On February 4th, 2019, Atlanta Board of Education held their monthly Board Meeting. There, they discussed various problems and a potential solution. One key problem in APS is the achievement gap. The achievement is a significant disparity in academic achievement among different races. Although Atlanta’s graduation rate is at it’s all time high of 79.9%, black and Hispanics still fall behind their white counterparts by 20% points. At first, APS tried their Turnaround Strategy, which was used “to understand how key initiatives are evolving to support the strategic objectives of the Academic Program.” So far, the program has made improvement in math performances at both targeted and partnership schools. They also discussed that in order to get better results, they must continue to explore growth among their schools in other subjects as well as suspensions, and planning scaffold support.
Although this Strategy seems to be making some change, APS has proposed something greater; something better. They proposed to close Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School, reconstitute West End Academy, and create a new school. This new school will fall within the Alignment with Atlanta College and Career Academy. The school will provide these more comprehensive programs so students are ensured to graduate, on time, and with experience on their hands to enter the real world. Some of the programs will provide careers in dental science, nursing, law and legal services, and the culinary arts. If things go according to plan, changes will be effective starting in the 2019-2020 school year. There is no magic solution to improve these schools, it is going to take a village and everyone to be dedicated fully, and it starts with the environment and opportunities being offered.
What do you think about the new plan that the Atlanta School Board has presented? Do you think this will help the students most affected?
For more information, a public hearing with APS Board of Education will be held on February 27, at 6pm. Location: Tuskegee Airman Global Academy Elementary School (TAG Academy).