August 07, 2012 Morning Edition News




90.3 WBHM The president of an education agency that awards school districts accreditation says he has "serious concerns" with the Birmingham Board of Education. The Birmingham News reports that Mark Elgart, president and chief executive officer of AdvancEd, an umbrella of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation agency, said he expects the Birmingham school board to respond in writing to a letter he sent July 31, outlining what steps the board is taking to fix it’s governance problems. Those problems in-fighting among the board, as well as its superintendent and state officials, who are in Birmingham conducting a state takeover of the district. Elgart says if the Birmingham school board does not respond to his concerns by Oct. 1, he will launch a formal investigation into the district's governance. Elgart is also suspending a request by Birmingham for district-wide accreditation. Birmingham is in the early stages of a two-year process to earn district-wide accreditation instead of having to go through the arduous task of getting each individual school accredited. Many districts are moving toward district-wide accreditation because it is less disruptive and gives districts an overall look at how they are doing system-wide.


Testimony continues today in a preliminary hearing between Allan Pizzato and the Alabama Education Television Commission. Pizzato, the former executive director of Alabama Public Television, filed the lawsuit against the Commission and its seven members, claiming they violated the state's open meetings law when they fired him at a June 12th meeting. During testimony yesterday, Charles Grantham, the Chief Operations Officer for APT, testified that following a special meeting by the Commission last Wednesday, he felt his job was threatened in a conversation with Commission member J. Holland. The next day Grantham resigned from his position, effective August 31st. Testimony is expected to conclude this morning.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The traditionally Democratic Alabama AFL-CIO has endorsed Republican Roy Moore for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. State AFL-CIO President Al Henley says it's the first time the union organization has backed Moore, who was the only Republican endorsed for state office when the organization met in Montgomery to pick its favorites. Henley said the AFL-CIO doesn't share Moore's view on separation of church and state, but he had a record as a circuit judge in Gadsden and as a Supreme Court justice from 2001-2003 of treating the average person fairly in court. Moore is attempting a political comeback after losing two races for governor following his removal as chief justice in 2003.