Archived Story

Local schools make grade

Published 1:17pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

No county, city schools on statewide failing list

No Alexander City or Tallapoosa County schools were among the 78 labeled as “failing” in The Alabama Department of Education’s release Tuesday.

Middle schools and schools in high-poverty areas were prevalent on the list of schools designated as failing under the criteria established by the Alabama Accountability Act.

Alexander City Schools superintendent Darrell Cooper said he is glad to see no schools from the system are on the list.

“We’re thankful that we do not have any schools on the list,” Cooper said. “We think we have a good school system, do a good job with the resources we have and our staff’s done a great job to make sure that we stay off that list. We will do everything we can to ensure we stay off that list in the future.”

Local Alabama Education Association representative T.C. Coley said the exemption of local schools from the failing list goes to show the quality of education in the area.

“I think it is great that Alexander City and Tallapoosa County schools do not have any schools on the list,” Coley said. “I think that is a tribute to the quality of education we have in the community, as well as the level of support our community provides for education.”

However, Coley said he still has concerns about the Accountability Act, particularly that it takes funds from public schools that could be used to help those schools that are considered failing, as well as those schools that are doing well.

“I still continue to have concerns about any money being taken away from public education to fund private education,” Coley said. “It would be nicer if they were looking to put more money into these schools, which if you look at the numbers it indicates they are in more economically depressed parts of the state.”

With the majority of the schools on the failing list in high-poverty areas, Tallapoosa County Schools superintendent Joe Windle said it is a testament to the hard work in Tallapoosa County schools that they were not listed as failing.

“We are very proud that we did not have any schools on the failing schools list or the priority list. I think that’s a testament our teachers, our support staff, our parents and the administrators in the schools,” Windle said. “We have a high poverty rate in Tallapoosa County, and we know there is a direct connection between poverty and academic performance. We see that on the list. It says a lot for what we have been able to do here in Tallapoosa County in overcoming poverty and still maintaining standards.”