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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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...

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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...

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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. ...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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

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