Video: Newly appointed School Superintendent Angela Mangum gives her vision for turning Selma’s beleaguered school system around.
After years of struggling, the Selma City School district is hoping to start a new chapter by appointing Angela Mangum as the district’s new Superintendent, a job comparable to the CEO of a company.
Mangum inherits a system that has been plagued with poor performance for years. The high school, Selma High, recorded a graduation rate of 67 percent in the 2012-2013 school year.
However, in 2014, 80 percent of the students graduated, a feat which Mangum hopes the school, and the entire district, can build upon moving forward. But that same year, they changed the way that “graduation rates” were calculated so that instead of measuring how many students graduated in four years, it measured how many graduated in five years.
The test scores for Selma High students are low. Less than one percent of high school students tested as exceeding or meeting grade level expectations in science, according to the Alabama Department of Education. Only 2.4 percent met or exceeded standards in math. In English, 37.1 percent met or exceed standards.
There are 1,500 students at the high school and, years after integration, the school is 99 percent African American with 89 percent qualifying for free or reduced lunch.
Selma’s R.B. Hudson Middle School is one of 66 Alabama schools on the national “failing schools: list due to consistently poor test scores.
The Selma City schools themselves were so poor and badly managed that the state intervened in 2012 to take them over and appoint an interim superintendent. State investigators found sexual misconduct—the accused teacher was later convicted of a felony for sex with a minor student and is currently in jail—as well as funding improprieties and issues with academic integrity.
The new superintendent, Mangum, steps into this.
Mangum is a graduate of Troy University (formerly Troy State University). She received her PhD in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama in 2001 and first worked as a teacher in the in the Troy City School System in 1989. She has since spent time at the collegiate level between Troy and Alabama State University. Her last position was the Education Administrator for the Alabama Department of Education.
Video: Selma school children give their views.
By Shaleah Ingram and Benjamin McKnight III
Benjamin McKnight III