Private education is older than public education in America. Private education began in the Puritan community of the New England colony. However, today most individuals choose to attend public schools. The No Child Left Behind federal legislation allowed parents to transfer their children from a persistently low-performing school. A vast majority of parents opted to allow their children to remain in neighborhood schools. Public schools offer a changing curriculum that meets the needs of society and the individual student through the core and elective courses.
The United States does not have a national system of education. Unlike many European countries, American schools are neither controlled nor organized on a federal basis. Education has traditionally been defined as a state function. The Common Core standards will somewhat assure that students throughout America will be taught the same rigorous curriculum. Common Core has been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Today, children’s literacy is still paramount to America’s parents. Public schools in Alabama are preparing youth to meet global challenges, and to be productive citizens. Every public school employee in the state of Alabama should consider himself or herself a self-appointed goodwill ambassador for public education. I pledge to set forth my very best effort to support the survival and advancement of public education in the “Yellowhammer State” and the “Heart of Dixie.” Public education assists to improve the quality of life for all Alabamians.
The Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 is not an accurate description of the present condition of public education in Alabama. Also, the act does not offer viable solutions to improve public education.
Gerald Shirley is superintendent of Selma City Schools.