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News Conference a Prelude to the Upcoming Legislative Special Session
July 29, 2015
Declaring the month of August "Civics and Government Awareness Month," Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, called on all 45,000-plus public school teachers statewide to visit the Capitol next week to thank legislators for their support of Plan 2020, the Alabama State Department of Education's strategic plan for improving public education. 

During a news conference held July 29th, Bice attributed "unprecedented transformations" to the past couple of years' work by the department, the Governor, state lawmakers, educators, administrators, and the State Board of Education. He connected the dots of the progress Alabama leaders have made in advancing public education with the planned outcomes of the state department's strategic plan, while promoting its proposed multi-year budget to help Alabama public schools reach equitable and effective funding levels. Read More
 
New Assessments Narrow Honesty Gap in Reporting Student Proficiency
May 21, 2015
Alabama jumps from the bottom to the top among
“truth-telling” states

The nationally-recognized education reform organization, Achieve, released an analysis of student proficiency scores on state assessments compared to scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), considered a “gold standard” in student assessments. The report’s data show several states – including Alabama – have dramatically narrowed the “Honesty Gap” in recent years between their own results and those from the NAEP.

Achieve’s analysis reveals that under the old Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT), the discrepancy between the percentage of students deemed “proficient” on the ARMT and the NAEP in 4th and 8th grade reading and math was one of the largest in the nation (i.e. students were classified as on or above grade-level in reading or math when in reality they were not). In contrast, using the new ACT Aspire, this discrepancy is so small that the report hails Alabama as a “truth-telling” state. The ACT Aspire was given to 3rd through 8th graders for the first time in 2013-14, replacing the ARMT.
 
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What Do "Educational Best Practices" Look Like? Verbena Students Can Show You
May 21, 2015
A lot of education jargon gets used by the professionals to help explain what works in improving education; high academic standards, aligned assessments, deeper learning for real-life application, team collaboration, etc. But what does it all mean, and what does it really look like?
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