Superintendent speaks to Repub. executive committee

Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock spoke to the Chilton County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting in February about his goals for education in the county.

The presentation on Feb. 16 at the Clanton Recreation Center was the first in a planned series of local elected officials talking to the group.

Glasscock told the more than 30 attendees that he wants to create opportunities for students by increasing their educational options for career or college readiness, and by devoting greater resources to ensuring the 80 percent of graduates who are not college bound are nevertheless career-ready.

Along the same lines, Glasscock said he wanted to improve choices for local students by offering opportunities in a wide variety of non-college careers, with flexibility regarding attendance at non-home school campuses offering such programs.

For those who do plan to attend college, Glasscock said a jump-start can be provided in the form of dual enrollment programs offered by Jefferson State Community College, Auburn University and the University of Alabama. Such programs can lead to college-level credits while students are still in high school.

Glasscock said he wants to work toward generating jobs for young people through internships and apprenticeships, including investigating legal changes that might be necessary so that students in certain specialties would be allowed to work at age 17 despite current regulations that prohibit such employment unless they are 18 years of age.

The superintendent said an increased focus was needed on math and science education because these programs will be the generators of future careers for college graduates and non-college grads.

Another idea presented was offering early intervention through expanded pre-kindergarten programs that can help disadvantaged children enter the first grade at a level with their peers rather than begin their school career trying to catch up.

Glasscock said troubled students can be aided with better programs and more creative solutions to bring the students back into the educational mainstream rather than losing them when they fail to graduate.

Measuring success with the proper tools is important, Glasscock said, and can be done by opting out of end-of-year testing programs, and instead, measuring success by how many local students attend college or are able to find employment when they graduate.

“By focusing on those measures, rather than test scores, we will better serve our children and our community,” he said.

Glasscock also mentioned enhancing administrative efficiency by reducing duplication of resources and personnel, and creating administrative consistency by re-writing all personnel manuals and policies and procedures manuals.

Before Glasscock’s presentation, Executive Committee Chairman Billy Singleton recognized state Rep. Jimmy Martin as a guest and extended a special welcome to Chris Brown, newly-elected chairman of the Sixth Congressional District Republican Party Executive Committee.

Brown shared his goal of better communication from the state level to the county level regarding ways they can provide assistance.

Craig Cleckler and Corley Cleckler were approved as at-large members of the Executive Committee, and Tim Lovett was approved as a member representing Mars Hill.

The committee also approved the appointments of Allen Caton as political director, Corley Cleckler as social/outreach director, Bill Evans as publicity/liaison director, Glasscock as finance director and Sibley Reynolds as parliamentarian.

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