MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - From Willie Durham, Vice Chairman Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce:
Something incredible is happening in Montgomery. State and local leaders are focused on making Alabama's Capital City school system a beacon of student achievement and a shining city on the hill known for its excellent public schools.
City, county and state leaders at the highest level are working together to transform Montgomery's public schools, to include a state takeover of our system. And that's great news for all of us.
The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has long had public education at the top of its economic development agenda. Yet despite the efforts of many, we find ourselves with a public school system that is failing our children, performing poorly across most key academic indicators. When only 30 percent of 8th graders in traditional schools are proficient in reading, and only 15 percent are proficient in math, it is time for each of us to say "Our children deserve better." The greatest obstacle the Chamber faces in creating jobs and opportunities for Montgomery is our public school system. Yet our schools can and should be our greatest strength.
The Montgomery business community commends the Alabama State Board of Education, Alabama State Superintendent Michael Sentance, our local board of education, and city and county leaders who are boldly committed to improving student achievement and making Montgomery a beacon for others to follow.
For the future of Montgomery and the future of our children, let's come together and embrace wholesale change with wholehearted support.