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?