Thursday, July 12, 2007

LOA gets approval

The Athens Banner-Herald is reporting that the state signed off on Lake Oconee Academy which, while disappointing, isn't terribly unexpected.

Erick at Peach Pundit chimes in and says he favors 'neighborhood schools' (though I'm kinda unsure of what he means since the public education system is actually built upon that model). I'd also like to point out that charter schools are supposed to include more inclusionary policies so as to help students from across the school district, but that isn't really the case here.

Out of 400 students for LOA, only 80 slots will be held for those outside the approved attendence zones that ring Lake Oconee. That means out of 2,100 students - overwhelmingly low-income and African-American - 80 will be hand-picked to attend the new charter school.

Listen, I honestly don't fault the folks at Reynolds Plantation or along the lake for wanting to have a strong, quality school for their children to attend. Having a safe and challenging academic environment for one's child is the desire of any parent ... but I just think it's rather unfortunate that this new school has the very real potential to not only harm the other students in the school system, but to also damage the relations between black and white, rich and poor in this community.

There are so many things that could be done to help support and better the existing Greene County schools and empower the low-income citizens there, it's just a shame this much energy and so many resources are being devoted to this school when it will well serve only one portion of the population, yet be funded by all of them.

Yet, it's done. So what now? The folks at Reynolds Plantation have won the right to open up a charter school, and I sincerely wish them well and hope their children gain a good education from LOA. My concern now is that we - and, yes, I mean we - find something to do to help provide opportunity and support for those who live north of I-20 in Greene County.

I imagine there are several ways to support the schools up there, and I'm going to look into finding out how.


Anonymous StopALLtheBS said...

Out of 400 students for LOA, only 80 slots will be held for those outside the approved attendence zones that ring Lake Oconee.

You and the folks are misreading this 80 slot thing.

That is 80 slots outside the primary attendance zone. The "primary" attendance zone is the area right in the high dollar district. The secondary attendance zone is the area of the county south of there, which is all white. Only after the the seats have been filled from the primary and secondary attendance zones will seats be made available to the third level attendance zone, north of I-20. Remember that the 80 only kicks in when the full enrollment reaches 500.

To emphasize the blatantly racial aspect of this, remember that this school will have only 500 students, but have grades K-12. To put this in perspective that is less than the enrollment of an ACC middle school.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

The other thing I don't quite understand is that Greene County already HAS a private school, Nathaniel Greene. I haven't the foggiest idea what the quality of that school is, though I have a pretty good idea, given its founding date. Still, if people want an all-white school, they've already got one.

11:47 PM  

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