Friday, October 08, 2010

The Orleansification of Atlanta's Schools

And not in a good way. The DeKalb County School Board is about to implode their system, and nobody seems to have any idea how to stop the nosedive.

And, after reading that article, that's a nosedive of spectacular fashion.

Reading about this reminds me that New Orleans isn't the only place where this type of system-wide collapse takes place. (Though the Atlanta article does include a word you aren't likely to hear within 100 feet of any New Orleanian discussion on public education: accreditation.)

I'd bet charter-school and school-choice advocates are licking their chops to get after DeKalb. But that just brings me back to my main complaint about charters, school-choice and privatization-of-public-resources in the first place: If we can't fix problems when our tax dollars pay the bills and officials we elect will not do the people's business, why do you think contracting those services out will bring any better response? If something isn't working, why put another layer of unaccountable individuals between ourselves and successful communities?

All this is further proof, to me at least, that we don't have to go all Tea Party and play revolution in order to "take back our country." We don't have to take every decision out of the "government" hands that we, the people, theoretically control. We just have to reengage and reinvest with local and state decision making processes in the dynamic and progress prone ways that have been essential to every forward step this country has taken.

If we don't, the drama of the DeKalb School Board will only continue to plauge us, no matter where we live or what we do.

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2 comments:

DADvocate said...

If local governments are contracting with private companies to provide schools, they're doing it wrong. Parents should be able to take the money for their kids where they want, which will usually be the best schools. If not enough parents like your school, the school dies.

privatization-of-public-resources

Just remember that all public money comes from private resources. You left out half of the equation.

You love to play the snarky comments. Remember this: Liberals having a "Take Back America" conference. Is it only OK for liberals to use the term?

Funny how the MSM is saying take back America from who and all that kind of stuff now. Taking back America was all the rage a few years ago. No bias here, move along.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

they're doing it wrong.

True dat. Though I have yet to see a model of school choice that works as something other than a de facto self-segregator.

I absolutley know that public money comes from private individuals. My problem with that is A) when the public doesn't get a good return on their investment usually B) because someone in government effectively privatizes that money. And not in a "return it to the private hands it came from" way, but a "now its all mine" way.

And not to split hairs, but that happens with private government contractors and overzealous bureaucrats.

I'm not playing snarky comments, either. "Take back the country" means absolutely nothing when the next few words are "and give it back to the political animals who got us into this mess" or "from those people who stole it in the last free and fair election." (And the same words can apply to either side, and have at some point this decade.)

Marches on Washington in some costume or with a sign may lead to some catharsis, but it hardly changes anything. On the other hand, holding accountable your local school board, showing interest in your local police force, or conducting examinations of local infrastructure issues...