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1. COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IN ALABAMA EDUCATION SUMMIT BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA JANUARY 15, 2011
2. WHAT ARE “STANDARDS?” Standards are statements of knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, grade by grade, from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and graduation.
The Common Core State Standards address only English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Every state is required to have standards in English and Math under the federal law, No Child Left Behind.
Alabama refers to its standards as “Courses of Study” and has developed these in all major fields of study.
3. WHY ARE STANDARDS IMPORTANT AND WHY SHOULD STATES HAVE SIMILAR STANDARDS? Standards are the foundation of curriculum development. The curriculum is the guide for daily instruction of students in classrooms across America/Alabama. Standards also are the foundation from which assessments are developed.
With 50 states going in possibly 50 different directions in English and Math, America is losing its educational advantage with foreign countries.
With Common Core State Standards, states will be covering rigorous and research-based relevant topics in classrooms across America with an assurance that the quality is the same.
4. IS THIS A WAY FOR MORE FEDERAL CONTROL OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND DOESN’T IT RUN CONTRARY TO THE 10TH AMENDMENT OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION? To the contrary. This is not from Washington, DC, and the federal government or from The White House.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to make sure that the federal government did not write and mandate federal standards. Each State Board of Education decides whether or not to adopt the standards, just as it currently does on the Courses of Study.
The adoption by states is strictly voluntary.
5. WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF STATE ADOPTIONS?
6. WHAT DID ALABAMA DO TO GET TO THE POINT OF ADOPTION? On May 14, 2009, the State Board of Education adopted a resolution to participate in the development efforts of the NGA and CCSSO for state-led (not federal government-led) common core standards in English and Math. (This was not an adoption of the standards.)
Once the standards were developed, Alabama assembled members of previous Courses of Study Committees to review Alabama’s standards alongside the Common Core State Standards. This took days of very tedious work.
Representatives found in Mathematics there was a 96% correlation and in English a 92% correlation between Alabama’s Courses of Study and the Common Core State Standards.
Representatives also remarked that the Common Core State Standards were better written, more concise, and offered a better roadmap for curriculum development than the current Alabama standards and recommended that the State Board of Education adopted the CCSS.
7. WHAT DID ALABAMA DO TO GET TO THE POINT OF ADOPTION? (Continued) There were four public hearings held across the state (Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Decatur). All hearings started at 5:30 p.m. so that parents, teachers, and interested citizens could attend.
Groups supporting the Common Core adoption submitted letters of support.
8. WHAT DID ALABAMA DO TO GET TO THE POINT OF ADOPTION? (Continued) On November 18, 2010, in a meeting of the State Board of Education a public hearing was conducted with 42 people speaking on the Common Core State Standards.
The resolution for adoption included the following: