One of the events I look forward to each year is the annual recognition of Torchbearer Schools.  These are schools where at least 80 percent of all students receive free-reduced lunches, yet the schools academically perform very well.

I’ve been to many of these schools and am always amazed at what I find.  In a nutshell it is all about great principals and dedicated staff going over and beyond the call of duty.  There is no magic, no one has found a silver bullet, just people doing what they do best which is work with children.

Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t take issue with me about public schools.  It happened today when a long time friend emailed to say that no one in Alabama understands education.  I fired right back and told him he was wrong and rattled off a long list of educators who have proven their worth time and time again.

My response today included this video of Torchbearer schools from 2012-13.  I spent time in each of them, from Florence to Dothan, taking pictures and visiting with staff.   And after 2,500 miles I was convinced that we do indeed have schools across this state that are working.  They are doing far better than the naysayers want you to believe.

Do yourself a favor.   Watch the video.  See for yourself what some folks refuse to acknowledge for the simple reason that it flies in the face of their agenda.