The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

Don’t be fooled – The proposed ‘new’ AL math standards are the same old Common Core

(Eagle Forum of Alabama/YouTube, YHN)

Vote on “new” math standards expected on Dec. 12

On December 12, the Alabama State School Board is scheduled to vote on revised “new” math standards. We are all acutely aware of how Common Core math standards have failed us. The recently released math scores showed Alabama at dead last.

The newest proposal isn’t really new — see the comparison

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The Alabama Math Course of Study Committee has come up with its final version of “new” standards. They say that these standards are not Common Core. Eagle Forum prepared a side-by-side comparison of the new 2019 Alabama proposed standards versus Common Core State Standards. We randomly used 2nd-grade as our sample. It’s easy to see these “new” standards are most definitely the same failed Common Core Standards. In many areas, it’s word-for-word the same. The highlighted areas indicate identical wording or insignificant word changes to identical standards. See color key at the bottom of the comparison.

Removal of Common Core in elementary grades is crucial

The foundation for all math is learned in the early elementary grades. Math builds upon itself so if you don’t learn it well in the lower grades you will continue to have trouble moving on to higher math. Those who learned math before Common Core probably remember learning to add and subtract with the standard algorithm of carrying and borrowing numbers. When Common Core came along that became the least used strategy. The focus became using non-standard algorithms to add, subtract and multiply that used drawing pictures and grouping numbers in obscure and abstract ways – so obscure and abstract that even parents with college degrees had trouble helping their kids with homework. Many young students have become frustrated and now “hate” math. Delaying the standard algorithms has set us back several grade levels and two years behind top-performing countries.

Further, the proposed 2019 AL standards don’t require that students memorize math facts for numbers up to 20. Instead, they list “counting on” and other non-standard techniques as different ways of demonstrating fluency with math facts. So, despite including the words “math facts,” the proposed standards don’t really treat the answers as “facts” but as answers that students never really have to know by heart.

The lack of memorization in the proposed Alabama standards leads to stories like the following. An 8th-grade student asks his dad for help with algebra homework. The dad looks at the problem and says to start with the first part of the equation and asks his son, “What is 6×3?” The son says, “Give me paper and a pencil and I can figure it out.” No wonder our test scores have gone down! There must be proficiency (or memorization) of these facts if one is to move on to higher math successfully.

The proposed “new” 2019 AL standards, as do Common Core, reflect the belief that memorization of math facts and computational fluency with the standard algorithms starting at the early elementary grades is somehow unnecessary for students. (See our comments on how this differs from top-performing countries.) The only thing these misguided approaches in the proposed “new” standards accomplish are frustrated or apathetic students and more parents having to pay for tutoring.

Time to scrap Common Core completely — call your school board member today!

Common Core Standards are a failure, and these almost identical standards will be, too. We must scrap what doesn’t work and start with standards that are tested and proven and that completely remove the failed (pedagogy) teaching methodology. Don’t take our word for it. Compare the “new” 2019 math standards (K-6) to the failed Common Core; besides some reformatting and rewording there is little difference. (See link here for in-depth review of K-8.) The vote is expected for December 12. Contact your school board member and the governor today and ask them to vote “no” on the proposed 2019 Alabama Math Standards. Ask them to adopt proven noncommon core, classic math standards to enable all students to succeed.

Becky Gerritson is the Eagle Forum of Alabama executive director.

Theodor Rebarber is vice president for Education at Advantage Schools, Inc., an education management and research company that focuses on charter schools.

J.R. Wilson has 30 plus years of experience working in public education as an elementary classroom teacher, middle and high school math teacher, state department of education curriculum consultant, regional educational service agency staff development coordinator and elementary principal.

7 months ago

Alabama abortion hangs in the balance

(Pixabay)

HB314 bans abortion for any reason except for the life of the mother. The bill’s purpose is to establish the personhood of the unborn child and to challenge Roe v. Wade, which ruled that the unborn is not a person and does not deserve protection under the U.S. Constitution.

HB314 passed the Alabama House of Representatives in its original form on April 30. It was in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, May 8 and Sen. Whatley (R-Auburn) added an amendment which allows abortions for rape or incest. The amendment was passed in committee by a voice vote and was added to the bill. The amended bill came to the Senate floor on May 9 for debate and a final vote. There was a motion to “table” the amendment which was quickly accepted (“table” means to remove the amendment). So now the bill is back to its original form which is where it needs to be to challenge Roe v. Wade. The Senate then adjourned for the weekend. They will come back on Tuesday, May 14 at 4:00 p.m. to vote on the bill. We know they will try to add the amendment back on before the final vote.

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The bill’s purpose is to establish personhood. If an amendment is added for rape or incest then that destroys the personhood argument. It would be inconsistent to say that the unborn child is a person, but that if he is conceived as a result of rape or incest, he is not a person. An amendment would destroy the bill’s chance to challenge Roe v. Wade. If we are going to abolish abortion, we must pass a clean bill.

Almost half of the Republican senators and all of the Democrats will try to add an exemption for rape and incest. Before Tuesday, May 14, we must convince the Republican senators to pass a clean bill. They need to hear from you! (Remember, it was a Republican who added the amendment in committee!)

Find your senator and his/her contact info by going to www.AlabamaEagle.org. Click on the top of the home page on a tab called “Contact Elected Officials.”

Call or email a message saying: “Please pass HB314-the Alabama Human Life Protection Act (or the abortion bill) in its original form with no amendments!” It’s as easy as that. You won’t have to debate anyone or explain anything-it can be as simple as one sentence. They are waiting to hear from you. I can assure the pro-abortion folks will be burning up their lines telling them to add the amendment. We must out-number them!

Becky Gerritson is the executive director of Eagle Forum of Alabama

4 years ago

Gerritson: Alabama Congressmen should pledge to defund Planned Parenthood (Opinion)

Becky Gerritson

As an American citizen who deeply regards the fundamental right to life I am appalled at the numerous Planned Parenthood videos exposing the horrendous crime of harvesting and selling of aborted baby parts.

NO Tax payer money should be used to support Planned Parenthood.

18 representatives signed a letter notifying Speaker Boehner that they, “cannot and will not support any funding resolution – an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise – that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.”

This coalition, headed by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), provides a solid base of support for defunding Planned Parenthood via a legislative rider this fall. Such a rider would be attached to “must-pass” legislation (such as an annual appropriations bill) mandating that none of the money disbursed by the federal government (through Title X, Medicaid, or any other program) can be allocated to Planned Parenthood.

Unfortunately, not ONE member of our Alabama delegation has signed it. Many members are opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood because it may lead to a government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has repeatedly vowed not to allow a shutdown on his watch—which in this context means he is unwilling to try and win a policy fight with Senate Democrats and Barack Obama.

I agree with Sen. Ted Cruz when he stated the following on a conference call Tuesday. “The leadership of both parties, both the Democrats and Republicans, want an empty show vote. They want a vote on Planned Parenthood that has no teeth or no consequence, which allows Republicans to vote for defunding, Democrats to vote for continuing funding, and nothing to change. But the leadership of both parties have publicly said they do not want the vote tied to any legislation that must pass.”

Congress holds the power of the purse specifically for the purpose of reigning in the executive branch, and it needs to commit to using every tool at its disposal to ensure that Planned Parenthood is not propped up by taxpayer dollars. One needs to remember as Cruz stated that “If the bill is attached to the budget and the government does shut down, it would be the fault of President Barack Obama, not the GOP”.

If you truly care about the unborn than it is time to contact your representative and urge them to sign this letter to prove that they are willing to tell Rep Boehner that they WILL defund Planned Parenthood. Be sure to tell them that you will be holding their feet to the fire.

We will NOT accept a “showboat” vote. We demand that our representatives stop using taxpayer funds to support the murdering practices of Planned Parenthood.


Becky Gerritson is the president of the Wetumpka Tea Party and a national conservative activist.

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