Should Gwinnett have won the Broad Prize given its resistance to charter schools?

I am on my way this morning to a meeting of the state Charter Schools Commission (10 a.m. in the Twin Towers, 1414 west tower, if anyone wants to come.) The agenda includes a strategy session, and I am interested to see what the strategies might be and whether  they will address the pending state Supreme Court ruling on the commission’s legitimacy.

In the meantime, I’d like to direct you to education researcher Rick Hess’ short blog this week raising concerns about the Broad Prize going to Gwinnett County, which he describes as anti-charter system. (An overdue hat tip here to Attentive Parent for mentioning the Hess commentary on the blog this morning.)

Hess can speak for himself on that issue but I want to raise another one here: What I find interesting about Gwinnett and its achievements — which are real and verifiable — is that the district has not jumped on many fads or broken new ground. It has flourished under the strong hand of a strong superintendent, whose main talent seems to be hiring excellent principals, who, in turn, hire good teachers. I have personally seen good teachers leave DeKalb and APS to go to Gwinnett and they report back that they are more respected and have clear goals and good leadership at their schools.

On paper, my view of a good school system would have been the DeKalb model. The county offered school choice in the form of magnets long before the rest of the country. It has tried many off-the-shelf reform models and a few of its own. Yet, it’s a mess, and I suspect will be even more so once it starts a painful redistricting process that will likely reassign children from performing schools to under performing ones.

DeKalb’s failings owe to a lack of strong leadership, the element more critical to school success than any reforms, whether magnet or charters, whether block or traditional, whether longer day or longer year.

Gwinnett is succeeding on what might be called the “old school” school reform model: Get a good plan and good people and stick with them.

I understand the criticisms, including those coming from Hess, of the system’s antipathy toward charters, but I also understand that Wilbanks has a vision for his system, and that vision has been producing notable gains in closing the achievement gap. So, should Gwinnett acquiesce to the latest wave of reform trends or stick to what it has been doing?

Here is what Hess says about Gwinnett’s Broad Prize award this week.  (Read in full here):

Unmentioned by all, and for good reason, was that Gwinnett is in the middle of a very unreformish attempt to prohibit the Georgia Charter Schools Commission (GCSC) from approving or funding charter schools. Awk-ward….

Gwinnett has been one of several districts suing the state since 2007 over the GCSC’s “imposition” of charter schools. This is especially awkward in the case of charters like Ivy Preparatory Academy, an all-girls charter which is outperforming county schools in seven out of ten content areas. I find it more than a little depressing to think that the nation’s exemplar of urban school reform is engaged in a multi-year campaign to shut down charters.

82 comments Add your comment

da bear

October 21st, 2010
9:27 am

If they met the requirements, WHY NOT? Do we all have to fullfill the PC rules in every way to be considered good at what we do? Gwinnett won it, its over.

If anyone doesn’t like hte criteria used, lobby the PTB to change them, until them, MYOB.

da bear

October 21st, 2010
9:30 am

Why is it so hard to be proud of the achievment, instead of finding excuses to cut them down for PC reasons. They are a public school, they kicked butt.

Finnally something to be proud about for Atlanta area schools. Don’t ruin it.

Grad student

October 21st, 2010
9:32 am

Don’t mean to quibble – but Hess is not a researcher. He is a pundit and a good mind in education policy and research – I love his stuff – but he does not conduct research.

jusmine

October 21st, 2010
9:33 am

They can use whatever the criteria they want to give away *their* money.

At the same time, I think change (reform) for the sake of change seems to be a part of many problems we face in our schools today. Maybe Gwinett has been more cautious/judicious about what changes to make.

Dr NO

October 21st, 2010
10:04 am

Dr NO says Yes!

EnoughAlready

October 21st, 2010
10:05 am

If Gwinnett is against charter schools; what would you call the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology?

I don’t want money pulled out of Gwinnett to fund students who are coming into Gwinnett from other counties. It’s not beneficial to the tax payers in Gwinnett County at all. I would rather see more schools like GSMST in Gwinnett that are serving the children and taxpayers of Gwinnett.

Some will say have you experienced Ivy Prep and I will say, yes; the young ladies seem very happy at their school. I had the opportunity to have conversations with some of the young ladies, during my year long pick-up/drop-off at the Centerville library of my child. However, what bothers me is the fact that some of them were not Gwinnett county residents.

If you want a charter school that pull kids in from all metro county systems, it should be funded as a private school entirely. As a tax payer in Gwinnett, I would prefer that our schools continue to support students who actually reside in our county.

Call me whatever you like, but that’s how I feel about the situation.

EnoughAlready

October 21st, 2010
10:18 am

Maureen,

Would you happen to have an email address for Mr. Hess? I would like to send him a personal message from a Gwinnett county taxpayer and parent.

Good Grief

October 21st, 2010
10:21 am

Find me ONE (not many, just ONE) charter school who can prove the same ability that Gwinnett has shown to provide a solid education to ALL children. Let me see their achievement scores for all groups. Two main issues about the charter issue: 1.) The lawsuit is challenging the state’s practice of taking LOCAL Gwinnett taxes and using them to support citizens who do not live in Gwinnett 2.) The charter school “elite” mentality is a blatant attempt to keep out the “riff raff” so to speak. How dare anyone attempt to belittle the achievement of the school system! Good Grief!

DeKalb Educated

October 21st, 2010
10:23 am

DeKalb has some outstanding magnet and charter schools for parents and students. They have been in place since the 80’s – almost 30 years. Of course, the motivation was racial. Roger Mills wanted to bus students from one end of the county to other so the “choice” plan came into fruition and it works. It is a leadership problem in DeKalb. We had balanced leadership at one time that was student focused. Now, it is about power and corruption and nepotism. The transfer of teachers due to court rulings started the down spiral of morale among teachers. It rebounded. Then sank again under Johnny Brown and the C-Lewis debacles. I wish a school of performing arts had existed when I was in high school If you have never been to a DSA performance, you should go. The kids are amazing. The teachers involved. Still, the School Board has them performing and training in sub-par facilities. It is a disgrace. I hope new leadership will improve DeKalb Schools. We have the parental involvement (at least in the northern end), student performance and outstanding teachers. We just need an admin that focuses more on raising teacher morale by letting them teach, develop their own curriculum and manage their classrooms rather some micro-manager with a fourth grade reading level from the county office demanding busy work from them.

Maureen Downey

October 21st, 2010
10:25 am

RH

October 21st, 2010
11:01 am

Yes, they should have won the prize! I moved to Gwinnett County specifically for the public schools. GCPS is a great value – I know because my children have attended both private and uber-funded public schools in other states. Sure there are things I don’t like about GCPS, but that is beside the point – they are EXCELLENT school system overall!

Until we (ALL of us) as taxpayers really fight to change the current system, GCPS has every right to deny Charter schools. I would love vouchers to allow me to spend money on education where I see fit, but that is not the way things are.

Turning your nose up in the name of political correctness is childish and really does nothing to change the situation. Congrats to GCPS and the CHILDREN that attend those schools. :)

Lance

October 21st, 2010
11:01 am

It’s 2010 Folks! So get ready for any good news to be spun into a negative. How can this be a negative when Georgia as a State ranks close to the bottom of overall academic achievemnet in the nation? Because some people wake with negativity! It’s just the nature of the beast! Get a life Rick! I’m so proud of Gwinnett and their school system! Most excellent!!

EnoughAlready

October 21st, 2010
11:02 am

Thanks, my draft is almost complete.

The Producer

October 21st, 2010
11:07 am

FOR THE SAKE OF THE KIDS, LET US CELEBRATE THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT. THE STATE OF GEORGIA IS NEAR THE BOTTOM WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION AND HERE WE HAVE IDIOTS OUT THERE TEARING DOWN A SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR TRYING TO ACHIEVE. I SAY TO THE GWINNETT COUNTY ADMINISTRATORS,TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND PARENTS CONGRATULATIONS. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. IT’S ALL ABOUT OUR CHILDREN, OUR FUTURE. TO THE CRITICS, WHAT’S WRONG WITH TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO STRIVE TO BE THE BEST? REGARDLESS OF WHAT URBAN OR RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICT THEY ARE ATTENDING…….GROW UP!!!!

An advocate for public education change & choice

October 21st, 2010
11:21 am

@ Enough Already – A few points of clarification (at least as I understand the situation).

1. The institution of which you is a charter school which is under the direction of the GCSB, thus referred to as a system charter. Ivy Prep is what is referred to as start-up charter, which means its governance is overseen by GCSB but managed by a Board of Directors not directly controlled by GCSB. The distinction in this case is that with GSMST the GCSB controls the purse strings, sets policy etc. Hence the law suit being a fight over funding.

2. Charter schools when submitting a petition have to define a specific attendance zone and the petition is approved by the local board of education with juristiction over the identified attendance zone. If the intent of the charter institution is to service an attendance zone that covers multiple jurisdictions then the charter petition must be approved by all of the applicable local boards. Thus, if a petition was accepted by GCSB the students attending must be within the GCSB boundary of service. A student who reside in DeKalb for example should not be admitted unless they are attending as a out of zone student and paying the fee applicable (which means GCSB is not obligated to pay for students attending its schools out of zone). These basic guidelines with regard to intra district transfer of students applies to all public schools (both traditional and charter).

Now if in fact students are attending Ivy Prep out of zone, then I agree with you they should not be funded by GCSB as the laws today do not obligate GCSB or the local board from which the student may be coming to fund public education for students attending out of zone. The current policy says the parents electing to have their child attend a school out of zone should pay for the prlivledge according to the rules for out of zone attendance defined by the local board. Case in point there are numerous students who attend Decatur High School (which is recently converted Charter school/district) but they are required to pay in order to attend and they are not funded by the Decatur City Local School Board as if they were residents of the district.

As for the subject matter of this particularly blog, I personally don’t see the beef. If the award was based on demonstrated student achievement and GC schools produced quality outcomes they should be rewarded for it. The GCSB’s receptiveness toward charter schools is immaterial. I personally believe charter schools represent another good public school option that should be made available to parents. However if the traditional schools are educating kids sufficiently then they should be celebrated as appropriate for doing so. I don’t see the choice as one or the other.

Grizz

October 21st, 2010
11:27 am

“The agenda includes a strategy session, and I am interested to see what the strategies might be and whether they will address the pending state Supreme Court ruling on the commission’s legitimacy.”

The only reason for a strategy session that comes to mind is that the attorneys for the state have told the commission that prospects are looking dim at the moment, and from the arguments I heard at the SC hearing, I’d say they have reason to be worried.

Grizz

October 21st, 2010
11:30 am

Mr. Hess: “Unmentioned by all, and for good reason, was that Gwinnett is in the middle of a very unreformish attempt to prohibit the Georgia Charter Schools Commission (GCSC) from approving or funding charter schools.”

Mr. Hess had it 1/4 right – it is about funding, but the real issue is that unelected board taking away funding that should have flowed to a local school district which is governed by an elected board.

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
11:37 am

I’m still waiting for someone – anyone – to clearly explain to me any pedagogical advantage to the students of charter vs. public schools. No one seems to be able to do this. I have heard about “freedom” of charter schools not dealing with paperwork or such, but I have not heard of any advantage at all for the students learning or for the teachers lessons.

Can anyone help? Or, are charter schools just a trojan horse to fake out those wanting some “choice” in schools?

Jim

October 21st, 2010
11:40 am

Can’t believe you are even having a blog on this. Can’t you just say congratulations and leave it alone? Really.

Vince

October 21st, 2010
11:57 am

@ Maureen…

I do not consider Gwinnett’s methods old school at all. In fact, they have been years ahead of the rest of us in many respects.

Back in the mid-90’s my kids were coming home talking about “standards,” “essentials questions”, “rubrics” and the “big idea.” I had no idea what they were talking about until the rest of the state began moving toward standards based education about 7 years ago.

Differentiation? Again, as early as 1992 I can remember all of the students in my kids’ classrooms having their own spelling lists, projects, rubrics, etc.

Gwinnett’s assessment system was also ahead of the curve. Some of us in other systems are just now beginning to use some of the tools, instruments, programs, etc that Gwinnett implemented over 15 years ago.

They do great things in Gwinnett.

sidney c

October 21st, 2010
11:57 am

What I will celebrate is the OUTSTANDING job done by the teachers and parents in educating their children. You deserve all the respect and admiration for teaching the AKS and preparing these students for the exams.

What I will not and will never appreciate is the heavy-handed political nature of this superintendent who has wasted millions and millions of dollars on a duplication of a state test-just to get publicity- and a new and wasteful building. That money could be preventing the furlough days if it had been managed worth its salt….

There is also a personal vendetta against IVY Prep. He is in favor of charter, as long as he controls it. Just like Mr. Potter was in favor of the Bailey Building and Loan as long as he owned it.

Finally, just because you earn a degree doesnt make you a principal. Gwinnett’s weakness is that principals are those who have degrees. Not those who can manage students, staff, parents and teachers. Old administrators never die, they just go to ISC.

I expect NOT to be furloughed next year.

RH

October 21st, 2010
11:59 am

Two additional points that I’d like to make -

Regarding another runner in the competition, Charlotte-Mecklenburg … my children attended private schools while living in that area. CMS was so messed up at that time I refused to let my kids go to those schools. We moved from there to metro ATL, and specifically chose Gwinnett for their public schools. I am glad that Char Meck has appeared to get their act together, for the children.

In regards to those that attend Ivy Prep not living in the proper attendance zone, I really hope that gets looked into. We really should not be suprised if it is the case because it is a well known fact that there are many kids in GCPS that don’t belong in the district. They either are from (mostly) Dekalb or they don’t legally reside in the cluster they say they do.

Again, very well deserved prize for GCPS!

Vince

October 21st, 2010
12:04 pm

Secondly, I don’t think it is fair to say Gwinnett is resistant to charter schools. A better way to state that would be…Gwinnett has raised the question about the fairness of how the state is funding charter schools.

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
12:08 pm

My two cents….. as a teacher, I categorically refuse to accept a job in GCPS.

I am a professional educator. I know how to teach. I know my subject matter. I understand that my teaching style and lessons and assessments are fluid and need to be suited according to the particular group of kids in my classroom. My evidence includes the outstanding scores (well above any State average) that my students make on tests such as EOCT and GHSGT.

However, GCPS (at least in high schools) do not afford their teachers the flexibility to take the students into account. They force teachers to teach specific lessons at specific times in specific ways – regardless if the students are ready for that or not. Science teachers must used ‘canned’ labs such that everyone does the same thing.

As far as I can tell, high school teachers in GCPS may as well be little robots, or the students can just watch a video lesson.

I cannot work like that, as a teacher.

Eye roll

October 21st, 2010
1:02 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

Do tell, which school system is so blessed to be graced by your presence on a daily basis?

Lance

October 21st, 2010
1:05 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

How in the world can you make a broad statement like that about every Gwinnett County High School? Have you worked at all of them once before? Maybe that’s the problem with whatever school system you’re working in.

If my kids learn what they need to learn and score higher than the national average on whatever test they are required to take, then why complain just because you personal preference in teaching ways?

This blog isn’t about preferred teaching methods; it’s about CONGRATULATING a school system for stepping up and setting a standard. Get a life “professional educator”. It sounds like Gwinnett doesn’t need you or your preferred teaching ways!

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
1:08 pm

@Eye Roll -

I currently teach in a north Fulton County school. One that beats out every GCSS high school in every category.

@ Lance -

That is why I began with “My two cents.” If you didn’t want my two cents, I did not force you to read it.

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
1:11 pm

@Lance -

I’m glad that YOUR kids can get what they need. My point is about differentiation. Not ALL kids learn the same way. When a teacher is FORCED to do the same thing for ALL kids, then SOME kids will miss out.

It is not about a teaching style, it is about learning styles of the students. I believe, as I said in the above post, that the teaching needs to be fluid in order to accommodate the learning styles of the students.

GCSS does not share in that belief.

Lance

October 21st, 2010
1:14 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

You still never answered my question? It sounds like you’re just bitter. We aren’t talking about ONE school!!!! We are talking about a whole county. If your school does produce great results, that’s great! It’s all about the kids.

You should try showing some professionalism for other peers in your field of work instead of tearing thier school system down. But hey, that’s just “my two cents”

EnoughAlready

October 21st, 2010
1:18 pm

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
12:08 pm

Consistency is important, especially when they are required to take the same test. You don’t know how many times I have heard students complain about not being taught things that were being tested. Example, the AP exams; no one really knows what’s on the test. However, one teacher covered the material and another didn’t think it was that important. The same thing happens in science, math, etc….

An advocate for public education change & choice

October 21st, 2010
11:21 am

The residents of Gwinnett County collectively have the ability to control who gets to sit on the school board. The residents of surrounding counties, regardless of whether or not they pay as “out of attendance zones students” can only protest collectively what happens within their boundaries. My issues are that as taxpayers, we should have complete control as to what happens to tax payer money within Gwinnett boundaries. Ivy Prep is being governed as an entity outside of the reach of their actual physical boundaries, which is Gwinnett. I would describe it as a foreign corporation; with it’s on board of directors. You don’t elect the school board. Why should anyone listen to you?

Also, what if the child coming across the boarders into Gwinnett, comes from a school system that doesn’t fund the same amount of money that is used in Gwinnett for education? This child might be using up more resources and I believe that is one of the reasons that Ivey Prep chose the Gwinnett location. It wasn’t because Gwinnett was underperforming or because the school system wasn’t benefiting lower income students. It’s been considered an above average system for years.

Why not Clayton County?

Vince

October 21st, 2010
1:18 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

Funny, my experience as a parent of kids in Gwinnett schools is the complete opposite of what you describe. As an administrator in a different system, I have always been bowled over by the differentiation, creativity, dedication and individual styles the teachers present. They actually appear to really enjoy the students! They infuse a great deal of humor in their teaching and get to know the kids as individuals.

Currently, my 9th grader’s science teacher has a very interesting website she updates daily with graphics, notes, study guides, etc. It’s a lot of fun foir the students…and parents!

I have never seen, or heard of, a school in Gwinnett that uses scripted teaching.

I think they wrote the book on differentiation.

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
1:21 pm

@Lance – I am not “tearing down” anyone. I am stating that I disagree with GCSS approach to education. Why do you take it so personally?

I am not talking about ONE school in GC. I am aware of this happening in at least 3 different high schools. I don’t KNOW about the others, but teachers in those 3 said that this was County-wide and I have no reason to think they lie.

I have higher degrees (not just in education) and I enjoy the challenege of teaching kids and preparing them for their future. I know that not all kids are the same. I implement various teaching techniques in an attempt to reach the wide variety of kids in front of me on a daily basis. And, I strongly believe that THIS is why my students are successful.

Again, GCSS does not share in my belief.

Lance

October 21st, 2010
1:33 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

You very well may be an excellent Teacher and produce great results. That is awesome and good for you! Seriously!

But, I do take it personal. I’m so sick of people in today’s Politcally Correct society complaining about every little thing.

Again, you should know better than to catagorize the whole Gwinnett County High School system because you’ve spoke to 3 teachers in 3 different schools. What kind of poll is that?

No matter how positive anything is, you will always have people like yourself turning it into a negative.

Go Figure

October 21st, 2010
1:38 pm

Did I read earlier this week that Gwinnett was the “urban” school system to win this award? Since when is Gwinnett urban? They are about as suburb as a county can be! Politics, politics, politics!

decaturparent

October 21st, 2010
1:38 pm

As a parent in a school system that seems to take great joy in jumping on every new fad and bandwagon that comes down the pike… I would like to congratulate Gwinnett on just shutting up and teaching. You got the job done without treating education like a fashion show!!! Well done you guys!

T. S. Cobb

October 21st, 2010
1:41 pm

There isn’t a public school system in the U.S. whose Board isn’t dominated by a fear of litigation. They are neither “hot nor cold” on the truly important issues of ife.

Tony

October 21st, 2010
1:43 pm

“Gwinnett is succeeding on what might be called the “old school” school reform model: Get a good plan and good people and stick with them.”

When you have a plan that consistently gets good results, it should not matter if it is traditional model or a reform model. Gwinnett earned this award and it is silliness for a person like Hess to criticize based on his criteria of “charter friendliness”.

Vince

October 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

I think you have spoken with a few disgruntled teachers. Your description doesn’t sound at all reflective of GCPS. In fact, the sytem is at the forefront of the methodolgies you espouse. That’s why they won the award.

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
2:10 pm

@Vince,

I know they won an award. Cheers to them… sincerely. But, I don’t think that they won the award because of the academic freedom given to teachers in the classroom.

The Producer

October 21st, 2010
2:16 pm

@ HS Public Teacher,

Maybe you can take your expertise to South Fulton County. Or even Dekalb County. Why don’t you run the School Board…..

GCPS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
2:17 pm

@ HS Public Teacher,

How does your North Fulton high school feel about you publishing 4 comments on ajc.com over an hour and a half time period (assuming it was not during your planning period)?

I AM a high school teacher in GCPS (one visited by the Broad Foundation group, as a matter of fact), and I have absolutely no idea what school(s) you were referring to in your initial comment. Yes, we are held to standards in terms of what concepts we teach in our classroom and what our students are assessed on, as all teachers should be. And the GCPS AKS (standards) are much more in-depth than the state standards!

However, there is no one dictating how I teach this material or whatever else goes on in my classroom on a daily basis. For example, there are 6 of us teaching the same science course, and we give a common unit test, midterm, and exam (since an assessment created, reviewed, and revised in collaboration by 6 people is usually much better than an assessment made by just a single person), but each of us can do our own day-to-day lessons, labs, quizzes, activities, etc.

So, maybe you had one bad interview experience at a GCPS school that didn’t hire you or you know a bitter teacher somewhere in our county, but you have absolutely no right to make a blanket statement about all GCPS schools. I have taught in a private school in GA and in one of the top high school districts in IL, but I’ve found that GCPS is above and beyond both of them in increasing student achievement and decreasing the achievement gap.

Congrats to all of us in GCPS! I’m so happy for our students, especially those who will receive the $1 million in scholarship money!

chuck

October 21st, 2010
3:09 pm

Charter Schools are nothing more than an attempt to privatize education using my tax dollars. In theory, privatization is a good idea, but in practice it is a nightmare. They rarely perform any better than demographically similar public schools. They are used as cash cows to pay off friends and supporters of politicians. Finally, they don’t address the real problems of education…poverty, lack of parental authority, and mindless attempts at reform de jour.

Larry Major

October 21st, 2010
3:15 pm

An organization that can’t muster enough group intelligence to correctly read a simple legal complaint isn’t my idea of a “think tank.”

If you guys want to contact him that’s good, but here’s another link you might visit:
http://www.broadprize.org/contact.html
This is the contact page for the Broad Prize that he just badmouthed. He currently sits on their Review Board. Maybe he shouldn’t, given his limited understanding.

One interesting thing is that Ivy Prep outperformed GCPS in seven out of ten content areas. If you tell me what this man is talking about, I’ll tell you how Ivy Prep really did on the CRCT last year. If you are a Gwinnett parent who keeps reading how Ivy Prep outperformed Gwinnett schools in “all three” CRCT content areas, but thought your sixth grader’s CRCT had four content areas, it will put you mind at ease.

@An advocate – to use the terminology the state uses:

GSMST is an LEA start-up because it didn’t previously exist as a county school. If it had, it would be called a conversion school.

A start-up charter school is an independently run charter school that was approved by the local BOE, such as New Life Academy in Gwinnett. Local funding is required by law, which contains a formula to ensue these schools get the same local funding as other system schools.

Ivy Prep is a Commission school. Local BOEs are not involved in the approval specifics, which are handled by the Charter Schools Commission. These are the only schools involved in the current lawsuit because they are funded differently than all other charter schools. Just like attendance zones (which in Ivy Prep’s case, spans several local systems), the local funding amount is determined solely by the Commission, which does not use the funding law for start-up charter schools.

HS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
3:17 pm

@GCPS Teacher,

You make many wrong assumptions in your post.

I have never interviewed for any position in GCPS. As I said, I would not – based on what I’ve heard, first hand, from teachers at 3 different high schools.

I am happy for GCPS and for their students. I really am.

However, I disagree with “common tests, midterm, and exam” when it comes to multiple classes and multiple teachers when classes are taught at different times throughout the day to different groups of students. That is just my approach to education which is different from GCPS.

I am professional enough to create my own assessments for my classes, thank you very much. And, I do not think it would be right for me to impose my assessments (or even part of them) on another teacher and their students.

At my school, I often share my assessments with other teachers that want a copy, if they ask. But I am not arrogant enough to tell them they must do my lab in their class. They are the professional educator in their classes and they know their students the best and so they make decisions for their students – just as I make decisions for mine.

Lance

October 21st, 2010
3:24 pm

@ HS Public Teacher

There sure is alot about YOU, YOU and more of YOU in your posts! You’re obviously “too high” on yourself. I don’t care how much education or degrees you have, you have some bitterness that makes your statements biased without question. I’m glad you think so high of yourself.

Steven

October 21st, 2010
3:24 pm

First, HS Public Teacher, please stay where you are. We don’t want you here.

You disagree with their approach to education, yet their approach to education set the benchmark for the rest of the state to follow on their curriculum. There are many factors that govern the curriculum in Gwinnett, and each is covered by the AKS and the GEMS Oversight Committee. The fact is, you are stunningly ignorant as to what Gwinnett actually does. Some systems follow a standard…Gwinnett sets them.

And GCPS Public Teacher, I couldn’t have put it better myself. I too would love to know where she finds the time to spend attacking GCPS with her rhetoric when she is supposed to be the marvelous teacher to her students in North Fulton. Please, enlighten us all.

No Good Work Goes Unpunished!

October 21st, 2010
3:31 pm

Gwinnett is great!

GCPS Public Teacher

October 21st, 2010
4:33 pm

@HS Public Teacher-
What does it matter the time of day or the group of students when it comes to standards?!?!
You have a curriculum that you are responsible for teaching and timeline in which to teach it. Are you saying that two students sitting in different classes of the same subject should learn different material (because that is how you are presenting yourself)?!
I completely agree with differentiation- as a matter of fact our staff has had HOURS of professional development on it and we use it regularly in the classroom. But the standards are the standards and WE as teachers are responsible for making sure that our students learn the essential curriculum, no matter whose classroom they are in.
Sharing with your colleagues and collaborating with your colleagues are two completely different things.

ACC_12 Booster

October 21st, 2010
5:30 pm

“Should Gwinnett have won the Broad Prize given its resistance to charter schools?”

I say that they should because there seems to be somewhat of a consensus that Gwinnett County Public Schools doesn’t need charter schools because, for the most part, their system has been performing very well and above average in many respects and there isn’t as much of a need for charter schools as there would be in say, Cobb, Atlanta, DeKalb or Clayton Counties. Speaking of their fellow metro urban neighbors, Gwinnett’s resistance to charter schools is somewhat questionable, but understandable seeing as how, for the most part, the system is well-run. What, do you think that Gwinnett is any less deserving than Cobb (completely dysfunctional school board that likes to be led around by the nose by its superintendent), Atlanta (never met a test that they didn’t like to cheat on), DeKalb (can’t stop dipping their sticky hands into the cookie jar) and, especially, Clayton (need I say more?)?

bobbie

October 21st, 2010
5:56 pm

HS Public Teacher seems to show that what matters is students, not teachers. What’s so surprising about N. Fulton schools doing so much better than Gwinnett