State Superintendent of Education Thomas Bice

Posted By rotary

Alabama State School Superintendent Tommy Bice Speaks to Tuscaloosa RotaryState Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice has heard all of the complaints and cries for reform that surround public education: the schools are in crisis; they are failing our children and do not serve the public; our dropout rates are too high, and our state is last in education. Last week, Bice came to the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa to dispel some of those myths, and to paint a realistic future for our schools. Rotarian Jim McLean introduced the speaker.


Bice noted that Quality Counts, an organization that ranks public education throughout the country, recently put Alabama at 25th in the nation for public education. Another organization, part of Colin Powell’s initiatives for public education, ranked our state 4th in the nation for work in reducing dropout rates.


Alabama schools have other points of pride as well: an increase of 207% of minority participation in AP programs, for example, and distance learning for underserved rural areas. And recent measurements show the initiatives are working: one important national assessment, for example, shows that Alabama leads the nation in 4th grade reading.


Looking to the future, Bice emphasized that the success of any school system will be based on the quality of its teachers. He challenged Alabama to invest and to innovate, and especially to improve its pre-K education. He pointed to studies proving that a 129 million investment in state wide pre-K education would save 2 billion in future losses from poverty, drop-out rates and their consequences.

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