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New website asks public to comment on College & Career Ready Standards

Connie Spears has served on the Madison Board of Education since June 2009. (CONTRIBUTED)
Connie Spears has served on the Madison Board of Education since June 2009. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – With a new website, the Alabama State Department of Education is accepting, actually encouraging, feedback about Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (ACCRS).

On Oct. 6, the department launched www.alsde.edu/dept/standards/Pages/home.aspx.

Every few years, a committee of Alabama teachers and parents updates academic goals for public schools. “In 2009, this committee recommended adoption of a version of the Common Core, plus additional content to meet our state’s specific needs,” Connie Spears said.

Spears is a member of the Madison Board of Education.

The website allows a user to comment about the defined standards. “Any citizen of Alabama may comment,” Spears said. “I encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about ACCRS to take this opportunity to share them.”

After answering a few demographic questions, the user selects “English Language Arts” or “Mathematics” standards. For language arts, the website displays 41 standards. For example, one standard states, “With prompting and support, (a student can) identify characters, settings and major events in a story.”

For each standard, the user can select “Agree” or “Disagree”. By selecting “Disagree,” the user receives multiple-choice reasons for disagreeing with the standard. In addition, a text box is available to type comments.

In addition, the “Standard of the Week” section (http://alex.state.al.us/ccrs/) gives a sample standard with a description of a problem or lesson connected to the standard, Spears said.

“It’s always beneficial to receive input to the education process from our parents,” Spears said. “Our parents live the education process alongside their children. (Parents) are the ones sitting down with their children/our students every evening to do homework and study for tests.”

“Parents need to understand our standards and … to help our students themselves or through tutors.” Spears isn’t sure if this process “will allow parents to better understand and have confidence in our standards. There’s so much false information available. It gets very confusing.”

Alabama has its own standards. “We own them. They’re not copyrighted. We can and will change them, as our students’ needs dictate,” Spears said.

For more information, visit www.alsde.edu/pages/ccrssm-all.aspx.

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