The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 15, 2013

State school board rep visits Blue Springs Elementary

By Kim West

COXEY — Mary Scott Hunter made her second visit in two days to Limestone County as she gave a Plan 2020 presentation to teachers during Wednesday’s in-service at Blue Springs Elementary School.

Hunter, the local representative on the state board of education, visited Blue Springs and Creekside Elementary on Tuesday to discuss “the four quadrants” of the Alabama state Department of Education’s Plan 2020.

“One of the established pieces of Plan 2020 is to lay out the vision and really define what a graduate is,” said Hunter, who wore a Limestone County Schools gold lapel pin given to her by school officials during her visit to Creekside.

The plan’s four quadrants, or priorities, are learners, support systems, schools/systems and professionals. All are part of the blueprint that ALSDE designed to improve the state’s graduation rate and define a prepared graduate for college or a career immediately following high school.

Hunter, a Republican who revealed in July that she is mulling a run for governor against incumbent Gov. Robert Bentley, said Wednesday the state’s graduation rate is 74 percent, a 3 percent increase from 2012. Hunter said the state school board and ASLDE are attempting to address two challenges regarding the readiness of high school graduates.

“It’s a two-fold problem, with graduating students not ready for college or a career … and a shared definition of what a graduation should be,” she said.

Hunter said the goal is to reach a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.