SREB and Alabama


SREB and Alabama

An overview of SREB programs and services and how Alabama participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.



Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding or select a detailed state report. >

College and Career Readiness

Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to take transitional courses in 12th grade.

SREB profiles summarize each state’s progress on these recommendations through fall 2016. >

Benchmarking Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards 

Tracking and reporting progress on implementation of college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms across states. Based on this research, SREB staff support states through reports, meetings and technical assistance.


In May 2017, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Alignment of Instructional Materials, a regional report that describes implementation across the states, highlights strong state efforts and recommends actions for improvement — plus state profiles that describe each state’s efforts in detail, highlight notable actions and offer recommendations for moving forward.

The report notes Alabama’s strong efforts in the areas of supporting local efforts to use high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials; and using data to continuously improve state efforts.


In September 2017, SREB staff presented information on state efforts to align instructional materials and on state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act at SREB’s annual Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff. A stakeholder from Alabama attended. >

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

Alabama attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum on policies for high-quality career and technical education in November 2016: 5 >

    Educator Effectiveness

    Adves state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, conducts needs assessments and focus groups to help states plan and evaluate implementation, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.

    Technical Assistance

    SREB partnered with the Alabama State Department of Education to support implementation of a statewide educator effectiveness strategy. Educators-in-residence conduct in-depth professional learning and training with district teams as they develop their educator evaluation plans. SREB staff visited the department in December 2016, June 2017 and October 2017 to support this strategy.

    Staff responded to two information requests from Alabama stakeholders in the last 12 months. Constituents requested SREB analysis related to teacher attendance and employment rules for school personnel.

    In the last 12 months, SREB’s educator effectiveness team provided technical assistance, brokered expertise and policy and practice resources to Alabama state legislators and their staff, state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and teachers.


    Department staff attended a regional community of practice meeting in November 2017.

    SREB staff presented to attendees of the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017.

    The Alabama State Department of Education sent representatives to SREB’s fifth annual educator effectiveness convening in March 2017. They participated in working sessions with peers from nine other SREB states.

    State lawmakers attended SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council Winter Meeting in December 2016. SREB staff presented to attendees on teacher preparation and teacher recruitment strategies.

    reports and data

    SREB produced several resources for Alabama leaders during the last 12 months including:

    Evaluator Training: A Guide for States, September 2017, which spotlights seven components associated with effective training for observers of teachers.

    Feedback on Teaching: A Fresh Look, July 2017, with strategies for district and school leaders to establish and sustain better feedback practices.

    Student Surveys: A Fresh Look, May 2017, which covers the practical implications for state, district and school leaders seeking to use emerging student survey tools.

    Information Request Series, beginning in January 2017, with responses to stakeholder questions on topics including educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention incentives.

    Educator Effectiveness Bill Tracker interactive tool, updated weekly to allow constituents to track legislative bills across eight areas, including teacher preparation, evaluation and professional learning.

    A bi-weekly educator effectiveness e-newsletter. >

    Teacher Preparation 

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met in 2016, 2017 and will meet in 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs. 

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. 

    Postsecondary Education


    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the Commission’s report, policymakers can draw on updated regional and individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels.

    SREB convened state higher education agency academic officers in October 2017 to discuss factors that impact college affordability. Attendees learned from each other about new policies for tuition, fees, financial aid, transfer, textbook costs, online courses, collaboration with K-12, readiness and serving returning adults. A representative from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education participated.

    SREB assisted Alabama legislators and other leaders who requested information on postsecondary issues such as financial aid for dependents of veterans, educational goals, state longitudinal data systems and open learning resources.

    State Services

    Connecting policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited Alabama to meet with legislators and staff, and attend committee meetings in 2016.

    Throughout 2016-17, legislators, legislative staff and governor’s staff from Alabama requested assistance on topics including student transportation, tenure for school support personnel, school improvement, goal-setting in higher education, financial aid for dependents of veterans, need-based and merit-based financial aid funding, best practices for teacher preparation and education tax credits.


    Alabama staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2017 meeting of legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions.

    Alabama legislators were among those in attendance at the 2017 meetings of SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council and Legislative Work Conference. >


    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Model District: Jefferson County

    The Jefferson County School District in Birmingham is working with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies across the district’s middle and high schools to get students ready for college and careers with:

    • Literacy Design and Math Design training and coaching
    • Career academies that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses such as Advanced Career
    • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
    • Support for career counseling
    • Scheduling improvements to build in planning time
    • Readiness Courses to be sure students in middle grades are ready for high school, and high school seniors are ready for college

    SREB honored Jefferson County Schools with the Outstanding LDC-MDC District Award in July 2016. Fultondale Elementary in Jefferson County won the Outstanding LDC-MDC School Award for elementary grades.

    Stories about SREB and JefCo >

    Model District:​ Huntsville City School District

    The Huntsville City School District in Alabama partnered with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies for schools in two feeder patterns in the district. With a focus on classroom practice and instructional leadership capacity to get middle and high school students ready for college and careers, SREB services include:

    • Project-based learning
    • Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative
    • Career pathways that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses such as Advanced Career
    • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
    • Support for career counseling

    Model District:​ Marshall County and DeKalb County 

    The Marshall County and DeKalb County school districts in north Alabama have partnered with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies across both districts’ middle and high schools to get students ready for college and careers. SREB is working with the districts on:

    • Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative
    • Career academies that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses such as Advanced Career
    • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
    • Support for career counseling
    • Readiness courses to ensure students in middle grades are ready for high school, and high school seniors are ready for college

    Advanced Career

    A new approach to career and technical education that combines college-readiness academics with hands-on, project-based assignments focused on modern careers. Advanced Career helps prepare students for as many options as possible after high school: a high-value job, college, community college or technical school. 

    Alabama was the lead state working with SREB to develop the AC aerospace engineering pathway.

    Alabama participation in AC programs, 2017-18:

    • Aerospace Engineering: 3 schools
    • Energy and Power: 2 schools
    • Health Informatics: 1 school
    • Informatics: 1 school
    • Teachers trained: 7 >

    Readiness Courses:
    Math Ready and Literacy Ready

    Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of their education. 

    Ready for college

    Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. They are taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.

    The Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Community College System are collaborating to pair local community colleges with high schools and ensure a smooth transition to college for students who take the courses. 

    Over 100 Alabama teachers were trained in SREB’s Readiness Courses in 2017, and 35 high schools are implementing Literacy Ready and Math Ready in 2017-18.

    Ready for high school

    New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.

    Alabama is one of 10 states that have participated in developing, field testing, training or piloting Ready for High School Literacy or Ready for High School Math. Selected schools in the state are piloting the courses in the 2017-18 school year.

    In 2015-16, 21 Alabama teachers from 10 schools participated in training for the courses. >

    High Schools That Work

    The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework, its six design features and nine key practices, to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

    HSTW State Network

    Member states select schools to receive services. The fee for state membership in the consortium covers several services and visits.

    Alabama is a member of the High Schools That Work state network.

    HSTW Board Member: Collie Wells, Interim Deputy State Superintendent, Career and Technical Education, Alabama Department of Education

    HSTW State Coordinator: Josh Laney, Senior Director for Workforce Development, Alabama Department of Education

    Contracts for Direct Support

    Schools, districts and states contract with SREB for targeted school improvement services, such as onsite coaching, technical assistance and professional development. 

    147 Alabama schools contracted for direct services in 2016-17. 
    SREB delivered 342 days of onsite coaching and 123 days of onsite staff development at the schools.


    Minor Middle School in Adamsville and Pike County High School (grades 7-12) in Brundidge won Outstanding Making Middle Grades Work Site awards in July 2017. >

    Making Middle Grades Work

    Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to the professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.

    Active middle grades schools in 2016-17: 28

    In Alabama, in 2015-16:

    • 60 schools were active in the network.
    • 25 schools contracted with SREB for direct services.
    • 95 days of onsite coaching and 35 days of onsite staff development were delivered to schools. >

    Technology Centers That Work

    Helps shared-time centers produce high-demand, high-wage graduates. SREB provides staff development, technical assistance, publications and assessment services. The network includes almost 196 sites in 18 states.

    Active centers in Alabama in 2016-17: 13 >

    Counseling for Careers

    Awakens students to career goals and connects them to the high school and postsecondary programs of study to succeed in them. SREB offers workshops, materials and coaching for districts, schools and technology centers, which then involve teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and community partners.

    Five Alabama districts, middle schools or high schools are participating in Counseling for Careers professional development and coaching in 2017-18.


    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference

    Conference to share effective instructional strategies of the Literacy and Mathematics Design Collaborative frameworks. 

    Alabama attendees at the July 2017 conference: 286 >

    Go Alliance Academy

    Strives to increase the postsecondary education and career success of all students by providing timely and relevant professional development in college and career readiness to school counselors, teachers, principals, career coaches and college access advisors. 

    Alabama is one of 20 member states and one of the six founding states. 

    Go Alliance Academy Representative: Sean J. Stevens, Education Administrator, Counseling and Guidance, Alabama State Department of Education >

    High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference

    Annual conference for thousands of school leaders, teachers and counselors from middle grades, high schools and technology centers across the country.

    Alabama attendees at the July 2017 conference: 209 >

    Learning-Centered Leadership Program

    Works with district, state and university partners to prepare aspiring principals and school leadership teams to lead school reform to ensure that students are ready for college and careers. This program offers training, guidance and technical assistance.

    Alabama attendees at the 2017 Annual Leadership Forum: 6

    Three Alabama educators attended LCLP trainings at the 2016 High Schools That Work summer conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

    The staff of the Council for Leadership in Alabama Schools were trained on SREB leadership modules and redelivered training across the state through an agreement with SREB. >

    Literacy and Math Professional Development

    In Alabama, SREB is partnering with the state on a large-scale effort to help districts and schools adopt, spread and sustain effective literacy and math teaching strategies to meet their state’s college- and career-readiness standards.

    The Literacy Design Collaborative framework empowers language arts, science and social studies teachers to build meaningful assignments aligned to their state’s college- and career-readiness standards. Teachers take ownership of their professional growth, and students take ownership of their learning.  

    “With LDC modules and mini tasks, students are transitioning from single sentence opinions to paragraphs, referencing research to support their ideas — then to full-length assignments with multiple layers of cited research to support their claims.” — Reese Woytek, science teacher, Slocomb Middle School, Geneva County

    The Mathematics Design Collaborative teaching framework uses formative assessment lessons — part assessment, part instruction — to help teachers know whether their students understand material they have been taught. Teachers learn to adapt assignments and engage students so they understand the hows and whys of math.

    “Your students may be able to recite a three-step method for finding slope from a given representation, but if they lack the deep conceptual knowledge of what the slope tells you and are unable to apply this in a practical situation, their knowledge is shallow and disconnected from other important mathematical ideas.” — Jillian Watson, Bottenfield Middle School, Adamsville

    During the 2017-18 school year, this SREB professional development reached Alabama educators in 121 schools.

    Alabama teachers, principals and trainers who participated in training and coaching: 1,233


    In July 2017, these Alabama educators won awards for their work with the literacy and math strategies:

    Angela Belrose, Juliana Coleman and Michelle Landrum
    Jefferson County Schools

    Outstanding LDC Local Trainer Award

    Meagan Holt
    Blount County Schools

    Outstanding MDC Local Trainer Award

    These schools and educators were honored by SREB in July 2016:

    Jefferson County Schools
    Outstanding LDC-MDC District Award

    LaToya Gay
    Banks Middle School, Pike County School District
    Outstanding LDC Teacher Award

    Fultondale Elementary School, Jefferson County Schools
    Outstanding LDC-MDC School Award (elementary grades) >

    Project-Based Learning in Career Pathway Courses

    Training model for teachers in high-skill career and technical education programs, and career pathway academic courses. Academic and career and technical education teachers improve assignments and assessments by working with business and industry partners to develop projects that require students to apply college- and career-readiness and technical-academic standards.

    Alabama teachers participating in 2016-17: 228

    Teachers and administrators in training or coaching: 61

    Schools: 1


    Postsecondary Education

    Academic Common Market

    A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

    During calendar year 2016, approximately 2,100 degree programs were available, 151 institutions participated and nearly 3,300 new students were certified for study.

    In 2016,141 Alabama students participated in the Academic Common Market, saving, on average, $16,595 each and a collective total of $2,339,979 in tuition. 

    ACM State Representative: Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >​

    Regional Contract Program

    Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

    Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Alabama programs in fall 2016: 220

    Residents of other states may contract for entry into Auburn University and Tuskegee University in veterinary medicine, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham in dentistry and optometry. These Alabama institutions receive more than $6 million annually from other SREB states. >

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to open more high-quality distance education offerings for students and ease regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states. 

    Alabama is an approved member of SARA.

    Alabama SARA representative: Tim Vick, Director of Operations and Fiscal Services, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Publishes one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of comparative data through a cooperative effort of state postsecondary education agencies. Data are updated annually on topics including population demographics, college completion, tuition and fees, cost of attendance, state appropriations and faculty salaries. 

    Alabama leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, as well as Alabama: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and the annual SREB-State Data Exchange tables.

    Alabama’s Participating Agency and SREB-State Data Exchange Coordinator: Subrena Simpkins, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of October 2017, 11 Alabama institutions are members (listed here with their representatives to the Council):

    Auburn University: Gregg Newschwander, Dean
    Auburn University at Montgomery: Jean Leuner, Dean
    Coastal Alabama Community College: Jean Graham, Director
    Jacksonville State University: Christie Shelton, Dean
    Samford University: Nena F. Sanders, Dean
    Troy University: Diane Weed, Director
    Tuskegee University: Doris Holeman, Associate Dean
    University of Alabama: Suzanne C. Prevost, Dean
    University of Alabama at Birmingham: Doreen C. Harper, Dean
    University of Alabama at Huntsville: Marsha Adams, Dean,
      SREB Nursing Council Executive Committee Member
    University of South Alabama: Debra Davis, Dean >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,200 attendees.

    Scholars funded by Alabama in 2016-17: 24
    2016 Institute attendees from Alabama: 47

    Scholars Alabama has supported since joining in 1993:173

    Graduates since 1993: 128
    Graduates currently employed: 111
    Percent employed in education: 80

    Alabama-supported Ph.D. students have attended these institutions since 1993:

    Auburn University 
    Clemson University
    Howard University 
    Meharry Medical College
    Texas A&M University
    University of Alabama
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    University of Kentucky
    Vanderbilt University >


    Interstate Cooperatives

    Go Alliance

    An interstate cooperative to increase high school graduation rates, access to education beyond high school and postsecondary degree completion — particularly for those who would be the first in their families to enroll. Go Alliance research, services and professional development focus on college access policy and communications strategies to motivate students to plan for and apply to college.

    Alabama is a Go Alliance member state.

    Go Alliance Representative: Sean Stevens, Education Administrator, Alabama State Department of Education >

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education. 

    Alabama representatives attended the spring and summer webinars. Alabama sent two attendees to the 2017 ETC annual meeting on teaching and technology. Alabama ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on the working groups for revisions. Earlene Patton is a member of the ETC Executive Committee.

    Alabama ETC Representatives and Member Agencies 

    Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education

    Earlene Patton, Educational Technology Coordinator, Alabama Department of Education >

    Technology Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $3.3 million on more than $33 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2017 — double the FY2016 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    Alabama saved $104,927 on $1,060,659​ in technology purchases in fiscal year 2017. >