Quick Reads – April 5, 2016
Six Apply for Interim Superintendent Position
The State Board of Education received six applications for interim superintendent.
Board members made it clear that whoever is appointed interim will not be considered for a permanent position.
They will appoint an interim superintendent at the April 14 regular meeting.
General Counsel Juliana Dean is currently serving as a “proxy” for the State Superintendent after Dr. Tommy Bice retired on March 31.
The applicants are:
- Earl Gardner – current Director at the University of North Alabama’s Education Research and In-service Center and current President of the American Professional Development Corporation and former Alabama classroom teacher
- Jeffery Langham – Current Assistant State Superintendent and former superintendent of Elmore County schools
- Larry DiChiara – Current Chief Administrative Officer of Selma City schools (appointed to serve during intervention) and former superintendent of Phenix City schools
- Mark Martin – Current Doctoral candidate at Harvard Graduate School, worked with ALSDE last summer as Doctoral Research Fellow and former classroom teacher
- Philip Cleveland – Current Deputy State Superintendent for Career Technical/Workforce Development and Guidance and Counseling
- Tara Foster – Current interim Assistant Principal at elementary school in Birmingham City schools, former Alabama classroom teacher.
State Lawmakers Back to Work
State lawmakers go back to work today after taking a week off for spring break.
While it is likely that problems that have emerged with the Governor, who serves as President of the State Board of Education, will get a lot of attention, but there are big education issues on the table that will likely be dealt with also.
The Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget package will be considered in a Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee. Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) told Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal he hopes to pass the package out of committee and have a full vote on the budget package this week. Orr said there may be a couple of tweaks to the budget, but overall it will likely remain as is.
Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are said to be first up on the House calendar for Tuesday. Read this for more info on ESAs.
A public hearing will be held in the House Education Policy committee meeting on Wednesday on SB229, a bill that could change in the way funds are distributed to virtual schools operating in Alabama. The Senate version calls for a student enrolling in a virtual school in a school district other than where the student resides to count in both districts’ Average Daily Membership, with 83% allocated to the district where the student is enrolled and 17% allocated to the district where the student resides. The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Room 418 at the statehouse.
Senator Marsh Talks about the PREP Act
Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) also appeared on APT’s Capitol Journal’s Week in Review. Marsh spoke about the PREP Act and how amazed he is at the pushback he has received from the education community. He pointed out Alabama’s rank in NAEP testing, college readiness rates, and remediation numbers asking why teachers and the public aren’t more alarmed. “We all know that the best economic development you can have hinges on your education ability in the state,” he said.
Read more on Marsh’s comments here, or watch the video. Marsh’s remarks on the PREP Act begin exactly at the 30-minute mark.
Asked whether he has enough support to get the PREP Act through the Senate, Marsh responded he believed he owed it to the children of Alabama to try. “You would think that the dismal performance of a lot students across the state would be alarming enough that they’d would acknowledge that they’ve got to do something,” he said.
A substitute bill is expected to be introduced on the Senate floor. The ALSDE’s Coordinator of Educator Effectiveness said the draft he has seen of the substitute bill now mirrors the ALSDE’s Educator Effectiveness model. Dr. Mark Kirkemier said he and Marsh spent more than two weeks working to reach consensus on the teacher evaluation portion of the bill.
Marsh didn’t say whether the bill would be brought to the Senate floor this week.
Primary Runoff Elections Will Be Held for Two State School Board Positions on April 12
Larry Lee shares the details on the two state school board positions to be decided in runoff elections on April 12.
In south Alabama’s District 1, incumbent Matt Brown faces challenger Jackie Zeigler, while in northwest Alabama’s District 7, incumbent Jeff Newman faces Jim Bonner. Both Brown and Newman finished second in the March 1 vote.
Public Charter School Commission Meets Next Week to Finalize Charter School Contracts
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission will meet next Monday, April 11, at 10:00 a.m. to finalize a draft contract for use with charter school applicants and conduct other business as necessary.
The state commission will be the sole determining body for 135 of Alabama’s 137 school districts should a charter operator wish to start a charter school in Alabama. Only two districts, Birmingham City and Athens City, registered as charter school authorizers prior to the March 1 deadline.
ALSDE Publishes Guidance on How Adjunct Teachers Can Be Used
In January, the State Board of Education approved a resolution allowing the use of adjunct teachers in special circumstances.
At the December 2015 state board work session, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Superintendent Sherrill Parris said adjunct instructors in subjects such as engineering, chemistry, dance, and instrument-specific music would allow schools to hire instructors in areas they wouldn’t otherwise have resources to hire.
This guidance from the ALSDE was published to answer school officials’ questions about the use of adjunct teachers.