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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2005
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

School excellence
requires commitment
THE DECATUR DAILY:

The Aug. 28 DAILY editorial concerning the national academic ratings of Auburn University and The University of Alabama, at 38th and 50th respectively, prompts this letter.

I totally agree that if these universities' football rankings were consistently at this level that alumni and fans would be outraged, demand new leadership and become involved to improve the status.

Academic excellence should be demanded in K through 12 and in all colleges as well as post-college, continuing education. Such will assure that our children are keenly competitive nationally and globally and that our nation continues world leadership. Knowledge is power.

The Hartselle City School System serves as an example in Alabama toward this goal. Through exemplary leadership and community and local-government support, Hartselle schools, for many years, have been consistently recognized statewide for both academic excellence and athletic prowess. Following are some of the achievements, which serve to illustrate this.

  • Academics.
  • Consistently ranks in the state's top 10 percent in Statewide Achievement Tests.
  • Students perform above the state and national average in achievement.
  • Fifty percent of graduates score higher than the national average on the ACT.
  • Eighty percent of graduates enter college.
  • Athletics.
  • Hartselle's school athletic programs are recognized statewide having won 20 state championships during the past 21 years.

    This successful balance in academics and extracurricular activities didn't simply happen. It is the result of exemplary leadership, qualifications and dedication within the school administration, including the school board, staff and faculty. Equally important has been the dedicated support by city government, parents and the community. It is interesting that our school system is ranked first, percentage wise, in the state for dedicated local revenue, and that city government contributes 14 percent of its total annual budget to the school system.

    Robert C. Francis Jr.

    Hartselle

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