Generals Bring Common Sense To Standards Discussion

James Rogers, Tony Jones and Jim Myles have three things in common.  1.  They all live in the Huntsville area.  2.  They are all retired Army generals.  3.They think the idea of repealing the Alabama College & Career Ready standards is a very bad idea. Reporter Lee...

read more

March 18, 2019: The Day My World Changed

Since my car is 20 years old, I am never too surprised when I have to take it to the shop.  So why am I bewildered when my body--which is 56 years older than my car--needs the oil changed and brakes redone? Still I am. I'd not been at the top of my game for several...

read more

What Happened To Alabama Values?

How many times have we listened to some Alabama politician rant and rave about "Alabama values:?  The obvious implication being that if you are not from Alabama, you are not as smart, good-looking and genteel as we are.  Remember when George Wallace proudly claimed...

read more

More Fake News

It is dumbfounding how far some folks will distort the truth so that they can claim they are the only people with the right answers.  Basically if the facts don't fit their pre-conceived narrative, then why bother with them? I hold in my hand a flier promoting an...

read more

Living In A Make Believe World

Huntingdon is a small college of 1,100 students here in Montgomery.  They have a football team that belongs to the USA South Athletic Conference.  They play schools such as LaGrange College, Brevard and North Carolina Wesleyan. Now join me in suspending reality for a...

read more

Time To Show Some Love

When I posted Thursday night about local school boards who have passed a resolution to repeal the accountability act, I was unaware that Opp city schools joined the parade at their Feb. 21 meeting.  That makes 17 systems in all who have taken a public stance that they...

read more

Repeal Resolutions Just Keep On Coming

As we  bring down the curtain on this week, I am happy to report that a grand total of SIX school boards passed a resolution this week calling for repeal of the Alabama Accountability Act. They were: Houston, Bibb, Henry and Marion counties and the city systems of...

read more

The Figs Found My Mailbox

This afternoon I go to the mailbox and lo and behold, there is a well-wrapped box from Texas with two pint jars of whole fig preserves inside. Like a kid at Christmas, I tore into the package with great anticipation. And then--discovered that Santa did not bring me...

read more

Never Forget To Laugh

In this crazy, hyper active wired world of today, we encounter a tsunami of information each day, way too much of which reminds us of what a mess we deal with all the time. A constant barrage of bad, depressing news.  (And I admit that I do my own share of passing...

read more

California Here I Come

No doubt it was bound to happen.  The moment when my reputation as a wise ole owl spread far beyond Alabama.  In fact, all the way to California. So at 4:30 p.m. central standard time this afternoon, Feb. 8, I will be interviewed on KPFA in Berkeley, CA.  Dr. Kitty...

read more

Craig Pouncey Pulls No Punches

Jefferson County school superintendent Craig Pouncey is one of the more well-known educators in Alabama.  Considering that he has more than 30 years in the profession as teacher, superintendent of Crenshaw County schools, chief of staff for state superintendent Tommy...

read more

Some Things Need No Words

Here is a wonderful story about terminally ill Kelly Phillips and his two-year journey in a battered old houseboat down the Mississippi River. Do yourself a favor and read it.  And be reminded again that there is good all around us, if we only stop to pay...

read more

Fur Flies In Baldwin County

All divorces are messy.  Even the "good" ones. This is especially true when the divorce is happening between an existing school system and a "wannabe" one.  As is the case in Baldwin County where the city of Gulf Shores has been yearning for its own city system for a...

read more

University Charter School Makes National News

Last summer we told you about the brand new charter school opening in Livingston, that is closely alighned with the University of  West Alabama.  I have been to the school and am very impressed.  The fact that its leadership is home grown can not be over emphasized. ...

read more

Oh My Goodness. Another Birthday.

Ain't no way.  Impossible.  Simply can not be.  The calendar must be messed up. I mean, I just had a birthday a couple of months ago didn't I?  Right before Thanksgiving?  Or was it just before football season maybe? Remember it well.  Was the 36th anniversary of my...

read more

55 Years Ago Today

It was a Saturday.  I was at the Mobile Infirmary in a waiting room studying German, having just begun my 4th quarter at Auburn.  I was waiting on my son Kevin to make his first appearance in this world. The doctor had predicted that he would be born in late December,...

read more

Time To Let Us Hear From You

We put up a brand new survey 36 hours ago to get feedback concerning the Alabama Accountability Act.  This law was passed in 2013 and, to say the least, has been rather controversial because it diverts money from the state Education Trust Fund to be used to provide...

read more

New School Reports Are Out. Now What?

Report cards for 1,300 Alabama schools are now out.  Their release brought the usual amount of fluttering about from educators and politicians.  In brief, general improvement was seen across the landscape with more districts earning A's and B's than previously. Trish...

read more

Sully’s Science Project

Let's begin the New Year on a light-hearted note and what better way to do that than checking in with our fourth grade buddy Sully, down in Baldwin County. Couple things you need to know about Sully, like most young boys, he is not big into taking a shower and for...

read more

A Tip Of The Hat

Let's shut the door on 2018 on a couple of upbeat notes. KUDOS TO GOVERNOR KAY A few days ago I bragged on my son Kevin and the excellent article he wrote for the Lagniappe publication in Mobile about receiving one of his great grandmother's quilts. Somehow the...

read more

2018 In The Rearview Mirror

With Christmas over and the New Year almost upon us, thought I would take a moment to look back at the year that just was.  :Like them all, it had highs and lows and left memories both good and bad. In digging through records, I find that I drove more than 11,000...

read more

You Broke My Baton

Funny how our minds tuck away little bits and pieces of our past, only to be easily jogged into our consciousness years later  So it was on my recent trip to Wisconsin.  I was headed north on I-39 when a few miles across the Illinois-Wisconsin state line a sign let me...

read more

A $10,000 Smile

Members of the Morgan County Education Association gathered recently for some holiday season fun and fellowship.  There was laughter, hugs, food, best wishes for a grand season and even a speech by an old fat guy.  (No. not Santa.) Three guests, Tammy Slappey, June...

read more

Former Baldwin Board Member Has His Say

David Tarwater served for six years on the Baldwin County board of education.  He did not seek re-election this year.  In October, he introduced a resolution, which the board passed, calling for the repeal of the Alabama Accountability Act.  (Baldwin County was the...

read more

Not A Death In The Family–But Almost

There are things we all know will eventually happen--still we're never quite ready when the time comes. Which is the way I felt when an email showed up in my inbox telling me that my little-hole-in-he-wall Italian restaurant on South Court Street in Montgomery,...

read more

A Real Note From A Real Teacher

We've mentioned the web site DonorsChoose a number of times.  This is where teachers describe a project they are trying to fund, the things they need and how much it will all cost.  I highly recommend you taking a look at it.  You can search by state and by city and...

read more

A Lesson In Manipulating Numbers

Just 12 months ago Ed Richardson was the interim state superintendent and since the state had intervened in the Montgomery County system, he was also the "czar" of this system.  He constantly painted an extremely bleak future for MPS.  One of his favorite things to do...

read more

A Christmas Memory From Lawrence County

Among other things, tis the season for memories.  And as we grow older, memories become ever more precious to us.  We recall small lessons we learned that stayed with us a lifetime. Bill King is a retired educator from Lawrence County.  He shares a Christmas memory he...

read more

A Wonderful Story Of Inspiration

There is good all around us.  Don't think so?  Then read this article in The Gadsden Times about Crystal Casey and the long road she has traveled to get a college education.  It's a story about the inner strength of someone who started life on a very bumpy road and...

read more

Circling The Bases On A Friday

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all who sent an email note or commented on FB about the article son Kevin wrote about the quilts he recently received.  I got dozens and dozens.  Kevin definitely touched many hearts with this well-written piece. And me being a male and...

read more

A Proud Pappy

My son Kevin lives in Mobile and writes for the weekly publication Lagniappe.  And though daddies are supposed to be biased, I can say with all sincerity that he is an excellent writer.  Read the following just published piece and make up your own mind. "The best gift...

read more

Elvis Is Back. And Thawing Out.

Madison, WI is in SOUTHERN Wisconsin,  Like only about 50 miles from Illinois.  By comparison, it is 300 miles from Madison to Ashland on the state's northern border.  Still, it was 19 degrees last Friday morning in Madison.  I have no idea what the temperature was in...

read more

Elvis Is Leaving The Building

Your trusty and ancient blogger will be AWOL for several days as I head for the frozen tundra of Madison, WI,  The purpose in going is to attend a meeting of the Wisconsin Public Education Network Dec. 7. This is basically a collation of local public school advocacy...

read more

Jo Bonner Comes To Montgomery

Governor Kay Ivey has just announced that former Congressman, Jo Bonner, is joining her staff as "senior advisor."  In my opinion,  this is great news for the people of Alabama. I have known Jo since 1982.  And if I could sum him up in just one word, it would be...

read more

Back To The Beginning

It has now been almost six years since the legislature pulled a "fast one" on public education in Alabama by passing the Alabama Accountability Act.  And with more and more people realizing that the bill has never been what it was touted to be, I thought it might be...

read more

The Iron Bowl And Education

As I watched the team in white (Auburn) get methodically picked apart by the team in red (Alabama) last Saturday to the tune of 52 points to 21 points, I couldn't help but equate this to a situation unfolding in Montgomery about charter schools. What IF the two teams...

read more

My Suggestion For A Christmas Gift

While some may call me Scrooge, I can not remember the last time I shopped for a Christmas gift for someone.  I mean like where you buy something, wrap it up and give it to them. It's because I long ago decided that those who mean the most to me basically have about...

read more

Vouchers Take A Beating In Texas

Some Texas legislators have been pushing school vouchers for years.  (You know, like those scholarships we give to private schools in Alabama through the Alabama Accountability Act.)  And while the Senate has been friendly to the idea, the House of Representatives has...

read more

Riding and Reflecting

It was Oct 31, 2018.  A gloriously bright and mild day.  The day I decided summer had finally given up its too-long grip on all of Dixie.  My car  window was down as I passed sights seen many times before. I was on U.S. 80 heading west from Montgomery. ...

read more

It’s Time For Another Iron Bowl

Next Saturday, Nov. 24, the state of Alabama will come to a virtual standstill to tune in the annual football game between Auburn and Alabama.  If college football is a religion in Alabama, and I think it is, next Saturday is the holiest of holy days. The University...

read more

Bless His Heart

The PTOs of Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook city school systems held their 14th annual PTO Legislative Forum the evening of Nov. 15.  All legislators representing this area attended.  They included State Senators Jabo Waggoner and Dan Roberts and House members David...

read more

Things That Make You Go “Hmmmmmmm”

Recently the Montgomery County school board (which I am on until the end of November) passed a resolution calling on our legislative delegation to work to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act.  The Baldwin County board had already passed a resolution and now Mobile...

read more

Is Bureaucracy Killing Our Schools?

Sometimes I wonder if educators read this blog.  But then I post a story like this one and I have my answer. Suddenly my inbox is swamped as educators from every corner of Alabama chime in to agree with me.  Their frustration with the constant search for a "silver...

read more

Looking At Members Of 2019 Legislature

With the general election now over, we at least know who the brand new members of both the Alabama House and Senate will be.  There will be 12 new Senators and 28 new House members. Actually, three of the Senators are former House members moving to the other chamber. ...

read more

Initiative Overload

A friend recently told me about something that grabbed my attention.  And made a great deal of sense. She called it "initiative overload."  Meaning that we bombard educators with first this initiative and then that one.  The poor folks in classrooms and who runs...

read more

Thoughts On Tuesday’s Election

Since most of us have now thanked the Good Lord that another election day has come and gone and we've had time to take a deep breathe, let's spend a few minutes reflecting on what happened across Alabama. A few days ago I posted that I would be watching five...

read more

Dig Where The Taters Are

After posting the piece about Republican candidates getting campaign contributions from the PAC, Alabama Voice of Teachers for Education, a number of emails showed up in my inbox with folks wondering what is going on and if giving to people who have traditionally...

read more

Hollywood Comes To Cullman County

Sometimes you are just dumbfounded.  Like when you read this amazing AL.com article about what just happened at Parkside school in the east end of Cullman County. It began when some teachers at the school birthed the notion to redo their rooms as Hogwarts-themed...

read more

Del Marsh Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

We told you that the Montgomery school board passed a resolution last week calling on local legislators to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act.  This came after Baldwin County did the same the week before that. Now the Montgomery Advertiser has written an article...

read more

Looking At 2019 Political Reality

When the Alabama Accountability Act passed the legislature in 2013, the Senate vote was 22-11 and the House vote was 51-26.  And though that was just five years ago, in the world of politics, it was long ago.  We have now had an election in 2014 and are having another...

read more

Donate to This Blog

Larry Lee researches and writes on educational topics and Alabama public schools.

Subscribe Via Email!

Categories