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Parental involvement may save your school

March 1, 2010

The following is a quote taken from the Get Schooled Blog:

I wholeheartedly disagree. A school is a representation of the community that surrounds it, and as such those very factors you mention should be taken into consideration. If the test scores are abysmal and parent participation non-existent in addition to low enrollment–those schools should be at the top of the list to go. Dekalb hasn’t met AYP as a district in a while, and closing down schools that perform well and have demonstrable community support would be foolish.

Many times poor people are less empowered because they CHOOSE to be. They have access to the same libraries, board meetings, political representatives, and the like that everyone else does. For a great majority, they are just not interested in taking advantage of it. Stop making excuses and start making changes. I worked in APS in the front line with many of the very parents you describe I assure you they just.don’t.care.

via Deciding which DeKalb schools to close: Academic performance will not be a factor | Get Schooled.

I fear that what is going to happen is you are going to see several schools in South DeKalb closed. The pressure that the parents in the central/north part of the count put on the board may very well save their schools. But what is disturbing is the line where the post says that the parents  just don’t care. If you look at the list of schools that are on the chopping block, of the ones in South DeKalb, all score poorly on just about every test or criteria that is suppose to measure what the students have learned. You may also notice that many of these schools are poor with many of the parents unable or unwilling to take an interest in the education of their children. These parents have set the bar low for their children, because the expectations of the parents is low. Because expectations from parents, students, and the community are higher at Midvale, or Brockett, parents are going to go get the knowledge and skills to put together an effective campaign to save their school, whether they are successful or not. These are educated middle-class people who expect more from their children and from their school. On the other hand, schools like Gresham or Toney do not have the tools or the knowledge to mount a campaign to save their schools. That’s not to say that there are not parents at these schools who could not put together a response to their school being closed, the problem would be that there are not enough of them to be effective. What will happen is after the decision is made, and the school is closed, many parents of these schools will become vocal in their disdain for the decision. But it will be too late. When the schools to be closed are announced, and if Midvale or Brockett are on the list, they can say to their children that we fought and we lost, but we did fight. It will be a teachable moment for those kids and parents the next time they need to take on the system. When Toney or Gresham is closed it will be just a moment, with no new knowledge gained for the next battle and the cycle of low expectations will continue.

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