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Reaction to Federal officials questioning State’s high graduation rate while academic performance lags

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Multiple media sources report that almost 90 percent of Alabama students now graduate from high school on time. This is tremendous improvement in a short period of time and ranks third in the country. Student achievement in Alabama however is among the nation’s worst. In one recent math achievement test the State’s fourth graders were the worst performing in the entire country. Federal officials announced that they are looking into the discrepancy.

Almost one third of high school graduates in Alabama that go on to college reportedly require remediation in math or English or both. Remediation means that they have to take classes in college to learn the basic skills they should have learned in the previous 12 grades.

Former Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn (R) told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Thank God for Community Colleges. This tells me why a lot of students are having to take pre- Math and pre- English.”

Part of the reforms used by former Superintendent of Alabama tommy Bice was to end the Alabama graduation exam.

Alabama Legislative Watchdogs Director Ann Eubank told APR, “Well duh! When you do away with the graduation exam and then add “credit recovery classes” that allows failing students to take the same tests over and over until you finally pass it, what do you expect. Under this scenario no one fails, everybody passes. That’s how we get 90 percent graduation rates.”

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) recently drew statewide attention when he admitted that he felt that, “Our education system sucks.”

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New Alabama State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance has been building his team. The new Superintendent recently announced the hiring of two additional seasoned educators in pivotal roles at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

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Dr. Barbara Cooper, the Deputy Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, will become the Deputy State Superintendent of Teaching and Learning and Chief Academic Officer starting December 1, 2016. Dr. Cooper has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, chief equity and engagement officer, and as director of family engagement and community outreach for the Aurora Public School System in Aurora, Colorado.

Mrs. Chasidy White, a distinguished educator and education policy expert from Brookwood Middle School in Vance, Ala., (Tuscaloosa County) will serve as the Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role she will work with the state superintendent and ALSDE leadership to lead the identification, development, and statewide implementation of research-based initiatives. She will also represent the ALSDE before policymakers, constituents and the general public to build support for initiatives. Mrs. White has taught World History for more than 12 years.

 

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