Last month, the Georgia Department of Education released the 2022 Milestone scores. This is the first time we’ve received a clear data point for our students in two years. More than half of Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s 3rd graders are not reading at or above grade level according to the 2022 assessment. A striking 30% of 9th graders had to be held back. This is difficult to hear as a parent of two young children in the district.

We can’t just COVID-explain away our students’ futures. We can’t bury our heads in the sand, pretend learning loss didn’t happen, and leave our children hanging. The district desperately needs a clear plan to put our students back on track.

This isn’t solely on our educators and administrators. As parents, we need a seat at the table. The parent voice needs to be heard and join forces with our district officials, teachers and school administrators so that we can work together to create a culture of excellence that raises standards and expectations, holding us all accountable for our childrens’ future.

Now is the time for the district to explore outside-the-box ideas to create actionable solutions that best serve our students’ needs. We should explore a robust tutoring program, direct payments to parents to provide outside learning support, and more acceleration versus remediation.

And let’s not forget our diamonds in the rough: we should study our high-performing schools and replicate what’s working across the district to allow more of our students to succeed in their education.

We all have one common goal: the success of our children. United, we can create great change. Sweeping our glaring problems under the rug, ignoring them and hoping they’ll work themselves out has proven ineffective.

I hope that Savannah wakes up and stands up for the future of our children.

Jae Di Lorenzo has two children in the Savannah Chatham Public School System. She has a passion for improving education in Savannah and across Georgia. Last year, Jae led our work in Savannah and will continue our efforts this year.


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