Please contact your State Board of Education Member to vote against the ESSA Plan

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (the replacement for No a Child Left Behind), each state is submitting its ESSA implementation plan (The Plan) to the federal Department of Education.
When approved by the State Board of Education and Governor Kay Ivey, it will become a legally binding agreement between Alabama and the USDOE. Here is the current ESSA state draft from ALSDE’s website
https://www.alsde.edu/dept/essa/State%20Plan/ESSA%20Plan%207_21_17%20Alabama%20Draft.pdf.

The ESSA Implementation Committee was formed by Governor Bentley to provide input into our state ESSA plan. ESSA requires input from stakeholders and parents. Three members of the committee were Eagle Forum of Alabama leaders with expertise in education issues. All three are also legal professionals.  After the plan was completed and released, these three and other ESSA members closely reviewed the plan and provided their concerns in a formal report linked here. Eagle Forum of Alabama has met with Superintendent Sentance on three occasions to discuss our concerns. The review has also been provided to each member of the state board. To date, these concerns have not been addressed in The Plan even after we had been assured that they would be.  While there are a number of concerns with The Plan as written, two major concerns are:

1. The reference to Alabama College and Career Standards, which is Common Core.
Putting these words in this legal document means that even if the board were to vote to repeal Common
Core, the state could still well be bound to keep standards based upon Common Core.

2. Programs promoting Social Emotional Learning and other invasive programs.
While many lofty words can  be used to describe this latest fad in education, basically it is
teaching students what government officials think are “proper” thoughts, attitudes and beliefs.
https://townhall.com/columnists/janerobbins/2016/08/08/the-latest-big-education-fad-socialemotional-learning-is-as-bad-as-it-sounds-n2202205

This is the purview of parents, not the government.  Eagle Forum has been assured that SEL would not be used in Alabama schools. But, it was addressed in a number of sessions at this summer’s MEGA conference for teachers, and Superintendent Sentance recently sent out a letter inviting all interested parties to a training session on SEL.

Please contact your State Board of Education Member to ask that they vote against this ESSA contract with the federal government unless The Plan is significantly revised and the invasive programs have been removed.

Contact information for your State Board of Education Member is here: https://www.alsde.edu/sites/boe/Pages/boardmembers-all.aspx