It was recently reported that the Columbia County Board of Education has adopted a new pre-K drawing process. I applaud CCBOE's attempt to improve the current system, which appears to favor school system employees over parents living within the pre-k zone.
As a parent who was involved in the 2007 scandal involving the River Ridge Elementary School's pre-K drawing, I have serious reservations and concerns about the newly adopted process. The new process appears to remove the identification of those selected for each pre-K program.
The thought is admirable. However, it could also be used as an effective way to remove the parental oversight from the drawing process - which, at least in 2007, brought this issue to the forefront.
Witnessing firsthand how CCBOE handled the 2007 scandal, I am skeptical of the new system's true intent. By not announcing who is chosen, the new system will prevent the parents from knowing if school system employees' children have been drawn. This could potentially lead to a higher rate of "cheating" the system, while also successfully removing the "skeptical" parents who call out favoritism in the process.
If CCBOE moves forward with this approach, I call on them to immediately publish a breakdown of each school's Pre-K class roster (without student names) that identifies how many students are enrolled, how many are children of school system employees, and how many of those are "out of zone."
If the new system is truly meant to remove favoritism, CCBOE should be proud to publish the results. Failure to do so will further parental skepticism of the school system's administration and its educational staff's professionalism, honesty and integrity.
Andy Crosson, Evans
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