Category: Education

Alabama Drops To “Dead Last” Reversing Upward Trend

(T) 205.879.7096

AlabamaEagle@gmail.com
alabamaeagle.org

Open Letter to ALABAMA SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

From: Eunie Smith, President
Leslie Whitcomb, Education Chairman

Sadly, the latest NAEP results place Alabama dead last on Math and English, a significant decline from where we were before Common Core when Alabama had been trending upward. The 2011 Alabama State Department of Education document here touted:

“In 2011 Alabama moved from near last to 25th in the nation in overall grades and scores [Education Week assessment] … 12th in the nation for standards, assessments and accountability… data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed a historic gain of eight points in fourth grade Reading for Alabama public school students – the … highest gain ever in NAEP recorded history. Since then, Alabama has maintained its progress in NAEP assessments.”  But that was before common core implementation in 2012 in Math and 2013 in English.  See graphs and charts below.

 

According to PARCA,

“The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is a battery of tests given every two years
to a representative sample of students in all 50 states. The test is designed to serve as a national scorecard, allowing comparison of educational performance across the states. 

The 2015 results are out. They’re disappointing for the nation at large, and for Alabama, in particular.
In 2015, Alabama’s average math score, in both 4th and 8th grade, was the lowest of any state.Between 2013 and 2015, Alabama’s average score declined in both grades.
Among U.S. states, Alabama had the lowest percentage of students scoring proficient in 4th
and 8th grade. Only 26 percent of 4th graders and 17 percent of 8th graders scored high enough on the NAEP to be considered grade-level proficient in math.

While Alabama’s higher poverty rate puts it at something of a competitive disadvantage in national comparisons, a deeper look shows it’s not Alabama’s demographics skewing the results. Name the group – black, white, Hispanic, poverty and non-poverty – all perform worse than their peers in all other states.” (The PARCA Perspective, October 2015)

According to nationally recognized standards expert Sandra Stotsky,
“NAEP scores nationally did not go down because (1) Common Core standards are more demanding and (2) teachers need more professional development.  They went down because Common Core is dumbed down math, and NAEP still includes test items based on what we expected kids to be taught by/in grade 4 only 10 years ago.  Today, our kids can’t get these tests right because their classroom curriculum (based on CC math standards) has been dumbed down, [confuses, and neglects the basics].   Nor can our upper elementary grades do well on NAEP test items in reading when their language arts curriculum has eliminated the great children’s literature that got them to read – especially boys.”

Dr. Stotsky, in a 2011 press conference in Montgomery, advised Alabama to continue with its standards upon which success was building instead of adopting the unproven and flawed common core regimen.  State Board members Betty Peters and Stephanie Bell listened and voted against common core.

Again, more than half of Common Core states showed historic declines on 2015 NAEP – declines that have not been seen since the early 90s when the NAEP began, but Non-Common Core States showed NO decline on NAEP!!!!

It’s not just NAEP scores that confirm the inferiority of Common Core.  ACT scores of Alabama students as shown in The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2015 Alabama report shows that only 16% of Alabama students meet the benchmark in all four subjects.  Further, the percentage is down five percentage points from 2014.  See report here.

For Alabama students, clearly Common Core is a Failure with a capital F! 

Will school board members rescue students from further failure now?   According to Math Standards expert Dr. James Milgram’s research, 4 years of common core type math in California beginning in 1992 resulted in irreparable damage.  California then ditched those standards and returned to what works. Alabama is in its 4th year, as we have pointed out to you before.  When will you ditch the flawed regimen that is common core?

But what would you use?  Just like Alabama has done for years, a committee of professionals and parents could convene.  They could use as a template for Math the pre-common core standards that put California first in the nation; and for English, the acknowledged best were pre-common core Massachusetts.  There are other proven sound standard sets upon which to build.

There is no limit to what our teachers could do for their students if they were no longer constrained by common core and were equipped with the basics that have worked for generations.

You will surely agree with us that it is unfair to our students not to address this ASAP and reverse course before it gets any worse.

 

  

All NAEP Scores for Alabama eighth grade students fell since the implementation of Common Core with the exception of eighth grade ELA.  In this instance, the white and black student scores were basically flat with Hispanic scores up 6 points, which raising the overall score by 2 points.

Impact of Common Core on Alabama education
Alabama Accomplishments 2011 prior to impact of Common Core
http://alabamaeagle.org/issues/education

Average Mathematics grade 4 public schools all students: By jurisdiction
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=0%2cMAT%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0
Average Reading grade 4 public schools all students: By jurisdiction
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=0%2cRED%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0
Average Mathematics grade 8 public schools all students: By jurisdiction
jurisjurisdictionhttp://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=1%2cMAT%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0
Average Reading grade 8 public schools all students:  By jurisdiction
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=1%2cRED%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0

Speaker Paul Ryan, Make ESEA Reauthorization Bill Public for 60 Days

Speaker Paul Ryan, Make ESEA Reauthorization Bill Public for 60 Days

From Truth in American Education, November 19, 2015
By

Because the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) will be the largest piece of federal education legislation Congress will pass in over a decade, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) should allow the bill to be made publicly available for at least 60 days before the House considers it.
Read the entire story here.

Jane Robbins, attorney with the American Principles Project, also wrote on this subject.  Her article, “Speaker Ryan, No Head Fakes on ‘No Child Left Behind’ Please!” may be found here.

Contact Congressman Paul Ryan and the Alabama Congressional Delegation and ask that a vote on the ESEA reauthorization be given at least 60 days for review prior at any vote.

Cong. Paul Ryan (202) 225-3031.

Alabama Congressional members:
Cong. Robert Aderholt (202) 225-4876
Cong. Gary Palmer (202)225-4921
Cong. Bradley Byrne (202) 225-4931
Cong. Martha Roby (202)225-2901
Cong. Terri Sewell (202)225-2665
Cong. Mo Brooks (202)225-4801
Cong. Mike Rogers (202)225-3261

Join Us for the 2015 Civil Liberties and Student Data Privacy Summit

REGISTER AT THE LINK BELOW

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-civil-liberties-and-student-data-privacy-summit-tickets-19101230294

Lady Liberty Privacy

2015 Civil Liberties and Student Data Privacy Summit

When:  Saturday, November 21, 2015, 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Where: University of North Alabama Performance Center

Why:  Today’s hottest issues from mass student data collection to privacy violations. What can be done about the growing privacy invasions?

Amazing speakers:  Sean Collin- owner of International IP Watch, Emmett McGroarty with American Principles Project, Dr. Karen Effrem- Director of Education Liberty Watch, Stephanie Bell -member of the Alabama State Board of Education, Dr. Tim Collins- Chair of Political Science at UNA and more.

Registration: See Eventbrite link above. Must bring ticket to attend.

Light breakfast and full lunch provided to registrants!

Bring your legislator with you! Privacy means liberty! Call (205) 879-7096 with questions

Host: Eagle Forum of Alabama Education Foundation alabamaeagle.org

 Co-host: College Republicans of University of North Alabama. Sponsors: Alabama Free Market Alliance, National Association of Scholars, University of North Alabama, Montgomery Federalist Society Chapter, Home School Legal Defense Association.

Alabama Applies for Federal Grant to Establish Statewide P-20W Database

Alabama School Connection

By Tricia Powell Crain on July 8, 2015
­

ACTION ALERT RE: REAUTHORIZATION OF THE NCLB ACT

  1. Ask Senator Sessions (202)224-4124 and Senator Shelby (202)224-5744 to vote NO on The Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177).
  2. Ask Republicans to wait until Obama leaves office and pass a bill that rejects, not codifies, this President’s federalization of education.

US Senate leadership promised to write a bill to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB) that Obama wouldn’t veto. Unfortunately, on July 7th the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) moves to the Senate floor to be heard with Obama’s blessing. We need to STOP it!  Remember this bill has gone without reauthorization since it expired in 2008–WHY THE RUSH !!!! 

Republican leadership caved to Obama’s demands and agreed to language which expands, not reduces, the influence of the federal government over schools.   S.1177 is the largest piece of federal education legislation in over a decade and will last for at least 6 years.

21 talking points from American Principles in Action here include the following:

  • So-called protections from coercion to adopt Common Core are meaningless because they simply replicate existing protections that have no enforcement mechanism for the states.
  • Codifies previously uncodified NCLB waiver process; states have to submit to the feds for their approval detailed education plans in accordance with comprehensive federal guidelines.
  • Retains federal testing mandates in NCLB but adds assessment on behavioral/skills-based standards rather than truly academic standards and harvests data to resemble a psychological profile of the student. 
  • Creates national standards for PreK and childcare that result in compilation of psychological data under three year fed grants despite evidence that these early childhood programs have no lasting academic benefit but may actually do psychological harm.
  • “School climate” grants can pressure schools to suppress student expression of orthodox religious values.  See the symbol here from Sec. Arne Duncan indicating what values regarding marriage children will learn.
  • “Comprehensive school-based mental health services” enable “early identification of social, emotional or behavioral problems” thus enabling unprecedented government surveillance of students’ attitudes and mindsets.

http://www.americanprinciplesinaction.org/wp-content/uploads/ECAA-Talking-Points.pdf

Action Needed! Senate Debate on Every Child Achieves Act on Tuesday!

  1. Ask Senator Sessions (202)224-4124 and Senator Shelby (202)224-5744 to vote NO on The Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177)
  2. Ask Republicans to wait until Obama leaves office and pass a bill that rejects, not codifies, this President’s federalization of education.

US Senate leadership promised to write a bill to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB) that Obama wouldn’t veto. Unfortunately, on July 7th the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) moves to the Senate floor to be heard with Obama’s blessing. We need to STOP it!

Republican leadership caved to Obama’s demands and agreed to language which expands, not reduces, the influence of the federal government over schools.   S.1177 is the largest piece of federal education legislation in over a decade and will last for at least 6 years.

21 talking points from American Principles in Action here include the following:

  • So-called protections from coercion to adopt Common Core are meaningless because they simply replicate existing protections that have no enforcement mechanism for the states.
  • Codifies previously uncodified NCLB waiver process; states have to submit to the feds for their approval detailed education plans in accordance with comprehensive federal guidelines.
  • Retains federal testing mandates in NCLB but adds assessment on behavioral/skills-based standards rather than truly academic standards and harvests data to resemble a psychological profile of the student. 
  • Creates national standards for PreK and childcare that result in compilation of psychological data and three year fed grants despite evidence that these early childhood programs have no lasting academic benefit but may actually do psychological and academic harm.
  • “School climate” grants can pressure schools to suppress student expression of orthodox religious values.  See the symbol here from Sec. Arne Duncan indicating what values regarding marriage children will learn.
  • “Comprehensive school-based mental health services” enable “early identification of social, emotional or behavioral problems” thus enabling more government surveillance of students’ attitudes and mindsets.

http://www.americanprinciplesinaction.org/wp-content/uploads/ECAA-Talking-Points.pdf

Montgomery Father Confronts Legislators and School Over Daughter’s Pornographic Readings by Common Core Exemplar Author

Mr. Troy Towns, courageous father of a Montgomery high school student, recently shared with us a letter he sent to each member of the Alabama Legislature regarding a pornographic reading assignment given to his daughter.  The required book is titled Beloved by Toni Morrison.  She is the author of another such book titled The Bluest Eye which has also been brought to the attention of the legislature.  Following the letter to the legislature is correspondence Mr. Towns sent to school personnel.

Capture 1

 

Capture 2

Capture 3 (2)

Capture 4 (2)

 

 

 

 

Action: Students are not Data

The State Board of Education is expected to vote on the proposed 2015 Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Model (CCGM) at its June 11 meeting.

Eagle Forum considers this plan to be beyond the legitimate purview of counselors and an overreach that could be harmful rather than helpful to students and their families.  Eagle Forum believes the family is the rightful place for inculcating values and determining career choices.  It states, “All students will receive a data-informed counseling and guidance program that promotes academic achievement, career readiness, and personal/social development.” (p. 1)

  • CCGM shifts the primary goal of school counselors from helping children to collecting data on students and pushing Common Core objectives. (p. 38)
  • CCGM sets goals for changes in students’ behavior, emotions, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs, thus expanding public authority over private lives of students into the affective domain, which has never before been allowed in Alabama schools (p. 16)
  • CCGM mandates in K-2 exercises to “identify changing family roles” (p. 15), “various family configurations” (p. 16) rather than modelling a natural family to which all may equally aspire
  • CCGM mandates acceptance of alternative lifestyles (p. 16)
  • CCGM violates students’ fundamental right to privacy by requiring students to disclose criminal records, language spoken in the home, socio-economic data, family composition, disability, beliefs, thus also violating student/professional counselor privacy protocol (p. 39 -40)
  • CCGM implements a series of assessments (with data collection and retention) that can disserve students by limiting student academic options and career possibilities: an assessment in the third grade that sets a trajectory for career tracking (ACT Aspire), another single assessment in the 8th grade (ACT Explore), and another in the 11th grade (ACT WorkKeys) with the resultant “annual career plan” to be only “annually approved” by the parents.  Career exploration/planning is desirable, but career tracking is unacceptable in a free society.  (p. 12-13)

You may view the CCGM herePlease ask your State School Board member here, to preserve proper counseling roles and stop this new model.  It facilitates psychological testing on all children and opens the door for school based health clinics, which would further usurp parental rights and responsibilities.   
http://www.wnd.com/2014/11/schools-to-mine-kids-for-mental-health-issues-with-feds-money/

Eunie Smith, President
Eagle Forum of Alabama
alaeagle@charter.net
(205)879-7096
http://alabamaeagle.org/donate

Dr. Alveda King’s Letter to Alabama Legislators on Common Core

May 22, 2015An Open LetterDear Alabama Legislator,The deep and sustaining desire that every child in Alabama will be given the best education possible to be ready to act upon God’s leading in his or her life is surely important to you.

To that end, please consider finding more creative solutions than what is offered in the one size fits all Common Core curriculum. Because we live in a one stop, instant coffee type of environment, we can be misled to believe that something like Common Core will fit the desired bill; but mounting research indicates that COMMON CORE will do more harm than good; hurting most those least able to pull themselves up out of the current educational environment of muck and more. All children need to and deserve to access their full God-given potential. By design, Common Core treats every child as a statistic to be measured by standardized tests.

The following statement from the Chicago Teachers Union in opposition to Common Core is relevant: “Common Core eliminates creativity in the classroom …We also know that high-stakes standardized testing is designed to rank and sort our children and it contributes significantly to racial discrimination and the achievement gap among students in America’s schools.” 9/8/2014 This sorting of students in Alabama based on the color of their skin or their parents income and the setting of lower achievement goals for African Americans than Caucasians has been widely reported. If teachers are told to expect less from minorities, they are likely to get less.

Additional concerns regarding Common Core are the lack of access to parents and local communities in contributing to what children are taught and how they are tested. Please ask yourself this: “Will our students be indoctrinated against the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness enshrined in our Constitution?” These American values remain part of the sustaining success of our nation. Yet, there is a not so subtle erosion of these values. By design, Common Core will only add to this decline.  When Common Core is fully implemented, parents and our local communities will have little to no control over what is taught to our children through nationally prescribed Common Core assessments and the curriculum that has been developed to match those assessments.

Also, with the full disclosure features of Common Core, invasive, non-academic personal and family data being kept on state data bases will be at risk, with little or no guarantee that they can and will be protected.

As public Servants, you have the power to really assist children, their families and the communities you represent; please regain control over education in Alabama by passing the Alabama Ahead Act (SB101, HB424) ASAP. You can enable students to rise to new heights instead of holding them down to the lowest common denominator.

May God bless you – especially in your legislative endeavors that impact so many people.

Most sincerely,

Alveda Celeste King
Founder of Alveda King Ministries
Former College Professor and Author of KING RULES
3695F Cascade Road, Suite 307
Atlanta, GA 30331

asst@alvedaking.com www.kingrulesbook.com

ACT NOW: Ask Your Representative to Support HB424

ASAP – Please ask your State Representative and key legislators listed below to vote for the Alabama Ahead Act (HB424) to restore sound, state-controlled education in Alabama so that our students will excel, not just be common. Please let us know their response.

Speaker Mike Hubbard; Education Policy Committee Members: Chairman Terri Collins, Oliver Robinson, Mack Butler (co-sponsor), Barbara Drummond, Bob Fincher  (sponsor), Ed Henry, Barry Moore, Jim Patterson, Chris Pringle, Rod Scott, Patricia Todd, Phil Williams, Chairman Rules Committee Mac McCutcheon.  To find your Representative, click here.

If your representative is a co-sponsor, please thank him and ask that he encourage Speaker Hubbard to put HB424 on the Special Order Calendar.

HB424 co-sponsors: Bob Fincher (sponsor), Arnold Mooney, Matt Fridy, Tommy Hanes, Ritchie Whorton, Nathaniel Ledbetter, Corey Harbison, Mike Holmes, Rich Wingo, Dickie Drake, Jack W. Williams, Randall Shedd, Steve Hurst, Mike MillicanRon Johnson, Dimitri Polizos, Reed Ingram, Paul Beckman, Randy Davis, Issac Whorton, Lynn Greer, Phillip Pettus, Mack Butler and Steve McMillan.