Archive for March, 2009

Maintaining school attendance zones

In every district I’ve covered, parents are frustrated that school officials don’t do more to make sure that all students on each campus are zoned to attend that school.
In Fulton County, parents who are new to the district or have recently moved must prove residency by showing copies of a mortgage, lease, utility bill or other document.
Families already living in the district must sign an affidavit regarding their kids’ legal address. That rule was implemented several years ago to check that students are in the correct schools, according to the district.
One parent, Avis Hornsby, is suing the district over the policy. Hornsby, an attorney, says being forced to sign the affidavit is unconstitutional and violates her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
This is the second high-profile case in recent months over school attendance. A Clayton County mother was found guilt of making false statements in a sworn affidavit to illegally enroll a child in Henry schools. …

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Obama wants to overhaul education

President Obama talked about merit pay for teachers, expanding charter schools and decreasing the drop out rate during a speech Tuesday morning. It was his first major address on education since taking office.
“It is time to give all Americans a complete and competitive education from the cradle up through a career,” Obama said. “… What’s required is not simply new investments, but new reforms. It is time to expect more from our students.”
There were few specifics in the speech. But he did promote merit pay for teachers. He challenged states to improve lessons in reading and math.  And he mentioned lengthening the school day and year.
More details will come during a speech to Congress in the next several weeks. Until then, what do you think of these plans?

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