State superintendent discusses accountability act

Alabama State School Superintendent Tommy Bice. (


That's the word that keeps coming up with the Alabama accountability act.

The biggest question asked by lawmakers and school officials is what constitutes a "failing school" under the new act? State superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says it should all start with assessments. Also, taking into account, the growth of a school.

Bice recommends looking at the most recent assessment that has been given to a school, looking at the one with the lowest percentage as a baseline.

However, he says an adjustment must be made for growth that the school has seen in recent years.

"So, you may make the list, but if you're showing growth over the last three years, you shouldn't be considered failing, because you're moving in the right direction," says Bice.

The architect of the Alabama accountability act, senate pro tem Del Marsh says there are still some unknowns with the act. But, ultimately he is satisfied with the law that was signed saying it was a matter of giving parents a choice.

Marsh says he's not convinced that legislation is needed in defining a failing school and that most of it can be done through regulation. Bice says his legal staff has advised that determining a failing school can not be done through regulation.