It's easy to evaluate the Columbia County school board's "pocket" rezoning of a relative handful of students:
Great idea. Lousy execution.
School Superintendent Charles Nagle came up with a reasonable proposal. High schools will be rezoned in a couple of months to prepare for the 2009 opening of Grovetown High School. The recent rezoning of middle-schoolers creates isolated "pockets" of rising ninth-graders who would start one high school next year, only to be swapped in 10th grade to a different school. It makes sense to switch them now.
About 93 students were caught in this limbo. So the board agreed with Nagle's "pocket" rezoning to let those students attend the same high school for four years.
That was the great idea. The lousy execution ? That was when Nagle treated the topic with such secrecy, even getting testy with a reporter who spilled the beans by asking about it. He clearly expected to avoid public scrutiny, and then to get the plan quickly approved by the board before any parents could object.
It's understandable that Nagle is a tad sore after some of the grilling he received during the middle-school rezoning. Still, these are public schools we're talking about - and members of the public do, indeed, deserve to know what's going on in them.
If the idea is good enough - and the pocket rezoning clearly is a good idea - the public will support it. But if the citizens think it's being shoved through under cover of darkness, they're less likely to give even a good idea a fair hearing - and will be even more skeptical of the next one.
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