Kindergarten. Alabama now provides state-supported kindergarten classes to about half of eligible 5-year-olds. The state superintendent recommends making kindergarten available to all eligible children and requiring completion of a public or accredited private kindergarten program for admission to 1st grade.
Developed at the request of the state board of education and presented to the board on Jan. 12, Mr. Teague’s proposal calls for tougher graduation standards, with an optional honors diploma; mandatory kindergarten; revisions in teacher-certification requirements; improved professional development; and the appointment of special panels to study other issues such as school finance and teacher compensation.
While some of the initiatives--particularly those involving new funds--would require legislative action, state officials said other recommendations could take the form of regulatory changes and state-board resolutions, and could go into effect as early as March. “Many of these improvements will not cost anything,” noted Luther Mitchell, a spokesman for the superintendent. “Dr. Teague has asked the financial staff to calculate the cost of those items that do have a price tag.”
The 115-page document, entitled “A Plan for Excellence: Alabama’s Public Schools,” draws on ideas espoused in reports by the National Commission on Excellence in Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as well as on conditions peculiar to Alabama. It concurs, in large part, with a report issued this month by the Alabama Association of School Administrators.
Among the topics covered in Mr. Teague’s report:
A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 1984 edition of Education Week as Alabama Superintendent Proposes Plan To Improve State’s Schools