Tim Wadsworth is a good guy. He’s an attorney from Arley who was elected in 2014 to the House of Representatives. His district includes the majority of Winston County, drops across Walker County to the west of Jasper and even includes part of Jefferson County.
(I know Arley well because it’s the home of Meek Elementary, one of the 10 rural schools we studied in 2008-09.)
Like many others, Wadsworth is very concerned about the news that state superintendent Mike Sentance wants to make significant changes to Career Tech and Workforce Development. This has been a stand alone program for several years, with Phillip Cleveland as director. But Wadsworth is fearful that putting this office under more bureaucracy will lessen its effectiveness.
And he said so in a letter to state school board members.
“Phillip Cleveland, as head of career tech and workforce development, moved Alabama to the forefront in the nation,” Wadsworth told the board. “Cleveland was a hands on administrator who met with the business community and assessed their needs and then directed the program so that high school students would be properly trained and business would have employees upon completion of high school who could go direct into the work force.”
Wadsworth also reminded state board members of the changes in the House of Representatives that have occurred because some members understood that instead of checks and balances, the body was controlled by a Speaker who didn’t want them. “Those members made a decision to follow their beliefs despite consequences,” remembers Wadsworth.
The Winston County lawmaker wants to know if the school board will exercise control over the department of education. “They are just like members of the House,” he says. “They have a duty to exercise control, establish education policy and hire a superintendent of education and have a duty to fire the superintendent.”
“Do state board members have the strength, desire, toughness, drive and willingness to establish as education policy that Career Tech and Workforce Development will be a separate agency?” he asks.
Many others are asking the same question.