Monday, July 15, 2013

 

Nancy's News:  "Do City School Districts Perform Better?"

 
The cityhood movement is in full swing in DeKalb.  There’s plenty of news, discussion, controversy and conflict surrounding the topic.  I live in an already incorporated area.  I understand the motivation to form new cities.  But this post is not about the pros and cons of cityhood.  This post is about city school districts in Georgia.  Our last constitution, ratified in 1983 is Georgia’s 10th constitution and our nation’s youngest.  Article VIII of that constitution sets out the parameters for public education and its governance.  Section V, paragraph I of Article VIII, allows all existing school districts (county and city) to remain but prohibits any new independent (city) school systems from forming.  Georgia was left with 21 city districts, 159 county districts and no new districts allowed to form.  The motivation behind the prohibition on new districts was mostly economic in nature.  The result consolidated bureaucratic power and effectively eliminated competition in education for the next 30 years.  But was this prohibition a wise choice?  If we measure the implications in student achievement, the answer is no.

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