Online responses to last week's issue, which featured "The big screw" by John Sugg. Comment on this week's stories at atlanta.creativeloafing.com.
.com-ments are edited for space, not content, punctuation or grammar.
So what to do...
So what's the solution to this problem. We already spend far and away the most money per student, so I doubt throwing more money at the problem is the answer. If we have a sudden rise in activism by affluent white parents, I'm sure we'll hear that they are merely racists trying to push out the black power structure. If black parents complain, they'll be told it's their own fault for letting their hooligan kids listen to rap music and that they don't care enough. So tell us Mr. Sugg, any suggestions?
Brian, you raise the essential question -- what should Atlanta do about its schools? For the reasons you cite, and for several others, the answer isn't simple. I think concerned parents, black and white, should rebel against the current school administration. The board should be voted out, and replaced with people who value achievement above featherbedding and extravagant spending. That board needs to clean house with the administration. Administrators who preside over failure need to get the boot. Urban schools are a difficult problem, but other cities show far great success at education. Let's look to the successful models. I think all of the new folks moving into Atlanta, along with many current concerned parents, can cause a revolution in the school system -- beginning with ousting the current board.
-- John Sugg
What to do?
My husband and I are one of the young couples who recently relocated to Atlanta. We also have a 2 year old. We had no idea that the city schools were that bad until we moved here but we were warned by local Atlantans that we shouldnt move to a place where our daughter will have to go to Atlanta City schools cause they scuk (their words not mine). So what are young parents to do? We live in unincorporated South Fulton County which has its own set of problems (never lived in a place that was so fragmented). Other than being rich enough to send her to private school in a few years, I guess my options are home schooling or moving to a somewhat better county. Any suggestions?
Find a school you like
I don't know what the schools are like in South Fulton, but I would think that unincorporated South Fulton would not be in the Atlanta Public School system anyway. I think its just plain wrong to say Atlanta city schools suck. They don't. My daughter is in one now and it is a very good school. Ask the people who say they suck if they have or ever had kids in Atlanta Public Schools. Some are better than others I'm sure but find one you like and move into that district. I can't imagine that school districts anywhere don't have the same issues. Try to find out first hand what a school is really like from people who's kids are going there. Remember Atlanta bashing is a favorite past time for some in the South.
Exactly...we copulated and moved!
We moved from our Cabbagetown to Gwinnett County just for that reason...intown schools SUCK, not to mention that prostitutes and crack heads hung out at night in our hedges.
Proud Product of Atlanta Public Schools
I am a 2002 graduate of the Fulton County School System, but my first 9 years were spent in the Atlanta Public School System. I also moved to unincorpororated South Fulton County, and when I moved I had to transfer to the Fulton County School System. Atlanta Public Schools don't suck. One of the reasons that the test scores are so low is because the majority of the students in the Atlanta Public School system are poor. Many of their parents don't encourage them to do their homework, or push the importance of an education. I went to school with many children who were just as capable, and some even more capable than I was, and who just didn't give a damn. I was lucky because I had two parents that knew the value of an education and made sure I knew the same. I did extremely well in college, and because of some of the AP credits I earned in high school I didn't have to take some of the Freshman courses. I was better at writing, and at math than most of my peers in college. And I owe it all to the Atlanta Public and Fulton County school systems, and of course great parents. The bottom line is, if you make sure that your kids do their homework, and are keeping up with their schoolwork, your child will be successful. The school board is not totally responsible for your children's education. There has to be some reinforcement at home. Studying is a learned behavior, and unless you're teaching that to your children, they're going to be unsuccesful at any school they attend. While in college I met a guy from Atlanta that had been in private schools all his life. He told me that in his graduating class, there were only 15 people. He got to college an ended up with all F's and one D in his first semester. He's back in Atlanta now, living at home. He didn't get the social experience that he would have gotten at a public school, and was so overwhelmed when he went to college that he ignored his school work. So before you get so caught up in the charter or private schools, make sure you do your research.
We have a bunch of denial going on in this discussion. Morningside El may be acceptable, though it's overcrowded. The brightest, most motivated, toughest kids (who don't mind being treated like a different species by their classmates) can do OK at Inman and Grady. It's hardly the education you'd wish for such kids and it's useless for the rest, who get away with doing no work and learn that school's a joke. And the cost of this mediocrity is outrageous. The comparables show this. John Sugg has one thing wrong perhaps. The poor can no longer afford to live in town. School taxes drive them out.
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