Citing data privacy concerns and curricula materials that are “offensive to Christian values and American exceptionalism,” the Alabama Baptist Convention has voted to call on the governor, the state board of education, and the Alabama State Legislature to repeal Common Core.
According to AL.com, “the convention, a gathering of Southern Baptists from across the state, voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution, ‘On Parental Authority Through Local and State Control of Education,’ that calls on the state to ‘repeal Common Core and accompanying assessments and replace them with sound, proven practices of educating and testing through local and state control of what is taught and how it is taught for the betterment of all children in the great state of Alabama.’”
The resolution passed with no debate or discussion last week at the state Baptist Convention held at Lakeside Baptist Church in Birmingham.
The convention also addressed Common Core at its 2013 gathering, wherein it passed a resolution to “encourage the Alabama Legislature and the Alabama State Board of Education to carefully study and evaluate Common Core and its effects on our children and the entire educational system.”
The 2013 resolution also urged parents to be involved in the education of their children; to monitor their children’s schools and textbooks, and “when appropriate,” to address their concerns “to school boards, the state department of education, and other educational leadership.”
This year’s resolution calls for a full repeal of Common Core and aligned assessments, and specifically details several of the initiative’s shortcomings.
Below is the 2014 Common Core resolution in its entirety:
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists hold fast their obligation before God to train up their own children; and
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists who place their children in public schools expect to be able to provide meaningful input into their children’s total education experience; and
WHEREAS, The State of Alabama has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education called Plan 2020 which is problematic in the following areas:
* Plan 2020 requires adoption of the Common Core Standards not controlled by Alabamians;
* Plan 2020 requires implementation of assessments not written by Alabamians and that may measure non-cognitive areas such as a student’s attitudes and beliefs;
* Plan 2020 requires curricula aligned with these standards and assessments which contain materials offensive to Christian values and American exceptionalism;
* Plan 2020 requires non-cognitive data collection that violates student and family privacy and allows sharing of that data with third parties;
* Plan 2020 requires assessments that can be used to predetermine career paths rather than to equip students to choose their own future; and
* Plan 2020 requires all students to receive a data-driven counseling program that includes “personal/social development” in its Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Model; and
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists believe that the God-ordained family is the rightful place for inculcating values and determining career choices, and
WHEREAS, The unproven methodology required by Common Core is resulting in significant frustration and dissatisfaction from many students, parents and teachers; and
WHEREAS, There is little or no evidence that the level of student achievement would be raised by the Common Core Initiative; and
WHEREAS, Any sound methods being applied in Alabama classrooms can be utilized without subservience to a federal mandate; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 11-12, 2014, stand for proven, superior education curriculum and practice chosen by state officials who will respect parental authority and respond to citizen input; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we urge the Governor along with the State Board of Education and/or the Alabama Legislature to repeal Common Core and accompanying assessments and replace them with sound, proven practices of educating and testing through local and state control of what is taught and how it is taught for the betterment of all children in the great state of Alabama.