Giving Compass' Take:

· Just as we demand excellence from our local sports teams, Suzanne G. Mitchell, former vice chair of the board at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, explains that we should demand the same from our schools so that our children receive the education they deserve. 

· How can Atlanta schools raise the bar and exceed expectations? What are some challenges schools face when working to provide an excellent education?

· Here's how leadership plays into the performance of schools

As the mother of 11-year-old twins, I spend every day planning, supporting, and coordinating their lives. I have also worked in their school, sat on its board, and made myself available to teachers and parents needing support. With that background, as the city of Atlanta and the rest of the country prepare for the biggest event in professional sports, it occurs to me that if we made the same demands of our public schools as we do of our favorite pro football teams, we would have few or even no failing public schools.

I have to imagine that when Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is recruiting a head coach, the conversation centers on four basic things — funding, staffing, execution, and winning. I also believe the new head coach would get to develop the strategy, determine the budget, and pick the coaches before promising Blank a Super Bowl ring.

As Atlanta Public Schools rolls out its plan for creating a System of Excellent Schools — an initiative for helping struggling and failing schools that’s being discussed by the Atlanta Board of Education — we should expect no less from the district than we would from the Falcons.

If you consider yourself a rabid fan of your favorite team, you start each season expecting a playoff berth and a potential shot at the big show. As a loyal fan or season ticket holder, you would demand that the owner make the right investments, the head coach build a competitive team, and the players have a strong coaching staff to execute at the highest level.

Read the full article about demanding excellence from schools by Suzanne G. Mitchell at The 74.