Bell supports move to end intervention

Published 11:37 pm Monday, March 14, 2016

The Selma City School Board is split on whether the school system is ready to come out from under state monitoring, but one member of the state school board is confident the school system is prepared.

District 5 state school board representative Ella Bell said she has seen progress in the school system and would support the decision for it to come out of state monitoring.

She said she could recall a time when she would get constant complaints about the Selma City School System, but that she hasn’t heard anything negative for a while.

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“I have confidence in Dr. Mangum. Before they were put in intervention, I used to get calls just about every day from individuals in Selma who had serious concerns. I have received a couple of calls since intervention, but nothing negative,” Bell said.

In a letter addressed to Selma City School Board President Henry Hicks Sr. from State Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Thomas R. Bice, the board was notified they could write a resolution to the state board of education for release of state monitoring.

“It is with great hope and anticipation that I move your district to this next phase. Great progress has been made in Selma over the past year and I anticipate even greater things in the future,” Bice said.

Board members were divided in discussion at a meeting last week. Some members thought it would be best if the system were monitored longer.

Others expressed they wanted the system to stand on its own.

Hicks was one who said he does not want the system to stop being monitored by the state just yet.

“I know where we were, I know where we are and I know where we could be,” Hicks said.

When the system was put on intervention by the state board of education in 2014, there were a number of qualifications the system had to meet before being released.

The resolution listed five steps for the system to get out from under state control. They were the following:

4 Successful implementation of a corrective action plan approved by the State Superintendent of Education for a period of two full academic years.

4 Satisfactory correction/remediation of any adverse findings resulting from a full instructional audit to be promptly completed at Selma High School.

4 Development of a suitable instrument to facilitate tracking and reporting of successful implementation of the foregoing measures on not less than a quarterly basis.

4 Cooperation and compliance with implementation oversight and directives provided by officials to be designated by the State Superintendent of Education.

4 Willingness at the administrative and Board levels to promptly and proactively respond to evidence or reports of deficiencies of the kind that have prompted this action.

Bell said if the Selma City School Board decides to write the resolution, it will be brought before the state board, who along with the state superintendent, will decide if the system will be granted dismissal of state monitoring.

“Dr. Bice will write a resolution stating if he would like to grant the system removal from intervention,” Bell said.

She said the choice can be made two ways.

Either five out of eight state education members vote in favor of the move or Bice can decide on his own if he believes the system is ready.

“If Dr. Bice thinks they are ready. I can assure, that the state board will see it the same,” Bell said.