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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More deception and the tie that binds

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

In the waning days of the Presidential election we heard Donald Trump talk a lot about a “rigged” election.  We have now learned that he may have been describing the state board of education’s recent search for a new state school chief.

After two days of asking questions, the legislative committee trying to find out how an anonymous “smear sheet” got from members of the state board, to the Ethics

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Doing it for the kids

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

“I did not know the rules.”

These words won’t leave my head. Round and round, “I did not know the rules.” The reply given by state school board member Mary Scott Hunter to State Senator Gerald Dial when asked in a Nov. 10 committee meeting if she knew the Ethics Committee does not investigate anonymous complaints.
The words hung over the room like an anvil.
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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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Harvard University Wants To Be Top Football Team In Nation

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By Larry Lee
Education Matters

In a surprise announcement, Harvard University President Drew Faust declares that she is turning her attention to making sure the school’s football team wins a national championship within five years.

Massachusetts Republican Governor, Charlie Baker, a Harvard alum, joined President Faust for the announcement.

“We have never had a national champion in football since we opened our doors in 1636,” said

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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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