A federal judge sends a strong message to Alabama families with children in failing public schools. U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins ruled to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Alabama Accountability Act. Watkins sided with state officials who were sued by attorneys for eight public school students. The judge rejected the students’ equal protection argument. A separate suit challenging the law is still pending in Montgomery County Circuit Court. That suit was filed by members of the state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association.