board President Bret McGill said curriculum should be decided at the local level. He said the state school board sets a minimum standard that is often surpassed by school systems.

“I think if people could forget about the idea that the federal government is intruding, they might realize the common core is not a mandate. It just sets a minimum standard for each state (to consider adopting) so if you move from one area to another, you don’t fall behind,” said McGill, who is a parent of a second-grader and third-grader at Blue Springs Elementary and a 10th-grader at Clements. “Alabama has already adopted above and beyond the common core, and locally we’re already ahead of what the state education department sets.”

 

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