Discover Top 12 Worst Schools in Alabama Today

Alabama has a lot of history and is known for its mild weather and different geography. Its low cost of living makes it a place where many people want to live. But families with kids in kindergarten through college should look into the quality of the schools in the area before choosing where to live. When it comes to schooling, Alabama is ranked 46th in the United States.

As required by the Alabama Accountability Act, the Alabama State Department of Education puts out a yearly list of schools that are failing. To be considered failing, an institution must be in the bottom 6% of all Alabama public schools in terms of academic performance. As shared on, the kids’ test scores show how well they do in school.

A college’s graduation rate is a good way to tell if it is passing or failing. This is shown by the number of students who finish their degrees in 150% of the time it usually takes to get a degree.

Even though a few public schools moved off the list in 2022, others moved in to take their place. These schools are on our list below. There are 75 public schools in Alabama that are failing right now. The most schools that were failing were in Montgomery County, Birmingham City, and Mobile County. Read on to find out more about which Alabama schools you should avoid if you live there or plan to move there soon.

School Address City Grade Levels Test Scores
Bruce K. Craig Elementary 108 Craig Industrial Park Selma, AL K-5 Arithmetic: <1%
School Selma, AL 36701 English: 15%
Hemphill Elementary School 714 12th Street SW Birmingham, K-5 Reading: 47%
Birmingham, AL 35211 AL Math: 2%
Chisholm Elementary School 307 East Vandiver Boulevard Montgomery, K-5 Reading: 44%
Montgomery, AL 36110 AL Math: 2%
Science: 3%
English: 9%
Inglenook K-8 School 4120 Inglenook Street Birmingham, K-8 Reading: 48%
Birmingham, AL 35217 AL Math: 3%
English: 12%
Capitol Heights Middle 116 Federal Drive Montgomery, 6-8 Math: <1%
School Montgomery, AL 36107 AL English: 15%
Westlawn Middle School 2430 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Tuscaloosa, 6-8 Math: 1%
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 AL English: 17%
Science: 9%
Parker High School 400 Reverend Abraham L. Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, 9-12 Math: 2%
Birmingham, AL 35204 AL English: 6%
Science: 5%
Lee High School 225 Ann St. Montgomery, 9-12 Math: 1%
Montgomery, AL 36107 AL English: 9%
Science: 7%
John L. LeFlore Magnet 700 Donald St. Mobile, AL 9-12 Math: 2%
High School Mobile, AL 36617 English: 8%
Science: 10%
Jefferson State Community 2601 Carson Rd. Birmingham, College Graduation Rate: 6.1%
College Birmingham, AL 35215 AL Early Career Salary: $41,100
Mid-Career Salary: $59,900
Bishop State Community 351 N. Broad St. Mobile, AL College Graduation Rate: 9.8%
College Mobile, AL 36603 Early Career Salary: $42,500
Mid-Career Salary: $56,600
Enterprise State Community 600 Plaza Drive Enterprise, College Graduation Rate: 10.3%
College Enterprise, AL 36331 AL Early Career Salary: $38,400
Mid-Career Salary: $58,600

Elementary Schools

Elementary Schools

Bruce K. Craig Elementary School

108 Craig Industrial Park, Selma, AL 36701

The objective of Bruce K. Craig Elementary School in Selma is to direct all students to realize their maximum educational potential, but test results show that this vision is not being met. Less than 1% of children perform at or above grade level in arithmetic, while just 15% are proficient in English.

When compared to other Alabama primary schools, this one’s high success gaps indicate that students are not receiving the necessary help to succeed. Four out of every five children are considered low-income.

Hemphill Elementary School

714 12 th Street SW, Birmingham, AL 35211

Hemphill Elementary School is one of the worst schools for kids in grades K-5 in Birmingham. Even though 47% of the kids can read well, this is much lower than the state average of 77%. Even worse, only 2% of Hemphill’s kids work at or above grade level in math.

At this school, it’s also a problem that some students get kicked out. The rate of punishment for all students is 10%, but it goes up to 29% for students with disabilities. Most of the students are low-income, as 91% of them are.

Chisholm Elementary School

307 East Vandiver Boulevard, Montgomery, AL, 36110

In math (2%), English (9%), and science (3%), Chisholm Elementary School in Montgomery comes in the single digits. 44% of the students perform at or above grade level in reading, which is substantially below the state average.

The number of students per teacher is better than the average for the state, which is 16:1. Still, 14% of Chisholm’s students are suspended, and 24% are often absent.

Middle Schools

Middle Schools

Inglenook K-8 School

4120 Inglenook Street Birmingham, AL 35217

Inglenook is a big school in Birmingham where kids can go from kindergarten to eighth grade in the same building. Nearly half of the kids (48%) can read at their grade level, but only 12% can speak English well. 98% of students who take Algebra 1 pass, but only 3% of all students meet the math standards for their grade level.

At Inglenook, 23% of students are absent often, which is a problem, and 18% of students are suspended. Like many other failing Alabama schools, 93% of the kids come from low-income homes.

Capitol Heights Middle School

116 Federal Drive, Montgomery, AL 36107

Capitol Heights Middle School, which is part of the Montgomery County School District, does not do well. Even though students have to wear uniforms and there are only 17 students per teacher, middle schoolers at this school have trouble meeting standards for their grades.

Less than one percent of the kids are good at math. 47% of middle schoolers in Alabama can speak English well, but only 15% of kids in Capitol Heights can. Also, 22% of the students are often missing from school, and 20% of the students are suspended. Almost all of the people who go to Capitol Heights are poor (97%).

Westlawn Middle School

2430 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Westlawn Middle School in Tuscaloosa deals with low test scores, just like other schools on the state’s list of failing schools. Only 17% can speak English, and only 9% can speak science. Only 1% of Westlawn kids perform at or above grade level on math tests.

The rate of kids being kicked out of school is 21%, but only 14% of students are chronically absent. Even though 93% of the students are from low-income families, the school’s student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1 is better than normal.

High Schools

High Schools

Parker High School

400 Reverend Abraham L. Woods Jr. Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35204

Parker High School in Birmingham was the first high school for Black kids in Birmingham. It opened in 1900. Even though the school looks nice from the outside, with big columns and arched doorways, its students have trouble passing tests at their grade level.

Only 6% of Parker’s 9th to 12th graders can speak English well. Even worse, only 5% of students are good at science, and only 2% of students do math at their school level. The school has a 10% suspension rate, but chronic absence is a real problem, with 31% of students not showing up to school regularly.

Lee High School

225 Ann St., Montgomery, AL 36107

Lee High School is one of the schools in Montgomery with the worst grades. Only 9% of kids can speak English well, 7% can pass science tests, and only 1% can do math at their grade level. So, about half of the school’s students are ready for college, which is about half of the average for the state.

Advanced Placement (AP) studies are only taken by 6% of the students. 25% of students at Lee High are suspended, and 32% of the students are always missing.

John L. LeFlore Magnet High School

700 Donald St., Mobile, AL 36617

Magnet schools are usually some of the best schools in a county, but LeFlore Magnet High School in Mobile County needs to improve. In 2023, there will be a lot of work done on the campus. This might boost morale and get the school off the state’s list of failing schools.

Even though the school is called a “magnet,” only 3% of the students take AP classes. Only 10% of the kids at LeFlore are good at science, 8% are good at English, and only 2% meet the standards for math. The number of students who have been suspended or who are always absent is also high: 32% and 43%, respectively.



Jefferson State Community College

2601 Carson Rd., Birmingham, AL 35215

In Birmingham, Jefferson State Community College provides a number of certificates and degrees, including an evening bachelor’s degree program in collaboration with Huntington College and Samford University. Aside from that collaboration, students may want to avoid Jefferson State, which has a poor 6.1% graduation rate.

Those who graduate from Jefferson State with a two-year degree, on the other hand, may have good starting incomes after graduation. Based on pay potential, the school was placed 11th among Alabama’s finest community colleges. In 2021, early career salary was $41,100, and mid-career pay was $59,900.

Bishop State Community College

351 N. Broad St., Mobile, AL 36603

Bishop State Community College in Mobile provides a variety of associate degree and professional technical education pathways. However, it has the state’s second-lowest graduation rate, at 9.8%. Bishop State was ranked 21st among Alabama community institutions in terms of graduates’ starting incomes. Early career salary is approximately $42,500, and mid-career income is approximately $56,600.

In the News!

Although Bishop State Community College has one of the state’s lowest graduation rates, the Mobile Chamber of Commerce hopes to change that. They included Bishop State in a program aimed at breaking down educational barriers. The entire story may be found here!

Enterprise State Community College

600 Plaza Drive, Enterprise, AL 36331

Enterprise State Community College is located in Southeastern Alabama. This institution has two locations and offers a variety of career tech degrees, including aviation. However, at 10.3%, it has the third-lowest college graduation rate in Alabama. Enterprise State students ranked 16th in terms of graduate salary potential. Early career compensation is approximately $38,400, while mid-career income is approximately $58,600.

Avoiding Alabama’s Failing Schools

Ensuring that your children are enrolled in a high-quality educational institution is crucial for their learning and future success. While test scores hold significance, they should not be the sole criteria for determining a school’s suitability.

Let’s consider an example: among the schools included in Alabama’s list of underperforming institutions, there might be some with noteworthy attributes that could be significant for your child. These schools could possess outstanding fine arts departments or successful sports programs. Conducting a comprehensive online search will assist you in determining which schools align best with your family’s needs and preferences.

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Sean O
Sean O

Sean thinks the world of Montgomery County, Maryland. She grew up in the area starting from Silver Spring and has been involved in various organizations around the County. With the transformation of downtown Silver Spring, She pioneered interest in online content specific to the area. Sean graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus in Economics and Geographic Information Science.

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