Alabama Board Resists Governor, Keeps Common Standards

By Catherine Gewertz — November 11, 2011 1 min read
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We heard that common-standards opponents on the Alabama board of education had drafted a resolution to rescind that state’s adoption and had scheduled a vote for yesterday. We checked on it after the board meeting, and learned that the resolution was voted down 6-3. That means that the November 2010 adoption stands.

The most intriguing thing about this is that the state’s governor, Robert Bentley, drafted the resolution and was one of the three board members voting for it. (In Alabama, the governor sits as president of the state school board.) The voting majority clearly wasn’t intimidated by his position as chief executive; one member, Randy McKinney, even introduced a competing resolution supporting the standards and asserting the board’s power to make decisions about them.

Voting with the state’s Republican governor were board members Betty Peters and Stephanie Bell, who have been pressing for some time to get the standards-adoption rescinded. Peters had hoped that an influx of new board members might boost the chances of that, but she told me after the meeting that this clearly wasn’t the case.

“New members, same attitudes,” she said on the phone.

As reported by the local news media, Bentley opposes the standards as an overstep by the federal government, since the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top grants favored states that had adopted them.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.