Wilder Speaks Out about Dropping Magnet School Plan

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DOTHAN, AL--After months of public meetings and forums Superintendent Tim Wilder says he has to face reality.

"Obviously it's not the right thing to do in Dothan and I would be the first to stand up, many people told me it would happen and I still pushed along that path to try to see if we could convince some people that it was good and that didn't happen."

Wilder says with the amount of opposition his plan got from the community, he couldn't go forward with a vote.

"For me to come to the board now when there's not support for it to ask them to vote for it would not be fair for the board."

And he thinks that should say a lot to residents.

"If nothing else happens out of this process I hope the people know that we listen."

Wilder says even though his plan to do away with the magnet program didn't work out, he still wants to strengthen the curriculum throughout the middle school system.

"We're talking about a possibility of nothing but honors at magnet schools there has to be a 'C' average maintained to be at a magnet school we're thinking about making that a 'B'."

Wilder says if approved, the changes will be phased in.

"People don't need to be concerned that now we're going to come after the kids who are there and make all these rules and kick some out, that's not my intention."

Wilder says the committee's new direction will now focus on improving curriculum.

A public meeting is set for Monday, April 8th at Honeysuckle Middle School.

Superintendent Wilder says the board will officially announce their decision to not vote on the issue and to move forward.

Wilder says he doesn't plan to revisit his plan to eliminate magnet schools in the future.

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