Lord only knows how many hours I have spent in the last three months or so digging deeper and deeper into the charter mess in Washington County. And have written more blog posts about it than most readers probably have cared to read..
But those who know me either personally, or only through these pages, know I am very passionate about some things. Such as misuse of public education dollars and disregard for public school teachers, students and administrators. Abuse of political power. Being unprofessional. Telling me something dumb and expecting me to be dumb enough to believe it. Thinking that holding an elected or appointed office means you are not held to the same standards as the rest of us.
And, of course, there is my passion for country folks and country places. It is a part of my DNA that I will never attempt to deny. Nor could I if I wanted to. It’s why I leave the interstate just to go down a road I’ve never traveled. And I only do this in rural places. I have never exited an interstate going through Atlanta or Charlotte or Nashville of St. Louis and said, “Gosh, I wonder where this street will take me?”
So for all of these reasons, I have been somewhat relentless in my pursuit of the story unfolding in Washington County.
It is a story that needs telling.
(And for the life of me, I can not understand why whatever “major media” we still have in Alabama have basically ignored it.)
The good people of Alabama need to know what happens when people fail to carry out theie duties as they should, when people show no empathy for local communities and the impact their decisions can cause, when people refuse to simply do what is right, when we don’t follow laws that that are plainly spelled out, etc.
While it may come as a surprise to some, I am not opposed to charter schools per se. I wholeheartedly support the University Charter School at the University of West Alabama. I was there a few weeks ago interviewing three teachers who were part of the first class of the Black Belt Teacher Corps.
But comparing this school to Woodland Prep in Washington county is totally apples to oranges. The UWA charter had an education infrastructure right at the door step. In fact, Jan Miller is dean of the college of education at UWA and her office is in one end of the same building that houses the charter school.
In comparison, Woodland Prep had none of this and ended up signing a management agreement with someone from Texas who can no longer get approval to open a charter in his home state.
So, if you are looking for a program for a group and think I can be of help, let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org Have car, will travel.