The Bibb County Board of Education has found itself in a tight spot. Its new interim Superintendent Kelley Castlin-Gacutan has announced four goals for her tenure. All are important, but none more critical than a decision that must be made, by order of the state, by June 30.
The system has a choice of staying as it is (status quo), moving to charter status or reaching for the highest rung, IE² (Investing in Educational Excellence). One of the important components in making a decision is asking the public what it thinks. It’s here the system has dropped the ball. It’s conducting an online survey that serves no purpose at all. It simply asks which one -- Status Quo, Charter or IE² -- they would prefer. No explanation of the differences between the three plans is offered. However, if you’re Sherlock Holmes, you’ll find the 25-slide PowerPoint presentation that will look like gobbledegook to most parents. The state Department of Education has a 91-page presentation that will also mystify stakeholders.
While the board may feign asking for public input over the next two weeks in six public sessions, the decision is a fait accompli. A status quo district loses some funding and the ability to apply for most state waivers. An IE² district, unfortunately, is beyond the system’s capabilities. There are only three in the state. So that leaves charter as the only real option. The system should just tell stakeholders what they plan to do and why rather than pretending to listen for the sake of a state requirement.
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