Cherokee to consider ambitious expansion of choice programs in its public schools

In response to a call for greater school choice in his county, Cherokee Superintendent Frank R. Petruzielo has proposed an ambitious academies model that would offer specialized programs in science, technology, fine arts and performance arts, as well as a rigorous IB academy.

These desirable new programs would be county-wide and require students to meet admissions criteria.

Here is a memo Petruzielo sent on the academy programs, which I think parents in Cherokee will find very appealing.  In the case of the science, technology, engineering and math academy, Cherokee could tap its Race to the Top funds, which have the expansion of STEM programs as a stated goal.

In response to Board Member Mike Chapman’s request at the August 18 School Board meeting that staff develop a conceptual framework and ideas for increased school choice within the School District, I am proposing for the Board’s consideration establishment of a Cherokee Academies initiative – - a system of specialized educational programs to be offered countywide and/or regionally where classroom space is available within existing schools and where stand-alone programs designed to offer more educational opportunities for students would be provided in repurposed CCSD facilities.

CHEROKEE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) ACADEMIES

Concept: Consistent with the School District’s participation in Race To The Top (RTTT), STEM programs would be offered in 2012-13 first for Grades 3-5/ 6 at elementary schools in designated geographic regions and subsequently expanded to a designated middle school(s) and high school(s).

Enrollment: Enrollment would be by application and documented academic achievement; if needed, a lottery system would be used.

Special Features: Alternative scheduling and/or virtual and hybrid models (as subsequently developed for the Board’s consideration by the Ad-Hoc Committee recently established by the Superintendent for this purpose) may be necessary to meet program needs.

Staffing: Existing CCSD personnel, selected through an application process; with outside hiring for STEM courses, if needed. Teach21 technology training would be required/provided for all STEM teachers.

Curriculum: Examples of electives offered at STEM programs elsewhere include: 3D Model and Design, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Conceptual Drawing, Digital Design, Engineering Digital Systems, Engineering Mechanical Systems, Modern Languages, Robotics and Web Design.

Notes: Some RTTT professional development funds allotted to CCSD could be directed toward establishment of Cherokee STEM Academies; and Cherokee STEM Academies for Grades 9-12 would incorporate apprenticeships and/or internships in related Career Pathways, as well as Senior Project requirements.

CHEROKEE FINE ARTS ACADEMIES

Concept: Performing and visual fine arts programs would be offered in 2012/13 first for Grades 3-5/6 at elementary schools in designated geographic regions; and these would subsequently be expanded to include a designated middle school(s) and a Performing and Visual Arts High School… to be planned, developed and implemented in cooperation with Reinhardt University and the Falany Performing Arts Center, as envisioned in CCSD’s partnership with Reinhardt.

Enrollment: Enrollment would be by application, audition and/or portfolio; if needed, a lottery system would be used.

Special Features: Alternative scheduling and/or virtual and hybrid models may be necessary to meet program needs.

Staffing: Existing CCSD personnel, selected through an application process; with outside hiring for Fine Arts courses, if needed.

Curriculum: Examples of Fine Arts electives at programs elsewhere include: Dance, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Music History, Music Theory, Theatre, Visual Arts and Vocal Music.

CHEROKEE TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMY

Concept: In cooperation with Chattahoochee Technical College and local businesses and industries, a Cherokee Technical High School Academy for Grades 9-12 would be collaboratively planned and developed to open in the original Teasley MS facility with a potential start date of August 2014.

Enrollment: Enrollment would be by application; if needed, a lottery system would be used.

Special Features: Alternative scheduling and/or virtual and hybrid models may be necessary to meet program needs.

Staffing: Existing CCSD personnel, selected through an application process; with Technical College instructors and/or outside hiring for Technical courses, if needed.

Curriculum: Examples of electives offered through high school Technical programs elsewhere include: 3D Modeling and Analysis; Animation and 3D Design; Architectural Drawing and Design; Business Essentials; Carpentry; Computer Applications; Computer Programming; Computer Science; Construction; Drawing and Design; Electrical; Electrical/Electronic Systems and Design; Energy and Power Technology; Engine Performance Concepts; Engineering Applications, Engineering Concepts, Graphic Design and Production; Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Concepts; Masonry; Metals; Plumbing; Principles of Accounting; Research, Design and Project Management; Transportation & Logistics; Welding and Web Design.

Notes: Cherokee Technical High School Academy would incorporate apprenticeships and internships in related Career Pathways, as well as Senior Project requirements. The original Teasley Middle School facility would also serve as the North Campus of Polaris Evening School.

CHEROKEE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) ACADEMY

Concept: An IB Academy program would be offered to CCSD students in Grades 9-12 at a designated High School location; and a pre-IB program would be offered at a designated Middle School location.

Enrollment: Enrollment would be by application and testing; if needed, a lottery system would be used.

Special Features: Alternative scheduling and/or virtual and hybrid models may be necessary to meet program needs.

Staffing: Existing CCSD personnel, selected through an application process; with outside hiring for IB courses, if needed.

Curriculum: Examples of courses offered at IB programs elsewhere include: Language (English I and II, AP Language and AP Literature); Foreign Language (French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish); Individuals and Societies (American Government/Economics, AP World History, AP American History, Geography, History of the Americas); Experimental Sciences (Biology/Earth Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry and AP Physics); Mathematics and Computer Science (Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry/Analytic Geometry, AP Calculus and AP Statistics); The Arts (Art/Design I-IV, IB Music 9-12, IB Design Technology 11); and, Theory of Knowledge.

Notes: To earn an IB diploma, students are required to pass at least six IB exams and complete an Extended Essay (4,000 words) and Creativity, Action and Service hours (150 hours total: 50 hours of each). In addition to the prestigious IB diploma, the opportunity for students to earn college credit would be pursued.

Please be prepared to discuss District Strategic Plan incorporation of this conceptual framework and other ideas which School Board Members may have in this regard at the next (October 20, 2011) Superintendent/School Board Strategic Work Session.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

76 comments Add your comment

[...] robotics and Web design. The district could utilize professional development funds …Cherokee to consider ambitious expansion of choice programs in its public schoolsAtlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Meagan

September 2nd, 2011
10:15 am

This is one of the best ideas to come out of the Public Education System in Cherokee County ever. This would allow students and teachers to tap into their hidden/supressed potential. Students need to feel like their learning is valuable to their own long-term goals, and this will allow them to do so.

Really amazed

September 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

Finally!! I believe, thanks to Cherokee Charter Academy! The public pushed this until it wouldn’t go away! Super. Pez. tried SO hard to NOT let it happen because he KNEW what he would HAVE to do down the road if it did. Cherokee to consider ambitious choice expansions in it’s public school!! Now let’s see just how they actually implement them. At least it is a start. The funny thing is I thought Super.Pez said their just simply wasn’t any more funds for this sort of stuff, charters, magnets, IB’s. Funny how now they have come up with them!!

jt

September 2nd, 2011
10:22 am

Might be some good ideas NOW…………what happens 5 years down the road?
Schools and teachers are constantly forced to deal with supposedly brilliant education plans thought up by state judiciaries, legislatures, and bureaucracies. The taxpayers are then expected to flip the bill to put the plans into motion……regardless of success.
For true education success of our young……… separation of school and state is necessary.
Howl all you want.
By shutting out the interfering politicians and giving the power to the parents and teachers, true accountability may actually come about.

Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
10:25 am

Very impressive. I’m delighted to see carpentry and masonry skills in this offering. I would have loved to take those classes in high school. As a homeowner, I really need some basic skills as those and I at least want to know enough about them so that I know when something needs repair.

I’m crossing my fingers and sending prayers this county can get it together as a model for the rest of us in APS.

Great news!

Oh Intown Writer...

September 2nd, 2011
10:27 am

This model at Grady HS (in APS) has had interesting fall-out. It has created a socio-economic stratification that segregates students by interest and more importantly ability. Part of the segregation is based upon the perception of what path provides the greatest advancement based upon cultural norms. The issue is this bias is then in turn used by some in administration and influential parents to institute de facto racial segregation.

More concerning than the balkanization is that better teachers are being poached (we have a School Board Member rumored/known to? inappropriately influencing teacher assignments but using the academy as cover because they are not directly choosing the teachers for the child) and clustered. If the goal is to have a college and vocational track then do it ala Europe, but do not pretend that the academies are providing equal opportunity for all.

As a consequence, physical segregation occurs as the academy classes are clustered together and the quality teachers are clustered. Both elements serve to deny students an equal education/educational opportunity.

It looks good on paper, but the academy structure needs a strong and even administrative hand that will not be influenced by influential parents pulling strings on their babies’ behalf (s) that in turn create dumping grounds of students in need and reject teachers.

Bytestalker

September 2nd, 2011
10:29 am

Wow. Proactive, answering the needs of the students and parents. What I like is it answers the needs of all types of students and includes professionals from outside of academia. Based on the basics taugh in the Technical School (programming, computer applications…) I could actually hire these individuals into my IT organization into entry level positions. Good move.

To Oh Intown Writer from Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
10:40 am

What I like about it is that American citizens will have a place to learn those skills that used to be learned by tradesmen in labor unions that are now being performed by unskilled illegal immigrants. My relatives are in the construction industry. Several are building contractors and developers who have to hire sub-contractors and those unscrupulous sub-contractors hire illegal, unskilled immigrants to do sloppy, incorrect work like masonry and carpentry.

If we have those skills started in American high schools and learned by American citizens, we can rebuild those jobs that make up a large group of tax-paying American middle class citizens.

Bring on the carpentry and masonry! Whoo Hoo!

lyncoln

September 2nd, 2011
10:46 am

Ok, I like it. It seems a very interesting proposal.

I expect that there will probably be plenty of parents demanding to know why their child (who is brilliant, but test scores/achievements don’t show it) wasn’t allowed into Academy X, yet the child down the street was selected. There will be lots of pressure on the politicians to make enrollment into the academy easier.

To play a devil’s advocate: I thought the goal is to make all students college ready. Clearly, the Technical Academy High School is directed towards providing students with business and trade skills so they can skip college and move into the workforce. Thus, this fails on making all students college ready. Wouldn’t that mean we are not providing all students with the correct education to prepare them for the jobs in the high tech economy of the future.

Inman Park Boy

September 2nd, 2011
10:55 am

“Choice” is meaningless unless there is real choice. Let the taxes follow the child.

To Lyncoln from Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
11:03 am

You say “Wouldn’t that mean we are not providing all students with the correct education to prepare them for the jobs in the high tech economy of the future.”

The high tech economy is not the future in the United States. High tech education is not the way to go. Right now U.S. businesses are exporting all jobs to China. They have a billion people over there who can program and can do it for substantially less.

We don’t need to overload our economy is more computer programmers because they won’t be able to get a job. We need real skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen who can plumb, wire a house, build a brick wall and repair vehicles.

We need those middle-class jobs back in the U.S. economy.

Sam

September 2nd, 2011
11:10 am

@lyncoln

Most of the people I know working in IT and tech jobs never went to college

Jack

September 2nd, 2011
11:14 am

Fine arts to a child born in a one parent, drug infested hovel means nothing.

Jack

September 2nd, 2011
11:23 am

Our children should be computer literate and also know how to screw in a light bulb.

catlady

September 2nd, 2011
11:25 am

Where would the “other”kids go? You know, the ones with no parental guidance or initiative? And what about transportation? Will the county provide it all over, from everywhere to every academy? Or will this only be for kids whose families can provide transportation to whereever?

d

September 2nd, 2011
11:33 am

@lyncoln – actually the goal is college or career ready, not just college ready.

Observer

September 2nd, 2011
11:41 am

Looks like the district is proving the point that you don’t have to be a private company like Charter Schools USA to make choice an option. This will put Cherokee Charter out of business and I like it :) I think the school board that is elected by the taxpayers should decide where public funds are spent when they come from the local tax payers. I wonder if Governor Deal can find another $10 million in state funds to support these county academies, or if Chipper and Seanic the Hedgehog will find a way to stop CCSD from creating more choices.

To catlady from Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

What is your point when you say “Where would the “other”kids go? You know, the ones with no parental guidance or initiative?”

The programs are for grades 9 to 12. At those ages, initiative is something you already have. You don’t have to have a parent hovering over you. It’s a nice to have, not a must have. I know. I’ve been there. I found my own way to college. My parents checked out on me when I was seven years old.

What is the point you are trying to make? Are you trying to say that only students with affluent and involved parents will get to attend these “choice” studies? That remains to be seen. We haven’t even got the program off the ground yet.

These options are wonderful. I don’t understand how anyone can already hang it out to dry as a failure when it hasn’t even started.

HereWeGoAgain

September 2nd, 2011
11:57 am

So, the Cherokee super and board want to offer more school choice now! I find this to be pretty hypocritical since all their deliberations about the Cherokee Charter School revolved around the argument that they had a high performing school district and they DIDN’T NEED ANY SCHOOL CHOICE. Remember the infamous words of the board member who told hundreds of parents: “if you don’t like our schools here, maybe you should move!” No matter how he explains it now, those words came out of his mouth. And notice that the “choice” is to go to a district-operated schools staffed by the same district management and the same teachers as before. I say again, if everything is so great in Cherokee, why now this offer of “choice?” The reason is clear: the outpouring of parents who have placed their children in the county’s sole charter school threaten the very positions of the Superintendent and board members who opposed the choice of parents when it came to Cherokee Charter Academy. I thought it was pretty appropriate that the Cherokee teachers all wore black to their protests against the proposed charter school. It is a dark day when the wishes of parents are superceded by educrats who “know what is best for us and our children.” “Ambitious expansion of school choice in Cherokee County……” Smoke and mirrors.

Observer

September 2nd, 2011
12:07 pm

HereWeGoAgain, the only smoke and mirrors are those held by Charter Schools USA by using taxpayer funds to buy a facility that they will own and can use for any purpose they want should they close Cherokee Charter. Sounds great to give a private company in Florida a free block of land on the backs of Georgia taxpayers. Also, I think they can raise their “professional fees” at any time and for any reason as well as sweep any unspent tax dollars off the table at the close of the fiscal year. Smoke and mirrors exist, but the School District did the right thing in saying we’re not paying for a Florida company to steal land on the backs of taxpayers.

alm

September 2nd, 2011
12:29 pm

Sounds nice on paper but it can cause other problems down the road. DeKalb had to close a lot of neighborhood schools when student left for choice schools.

Nurse from the past

September 2nd, 2011
12:44 pm

I think this is a grand idea,but as always some still find unnecessary flaws. Remember all children –and some adults just can not reach levels as others. I still see some are worried about —– what can I get for nothing or I am not treated equally. We are equal because we are human beings and nothing else!!!

catlady

September 2nd, 2011
12:53 pm

“Good mother” I wasn’t hanging it out to dry. I am, however, very concerned with access and equity. You will notice that some of these “academies” you have to apply for are also for elementary-aged kids. Even in high school, no matter how motivated you are, you don’t have access if you don’t have transportation. Also, you have to have enough knowledge and savy to even APPLY. So, off the top, unless these types of things are addressed, you do not have any sort of access and equity for many of the kids in Cherokee.

And so the kids who, for whatever reason, don’t opt into one of these academies–which you admit take those with the gumption (and probably more than that) to apply–what happens to them? Do they get “regular” high school, with the most highly motivated kids siphoned off? Call it Lackluster High.

I’m not against the idea–my kids would have done well given those options–but I am concerned about the “left overs,” as you should well be also. What has the administration thought about that?

Write Your Board Members

September 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

In Dekalb magnets cost much more per student than traditional school. DeKalb School of the Arts was right at 15,000 dollars per student last year. Tucker’s IB programme is costing a fortune when you look at per student costs.

Be careful that you set expectations from the beginning — regular funding, choice programs must operate under the same constraints as traditional schools.

To catlady from Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
1:06 pm

If you are concerned about the left overs — please bring it up to the administration by any means possible.

MD

September 2nd, 2011
1:14 pm

Finally someone in education understands it. We don’t need to spend any more money on failing students. We need to spend more money on achieving students. Various vocational tracks will prepare and equip those failing students with a skill for their life.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with separating students based on academic aptitude.

Ashley

September 2nd, 2011
1:21 pm

I rememer when all these things use to be taught in high-school, before the cookie cutter came into vogue.

To MD from Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
1:21 pm

I vehemently disagree with the statement that “Various vocational tracks will prepare and equip those failing students with a skill for their life.”

Vocations are not for failing students. We don’t need failing builders, electricians and auto mechanics. Trades are not for the ignorant. You mischaracterize trades. We need craftsmen and tradesmen and women in our society.

Your statement is snobbish and not helpful. We can’t send someone who can’t read into a trade.

In my real life I hired a guy to paint my porch. Unknown to me, he couldnt’ read. He applied an indoor paint on my outdoor porch, which, of course, had to be repainted.

Skilled carpentry is a high-paying trade and it should be. If you want a home built to last, you need a smart EDUCATED and skilled tradesman.

Ashley

September 2nd, 2011
1:22 pm

oops…my bad it should be “remember”

Charter Schools are PUBLIC schools

September 2nd, 2011
1:35 pm

Observer
@12:07PM
“.. the only smoke and mirrors are those held by Charter Schools USA by using taxpayer funds to buy a facility that they will own and can use for any purpose they want should they close Cherokee Charter.”

Actually, since government funding is used to buy the facility, that property reverts to the ownership of the charter approver (the State Charter Commission I suppose for the Cherokee Charter school?) in the event that the schools’ charter is not renewed or if the school’s charter is terminated.

The same rule can apply for debts I believe. Many years ago, the old Fulton Math and Science Charter high school (might have the name wrong) did not get it’s charter renewed. The school had signed a long-term lease I believe and the owner of the building filed suit against the Fulton County School System (they were the local charter approver) to collect the rest of the money due per the lease agreement. I’m not sure what happened though.

Also, Charter Schools USA is the “educational management organization” (EMO). They are hired by the charter school’s governing board and can be fired by them as well (see Maureen’s recent article on Peachtree Hope Charter School in which the governing board fired their EMO).

I would recommend perusing the Georgia Department of Education’s FAQ on charter schools.
http://www.gadoe.org/pea_charter.aspx?PageReq=PEACSGENFAQ

I’ve included a few FAQ answers below that might help clarify:

“Who runs a charter school?”

“A non-profit governing board holds the charter for the school. The governing board is responsible for ensuring that academic performance measures set forth in the charter are met. The governing board’s duties and responsibilities include school-level decision making, fiscal management, and a variety of school operations such as personnel decisions.”

“What authority does the board have if the school contracts with an educational management organization (“EMO”)?”

“The charter school’s governing board has the decision making authority, not the EMO. EMO representatives cannot sit on the governing board of a charter school, as this presents a conflict of interest.”

Supporter of career tech

September 2nd, 2011
1:40 pm

Some of the comments would make it appear that these are new ideas being generated by the CCSD in response to the Charter Academy! Phooey!!! As an involved parent for many years, I can attest to these programs being talked about, researched, and planned for many, many years – long before “choice” became the buzz word of the day. This has nothing to do with choice and everything to do with it being the right time to launch more competitive programs for our students. Many of us parents pushed these programs for years, visited IB schools and vocational schools, and continuously kept the CCSD leadership aware of our interest and need for such opportunities. These additional learning programs will be a great benefit to our children. I am thrilled that we are finally going to take these steps – Hurrah for the CCSD!

Observer

September 2nd, 2011
1:50 pm

Charter Schools Are Public Schools: Apparently you did not read the Cherokee Charter School Application. It clearly stated that the property would be owned by Red Apple Development (which is a subcorp of Charter Schools USA) and that if the school were closed it would own the property. Cherokee Charter is leasing the space from Red Apple … for an amount similar to that that is required for debt service for Red Apple to own the facility. So in fact our public dollars are funding a private developer to own land. Seems to me you need to read the application and not just believe what SHOULD occur under the state charter commission (if it even exists anymore).

MD

September 2nd, 2011
2:01 pm

@Good Mother, HA! You can train a C or D student to be a good carpenter, painter, mechanic, etc. But you can’t train a C or D student to be a good biologist, chemist, doctor or lawyer. Why not be more realistic? At the end of the day, the ones who lose are the C and D students. They were lied about their ability in an area that they are just not good at. On the other hand, they might turn out to be excellent mechanics, painters, or builders. They can become business owners in their trade.

To MD from Good Mother

September 2nd, 2011
2:03 pm

You’re wrong, MD. You need good students to be tradespeople. Your snobbery is just silly.

Karl Marx

September 2nd, 2011
2:14 pm

People have been asking for this for a long time. Isn’t it just a curious coincidence that now after the first charter school tries to gain a foot hold the Public School monopoly wants to give “More Choice”. This is just more smoke and mirrors and they will say anything to save themselves. Nothing meaningful will happen until the superintendent and the other 4 school board members are shown the door. Time to clean house.

Observer

September 2nd, 2011
2:18 pm

Karl, I’d be more concerned about the Board Members that voted for the $35 million proposal that they got 30 minutes before the meeting. I’d be weary of elected officials that make that financial decision without reading details.

Really amazed

September 2nd, 2011
2:23 pm

@Catlady, sounds like the email said, that STEM program for 3-5th grade might take place 2012-2013 school year and maybe middle by 2014. It seems like the programs will be held @ local public schools, already in exsistance that have rooms aval. Will be interesting to see which elementary schools. The only program that sounds truly seperate w/ possibly new building is the performing arts high school. Like I said earlier, we will see. All sounds great but why all of the sudden??? Makes ya wonder. Thought Super Pezz said everything was already great in CCSD! We didn’t need anything else.

Really amazed

September 2nd, 2011
2:31 pm

@Maureen, do you know how many students can be enrolled in elementary STEM, high school IB program. Would that be per total county or per individual school. Does anyone know which schools in Cherokee would have these programs yet? I know the email says upon avail rooms. Do you know when the performing arts high school is to open?

Concerned DeKalb Mom

September 2nd, 2011
2:31 pm

Choice is not a bad idea. What becomes questionable is the use of a lottery system to gain admission. If, in my opinion, my child would benefit from the STEM or Fine Art or IB academy, and he/she meets all the criteria, he/she should gain admittance. But what happens in DeKalb with these “choice” options is that the vast majority of kids who meet criteria are shut out from that opportunity. Kittredge Magnet comes to mind…WAY more kids in the lottery waiting list to attend than are actually accepted.

Access and equity are key with choice options. Cherokee should make sure that their options are available to ALL who qualify. And that’s where things get murky.

Really amazed

September 2nd, 2011
2:41 pm

@Concerned DeKalb Mom, this is my point exactly!!!! How many schools will have these choices or is it going to be the needle in the haystack! Just to say CCSD is listening and providing something, just to hush parents up. I still wonder with the words, CONSIDER, and PROPOSAL. I will be optimistic! Thanks again Cherokee Charter Academy!!!! If anyone believes this isn’t one of the main reasons this is even being discussed, please really!

Really amazed

September 2nd, 2011
2:58 pm

I hate to say it but this could be like some of the same thought process as the previous conspiracy article. Maybe this is away for CCSD DOE to get rid of the threating new Cherokee Charter Academy and use it’s facility for these programs. Just sayin. Remember it is the gov’t. The cca was not wanted by CCSD DOE because CC already was providing a wonder school choice. REMEMBER. Now we will provide school choice. Funny!

Dr. Monica Henson

September 2nd, 2011
2:58 pm

The fact that Cherokee County Schools’ leadership is coming out with these options is testament to the power of school choice to spur innovation and improvement. The opening of an independent charter school (or even the suggestion that one might open) is enough to create momentum within the district office to start offering improvements and choices to entice families to stay within the district. This is a good thing and a win/win for everyone.

Observer 1

September 2nd, 2011
3:01 pm

Please note that the “Observer” posting on this particular blog is not the same person as the “Observer” using this moniker on earlier blogs. Perhaps a more accurate name here might be “Observer 2.” As the “Observer 1″ of those earlier posts, I tried to comment as one outside the action but looking on. “Observer 2″ clearly has a dog in this fight.

Really amazed

September 2nd, 2011
3:04 pm

@Dr. Monica Henson, this isn’t an independent charter school. THAT’’s the point! They want to now maybe provide,something within the public schools classes and programs. Cherokee Charter Academy was the independant charter school that was knock down several times. Still openend and now CCSD doe want to compete!! They didn’ want the charter because they said Cherokee co already had good options!! Yes, it’s proven Charter schools do bring competition! This is good!!!!!

Karl Marx

September 2nd, 2011
3:13 pm

Observer, True but the State and Federal folks are the real masters of passing somthing without reading it. Much like voters who voted for the education SLOST without understanding what power it gives the School Board to go into debt.

catlady

September 2nd, 2011
3:20 pm

Really amazed–I understand it would be in current buildings. Kudos to you for your input!

Joe Rural

September 2nd, 2011
3:29 pm

Once again, it appears that some of you bloggers have personal vendettas against the Cherokee County School District, it’s Superintendent and/or some of its school board members. Can’t you even give this idea a chance? It seems to me that the school district heard the message from its residents “we want choice” and are doing their best to provide it. If your goal was to “bring competition” to this district…it appears to be working. I would suggest you give this a chance and then make your decision. Or would that be too much to ask?

funny

September 2nd, 2011
3:52 pm

wow; copying what other states do with success ; who would have thought

GA needs to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and put common sense back into education;

different tracks to High School graduation; what a novel idea; just that the entire WORLD has been doing that with their education systems for a 100 years;

but the wisdom that is within GA political arena astounds me at how a*& backwards it is

Rural education

September 2nd, 2011
5:49 pm

I work in a nearby system tha killed a decade old IB program and it was a huge mistake. I would apply tomorrow for a chance to teach that curriculum again.

Active in Cherokee

September 2nd, 2011
6:14 pm

I love this idea and in fact suggested it numerous times over the summer when many of the blogs seemed to be focusing on the Cherokee Charter School. Charter Schools USA was never a good fit for Cherokee in my humble opinion and its very promising to see CCSD coming out with this plan. In reading the article it is particularily nice to see they intend to start most of the porgrams at the elementary school level at work it up to the HS level. This is much better than the top down approach and I believe will ultimately lead to its success. I just hope this ‘divided community’ (and certain political figures) give the plan proper support rather than holding personal vendettas.