The good news is that overall SAT scores in Gwinnett County are up this year over last year. The bad news is that two high schools in District III have reported SAT scores lower than last year.
These two high schools were the only high schools in District III until this year and my opponent has served as their school board representative for the majority of her 15 years. What do these results say about Gwinnett County School Board decisions that have affected this district? What does it say about our representation in District III?
Principals have come and gone over the past 12 years, but my opponent has been a common denominator. Parents and community members, how closely was my opponent informing and engaging you about the fourth grade reading scores for each of the elementary schools throughout the years? How closely was she monitoring the absentee rates in her schools? What initiative did she champion for transitioning middle school students? And did she miss the trends between the graduation rates by subgroup over the years?
If the incumbent chooses to take credit for SAT scores along the campaign trail it seems only right that she be answerable to the public for anomalies in scores in the two high schools in her district that need her advocacy and support. Surely we deserve to hear less about the Broad Prize and more about plans to ensure that our children are accepted to college.
I have been saying all along, and I will say again, the quality of education affects everyone. We can’t just be concerned with our own children. We can’t just ignore education if we don’t have kids. Our economic future depends on an educated workforce and a favorable environment to attract new business to the area. We don’t need lobbyists, we need well-educated children.
We don’t need pockets of excellence – we need excellence across the board. We are not asking the board to micromanage principals but we do expect that rigorous, respectful, public dialogue take place on these important issues. What trends do board members see emerging that could impact our children down the road? Given the information available, how can we best serve the children of Gwinnett? We expect our leaders to collect data, analyze it, and act in such a way that each child is valued and given an equal chance at success.