BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Alabama is dead last in mathematics. Lawmakers want to improve them, but students are also still reading after so many learning losses due to the pandemic.
The recently passed Numeracy Act focuses on increasing math scores. Nearly 900 math instructional coaches will be deployed to all schools from kindergarten to five schools across the state. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey says that’s really the heart of the law. Mackey hopes coaches will play a central role in student success.
“It’s about bringing in these coaches to help elementary teachers really look at how we teach math and how we help students prepare for assessments, but also prepare for higher math. Mackey said.
Reading scores are also in trouble statewide. Earlier this week, Alabama House voted to delay the Literacy Act until the 2023-24 school year. Currently, the law requires third-grade students to take a reading test to advance to the next grade. If they do not pass, they will be retained for a year.
“We certainly believe that delaying this particular legislation will ultimately be helpful for all students,” said William Tunnell of the Alabama Education Association.
Tunnell says students and teachers are still catching up with the pandemic. He doesn’t want to see students falling further behind and seeing students promoted when they’re not ready to be promoted, which can affect them later in life.
“We want all of our students in all K-12 schools in Alabama to ultimately leave high school at a level of proficiency that allows them to succeed in society,” Tunnell said.
The Literacy Act is now in the hands of the Senate.
Last year, Governor Ivey vetoed the 3rd grade retention provision, saying any delay before reviewing reading assessment data would be “hasty” and “premature.”
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