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Smaller school board in Dekalb is not the cure

November 16, 2010

Is the DeKalb school board too big to govern well? | Get Schooled.

I ain’t buying this one for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the number of representatives is not the problem, it is the quality of the board members. They can reduce to 5 members, and if those five will continue to do what they do today then nothing will change. Secondly, a school board is only as successful as the students and teachers in that the system turns out. BOE members from good school systems do not have the microscope of public scrutiny day in and day out. The three “bad ” systems of Clayton, DeKalb, and Atlanta are producing students who are  ill prepared to function in today’s highly technical and highly competitive world. It is not the board members  in Cobb or Gwinnett that makes them great, it is the parental system. On the whole, those systems have many more parents who know the value of an education, are educated themselves and demand the schools provide a quality education to their children. The parents are holding the board members to a very high standard. I would bet my last dollar that if you compared parental involvement in the five counties you will see Gwinnett and Cobb at the top. Finally, I worry when people want to pull representation from folks. You are going to take two board members and enlarge the pool that each board member represents seems to go against the idea of our representative democracy. If you really want to get a better board in DeKalb, increase the standards for those who want to run for school board. No community activists,  no parent who gets upset because their child was kicked off the football team. Make an advanced degree mandatory. Make working in an educational setting for some part of your career mandatory. If you up the requirements you get a better talent. Keep the bar low, and no number of members will up the talent level.

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