About 10 years ago, while visiting rural England, I met a genuine Southernphile (and yes, that is a word I just made up). When a young hotel clerk learned I was from Alabama, he engaged me in a long and animated conversation about his love for Southern pop culture.
While his sources were dubious (his favorite movie was Smokey and the Bandit and his favorite television show was The Dukes of Hazzard), his fascination was sincere. What he loved most of all was the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. “I don’t care about the politics,” he said. “They just sound so bloody good.”
Historian Andre Millard found a similar lack of interest in politics, especially the politics of race, among many of the musicians interviewed for his book Magic City Nights. Read more.
WASHINGTON – Alabama’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives split along party lines when voting on a Republican statement of opposition to a tax on the use of coal, natural gas and petroleum products.
All three are produced in different areas of Alabama, but the state also has had to grapple with pollution caused by the production and use of fossil fuels. The House approved the Republican statement opposing the tax, which was a nonbinding statement expressing the House’s opinion on the issue.
Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending July 20. Read more.
Eric Mackey is Alabama’s new superintendent of education. Before this, he was a lobbyist for state school superintendents. Mackey replaces former superintendent Michael Sentance, who was forced out after only a year on the job. Recently, Mackey supported Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to arm school administrators at schools that don’t have a school resource officer. His conversation with WBHM’s Sherrel Wheeler Stewart begins with some of the larger issues around school safety. Read more.
Alabama students showed progress in most measures during the four years the state used the ACT Aspire standardized tests for students in the grades 3-8 and 10, according to a report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.
The state began using the ACT Aspire suite of tests in the 2013-2014 school year. It was administered for the final time in 2017.
The PARCA report, released this week, said gains by Alabama students on the Aspire tests were strongest in math. There were modest gains in reading proficiency for grades 3-6, but results were mixed for grades 7, 8 and 10, the report said.
The report includes results of students’ scores statewide, by school systems and in comparison to national averages.