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Building a Grad Nation December 4, 2010

Posted by ffralmm in Education.
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All too often Alabama education statistics disappoint and frustrate, but a new report issued November 30 contained news to celebrate. “Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic” listed Alabama among states making “moderate progress” in reducing high school dropout rates. In fact, Alabama ranked fourth nationally. The report was published by America’s Promise Alliance and can be viewed in its entirety here: http://www.edweek.org/media/14grad1.pdf.

The state statistics begin on page 26 and list drop out rates for 2002, 2008, percent change, and the estimated net gain in graduates. The report and analysis of Alabama’s progress is discussed in detail on pages 32-33. An appendix on page 70 contains data on the change in the number of “dropout factory” high schools.


“Waiting for Superman” Spurs Local Action November 27, 2010

Posted by ffralmm in Education.
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Public education is the talk of the town. The recent screenings of “Waiting for Superman,” the passage of the Common Core State Standards by the Alabama Board of Education, and The Schools Foundation’s new “Speak Up!” initiative have many officials, parents, teachers, and voters talking about education and a path to excellence.

Economist, James Williams of the Public Affairs Research Council of America, recently spoke at the Economic and Education Forum sponsored by The Schools Foundation. He made the point that Madison County must determine the current status of public education before deciding on an action plan. He presented an analysis of all three public school systems. Two versions of his presentation and analyses of test score data for every Madison County public school is available on the PARCA website.