Governor’s race 2010: Jeff Chapman on education

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Candidates for Georgia governor share their views on education

All the candidates for governor are being invited to share their education views with Get Schooled readers. As each piece comes in and is published here, it will be added to a category called Governor 2010. I urge you to read all the pieces.

Here is what GOP candidate Jeff Chapman submitted:

By Jeff Chapman

It is a fact of life that today’s children must have access to a first-rate education if they are to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to compete successfully in a modern, technological society.

It is also true that the quality of education in America, Georgia included, has, in too many cases, not kept pace with the demands of an increasingly complex world. High drop-out rates, low scores on achievement tests and poor classroom discipline are just some of the signs indicating that we must do better in preparing today’s youth for success in college and the workforce.

What are some of the steps we could take to promote quality education and help ensure that every Georgia student has the opportunity to succeed?

Republican Jeff Chapman is running for governor

Republican candidate for governor Jeff Chapman

To begin with, we must recognize that the best of intentions for improving education may amount to little if unruly students are allowed to disrupt the classroom, interfere with learning, and diminish the authority of teachers. I’m not referring to isolated incidents of students acting up but serious misbehavior and acts of violence that affect too many of Georgia’s schools. This is a significant and complex problem. It doesn’t have a single cause and there isn’t a quick fix for it. I believe we can, however, improve discipline in our schools if all stakeholders – teachers, parents and administrators – make this goal a top priority, day in and day out, week after week throughout the school year, and work collaboratively with students in laying down clear rules and the consequences of misbehavior. Children’s respect for legitimate authority and acceptance of accountability for their own actions are not just a matter of behaving in class; they are ethics with lasting application beyond the school ground.

Second, the micromanagement of Georgia education through a bewildering system of federal, state and local mandates wastes precious resources, limits teacher creativity, and reduces the ability of teachers and principals to focus on their core mission – the education of our state’s youth. Rather than holding schools accountable for complying with rules, procedures, and mandates, they need to be held accountable for measurable student outcomes. The most efficient, productive and cost-effective way to accomplish this goal is to replace top-down, bureacratic micromanagement of individual schools with site-based decision-making and localized systems of accountability that actually work.  Put simply, a community’s teachers, administrators and parents are in a far better position to identify their school’s needs  and add measurable value to the learning process than an educrat in Washinton or Atlanta who confuses quality education with school compliance with mounds of regulations.

Third, if we are to raise the standard of education and narrow the gap between student potential and academic performance, we need to take full advantage of Georgia’s top schools and most talented teachers by further promoting the sharing of best practices and exemplary learning programs among educators across the state. Establishing a clearinghouse of the best and brightest ideas in Georgia education and providing the means to broadcast this resource to the educational community would be a positive step in this direction. We could also provide the means for master teachers to mentor new ones, and for schools of excellence to mentor schools seeking improvement. In sum, by facilitating ways for the best of the best to become models for the rest, we can encourage the systematic replication of success stories in Georgia education.

Fourth, at a time when taxpayer dollars are stretched to the max and educators are being called upon to do more with less, we should try to identify ways for schools to control costs, reduce overhead and make their operations more efficient so that every possible dollar can be moved to the classroom.  Simple steps, such as the automation of administrative functions to reduce paper shuffling and labor hours; full use of competitive bidding to ensure that high-quality supplies, equipment and services are purchased at the lowest price; and promoting more efficient cash-flow management, including wise investment of cash being held for long-term use can make the difference in hiring an extra teacher, keeping class size small, or providing additional help for students performing below grade level.

There are, of course, other initiatives that might benefit education, and there will always be differences of opinion over how best to improve our schools, but I think we can all agree that providing Georgia’s youth with the knowledge and skills required of critical thinking citizens, productive workers and competent leaders is a task we must master. With a collaborative effort, creative thinking, hard work and persistence, I believe we can meet this challenge and make our public schools among America’s best.

42 comments Add your comment

mift

February 1st, 2010
11:13 am

mift

February 1st, 2010
11:18 am

Same ole stuff. Where is the vision? Where is the leadership? This is basically- how can we do what we have always done but more efficiently. What we have always done does not work.

Northview (Ex)Teacher

February 1st, 2010
11:29 am

Blah, blah, blah.

SOS. This one even looks like Sonny. Blah, blah, blah.

Repuglicans had their chance, and they did nothing but screw up. Vote them out: all of them.

Lisa B.

February 1st, 2010
12:05 pm

I agree that discipline is a huge issue in schools. Teachers and students are expected to put up with way too much terrible behavior. However, as long as schools are accountable for student test scores and attendance, there’s no real way to fix the discipline issues. Teachers work and work and work, and the reward is less support, less pay, and more smoke and mirrors.

HS Teacher, Too

February 1st, 2010
12:08 pm

It is refreshing to hear someone talk about discipline, but how will we make it work, when schools do everything they can to “minimize” disciplinary incidents for reporting reasons?

We need to hear some REAL plans for REAL alternatives.

James

February 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

http://blogs.msdn.com/bright_side_of_government/archive/2010/02/01/waiting-for-superman.aspx

An interesting video we once saw was 2 Million Minutes (if you haven’t seen it yet visit the site, it will open your eyes). I have a feeling this new video, Waiting for Superman, could do the same thing, which is why I wanted to share it all with you. We all have the ability to help our school system in the US. Please do your part.

Bill Gates quote from his 2010 Annual Letter: The filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, who directed An Inconvenient Truth, has a new documentary about American education coming out this year. Waiting for Superman tells the story of several kids trying to get into schools with high-quality teaching—it’s literally a lottery that will decide the fate of these young people. Although I may be biased because I appear in the movie, I think it is fantastic and hope it will galvanize a lot more political will to improve teaching effectiveness.
Director: Davis Guggenheim 2009
Categories: U.S. Documentary Competition, World Premiere, Political

Run time: 102 min. | U.S.A. | color

For a nation that proudly declared it would leave no child behind, America continues to do so at alarming rates. Despite increased spending and politicians’ promises, our buckling public-education system, once the best in the world, routinely forsakes the education of millions of children.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education “statistics” have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying “drop-out factories” and “academic sinkholes,” methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems.

However, embracing the belief that good teachers make good schools, and ultimately questioning the role of unions in maintaining the status quo, Guggenheim offers hope by exploring innovative approaches taken by education reformers and charter schools that have—in reshaping the culture—refused to leave their students behind.

K Teacher

February 1st, 2010
12:25 pm

It’s the government that needs to reduce overhead and cut costs. Education has cut, and cut, and cut, and cut, and …

There’s not anything left to cut. And the things Chapman suggests are minor savings areas.

Now, it’s time to cut the pork in Atlanta and Washington.

K Teacher

February 1st, 2010
12:26 pm

And yes, I’m on my 25 minute lunch break.

john konop

February 1st, 2010
1:33 pm

When I read this it reminded me of when I was in college and answered an essay question without really knowing the material. If I got partial credit I was happy.

jim d

February 1st, 2010
1:47 pm

HORSEFEATHERS!!

jim d

February 1st, 2010
2:16 pm

hs teach too,

you can always lock them in a closet without windows.

Tony

February 1st, 2010
2:32 pm

same ole bs we’ve heard before. clearinghouse? automation? we have to have some funding for technology purchases before either of those can become a reality.

we do need to talk about student discipline.

Don

February 1st, 2010
4:02 pm

I thought the Republican cure-all for the troubles with education was to “voucher” the kids off to private schools on the theory that the private sector can cure any problem if given a free hand to work its magic, but Chapman sounds like he actually wants to improve public school education rather than undermine it through vouchers. His suggested improvements – more local control, less bureaucratic meddling, replication of what works, moving more funds to the classroom, and tightening up student discipline – make sense on the surface, but I would like to see more on how he would act on his suggestions. Until then, I give him an A- for effort and a C- for depth. And, unlike the others who have posted comments about his ideas for education, I give him credit, at least a B+, for trying to deal with the accountability issue in a sensible way.

Jennifer

February 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

…the little children in Georgia continue to weep, the teachers continue to cry, and the band of politicians march on.

Ann

February 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

I’m encouraged that Senator Chapman chose to emphasize the student discipline problem. As a teacher for more than 30 years, I am shocked and dismayed by the decline in student behavior and by the lack of support I get from parents and administrators when I try to crack down on an out of control teenager. Chapman may not sound very original when he says that good education requires a healthy learning environment in the classroom, but at least he recognizes that the discipline problem is real and major, and that it can’t be solved by teachers alone.

Lewis Baker

February 1st, 2010
5:00 pm

As a product of Georgia schools back long ago, and a victim of “new Math”,and “Robert’s English”, I can objectively say that the system FAILED ME. Much of the problems that exist today are a result of those misguided experiments.
One of the previous comments said that we should forget about discipline and throw more money at the problem. Are they kidding? The disruptions brought to a class by a teacher’s inability to maintain order are impossible to overcome with technical improvisations and money! Getting back to the basics is the only way to make a REAL difference! Bravo Jeff!
And yes I agree that we should vote out ALL the incumbants! They have failed us and deserve to be FIRED! And why on earth give Ol’ Roy another chance to screw us? Much of ttoday’s issues were born on HIS first watch!
Lewis Baker
Lawrenceville, GA

Howard Sculthorpe

February 1st, 2010
5:22 pm

Senator Chapman’s remarks reflect the views of many professional educators. We have too much beauracracy/micromanagemnent and too little discipline and respect. A handful of kids get away with disruptive behavior, spoiling the learning environment for the majority. In too many cases the problem children are problem children at home too. At some point, the parent(s) have to be held responsible. If the disruption continues, those kids should be moved to a special ed environment. It’s time to get management of the educational process back to the local level.

Babs McDonald

February 1st, 2010
5:33 pm

Education is a complex issue, and one worthy of our utmost attention and commitment. I am not certain anyone really knows what will work — at least that has been my observation. First, I’d like to acknowledge Senator Chapman for not bowing to the Republican cry for a voucher program. Vouchers would only serve to further divide students by class and ultimately by race and income, something we cannot abide in this state. A voucher program would ultimatelhy leave many students behind, to quote an unfortunately well-known phrase. Others have thanked Senator Chapman for his call for a focus on discipline. I also applaud Senator Chapman’s recognition that many public teachers and schools are doing it right, and we need to acknowledge and take advantage of their expertise. We too often talk about what is wrong with our schools, and not often enough do we recognize those that do make a difference. If, as Senator Chapman suggests, we tap into those best practices and transfer that technology statewide, then along with a focus on appropriate discipline and more local teacher innovation, we might see improvement in teacher morale and practice. Ultimately, this will lead to more success. I would like to emphasize that none of us, the best minds in the nation included, know for sure what will work in education. If we did, we’d be doing it by now. We do know, however, that vouchers will ultimately lead to a segregated education system. We know that parents must be involved creatively and productively in their childrens’ education– something that cannot be legislated but is too often not acknowledged. We know that teachers — even the best teachers — can only do so much. What we need, and what I think Senator Chapman is suggesting, is more latitude at the local level to give creative teachers the chance to innovate. Teachers need the flexibility to apply creativity and appropriate discipline in their classrooms, so that classrooms can be sites of learning for students who wish to learn; and inspiration for those on the cusp. Senator Chapman is also calling for appropriate measures of successful outcomes. I’m not yet sure what the best measures of success are, but let’s have an open mind. Now that we have had the opportunity to give feedback to Senator Chapman, let’s give him a chance to respond. This senator has always been one to listen to the people of Georgia, and I believe he will continue to do so. Of all the Republican candidates, I would place my child into Senator Chapman’s hands before ANY of the others. So let’s give him constructive feedback and good ideas, and I bet we’ll be pleased with his response.

Former Teacher

February 1st, 2010
7:14 pm

I’m glad to see that the level of discourse in response to Jeff Chapman’s education platform has gone beyond the “dud”, “blah, blah, blah,” and “same old story” comments posted at the opening of the this forum. True, the problems that Chapman singles out should not come as a bulletin to anyone who has been following the story of educational reform in Georgia, but I think the point to be made here is that we do not need to invent new solutions for the problems troubling education but take the ones that have a proven record of success and build upon them. For example, facilitating the exchange of best practices in public school education, as Chapman suggests, is an idea that has been implemented with considerable success in schools across the nation – why shouldn’t it be applauded and promoted here in Georgia? Involving parents and administrators as active/supportive partners of teachers in establishing a framework for maintaining discipline in the classroom, as Chapman calls for, also seems like a good idea. It has worked elsewhere; it can work here too. Chapman’s aim of reducing the red tape and endless mandates that tie teacher hands and stifle classroom creativity is, like his other proposals, not a terribly new idea, but it is a good one and can produce results IF it could be implemented. In all, I see some real promise in Chapman’s approach to improving the overall quality of our public schools. I don’t see another GOP candidate for Governor who is offering anything as solid as he has proposed for school improvement.

Terry Miller

February 1st, 2010
9:18 pm

Last year two friends of mine who are high school teachers retired, saying that the students’ behavior is getting worse and worse every year. Jeff Chapman is talking about what others know but seem afraid to acknowledge. Another friend who is a teacher spoke of how anxious her first-grader is because of all the emphasis on test scores.

Money is not the major component of a good education. Parental involvement and support for good teachers are keys. Why should we look to our leaders to try to come up with new jargon-type “solutions” when the old methods work? I applaud Jeff Chapman for speaking the truth and not trying to gloss over some of the real problems in our schools.

William Brillhart

February 1st, 2010
11:57 pm

It is far past the time to have a honest person for governor who will be guided by good policies and not by only political issues. Too long have we been burden by those who put party and money support ahead of our best interest.

Charlie B

February 2nd, 2010
12:00 am

As an independent voter I applaud Sen. Chapman’s intelligence and character. I think the issues facing Georgia’s educational system are complex and not given to easy, glib answers. And I doubt any candidate can honestly be overly specific about what they would do without having yet had the chance to sit in the governor’s seat. Even so, Sen. Chapman realizes the process should be guided by certain principles, and as a candidate those are the things he is discussing in his article. And I think he shows he has a good grasp of those principles and touches on the essential ones. You can’t ask for more than that from a candidate without asking to be fed baloney. He understands that classroom discipline, cost concerns, and a shared statewide effort to search for the best educational ideas are key issues affecting Georgia schools.

JL

February 2nd, 2010
10:50 am

It’s refreshing to hear from a Republican candidate who seems thoughtful and committed to the improvement of education in Georgia. Many in our state leadership have mouthed platitudes about improving education while pushing the state towards privatized charter schools run by multi-state corporations and vouchers that compel the taxpayers to foot the bill for private and privatized schools that will divert millions from support of the public schools.. Of course what this leads to is the gutting of the public education system, and the abandonment of millions of school kids to a system that the politicians continuously scorn and undercut with their destructive policies. One of the bedrock ideals of this country was the need for universal public education. But most of the Republican leadership seems to believe in the demise of this critical institution . I am glad that Senator Chapman does not seem to follow the party orthodoxy of privatization, separation and segregation, which leads inevitably to glaring inequality between taxpayer-supported private schools and a grossly under funded and politically abandoned public school system. I look forward to hearing Senator Chapman’s views on many other issues facing Georgia, and hope that when necessary and appropriate he will take stands in opposition to some of the more regressive and narrow-minded platforms of his Republican colleagues.

Ken Cordell

February 2nd, 2010
1:31 pm

I agree with some of the earlier comments indicating the the “Blah, blah, blah” resonses to Senator Chapman take us nowhere, and offer nothing. Instead of putting down what he has offered, we should applaud Senator Chapman for offering some honest assessments of the System and for not being just one more endorser of vouchers. Vouchers are a tool the wealthy can use to have tax payers help finance attendance of their children at private schools. But, based on the research I have seen, vouchers can become very socially divisive and lead our society further down the road social class separation. I have nothing but the highest regard for private schools, but if a parent wants their kid to go to private school, well and good. But, I don’t want to help pay the bill. Let’s put our emphasis on public schools and make them the best they can be. I think it was John F. Kennedy who said in a 1963 speech that “a rising tide lifts all boats….” Seems to me that the better off all of us are the better off each individual is. Quality education doesn’t seem to be a mystery in nations such as Japan, Finland, and New Zealand. Let’s find out how they do it. Let’s support, not degrade, people like Senator Chapman as they offer, refine and willingly listen to ideas on how to improve education for everyone.

Missy Brandt

February 2nd, 2010
1:49 pm

As a product of the GA school system, behavior is one of our worst problems. I saw student behavior worsen and respect lessen every year until I graduated. I remember when calling a parent to school would ensure discipline, now the parents show up to the schools to defend the bad behavior!
Teachers should lead a respectable life knowing they are examples for children, and the school system should demand respect and discipline their students.
We tried No Child Left Behind, we tried dumbing down honor classes, and demanding AYPs. nothing is working- so let’s take Chapman’s suggestions and go back to a system that was working.

Former Teacher

February 2nd, 2010
2:57 pm

Missy Brandt is right, in the past the kiss of death for an unruly student was to have his/her parents summoned to school because their kid was disruptive and disrespectful. When I was teaching, I usually was able to handle discipline problems on my own, but in those few cases where a student really crossed the line and flat out refused to back down, or even became violent when confronted, I sent him to a detention room where he sat until one of his parents could be informed of the situation and scheduled a meeting to deal with junior’s outrageous behavior. Face to face talks with parents, with their kid and the school’s principal present, generally led to a resolution of the problem, or at least some significant improvement in the kid’s classroom behavior. Today, however, it seems that the disruptive student has managed to acquire more rights than his classmates who are trying to learn, resulting in more and more instances of student misbehavior, less time for a teacher to devote to teaching, and an overall deterioration of the quality of education in those classrooms affected by discipline problems. The fact that Senator Chapman lists restoring classroom discipline first among the proposals he makes is encouraging, for it’s very difficult to improve education in a classroom bereft of a decent learning environment. Chapman’s suggestion that schools overtly make discipline a TOP priority from the opening day of the school year and involve PARENTS in setting and enforcing standards of student behavior is a good one, as confirmed by my own personal classroom experience.
I see that some commentators in this forum have dismissed Chapman’s ideas as more of the same old stuff, but it seems to me that we formerly had better discipline in our schools and need to get back to where we once were in this regard.

Another former teacher.

February 2nd, 2010
4:02 pm

I completely agree that some student behavior has gotten out of hand. A lot of this comes from parental attitudes. Parents in many instances don’t want to be disciplinarians but “friends” to their children. Also students who should be in Special Education Classes have been mainstreamed and become behavior problems or taking additional teaching time in the classroom, which takes teaching time from the class. The pressure to “teach to the test” is a very limited way to truly educate and should be altered. Also the amount of paperwork that teachers are expected to do. I personally think basics were taught better years ago by teaching one new program at a time and having more time to expand and drill on it. There is too much politics in our schools and not enough information from teachers who experience working all day in the classroom. I agree with much of Jeff Chapman’s philosophy about our schools and ways to improve them.

Former Teacher

February 2nd, 2010
4:48 pm

Missy Brandt is right, the discipline issue should be at the top of the agenda for improving the quality of education in Georgia. You can spend wads of money, and bring all sorts of technology and innovation to the classroom, but if the learning environment there is soured by a few unruly students, then all will come to naught. And, Jeff Chapman is right, the best way to deal with the discipline problem is for schools, parents and communities to make it a TOP priority, collaboratively, from the opening day of the school year. Kids must know up front and for sure that if they are disruptive and disrespectful, their parent(s) will be called on the spot and a meeting will be scheduled with the parent(s), teacher, student and principal to air the problem, lay down the law, and make clear the consequences of misbehavior. In days gone by, a phone call to a parent during the school day reporting that junior had behaved disgracefully and requiring that a face-to-face, in-school meeting had to be held to iron out the problem was the proverbial kiss of death for a kid. Misbehavior, then, had unpleasant, inconvenient and unavoidable consequences for unruly kids. I think Chapman’s proposal for handling the discipline problem harkens back to the days I’m referring to. Good for him for making it a solid plank in his education platform.

Dorothy

February 2nd, 2010
9:04 pm

Jeff Chapman is a businessman; and in his position on education, he has taken a businesslike approach. Who can argue with such time honored principles as personal responsibility on the part of the individual, elimination of waste through process improvement, accountability for results rather than blind adherence to red tape, front-line management, and benchmarking? These are the steps that Chapman prescribes, and they are steps that have led systematically to success in industry. Why not in education? Jeff Chapman is a man with both feet on the ground, deeply rooted in ethics and transparency in government, honest, open-minded, and ready to roll up his sleeves and fix what is broken in our state.

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Kay

February 3rd, 2010
4:09 pm

Jeff Chapman’s comments about education are thoughtful and indicate that he has listened to professional teachers. They are not sound bit solutions but rather an indication that as a leader, he would listen, take action and hopefully hold education officials at all levels accountable, just as they should the children. More importantly, Mr. Chapman’s behavior representing the Brunswick area has shown him to be a man of integrity who is not to be swayed by special interest – including those in his own party. He was awarded a high honor in 2008 by Common Cause, a non-partisian non-profit whose purpose is make public officials and public institutions accountable and responsive to citizens. I think solutions to problems are easy for politicians to talk about but a person of integrity willing to work without a special interest agenda is a true find.

Al Tate

February 3rd, 2010
6:17 pm

Education problems in Georgia and around the nation are one of, if not the most critical issues we face. Our future is now at a crossroads. The economic structure of our state and nation- indeed the world- is being torn down and rebuilt before our eyes. The education we give to the upcoming generation will either prepare them or not to face the challenges of this restructuring. There are so many strongly held opinions about how to “fix” education that few are listening to anything but the voices that support their opinions. Jeff Chapman, who as gubernatorial candidate and not an educator has presented some interesting ideas, and has avoided buying into some ideas that are quick fix and shallow. Two of these quick fix ideas are vouchers and merit pay for teachers. The problem with vouchers is that, while they seem to provide a marketplace solution for education, they would destroy the whole fabric of public education (and very likely degrade the quality of private education), allowing private schools to cherry pick the best and brightest students, again leaving the majority of students behind and forgotten and the public schools bereft of funds. Merit pay for teachers is another very bad idea. It’s a good concept in an ideal world where the true merit of a teacher could be fairly evaluated and rewarded but the reality of how a public school system operates is far from ideal. What merit pay for individual teachers will do is to destroy the cooperative nature of instructors that is essential to operate an already poorly funded educational system. Overworked administrators will be forced to make evaluations and pay differentials based on opinion and a widely divergent set of teacher responsibilities. The administrator’s favorites will be rewarded with more pay and the admin staff will be required to divert attention from students to document teacher evaluations.
I have seen Senator Chapman stand up to support fair treatment for ordinary citizens in his district aganist the leadership of his party on the Jekyll Island issue. He did this in a careful and thoughtful way after listening to all sides of the issue and probing into much behind-the-scenes manuvering. His efforts have brought impressive results. The issue isn’t over, but the power brokers have been significantly restrained in their efforts to run over Georgia citizens on the coast.
Unlike Senator Chapman, I do not believe that discipline is the first issue for educational improvement. Yes discipline in schools is a huge problem, but school discipline is not THE problem, it is one SYMPTOM of the problem. School discipline has been a focus of concern for many years. The results of this approach has not an improvement in education. However, Senator Chapman’s concept of matching student potential with academic achievement is right on target. And the idea of a clearinghouse for the best and brightest ideas that work is a great way to get started. There has been a ton of research about what works in education and we know a lot about it. What is needed is to find the right way(s) to implement those ideas in public school classrooms and someone willing to offer the courageous leadership necessary to do it. Jeff Chapman may just be the right man for the job.

jim d

February 4th, 2010
10:58 am

Should Jeff be elected as gov. he would back away from this stance so fast it would make your head spin.

Anyone running for this office should know up front you cant kick the little heathens out or you wont make AYP–losing federal funding.

This guy is a joke and needs to get a real grip on the situation teachers face in the classroom.

Former Teacher

February 4th, 2010
4:20 pm

“Jim d” – From what I know of Jeff Chapman’s work as a public servant, he’s one of the very last people I would expect to walk away from a personal commitment. If anything, he has a reputation for sticking to his guns no matter what the political cost may be.

As for not being able to “kick the little heathens” out of class, I don’t recall Chapman suggesting that expulsion was an option for dealing with discipline problems. Behavior modification is the goal, and, in my 30+ years of experience as a teacher, it can, in most cases (not all), be achieved IF teachers, parents and school administrators do the hard work necessary to make it happen. Quitting on the discipline problem or lapsing into cynicism when someone tries to come to grips with it only serves to perpetuate the problem. I would like to know if the other gubernatorial candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike, have commented on the discipline problem. Perhaps “Jim d,” who has such a low opinion of Chapman’s thinking on the discipline issue, or someone else can enlighten us in this regard.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Learn Intelligence and Maureen Downey, Jeff Chapman. Jeff Chapman said: Today my plan to revitalize education was featured in the AJC: http://bit.ly/bLwadj I would love to hear your comments: http://bit.ly/8UxHvn [...]

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jim d

February 5th, 2010
9:02 am

Former teacher,

all I’m saying is unless Mr. Chapman is willing to challenge the Feds on NCLB he will be forced to surrender on some of the educational issues. (so don’t be disapointed)

I will say that just based on his record on issues such a property rights, second amend. rights, jobs creation, small business and taxation I seriously consider him the best of those I’ve seen so far that have declared. And I will consider supporting his campaign.

Former Teacher

February 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

“Jim d” – From what I know of Jeff Chapman’s work as a public servant, he’s one of the very last people I would expect to walk away from a personal commitment. If anything, he has a reputation for sticking to his guns no matter what the political cost may be. So, I’m wondering why “Jim d” would say that Chapman wouldn’t follow through on his education proposals, especially he one dealing with discipline.

As for not being able to “kick the little heathens” out of class, I don’t recall Chapman suggesting that expulsion was an option for dealing with discipline problems. Behavior modification is the goal, and, in my 30+ years of experience as a teacher, it can, in most cases (not all), be achieved IF teachers, parents and school administrators do the hard work necessary to make it happen. Quitting on the discipline problem or lapsing into cynicism when someone tries to come to grips with it only serves to perpetuate it. I would like to know if the other gubernatorial candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike, have commented on the discipline problem, and if they have, are their suggestions better than or different from Chapman’s.

Former Teacher

February 5th, 2010
1:02 pm

Jim d – Sorry for the double posting of my response; I’m computer challenged and always have been.

Your point is well taken, Chapman, and others who aim to improve the quality of education in Georgia, will ultimately have to take the Feds on with respect to NCLB. I think Chapman may have alluded to such a move when he argued for site-based decision making and locally-determined systems of accountability as a means of bettering Georgia education. When I was teaching, one of my pet peeves was having to comply with mandates set by the state or federal education department that did nothing to boost the quality of education, ate up classroom time, limited the way I could approach a particular lesson, and filled my desk with paperwork. I think Chapman senses, rightly, that we can do more in Georgia with less interference, fewer mandates, and more leeway for educators to what they’re schooled to do. But, with more local control must come the responsibility to improve student outcomes in meaningful, measurable ways. A one-size-fits-all test is a bureaucrat’s answer for bringing more accountability for outcomes to our public schools. I believe that most educators would agree with me that there are far better and more effective ways to measure student academic growth on a yearly basis than standardized tests crafted from afar.

Bobbye, retired teacher

February 5th, 2010
8:45 pm

Jeff Chapman has shown himself to be an honest politician. Based on his views on education, I believe he could make a positive change in the education of Georgia students.

H LeCroy

February 5th, 2010
11:32 pm

Some good general concepts about education from Jeff Chapman.

Would love to hear more specifics which underpin his admirably broad concepts.

Site-based management, for example, may not necessarily be a panacea for education unless the local site leader is competent and energizing.

Financing of education might be another area to address more completely.

Jeff Chapman has indicated his willingness to listen to citizens, and I am hopeful that he might respond with regard to specific plans for education in Georgia.

Carla Smith

February 16th, 2010
6:40 pm

Jeff Chapman has put proof in the pudding that he cares about Georgians by the stance he has taken against Sonny Perdue to protect Jekyll Island. Chapman’s actions regarding Georgia’s Jewel have shown that he is not run by the Republican party. It is refreshing to see courage and honesty in the political arena. His stand on discipline in the classroom is an intelligent place to start. The master teachers mentoring program is another brilliant idea. I admire a man who is willing to get down to the brass tacks by limiting bureacracy and putting money back in the actual classroom. I look forward to seeing his ideas put into action as Georgia’s next governor.