An Open Letter to Atlanta’s School Board

Atlanta Public Schools

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It was not necessarily my intention to use this blog to point a finger or preach a sermon but the members in charge of making decisions for Atlanta Public Schools are not just embarrassing their constituents, they are sabotaging the country’s future. The real victims of this selfish group of immature adults are the children who attend the schools. If the public schools in Atlanta lose accreditation, some very bright and capable youngsters also lose, the city loses, the state loses and in the long run everyone loses.

This is not about your needs, wants, desires of even thoughts. This is about what is best for the city of Atlanta and the public schools producing the next generation of movers and shakers. No, I don’t live in the city or have children attending Atlanta public schools ( a blessing I am more than grateful for daily), but it doesn’t take a genius to see how the inability for school board members to put aside their differences and personal agendas is damaging a great city with the potential to produce some of the finest our future will see.

Atlanta is a melting pot of various cultures, races and religions. This very nature gives the city an edge over smaller municipalities which don’t have the mosaic of personalities to enrich the educational climate with opinions, experiences and diversity for true learning. Yes, every large metro urban school board is faced with kids who will fail, teachers who perform poorly and discipline and academic problems of seismic proportions. Smaller districts have the same on a smaller scale. There is a lot to deal with but demonstrating to the very children that you hope to instill a sense of worth, respect, tolerance and integrity to that you condone or turn a blind eye to cheating, will punish whistle blowers or disrespect the opinions of your colleagues is not simply hypocritical, it is downright dangerous.

Your inability to come together for the sake of doing what is right begins to tumble the dominoes that bring a great city down to your level of mediocrity and shame. Loss of accreditation changes the whole portrait of a city. Property values fall, migration of families means loss of revenue for public works and improvements and gradually those hoping to make Atlanta their home decide otherwise whether they are planning to relocate an entire  

Montage of Atlanta images. From top to bottom ...

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company or a household.

I don’t really care what your individual differences are. Having taught in schools in the North, I can honestly tell you that members of the board and administration often butt heads, maybe that is the nature of the beast. But disagreeing on any level never should resort to a situation that involves innocent bystanders. Granted funds and scholarships, jobs and security go by the wayside if certain goals are not met but anytime any goal is reached through inappropriate actions, deceit and turning heads to disregard what is begging to be changed, is a goal compromised in such a way that true victory can never be realized. Ever.

Please for the sake of those who trusted you; be bold, be honest, be mature and be responsible.  Don’t act like animals fighting over a piece of meat. You can’t expect to raise up a generation who believes in doing the right thing by demonstrating the exact wrong way to go about it.

Keep your good and honest teachers. Don’t turn a blind eye to those who are pointing out the poison in the system. Get rid of what needs to be abandoned whether administrators, regulations, inadequate teachers or animosity and start doing your job before you become the pariah of the country and earn the reputation for the “school district no one wants to become.”

This is your chance to come from behind and demonstrate what each of you is made of. Never squander the opportunity to be different because it is right even if there is a cost. There is a much larger cost at stake and they are sitting in your classrooms every day hoping you won’t mess this up.

Come together, come clean, work together and build a future you can look back on and be proud to have been a part of. Don’t be the wound that won’t let Atlanta heal. Parents, students, and what education stands for is counting on you to show up and grow up. Today.

About Kathy Brunner

Author, Speaker, Fire-starter. Believe anyone can make their passion happen and create a life On Purpose and With Intention. I can show you how to re-invent your life to go from Burned Out to Fired Up. Are you ready to REALLY live your dreams?
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