Eagle Forum of Alabama executive director Becky Gerritson warns the $92 million Numeracy Act is not what it is perceived by some to be.
During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" on Monday, Gerritson argued the touted legislation intended to bolster math results in K-5 public schools was an end-around to promoting so-called Common Core math.
Although the legislation, Senate Bill 171 (SB171) had passed in the State Senate 24-3, she was urging lawmakers in the House of Representatives to defeat it.
"[T]his bill is going to cost taxpayers $92 million a year," Gerritson said. "And it does not repeal our Common Core standards that we have. And first of all, Jeff, in 2019, the majority of our state school board along with our governor went to the TV cameras and told us that we just voted out Common Core in Alabama, that we didn't have it anymore in Alabama and they're so proud of that.
"Then, why do we need a bill that says in its synopsis we're going to get rid of Common Core math?" Gerritson said. "I guess maybe they lied to us? Or didn't understand? But we've got a side-by-side comparison of the current standards that we have been using that have taken us from 26th place in the nation in math to 52nd. These are what is responsible for that drop.
"We have put the side by side to the national Common Core state standards in math and have highlighted the areas where they're the same and you can see this on our website. And we do, indeed, have Common Core math in Alabama. And this bill does nothing to repeal those standards or even discuss those standards, and does nothing to replace those standards."
Gerritson added replacements have been suggested by Eagle Forum, including something comparable to Florida, but were not included in this bill.
"[W]e're just throwing money to hire coaches who aren't even coaching the kids," Gerritson said. "They are coaches coming in to coach teachers how to teach these awful Common Core standards that we have for K-5 teachers. This is a joke. This bill needs to die. Unfortunately, it passed the Senate with only three no votes: Senator Dan Roberts, Senator Larry Stutts and Senator Sam Givhan were the only ones who voted against this bill, and I'm thankful that they did. But, people need to be aware that the wool is being pulled over our eyes once again."
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