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Alabama Names New Schools Chief

Tommy Bice, a former principal and superintendent who has served as the top deputy in Alabama's department of education, has been tapped as the state's next schools chief.

Bice will replace Joe Morton, who retired earlier this year. As a top lieutenant at the department, Bice has juggled a number of duties, according a recent agency bio, including curriculum and instruction, assessment and accountability, federal programs, and special education. He has also overseen the Alabama Reading Initiative, and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, which Ed Week wrote about a couple years ago.

bice.jpg

Before coming to the state's department of education, he held a number of positions in schools, including working as a special education teacher, an alternative school director, and a career-technical center director.

Alabama typically has been a low-achieving state academically, though it recently had something to crow about: It was one of only a handful of states to show progress in 4th grade reading, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Its 8th grade reading scores also rose, though the gain was not statistically significant.

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve as Alabama's state superintendent," Bice wrote in an e-mail to Ed Week, "and looking forward to bringing innovative and creative solutions not only to teaching and learning but to our challenging financial situation as well."

With innovations and improvements to the the state's education system, he added, "great things can happen for boys and girls in Alabama public schools."

Photo courtesy of Alabama Department of Education.

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