Raise your hand.
Who struggled with math?
But I was never allowed to dumb it down.
Of course not.
Because no one was. Not then. It was unthinkable.
And because of that, I worked at it. (Had lots of help.)
And cried over it.
And hated it.
But I did it.
Today, I've got to do something else.
I need to say something uncomfortable.
We've stayed out of politics, and it shows.
We've let everyone else handle our business.
And we're paying for it.
Look at the wreck this legislative session has been for education.
Kids have gotten a raw deal.
Don't believe me?
Please take a peek at the education bills our leaders got their hands on.
They killed parents' choice. Thanks, guys.
But kept House Bill 171 (HB171) or the Numeracy Act.
The Numeracy Act is a doozy. If HB 171 passes, it's already passed the Senate; we'll employ 700 math coaches.
Sounds simple, right?
The bill means that the state will hire 700 coaches.
To teach K- 5th-grade math to teachers.
Common Core style.
This is the same math curriculum we used to leapfrog straight to the bottom.
But don't take my word for it.
Check out critical details about the bill from Eagle Forum of Alabama's website.
Truths about HB171:
It relies on the K-5 2019 Alabama College and Career Ready Standards Mathematics which are Common Core. See a side-by-side comparison that proves the standards are Common Core.
It does not repeal or replace the 2019 standards but specifies their use in sections 3, 5, 6, 7.
It authorizes approximately 700 "math coaches" to train teachers to teach our failed Common Core Standards (Section 7).
It sets up a new bureaucracy within the ALSDE (Sections 3, 4,12,13,14,16,17).
Or, read HB171 here.
We DO use the same tragic math curriculum.
We just use a different name.
Which, by the way, is called lying.
And, it's frowned upon when you're 5.
Know what else is frowned upon?
Lacking the humility to know when you're wrong.
Elected leaders, here's looking at you.
And hoping that you're looking at Alabama's repeatedly abysmal test scores. And wondering what you can do to make it better? Instead of making things worse.
HB 171 will make it worse.
Y'all do know that?
You do understand that we've dumbed our math down so effectively and used a curriculum so wretched that we need to hire math coaches to try again, to teach our teachers to teach what has already failed.
That's called insanity, boys and girls.
Repeating what's failed but expecting a different result.
Do you understand the rank failure that this will make our kids? Do you understand the real problem?
And no, it's not just that they can't do math. And I do mean the kind of math that is right or wrong. The kind of math that is very clear and very tough. The kind of math that some of us broke pencils over. The kind of math that does not use one million steps, boxes, and tally marks to count to the number 110 then divide it in half.
The real problem?
It's that our leaders don't seem to care.
Why else would House members consider the Numeracy Act? Why else would the Senate pass it?
Because I have trouble understanding, who would vote for what's already failed.
Do they hate our kids?
Because at this point, that might be easier to admit. Just say it. Our elected officials and the AEA that seems to have bought many of them off, don't care one whit about our kids.
Whose real futures are unfolding in front of them.
Real kids. Our kids.
Whose real lives will be harmed by the nonsense our educrats and bureaucrats have ginned up once more.
Our kids are waiting on real leaders to show up.
Leaders that refuse to do more of the same.
Leaders who won't run from confrontation.
Leaders who won't lie about programs they have in schools. Leaders who are humble and accountable to the least of these. Alabama’s kids.
Want to do something about this?
It may be uncomfortable. But, would you consider calling your House member to let them know what you think?
Here’s the House number: 334. 242. 7600.
Would you please ask your legislator to explain their thinking about the Numeracy Act?
And while you're at it, would you please ask them to explain why they'd vote to use something we KNOW doesn't work?
Ask them to explain it to you, like you're 5.
Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer, and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.