AlabamaWorks: When it comes to measuring what matters… Leadership Matters!

By Tim McCartney and Joe Morton

Leadership matters. State supervisor for education Dr. Eric Mackey and the Alabama State Board of Education showed tremendous leadership on Thursday, September 8thThursday vote to announce its intention to adopt an administrative rule requiring students to graduate college and be career-ready starting with the class of 2028. The rule passed by a 6-3 vote.

The coalition supporting the government was led by Gov. Kay Ivey, who urged her colleagues to support the rule when she chaired a meeting of the State Board of Education.

Prior to the vote, Governor Ivey said, “Bridging the gap between college and career readiness and graduation rates is about more than just numbers—it’s about closing opportunity gaps by ensuring our students are ready to take the next step. . Parents want their children to graduate from high school with the skills needed to excel in college and careers.”

Governor Ivey could not have been more correct. The 16 percent difference between the 92 percent graduation rate and 76 percent college and career readiness rate for the classes of 2020 and 2021 is disproportionate. With an $8.3 billion state education budget, parents, employers and taxpayers expect us to prepare our students for college graduation and career readiness.

A rule is more than a requirement. The rule is about standardizing degree requirements, preparing students for the next step in postsecondary education and career paths, and it’s also about focusing the attention of state and local officials on putting resources where they’re needed to close gaps in access to indicators of quality college and career readiness.

With the rule not taking effect until 2028, the State Board of Education and State Superintendent Mackey have plenty of time to work with the Legislature and local school districts to expand access to a range of college and career readiness indicators so that to suit everyone’s interests. student.

Currently, students can demonstrate college and career readiness by achieving one or more of the following college and career readiness indicators:

  • Scoring college prepared in at least one subject on the ACT
  • Scoring at Silver level or higher on the WorkKeys rating
  • Obtaining a passing score on the Advanced Placement Test
  • Obtaining a successful completion of the international baccalaureate exam
  • Successfully obtaining a career technical education certificate
  • Earning dual credit for enrollment at a two- or four-year college or university
  • Successful entry into the army
  • Completion of a CTE degree program
  • Completion of school youth apprenticeship
  • Completion of any other college and career readiness indicator accepted by the State Board of Education

A myriad of education and industry organizations, such as the Alabama Business Education Alliance, Alabama Farmers Federation, A+ Education Partnership and the Alabama Workforce Council, advocated for the adoption of this rule.

Governor Ivey was joined in supporting the government by Drs. Tonya Chestnut, Mrs. Tracie West, Dr. Wayne Reynolds, Dr. Yvette Richardson and Dr. Cynthia McCarthy.

Some have argued that the rule is just another requirement on the backs of already overworked educators, but as Governor Ivey said during the board’s September meeting before voting on the rule:[t]it’s not about adding one more requirement, it’s about measuring what matters. This vote will focus our attention and energy on ensuring that resources are where they need to be.”

There is nothing more important that we can do than to graduate our students ready for the next step. The adoption of this rule signals our commitment to this most sacred duty.

By partnering with the Alabama Community College System to expand dual enrollment and credentialing options, partnering with the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to expand work-based learning options such as apprenticeships, and partnering with the A+ Education Partnership to expand access to Advanced Placement courses. they are working to expand access to college and career readiness indicators that will truly prepare our students for the next step.

The State Board of Education’s ability to add additional indicators will help close any remaining gaps as we prepare for implementation in 2028. However, we hope that most of our schools will be working toward achieving 100% college and career readiness before 2028.

We already have some shining examples of 100 percent college and career readiness, such as Piedmont City Schools with a graduation rate and college and career readiness rate of 100 percent for the Class of 2021 and Coffee County Schools with a graduation rate and college readiness rate and career. 99 percent, that should be emulated.

The September 8, 2022 vote was a great first step, but the work is not done. The rule is now available for public comment, and the State Board of Education will likely vote to adopt the final rule in November 2022.

We encourage you to contact your state council member to thank them for the leadership they showed in September and encourage them to complete the work on November 8Thursday Proceedings of the State Board of Education.

Remember, when it comes to measuring what matters to our students, like college and career readiness, leadership matters!


Tim McCartney, Chairman, McCartney Construction (retired)

Dr. Joe Morton, president of the Business Education Alliance of Alabama

Endorsed by the Alabama Workforce Council and its following members:

  • Ronald W. Boles, Chairman, Region 1 Local WIOA Board
  • KC Pang, Director, HR & Corporate Affairs, GD Copper USA, Inc, Region 5
  • Chris Stricklin, President, Dunn University, Area 4
  • Jim Purcell, Executive Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education
  • Mike Kitchens, Vice President of Engineering, ACIPCO, Area 4
  • Phil Webb, Owner, Webb Concrete & Building Materials, Region 2
  • Seth Hammett Vice President of Business Development, PowerSouth, Area 6
  • Allen Harris, President, Bailey-Harris Building, Region 5
  • Christy Knowles, Chief HR Officer, Coosa Valley Medical Center, Region 2
  • Peggy Sease-Fain, Vice President Human Resources, DCH Regional Health System, Region 3
  • Melissa Herkt, Engineer (retired), Area 5
  • Steve Hildebrandt, Retired, Region 2
  • Norman Crow, President of DT & Freight Company, Region 3
  • Billy Norrell President, AGC, Region 4
  • Ed Castile, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Department of Commerce; AIDT
  • Gindi Prutzman, Executive Director, Central Alabama Works, Region 5
  • Republican Alan Baker, Region 7
  • Philip Cleveland, Chief of CTE & External Affairs, Marshall County School System, Region 1
  • Miranda Frost, CEO, Logicore, Region 1
  • Randy Jordan, President, Bryant Bank, Region 4
  • Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of Labor, Department of Labor
  • Alicia Ryan, CEO, LSINC Corporation, Region 1
  • Jimmy Parnell, President, Alabama Farmers Federation, Region 5
  • Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor, Alabama Community College System
  • Nancy Buckner, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Human Resources
  • Alex McCrary, Director of Federal Gov./Corp. Affairs, Alabama Power Company, Region 4
  • Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Co-sponsors
  • Mark Dixon, President of A+ Education Partnership


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