|Huntsville Superintendent Casey Wardynski, center, and school board president Laurie McCaulley, right, listen Monday afternoon as Huntsville resident Carlos Mathews talks about the choosing of possible names for a new northwest Huntsville high school to replace Johnson High. Behind Mathews are pictures of astronauts Ronald McNair and Mae Carol Jemison, whose names may grace the new high school and a new junior high to be built on the same campus. (Crystal Bonvillianfirstname.lastname@example.org)|
That support continued Thursday, when the Alabama New South Coalition issued a news release stating its case for Wardynski to remain at the head of Huntsville's school district. Wilbert Brownlow, president of the organization, cited improved test scores and attendance and graduation rates, the financial turnaround of the district, the massive ongoing capital plan, the Summer Feeding Program and efforts to achieve unitary status as accomplishments Wardynski has achieved since coming to Huntsville in 2011.Note: The link to the press release from the Alabama New South Coalitions works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't.....
Click here to see the release from the Alabama New South Coalition. The coalition calls itself "Alabama's largest black political organization."
Watch and listen as McCaulley addresses claims of threats against the Superintendent and the Board. (beginning at the 56 minute mark)
Perhaps the strongest portion of the Chamber letter is a bullet point list of recent school programs, including: breakfasts for students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches; increase pre-kindergarten for low-income families; centralized teacher assignment to racially balance faculties; laptops for every student in third grade or higher; extended school year for Title I schools.I wonder if the same person wrote Mayor Tommy Battle's letter to Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala?
"Committed 47% of capital programs to minority schools," asserts the Chamber.
"These actions demonstrate a commitment to equity and ultimately equality of education outcomes," concludes the letter, asserting support for the school board and Superintendent Casey Wardynski.
Battle touts the hiring of Superintendent Casey Wardynski, new academic and testing initiatives, expanded after school programs, student meal programs and the building of new campuses.Oh, and we can't leave out the motion filed by NAACP Legal Defense Fund (not to be confused with the Huntsville Madison County Chapter of the NAACP).
"The turnaround I witnessed from four years ago is dramatic," he wrote. "Across the board, in every school for every child, Huntsville is offering a sound education."
Battle notes that the one-to-one computer initiative introduced new technology to families who had been without. He asserts that as a result of the digital initiative test scores are up, discipline problems are down and attendance is up.
"We believe our local School Board and Superintendent has the knowledge and expertise to know what is right for our community and what is best for our children," writes Battle.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund -- a plaintiff in the long-running suit -- split with the Justice Department on this issue and does not oppose Huntsville's plan.Oh what a tangled web we weave....
"Especially in light of the growth of the City of Huntsville and its population, the mobility of its citizens and the enlargement of its territory, as well as the passage of more than four decades since effective system-wide desegregation was required by this Court and implemented, there is nothing about the Student Assignment Plan that could remotely be characterized as taking even the tiniest step toward effecting "the recurrence of the dual school structure," reads the March 10 motion from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
What's happening outside of court? This dispute has tapped into all sorts of local hostilities. Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison has blasted Superintendent Casey Wardynski for not meeting with black officials. Wardysnki ordered an audit of Harrisons' non-profit. Mayor Tommy Battle and the Chamber of Commerce and the PTA have written letters on behalf of the school board. Black ministers and all the elected black officials, save school board member Laurie McCaulley, have written in support of the Justice Department.It is not wise to sell your constituents down the river.....