MONTGOMERY – On the first day of the 2014 legislative session, a new group is championing Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards to state legislative leaders.
Alabama GRIT, which stands for Graduate Ready. Impact Tomorrow, was formed following the 2013 legislative session. The group, which consists of Alabama parents, educators, business leaders, military personnel, and other civic leaders, seeks to inform, explain and provide resources about the state’s academic standards for Math and English Language Arts.
Team GRIT is led by Alabama native Jessica Hammonds, who previously worked for Florida Governor Rick Scott, and in the George W. Bush’s presidential administration before that..
“Alabamians deserve the best and our students can reach the goals we set for them,” said Jessica Hammonds, Alabama GRIT’s Executive Director. “We appreciate the passion and hard work of our community leaders, educators, parents and those who work to make our great state better for the future.”
In addition to working with state legislators, Alabama GRIT is planning informational sessions across the state and have produced resource guides for parents, businesses, and others.
GRIT is also working with teachers across Alabama, including the 2013-2014 Alabama Teacher of the Year Allison Grizzle, to chronicle and share Alabama educators’ experiences teaching the standards in their classroom. It and other videos GRIT has produced can be found on Alabama GRIT’s YouTube page.
“Working with GRIT has given me an opportunity to share the facts about Alabama's College and Career Ready Standards,” said Allison Grizzle, the 2013-2014 Alabama State Teacher of the Year. “Helping people to differentiate between a national set of standards and a federal curriculum has helped to ease the minds of some who were concerned about the overreaching of the federal government.” Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards are based on the Common Core State Standards and were voluntarily adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education, which retains sole authority over Alabama’s academic standards.
Since its launch, Alabama GRIT’s Facebook page, facebook.com/AlabamaGRIT has attracted more than 7,600 followers, and team members have tweeted updates using the hashtag, #reallearning.
Among the groups organizational members are A+ Education Partnership, Alabama Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Alabama ASCD, Alabama Association of School Boards, Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology Education Coalition (AMSTEC), Alabama National Board Certified Teachers Network, Alabama PTA, Alabama State Department of Education, Birmingham Business Alliance, Black Belt Education Coalition, Business Council of Alabama, Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership, Huntsville Area Schools Foundation, Huntsville Council of PTAs, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Military Child Education Coalition, Mobile Area Education Foundation, Montgomery Education Foundation, School Superintendents of Alabama, and VOICES for Alabama’s Children.
Team GRIT will launch a new website in the next couple of weeks, but is encouraging supporters to visit its current site and sign the Team GRIT pledge at alabamaGRIT.org.
Team Alabama GRIT consists of Alabama parents, educators, business leaders, military personnel, and other civic leaders who champion policies that ensure all of Alabama’s students should graduate ready for college and a career.