Would Alabama’s K-5 math standards meet Florida’s? No, not by a long shot! A whopping 71% of proposed K-5 math books in Florida were rejected because of “references to Critical Race Theory, inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).” Last week Florida Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, said, “We’re going to ensure that Florida has the highest quality instructional materials aligned to our nationally-recognized standards. Florida has become a national leader in education under the vision and leadership of Governor DeSantis. When it comes to education, other states continue to follow Florida’s lead as we continue to reinforce parents’ rights by focusing on providing their children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in the classrooms.”
Alabama, on the other hand, just passed into law two bills which include all that Florida rejects. Social Emotional Learning was codified under Alabama law, thanks to the A+ Partnership in Education, the Alabama Legislature and Governor Kay Ivey. And against the outcry of well-informed parents, and conservative organizations such as Eagle Forum, Alabama welcomed Joe Biden’s mental health school initiative which is steam-rolling wokeness into the schools of America. As shown on the Alabama Department of Education website, Alabama already funds SEL. Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey posted, “At ALSDE…we have allocated resources for the social emotional learning and mental health of Alabama students.” What Florida bravely rejected, Alabama still openly embraces.
Under Superintendent Mackey and Governor Ivey, Alabama math scores have remained at the bottom of the barrel, 50th state in the nation, since they have continued Common Core under its newer name, College and Career Readiness Standards. SEL is part of Common Core; and with the two recently passed laws, Social Emotional Learning is on steroids! A+ Education Partnership, which is quickly becoming known as the de facto State School Board of Education, has the ear of the governor and the majority of the legislators. The powerful A+ Partnership and Best Practices Center pushed and promoted Common Core and they did the same with the new education bills, through their CEO Mark Dixon.
We need a new governor with a clear plan to restore traditional education. But that’s not all we need. Our new governor must have a dream and must inspire us, the people, that Alabama children can be “the head and not the tail, above and not beneath,” as Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 28:13. Don’t we owe the children of Alabama the good education they need to be able to fulfill their dreams?
Concerned Grandmothers of the Wiregrass
GIGO! Garbage In-Garbage Out!
Recently there has been a flurry of education bills promoting mental health counseling in schools. Why did this hot topic suddenly come up? Let’s follow the money!
In his 2022 State of the Union Address, Joe Biden unveiled his mental health pilot project for young people for which he pledged $50 million. On March 2, 2022, Carolyn Jones of EdSource reported that “he’d include $1 billion in his 2023 budget for more school counselors, psychologists, social workers and other staff who work directly with students. The money would be in addition to mental health funding already included in the federal Covid relief bills.” Ms. Jones added, “Biden also promised to eliminate obstacles for schools to be reimbursed by Medicaid for student mental health services that youth advocates have long worked toward. In addition, Biden pledged $50 million for pilot programs that would place mental health clinics in schools, libraries, and other non-traditional locations.”
Who in Alabama was the first onboard with Biden’s plan? In March of 2021, Senator Roger Smitherman, D- 18, met with the Alabama Association of School Psychologists (AASP), and in February of 2022 he introduced SB40 to implement their ideas in Alabama. So, what is AASP? According to their website, it’s an affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the major professional and the world’s largest organization of school psychologists and represents more than 25,000 of them. AASP personnel attend their conferences and share their materials. Some of those materials include lesson plans by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Their extensive resources include subjects of Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Transgenderism, White Privilege, Systemic Racism, LGBTQ and Questioning, Equity, and all the radical leftist group policies. NASP is totally committed to SEL (Social Emotional Learning), a term used extensively in Smitherman’s bill, and to the WOKE organization and a strong force for “social justice and equity”. NASP even endorses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has not been ratified in the US because it usurps the authority of parents and dramatically increases the authority of the government over the children. A wise, experienced Alabama mental health counselor expressed to us his concerns that the current practices of government-funded mental health school counselors do not reflect a positive agenda. Their philosophy or world view is anti-Christian with no objective standards of what is right or wrong. They are among those who have redefined what a family looks like, as did the old book Heather has 2 Mommies. This wise counselor also believes that NASP will be influencing our impressionable youth during their formative years, molding their beliefs, values and character.
If a nation’s schools teach perversity, hatred, ugliness and division, then the outcome will be a citizenry that is full of perversity, hatred, ugliness and division. The expression from decades back still holds true: “GIGO,” Garbage In, Garbage Out!
Concerned Grandmothers of the Wiregrass
Barbara Moore, Dothan, AL email@example.com, 334/791-9473
Betty Peters, Dothan, AL firstname.lastname@example.org, 334/701-9810
“Fooling the Public”
If a national assessment is written to test a particular program (for example, Common Core Standards,) then school systems will be forced to teach the material needed to pass that test. It doesn’t matter whether those standards are called Common Core,” “College and Career Ready,” or “Granny’s Apple Pie” Standards.
Yes, words and meanings can be deceptively used in education to confuse and intimidate public school parents, as well as everyone else including legislators and governors. A current example in Alabama is the use of the phrase Social Emotional Learning (SEL) which has permeated the recent flurry of education bills in the Alabama House and Senate. In March 2021 Alabama State Senator Democrat Roger Smitherman met with the Alabama Association of School Psychologists (AASP), which is the Alabama affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Less than a year later Senator Smitherman introduced SB40 which mentioned SEL over 20 times in this effort to implement a radically different framework “that the development of the whole student and family structure.” This school plan for mental health calls for what appears to be an army of mental health and behavior specialists, psychologists, social workers and interventionists.
SEL is a term that’s been in vogue for many years; however, it’s just recently that outsiders realized how pervasive and sinister the elements of SEL are. SEL is the framework for all these components, much like a basket full of fruit, flowers, dirty clothes, or even tools. In this case, the tools in the SEL basket include: Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Justice and Equity (but not equality), LGBTQ & Gender Questioning, White Privilege, Systemic Racism, Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE), 1619 Project, Revisionist History, and White Fragility, to mention just a few.
A two-page ad from Edgenuity, a virtual learning program used across Alabama, claimed that: “In today’s complex world, a well-defined SEL program is more important than ever …. The curriculum is aligned to CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning competencies, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) best practices.”
Noted Georgia attorney, columnist, and education expert Jane Robbins prophetically wrote, “The hottest topic in American public education is social-emotional learning (SEL). As student scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP, called or the “national report card”) paint a gloomy picture of students’ accomplishments in reading and mathematics especially since the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), education decision-makers look forward to probing students’ psyches rather than instilling academic knowledge.”
As many have been saying for years, education today is about teaching and testing feelings, not facts.
Concerned Grandmothers of the Wiregrass
Barbara Moore, Dothan AL
Betty Peters, Dothan 334/701 9810