Atlanta will be the first stop of a four-city tour called Saving Tomorrow, Today: Redeveloping Our Community School.
The city’s public school system is struggling to rebound from a devastating test cheating scandal and other deep-rooted education challenges.
When she began her tenure in 2014, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen told parents that she has one year to repair a three-decades old problem, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
She added: “I don’t know why as a community we don’t understand that Atlanta Public Schools is effectively broken.”
Education consultants highlighted these among several problems in the school district: disparities of instructional quality, weak leadership pipeline, and neglect of at-risk students’ social needs.
In March, the Atlanta Board of Education unanimously approved an academic turnaround strategy, CBS News reported.
The plan includes closing several schools, hiring a charter school group to manage some schools, and spending millions on low-performing schools.
But not everyone is not onboard. Some parents question the sense of uprooting students and suggest it’s better to bring new instructors and administrators to low-performing schools.
The local teachers union also opposes the plan, which would require hundreds of teachers and staff to reapply for their positions. In some cases, charter groups would make hiring decisions.
This effort to fix the public schools plays out against the backdrop of a proposed constitutional amendment that would permit the state to take over failing schools. In November, voters will be asked whether they approve the state’s Opportunity School District plan.
The AJC said the district hopes to improve its schools and prevent a state takeover.
The Redeveloping Our Community Schools town hall meeting is scheduled for June 13 and begins at 6 p.m. It will be held at the West Hunter Street Baptist Church, located at 1040 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.
The four-city tour is organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, and the University of Phoenix.
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