Jefferson County school superintendent Craig Pouncey is one of the more well-known educators in Alabama. Considering that he has more than 30 years in the profession as teacher, superintendent of Crenshaw County schools, chief of staff for state superintendent Tommy Bice and superintendent of one of the largest, most diverse systems in the state, this is no surprise.
He also has the courage and conviction to speak his mind about education when he feels the situation warrants it. The Jefferson County school board became the most recent to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the Alabama Accountability Act on Jan. 31.
As expected the local media grabbed Pouncey at the end of the meeting. You can see his interview here. Please watch it.
He pulled no punches, referring to AAA as a “tax scheme” meant to benefit a small number of people in the state, instead of the vast number of public school students. He said the legislation was “deceptively created” when a much different bill came out of committee than went into it. And he said the bill “does not do what it was supposed to do.”
Having studied this bill and its ramifications since February 2013, Pouncey is on target with each of his claims.
Van Phillips, the long time principal at Center Point high school in Jefferson County is also interviewed. His concerns mirror those of Pouncey. Even though the state’s A-F school report does not give Center Point an F, they are still on the AAA;s :”failing” school list. All the accountability act is doing is pointing its finger at communities of color and low income says Phillips. “When we need more resources, this bill is taking them away from my school,” he concludes.
I will quickly admit that one of my REAL frustrations is the failure of too many educators to take a stand. Even when they know they are right. If I knew why this is the case, I would do something about it for certain.
No one will ever accuse Craig Pouncey of not standing up. We need more like him.