‘Failing’ school list to be released today

Published 1:00am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A list of Alabama public schools deemed as “failing” under the new Alabama Accountability Act is scheduled to be released today at 10 a.m. during a press briefing in Montgomery by State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice and the Alabama State Department of Public Education.

The release of the list was pushed back from last Thursday and will mark the first look at schools considered to be in the bottom six percent in the state for math and reading assessments over the past six years. Scores from the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT), graduation rates and graduation exam results were used in the calculations.

The controversial Accountability Act allows parents in districts with these failing schools to get a tax credit for sending their children to private schools. When the act was debated in the Legislature this year, some unofficial lists circulated showed Escambia County High School on the list of failing schools.

The act’s passage created controversy after Republican lawmakers made heavy revisions to a school flexibility bill to get the tax credit passed.

In the last few days of the session, Gov. Robert Bentley sought to have the tax credit measure delayed by two years, but lawmakers rejected his amendment.

Public school officials across the state — including Bice — were opposed to the tax credit.

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