Stand Up for Change - Sign the Petition
Education in Alabama won't be changed until our leaders know we are demanding a new approach. Add your name to the #DeadLast petition as a sign of your support to make education better for all Alabama's children.Sign the Peition Now --->
Yes, Alabama really is 52 out of 50 in Education!
We need real education reform. Here’s what we propose.
Trouble always comes from the top - and that is no different with our education system.
Alabama's elected State School Board has been a dysfunctional mess with no ability to project policy for decades. Fractious at best, blindingly arrogant at worst, the Board preserves itself while getting nothing done that promotes a 21st century education.
What incentives are offered to retain the best among our teachers? Very few.
Would you run a company like this? Honest readers are thinking “no.”
Then why do we continue to support a feckless body of individuals who fail us constantly? We are now last in the nation; thank you elected State School Board.
We must allow professionals and other highly-trained and qualified folks to oversee our state school system. We must change our State School Board from elected to appointed.
The United States has built the strongest economy in the history of the world by allowing competition. When providers of goods and services have to compete for customers, the quality of the goods improves and often the cost to the consumer goes down.
There is no reason we should not apply this same basic principal to our schools. Our neighbors in Florida and Mississippi have already shown that school choice when coupled with other reforms works!
Access to charter schools should be expanded to increase competition for students. We should also expand access to scholarships for students in underperforming school districts to attend better schools.
Alabama must also offer more options for vocational and college-level training while students are still in high school. Not only does this help ensure they graduate, it also prepares them to be immediately productive members of the workforce.
In fixing Alabama education there should not be a single call for more money. Not. One. Call.
The money is there, and it is there for the child not for the system. Alabama’s per capita spending on each child is greater than that of Mississippi and has been for many years; yet, now we in Alabama are last in the nation, not Mississippi.
In fact, Governing Magazine reports that 22% of the fifty states spend less than Alabama per student; but, all of those low-spending states rank higher than Alabama in results. This year’s NAEP results show four low-spending states finished multiple times in the top ten of the categories and grade levels ranked in the recent NAEP findings.
The solution isn’t more cash. The real solution lies in setting policies that break the status quo.
We should incentivize our best teachers and encourage their continual improvement.
Incentives should be implemented such as scholarships for teachers to achieve National Board Certification and rewards for classroom innovation. Just like in the regular marketplace, we should give our teachers incentives to do their jobs to the very best of their abilities and we should reward those who garner the best results.
We must also reimagine our tired and broken tenure system. We should base educator's retention on their performance and service, not on longevity. The best teachers should be retained and given incentives to stay.