A bill repealing Common Core Thursday passed the Republican-led state senate. The vote was 23-7. Conservatives for years have sought to ditch the controversial school standards. They gained a powerful ally when Senate leader Del Marsh (R-Anniston) -- who blocked previous repeal efforts -- switched sides.
Democrats opposed repeal, claiming it will lead to lower standards. Sen. Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile) accused Marsh of playing politics, referencing his plans for a U.S. Senate bid. "Senator Marsh, trying to get his name recognition, so that he can win the U.S. Senate seat in 2020? Well, let's not play with the lives of our children, to do such a thing," Figures said. But Marsh said that Common Core has failed, leaving Alabama near the bottom for reading and math scores. He contends that repealing it will improve education. "I want to push more decision-making back on the local level," Marsh said. "Have high standards ... we're going to make sure we're considered competitive with any other state around us." Marsh said supporters want to work with educators to develop Alabama standards that qualify for federal dollars, without jeopardizing children's education. "That's what this is about," Marsh said.
The bill now heads to the House.