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The Atlanta School Board is controlled by a slate of former Teach for America teachers. They are devoted to privately managed charter schools. They don’t seem to have any ideas about how to improve public schools other than to outsource them. They are determined to impose a portfolio district model that welcomes more charter operators staffed by temps like they once were.
A group of Atlanta citizens, led by Edward Johnson, perennial fighter for incremental improvement, not disruption, has presented a petition to the School Board:
An Open Letter to Atlanta Board of Education:
Why the Portfolio Privatization Plan for Atlanta is a Bad Idea
We, the undersigned, request that members of the Atlanta Board of Education vote against any resolution or resolutions brought before the Board on March 4, 2019, or at any other time, that would establish any aspects of the would-be Excellent Schools Framework in the Atlanta Public Schools district.
The Excellent Schools Framework, which is based on the so-called Portfolio of Schools plan, is another corporate privatization effort intended to, in effect, turn over our public schools to private companies and establish charter schools that use public money for what are essentially private schools. Our public schools are not stocks and bonds in an investment portfolio to be bought, sold, and speculated. Our public schools are where children ought to be nurtured, protected, and educated.
We know that, in addition to privatization, school closures and attacks on teachers will accompany any implementation of the Portfolio of Schools plan, which the Atlanta Board of Education’s would-be Excellent Schools Framework is based on. No research exists that indicates the so-called Portfolio of Schools plan actually leads to improving learning for students and teaching for teachers.
We also know The City Fund is promoting the so-called Portfolio of Schools plan, with $200 million raised to use to influence targeted urban public school districts to adopt, adapt, and implement the plan. The City Fund’s local designated entity, RedefinED, has used its money to organize astroturf support for this plan.
This proposal is especially disturbing, coming at the time when the Board and Superintendent have already set hundreds of billions of dollars to go to billionaire social impact investors and real estate developers in “The Gulch” deal, downtown.
We urge you, the Atlanta Board of Education, to forgo your Excellent Schools Framework and, instead, adopt evidence-based models, such as the Community Schools model, that actually work for children.