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oakley m frame Alabama business leaders, Madison school board express opposition to repealing Common Core, 'opt out' proposal Ray White, president of the Madison City School Board, said in a statement today that the Common Core standards have been a benefit to students. (AL.com file photo)The Madison City Board of Education today passed a resolution expressing its strong opposition to attempts to repeal the Common Core education standards and a possible effort in the Legislature to allow school systems to opt out of Common Core. The Business Council of Alabama is also sending letters to state senators opposing the repeal of Common Core and any opt out legislation under consideration by state senators. It s the latest development in what s been a which controls state government. Opponents of -- say the state is ceding education oversight of its children to a national program, while proponents dismiss that claim and laud the new academic standards. A rigorous curriculum is vital to preparing our kids to compete globally, Ray White, chair of the Madison school board, said in a statement today. That is why our local business leadership and military leadership are also strongly supportive of ACCRS. In our school system and many other school districts around the state, we have made tremendous strides over the past decade with our curriculum and instruction. One of the key reasons Madison gets results like half our seniors each year securing scholarships and 20 percent scoring higher than 30 on the ACT is the robust curriculum. To be forced to change that would be a significant blow to Madison City. State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, has The Madison resolution, as well as the BCA letter, alludes to efforts by unnamed senators to pass a bill that would allow school systems to drop the Common Core standards if they wish. Such a bill has not yet been filed. The opt out proposal also includes a moratorium until 2017 prohibiting the adoption of additional education standards. The BCA letter was signed by the presidents of the chambers of commerce in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery as well as by Bill Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and Jeremy Arthur, president of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. We believe that education standards that allow students to move from state to state, or region to region without fear of falling behind or repeating material are critical to our economy and our workforce, the BCA letter said. Organizations representing education, business and the military have also expressed their support. These include the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Military Child Education Coalition, the National Parent Teacher Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Repealing these standards would damage our schools, our teachers and our students that are already two years into implementation of our standards, and it would certainly damage our economic development efforts in attracting companies who value an educated workforce. State school board member Mary Scott Hunter of Huntsville said she had only seen "talking points" of the opt-out proposal but did not anticipate giving it her support. "Every year education bills are introduced and sometimes passed that are garbage. They distract from vetted strategy, and Alabama continues to be, year after year, an education featherweight in this nation," Hunter said. "The state Board of Education makes education policy for Alabama, and the Legislature funds it. The Legislature is the board's check and balance by their power of the purse. "With a few exceptions, legislators do not immerse themselves in education, so when they try to legislate education policy the process breaks down and the results are poor." Updated today, Feb. 28, 2014, at 2:55 p.m. with comments from state school board member Mary Scott Hunter. Updated today, Feb. 28, 2014, at 8:24 p.m. with the final draft of the BCA letter.