Craigslist ad: Wanted teachers to administer CRCT. Must be able to lift heavy boxes and post “Do not disturb” sign.

In the wake of the state demands for greater security and integrity this month in the administration of the CRCT, it was odd to see this listing on Craigslist Atlanta by the Georgia Cyber Academy, a taxpayer supported virtual charter school that works with children who are learning at home. (Thanks for the clarification, Josie.)

On Monday afternoon, I called DOE about the ad, but the state education agency was unaware of it. After looking into it, the spokesman told me Monday evening, “I checked around and this is news to us. We will take care of it quickly. Posting this kind of thing on Craigslist is certainly not something we condone.”

Here is the ad, which disappeared Tuesday so I assume DOE did take care of it quickly as promised:

We are currently looking for teachers throughout Georgia to assist with CRCT testing in the following counties: Bibb, Bryan, Clarke, Columbia, Floyd, Franklin, Laurens, Newton, Pike, Putnam, Richmond, and Wayne.

Role & Responsibilities:
• Administer Standardized Tests (Criterion Referenced Competency Tests – CRCT) for Grades 1 -8
• Uphold Testing Ethics according to Professional Standards Commission (PSC)
• Attend Training sessions hosted by Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA)
• Thoroughly read the CRCT Test Examiner Manual before test administration
• Be familiar with testing accommodations and administer accordingly
• Distribute test materials according to Test Manual
• Remove or cover instructional materials in testing area that may prompt answers
• Arrange seating to promote individual work
• Post a “Testing-Do Not Disturb Sign” outside of door
• Report Test Administration Irregularities to System Test Coordinator
• Review answer documents for proper labeling & coding
• Collect all test materials daily from student, inventory, and return to Site Coordinator

Qualifications:
• Must be available week of April 26-30, 2010.
• Must hold a current GA Teaching Certificate.
• Previous experience administering CRCT or other standardized tests preferred, but not required
• Physically able to perform duties (lift test boxes weighting 20-to 30 lbs, arrange tables and chairs)

Apply online at: http://jobview.monster.com/CRCT-Testing-Examiner-temporary-position-Job-Atlanta-Statewide-GA-87268546.aspx

If anybody applies, let me know how it goes.

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Kanice Boogsy

April 19th, 2010
7:29 pm

They should get Kathy Cox, the Governor and all these no good Politicians to go an administer the test. Better than that let all of them go and take over the teachers class for the next two weeks. Let’s see can they last.

SteveR

April 19th, 2010
7:59 pm

You didn’t mention the big bucks that a certified teacher would get for such duties…..$10.40/hr.
Typical private school pay. Most parent’s don’t know how little private schools pay their teachers, and how happy they must be in their jobs. Low wages and benefits.

Josie

April 19th, 2010
8:11 pm

Georgia Cyber Academy is a public charter school. The students are considered public school students – not homeschool students. They are required to comply with public school rules and regs – not homeschool laws. While the students are taught in their homes, the school pays for all of their books, materials, teachers, speech therapy, occupational therapy, special education classes, computer programs, etc. Traditional homeschool students receive no support or materials from the school systems. Here is an excerpt from the GCA website:

“Imagine a high-quality public school program that offers the innovative use of technology, a rigorous curriculum from K¹², individualized learning plans for each student, and accommodations to foster different learning styles. This exceptional public school program is not imaginary—it’s the Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA), a program of Odyssey School (a public charter school), and it serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade throughout the state!

When you enroll in GCA, you enroll in more than a school. You join an education support system designed to give your children—in partnership with your family and a Georgia State–licensed teacher—the best education possible.”

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How big to step aside

April 19th, 2010
9:53 pm

Isn’t Ramona Tyson saying she doesn’t want the DCSS supt. job a little like Vanilla Ice holding a press conference to say he doesn’t want to be considered as the act for the next Super Bowl halftime show?

Lynn43

April 19th, 2010
10:07 pm

For those of you who believe that the “proof is in the pudding”, check out this organizations last year’s test scores, then tell me the students are getting even a “fair” education. Just another mess created by the legislators.

Lynn43

April 19th, 2010
10:10 pm

Where is my post?

CO

April 19th, 2010
10:49 pm

Not quite sure what the point of this article is…a little clarification would be nice.

ScienceTeacher671

April 19th, 2010
10:51 pm

@Kanice Boogsy, I was hoping that, rather than firing all the staff, one of these failing schools would make the state take over the school. I want those people at DOE to come in, teach school, and show us all how it’s done. I want them to come make the failing schools successful! After all, they know how it should be done, right?

Jackie Harrison

April 20th, 2010
2:24 am

The Dept of Ed is filled with DeKalb RETIRED (Tired) Administrators. Send them back to the classroom to teach and administer the CRCT? Bet they will truly retire them=n and save the taxpayer some money.

catlady

April 20th, 2010
11:50 am

I was expecting this to be a joke ad–Wanted: administrators for the CRCT. Ability to wield an eraser a must. Must make all statements in a believable way, and shift the blame to others. (you fill in the rest of the description).

But, no, it is serious?

Maureen Downey

April 20th, 2010
11:57 am

catlady, The ad is serious and I suspect short-lived. DOE did not seem too thrilled hearing about this method of hiring testing monitors.
Maureen

octex

April 20th, 2010
12:20 pm

Look out for the EOCT scores for math I and II for high school. I am really worried those scores will be horrible.

LaKeisha

April 20th, 2010
1:02 pm

As a learning coach/parent of a child that has been with GCA since it’s start here in Georgia, I see no purpose of AJC even posting this article. Would it had been better if it was sent via email or just made available on the website. It seems to me the investigation never points out that not just anybody can apply but they do have to submit to a background check! Also, I can remember back in my days of schooling that parents or PTA would also volunteer. Our children are taking tests which already brings enough stress in it’s own so why must adults always dig into a matter for parents and children. If AJC wants to post something post about how to better the salary of teachers, getting better Education Standards in the state of Georgia, why is the CRCT taken instead of other standarized tests such as ITBS that shows our childrens true potiental, why teachers are so instrumental in our childrens lives now til the future but are underpaid. You want something to write about write about that. Leave our children alone who are working just as hard or even harder being at home then in a brick and morter school. And for the naysayers are children do exceptional on testing and many other areas at GCA because they have undivided attention of teachers who love their jobs and love the children they teach. They spend countless hours helping our children learn and grasp knowledge which shows in our childrens scores!!! Write something worth writing about how we can elimanate school funding for schools that are failing and Dir. or Supt. that are over school Districts and have no clue of what they’re doing but are getting paid more than the teachers who do all of the work….Write about why every year the CRCT seems to fail more children than any other test assesment nationwide…write about why teachers have to spend half of the year focusing on CRCT skills instead of teaching our children real education throughout the whole year……I love GCA and so does my child…so please find something else more intruiguing to do a article on!

Josie

April 20th, 2010
1:14 pm

Maureen – The ad has been taken down. I’m guessing this was a huge embarrassment to the DOE.

CO – I think the point of the article is that a GA public charter school is advertising on Craigslist for test administrators. With the current cheating scandal and the “strict” new testing procedures it seems ridiculous that a school would advertise on CL one week before testing begins. It makes me question the ability of the state DOE to monitor the integrity of any of the other tests around the state. Has the DOE not made it clear enough how important at least the appearance of propriety surrounding the CRCT should be? I respect the speed with which they were able to remove the CL ad, but . . .

LaKeisha

April 20th, 2010
1:32 pm

And as far as advertising on CL anyone can post on CL..this could have been found out by anyone visiting GCA website and they decided to pass it on to other potiental teachers or test proctors? So who can really say for sure that GCA school posted on CL? Just something to stir up more controversy over the CRCT!!!

catlady

April 20th, 2010
1:49 pm

Ok, so the post by Lakiesha WAS a joke, right? (I mean, I stopped counting at 15 errors halfway down the post.)

Mary

April 20th, 2010
7:07 pm

Who cares if it was on craiglist? I mean, I wouldn’t post it there, but what’s the big deal. I’m a certified educator. What if I happened to be browsing craigslist and saw this ad for test administrators? What if I lived near one of those counties and was available to do the testing? As long as they verify the certification status and do the background check, what difference does it make how they find the teacher giving the test? This is stupid!

LaKeisha

April 20th, 2010
7:15 pm

No it wasn’t but the catlady is suppose to be real too right? I am not on this site to recieve insults, as my postings aren’t about me it’s about just as adults find other things to post or put in our daily reading materials. Children nowadays have enough stress without adults bringing their own issues into play. So if you do find any errors in what I wrote then so beit! I really don’t care it wasn’t aimed to impress you anyways but to speak up on the behalf of GCA and the many children that they teach.

LaKeisha

April 20th, 2010
7:31 pm

Thank you Mary for your post!!

What's the big deal?

April 20th, 2010
7:49 pm

I thought the controversy over the CRCT testing was answers being changed. It should not matter what teacher administers the test, as long as they are certified, have clearances, and are honest. To me having a teacher who is not affiliated with a student or program will offer more reliable results, than teachers who are under the gun to have their school meet AYP.

To me the brick and mortar schools are making a big deal, because the curriculum offered by GCA is right in running with what they offer, if not hands down better. I think they are scared.

Marie

April 20th, 2010
9:20 pm

How unfortunate that so many are still uninformed. Check out state reports and see how well GCA fared on the CRCT last year… again, examiners, regardless of how the need was advertised, are verifiably certified teachers. Oh, and the author of the article failed to mention it is the state’s largest public school with approximately 5,000 students.

GB

April 20th, 2010
10:52 pm

Nice “journalism”, Maureen. Maybe if you had taken the time to do some actual research and call someone at the actual school you would have some idea of what’s going on here. What if the ad had been in AJC’s classifieds? I doubt you would have had much to say. You also may have noticed (if you were actually paying attention) that on the same page on craigslist.com was an ad for New York City public school teach positions. Why didn’t you mention this, too? The fact is that schools are understaffed and underfunded to meet the demands of the legislature. Maybe you should focus on that.

Maureen Downey

April 20th, 2010
11:16 pm

GB, I am puzzled why anyone who has followed the CRCT cheating investigation — which, by the way, grew out of an AJC investigation — doesn’t understand why the state DOE — which has made security and protocol a top issue this year — would be upset to see a Georgia school advertising for proctors a week before the test. The DOE was very surprised and alarmed to learn about this ad.
I am not sure how you would compare NYC want ads for teacher positions for next year to ads looking for proctors for tests next week And as for state staffing and cuts, please look back at my blogs since August. I think you would find that I have written at least 200 entries on those issues.
Maureen

Josie

April 21st, 2010
1:40 am

Marie – Check out how GCA fared on the CRCT the year before last before calling others uninformed. Their results in previous years have been hit or miss. Made AYP, Didn’t make AYP, Made AYP.

The state allows just a few weeks for a testing window. Schools know these dates and make plans for the test well in advance. Why is any school still hiring proctors 1 week before the test? Sounds like poor planning. And these proctors are temporary, hourly employees hired at the last minute with no connection to the school. That may be better in terms of the cheating threat. However, as all of these GCA parents have pointed out, this is not a bricks and mortar school. Aren’t any of you slightly worried about dropping your child off with a tester who was hired within the week and has no established relationship with the school? Even with a back ground check that makes me nervous. The GCA parents I’ve spoken to were concerned to hear about this situation and plan to stay at the test site now.

Cindy

April 21st, 2010
7:58 am

My daughter is now a student with GCA and she is learning a whole lot more than at her prior public school (which is always on the No Child Left Behind list and not even 40% of the students pass CRCT). Having teachers help administer the test I would think help lessen the chance of someone changing test scores because it doesn’t directly affect their jobs.

MommaConnie

April 21st, 2010
8:46 am

HI. I have been a GCA “mom” for two years now. My 7 yr old is doing much better in THIS school than in the “brick and mortar” school where he went in preschool. I spent more time at the school or on the way to the school than I did at home! He had ADD/ADHD, He has recently been diagnosed as bipolar..as well as many other problems which made it hard for him to focus and actually learn. His being in GCA affords me the choice to take a “time-out” from classes when he has “melt downs”. In a brick and mortar school, that would simply be too bad and the class would move on without him. Of course, during his melt down, he would completely miss the things being taught. His assigned “home room teacher” calls an average of once a week and he has additional virtual classroom time with her for extra work. Work they are constantly evaluating and adding to or taking away things worked on in the virtual classroom. The virtual classroom is a site the kids go to where the teacher controls the screen… kinda like kids in an actual class being shown slides or the teacher drawing on a chalk board… he can talk to her thru the computer on on the phone and answers questions or actually uses the mouse to choose the correct answers. GCA also offers organized field trips. WHY is the fact that GCA put an ad on Craig’s List such a big deal?? And WHY is that the focus of the attack against GCA? GCA is a wonderful school. Wonder if the public schools have any issues? Like… overcrowed school rooms? Not enough teachers to teach our kids…violence in the school… OH! I’m happy to report that NOT ONE student in Colby’s class has EVER brought a gun to school or tried to beat him because he’s smaller than the other kids! And the teacher of his class has never received a threat on her life or had her tires slashed because she failed or corrected a kid that needed it! OK, I’ve had my say.. Thanks for your time…

Kelly

April 21st, 2010
9:07 am

My first grader was enrolled in a regular public school until Christmas break. Since then he has been a part of the GCA. Before we started using the GCA materials I asked his regular public school teacher to please give me a full days work for him to complete at home. I was shocked to see that he completed all of his assignments for the entire day in less than one hour. It was no wonder he hated going to school everyday. He would beg me to let him stay home. The reason was because he sat there most of the day waiting to do something else. He was not being challenged at all. GCA may not work for every student, but I can tell you that as a mother, I love the fact that I can move forward with his lessons as soon as he is ready. He doesn’t have to wait on others to catch up, or be placed in a group to help others learn. There is no doubt that my son knows the material that will be on the CRCT test. We’ve taken many practice tests and gone through “virtual classes” with a certified teacher, which GCA provides. My only concern is that since he is only 7 and this is his first major test. I worry that he may try to rush through it without completely reading the answers, or that he may color in the wrong bubble on the sheet. However, I am not concerned about rather or not he knows the material. I am also not concerned about the add on CL. As long as those teachers are certified with a background check completed.

GCAMom

April 21st, 2010
9:11 am

I don’t understand why people feel so negatively toward this. If anything it simply proves the lack of state funding required by the school to have enough people to administer the test. The candidates for the position have to go through background checks as well as hold a current state teaching certificate. Also they are not the only people on the site. The positions are too help fill test sites that are already staffed by other longer-standing (established) teachers of GCA.

As for the ignorant comments of the “poor” education the school provides I simply say this, do your own research before someone else does it for you and only proves your own ignorance on the subject. My son learned nothing while in a brick and mortar school but after a year and a half at GCA he’s learned everything required of stated standards and, thanks to the exceptional curriculum it provides, more than many of the local children his age, even older in some cases.

Please before making negative statements about anything, do some research and share your source.

Mom Who Cares

April 21st, 2010
9:36 am

Please, everyone. Stop and take a look at the positives here. GCA was innovative enough to not waste funds in their advertising. As someone pointed out above, the main controversy about the CRCT was about tests that were altered by teachers or administrators. An “outside GCA” certified teacher is likely to be unbiased and has no “agenda” to be sure her class looks good on the test. She/he has to undergo a background test and also be a certified teacher. So what’s not to like? There are many teachers out of work throughout the state because of budget cuts in recent years. This is an opportunity for them to have a job for a week, if they want it.

GCA is not a brick-and-mortar public school, and it’s not a private school. It is a public charter virtual school. They don’t have physical “schools” where tests can be administered, so they have to find test sites throughout the state to accommodate the 4000+ students who are enrolled in GCA. Separate classrooms are needed for each grade in each location, plus more separate classrooms to accommodate those who have special needs. GCA does not have enough year-round teachers to place a teacher in each classroom.

GCA does not have the funding that brick-and-mortar schools have, but they are making the best of what they have.

We have one child in public brick-and-mortar high school. Our younger child went to elementary school through third grade. She is very intelligent, yet she has dyslexia, which causes her to struggle with writing and reading. The opportunity to be able to teach her at home, one-on-one, has been very beneficial for her. I intended to just use it for fourth grade; but it worked so well, that we’ve continued for fifth and plan to continue through eighth or further if GCA can get funding for high school grades. The curriculum that GCA uses, called, “K12,” can be purchased by any home school family. K12 is a very rigorous set of subjects. We are working hard to keep up with it, but it’s worth the effort. We appreciate that the state is providing the materials. I’ve talked to several families who say that their children are doing so much better now with the at-home, one-on-one setting. Last year, our daughter “met expectations” on all areas of the CRCT, and in some subjects, she was almost in the “exceeds” category.

I do wish that news writers and responders wouldn’t rush to spout the “sensational.” Can’t we all be better people than that?

uberVU - social comments

April 21st, 2010
9:44 am

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Celina "Nina" Hazelrig

April 21st, 2010
9:57 am

I have two children in GCA finishing their third year in the program. We love it. I have two older children who were traditionally home schooled for high school. One is finishing his second year at Georgia Tech in the Aerospace Engineering Program and also on the Dean’s List. The other has already finished one of a dual degree program in Computer Technology. After careful planning and research to provide a tailored strategy to successfully school my two older boys, I have been quite satisfied with the GCA (formerly GVA) experience with my younger children. I will NOT look back and have the regret that many families will have for allowing the government to “raise” their children. I have always been an involved parent whether my children were schooled in the brick & mortar system as well as in a private B&M setting. GCA allows the structure and flexibility to provide the an above-standard education to any child of a parent/learning coach that desires to be involved. Oh yes, I agree with GCAMom, a small amount of research by the author of the AJC article could have alleviated the “fueling of the fire” of a group that supports teachers’ interests over that of the students’.

Vesper

April 21st, 2010
9:59 am

Josie – I’m sorry, but you appear to be among the least informed of the naysayers so far. When you demand that Marie “Check out how GCA fared on the CRCT the year before last” and remark that “Their results in previous years have been hit or miss”, you must be unaware that GCA are currently reaching the end of their third year in existence as an institution? I’m sure that even you can see that it simply isn’t possible to assess the performance standards of a school that DOESN’T YET EXIST…?

GCA have an enormous number of students to test – more than any other public school statewide. Are you really so lacking in professional experience that you are surprised that an institution, in its third year of existence, with around 5,000 students to consider, might hit a few last minute staffing issues? Even small, conventional brick-and-mortar schools (yes, those responsible for perpetrating the CRCT cheating scandal) have difficulty in finding qualified and impartial supervisors for testing.

Instead of disparaging GCA’s attempts to broaden the horizons of the children now flourishing under their care, why don’t you turn your attention to those extant public schools – many of which have consistently underperformed over their decades of public funding – that actually did have something to do with CRCT cheating?

Doty Wells

April 21st, 2010
10:18 am

I am another GCA mom that would like to politely respond to this blog. Personally, I see no problem with GCA posting job openings on Craigslist and this is not the only site they have utilized to find certified teachers to assist with the CRCTs. Let us think for a moment, GCA has to facilitate testing for almost 5,000 across the state as well as rent locations for their students to take the state mandated CRCT. This a massive undertaking in of itself logistically because the students are scattered all over the state.

The GCA did make AYP last year as the Odyssey School did not make AYP which they are connected. However, both schools are different entities and the Odyssey School was the mode by which GCA was able to come to the state of GCA. GCA has only been in existence for 3 years now and the kinks are getting worked out. GCA has also showed remarkable improvement during this time period especially considering the fact that it is the largest public school in Georgia. GCA also has a high number of students with IEP’s that have come to GCA because they were falling through the cracks in the traditional public school format for whatever reason. Instead of turning away IEP students, they are gladly helping these students suceed in many fashions. I personally know a few positive impacts GCA has made for these students. On the other hand, GCA also allows students who are gifted to move ahead in certain areas of the cirriculum instead of keeping everyone on grade level as is done in the brick and mortar. My children are both gifted in their own fashions and are working above grade level. I have been completely happy with the K12 cirriculum and the education my children are receiving through the GCA. I know that my children are learning and DO NOT need a test such as the CRCT to tell me what my children are learning. However, we are expected to take the tests pursuant to state mandates and we shall adhere to its testing standards.

Parents that choose to school at home virtually are giving up careers for the betterment of their child’s education. It would be nice if the general public would educate themselves before passing judgement or discussing issues many know nothing about. Everything you read on the internet is NOT always true folks! If we can obtain an education virutally for college, then why can’t we do the same format for any level of education as long as it is delivered in a structured environment. I am not criticizing others blog or putting down anyone’s opinions. As Americans we are allowed free reign over making our own decisions and that is the beauty of it all. More often than not, new ideas or concepts are not always embraced when it goes against traditional norms. With all the hits education is taking in funding, it would seem we would be as parents would be looking for solutions to our problems instead of criticizing the system. Bottomline, it is cheaper to education a virtual student than a B&M student and GCA students have not been afforded the opportunities to all available funding as compared to their counterparts. I am not complaining just stating a fact. Presently, I am comfortable with the education my children are receiving through GCA. If they need to be challenged further, then I will choose alternative options at that point.

Please do not belittle other postings as we all make mistakes because we are human. Both myself and my husband are educated individuals pursuing upper level degrees. Yes, I am not a certified teacher, but I am educated to do just the same. If there ever comes a point where I can’t explain a concept such as Physics which I have never taken, then I will provide my children with a tutor or a class in which they will be able take up that subject. In closing, I bid everyone a good day and only hope others will be tolerant of others.

Janet Wolfson

April 21st, 2010
11:23 am

I don’t understand why Maureen is always so quick to condemn GCA every chance she gets. Is it because so many thousands of Georgia kids are being happily and successfully educated without stepping foot in the B&M schools she loves so much? Get over it, Maureen!

Maureen Downey

April 21st, 2010
11:27 am

Janet, Actually, I haven’t focused too much on GCA – although its funding came up in a House hearing yesterday. I have looked at the test scores, and they are not dazzling.
I do plan to look deeper at the school in the wake of the discussion in the House Education meeting yesterday about its funding.
I think the question about this school — and every school — remains: Are taxpayers getting what they paid for in the program?
Maureen

Maureen Downey

April 21st, 2010
11:33 am

By the way, here is the e-mail that Georgia Cyber Academy sent out to its parents in the wake of my blog entry. Again, I have to say that if the school leaders don’t know why it would anger DOE and Kathy Cox to find a Georgia public school advertising for CRCT proctors a few days before the test at a time when security and testing protocol are under utmost scrutiny then someone is asleep at the wheel.

Some of you may have seen a (fairly silly) blog post from the AJC today referencing GCA: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/04/19/craigslist-ad-wanted-teachers-to-administer-crct-must-be-able-to-lift-heavy-boxes-and-post-do-not-disturb-sign/

The posting for CRCT examiners has been pulled by now (on the DOE’s request), but this is certainly nothing that GCA is embarrassed about. If anything our need to recruit contracted examiners for the CRCT (done by just about every district in Georgia) shows another impact of our low levels of funding – with more teachers, we wouldn’t have to work as hard to find examiners around the state.

As to Craigslist, here’s an ad that was posted just below our ad for examiners:”Become a Special Education or Science Teacher in NYC Public Schools”. I don’t think that NYC Public Schools’ standards are any higher or lower than GCA’s as far as where they find their teachers, and we’ve had some success finding excellent certified teachers to administer the CRCT through Craigslist. All of our examiners (whether they come from parent/teacher referrals, Monster.com, or Craigslist) are licensed and certified Georgia Teachers that undergo a thorough background check and training prior to CRCT administration.

This article was simply another case of those at the AJC not understanding and trying to make a mountain out of a molehill for GCA and virtual schools. The AJC’s biggest complaint was probably that GCA was advertising on Monster.com and Craigslist (for free) rather than paying to advertise on their own online job board!

Amy

April 21st, 2010
11:39 am

My children go to Georgia Cyber Academy and I do not appreciate you posting articles to poke at the school. This is a great school! Even my preschooler who sits in with the oldest ones while doing school, is already reading. One of my sons has attention issues and with GCA he doesn’t get left behind; he excels! Now in a brick and mortar school, most teachers would bypass him and put him in a special education class just because they didn’t have time to deal with him.
Perhaps, you could do a little research before you just post article with no point to it.
GCA has been a lifesaver for our family and many other families. I love this school and will defend to anyone.

teacher

April 21st, 2010
11:44 am

This wouldn’t be an issue if GCA or whomever had paid for an AJC add to advertise. GCA is a great school and the curriculum is MUCH better than the traditional Georgia public school. This will become the new way to go to school!

Maureen Downey

April 21st, 2010
11:48 am

teacher, Advertising for proctors for a high-stakes test under incredible scrutiny — at a time when schools are being held to the highest test standards ever — only a few days before the testing would have caught any reporter’s attention no matter where the ads ran. And the fact that DOE yanked the ad that quickly should tell you that it was inappropriate.
I am not sure why this seems to surprise anyone. Again, DOE moved instantly on this. Does that not tell you something?
Maureen

Kim B

April 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

With all the trouble with todays economy, the public schools (teachers dating students, guards required in some schools, teachers not able to teach children, several teachers every year spend most of the year on maternity leave–I could go on and on)
This should be the least of DOE worries—perhaps examining whats going on in the alledged case of teachers changing CRCT scores
—Parent of satisfied 1st year at GCA.

Susan Dierberger

April 21st, 2010
12:29 pm

I can understand why this might seem like a big deal to the reporter. What I don’t understand is why the reporter didn’t call the head of GCA to inquire about the ad after the DOE reported not knowing anything about it. She would then have gotten the full story as to why the school still needs proctors. As a GCA parent, I am fully aware of the reasons we still need proctors. Several other parents have explained this well enough, so I feel no need to rehash it.

GCA offers parents a great alternative between traditional homeschool and traditional classrooms (whether public or private). Of course there are problems, as there would be in any school of any sort. The bottom line for me is that GCA gives my kids a chance to utilize an outstanding curriculum at home. We have access to the expertise of our teachers as well as to a great community of others who are committed to educating their children, and we have the freedom to work at out own pace whenever we need to and wherever we are. We have accountability as well as flexibility. I am with my kids every day, so I know what they are learning. If GCA needs proctors for a state-required (and in my mind fairly pointless) test, I will cut them some slack for seeking those proctors wherever they need to.

Matt Arkin

April 21st, 2010
1:35 pm

Maureen,

I’m glad to hear that you plan to take a deeper look at Georgia Cyber Academy(GCA). I am happy to re-extend my invitation from several months back for you to come to GCA and meet with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to learn about how this virtual public school works and why it is such a successful option for so many Georgia students and families.

As to the posting – the concern expressed to us was regarding the ad being on Craigslist, not the fact that the ad was posted. GCA works in close communication with the DOE testing department during this our third year of existence, and they understand some of the added challenges we face having to test thousands of students from 153 counties across 8 grade levels at 45 different test sites during a short testing window. While in an ideal world other school districts around the state would help GCA find our needed examiners from their pools of substitute or retired teachers, to date we have had to use teacher/parent referrals and resources like Monster.com and Craigslist to find the qualified and certified Georgia teachers we use to supplement our own teachers as examiners during CRCT week.

While we have filled our examiner needs for next week, our job posting (which has been active since February) does remain active other than on Craigslist (http://www8.ultirecruit.com/KIN1002/JobBoard/JobDetails.aspx?__ID=*6B46A787E359D777&__SVRTRID=6B6B1837-EC84-4696-B556-6876821EFAC8), and we’re happy to continue to grow the pool of applicants both for a contingency basis and for next year’s test. Thank you, and I hope that all Georgia students and schools have a successful CRCT experience this month.

Best regards,
Matt Arkin
Georgia Cyber Academy Head of School

Maureen Downey

April 21st, 2010
1:39 pm

Matt, In view of the discussion at the House Education meeting about the funding of virtual schools, I would love to check out GCA. As soon as the legislative session ends, please expect a call from me.
Maureen

Incomprehensible

April 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

Wow! People can be such haters… they obviously do not have anything better to be worried about. I do not understand why a school is being condemned and categorized as being deceitful, for advertising for proctors, even if its a week before the test. So what? What’s the big deal? What is so corrupt about it? If the need is there, why not?

Brick & Mortar schools advertise for volunteers ALL the time. People that are obviously not certified, not involved in school like teachers are, and that are questionable just as the “certified teachers” that would serve as proctors for GCA during CRCT’s. Regardless of who administers the exams, there will certainly be GCA representatives (teachers and coordinators) that will be there. How ignorant to think that parents should be extra worried. Parents that are devoted to their children are always going to take measures to be reassured that their children are going to be as safe as they can be when they are away from them. For some parents, that means to make phone calls to the school; to others, it may mean to stay around in the vicinity;, and yet for others, it may mean to volunteer to serve as proctor, or as anything else.

GCA has been a school to really prepare the parents and their students with necessary orientations, extra lessons, phone calls, and emails regarding the CRCT. Why isn’t that information shared? Why is it that the email received by GCA parents a few hours ago is made public? For everyone who is not a GCA family, they will never know the extensive preparation that goes on for such an event. I do not know the specifics as to how the email that was forwarded by GCA to the families this morning, was posted here by someone that obviously accusses GCA of wrong doing. Everyone should know that this email was conveniently posted to serve their agenda. But what that person has not done, is posted the vast amount of emails forwarded to parents regarding CRCT testing, preparing, reassuring, cheering, helping students and parents be at ease.

I couldn’t be any happier with how they have proven to be well prepared. The fact that they do not have enough proctors, does not take away from their excellent preparation. B&M schools go through the same thing… I remember last year, our local school was still accepting volunteers throughout the week of CRCT’s. Does that mean, they were corrupt in any way? How silly to think so.

DOE should have no worries, GCA is doing its job… providing the necessary means for a successful CRCT week. Even it means hiring some teachers to help through out the week. Better are certified teachers than anyone else, in my opinion. Praise God, GCA was able to get on board those that were willing to work and help. And by the way, the fact that DOE instantly moved on the matter, in no way magnifies any wrongdoing on GCA’s behalf. It only shows that they are careful with whatever notion that pops up about them.

Cindy Suto

April 21st, 2010
2:09 pm

GCA is absolutely wonderful. The K12 curriculum is top notch. K12 doesn’t match the GA Standards but the GCA teachers stress the importance of also learning the GA Standards along with the wonderful K12 curriculum. The CRCT scores are a measure of knowledge of GA Standards. I think learning both K12 and the GA Standards is a good mix but not GA Standards alone. The tax payers save money with children attending GCA so I would push to increase its enrollment so more kids can have the opportunity. I can not say enough good things about GA Cyber Academy and would love to share these ideas with any State Education Committee. Georgia is behind in the education race and GCA will help many children reach their full potential. We are extremely thankful to have GCA as an option.

kathy taylor

April 21st, 2010
2:17 pm

my 7-year-old son is a GCA student and i’m so grateful for the opportunity to give him a 1st class education at home. he has a fatal nut allergy which public school didn’t handle well and i honestly feared for his life every day i dropped him off. the gaps between his public school education and where he should have been w/the GCA was HUGE if that proves to anyone how exceptional this program is. i can’t fathom why this is even an issue. i haven’t had much to say until now but if i feel the CGA’s integrity is threatened, i’ll be one mad mama.

GCA Parent

April 21st, 2010
2:44 pm

And I think also what Maureen and others may not realize is that GCA has has a number of students with special needs who will not be taking the test next week. but in the weeks following (which is probarly one reason the post is was still running) My daughter is special needs and will not be taking it next week but the week after as to accomodate her many needs. At anyrate I had planned to stay at the test site with my daughter just because that’s just the kind of parent I am but I do feel that GCA is doing their best to make sure my daughter is in a safe enviornment.

GCA Mom

April 21st, 2010
2:53 pm

Maureen, I hope that when you get around to “looking deeper” into CBA that you will look farther than just the numbers into the circumstances of the individual students. That’s what I HATE about the CRCT…it is turning our beautiful students into nothing more than statistics.

My son has a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome and dysgraphia, and he was being left behind at his brick and mortar school. In fact, his teacher was sending him out of her room into other teachers’ classrooms for large portions of each and every day because she was convinced he was intentionally disturbing her class with his tics. After a long, tiring day at school, my son would come home and begin homework, with me trying to teach him the things he was missing while he was visiting other classrooms. It was so stressful, we would both wind up in tears, and his tics became much worse. We were unable to get the school administrators to do anything about this situation, so we enrolled in GCA. He started out behind, and is still struggling to catch up in a few subject areas, but he is less stressed out and is actually finally beginning to enjoy learning again after two years with GCA.

Honestly, I could care less how my son tests on the CRCT, because as his learning coach, I already KNOW which skills he has mastered and where he needs more work. But for the benefit of GCA, we’ve done our best to prepare for testing. After all, that’s who the CRCT benefits…the schools, the administrators, the PhD’s who make them up and analyze them to death. The students would benefit if we could go back to teaching a classic curriculum and stop stressing them out and leaving learning gaps by teaching to a test that really only measures how many students are good test takers. If I can help my son to recapture a love for learning (he came out of brick and mortar hating anything associated with schoolwork), and if I can teach him HOW to learn so that his education will continue throughout his lifetime, then I feel I’ve done my job.