MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama boasts more than just the top ranked football team in the nation.
The state ranks number one in the nation in improved student performance in advanced placement tests.
This past year, Alabama showed the greatest percentage increase in the number of students who passed the AP tests – just under 18 percent, more than double the increase nationally.
Alabama also increased the number of AP exam takers by 18 percent, also double the increase nationally.
That is because the tests are now available to all students in every high school in Alabama thanks to the statewide distance learning program.
The challenge now for our state is to increase the total number of students in Alabama who pass the exam. Nationally the percentage of students who pass the exam doubles the percentage of those who pass in Alabama.
And academic achievement nationally is abysmal as 7 out of every 10 eight-graders scored below proficient in both reading and math last year.
Some states have enacted laws removing firewalls between student achievement and teacher evaluations to try and address these unacceptable numbers.
Alabama should join them. After all, if the players on our football teams don't win, the coach is changed.
Perhaps applying that mind set to students and teachers would accelerate the wins in the classroom.