Dallemand: 'Macon Miracle' Will Happen | News
Bibb County school superintendent Romain Dallemand made a forceful, emotional appeal for support of his strategic plan in a speech to several thousand students, teachers and civic leaders at the Macon Coliseum.
SLIDESHOW: Macon Miracle Event
Dallemand recalled his own story of growing up in poverty in Brooklyn, unable to speak English at age 15, and going on to earn four college degrees.
His voice rising to a shout, he declared: "There is absolutely no reason on this planet why our students here in Bibb County cannot receive a solid education to prepare them for the 21st Century. Absolutely no reason."
"We are going to make it happen! We are going to make the Macon Miracle a reality in Macon."
Dallemand's appeal won cheers and applause -- a sharp contrast to the anger over his plan heard in comments from parents and students online, on Facebook, and at the Bibb County Board of Education.
Dallemand asked the audience to open their minds to the "Macon Miracle" plan. He asked the audience what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would say about the state of Bibb County schools and compared his plan to King's dream of racial equality.
Dallemand said his proposal calls for realigning schools without increasing class sizes. He said elementary school classes will be kept at 25 students and secondary schools will be limited to 30 students per classroom. According to Dallemand, the plan will align schools based on enrollment within five to seven years. He ensured that his plan to close schools will not include layoffs.
Dallemand expressed his hope for teachers to be excited about accelerated after-school programs, but they will not be required to participate.
He also explained his plan for prevention teams to counsel students returning from youth detention centers. According to Dallemand, this will decrease the amount of disruptions in the classroom.