Heading West

From time to time I have mentioned my friend, Charlie Johnson of Fort Worth, TX and the group he started a few years ago, Pastors for Texas Children.  This effort encourages churches to partner with local schools, as well as advocate for them.  They now have more than...

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“I Just Feel So Unnecessary”

Once again I show my age because the headline quote was a favorite of the country musician-comic known as Stringbean.  Years ago he was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry and later on the TV show Hee Haw. His words definitely seem to fit the world of public schools we...

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The Stories We All Love

Too often lost in all the ranting and raving about what goes on at the statehouse or the charter school commission or the state board of education are wonderful stories of  what REALY COUNT when it comes to education.  Stories that are uplifting and show the...

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Catching Up With Richard Bryant

The phone rang at 10:15 p.m. Sunday night.  My first reaction was, "Who in the world is calling at this time of night?"  When I saw that the my cell phone screen said UNAVAILABLE I was really curious.  I immediately thought there was no way this was good news. But I...

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All Eyes Turn To State School Board

Because terms of five current members of the state charter school commission expired May 31 and because the final selection of who serves on this board belong to the state board of education, people across Alabama will be closely watching who they pick for these seats...

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A Celebration Of Perseverance

Even though it was a Monday afternoon, the sanctuary of Freewill Missionary Baptist Church in west Montgomery was full.  There were  mamas and daddies and brothers and sisters and friends--and 12 teenagers in the first two rows in cap and gown. It was not an arena...

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Does Soner Tarim Read His Own Words?

Last week, Soner Traim, spoke to the Texas version of the Alabama  charter school commission, seeking approval of eight new charter schools in Texas.  (As anyone reading this blog on a regular basis knows, Tarim has the management  contract for both the Woodland Prep...

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Washington County Hits Montgomery With A Bang

You knew something was up when the big charter bus pulled up to the Gordon Persons building, the home of the state department of education in Montgomery, the morning of May 9.  The same day as a state board of education meeting.  The bus brought nearly 60 people  from...

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We Found The Missing Children

A few days ago we wrote about Woodland Prep charter supporters and people at the state department of elucidation constantly saying that 900 children leave Washington County each day to go to private schools out-of-county. Turns out this number came from the...

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And Then There Were Four

To be chosen as Alabama Teacher of the Year is a singular honor.  I think of it as winning an Oscar.  The greatest recognition an Alabama teacher can receive. This year's winner will be announced in Montgomery at a ceremony the evening of May 8.  It is a special...

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Follow Up To Washington Post Article

Yesterday, May 3, The Washington Post published an in-depth article about the ruckus in Washington County, AL about a proposed charter school planned for there. Among the things mentioned was that the charter, known as Woodland Prep, identified their new principal on...

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All Roads Lead To Chatom, AL

At least that may be the case Monday night, April 29, when documentary film maker Mark Hall of Austin, TX, comes to Washington County high school in Chatom to screen his movie, KILLING ED.  This will be in the school auditorium at 6:15 p.m.  Those I talk to expect an...

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A Blue Sky And Thoughts That Go With It

The sky was brilliant blue.  Not the sorta kinda blue that you see in a big city, but the blue of open spaces.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Not even the feathery trail of a jet five miles high hurrying people across the country. I was in a place I've been many times. ...

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The Joy Of Growing Older

As I was about to leave the house this afternoon, I realized I did not have my phone (a very old flip phone model) and checked in my "office" where I thought I left it.  Nope.  Then the dining room table, shuffling the papers that clutter it.  Nope.  Then kitchen. ...

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A Fascinating Talk With Filmmaker Mark Hall

Mark Hall lives in Austin, TX and practiced law for 25 years.  But even as a child he was fascinated by film making and recalls trying his hand with an 8mm camera back then.  So when he hung out his law shingle in Austin 20 years ago, he also joined the Austin Film...

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Is There Life After Sweet Tea?

Like most deep-friend southern boys, I like sweet iced tea.  Like it a lot.  Never one for coffee, I have gulped down gallons and gallons of sweet tea, morning, noon and night.  A nectar of the Gods so to speak.  Regardless the weather outside, nothing beats a tall...

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The Rape Of Washington County

If you are looking for peace and quiet and not many neighbors, my advice is to head for Washington County, AL.  The first county north of Mobile County and bordered on one side by Mississippi and the Tombigbee River on the other, the last census showed only17,629...

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A Superintendent Has His Say

John Mullins is superintendent of the Arab city school system in Marshall County.  Like most Alabama educators, he feels strongly about Senator Del Marsh's effort to repeal the Alabama College & Career Ready academic standards.  Mullins is opposed to Marsh's plan. ...

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Another NAEP Wild Goose Chase

We have discussed the National Assessment of Educational Progress test many times and talked about the silliness that politicians read into the numbers.  How they constantly single out scores from just one year and treat them as if they came from a burning bush.  How...

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What Impact Do Standards Have On NAEP Scores?

As we listen to the phony info about NAEP scores put out by those who support Del Marsh's politically-motivated attempt to repeal the Alabama College & Career Ready standards, we have to wonder SO WHAT? Like in SO WHAT do standards have to do with how a state scores...

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Are You Ready To Go To Work?

Now that the latest "Marsh Monster", otherwise known as SB119 has passed the state senate, it will move downstairs to the House of Representatives.  As you probably know, this is the bill to repeal the Alabama College & Career ready academic standards and insure that...

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Del Marsh And His Standards Repeal Farce

One of the definitions of "farce" is "an empty or patently ridiculous act, proceeding, or situation." I can think of no better example than the effort by Senator Del Marsh to repeal the Alabama College & Career Ready standards. First Marsh was a staunch supporter of...

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A Principal Takes Action

Courtney Wilborn is principal of White Plains Middle School in Calhoun County.  This school has received numerous recognitions for its performance and Courtney was Alabama Middle School Principal of the year in 2018. All of which is to say that she personifies...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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

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