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BCA Speaks in Support of Alabama’s High Academic Standards

“Here we are again, asking you to not repeal something that our children need, our teachers want, the military demands and Alabama business leaders require.“

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary testified today before the Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee regarding SB 60, a bill to repeal Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards, sponsored by Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes. The BCA has long been a supporter of the standards adopted by our State Board of Education. The standards are benchmarks of proficiency in mathematics and English language arts that will better prepare Alabama students for success after graduation.

Speaking in opposition to SB 60, Canary made the following statement during today’s committee hearing:

“It is no secret that education reform has become one of the BCA’s top priorities in recent years, and it is no secret that BCA has been a staunch supporter of the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.  Yet here we are again, asking you to not repeal something that our children need, our teachers want, the military demands and Alabama business leaders require.

“It has been said, ‘If we truly want to advance education reforms in this country, we must first be honest about those statistics that make us uncomfortable.’ Simply put, we have been dishonest to the parents of this state for too long when it comes to the proficiency of their children.

“Our high academic standards are one way that we have addressed this problem recently. It is unacceptable that more than 30 percent of Alabama students entering college need remedial courses in math and English.  It is equally unacceptable that Alabama businesses have to spend time and resources retraining employees who go directly from high school into our workforce.

“Someone once said, ‘Elections have consequences!’

The time for political games is over. The 2014 elections and the nearly dozen legislative special elections in the previous four years have shown time and time again that repealing our standards is not a winning political issue. The business community successfully ELECTED and DEFENDED those who supported Alabama’s STANDARDS.

“Support for Alabama’s standards is broad and far-reaching.  To date, nearly 50 different groups representing everyone from businesses, to parents, to teachers, the military and more have signed on through Alabama GRIT (Graduate Ready. Impact Tomorrow) to advocate for these high standards.

“I am proud to stand here today with other supporters of these standards because I know they are the ones who have the courage to stand up for Alabama students regardless of their background and regardless of their zip code, the ultimate barrier to so many children who seek a great education.”

The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.  BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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About Nancy Hewston

Nancy Hewston
Vice President of Communications, Strategic Information and Federal Affairs
334-240-8725 | Fax: 334-241-5984
Email Nancy Wall Hewston

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