We wouldn’t make students use textbooks from the 1940’s…

The AJC has an article online titled “Population shifts mean big changes for schools”. It gives a good overview of how population shifts cause turmoil and frustration for families that are forced into school redistricting. As I read the article one thought kept going through my mind: Why does the public school system still tell people where their children should go based upon their street address?

Think about it. Geographic school districting has been done since before I was born, but is it really the best way to educate children? Wouldn’t it be better if families could determine which school was best for their children based on a case by case basis? Why does the school system tell a family in a horrible school system that they should attend horrible schools? Why does a family that paid a premium price to buy a home in a great school district have to accept a redistricting based on the decision of a bureaucrat 30 miles away? Why do two families across the street from each other have to send their children to different schools?

North Fulton schools will be redistricted this year and I don’t expect any change in the way that process is handled at this late stage. I also think that the Fulton County School System is trying to do the best they can under the system that is imposed on them by legislation. But it doesn’t have to be this way and I submit to you that it shouldn’t.

The way we educate our children has changed a great deal since the 1940’s. Calculators have replaced slide rules. Computers have replaced encyclopedias. The textbooks now include the Civil Rights movement and the election of our first black president. We have come a long way.

But back in the 1940’s school systems told students which school to attend based on their address and they still cling to that same method. We wouldn’t make students use textbooks from the 1940’s… why do we still use a 1940’s method to determine which school they will attend?

2 thoughts on “We wouldn’t make students use textbooks from the 1940’s…

  1. This is one reason why you see the charter school and homeschooling movements gaining momentum.

    Homeschooling is no longer the 70’s hippies communal schooling. You can do it all at home, bring in tutors, utilize local classes, or do it all online. Even the state has jumped on the bandwagon with GA Virtual School. There are “hybrid” schools where the student attends classes anywhere from one to four times a week to receive instruction and homework, then the parent manages the workload at home.

    There are so many options available, especially in the Atlanta area, that if there is a will, there is a way. I believe it all stems from the American independent and innovative spirit to find solutions to our own problems. It’s the free market at work.

    Monoliths tend to be inflexible. The system is cracking under its own weight and will continue to do so until there is more real local control.

    As to the current redistricting issue, I hope they come to their senses. The middle school is organized by north/south and the high school by east/west. The Crabapple plans to restrict traffic are going on just as we are bringing in the Roswell population. What about all the high density planned for west Alpharetta that will crowd the schools? What were they thinking?

    If the schools begin to decline as a result of this, no one is going to want to pay these high Fulton taxes for nothing. Then west Alpharetta will continue to deteriorate.

  2. Meant to say middle school is east/west and high school by north/south.

    Imagine having one child at Northwestern and another at Bethany Bend, and having to drop offs or pick ups at both, or coordinate after-school activities.


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