An insane federal policy; To get grant, school has to fire passionate principal

UGA education professor Peter Smagorinsky sent me this New York Times story under the subject line “insanity.”

It is insanity. It is one of those “destroy the village to save it” situations that seem easily correctable if someone had a functioning brain and five minutes to think about it:

I hope someone in the White House is reading and acting:

BURLINGTON, Vt. — It’s hard to find anyone here who believes that Joyce Irvine should have been removed as principal of Wheeler Elementary School.

John Mudasigana, one of many recent African refugees whose children attend the high-poverty school, says he is grateful for how Ms. Irvine and her teachers have helped his five children. “Everything is so good about the school,” he said, before taking his daughter Evangeline, 11, into the school’s dental clinic.

Ms. Irvine’s most recent job evaluation began, “Joyce has successfully completed a phenomenal year.” Jeanne Collins, Burlington’s school superintendent, calls Ms. Irvine “a leader among her colleagues” and “a very good principal.”

Beth Evans, a Wheeler teacher, said, “Joyce has done a great job,” and United States Senator Bernie Sanders noted all the enrichment programs, including summer school, that Ms. Irvine had added since becoming principal six years ago.

“She should not have been removed,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview. “I’ve walked that school with her — she seemed to know the name and life history of every child.”

Ms. Irvine wasn’t removed by anyone who had seen her work (often 80-hour weeks) at a school where 37 of 39 fifth graders were either refugees or special-ed children and where, much to Mr. Mudasigana’s delight, his daughter Evangeline learned to play the violin.

Ms. Irvine was removed because the Burlington School District wanted to qualify for up to $3 million in federal stimulus money for its dozen schools.

And under the Obama administration rules, for a district to qualify, schools with very low test scores, like Wheeler, must do one of the following: close down; be replaced by a charter (Vermont does not have charters); remove the principal and half the staff; or remove the principal and transform the school.

And since Ms. Irvine had already “worked tirelessly,” as her evaluation said, to “successfully” transform the school last fall to an arts magnet, even she understood her removal was the least disruptive option.

“Joyce Irvine versus millions,” Ms. Irvine said. “You can buy a lot of help for children with that money.”

Burlington faced the difficult choice because performance evaluations for teachers and principals based on test results, as much as on local officials’ judgment, are a hallmark of the two main competitive grant programs the Obama administration developed to spur its initiatives: the stimulus and Race to the Top.

“I was distraught,” said Ms. Irvine, 57, who was removed July 1. “I loved being principal — I put my heart and soul into that school for six years.” Still, she counts herself lucky that the superintendent moved her to an administrative job — even if it will pay considerably less.

“I didn’t want to lose her, she’s too good,” Ms. Collins said, adding that the school’s low scores were the result of a testing system that’s “totally inappropriate” for Wheeler’s children.

Justin Hamilton, a spokesman for the United States Department of Education, noted that districts don’t have to apply for the grants, that the rules are clear and that federal officials do not remove principals. But Burlington officials say that not applying in such hard times would have shortchanged students.

At the heart of things is whether the testing system under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 can fairly assess schools full of middle-class children, as well as a school like Wheeler, with a 97 percent poverty rate and large numbers of refugees, many with little previous education.

President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform says that “instead of a single snapshot, we will recognize progress and growth.” Ms. Collins says if a year’s progress for each student were the standard, Wheeler would score well. However, the reality is that measuring every student’s yearly growth statewide is complex, and virtually all states, including Vermont, rely on a school’s annual test scores.

Under No Child rules, a student arriving one day before the state math test must take it. Burlington is a major resettlement area, and one recent September, 28 new students — from Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan — arrived at Wheeler and took the math test in October.

Ms. Irvine said that in a room she monitored, 15 of 18 randomly filled in test bubbles. The math tests are word problems. A sample fourth-grade question: “Use Xs to draw an array for the sum of 4+4+4.” Five percent of Wheeler’s refugee students scored proficient in math.

About half the 230 students are foreign-born, collectively speaking 30 languages. Many have been traumatized; a third see one of the school’s three caseworkers. During Ms. Irvine’s tenure, suspensions were reduced to 7 last year, from 100.

Students take the reading test after one year in the country. Ms. Irvine tells a story about Mr. Mudasigana’s son Oscar and the fifth-grade test.

Oscar needed 20 minutes to read a passage on Neil Armstrong landing his Eagle spacecraft on the moon; it should have taken 5 minutes, she said, but Oscar was determined, reading out loud to himself.

The first question asked whether the passage was fact or fiction. “He said, ‘Oh, Mrs. Irvine, man don’t go on the moon, man don’t go on the back of eagles, this is not true,’ ” she recalled. “So he got the five follow-up questions wrong — penalized for a lack of experience.”

Thirteen percent of foreign-born students, 4 percent of special-ed students and 23 percent of the entire school scored proficient in reading.

Before Mr. Obama became president, Burlington officials began working to transform Wheeler to an arts magnet, in hopes of improving socioeconomic integration.

While doing her regular job, Ms. Irvine also developed a new arts curriculum. She got a grant for a staff trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington for arts training. She rented vans so teachers could visit arts magnets in nearby states. She created partnerships with local theater groups and artists. In English class, to learn characterization, children now write a one-person play and perform it at Burlington’s Very Merry Theater.

A sign of her effectiveness: an influx of new students, so that half the early grades will consist of middle-class pupils this fall.

Ms. Irvine predicts that in two years, when these new “magnet” students are old enough to take the state tests, scores will jump, not because the school is necessarily better, but because the tests are geared to the middle class.

Senator Sanders said that while the staff should be lauded for working at one of Vermont’s most challenging schools, it has been stigmatized.

“I applaud the Obama people for paying attention to low-income kids and caring,” said Mr. Sanders, a leftist independent. “But to label the school as failing and humiliate the principal and teachers is grossly unfair.”

The district has replaced Ms. Irvine with an interim principal and will conduct a search for a replacement.

And Ms. Irvine, who hoped to finish her career on the front lines, working with children, will be Burlington’s new school improvement administrator.

“Her students made so much progress,” Ms. Collins said. “What’s happened to her is not at all connected to reality.”

56 comments Add your comment

Teacher

July 20th, 2010
1:08 am

The insanity of NCLB and the republican education agenda continues….

reality check

July 20th, 2010
1:09 am

welcome to America ; the Feds have taken over education and now they have control of our medical ;

Not insane

July 20th, 2010
1:26 am

This isn’t the least bit insane, based on what the blog moderator has taught us from the very beginning.

“At the heart of things is whether the testing system under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 can fairly assess schools full of middle-class children, as well as a school like Wheeler, with a 97 percent poverty rate and large numbers of refugees, many with little previous education.”

Why is this even an issue? The blog moderator has taught us, from the very beginning, that the one single factor, that blows away all other factors, in a child’s academic success, is the teacher in the room.

“The first question asked whether the passage was fact or fiction. “He said, ‘Oh, Mrs. Irvine, man don’t go on the moon, man don’t go on the back of eagles, this is not true,’ ” she recalled. “So he got the five follow-up questions wrong — penalized for a lack of experience.”

But no, he was penalized by not having a competent teacher. After all, when teachers in Georgia point out the difficulties they face at risk schools, the moderator always reassures us that the background of the child is of little to no consequence, the biggest factor is always the teacher.

So according to what this blog has taught us from the beginning, the principal has failed to instill proper teaching at the school.

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Welcome back!

July 20th, 2010
1:49 am

Looks like ole Petey got this one right this time, so we’ll leave him alone.

Benchmark achievement

July 20th, 2010
2:24 am

And with this, the Obama administration does something not thought to be humanly possible. It proves itself to be as incompetent as the Bush administration on education.

Middle Grades Math Teacher

July 20th, 2010
5:33 am

I am excited that the NYT has printed this story. Educators have known for years that this happens, and I am glad that there is a specific example that is being highlighted. This situation is NOT unique! It’s just high profile thanks to the NYT. I’m sending links to this article to every elected official, from the White House on down, who is responsible for decisions regarding education.

justbrowsing

July 20th, 2010
6:29 am

Perhaps Georgia will also take a look at how they evaluate schools with large numbers of special education students. Often times, a school fails to make AYP for this sole reason. Hopefully the Obama administration will acknowledge that variables such as language and student preparation do impact student performance. Can’t overlook the student’s profile and role in student achievement. They are integral to the educational equation.

drew (former teacher)

July 20th, 2010
6:40 am

Insane is a word you don’t see often enough in education blogs. And the further we move towards “federal” control of education, which of course, will always be tied into some kind of standardized testing, the more insane it gets. And the tail wags the dog…

If the Feds are serious...

July 20th, 2010
7:08 am

As more states decide to adopt the CCSS, if the Feds are serious about supporting the new standards, they should suspend all testing requirements related to the NCLB for 3 (maybe 4) years. Those states who adopt the CCSS as their state standards, they need 1-2 years of transition when some contents are moved from one grade/course to another. No state testing can keep up with the fluidity that will result. Unless the testing requirements are suspended, teachers will (or be forced to) try to teach too much in too little time (which they may feel is already the case).

Rusty

July 20th, 2010
7:10 am

Typical government action. Enact a broad reaching, blanket policy and apply it in every instance without considering individual situations. It’s always a ‘one size fits all’ mentality.

Dr. John Trotter

July 20th, 2010
7:39 am

It’s all about the money. School systems are being pimped by the Federal Government. The State of Georgia and the local school systems could get out from under the grip of the Federal Government if they just turned down the Federal monies.

Status Quo

July 20th, 2010
8:02 am

In GA – we would move the special needs population to another school to remove the sub group. Preso Magic, AYP is achieved!

oldtimer

July 20th, 2010
8:05 am

NCLB us actually the brain child of Ted Kennedy!!

Clarence

July 20th, 2010
8:41 am

It would be much easier to turn down federal money if state funding weren’t declining and local property values plummeting. It’s ironic that it is Republicans overseeing the defacto federalization of Georgia’s schools.

ScienceTeacher671

July 20th, 2010
8:45 am

Maureen, those of us in the classroom have been telling you about similar situations since you took over the blog — and you’ll notice this is one reason many teachers are opposed to merit pay, as currently constructed. How much do you think Joyce Irvine is worth? How much would she have been paid — indeed what has happened to her? — based on the test scores of her students?

While you’re reading the New York Times, check out this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/nyregion/20tests.html

The “money quote” to me is this:

“The word ‘proficient’ should tell you something, and right now that is not the case on our state tests.”

ScienceTeacher671

July 20th, 2010
8:48 am

Clarence, I had hoped Michael Kanell would have addressed it more in depth in his article Sunday, but I wonder just how much of the decline in state payroll tax and sales tax revenues can be attributed to layoffs and furloughs of state employees. Surely someone has the numbers.

ScienceTeacher671

July 20th, 2010
8:55 am

Andrew Rotherham over at Eduwonk has some interesting comments on the Vermont situation. He thinks that the NYT article isn’t telling the whole truth. See:
http://www.eduwonk.com/2010/07/lets-do-the-time-warp-again.html

ScienceTeacher671

July 20th, 2010
8:55 am

** my comment from about 8:45 a.m. is still in the filter **

Ed Johnson

July 20th, 2010
9:25 am

Excuse my speaking Army here, but this illustrates bleeping perfectly well why it has become so bleeping hard to hear much of any bleeping thing the Obama administration says about education and the long-term sustainability of this nation, democratically and otherwise. The bleeping federal level sellout of public education to the bleeping corplanthropist (my word, corporatist + philanthropist) Bill Gates and company truly is astonishing, sad, disturbing, atrocious, destructive, inane, immoral, ugly, sick, deprived, depraved, brutal, appalling, dishonest, vicious, … and, yes, bleeping insane.

But, Maureen, why did it have to take the dismissal of a Joyce Irvine to see the insanity? Look, it is called the bleeping “Race to the Top Competition.” Bleeping Race! Bleeping Competition! Race! Competition! Those bleeping words say it all. The Obama administration – and this is the bleeping insanity – created an arbitrarily scarce resource – bleeping money – for states to compete over. That’s the bleeping insanity. And that’s why the Texas governor deserves recognition for saying Texas won’t indulge in the insanity (this is not to suggest support for other stuff going on in Texas).

Cobb Math Teacher

July 20th, 2010
9:27 am

@ScienceTeacher,

Just looking at income tax and assuming that tax at 5%–it is actually 6% most of the year on teachers, There are approximately 100,000 teachers in Ga making an average of $40,000 per a year. If we assume an average of 10 furlough days (came to this realizing some people have furloughs but others have lost supplements and the such–I believe a low estimate) the net drop in tax revenues would be 12 million and change. This does not include sales tax hits which might be higher even because of the pullback in spending out of fear of job/pay loss.

If you include the fact that as health insurance premiums and copays increase our taxable and spendable income decrease, it would not be a stretch to put the overall decrease in the state revenue due just to teachers this year would be in the neighborhood of $40 million dollars.

This is crazy scary when you consider that most of my estimates are low and does not include other segments of state and county workers who are getting hammered by the recession and stupid politicians.

Vince

July 20th, 2010
9:39 am

@ Teacher…

Oops! Open mouth…insert foot.

This little gem is a product of Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, I believe. A good friend of mine, a principal of a high school in southern California, lost his job in April for the same reason.

David S

July 20th, 2010
9:46 am

Government money never comes without strings. Keep that in mind you voucher supporters. What do you think the government will start demanding once they have their hooks in the pockets of the private schools who take voucher money.

Government believes that central planning works. History shows conclusively that it fails every time. The free market is the solution to the education and every other problem. (Oh, an please don’t start using BP, the banking crisis or any other current example of how the free market is a failure). We do not have a free market in practically anything in this country. It is government regulation and market manipulation that is failing, not the free market.

Ole Guy

July 20th, 2010
9:46 am

Doc, I’m not alltogether sure your suggestion would be realistic. We’ve become whores to the misguided edics of Washington. Much like kids who are coaxed into action with the promise of candy, we are aware of the problems to which too much “Washington candy” can yield.

easy solution

July 20th, 2010
10:08 am

The school in Vermont has removed the principal. Now the school in Vermont should rehire the principal. I mean, the school followed the rules by removing the principal, but there are no rules that state how long the principal has to be gone or whether or not the principal can or cannot be rehired. Play the goverment’s silly little game and beat it at its own game!

EnoughAlready

July 20th, 2010
10:23 am

The free market is already apart of the education process and ALL kids are still not being educated. Those with “money” usually have the best schools and best education. They choose private schools over public schools. That is the free market at work.

The government regulations are not causing students or schools to fail. If that was the case, all public schools with regulations by the government would be complete failures. There are many very successful public schools. They can be found in areas with higher incomes, educated parents and dedicated teachers.

I have found that even schools with low parental involvement and low-income can be successful; if they have highly involved administrators and teachers. Those schools are usually run by men/women who administer strict discipline, voice and set high expectations, teach with a passion, have knowledge of and live in the community.

Veteran teacher, 2

July 20th, 2010
10:26 am

This story will be repeated many times over the next five years unless we demand change and demand it now. If this insanity is allowed to continue, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Have you contacted your state legislators since the session ended? Have you contacted your Senators and Congressmen? No? Why not? If we don’t, they will continue to say that we don’t care and act accordingly.

ScienceTeacher671

July 20th, 2010
10:54 am

@Cobb Math Teacher, when you consider that many state employees have been furloughed more and were furloughed before teachers, that ought to add a significant chunk of change to the estimates.

You’re right, crazy scary, and no one is even talking about it.

Nikole

July 20th, 2010
11:44 am

@ Old Timer—-NCLB was designed in Texas. Kennedy jumped on board after Bush went to Washington.

anotherpointofview

July 20th, 2010
11:56 am

This is from the Eduwonk blog discussing the same topic – interesting points that are left out of the article are included here…

I woke up today and thought it was 2004, when this blog first launched. There in The New York Times was a Michael Winerip story that, well, left a few things out. Read the story but the basic take is that federal turnaround policy is forcing a great principal out of a good school.

Russo grabs three pieces of low-hanging fruit: Is a really excellent principal representative of the overall landscape of persistently under-performing schools? The last line of the story indicates the principal isn’t actually being fired but is rather taking over the district’s school improvement work. Seems fishy? But most obvious: Federal law doesn’t hold schools accountable for the performance of students they haven’t had a least a year to teach. This is no small thing, the article states otherwise conflating taking a test with the scores being used for accountability.

But there is more than that. As the article mentions, the district did not have to even apply for this money, it was a competitive grant opportunity*. But what readers are not told is that there are other school improvement funds and other funds overall that can be purposed for school improvement and do not require personnel changes. Why not use those? But if the leaders of the district truly believe the requirements to be adverse then it’s essentially malpractice to take the funds. They fired a great principal for money? Really?

In addition, readers might want to know that test scores at the school are actually moving the wrong way and although Winerip focuses on the immigrant students mentioning overall rates only in passing, scores are no great shakes for white regular education students or really for any students in the school at all.** One in five students at grade level in reading (less in math) and low pass rates across the board. That all complicates the idea put forward in the article that just changing the student body will be the solution. There is also a discrepancy between Winerip’s claim that half of the students are foreign-born and the actual data on the school’s population that is especially hard to square with the idea that it is becoming more integrated.

If I sound suspicious about the article’s fact base, it’s from experience. Unfortunately, this is the tried and true Winerip method, especially the part about focusing on special education or minority students in schools that overall aren’t doing very well (see for instance previous coverage of New York City or his NCLB coverage). Plus more here. Punchline: These stories that seem too neat and tidy usually are. This is a messy business.

What’s frustrating is that there is a real issue here demanding attention. The trade-off between flexibility and prescriptiveness in federal school turnaround policy is a complicated one without a lot of good answers. Too much flexibility and districts and states take the easy way out and do nothing meaningful for students stuck in lousy schools. Too prescriptive and you get meaningless box-checking (as we may be seeing overall with the current dollop of school improvement funds), perverse consequences, or you stifle innovative approaches that might work if educators could try them. That’s a two-decade long story now and given all the attention to turnarounds now one that ought to be told in richer analytic depth. One day it will be, but today is not that day.

*See here and here for slide decks about this program.

**For the school to be in this situation in the first place the problems have to be longstanding, another reason the blame the new immigrants/change the kids but not the teaching bit falls short.

Maureen Downey

July 20th, 2010
11:59 am

There is also a good comment to this same effect on the NYT comment piece attached to the actual article.
Maureen

Angela

July 20th, 2010
12:28 pm

@Dr. John Trotter,

Now, you know that if DCSS and/or APS get rid of federal funds these school systems will fold. You know that on the southside of DCSS it is all free and reduced lunch and in APS the westside and southside are all free and reduced lunch. You know just like I know these parents even if they could pay for school they would not. They don’t even get involved in their children’s academics unless, the child goes home and tells a lie on the teacher. Sooooooooooooo, please come up with a better solution to the problem. Perhaps, inviting some of those “know it alls” down to really observe in the reality perhaps they won’t be so eager dictate. Or, even perhaps if their children had to attend some of these schools they would not be so quick to dictate. I have yet to see Michele visit a real inner city public school. Oh, maybe it just has not been filmed/shared yet!

P.S. Oh, if teacher pay depended on parents paying for education would not only be furloughed we would not even have jobs. You know your people in Dekalb!

Teacher Reader

July 20th, 2010
12:37 pm

I think that if a school is failing and continues to do so over the course of several years, I don’t care how nice the principal is, how well meaning the principal is, if she knows everyone’s name or if she cares about their family home situation. If she is not producing the product that she is being paid to do, educate the children, than she needs to go.

We are talking about the future of our children and the quality of education in our country is going down. As the principal, you are in charge of the quality of education that the students receive, if it’s not there and the students are succeeding in the state mandated, federally mandated, or mandated from Mars tests, than, surely something isn’t going right.

justbrowsing

July 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

@Teacher Reader- there are many excellent schools which did not make AYP because their subgroups (it only takes one), most often students with disabilities, don’t pass. This can create the impression that a school is bad, even though high percentages of the general education population may have done well.

Angela

July 20th, 2010
1:00 pm

@Teacher Reader,

Please, Please, Note that teachers, administrators, etc. are not the foundation of education it is the parents. Educators can only teach what we are sent nothing more nothing less. Why we start focusing on sorry parents who don’t value education. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of being blamed for children not learning, not performing, their out of control behaviors, etc.

I have a solution how about we get RID of all of the NO GOOD FOR NOTHING PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, place all of their children in one big group home with good and wonderful parents like – Cobb Parent, Enough Already, Teacher Reader and awe H— even me!

MiltonMan

July 20th, 2010
1:46 pm

With teachers like teacher no wonder the education system in this state stinks. The clown is so blinded for his/her love for Obozo that Bush is at fault here??? Teachers do us a favor. Quit posting on boards and making yourself look ignorant.

MiltonMan

July 20th, 2010
1:48 pm

Angela calling yourself wonderful? How about taking a humility pill. You judge being a good parent based upon what is posted on a message board???

Angela

July 20th, 2010
1:53 pm

@MiltonMan,

I was being sarcastic!

David S

July 20th, 2010
2:28 pm

Enough Already – I am not surprised at ignorant comments about the free market, so I will be patient and help clear up the situation.

There is NOT a free market in education. The government currently steals hundreds if not thousands of dollars from every individual/family/business in the nation in the form of school taxes. This is money that is no longer available to spend on a private market alternative to the government schools. Further, every state heavily regulates the activities of private and home schools resulting in further expenses. These costs must be passed on to consumers of the private schools and adds additional costs to the homeschoolers. As well, the presence of such a virtual monopoly in the marketplace drastically reduces the potential consumer base that private schools must compete for. This allows private schools to charge more money than a truly open and competitive marketplace would allow.

Additionally, the heavy burden of income and other taxation upon individuals and families further reduces the funds available for a private alternative and in many cases forces the employment of both parents thus reducing homeschooling options as well. The inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve further undermine savings and raise living expenses, only worsening the situation of available monies for private options.

If you don’t understand what a free market is, please don’t confuse what we have with one. In this case, where 97+% of the population sends their children to government schools and those schools are failing while the private alternative is delivery outstanding results, it hardly seems appropriate to lay any blame on anyone but the government (and the people who blindly support it).

Overachiever, Under-compensated

July 20th, 2010
2:47 pm

@Teacher Reader
You really think that kids who have only been in the country a year should be able to pass grade level proficiency exams? AND on top of that that a PRINCIPAL (who, by the way does not TEACH these children) should be fired if she/he can’t wave the magic educational wand and make that happen? That’s what sounds like insanity to me!

Dan

July 20th, 2010
2:52 pm

Teacher at 1am continues to exude his/her lack of knowledge. 1 NCLB was a teddy kennedy brainstorm that bush agreed to reach across the aisle. More importantly the issue in question was an Obama policy. But no sense explaining logic to some folks.

Regarding the topic at hand it always seems amazing to me the lengths school systems go and the complaining they do to appropriate what is at most 7 – 8% of their total budget from the federal government, particularly the ones complaining the costs outweigh the benefits???
If that is the case DONT DO IT! There is no law that local schools must abide by the rules, they just won’t get the funding. The real issue is administrators need to blame someone for the idiotic decisions so they blame the governmental guidelines

Angela

July 20th, 2010
3:18 pm

@David S,

You so gracefully deemed it not necessary to mention that parents who place their children in private schools are academically involved with their child. You also, gracefully did not mention that many many of the private schools don’t employ certified teachers as well as don’t have any where remotely near the discipline issues that public school have therefore, more much more learning takes place.

Oh, but you are correct there is no free market anything in life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@Dan

July 20th, 2010
3:23 pm

A slight correction on who is actual owner of NCLB. Houston had a “model policy” which was the basis for NCLB. Rod Paige, who led Houston public schools, became Secretary of Education during the Bush Administration. Kennedy was not the brainchild. He was more a cosign to this legislation.

Angela

July 20th, 2010
3:24 pm

@Overachiever, Under-compensated

July 20th, 2010
2:47 pm
@Teacher Reader
You really think that kids who have only been in the country a year should be able to pass grade level proficiency exams? AND on top of that that a PRINCIPAL (who, by the way does not TEACH these children) should be fired if she/he can’t wave the magic educational wand and make that happen? That’s what sounds like insanity to me!

*******************************************************************************************************************
This is why when people make comments they really don’t know or understand what the facts are should keep their mouth shut! Teacher Reader, does not understand or even know what the facts of what goes on in schools and classrooms. The Reality is not PERFECT or a PRETTY PICTURE!

And, again, and again education DOES NOT begin in the schools it begins at HOME!

Who, would like to join me on the very first day of school and then come back with some facts and reality????????????????????????????????

What's best for kids?

July 20th, 2010
3:27 pm

The federal mandates far outweight the federal funding.
MiltonMan, this started about 2001 with the passing of NCLB. RT3 has not even been brought to Georgia, although Sonny would love to get his hands on the 400MM so that he can continue to make cuts in education.
Seriously, Milton Man. This is an NCLB law, not anythign that Obama has created. Although I think if he got ahold of it, he would definitely make it worse.

change you can believe in

July 20th, 2010
3:28 pm

vince beat me to it: this firing is not related to republicans; rather, this is part of the obammy race to the top plan, in which schools do everything possible to not only appear pitiful but also willing to do anything to get their hands on federal money. the gov’t is doing a fine job of showing people from all walks of like how to beg for money…

Private School Guy

July 20th, 2010
3:58 pm

I supported Obama, but as far as education goes his administration gets a D from me. It’s the same old, same old again. You can barely tell we’ve changed presidents as far as education policy is concerned. We need to demand real change, beyond what the Feds and the NEA(whom I am a member) want.

A TRADITIONALIST

July 20th, 2010
4:10 pm

FINALLY…finally the eyes of a liberal
has been open to the insanity of just one federal policy…Ms.D..yo aint seen insanity yet….just wait… You voted for this..You voted for this..

What's best for kids?

July 20th, 2010
4:11 pm

I agree, Private School Guy. It has simply become more and more difficult to reach AYP. What happens when the schools that have 99% passing rate only go to 99.1%? They don’t make adequate yearly progress. What happens when a school that has 100% passing rates goes to 99.8%? It fails.

NCLB was built on a foundation of sand, and RT3 is a folley, as well. Both parties want control of education.

What happens when vouchers are passed? The government then controls the private schools and whether they test or not. Vouchers come with strings. Any money comes with strings.

Let’s reinstate the 10th Amendment and take back our schools.

Dr. John Trotter

July 20th, 2010
4:58 pm

@ Angela: Most of the funds that pay for our public education in Georgia come from state and local monies, but the monies that the school systems receive from the Federal Government have strings attached to them. Maybe some of the kids need to tote a biscuit to school like some of our great leaders in the past did.