Tis the season of high school pep rallies. But a recent one at Russellville high school was not about football. Instead, it was to celebrate that the school is one of the first in Alabama to be named an A+ College Ready “School of Excellence.”
The recognition is due to excellent progress made in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students can earn credit for college courses by scoring well in their AP courses.
And for the sixth year in a row, Alabama had the highest percent growth in qualifying scores in AP classes in math, science and English of any state in the country.
According to Russellville high principal Jason Goodwin the school went from 120 AP students three years ago to 350 this year. And qualifying scores jumped 122 percent from two years ago to last school year.
Alabama students took 49,860 AP exams in 2017 and earned 19,460 qualifying scores.
In addition to Russellville, other “School of Excellence” recognitions went to Brewer high school in Morgan County, Carroll high in Ozark, Prattville high in Autauga County and West Point high in Cullman County.
Three additional schools were honored with “Schools of Distinction” honors. They were Gulf Shores high in Baldwin County, Leeds high in Leeds and Springville high in St. Clair County.
Last November Goveronor Robert Bentley said that education in Alabama “sucks.” There was no effort to defend our schools by state superintendent Mike Sentace when the governor said this. But then, Sentance was rather busy also declaring how poorly our schools perform and how some teachers could not get a job in another state. (Which always seemed like the pot calling the kettle black to me since Sentance had been rejected by numerous states when he tried to get a job in them.)
And it seems poetic justice that while both Bentley and Sentance resigned their poistions, the teachers and students at Russellville high school continue to work.