Board issues interim statement for Alabama Accountability Act
MADISON – Constraints of and response to the controversial Alabama Accountability Act demanded attention by Madison Board of Education on March 7.
“This bill is not a week old and I’ve received requests from schools and parents who consider they are in ‘failing schools,’ but the list (of failing schools) hasn’t been announced,” Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said.
Personnel coordinator John Jones said a committee of district employees and board members “formulated an interim statement of criteria for admission of students living outside attendance zones for Madison City Schools. We have concerns about the flexibility and accountability acts for non-resident students.”
The committee identified three existing groups in the system that “we need to protect: students admitted from the agreement with Triana; child of a system employee; and homeless students covered by the McKinney-Vento Act,” Jones said.
“With the speed that the acts were passed, we were afraid not to work on it,” board member Connie Spears said. “It’s a prudent thing … to establish criteria on what we currently do. When or if the acts become law, we will re-address (the situation) with public input.”
Board member Ranae Bartlett said the district has added 350 students in each of the last three years.
Rezoning, available classroom space and projections for attendance zones are pending items that can affect future policy, Jones said. Director of student services Dennis James and Fowler will present rezoning’s first draft on March 13 with a public meeting on March 21 at 6 p.m.
Bob Jones High and Horizon elementary schools were among 14 Alabama schools to earn Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Banner School recognition. Horizon assistant principal Kimberly Stewart said tutoring and enrichment programs helped achieve CLAS status. “This isn’t Bob Jones. It’s about Madison City Schools,” principal Robby Parker said.
The board also heard about expanding advance placement (AP) courses and requirements for Madison’s diploma with advanced academic endorsement.
The board congratulated Bob Jones senior David Hergenroeder for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Citizenship Award.