Mayor Strange reveals details of meeting with AL superintendent

Mayor Strange reveals details of meeting with state superintendent

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

He has been known to use this phrase time and time again, "So goes education...so goes Montgomery."

"We certainly care about it," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. 

It's why he met with State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice.

"Really wanted to get a first-hand account."

Mayor Strange says after the state superintendent sent a letter to Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson stating the system had systemic problems related to grade changing, the mayor needed to know three things for himself.

"Who was responsible, what action is gonna be taken to remove that cancer, if you will, and then also this issue of mistrust within the system."

Dr. Bice reassured the Mayor, MPS officials responded to the state with a plan to keep grade changing from happening again, all the while improving communication within the system.

"I have seen evidence in the recent correspondence that the local board is beginning to take ownership," says Strange.

But when asked on a scale of one to ten, the amount of confidence the Mayor has in MPS' current leadership?

"In regards to the entire system it would be plus 5."

He says that's only if the system follows through with new procedures and policies.

"If we can do the things we say we're gonna do, I think we'll be fine."

And if it doesn't, he says creating a city school system could be an option.

"They know that's a possibility and at the end of the day, if things do not go well, then we might revisit that and see what would be involved in doing that."

The Mayor says he vetoed a vote by the city council two years ago to explore creating a city school system.

He says he doesn't want to go that route if current leadership can clear up these problems.

Mayor Strange says he doesn't believe Dr. Bice has any current plans to take over the Montgomery Public School system.

To read Superintendent Barbara Thompson's response to Dr. Bice click here

Copyright 2013  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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