Monday's Board Meeting agenda is posted and we have before us for Dr. Atkinson's first Monthly meeting some items I'd like us to reflect upon.
Lifting from the blog of our suggestions for Dr. Atkinson I made this comment:
"I don't blame parents for seeking a better school for their child - I blame our decades long system of offering "escape" hatches to those who have the wherewithal to find it. We have a system that only responds to squeaky wheels and rearranges funding to support those emergency responses. What we need is a carefully thought out system that offers quality neighborhood schools - AND a few selections for those who wish for something different. But people shouldn't have to seek something different in order to escape the situation at their home school. That is wrong-headed thinking. And it's a self-perpetuating vortex of destruction.
Our system has for far too long been reactive. We need to become proactive. We need planning. We need to offer alternatives that have reasons to exist other than escaping the alternative. We need education-focused leaders - not leaders who simply respond to the most vocal in the community and let the others flounder."
Items 7&8 of Monday's agenda are an amendment to the charter for the International Community School and acceptance of a Letter of Intent to lease Medlock Elementary School to them. Both are recommended for approval. For those of you who are not familiar with this start-up charter school, it has existed in 2 rented church buildings for nearly 10 years. Here is a link to a year's worth of international press coverage that they got in the Christian Science Monitor a few years back. Article #10 discussed some of their struggles to find a permanent facility: http://littlebillclinton.csmonitor.com/littlebillclinton/
Item 9 is the presentation of a 5 year charter contract for the Museum School of Avondale Estates. Here is a link to the board item, which has a lot of text about the proposed tiered attendance zone for the school as well as the full text of the charter (THANK YOU!). The tiered zones would allow it to be a "community school" for the Avondale, Midway, and Knowlwood zones before admitting additional students county-wide. It has received much support and assistance from the city of Avondale Estates:
In a highly unusual move--the sentence that contains the superintendent's recommendation to the board has a blank where normally approval or denial is requested. Every other item on the agenda has a recommendation for approval.
So my friends. If you were Dr. Atkinson--what would you say to the board on each of these items?