Our opinion: Selma City Schools face uphill challenge

Published 5:17 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

As Selma City School Officials return to campus Wednesday, improving low grades on the Alabama School Report Card has become a priority.

The SCS received grade D on the Alabama School Report Card released Dec. 13 by the Alabama State Board of Education. Last year, the SCS received a C grade.

The report card issued by the state gives school systems an overall grade and numerical scores of academic achievement; student improvement in reading, English and math; career or college readiness; graduation rate; and percentage of students who miss 18 or more days of school known as chronic absenteeism.

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We’re concerned about the uptick in chronic absenteeism and the decline of college and career readiness. The percentage of students who missed 18 or more days of school almost doubled from 17.6 in 2022 to 32.31 in 2023. College and career readiness dropped from 63.5 to 57.8.

When seniors graduate from high school, they should be prepared to enter college or the workplace. The chronic absenteeism needs to have a lower percentage.

SCS Superintendent Dr. Zickeyous Byrd said the Jan. 12 tornado, death of kindergartner to gun violence and a high school student to drugs on campus impacted the school district. Byrd said that improvements are being made to each school. We’re optimistic that the SCS will turn things around because the future of Selma depends on it.