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Posted: August 7, 2009 12:00 a.m.

It does take a village

After publishing the story "New school, same challenges" last Sunday, we were left with more questions than answers.

We understand that the Newton County School System wants to "revive" Clements Middle by making it a theme school. And while opening Liberty Middle in state-directed status because it has the same attendance zones as Clements makes sense, it still puzzles us.

Adequate Yearly Progress outlined by the state and met by schools and districts with test scores and attendance is not a true test of a school system's quality - we are positive of that. However, meeting these goals is not an impossibility as evidenced in Rockdale County recently. Every school in the district met AYP goals. Rockdale has similar demographics to Newton County and did not achieve this milestone last year.

Yes, we agree that it is preposterous to think that every child can perform on the same level. Yes, we agree that students in the "with disabilities" sub-group should not sink an entire school (as the case with Clements for the past seven years) in meeting these goals.

But, we were shocked to find that people at every level of the education system - school, district and state - had trouble supplying information about what happens to consistently failing schools or what authority the state has over a "state-directed school."

No Child Left Behind has noble goals but also has obvious flaws. We are like the driver who takes his car to the mechanic because it's clunking and knows something is wrong but is not expert enough to fix it himself.

We need you to be our mechanic. What solutions or strategies do you think can turn education in Georgia and in this country around? Send letters to the editor to jtlong@covnews.com or 1166 Usher Street, Covington, Ga. 30014. You can also write or e-mail us with ideas you would like us to investigate for articles.

It truly does take a village to raise a child. Let's come together and find a way to be the best village we can be for our children.


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