The pact, known as Common Core, is a voluntary coalition of states that have as their goal to follow the best practices that put graduates on a solid career path. At its heart, the 45 states that have joined Common Core realize that in a highly competitive global economy, brainpower will lead to prosperity.
Not so fast there, says state Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery. The senator scoffs at Common Core, claiming, “Alabama’s standards were just as good.” He is proposing legislation that would disconnect the state from Common Core, apparently preferring the go-it-alone Alabama strategy that’s kept us at the bottom of national education rankings.
Common Core foes in Alabama see a sinister plot at the heart of the multi-state coalition. It’s the mean, old federal government imposing its heavy and oppressive foot on local schools right here in the Heart of Dixie. Such rhetoric strikes a chord with a faction of Alabamians, even when such claims are baseless.
“American competitiveness relies on an education system that can adequately prepare our youth for college and the workforce. When American students have the skills and knowledge needed in today’s jobs, our communities will be positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.” What sort of wild-eyed radical said this in support of Common Core? Oh, it was Sonny Perdue, Georgia’s Republican governor from 2003 until 2011.
Alabama stands at a crossroads. It can continue to work with other states to better prepare graduates for college and/or career. Hopeful signs abound in Alabama. Tommy Bice, the state’s school superintendent, has big plans for Alabama to make significant strides in K-12 education. The school board should be applauded for taking a bold stand in 2010 in support of Common Core.
Turning against this momentum by rejecting Common Core would be a disaster for Alabama and its public schools.