Alabama State Board of Education (SBOE) members voted to adopt a new set of mathematics standards that are poised to pave the way toward academic success for Alabama students at the SBOE’s monthly meeting Thursday, according to a release.
Gov. Kay Ivey said in the release this Alabama-designed set of standards will replace Common Core.
State education superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said the finished product is a set of math standards that are clear, concise and unequivocally sound.
“The new math standards are clear and precise,” Mackey said in a release. “They identify exactly what each Alabama student should know and be able to do at the end of every course and grade. The new standards look similar to those in states that are the highest performing in our nation. It is crucial that our students master the basics — adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing — early.”
For more than a year, the Alabama Mathematics Course of Study (COS) Committee has worked tirelessly to examine the existing math standards and make the changes necessary to provide Alabama students with math standards that are on par with, or superior to, other states. The committee is comprised of veteran Alabama teachers, professors, administrators, business and industry leaders, and other stakeholders who thoroughly understand the minute details involved with the establishment of educational standards.
This committee bought to the table more than 300 years of collective teaching experience in Alabama classrooms, working directly with Alabama students from kindergarten to college-level, according to a release from the SBOE.
“Over the past 22 months, a committee of esteemed education and business leaders have developed a revised Mathematics Course of Study that replaces, once and for all, Common Core with Alabama-designed standards,” Ivey said. “These are Alabama standards created by Alabama teachers and will be a great starting point to ensuring our students will be proficient in each grade level.
“I am proud that the Alabama State Board of Education has taken this bold step to move our state forward. We have a ways to go, but today is a start in the right direction.”
Suzanne Culbreth, former Alabama Teacher of the Year (2013), and member of the Math COS committee, said she believes the hard work and dedication that went in to developing the math standards will bode well for Alabama students and their educational achievement for years to come.
“We painstakingly researched, reviewed and analyzed every single standard within the course of study,” Culbreth said in the release. “We accepted and revised our work bases on public comment and suggestions from experts in math education. These are Alabama standards, developed by Alabama educators, for Alabama students.”
For students who struggle academically, Culbreth said particular attention and learning supports will be made available through the Alabama State Department of Education. During the development of the standards, she said it was input from the public, math specialists, other Alabama teachers and education consultants around the nation that all culminated to ultimately create a set of math standards that are rigorous and comparable to any other math standards in America.
In addition to having the new standards vetted by a committee of long-time Alabama educators and mathematics professionals, Mackey said he appreciates the in-depth evaluation the math COS did of its own work and findings.
He said the fact the math COS sought outside opinions from the National Council for Teaching Mathematics shows the committee’s selfless work and dedication to do what is in the best interest of students in Alabama.
“Whether students go directly into the workforce, military, trade school or college, we want every single student prepared for what awaits them when they finish high school,” Mackey said. “In an increasingly competitive world and a job market that will require quality education, we owe it to the students of this state to offer the very best educational standards possible.”