It was nice to hear this from Cheryl Chow:
"This is a public education system, not a business system, if you will, so there's advantages of schools that already have built-in support, community support," said School Board President Cheryl Chow."
We went through that razzle-dazzle phase of "schools as businesses and principals as CEOs and parents as consumers" (I never knew where that left the kids.) Education is not a business or rather shouldn't be treated as a business. Good management and sound fiscal practices are needed to be sure but kids aren't commodities.
From Dr. G-J:
"The way the district is set up now, she added, "you have no quality control."
More than that, parents should not have to be detectives when enrolling in SPS. Every school should have a baseline - "here's what you can expect to see in any elementary/middle/high school" and go from there. The baseline should be the bottom line for what Dr. G-J and everyone else in administration believe is necessary for a sound education. Then schools can have their own focuses and programs (or have programs in their school that the district deems necessary for students in that area/region to have access to).
Again, from Dr. G-J:
"Goodloe-Johnson said her plan for a more centralized system isn't absolute. Schools will get to earn the right to do what they want. If students are doing well with a particular curriculum, she said, there's no reason to change.
"If you're not broken, if you're doing well, if you're meeting the targets, you don't have to change," she (Dr. G-J) said. "I don't want it to sound like a takeover, because it's not a takeover. It's about accountability and results."
That last paragraph is what I have heard called "earned autonomy". Your system is working with results and parental satisfaction? Okay, you can go on about your business. But schools that are struggling need to put their pride and differences with the district aside and work to bring change for children to their schools. (I don't mean that some schools are, for their own reasons, holding back student success but I've seen, more than once, a pridefulness in some school administrators that "this is the way we've always done it". Those days are gone.