Over the years, I have learned that if you want to really get to know someone, break bread with them around a table and open your ears.
Recently, I had the pleasure of serving some of the educational leaders from the Dougherty County School System.
Many of them expressed their concerns about the public's perception of the district in light of the CRCT cheating, pending issues of accreditation and controversy on the school board. As far as school systems go, the DCSS has taken a PR beating in the media.
While I was campaigning for mayor, I was asked many times about the sustainability of Albany and how we go about attracting new industry and people to the area. It was of no surprise to me that the No. 1 concern of most people considering relocation to Albany was the quality of education offered at our schools.
Take a good look in the mirror. As quick as we are to express our disappointment about things with the DCSS, why is it that many citizens still do not vote in School Board elections or on issues that will impact its success?
If we say that schools are a priority measurement of our quality of life here in Albany, and a reason for choosing a community in which to live, then why do we settle for anything less than excellence?
Sitting back only perpetuates mediocrity and prevents any forward progress to be made. As such, we should not be surprised at all by the outcome when we do.
Change your attitude about our schools, Albany. School Board elections and a new school year are upon us. It should be unacceptable for any office to go unfilled or be refilled by default due to a candidate running unopposed. This community, its school children and educators deserve better than that.
Perception can change if we all take on a "glass half full" attitude about our schools.
B.J. Fletcher is an Albany businesswoman.