Community Meetings Open Dialogue About Education in East Austin

March 7, 2011 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

Last week, there were three different community meetings with different people about the proposal East Austin College Prep Academy presented to AISD last week. Coming to the table were almost 50 community members who all agree that both AISD and East Austin Prep have the same goal: providing great educations to the children of our communities.

Some community members support the proposal that AISD lease the campus of Eastside Memorial High School, an under-utilized and low-performing East Austin school, rather close schools that are working in other parts of Austin and laying off good teachers. But there were also those that had questions about the proposal and the impact on the community in the Govalle/Johnston Terrace neighborhood.

What I found interesting was the number of people who were supportive of the idea of a full service community school that could really create change for the community. I am specifically impressed with how engaged the community has been in these conversations. It makes it clear that there are people who have been watching what has been happening in East Austin around education – and haven’t been satisfied. And while AISD’s budget crisis is an awful thing for all of us, it is also offering us the opportunity to reexamine how we choose to educate our children, prioritize our spending, and the impact it has on our communities. This, people, is how change happens!

I also found it interesting how many misconceptions there are about charter schools and the role they play in our public education system. It made it very clear that we need to open up the discourse about what public charter schools can do to provide families with options, facilitate education reform, and strengthen our communities. Look for more from me about this soon – it’s fascinating how much opportunity there is to think “outside the box” of the traditional public schools and that the system of public charter schools was built to do just that.

– Narissa Johnson
External Communications Manager, SWKey
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Entry filed under: Community Empowerment, East Austin, East Austin Children's Promise, EAustin College Prep Academy, Govalle/Johnston Terrace Neighborhood.

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