Monday, September 28, 2015


Today's AJC editorial page has a couple of interesting juxtapositions, one from the AJC's Education Pundit, Maureen Downey and the other from our very own former-councilman Robert Wittenstein.

Wittenstein took on a previous editorial which claimed that establishing separate school systems in cities recently formed in North DeKalb would constitute separate but unequal and a clear move back to our segregationist ways. Wittenstein pointed out the racial demographics of Dunwoody but neglected to address socio-econoomic segregation these new schools would foster. As is always the case, it is all about the money. There is a point here. Given that the tax revenue per 1000 population is greater in Dunwoody than throughout the county the city schools proposal has the unseemly appearance of the Greedy Rich getting richer whilst starving out those who need it most.

Maureen was both observing that children who most need parents or other adults in their educational lives are least likely to have same whilst those with the most are rapidly pulling ahead. There was just a whiff of a suggestion that geography correlates with this effect. Her main call, sure to fall on deaf ears, was for those involved parents to extend their involvement to the less fortunate children in our midst. To align with that thinking you will need to conjure a reality where all of DeKalb is our midst. Since the only time parents in Dunwoody give a rip about the Columbia High cluster is when they play DHS in basketball or football this whirled view isn't getting traction in daVille. Imagine how well it resonates with the City Schools movers and shakers.

Where Maureen really drops the ball is when she suggests that we level the playing field. Bad analogy. First, most folks who are at the peak of an uneven field see leveling as dragging us down. The other problem is that many of these same folks already feel over-taxed (DeKalb is over the legal limit, so hard to argue that one) and that their money is ill spent. They do not see a field to be leveled as much as swamp to be filled. And Dunwoody wants none of it.