Selma schools have a promising future

Published 7:37pm Thursday, December 29, 2011

The future of public education in Selma is bright. The current plan is to expand technology throughout the school district, employ certified and highly qualified instructors and to restructure the alternative school on a separate campus. Also, there is a need to place physical education teachers in elementary schools, hire intervention teachers in the middle schools, implement a ninth grade summer enrichment program and ninth grade academy at the high school. A seventh period class day is desirable at the high school.

Every student in Selma deserves to attend a high-performing school with a great teacher as the instructor. Research has proven that the most important factor in learning is the quality of the classroom teacher. Research also indicates that teachers’ subject matter knowledge and knowledge about teaching and learning are strongly associated with ratings of teacher effective in the classroom.

The school system’s vision states, “Selma City School System will be seen as a world-class learning institution that promotes excellence in education.” The foundation of this vision begins with superintendent, central office staff, principals, teachers and community stakeholders who are open-minded and positive. Closed-minded individuals talk about other people and their misfortunes. Great minds talk about “ideas.”

Childhood obesity has become a national and state epidemic. I, personally, experienced it as a youth, at a weight of 198 pounds. Dallas County is ranked as one of the fattest counties in Alabama. Physical education teachers in elementary schools will assist to combat the rising rate of childhood obesity.

President Barack Obama’s administration should make non-competitive funds available to hire physical education teachers in U.S. elementary schools.

Federal title funds can be used to place highly skilled reading and mathematics intervention teachers in Selma’s two middle schools. These teachers will provide one-on-one instruction and small group instruction to identified struggling pupils.

The freshman year has proven to be a difficult period for many students. A summer enrichment program for incoming ninth graders will allow them to become acclimated to a high school environment. The students will attend core classes for one-half day during a summer six-week period. Also, a ninth grade academy during the academic year will place the students in a separate building area. Individualization will be highly focused. High schools experience their highest number of dropouts during the transition from ninth to tenth grade.

An undereducated person is a potential economic burden to society. It is the mission of the Selma City School System to, “Provide a nurturing environment which promotes academic excellence as we prepare our students to compete in a global society.” Upon completion of secondary requirements, students will leave high school skillful enough to enter the workforce, enroll in a career technical college program, or attend a four-year institution of learning.

The South rose after the devastating Civil War. The Selma City School System will resurface and reclaim its status as the “education jewel of the Black Belt region.” This school district is an education incubator for future contributors to society.

The current recession has forced school boards to seek superintendents and chief school financial officers who are fiscal conservatives. Therefore, some employment patterns have to be altered. Downsizing central office staff and contracted services are becoming prevalent. There is a need to conserve money but also to maintain a quality education and services.

This is a great era to be a part of the Selma City Schools.

  • mo-of-thesame

    Could not agree more Pops…. It is refreshing to see a plan that will actually help the students rather than the cronyism of the past administration.

    Selma needs a conservative approach in order to survive.

    With the protest petering out the realization of the misdeeds performed by Jefferson must have been finally grasped. The progressive citizens of Selma should be very thankful that we have someone who now puts the children first and has a vision for the future.

    We can only hope and pray that the politics of the past are soon buried and Selma can prosper.

    • popdukes12

      Far too much creedence is placed in leaders. As long as you have weak boards and councils, Weak procedures and policies, there is a need for strong leaders. Wish we could plug them in and keep going. Maybe one day. Pops

      P.S. Selma High still needs a real football coach.

      • D-man

        three of the board members seem to have backbone.. need to work on the other two now…

  • popdukes12

    Glad to see you taking ownership of the system. Please hire a better football coach at Selma High. The guy there now had not coached in years and a statewide advertisement was never posted. This “buddy/buddy” hiring failed the players and didn’t help promote school pride which retains students. pops

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