Message from the Executive Director
Greetings and Happy Holidays!
This time of year is always festive and joyful in schools. However, there are a number of scholars and school personnel who struggle with depression for various reasons during the holiday season. Please take the time to spread kindness, bring joy, and be empathic to others. Always be mindful of those you come in contact with on a daily basis.
As you all know, we moved our state conference from October 27-29, 2022, to January 11-13, 2023. I would like to extend an invitation to this year’s conference. There are only 60 seats left, and seats are filling up quickly. Please register today!
We are riding a wave of excitement from our 50th National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) Conference that took place from November 30th to December 3, 2022, in Washington, DC. The keynotes were U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Maryland Governor-Elect Wes Moore. Your colleagues represented Alabama well with over 50 educators in attendance, and I also had the pleasure of presenting to school leaders on the topic of equity. We look forward to at least 100 participants attending the conference next year in New Orleans.
Finally, this year will mark the first change in AL-ABSE's administration. I would like to say thank you to the outgoing officers and I pray you stay engaged in our wonderful organization. A special shout-out goes to outgoing President Dr. Jacqueline Brooks for bringing the vision of AL-ABSE to fruition.
With warm regards, I remain.
Very truly yours,
Fred D. Primm, Jr., Ed. D.
AL-ABSE Executive Director Primm shares his expertise at NABSE
Dr. Regina Thompson, LaRhonda Aikerson, at NABSE with keynote speaker Dr. Robert Jackson
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona making keynote remarks at NABSE
Fairfield City educators at NABSE
AL-ABSE Aligns with Black Belt County School Systems
Black Belt Leaders At Work
Sponsored by the Alabama Alliance for Black School Educators (State Affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators) and the School Superintendents of Alabama, in January 2022, Alabama county school superintendents from the seventeen traditional Black-Belt counties (Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Russell, Sumter, and Wilcox) met to discuss the historical academic progress of students, particularly Black students, in their school districts.
Archival state and local student assessment data revealed that Black students in Black-Belt county school systems historically underperform academically in reading and math as compared to other racial subgroups. The group determined that despite national, state, and local leadership, classroom instructional strategies, and various programs and services, significant reading and math performance gaps continue to exist among Black and White students in Alabama’s public schools in the Black-Belt as per Alabama State Department of Education’s (ALSDE) historical summative reading and math assessment data. Students of color, specifically Black students, have historically been marginalized in schools. This marginalization has ostracized students and Black culture has not been integrated into classroom materials and instructor practices. Thus, this work is to increase cultural competence, awareness of self, and understanding of one’s and other’s beliefs, attitudes, customs, and values to improve the development and implementation of classroom materials and instructor practices.
Therefore, the group of superintendents determined that when academic improvements are demonstrated among Black students in their districts, the practice of instructional coaching was deemed to have contributed to improved instructional delivery and increased student achievement. Thus, the timeless research on the effectiveness of peer coaching proved to be the practice that will increase teacher capacity and ensure students receive high-quality instruction. Therefore, a group formed an alliance among the superintendents and leaders from the seventeen traditional Alabama Black-Belt counties to collaboratively implement unified strategies to systematically improve learning outcomes for Black students in Black-Belt county school systems and to collectively advocate for differentiated, needs-based funding, programs, and/or services for all Black-Belt school systems. The unified strategy is for leaders and teachers with a focus on coaching leaders and teachers to implement effective instructional strategies that are culturally responsive, relevant, and equitable for all students.
To support and further the work, the Alabama Black-Belt Children’s Region (ABBCR) alliance was formed. The ABBCR facilitates the work of the coalition of superintendents and leaders from the seventeen traditional Alabama Black-Belt counties. Facilitation occurs through summits, professional learning community sessions, and resource sharing to unify the systemic implementation of educational success practices. As well, the alliance advocates for legislation and differentiated resources and support for each Black-Belt county school district to disrupt the cycle of low-academic performance among their students and to ensure strategic programming that creates high-reliability districts and schools where students thrive in all academic areas and in life.
The mission of the ABBCR is to end the low-academic performance among Black students in Black-Belt county schools. Its approach is to work collaboratively as superintendents and leaders to implement unified best practices that yield high student learning outcomes, advocate for equitable, needs-based legislation and state funding, support, and partnerships that yield long-term, effective district and school operations and educational service delivery.
The ABBCR alliance has hosted four summits. During each summit, superintendents and district and school leaders and teachers have developed and implemented a coaching framework to coach for culturally responsive, relevant, and equitable instruction and classrooms. The framework assists instructional leaders and coaches in coaching faculty and staff members in content areas while developing school culture and classrooms that are culturally responsive, relevant, and equitable.
AL-ABSE will continue its partnership with ABBCR to work collaboratively with aligned strategies and priorities to improve academic learning outcomes for Black public school students in the Black-Belt and determine a path forward for legislative advocacy for differentiated funding, resources, and support for Black-Belt districts and schools.