Submitted from the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce
Having the entire city and state focused on transforming Montgomery’s public schools is an opportunity of a lifetime – it can change the lives of our children and the growth of our city for years to come. The Chamber commends those leaders at the highest levels who are coming together to find a way to bring quality and confidence to our public school system.
Improving student learning and public school performance has long been at the top of the Chamber’s economic development agenda, and despite the efforts of many, change has not come. According to the State of Alabama Department of Education, the number of failing schools in Montgomery has grown over the past three years from 8 to 12 to a now-startling 23 schools. The state department also shows that 80% of all traditional elementary schools in Montgomery are below the state proficiency average for reading and math, and that the Montgomery system on average scores below 50% proficiency in reading and math in grades 3-8. By the 8th grade, only 30% of students are proficient in reading and a mere 15% are proficient in math. For the past 10 years, the overwhelming trend shows that students in Montgomery’s traditional schools are losing ground. That is a devastating injustice for our children that puts their futures, and therefore the future of our city and region, at risk.
Einstein is often quoted as saying that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The Chamber is thankful that leaders at all levels are having bold discussions about how we can do something very different in Montgomery Public Schools.
We encourage our entire community to come together and embrace wholesale change in our public schools with wholehearted support.
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