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Alabama public education is ranked low again

by Phillip Tutor
Anniston Star
April 17, 2013

Say this much about the Center for Education Reform: It’s not a fan of the quality of public education in Alabama.

The only proof you need is this passage from a recent CER report: “The only other thing this state has going for it is that its teacher quality index isn’t a complete failure. Parents also have access to a decent school report card to better understand their schools, but school board elections are held in October, a busy time for parents to get engaged.”

Ouch.

A recent CER effort ranked all 50 states in what it calls the “Parent Power Index.” Alabama ranked 46th — poorly, in other words, which is so customary in national reviews of states’ public education systems. At the heart of the poor ranking was the state’s lack of charter schools, which, as most Alabamians know, has been a hot legislative topic in Montgomery for some time.

From here, it’s interesting to view the two sides of the broader issue: In Alabama, proponents of our public education — such as the Alabama Education Association, local and state school boards, the governor’s office and the state Legislature — constantly talk of how proud they are of our schools and how convinced they are of their quality.

Yet, out-of-state agencies who study such things consistently point to real and obvious deficiencies. Rarely do the two sides agree.

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