Local superintendents present updates at annual State of the Schools address

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HUNTSVILLE, AL- The Jackson Center in Huntsville was filled with community members Friday morning for the State of the Schools address.

Superintendents from Huntsville, Madison City and Madison County -- as well as the state superintendent addressed the state of education. The theme of Friday morning's address was change.  As the world changes, technology changes and evolves, education in Alabama needs to -- and is -- changing as well.

"To create an environment where risk, technology, failure... are all okay," said Alabama Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice.

Bice began the morning saying the best approach to education is thinking outside of the 'bubble,' stepping away from too many standardized tests and into personalized learning models in an effort to effectively prepare students for a changing, global world.

"Kids who problem solve, think critically, work in groups to solve problems that haven't even been identified yet who feel free to make mistakes and learn and be those leaders of the future, I could not be more excited," said Bice.

Bice talked about the vision for education in Alabama with "Plan 2020", a goal to close achievement gaps and increase graduation rates in the state to 90 percent by 2020.

Madison County Schools Superintendent Matt Massey talked about his district's rising ACT and graduation rates.

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski highlighted Grissom High School's cyber team's national win as proof Alabama is ready to compete at a national level.

Education leaders say this gathering is an opportunity to share both their visions and ideas for the future.

"Part of the quality of life that makes this area so great revolves around education and it's always good to hear the wonderful things going on," said Madison City Schools Superintendent Dee Fowler.

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