Who Says We Don’t Have Smart Kids in Public Schools

Those naysayers who constantly tell us public schools are doing a pitiful job of preparing students need to spend some time with Taylor Rosenthal, a freshman at Opelika High School.  Chances are quite good that few of the naysayers were awarded a patent while a teenager or turned down an offer of $30 million for it.

Taylor Rosenthal has.

As an eighth-grader at Opelika Middle School, Taylor came up with the idea for a computerized vending machine that dispenses first aid supplies.  He was in a Young Entrepreneurs Academy class, sponsored by the local chamber of commerce, at the time.  Taylor came up with the idea because of his involvement in athletics.

Today he is founder and CEO of RecMed.  He operates the company out of a local business incubator.  The Six Flags entertainment group is interested in being the first buyer for his invention.

Oh.  About the $30 million.  A large national healthcare company contacted Taylor and his parents and expressed interest in purchasing his idea.  Taylor declined saying that he believes the company may be worth more in the future.

Carinda Jones is one of his former teachers and can’t say enough about this teenager.  “Extremely focused and does not mind asking questions until he comes up with the right answer“, she says.

Taylor has been recognized by Inc magazine as one of “20 Teenage Entrepreneurs Set for success.”

While Taylor is certainly exceptional, he is not alone.  As I travel the state and visit schools I see many examples of students doing amazing things.  But I never see any of the naysayers visiting these classrooms.


2 Responses to Who Says We Don’t Have Smart Kids in Public Schools

  1. I do not know of anyone who says we do not have smart students in Alabama public schools. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t think we have many good public schools. That is not the issue. Fact is we have many public schools that are awful and there are many people who believe you keep doing the same thing you have been doing and somehow things will get better.
    The people that are cheated are the smart students in those schools who do not have a chance and there are too many people , for whatever reason, who refuse to see that and give them a real chance.

  2. Thanks for your comment. So why aren’t we trying to help the struggling schools. The Accountability Act says we are to label the bottom 6% of all schools as “failing.” However, it does not say a word about trying to help them. The vast majority are middle or junior high schools. Two years ago the state ed department asked the legislature to move some money around in ETF so that they could lower class sizes in middle schools. This was rejected.
    And to claim that we are doing the same things over and over is simply mis-informed. The present Plan 2020 put in place by Tommy Bice and the state board is making big changes. For example, it recognizes that students in high poverty schools face more challenges than most and we’re are trying to put in support systems to help in these cases.
    Tell me when and where to meet you and I’ll be glad to take you to see some schools.