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City of Brookhaven hosts DeKalb superintendent, legislators, in educational forum
by Noreen Cochran
April 03, 2013 11:18 AM | 2946 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis welcomed DeKalb County School District’s interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond to speak to city residents.

Davis also invited District 80 State Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, former District 40 State Sen. Dan Weber, R-Dunwoody, and education advocate Allegra Johnson, of Dunwoody Parents Concerned About Quality Education.

“The purpose is to discuss options for Brookhaven,” Davis said. “We’re not endorsing any options.”

Thurmond said those options include a fully accredited school system.

“We will not lose accreditation, not on my watch,” he said.

Weber said some communities are thinking about forming charter systems based on the cluster system.

“A charter cluster system will allow high schools and all its feeders to have a great deal of autonomy to drive change at the school house level so that decision making is made by parents, teachers and other stakeholders,” he said.

Jacobs said it may be easier to accomplish than it seems, since the framework is already in place.

“It’s not a stretch to take an entire cluster into charter status,” he said.

But during the regular meeting before the forum, District 3 City Councilman Bates Mattison said that time was running out.

“There is an August deadline. If this waits a year, the DeKalb school board will have their own solution and it may be more governance,” he said.

Johnson supported a constitutional amendment that by 2015 may help independent school systems break away from the 98,000-student DeKalb County Schools.

“As you can tell, over time, large systems that become too large have dysfunction and bureaucracy that prevent education rather than promote it,” she said.

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