Originally created 09/25/98

Disagrees on switch of principals 092598 - The Augusta Chronicle



Many of the teachers, students and alumni of T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School and other citizens are disturbed and perplexed by the apparent rapid decision made to exchange the academic leadership between A.R. Johnson Magnet School and one of Augusta's inner-city schools, T.W. Josey. We are further concerned by the rationale for this change which suggests that School Board members set priorities which resulted in a further inequitable distribution of the intellectual resources required to educate all students in Richmond County.

We recognize there has been a drop in SAT performance at A.R. Johnson under the leadership of its current administration but that drop still leaves this talented, select group of students ranked among the highest in the state.

Furthermore, it appears that no one has performed an in-depth study of the causes of these changes at A.R. Johnson. We assert that, if one looks close enough, a more liberal admissions policy to this magnet school would be a substantial causative factor in the decline in SAT performance. This is not to suggest a more liberal admissions policy to magnet schools is in error since these unique opportunities should be made available to every student in Richmond County.

In spite of this decline, virtually no student at A.R. Johnson is in jeopardy of not being able to attend credible colleges and universities across the country. T.W. Josey, on the other hand, faces an entirely different set of educational circumstances. These circumstances require the deployment of disproportionate intellectual resources to teach a non-select, inner-city group of students, some of whom come from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds.

These students need the best the country can offer to provide them equitable access to opportunities beyond high school. Without that investment, a large number of students will remain substandard and, therefore, will not become productive citizens for our state and country. ...

Mrs. Janice Polk Hobbs, Augusta