Category: Alabama Board of Education

Ivey Recommends a One-Year Delay on Holding Back of Third Grade Readers

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday recommended a one-year delay to the Alabama Literacy Act’s holdback provision for third graders struggling with reading.

“Because we are implementing a new assessment, we need the spring 2022 data to further validate the cut score before we implement the promotion policy and, in the meantime, we will be doubling down for the supports needed to implement the Alabama Literacy Act to fidelity,” Ivey said at the state school board meeting.

The board voted on setting the reading score on standardized testing that will determine which students would continue on to the fourth grade. To implement Ivey’s recommended delay, the Alabama Legislature will have to approve the change during its regular session starting in January. Read more.

Statewide Testing Shows Low Scores in First Look at COVID Impact

MONTGOMERY — Student test results released Thursday showed overall disappointing scores in the first statewide data revealing the impact of COVID-19 on learning.

State Superintendent Eric Mackey said the low scores were expected because of complications with learning during the pandemic last school year.

“When students don’t have a teacher in the classroom with them, it is much more difficult for them to learn,” Mackey said. “We need students in the classroom with teachers as much as possible, and so the scores did go down and that is a trend we are seeing all across the country.”

Just more than half of the state’s third graders tested as proficient in English language arts, while 40% tested at basic grade level and 10% tested below grade level. Among eighth graders, 52% tested as proficient in ELA, while 40% had basic grade-level skills and 9% were below grade level.

Math scores were worse. Just 30% of the state’s third graders tested proficient in math, while 37% tested at basic grade level and 33% tested below grade level. Among eighth graders, just 14% tested proficient in math, while 60% had basic grade-level skills and 26% were below grade level. Read more.

State Board of Education Votes to Ban Teaching of Critical Race Theory

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama State Board of Education on Thursday passed a resolution banning the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, a move that supporters said preserves intellectual freedom and opponents said will stifle how history is taught.

The resolution doesn’t appear to have any enforceable power behind it, and state Superintendent Eric Mackey said he believes that no teacher in Alabama will be punished as a result of it.

“We don’t think there is anything in our courses of study — we’ve done a deep dive — that will be in conflict with the current resolution,” Mackey said. “So it really has no effect on our current course of study.”
Read more.

Alabama GOP Policymakers Seek to Keep Critical Race Theory Out of Classrooms

Alabama GOP leaders are following a national trend to block the teaching in public schools of what they call divisive concepts related to race.

The Alabama State Board of Education on Thursday discussed proposed resolutions against instruction of “critical race theory,” and at least one state lawmaker wants to see a prohibition made into law.

One of the resolutions given to the board originated with the help of Gov. Kay Ivey’s office, state Superintendent Eric Mackey said.

A spokeswoman for Ivey, who is the head of the state school board, told Alabama Daily News that critical race theory is not in Alabama’s current curriculum.
Read more.

Alabamians: Keep Elected State Board of Education

Alabamians on Tuesday said they want to keep their ability to vote for the state’s K-12 leaders.

Amendment One was defeated soundly. With more than 1.1 million votes cast, about 75% were “no” votes, according to unofficial results from the Alabama Secretary of State. The amendment would have done away with the current elected Alabama State Board of Education that oversees K-12 education, replacing it with a governor-appointed commission.

The amendment’s defeat is a loss for Gov. Kay Ivey, who was its chief advocate. It also had the support of other state GOP leaders and a coalition of groups led by the Alabama Farmers Federation, who pinned schools’ poor achievement rankings on the board of eight elected members.

But some, including the Alabama Republican Party’s executive committee, opposed the amendment that would have ended Alabamians’ ability to elect state education leaders, something they’ve done for about 50 years.
Read more.