Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) took to the Senate floor Tuesday to chastise lawmakers and education officials for the recent National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, which lists Alabama fourth and eighth graders as 51st in the nation for reading and math scores.
Brewbaker called for a “Point of Personal Privilege” to discuss the scores, noting that for eighth grade math only 23 percent of white students and 8 percent of black students met standards.
“We are dead last,” Brewbaker said. “We are at the point now where it’s not just a bad school system, we are to the point now where we are crippling children for the rest of their lives.”
Brewbaker noted that many of Alabama’s students going to college are in need of remedial courses and called on those in charge to take responsibility for those failures. Brewbaker further added that, at the end of this Legislative Session, he will resign his chairmanship on the Senate Committee on Education and said it was a good thing that State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced his retirement Tuesday.
“At some point we have got to take responsibility for what’s going on in our schools,” Brewbaker said. “We are serving up our children a poisonous meal from which they will never recover.”
At the end of his remarks, Brewbaker received a thunderous round of applause from his fellow Senators, many rising to their feet in support of his remarks.