State kicks off A-F school report cards, tells us what we already know

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

After more than four years of endless meetings and countless discussions about how someone can label a school with one grade to encompass its value, we have now made a first step in rolling out legislation passed in 2012.

One has to tip their hat to representative Terri Collins of Decatur for her tenacity in making sure this legislation became reality. She has been the moving force behind it from the outset

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The irony of righteous indignation

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Education Matters
By Larry Lee

When State Superintendent of Education Mike Sentance told the State School Board Dec. 8, that the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Education had determined that the State’s high school graduation rate was inaccurate, reaction was swift and true to form.

Members of the Legislature who consistently oppose public education were quick to tell media that there should be consequences for deceiving

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Dial Committee Gets To Work

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

The committee created by Senators Gerald Dial and Quinton Ross to find out how anonymous info given to the state school board made its way into public heard from their first “witnesses” earlier today.

Senator Dial stressed again that the legislature has gone to great lengths to make sure anonymous complaints made to the Ethics Commission do not reach the public and the intent of this committee is to determine

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Fact Checking State School Board Member

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

“Hyperbole” should be the middle name of most all politicians. They are masters of embellishment, of overstatement, of stretching the truth and tall tales both big and small.

As we’ve all be told from birth, “take it with a grain of salt” is super advice when listening to a politician pontificate. I was reminded of this a couple days ago when I read an article in the Gadsden Times titled: “State

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Senator Dial Takes Action

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Unbelievable as it may seem, according to Alabama law, the requirements for someone to be the superintendent of a local school system are much tougher than those to be state superintendent, which is about like saying an operating room nurse needs more training than the surgeon she is assisting.

Alabama Code Section 16-9-2 spells out the requirements for a local superintendent. for example: The county superintendent

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Storm Clouds Gather Over State School Board

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Most educators agree that the recent process the state school board went through to replace state superintendent Tommy Bice was more like an episode of the Keystone Kops than anything else. During my career I had five jobs where I reported to a board of directors. Thank goodness they all conducted themselves with far more professionalism than we just saw from the state school board.
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BCA Encourages People To Give Money For Private School Vouchers Instead Of Paying State Income Tax

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

When attendees at a recent Business Council of Alabama conference at Point Clear opened their “goody” bags, one of their treats was a flier asking “Do you pay Alabama income tax?” Open the flier and readers were told to “redirect your tax liability and provide a scholarship.”

This not-so-subtle message was delivered by way of the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund, the scholarship granting organization

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Rep. Collins Should Read the Code

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Back in 2012 state representative Terri Collins of Decatur got legislation passed that requires all schools in the state to receive a letter grade of A through F. And after spending thousands of hours and thousands of dollars trying to come up with some decent way to measure all the complexities that make a school a school, this is supposed to get cranked off later this year.
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Separating Fact From Fantasy

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Education Matters
By Larry Lee

Ever since the state board of education decided on Aug. 11 to hire Michael Sentance of Massachusetts to be state school superintendent, we have heard over and over about what a great school system Massachusetts has. The implication being that someone from Massachusetts can magically turn Alabama into their southern sister.

Unfortunately, a realistic look at the two states shows how foolhardy such thoughts

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Did The Tea Party Get Beat At Their Own Game?

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Education Matters
By Larry Lee

My friends involved with Tea Party politics in Alabama decidedly favored either Michael Sentance of Massachusetts or Bill Evers of California as the next school superintendent. The reason? They said both were against Common Core standards.

Sentance was selected.

On Aug. 10 board member Matt Brown sent an email across the state saying he had heard a rumor that Tea Party supported state board members were going

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