Alabama receives failing scores from Nation's Report Card

One Decatur representative told WAAY 31 she hopes the rankings open up education leaders' eyes.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 7:35 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2019 7:39 PM

The Nation's Report Card was released Wednesday, and it gave Alabama a failing grade in reading and in math.

According to the Nation's Report Card, the national average score for 4th grade math was 240. Alabama's score was ranked last at 230. The national average score for 4th grade reading was 219. Alabama's score was 212, making them 49th out of 52 education systems in the country.

"We got to work on that," Shannon Miller, who has a granddaughter in elementary school, said.

Miller says when he found out how Alabama ranked in education compared to the rest of the country, he was shocked and disappointed.

"To hear that, we got to do something about this education. We got to get that up. I actually didn't know it was that low," Miller said.

Decatur Rep. Terri Collins sponsored the Alabama Literacy Bill that'll hold 3rd grade students back if they aren't reading on level starting in 2021. She says the rankings are disappointing, but she hopes it'll open up the eyes of school leaders across the state and give them a sense of urgency.

WAAY 31 spoke with a student who says he believes that's exactly what will happen.

"I believe they're going to try now, since it happened. It came back around, and we're once again low, so I feel like they would try to do something," Ladarius Miller, a senior at Austin High School, said.

Rep. Collins says she has hope for the future of education in Alabama because of bills like the literacy one passed that model other states. She says if it worked for them, it'll work here.

She says bills like the literacy one that was passed will help improve math and reading scores. She says in the meantime, teachers and parents should focus on how to individually help students improve in these areas.

WAAY 31 spoke with a former educator who says this is a good approach to go with.

"Just learn from others, see what's working and model some of those programs," Jewel Freeman, a former educator, said.

While Rep. Collins says she has hope for the future of education, some people aren't so certain. They say the rankings opened their eyes, and they'll focus more on helping their grade school children and grandchildren.

"Maybe I need to do a little more helping her. I mean, get her a little more advanced since the school system ain't doing too well I see," Miller said.

Rep. Collins also says the largest education budget passed this year, which she believes will also help improve the state's scores in the future.

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