By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Schools embark on new journey
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
The bureaucratic verbiage may not resonate like Star Trek’s “boldly go where no man has gone before,” but the Forsyth County school system has been cleared for a historic voyage of its own.

Last week, the state approved the school system’s request that it be allowed to shed some of the confining restrictions of statewide school mandates in return for a commitment that students will exceed current standards of accountability if local educators are allowed increased flexibility in how they manage their schools.

Forsyth is only the second school system in the state to be approved for Investing in Education Excellence (IE2) status. Gwinnett, the state’s largest school system, was the first to be granted approval for IE2.

While the program is shrouded in the frequently indecipherable language of the state educational bureaucracy, the translation in short form is that local schools will be given more flexibility in how they operate for an initial five-year period, and in return must show a higher level of achievement.
Think of it as tossing a one-size-fits-all garment from your wardrobe and replacing it with something tailored.

The state department of education has to adopt rules designed to improve public school systems statewide. But the cookie-cutter approach to operating school systems doesn’t work when some systems, frequently through lack of finances, are forever stuck 20 years behind the times while others can’t get to the future fast enough.

Forsyth school leaders are looking to set new standards of excellence, and we applaud them for it.

That said, the state approval granted last week was but the first step in the process. Now the schools, with ample input from parents, educators and students, have to devise the individualized plans by which each school in the system will operate under relaxed state guidelines.

Freed from the shackles of state mandates in certain areas, those responsible for educational oversight in the county now have to show that increased flexibility from centralized control can result in improved academic performance at the local level.

We have no doubt that will be the case.