Gov Ivey Postpones The Vote For New Common Core Math Standards!

 

Click to watch 1 minute clip regarding this decision.

The Governor has heard our concerns about the proposed 2019 Alabama math standards and has postponed the state school board’s March 14th vote. In her letter to our State Superintendent she states, “Despite the thorough work of the Committee, there continues to be questions arising from concerned citizens regarding some of the details in the proposed 2019 Alabama Course of Study: Mathematics. I believe their questions and concerns deserve further consideration and careful review, particularly regarding references to “Common Core” standards.  Therefore, I am requesting that you withhold any recommendation on the newly proposed Alabama Course of Study: Mathematics until further review is completed.”

Eagle Forum of Alabama thanks you for your calls to the state school board and the governor. We will continue working on this issue and will keep you updated.  To see documents which we provided to all state board members on the failure of Common Core math in Alabama and the nation and to see our recommendation to replace Common Core with proven standards, go here. 

 

Eagle Forum of Alabama Praises the New Alabama Forfeiture Accountability System

Click to watch Rep. Arnold Mooney explain the new system and why it’s needed during the February 28th press conference. 

Eagle Forum and Eagle Forum of Alabama applaud and support the efforts of the Alabama District Attorneys Association and all other participants in voluntarily creating the Alabama Forfeiture Accountability System.
 
“Today’s announcement of an interactive and searchable civil asset forfeiture database is a cause for celebration and a move in the right direction for all Alabamians,” said Eunie Smith, President of Eagle Forum and Eagle Forum of Alabama. “All our efforts in government should be to increase freedom and protect the individual rights of our citizens. This important action taken by the Alabama District Attorneys Association will permit the Alabama Legislature to study and evaluate civil asset forfeiture in our state and determine any action that must be taken to protect the rights of Alabamians.”

 

HERITAGE FOUNDATION APPLAUDS ALABAMA’S ASSET FORFEITURE REFORM
 

HERITAGE FOUNDATION:  Alabama is taking important steps to bring greater transparency to civil forfeiture, the much-criticized practice that allows property to be seized even without evidence of a crime.

Starting Friday, officials across Alabama will document crucial data on civil forfeitures. This data will ultimately be available to the public in a searchable report, providing the clearest picture yet of how Alabama law enforcement agencies are using their civil forfeiture powers. Read more.

Rebuttal letter to AL State Board of Education from Eunie Smith regarding email from Jeremy Zelkowski, PhD

February 28, 2019

To: Members of the Alabama Board of Education

From: Eunie Smith, President, Leslie Whitcomb, Education Chairman

Re: Clarification after Mr. Zelkowski email

Each of you recently received an email correspondence from Jeremy Zelkowski, PhD regarding his views on a one-page flyer distributed by Eagle Forum about the proposed 2019 Math Course of Study.

The fact that Alabama prior to Common Core was ranked 25th in the nation by Education Week “Quality Counts” (QC) was touted in 2011 by the Alabama Department of Education. It included a ranking of 25th in the nation “based on standards, assessments and accountability”. The 2009 Alabama Math Course of Study was rated B+ by Fordham (before they committed to promote Common Core). QC certainly cannot be directly compared with NAEP.

Graphs #1 and #2 (see below) which we provided to you illustrate that Alabama NAEP scores, while low, were on an upward trajectory and improving every year prior to Common Core. With the advent of Common Core a downward trend began so that by 2017 the previous progress was practically erased. Graph #3 (see below)  ACT National Math Scores show a similar scenario nationally. Reversing an upward trend since Common Core implementation, the whole nation has gradually dropped below the 2003 ACT score.

Therefore, we remain convinced that removing all vestiges of Common Core and moving to non Common Core standards which have shown success is the only wise course of action. In consulting with nationally recognized mathematicians who were successful standards writers we were directed to Minnesota with its non-Common Core standards. It is at the top. Please see the two documents we provided to you. In the NAEP grade 8 state math score Minnesota ranks second and Alabama ranks next to last among the states. In the 2017 ACT ranking of those states which test 100% of their students, Minnesota was first and Alabama was third from last.

Apparently, Dr. Zelkowski has not reviewed our website to see the charts referenced above and the five page academic review with cites from the Alabama Math Proposed Math Course of Study by Dr. James Milgram. He only gave you his incorrect and biased opinion of Dr. Milgram.

The question which Dr. Zelkowksi fails to answer for you is, “Where is the empirical basis for the proposed new high school Course of Study?” It is the obligation of those who propose this radical new approach to provide empirical data to show it has been implemented effectively somewhere, anywhere, at a comparable scale before imposing it on the students of Alabama for the next six years. (Dr. Milgram noted the failure of this approach in the Soviet Union, which Dr. Zelkowski does not dispute in his email.)

Dr. Zelkowski’s claim that Milgram “has long been critical of any standards-based movement in math education” is flatly false. In fact, Dr. Milgram assisted in the development of the successful California mathematics standards adopted in 1997. His expertise was acknowledged by the Common Core writers who asked that he participate in the review of the original Common Core Math Standards. He found they were not adequate and refused to sign off on approving them. He is not against standards, only poor ones!

NCTM and its state affiliates with which Dr. Zelkowsky is associated were among the main backers of Common Core math and we now have the results to show that they were wrong. Their view has resulted in disproportionate harm to the lowest performing students according to the highly respected NAEP results included in the material presented to you. There is no basis for trusting in the expertise of people who wish to continue a failed approach that they recommended.

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and Institute were strong backers of, not only Common Core, but of a single national curriculum and national test. That is why their “evaluations” are negative toward any alternatives to Common Core. As with NCTM, the results of Common Core math have shown that Fordham was wrong and there is no reason to trust their curricular judgment.

Again, we urge you to review the data we provided to you, to vote NO on the proposed 2019 Math Course of Study, and to direct its replacement with sound, proven standards. We believe that all Alabama students are capable of outstanding achievement if teachers are given teachable tools.

Eunie Smith, President
alaea[email protected]

Alabama Forfeiture Accountability System

February 28, 2019

For Immediate Release

Eagle Forum and Eagle Forum of Alabama applaud and support the efforts of the Alabama District Attorneys Association and all other participants in voluntarily creating the Alabama Forfeiture Accountability System.

“Today’s announcement of an interactive and searchable civil asset forfeiture database is a cause for celebration and a move in the right direction for all Alabamians,” said Eunie Smith, President of Eagle Forum and Eagle Forum of Alabama. “All our efforts in government should be to increase freedom and protect the individual rights of our citizens. This important action taken by the Alabama District Attorneys Association will permit the Alabama Legislature to study and evaluate civil asset forfeiture in our state and determine any action that must be taken to protect the rights of Alabamians.”

Eagle Forum of Alabama Executive Director Becky Gerritson will join the Press Conference called to announce the measure at 2:30 PM today in the Historic House Chamber at the State Capitol.

Contact:
Becky Gerritson, Executive Director
[email protected]
(334)452-0453

Need Your Help:  Ask AL School Board to Replace Common Core Math March 14th

Alabama Must Get Rid of Common Core Math &
Replace it With a Proven, High Quality Math Curriculum

Alabama public schools have an OBLIGATION to provide a sound education for all students.

The proposed Alabama 2019 Course of Study Mathematics acknowledges that “Like more than 40 other states across the nation, the 2019 Alabama Course of Study: Mathematics builds on the Common Core State Standards.” This proposal doubles down on the Common Core approach, which has been a historic failure in our state as well as in the rest of the country.

In the years before Alabama implemented Common Core in math in 2012, our students were making gradual progress in raising math achievement, including on the respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The improvement in math stopped after Common Core—in fact, our students are scoring lower on the most recent NAEP (2017) than before Common Core was implemented! (Attached Graph #1 shows the average annual math gain of our 8th grade students before and after Common Core—the difference is like night and day!)

Common Core was supposed to improve Alabama math education but on the most recent ACT math test (2018), our high school students scored lower than all but three states. Similarly, Alabama ranks nearly last among states in mathematics on the 2017 NAEP test (only one other state performs slightly worse).

The greatest negative impact of Common Core in Alabama has been on average and lower students, whose parents are often not able to hire tutors to make up for the flaws of Common Core. The percent of Alabama students attaining at least a basic grasp of mathematics was increasing before Common Core according to the NAEP test, but it has declined since Common Core was adopted. (Attached Graph #2)

Common Core’s lack of success in Alabama is not unique. Before Common Core was adopted by nearly all states, national ACT math scores were slowly increasing but after Common Core the national scores declined! (Attached Graph #3) Alabama’s math achievement problems since we adopted Common Core are not the fault of our students or our teachers, nor are they due to insufficient funding—they are due to Common Core.

The proposed Alabama 2019 Course of Study Mathematics not only leaves Common Core in place in the elementary grades, but it goes beyond Common Core to recommend an even more radical and experimental high school mathematics course sequence. Instead of the standard high school math courses Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, etc., it proposes starting with a combined Geometry with Statistics course, followed by Intermediate Algebra with Probability, and other unusual courses and math content. Internationally renowned Stanford mathematician R. James Milgram reviewed this new high school course of study and was shocked. He writes: “In summary, here is my very strong recommendation. Abandon this approach…It is astounding that anyone with any real understanding of mathematics could possibly think to combine [Geometry with Statistics] into a single course. They have literally nothing in common, especially at the K-12 level…ARE YOU SURE YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS? Let me reiterate my recommendation in the strongest terms. Put your current document in your circular file.”

Instead of staying with the failed Common Core or adopting the untested proposed high school curriculum, why doesn’t Alabama adopt a proven math curriculum? Minnesota never replaced its respected math curriculum with Common Core and scores first among the states that administer the ACT math test to all high school students. Alabama should consider adopting the Minnesota math curriculum standards. In our Republic’s federalist system, the states are to be laboratories of democracy where we can learn from one another.

Our State Board of Education has a golden OPPORTUNITY to take our students from frustration to first place alongside Minnesota. Please encourage Board Members including Gov. Ivey to adopt the proven Minnesota math standards and ditch Common Core at their meeting on March 14th.

                                                                 ###

Eunie Smith volunteers as President of Eagle Forum of Alabama and Leslie Whitcomb as Education Chairman of Eagle Forum of Alabama

Dr. James Milgram’s Remarks for the Alabama Board of Education

Milgram comments to State Board

Remarks for the Alabama State Board of Education. R. James Milgram, Professor of Mathematics, emeritus, Stanford University.

I have been asked to comment on the very strange high school math curriculum that starts with a course on “Geometry and Statistics”. In summary, here is my very strong recommendation. Abandon this approach. Find a rock solid mathematician who is willing to help you write reasonable standards that are actually teachable in K-12 such as Prof. Larry Gray, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, who is largely responsible for the very solid Minnesota K-12 mathematics standards, and follow his advice.   More….

EAGLE FORUM OF ALABAMA ANNOUNCES PROMINENT CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION BECKY GERRITSON AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

“Under Becky’s direction, Eagle Forum of Alabama will continue to be a bold and respected voice of conviction, principle, and informed policy in Alabama.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 10, 2019
Contact: Eunie Smith, President (205) 879-7096
Becky Gerritson, Executive Director (334) 452-0453

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—On Thursday, Eagle Forum of Alabama President Eunie Smith and Foundation President Jim Cooper announced Becky Gerritson as its new Executive Director.

Becky has been a strong advocate for conservatism in Alabama since founding the Wetumpka Tea Party in 2009. In 2016 Gerritson received Heritage Action Sentinel’s Firewall for Freedom Award, was named in Yellowhammer’s 2017 Power and Influence List, and was on AL.com Twenty Most Influential List in 2015.

Becky Gerritson gained national acclaim for her testimony before Congress after Obama’s IRS unfairly targeted the Wetumpka Tea Party and other organizations for their conservative beliefs. She has been lauded by conservative figures across the country such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox Business’ Stuart Varney. Gerritson was a Republican candidate for Congress in Alabama District 2 in 2016.

“It is an honor to welcome Becky Gerritson as our Executive Director,” Eunie Smith, President of Eagle Forum of Alabama said. “Becky is an effective conservative leader with a long history of championing the values that Eagle Forum exists to preserve. I have every confidence in Becky’s leadership abilities, and I believe that as Eagle Forum of Alabama Executive Director she will continue to be a bold and respected voice of conviction, principle, and informed policy in Alabama.”

“Eagle Forum has been an influential powerhouse of principled conservative thought and grassroots activism for decades,” Gerritson said Thursday. “I am thrilled to be on the leadership team of this incredible organization. As Alabama moves into 2019 and beyond, it is crucial that our principled conservative voice be stronger and more compelling than ever. I look forward to continuing the fight for our future and our republic with Eagle Forum of Alabama.”

The late Phyllis Schlafly, beloved founding president of Eagle Forum and chairman of its board until her death, wrote in 2016: “Becky Gerritson is a proven leader. She understands that sound governance doesn’t mean just passing bills that the president will sign, as the current Congress continues to do. She knows that sound governance means upholding and defending the Constitution, protecting the security of the American people, and defending the values that have made our country great. Her dedication and passion for the conservative cause has been seen not only by Alabamians but by the nation as she has fearlessly and tirelessly fought against the progressive agenda and big government.”

###

The mission of Eagle Forum of Alabama is to equip and activate citizens with timely information from a conservative, constitutional point of view on public policy issues that affect the family. For more information about Eagle Forum of Alabama, please visit www.AlabamaEagle.org.

 

Vote Yes on Amendment 2

Pro-abortion forces have raised over $940,000 mostly from out of state Planned Parenthood affiliates to flood Alabama airwaves with false information in an attempt to defeat the Alabama Sanctity of Unborn Life Amendment which is on Tuesday’s ballot.

Under current law, the Alabama constitution does not include any language that directly relates to the importance of unborn life or the rights of unborn children, nor does it include any language that directly relates to abortion or the funding of abortions using state funds.

The proposed amendment does not identify any specific actions or activities as unlawful. It expresses a public policy that supports broad protections for the rights of unborn children as long as the protections are lawful.

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 2, the public policy of this state will be to support and protect the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.

To advocate for this amendment, Eagle Forum has joined forces with the Alabama Policy Institute, the Southeast Law Institute and several Pro-Life organizations including: Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, Alabama Pro-Life Education Fund, Choose Life, Inc., Cameron’s Choice, and the Alabama Citizens’ Action Program. Under the banner of Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama, the coalition is chaired by three pro-life champions: Former State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, State Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan, and Public Service Committee President Twinkle Cavanaugh.

To refute the lies in the pro-abortion ads, click here for the document Myth Busters or see below.
Please share this email with your contacts and ask them to vote for Amendment Two to protect babies in the womb.
Pray for God’s grace on America in this critical election!

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