WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Alabama grants the general supervision of public schools in Alabama to the duly elected Alabama State Board of Education; and
WHEREAS, under this authority, the Alabama State Board of Education serves as the entity charged with the development and adoption of academic content standards in Alabama public schools; and
WHEREAS, this constitutionally authorized body voted to approve on May 14, 2009, a Resolution to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to engage with fellow states in the development of internationally benchmarked standards to be considered for voluntary adoption by participating states according to their state-specific adoption processes; and
WHEREAS, recent actions by the United States Department of Education to include incentivizing the adoption of standards as part of federally funded competitive grants have generated concern about the potential for federal overreach into education governance, which is properly the purview of states:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does hereby rescind and replace the May 28, 2009, Memorandum between our state and NGA and CCSSO; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That in its place, the following internal policy affirms our commitment to the Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics:
- Alabama’s development and adoption of the Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics in November 2011 were achieved with the full understanding that the governance of said standards remains within Alabama as a sovereign and independent state and that any necessary changes and revisions would be made according to state-approved processes.
- In adopting the Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, the Alabama State Board of Education reaffirmed its authority over the governance of said standards and clearly stated its opposition to any undue involvement or influence from the United State Department of Education or other outside entity.
- The Alabama State Board of Education fully acknowledges and reaffirms its authority and control over the adoption, revision, or repeal of all academic content standards for use in the public schools of Alabama.
- The Alabama State Board of Education encourages continued collaboration with fellow states in the development and implementation of shared high-quality academic standards and best practices that assure student learning between and across states.
- The Alabama State Board of Education affirms the Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics as having been adopted based on the recommendation of Alabama teachers, professors, and others serving on the Alabama Course of Study Committees.
- The Alabama State Board of Education maintains its independence with respect to testing and remains committed to quality and purposeful assessments aligned with the expectations of our technical schools, community colleges, and institutions of higher education, as well as business and industry, and utilized as a means to measure our students’ knowledge and skills against their peers nationally and internationally.
- The Alabama State Board of Education maintains its position that curricula are developed at the local school system level, along with plans of instruction and the adoption of textbooks and related resource materials, including the use of technology.
Done this the 14th day of November 2013.