When should Ga. schools allow student transfers?

As many of you predicted, it won’t be so easy to take advantage of a new state law that allows families to transfer their child to any public school within the district.

The Georgia Department of Education wrote the rules for HB 251 and school districts will post on July 1 which campuses have room for extra students.

Charter schools don’t have to accept transfer students. Schools that only have room in trailers or those that have been open for less than four years won’t have to participate either.

Before schools can accept students under the new state law, officials must allow transfer students under the federal No Child Left Behind Act guidelines.

Priority also goes to students who have siblings at the school and special education students who would benefit from programs offered exclusively at the school.

Once that’s done, schools may have few spots (or none) for parents who hoped the new law would give their kids a shot at a better school.

The law’s sponsor, Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, said the rules are not parent friendly and fail to provide the flexibility she hoped for.

State education officials said the rules follow the spirit of the law, while allowing for concerns about overcrowding.

What do you think of these transfer rules? How can schools balance parent choice without overcrowding the best schools?

68 comments Add your comment

Stan

June 24th, 2009
8:58 am

I think this is turning out to be a million dollar law that will generate about $100 bucks worth of value.

Seen It

June 24th, 2009
9:43 am

I have worked in a school that was high performing and was sent 200 NCLB kids in one year. It was a major adjustment, but we made it work. One thing I wish had happened was a requirement that if the kids transfer, the parents have to volunteer so many hours in order to stay another year. I know it may be tough for working parents who want to make a sacrifice and drive a long distance to take their kids out of their home school, but they also have to sacrifice their own time, especially if their kids have behavior or academic problems. No shows for a parent conference should be unacceptable. The majority of the kids who came were wonderful, but there were some major issues.

Charter schools should take some of the burden within their own school system. Many well to do schools are going charter for the very goal of not having to take these kids. They should have to set aside 50% of any available seats to students of choice. If they have 8 slots, then give 4 to choice kids, unless the slots are needed for siblings. They get all of the benefits that come from the school system, they should help with the burden as well.

If there are no slots available within better schools within a system, then parents should be able to leave the system and go to another school system as long as they can provide transportation and there are no behavior problems or problems with tardiness or absences and parents do volunteer.

I would rather see parents come together with the schools and make their own communities stronger because kids who travel have a hard time because they are not with friends and neighbors. If your kid is ok with it, then fine.

I think teachers who teach in low performing schools should get bonuses only for good performance and get rid of the ones who cannot perform and they should stop making excuses. You get title 1 money which is great. Don’t blame administrators or county policies, everyone knows that you do what you want once your classroom door is closed anyway. Close it and make a difference in the lives of the kids you have assigned to you. You went to college for this, so just do it.

Sorry, got a little off track. Just think that teachers can make a difference when they are great and can help the reputation and performance of a school.

Seen It

June 24th, 2009
9:53 am

If a school has trailers, then they should not have to take transfers. Let’s say a school has 3rd grade in trailers, but has openings in second grade. They should not allow any choice 2nd graders because since they get to stay to the highest grade, they will become 3rd graders the following year.

Also, it sure is hard for a student to transfer and spend 5 or more years at an elementary school and make all of these friends and get used to certain environment and then have to return to his own middle school.

What happens to all of the special permissions that school systems give out. Will they continue to do those? We had so many kids who claim that their school is unsafe and write dozens of letters and get their children in a school of their choice using this route.

zoe

June 24th, 2009
9:57 am

Parents make the schools, not the teachers, not the school systems. If parents really want their children to attend better schools, they need to be involved. Volunteer, go to PTA meetings, go to school activities. I teach at a school with over 2000 students, at any given PTA meeting, there are less than 50 parents there and most of them are present because their kids are performing. School success is a community effort and the sooner parents realize that, the more schools will improve.

Ernest

June 24th, 2009
10:01 am

It will be interesting to see how school districts determine the number of available seats at each school. The typical ’standard’ used is to multiply the number of classrooms by 22 to determine the instructional capacity. You also need to factor in the standards used for other students (i.e. special education, ESOL, gifted, etc.) and look at the population for each at every school.

I believe this will put pressure on many of our metro school systems. Some schools will get more applications than available seats. AYP transfers also get priority so how will that impact the definition of available seats ( there could be conflicts with the federal definition). What if a receiving school ‘wants’ that running back with 4.5 speed to complete the football team? Will you need to conduct public lotteries for those seats? This will be interesting….

catlady

June 24th, 2009
10:10 am

According to our (small) county, there is only one elementary and one primary school that MIGHT be able to take students. Kids at those two schools cannot transfer anywhere–the other elementary schools are not available. One middle school can take kids, but cannot send them because the other middle school is less than 4 years old. And there is only one high school, so those kids cannot go anywhere either. I wonder how many positions at the state DOE are being created to oversee this “program?” What a do-nothing mess!

alice

June 24th, 2009
10:19 am

There will be no seats at decent schools. In metro Atlanta, good schools are already full and with trailers.

This law was/is a sham.

Rep. Morgan’s husband is a member of the Cobb County School Board. She brought forward this legislation, in part, because a constituent’s child was finishing middle school where she was an administrative transfer and wasn’t allowed to continue to the high school in the same feeder pattern. It seems like her husband could have authored a local school board policy to address this issue.

But wait, I suspect, that because of capacity issues, Cobb school officials and other board members wouldn’t have supported this policy. So, Rep. Morgan is using the long arm of the state to force something on school districts.

Seen it all

June 24th, 2009
10:39 am

(This is the original “Seen it all”, not the perpetrator poster from above :) )

Unlike my secret admirer from above, I am against these transfer laws, whether they are written by Alisha Morgan or the federal government. These laws do nothing but allow a minority of students to flee the school and leave all the others behind. I have worked at Title I schools that did not make AYP. Parents used that as the ticket to get their child transferred to an another school across town. It really had nothing to do with the education their home school provides. It was just an opportunity to get what they couldn’t get on their own– a chance to get their kid into another neighborhood school in which they could not afford to live.

Joy in Teaching

June 24th, 2009
10:44 am

My school has always made AYP and, as a result, has always been a choice school.

Last year, we had almost 300 choice students…and as a result, we did have to get trailers and move teachers around during the school year to accomadate the overload.

Most of the kids we got were absolutely wonderful students who were well behaved. I’d be proud to have them back again.

And then there are these who weren’t good students nor well behaved. So, we ended up with this group of current and future gang members who viewed the only reason to go to school is to socialize. They did not pass classes and they caused serious disruptions.

Now…I’m not really sure why those students were allowed to remain at my school. I’m pretty sure that all of these proponents of “choice” really had the intent to improve education to those who want it, not provide a different venue for gang members and drug dealers who put our ability to make AYP in danger.

In other words, a great school merely because a good school.

Is there some reason why we can’t just send them back to their home schools is they don’t want an education in the first place?

catlady

June 24th, 2009
10:48 am

Another of my posts did not (post). It pointed out that in my small county 3 schools are eligible to recieve kids but cannot send any because the others have some of the exemptions, like trailers or not open for 4 years yet. The others can send their disgruntled, but don’t have to take any.

Great job, legislature!

WakeUp!

June 24th, 2009
11:48 am

This is a politically-expedient law that allows Mrs. Morgan to look like a champion of the people, on the backs of stretched-thin school districts. HB 251 is already creating confusion among parents with the No Child Left Behind transfers. Instead of transferring your kids, how about getting involved at your local school and lifting your own community?

This law is a veiled attempt at allowing kids in poorer communities to go to schools in more affluent areas – the entitlement attitude given legs by the law.

B

June 24th, 2009
12:13 pm

To Joy in Teaching -
I had the same question regarding those children with behavior problems, etc being sent back to the home school and could not get a clear answer from my county office. My child was approved for an administrative transfer and I received a letter stating that if there were behavior problems, etc. he would be sent back to the home school. Do “choice” students get the same letter?

So what happens if....

June 24th, 2009
12:15 pm

What happens if a student transfers to a different school and has a discipline record a mile long and continues to be a chronic discipline problem? Are there parameters in place to send this student back? What right does this student have to disrupt the learning of an entire class of students who live in the districted area of the school? Also, what if this transfer student starts to have truancy issues and is constantly late to school or absent? Is there also a parameter in place to send this student back to his/her original school?

granny

June 24th, 2009
12:19 pm

This, like the voucher system, is a scam and a sham! And getting involved in the school does not work where my child attends. You have to kiss butt over there and I refuse. We, as a family, have decided to hire a tutor to teach her, and she can spend the day watching waste in school. This worked last year, and I on th etutor list again this year. Totors are making a fortune now, since the teachers only teach the CRCT test and the others arenot teaching anything at all.

jim d

June 24th, 2009
12:25 pm

To reitterate–Allow “Choice Schools” to resolve the issues created by this do nothing law.

Courtney

June 24th, 2009
12:27 pm

This law would be another disaster in the History of Georgia education. Giving schools more paperwork and regulation is wasting their time. Time taken away from organizing better ways to educate the children.

Seen it all

June 24th, 2009
12:39 pm

Joy,

I agree with you. My school did not make AYP and had to provide choice. Many of the remaining “good” students (along with some trouble making hoodlums with perpetually complaining parents) ran to a neighboring school. This is what happens with choice. The only students left at the “home school” are the left behinds who are academically marginal at best, mentally defective, crippled, ugly, poor, black, or Hispanic. I’ve been teaching at Title I schools (in a diverse county) for years. This goes for elementary, middle, and high school.

This is why I am against public school “choice” (vouchers) as well. The private schools will only take the remaining cream of the crop that is left in these public schools. The parents of students in “good” schools are not going to pull their kids out to send them to a private school because they have what they really want– a homogenous environment made up of students and families like themselves. The few people who want vouchers are those who either have kids in a inner city/suburban ghetto school who are looking for a way out or people whose kids aren’t cutting the mustard in the local neighborhood school. In either case most private schools won’t take these kids. All you will see is scam artists opening up “schools” and “academies” to take these people’s (the government’s) money. It will be like these charter schools you see now.

ScienceTeacher671

June 24th, 2009
12:49 pm

catlady, what about the many small & rural counties (including ours) that have only one school per grade level?

I know that the metro area is the major concern of most of the posters here, but for much of the rest of the state, this law (and the NCLB choice law) don’t make a difference, because there is nowhere else to go.

For us, when children can transfer across districts, it might make a difference, but that isn’t going to happen because of local control and taxing issues. (We could also argue that the number of tiny counties in GA results in a lot of waste and corruption overall, and we could also argue that it might be more equitable for all schools to be equally funded by the state instead of funded locally, but those are debates for another thread…)

Mr D

June 24th, 2009
1:14 pm

What will the rule be for athletes? The GHSA rule is always been that a student can play sports after a one-year layout, unless his family had a bonafide change of address to the new school district. So can a student transfer to a new school (same district) with a better, higher-profile football team – or one with a promising depth chart – and immediately play?

Aaron

June 24th, 2009
1:20 pm

Seenitall,

You talk about “good schools” and their homogeneous populations of students. Well, yeah…

Their parents have worked hard enough to live in a good neighborhood inside a good school district so that their kids can go to schools where each of the students is well behaved and serious about learning.

Such is the way of the world. Your choices have consequences, both good and bad. Take school seriously, go to college, make money, live in a good neighborhood, take parenting seriously, provide a good start for your children.

Don’t take school seriously, drop out, work in a minimum wage job for minimum skilled people, live in a bad neighborhood, don’t take parenting seriously, provide a crap start for your kids.

I feel bad for the kids because they didn’t choose their lazy, crappy parents. But ultimately, I don’t feel bad enough for them to let them come in to my kids’ schools and bring down the quality of the school.

The government (at least up until now) is not in the consequence elimination business. In America, you eat what you kill.

Reality

June 24th, 2009
1:28 pm

Why must we make education so complicated. It should not be.

Local schools were created to serve the local communities. That community was taxed to pay for the local school. If the local community wanted to make changes to the local school, the individuals became involved to make the change.

Now, we are wanting to move these kids from one side of town to another, here and there, supposedly to chase a ‘better’ education? How about simply improving what is nearby? Wouldn’t that be simpler?

If a local community isn’t happy with the local school, they should change it. Otherwise, stop the nonsense!

Not seen it all

June 24th, 2009
1:32 pm

A few teachers said most of choice students were wonderful, but some were problems. Most of the discussion seems to focus around those who cause problems, but those wonderful students are the reasons we should let them move to better schools, aren’t they? Why do we keep sacrificing those children?

echo

June 24th, 2009
1:51 pm

ah…transfers. I remember the time I was in the office of Pebblebrook High in the first week of school and one of our worst thugs came in and asked to transfer to Walton because we “weren’t filling his needs and didn’t make AYP”. Wonder where he learned all that? When he was given the paperwork he was told he would have to have his own transportation. (He didn’t like that and ended up staying.) After he left the office we all commented that we could probably find “volunteers” to take him to Walton everyday. I think the East/North Cobb schools would LOVE to have some of those darlings from South Cobb.

SHS

June 24th, 2009
1:52 pm

I go back to M-to-M (Minority-to-Majority) transfers in DeKalb County … the primary reason why I opposed M-to-M (after I saw it in operation) and why I now oppose AYP transfers and School Choice is because parents of transfer students are not required to bear any responsibility for their children’s education/ readiness-to-learn or for maintaining excellence in their children’s school(s). Parent volunteers are a powerful force for school excellence. I say this from first-hand knowledge.

CONVERSION charter schools that give parents a voice in teacher/administrator hiring are another powerful force for school excellence. At minimum, it provides a strong incentive for cooperative school-home collaboration.

Parents who live within a school’s attendance area have a strong financial incentive, usually, to create and maintain excellence in their neighborhood schools. This applies equally to homeowners and to renters. Home values can be negatively affected by poor schools. Landlords whose properties are located in poor school areas cannot charge high enough rents to maintain their properties and to discourage the riff-raff.

With M-to-M and, now, AYP transfers, far too many parents of transfer students are disinclined to put forth the time and effort to volunteer in their children’s schools. Substantial parent volunteer time should be mandatory with all student transfers: AYP, School Choice or Charter. It should go without saying that transfer student behavior and attendance should be exemplary for students who transfer to another school under AYP, School Choice or Charter.

Well now

June 24th, 2009
1:59 pm

From Seen it all

“The only students left at the “home school” are the left behinds who are academically marginal at best, mentally defective, crippled, ugly, poor, black, or Hispanic.”

Weren’t you the one just on here the other day blasting teachers who you claim don’t want to teach, in your words, “REAL” students, only “prepared” ones, and saying that teachers need to just work harder and stop making excuses?

Or was that an impostor as well?

HRK

June 24th, 2009
2:08 pm

Aaron,

You assume that because a person lives in an area with sub par schools that they are lazy and uneducated. I have a 4 year college degree and another 2 year degree on top of that. My husband also has a 4 year college degree. When we got married 7 years ago and bought our home, we could not afford to live in a community with “good” schools. Try finding a house under $250,000 in East Cobb, City of Decatur, Dunwoody or Buckhead 7 years ago. We moved where we could afford to move, and are now in a terrible school district. If I pay taxes in my county, my child should be able to go to any school in the county…period.

Facts

June 24th, 2009
2:21 pm

Get a better job… pay for private school. Forget the gov’t trying to run schools.

Nikole

June 24th, 2009
2:27 pm

I wish we could focus more on improving ALL schools so that there is no need for choice. Every neighborhood school should be an awesome school that parents want to send their children to.

Nikole

June 24th, 2009
2:28 pm

@ HRK—-I totally understand what you are saying. I have been house hunting and even in today’s market, I cannot afford to live in the areas with the best schools.

WORRIED MOTHER

June 24th, 2009
2:43 pm

I totally agree with HRK. If I pay taxes in my county which I obviously do, along with city taxes, and if my child’s school is over run with thugs and gangs and she is in fear of going to school, then I should be able to send her somewhere else. And of course I expect to be the one to get her there and back. Enough of this, parents need to stand up for they’re kids. My child is a good child and she’s very smart, but if she is unable to concentrate in class because the kids there are disrespectful to the teacher and everyone else, disrupting everyone else, along with bullying because they don’t want to be there then I should be able to move her. It’s my job to protect her and do’s what’s best for her.

Seen it all

June 24th, 2009
2:45 pm

Well now,

You can’t take a joke? I was being funny with the mentally defective, cripple bit. I like to be humorous from time to time. But the general comment stands. “Choice” and “transfers” simply let a few students leave a school and deprive it of its best talent.

And I still say that teachers who work in those schools should teach WHATEVER is in front of them!!!! GOT THAT!!!

YOU TEACH THE STUDENTS YOU HAVE IN FRONT OF YOU. Do you know why? Because you CHOSE to work there. Don’t take the job if you don’t want to do it.

Shawn

June 24th, 2009
3:21 pm

Dear Worried Mother,

Do whatever you need to do to remove your daughter from that school. You will deeply regret leaving her there if you do. Believe me.

Shawn

June 24th, 2009
3:23 pm

As far as this law goes, once again, another law has been passed in Georgia that is poorly written and not well-defined or thought out. I predict it will fizzle entirely, but not before doing what all educational initiatives in Georgia do: Create a diversion from the task at hand — Educating our Children.

IAGREEWITHWORRIED

June 24th, 2009
3:33 pm

@WORRIED
Does your child go to my child’s school? That’s the exact same thing that is going on with my child and she was bullied so bad (in 4th grade)that she wanted to commit suicide. They bullied her because she wanted to learn. I went to the teacher, the counselor and the principal and they made light of it. I know what the mother that just lost her 11 yr old son, because of the bullying, feel to ask for help and no one listens. (DO NOT BELIEVE THAT BULL ABOUT THEM HAVING A BULLY PLAN IN PLACE). I put in a request to be transferred this year and they granted the transfer to a school that has not made AYP in years.

I don’t understand why they wouldn’t allow me to suggest a school that is NOT on the other side of town. I don’t mind transporting her for her to get an education, but can I at least get a school that is not 30 miles away?

Rosie

June 24th, 2009
3:34 pm

1st Seen It- Why do you think teachers at low performing schools don’t always produce desired test results? Maybe the studens come from homes where parents don’t value education??? Maybe these students haven’t seen or experienced the value of an education??? Just because low performing schools don’t increase test scores doesn’t mean the teachers aren’t trying. As a teacher, I’ve worked in both high performing and low performing schools. Working at the high performing school was much easier because parents were involved. Students were told since birth they would attend college. This isn’t the case in the homes of students attending low performing schools. Low performing schools don’t have high turn out at open house or teacher conference. The teachers are there, but the parents are not. Seen it- go teach in a low performing school and then cast judgement on teachers working in those schools.

Seen it all

June 24th, 2009
4:50 pm

Rosie,

I teach in a “low performing” school. I have taught in several “low performing” schools. “Low performing” is your term, not mine.

Let’s end this argument about “low performing” schools and teacher performance once and for all. Here is the simple, short version. Through much research and investigation, it has been found that teacher motivation, effort, attitude, and qualifications vary greatly between schools with low minority, middle class populations and those with higher percentages of minority students, special ed, ELLs, lower income, etc.

After working in these schools for several years, I concur with the research. I have seen countless teachers, many first year teachers, from out-of-state, and other places, come into these “urban” schools and flounder. They take these teaching jobs and do nothing with them. They don’t really care about the students or try to teach them. They put forth the least amount of effort necessary. They are basically doing time. They spent anywhere from 1-3 years at these schools and accomplish nothing. They go into the school with the express purpose of using it as a stepping stone. They work there until they can get a teaching job in a “good” school. The handful of “veteran” teachers at these schools are simply coasting and laying out in hammocks. They are not held accountable for the performance and learning of their charges. All they really want from their students is good behavior and obedience. This of course is to allow the teachers to get through the day in peace. Like I said yesterday, these people get paid good money for doing next to nothing. This is why the public criticizes teachers so much. THEY KNOW WHAT YOU ALL ACTUALLY DO ALL DAY.

I used to criticize NCLB. Then I took a job teaching in a minority school. And I began to see why it is needed. As many, many, many educated people all over the world have said, it’s the teacher that makes the difference. For some strange reason, I can teach minority, poor, working class, ELL, and SPED students and have some success. Yet I am not a genius or a miracle worker. I do not have numerous doctoral degrees in education. I cannot walk on water or part the Atlantic Ocean. Why I am successful and others not? I think it’s because of the attitude I take into the school and the classroom. I think it’s because of the attitude I take with my students. I do not look down upon them, their families, or community. My students are not beneath me. Teaching them is not a waste of my time. I know that if I put forth the effort, even if I have to work a little harder, I can get results. Other colleagues of mine do not feel the same way.

This is why I am opposed to transfers and vouchers. Clean up and reform the neighborhood schools and you won’t have to deal with people wanting to move their kids out.

Well now

June 24th, 2009
6:09 pm

Seen it all,

Ok, so I was slow on the uptake LOL. Still I disagree that teachers “CHOOSE” thus they have no right to complain. Teachers do choose a profession that has inherent challenges, but it’s a profession where supposedly laws are in place that give them legal rights to file grievances, that give them legal rights against retaliation, that give them legal rights when they are physically assaulted.

So when schools turn spineless in the face of these problems, and then turn around and blame the teacher, teachers should indeed advocate for better. Telling the teacher they need to leave solves the problem. For the teacher. But the reasons the teacher left still have validity and the problems still exist, and for that, telling the teacher to leave simply doesn’t cut it.

Show us the data

June 24th, 2009
6:48 pm

Seen it all,

“As many, many, many educated people all over the world have said, it’s the teacher that makes the difference.”

I totally understand the mindset you are trying to advocate for. Still statements like the one above are being used more and more to scapegoat teachers, because our educrats are spineless in the face of some of the societal dysfunctions that permeate many school environments.

If it’s really the teacher that makes “the” difference, and all other factors are secondary, and of little to no consequence, who would you bet on, if you had to bet a million dollars on a baseball game.

Would you bet on a team of players randomly selected from the phone book, managed by the best baseball coach in the world because the coach (teacher) is “the” difference?

Or would you bet on a group of major league baseball players managed by a coach (teacher) randomly selected from the phone book, because you acknowledge what the player (student) brings to the table really does matter?

Hmm…

Now I agree with you in that there are too many, far too many, individual students from even the most meager backgrounds, that a teacher should ever, ever sell a student short, just because he’s this, that or the other.

But on the macro level, we simply cannot afford to continue to stick our heads on the sand, like our public school educrats are collectively doing, and refuse to acknowledge that dysfunctional, unstable, unstructured home environments don’t lead to higher levels of dysfunctional, unstable, unstructured behavior in some school environments, and with that, more discipline problems.

But we have it all backwards. You don’t address discipline by telling the teacher to be better trained, better motivated, harder working, tougher skinned, more accountable and all the like, and introduce a series of “reform du jour” and think discipline problems magically disappear. That’s like having a having a boat with a bad engine, thinking you can fix it with a fancy paint job. That in essence is what “reform” is, a series of fancy paint jobs on a boat that’s still adrift because we don’t fix the engine named discipline.

No, the way to fix discipline is, not “better” teachers, “better” training, “better” programs, and constant talk about the “betterment” of it all. The way you address discipline is…you address discipline!

You let teachers know that have unequivocal backup of their rules, procedures, and consequences, and when they document it properly, unequivocal backup for the grades the student CHOOSE to earn.

In other words, you put the same accountability on leaders like Kathy Cox to support the teachers, as you do on the teachers themselves. Then you watch as the teachers, finally knowing they have support become “better” because the finally have a legitimate reason to buy in. Do you REALLY want a “better” teacher? A teacher whose DECISIONS are better supported (too often we call training in the latest facade “support” when it’s nothing but an excuse to not support the teacher because you gave them “training) is a better teacher.

We know this intuitively, but we don’t support it, because then our educational leaders have to look at themselves.

Up to fifty percent of all new teachers leave the profession in their first few years. How much teacher turnover does one need to realize that it’s primarily not the teacher?

IEatCats

June 24th, 2009
7:27 pm

Aaron’s comments were spot on. Over the years, my wife and I have worked extremely diligently both at our educations and our careers, making numerous sacrifices along the way, to be able to live in an area both with quality schools and neighborhoods where parents are actively involved in their children’s lives. Call it a desire for social (not ethnic) homogeneity. This was not the result of luck or our winning life’s lottery; it was the result of the choices we made.

My wife, who happens to be a teacher at the elementary level, has seen first-hand the impact of transfer students. Of course, there are stellar kids who come in to her class at or above level, but I will vociferously argue that the number of ill-prepared, unmotivated, and generally disruptive children are at a par if not far exceed the number who will be a complementary addition to the school.

Why is this a problem? The answer is simple – bandwidth. Unless, a teacher ignores him or her, that ill-prepared or unmotivated child will naturally consume a disproportionately greater amount of that teacher’s time either in the form of repeated correction or additional effort spent trying to catch that student up with the capabilities of the rest of the class. Since there is a finite amount of class time in a day, the extra attention devoted to this one child comes at the expense of the 19 or so children who are also trying to receive an education. The impact of this is twofold. First, standardized test scores will drop over time. Second, the parents of the other 19 children will see the quality of their children’s education erode.

Leveling the academic playing field will never be the explicitly cited as the goal of our school boards and legislators, but their silence is deafening. This effort may raise the bar for a select few, but will lower the bar for the vast majority.

Mary

June 24th, 2009
9:05 pm

Schools must be permitted to turn down transfer applications for those children who have disciplinary problems. These parents and children need to LEARN TO COPE or go to an alternative school. Pitting schools and teachers against each other is oh so wrong on so many levels.

Gwinnett parent

June 24th, 2009
9:12 pm

“The amendment to the contract between the State Board of Education and the Gwinnett and Forsyth County Boards of Education are being proposed because it was unforeseen that the General Assembly would pass legislation that would have the ability to negatively impact the carefully negotiated subgroup goals by school as reflected in the (IE2) Partnership Contract.” GA Dept of Education Recommendations

Read between the lines here; Gwinnett expediated passage of their IE2 plan with minimal public awareness. They already want additional waivers? The subgroups they are talking about are Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners. There is minimal accountablity for these two subgroups in IE2 as compared to all other subgroups (schools are only required to maintain their current level of performance which is unequal to all other subgroups).

So now they want to be sure that no parents want to rock the boat and leave under performing schools under their carefully constructed Investing in Education Excellance Plan? Excuse me?

Aaron

June 24th, 2009
9:34 pm

HRK,

You’re being entirely naive. You say that because you pay your taxes, your child should be allowed to go to any school within the district.

Let’s cut the crap and be real for a moment and let’s use Cobb County as our example.

People in the North half of Cobb County pay exponentially more taxes than their counterparts in South Cobb. This is because property values are higher. That said, the residents of South Cobb (while paying much lower property taxes if any at all) consume the vast majority of government services. If you drew a line at Hwy 120 and separated the two halves of Cobb into their own counties, the new county north of that line would require practically no police force. The new county south of that line would require a police force roughly the size of the Cobb County Police as currently constituted.

Put simply, the vast majority of the crime is in the Southern half.

Secondly, the county spends roughly the same money on each high school in the district. If the north half seceded from the southern half, this would mean that schools in the North could spend lots more money than they do currently. This would also mean a ton of school closings in the Southern half.

The areas of a county where the better schools exist are subsidizing the rotten schools in the first place.

The real problem is that folks living in districts with crap schools (not everyone, but the majority) are crap parents with very low educational expectations of their children who put very little value on an education.

It should be enough that the more affluent areas subsidize the crap schools in the first place. We don’t need to bring a little taste of the hood into the good schools.

I know parents in bad districts hate it that the children of hard working, well-educated parents have it better. But in my experience, those parents don’t hate in nearly enough to get off the lazy cans and get a second job (or go find dad).

Lewis' shows his true colors

June 24th, 2009
9:42 pm

Notice when Crawford Lewis’s henchman Ronald Ramsey violates a teacher’s legal right to a hearing, Crawford Lewis says nothing to teachers.

But when an administrator violates the law, he sends an email to teachers telling them to support the lawbreaker.

Maybe there is a good reason a certain organization brings Lewis’ actions to light with an admittedly not so nice nickname.

Why don’t the other organizations take Lewis on when he condones violating a teacher’s rights, then turning around and telling teachers to support administrators who violate the law?

echo

June 24th, 2009
10:55 pm

“A little taste of the hood”…lol. I know of more than one student at PHS that wanted to go to the “nicer schools” because the kids at those schools had nicer Ipods, cell phones & other goodies to steal. They could get more money for them in their neighborhoods than the ones they would steal from the PHS kids. Most of the cell phones I took up in my days there didn’t even work, they just carried them around to look like they had something everyone else had.

reality 2

June 24th, 2009
10:58 pm

Data,

Well, teachers have no control over the “macro” level issues. They are, however, THE difference for those students who come to their classrooms. Too many teachers simply use the “macro” level issues as excuses for their incompetence, unfortunately. Using those issues as excuse for the lack of results – that is, students’ progress even if they don’t “pass” a test – is just as bad as scapegoating teachers for expecting something unreasonable.

jim d

June 25th, 2009
3:14 am

It would be nice if some of y’all had any idea what the hell you were talking about.

Schools of choice programs can and do work and they are not realy voucher programs. Michigan has had such a system in place for a few years now and all the doom and gloom ome of you are predicticting hasn’t come to pass. Matter of fact parental satisfaction with schools has increased tremendously.

Educate yourself. http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530_30334-106922–,00.html

And have a good day

katherine

June 25th, 2009
6:44 am

I think this law was pushed through too quickly without time for looking at (1) – is this needed? (2) how will it be handled at the county level? (3) how does it get put in place between July 1 and the first day of school, which is late July or first week of August in some counties? It seems that when bills are signed into law – the state board of education needs to have time to set up their programs, find out which schools will have space, publicize, and set up their process for handling the applications and the subsequent “lottery” when too many families apply than there are spaces.
It MIGHT work – but it seems hastily pushed through.

Not seen it all

June 25th, 2009
7:38 am

Could it be that *some* of the discipline problems those hated transfer students exhibit be partially due to the poor schooling they received in their previous failing schools?

Seen it

June 25th, 2009
8:26 am

Hi Seen it All-I don’t claim to have seen it ALL, but I hav seen some of it. That is a compliment to you. You always have great posts.

When we recieved choice students at my school, behavior cannot be considered according to the law. Also, they can stay until the highest grade. We asked that very question, can we send them back. We were told, once they enrolled they were now part of our family just as the other kids who lived in the community and had to be treated as such.

Also, if you are a small system with only one school at any level, this law did not apply. Not sure what the alternative would be there.

Seen it

June 25th, 2009
8:27 am

Clarification-we asked if we can send students back to their home school because of behavior and we were told no. Since they were now ours, we had to use the same approaches to discipline as we would any kid.