One year after Alabama became the 43rd state to allow for charter schools, one such enterprise has the go-ahead to begin classes for the 2017-2018 school year.
On Tuesday, the state’s charter school commission approved an application to open the Accel Day and Evening Academy, which will be overseen by the Mobile Area Education Foundation. It rejected one proposal — Edge Preparatory School in Huntsville — and gave a preliminary OK to a Huntsville-based charter operated by the Sports Leadership and Management Foundation.
The least surprising news — at least for longtime observers of public education in Alabama — is that the Mobile Area Education Foundation’s application was approved. MAEF has a long and successful track record. The driving force behind the foundation — Carolyn Akers — was The Star’s Alabamian of the Year for 2012.
A quarter-century ago, a collection of Mobile residents set out to put their school district on a path to success and keep it there.
This “linking communities and schools works,” Akers wrote in 2011 of the effort. “Schools, classrooms, teachers and student achievement scores improved. The achievement gap between those in poverty and those not in poverty and black and white students closed. Citizens believed that because of their work, students were learning more and had more opportunities than before. There are more students achieving at higher levels in Mobile than at any time in the community’s history.”
Anniston could take a lesson from the Mobile Area Education Foundation. Working together toward a central goal of educating all children in a community works. Discord, legal fights and arguments don’t work.