#42
59.4%

Fast Facts

•Graduation Rate: 69.2% •Average SAT Score: 1623 •Average ACT Score: 20.3 •4th Grade NAEP Math Score: 30% •8th Grade NAEP Math Score: 20% •4th Grade NAEP Reading Score: 31% •8th Grade NAEP Reading Score: 25% •Per Pupil Funding: $9,130 •Public School Enrollment: 748,889
State Happenings

State Resources

Alabama BAEOShare the Power

Alabama

The Heart of Dixie finally adopted a modest choice program in March 2013, but there are no charters, no trigger, and barely any online learning options. 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.

In March 2013, Alabama Governor Bentley signed into law a tax credit scholarship program, which permits businesses to make donations to qualifying scholarship organizations that then can provide scholarships to students. To qualify, students from lower-income families must be in a low-performing public school. The tax credit could potentially help 6,000 students in failing districts, including students who currently attend a private school, but are zoned for a failing public school. The state does not permit choice among traditional public schools.

SOURCE: The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Despite continuous efforts by legislators, Alabama is one of the eight remaining states with no charter school law.

SOURCE: 2014 Charter School Law Rankings and Scorecard

Alabama is limited in its digital learning offerings with only one virtual school that offers supplemental online learning. The state’s funding mechanism also does not support universal access to online learning options.

SOURCE: Digital Learning Now!

Teachers are not evaluated using objective evidence of student learning, and tenure decisions are not based on effectiveness. Ineffective teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations will not be eligible for dismissal, as classroom performance is not considered grounds for dismissal, nor is it a determining factor in layoffs. Teacher pay is determined annually by the legislature, but there is some flexibility for districts to use performance as a factor in pay.

SOURCE: National Council on Teacher Quality

While Alabama claims to make information available to parents online, there is nothing comprehensive, and the state’s website is cumbersome even for seasoned researchers. Major variances in city and county school board elections -- with some appointed and others elected, some elections in November and others in August -- make it difficult for parents to know when or how to hold elected or appointed school officials accountable.

Scoreboard

50%

Best Performing Outlets

  • WVTM-TV - Online 67%
  • Huntsville Times, The 67%
111

Total stories:

37

Total media outlets:

Worst Performing Outlets

  • The Decatur Daily 17%
  • Decatur Daily - Online, The 23%
  • Charter Schools are innovative public schools designed by educators, parents or civic leaders that are open by choice, accountable for results and free from most unnecessary rules and regulations governing conventional public schools. For more information about CER's annual charter law rankings, click here.
  • School choice means giving parents the power and opportunity to choose the school their child will attend. States that give all parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their child – whether public, private, parochial or charter – ensure Parent Power!.
  • Teacher quality comes with strong, data-driven, performance-based accountability systems that ensure teachers are rewarded, retained and advanced based on how they perform in adding value to the students who they teach, measured predominantly by student achievement, along with skills and responsibilities.
  • Transparency in education means giving parents access to good and objective information about their schools, student and teacher performance and options.
  • The movement toward improving education in the U.S. today includes a strong focus on online learning, an approach that involves a myriad of delivery mechanisms via online tools for students, no matter where they live or attend school. Online learning is opening up classrooms to the world and ensuring students access to some of the best content and educators.
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