Complex charter school saga in Fulton becomes more complicated with loan default

The complexities around the non-renewal of the charter for the Fulton Science Academy Middle School in Alpharetta just grew even more complicated with this report that the school and its sister schools are now in default on a nearly $19 million construction loan.

From AJC. com:

Fulton Science Academy Middle School and its two sister schools have been declared in default on an $18.9 million construction loan for failing to disclose last fall that the academy’s public school charter was in trouble, documents obtained Wednesday show.

In a default notice dated May 15, an official with Wells Fargo Bank said the three schools “omitted material information” last October when they were arranging to obtain the money through bonds issued by the Alpharetta Development Authority.

Bank officials learned after the fact that officials with the Fulton County School System had communicated to leadership at the middle school that they had “significant reservations” about extending the school’s charter, the notice says. “This omission [is] a breach of the agreement,” it states.

Alpharetta, its citizens and the development authority have no liability for the bond issue, Assistant City Manager James Drinkard said. “The only way we’d have been obligated is if we’d pledged the full faith and credit of the city for all or parts of the debt, which we weren’t interested in doing.”

As a charter school, the academy, which has 507 students, receives about $3.7 million a year in public funds, some of which could have been used to cover the annual $1.5 million bond payments. In 10 years, the school has received more than $30 million in taxpayer money. But that annual funding will cut off June 30, when the academy’s charter contract with Fulton expires.

The school system and the state both refused to extend the academy’s charter for another 10 years, citing concerns about the fiscal and management practices of the school, which they say has ties to Turkish imam and educational leader M. Fetullah Gulen. School officials deny any ties to Gulen. The academy rejected a counter offer of a three-year charter contract and instead will become a private school July 1.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

75 comments Add your comment

Interesting Observation

June 6th, 2012
6:46 pm

Gasp! This charter imporeted a number of teachers from Turkey. Do you remember a few weeks ago 60 Minutes did a segment on a Turkish national living in obscurity establishing charter schools throughout the US? Wake up people.

Tired

June 6th, 2012
7:57 pm

Maureen, the hours you’ve put in over the past few weeks are amazing. I hope you have a vacation coming up soon.

Ron F.

June 6th, 2012
8:27 pm

This just continues to prove that many of us were right about the lack of oversight thus far with many charter schools. We want an accounting for how our money is used, and unfortunately it’s not being used any better by FSA than by many public school systems. Hopefully this will lead the state legislature to finally set some strong financial reporting requirements for charters going forward.

Hillbilly D

June 6th, 2012
9:22 pm

Follow the money. While they’re looking at charter schools, they also need to be looking into all these development authorities all over the state. Those are gravy trains, if you have the connections.

crankee-yankee

June 6th, 2012
9:32 pm

“The free market will correct (insert the problem here).”

But what happens to the kids affected before the “correction” takes place?
10 years worth of kids so far.
The biggest problem with the business model being applied to education is just that, waiting for the correction to take place.
Unscrupulous businessmen will cheat the system to their advantage (see FSAMS, out-of-state posts about other Gulen “network” schools, the 60 Minutes report on Gulen, etc.).
Is local public education perfect? No (see DCSS, APS, CCSS, Ga Legislature, Gov. Perdue, etc.) but it is better than the state over-ruling local boards.
So what to do? Educate the public on their options, the electorate is smarter than some polititians think.

Maureen Downey

June 6th, 2012
9:49 pm

@Tired, Taking a week in September to visit my mother — who has no Internet so it will be a forced vacation from the blog, which I probably need.
Maureen

Bob Rock

June 6th, 2012
9:52 pm

Avossa can’t see the forest for the trees. He has conducted a successful smear campaign to destroy this school. Let’s use some common sense folks. The school has documented results using less funding per student than traditional public schools – EVEN after these so-called perceived inappropriate funding accusations. This fool (Avossa) and his harem (or should we call them his lap dogs?) has opened a can of worms that will come back to bite them in the blankety, blank. The Fulton Board needs to be audited and there own cronyism exposed, along with misappropriation of funds from each and every school that they govern.

valid questions

June 6th, 2012
10:22 pm

Bob Rock

This schools drew students from successful schools. It didn’t start from scratch in some inner city neighborhood. It has a gifted population of 51.6 percent. It has 1 ESOL student and had a free and reduced lunch rate of 6 percent.and was over 80 percent white and Asian. It could have put these students in a box and these kids would have been successful.

Ron F.

June 6th, 2012
10:30 pm

“He has conducted a successful smear campaign to destroy this school.”

Bob: If there were nothing to find, then the audit would have been just another report. Poop stinks, and saying you don’t smell it doesn’t make it disappear. FSA screwed up, got caught, and now has to deal with the fallout. They could have avoided it all by just doing the right thing and dealing honestly with taxpayer money. They didn’t, no matter how you spin it.

Dr. John Trotter

June 6th, 2012
11:20 pm

Six recent threads on the Fulton charter school that is hot water? Hmm. I have said on this blog for years that I am not a fan of charter schools. I think that charter schools are simply a back door attempt to use public monies for a private education.

It’s much better if the administrators of the public schools simply do not tolerate defiant and disruptive behavior and demonstrate support for teachers when it comes to student discipline and creativity and flexibility in the classroom.

You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions, as we have said from the inception of MACE 17 years ago.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

Sandy Springs Parent

June 7th, 2012
12:01 am

@ Bob Roc so you want all of the teachers working on middle east pay scales. You want women treated like sh_t.. You want field trips to Turkey, where they are staying at Muslim schools.

Dr. Avasso also went into Riverwood and found alot of problems there. The Principal of Riverwood is facing crimial charges.

The Principal of FMS should also be facing criminal charges. Free trips to Turkey, his home country paid for by the parents and students or one year by the taxpayers. The costs of the Immigration lawyers and visa’s had been caught in numerous other states and ruled not an allowable charge by State Education law.

Ronin

June 7th, 2012
12:21 am

Yes, as stated previously by the author: “this blog never sleeps”. I believe it.

A reader

June 7th, 2012
12:30 am

The Fulton County School Board (FCSB) denied FSA’s charter (after giving them an “out” of applying for a 3 year instead of 10 year charter). FCSB had several concerns about FSA. FSA’s response was (and I am paraphrasing) “These are all lies! FCSB hates us! This is all about politics!”.

The GA legislature approved a law that allows the state to create charter schools. So FSA applied with the state (and I thought they were a shoe-in). FSA had already been slapped down by FCSB for not following the rules and I would have thought they would bend over backwards for the state. They did not. The state denied the charter. FSA’s response was (and I am paraphrasing) “These are all lies! GA school board hates us! This is all about politics!”

FCSB conduct an audit using an outside vender to help determine the split of assets after it’s divorce from FSA. FSA apparently throws up road blocks but the auditors push through to complete the job and they find many issues. FSA’s response was “These are all lies! FCSB hates us! This is all about politics!”.

And today Wells Fargo announced that FSA has defaulted on their bond. Gee, I wonder what FSA’s response will be??

A reader

June 7th, 2012
12:33 am

On another issue, what exactly is The Grace Institute? The audit states that they have only 2 employees, a receptionist and an IT guy. FSA claims that the provide valuable software on the cheap. So what is the true story here? Do they provide software or not? And if so, what is the software? And where does the software come from? Because I doubt the receptionist is writing any code!

Jason

June 7th, 2012
4:10 am

Funny thing is if you go over to the right wing blog Peach Pundit, state representative Buzz Brockway is blaming all of this on the Fulton County School Board. After years and years of screaming for more charter schools and less “government interference”, the talking point now is that the FCSB is at fault because they weren’t micromanaging FSA’s day to day operations. Private industry does everything better, except when they don’t, at which point it’s the government’s fault because everybody knows private industry does everything better, except when they don’t… (repeat to infinity)

Peter Smagorinsky

June 7th, 2012
5:31 am

It looks as though the Business Model for education is working to perfection.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

June 7th, 2012
6:26 am

Would anyone care to make a motion that all publicly financed educational entities in GA be required to submit to comprehensive financial, personnel and performance audits by independent, out-of-state organizations every four years? And once again, friends, the GDOE and SACS are not independent of political and other influences.

Attentive Parent

June 7th, 2012
6:31 am

Well Peter it was William Spady and his scheme to reinvent mastery learning as outcomes based education that brought in the business model in the first place.

They used Deming’s TQM rhetoric to cover up what was really going on in the schools.

Sort of like now. I wish someone in the Georgia legislature had known the Partnership for Quality Learning was to be the next masquerade vehicle for ML/OBE principles until parents found out and publicized that name. But no, Georgia had to go and write Quality Learning into a specific statute on what was to be the measure of student achievement.

So we ended up with High Success Network as the new stealth name.

Language makes such a good tool to describe or obscure, depending on who is wielding the pen.

bootney farnsworth

June 7th, 2012
7:24 am

yet another school in fiscal distress.
left to its own devices, the entire educational system in Georgia would go bankrupt.

if public education is to survive, we must nuke the entire concept and rebuild from the
ground up. and the foundation must be some kind of fiscal oversight that actually means
something

Grateful FSA parent

June 7th, 2012
8:18 am

“This schools drew students from successful schools. It didn’t start from scratch in some inner city neighborhood. It has a gifted population of 51.6 percent. It has 1 ESOL student and had a free and reduced lunch rate of 6 percent.and was over 80 percent white and Asian. It could have put these students in a box and these kids would have been successful.”

If we parents were so thrilled with your so-called “successful” neighborhood schools, do you think we would have gone to the trouble of transporting our kids to FSA? I can tell you FSA is responsible for re-directing my son’s academic fortunes. After floundering in our neighborhood middle school in 6th grade, where many students were out of control and many teachers were just putting in time, FSA was a blessing. Yes to see his performance since FSA, you’d say he is gifted, but he certainly didn’t live up to his potential in that “box” of a neighborhood school you mention. I will always be grateful to FSA for what it did for my son – put him on the right academic track.
I have a question for each one of you parents. If you found a school that made your child shine academically, would you be grateful? That’s how hundreds of us parents still feel even after all the accusations. I am so fortunate that FSA was there when my son needed it.

WAR

June 7th, 2012
8:54 am

at the rate American kids are going, we need to bring teachers from turkey, belgium, china, canada, sweden, denmark…..

Understanding Atlanta

June 7th, 2012
9:34 am

This appears to be a mess….Do charter schools need to have oversight from the local school board – Of Course! Do charter schools need to be micromanaged – No! Why have them prepare quarterly reports that are reviewed during school board meetings on how things are going at the schools? This would allow for the school board to regularly review finances and other areas to ensure this type of thing isn’t happening. This would also presumably allow for a two-way conversation when things appear to be going down the wrong path – especially financially.

School systems need to be diverse in there approach to public education. There should be options for local schools – Montessori, Charter, Magnet, and Resident schools. There should be clearly defined discipline within schools (every wonder why high schools have so many Assistant Principals – they have so many problems with discipline). If systems had a diverse offerings parents would be able to decide which type of school is best for their child. It’s apparent the more you shift the role of parenting to the teacher and hold them singularly accountable for a child’s success the deeper a hole we find ourselves in.

I would personally like to see charters operated more along the lines of the Drew Charter School in East Lake which takes most of its students from the area – with a maximum parental income – ensuring they are reaching the student’s they are targeting. As someone who lives right outside East Lake it’s reassuring to know the commitment they have to the neighborhood itself.

But this mess at FSA is what happens when you have no governance at all…

Atlanta Mom

June 7th, 2012
10:21 am

Grace Institute for Educational Reseach & Resouces, Inc was incorporated May 2008. The CEO, CFO and secretary is Avni Cokavci.

The director of Fulton Science Academy Charter HS is Avni Cokavci.

A Conservative Voice

June 7th, 2012
10:33 am

Folks, this school is just another tactic that the Radical Islamists are using to indoctrinate America’s children in Islam. Their (islamists) main goal is to destroy America. They’ve been waiting hundreds of years and are willing to wait as long as it takes. This is just another small step….

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/26/radical-islam-has-transformed-turkey/

Meredith

June 7th, 2012
10:35 am

If FSA really cared about its faculty and its students, they would have found a way to play by the rules. Good faith goes along way. Parents of FSA student, FSA srewed up and got caught. You can’t seriously argue that the ends justify the means! No one hates you. We hate corruption! Avossa is cleaning house all over the county. FSA was simply one of the messiest rooms. Keep sweeping Sir.

TC

June 7th, 2012
10:36 am

To Understanding Atlanta

There was oversight from the County all along – so how does one explain the fact that the County audited the school every year of it’s existence and yet only now are these so-called problems emerging? The answer is this – the audit serves a specific purpose, an agenda. This can be seen clearly based on the numerous inaccuracies in the audit (which will be addressed by the school’s governing board in the near future), the last page of the audit which clearly tries to show a connection between the school and Gulen, and the way it was handed to the media without any chance for the school to respond beforehand (despite the assurances from the County that they would do so, the media showed up with a copy of it demanding answers to the accusations that could not be offered at that point because it was the first time the school had seen it). The approach by FCSS was very deliberately a smear campaign – they needed to justify their actions in closing down the school as they are getting backlash for their actions.
Some inaccuracies (I can’t go into all of them) include the last page which lists “vendor relationships” in which the vast majority of “vendors” aren’t vendors of the school at all. The only reason the page is on there is because there was an agenda to connect Gulen to the school and they couldn’t do that without “stretching the truth” a bit and attempting to make loose connections appear bigger than they are. Notice how there is no proof to back up the connections to Gulen, and that’s because there aren’t any.
Another one includes the area regarding the Turkey trips. It alludes that numerous individual’s trips were not paid for, that they got the trip to Turkey for free. Ever stop to think that maybe people purchased their own plane tickets instead of going through the school? On top of that, numerous names of people were labelled inappropriately. If they had even asked, the information was readily available to them. The issue of criminal background checks for the parents is a moot point – they were not chaperones and didn’t need them – they were participants in the trip attending with their own children.
Finally, I’d like to point out that there is no mention of missing funds, like Mr. Erste accused the school of. All the funds are accounted for, just as in the Fitch audit the school had done this past year. These vendor violations they refer to (not bidding out the contracts), make up 3% of the funding the school receives (apparently the other 97% they don’t have an issue with), and even then, the school went with the vendor that could tailor it’s product to the needs of the school – that’s just common sense.
I could go on and on, but I’ll let the governing board make the full statement within the next week or so to address it all…

C Jae of EAV

June 7th, 2012
10:39 am

@Hillbilly D – Your observation concerning development authorities across the state is spot on. TAD (Tax Allocation Districts) anyone??

@crankee-yankee – I don’t see this situation as “businessmen” run amuck as much as I see it this situation as a example of institutional governance run off the skids by unscrupulous custodians. To my knowledge the institution(s) in question were not being managed by some big corporate EMO. Further, I’m hard pressed to say that the local districts on a whole are any better. Certainly we’ve seen the same degree of mis-management out of several the larger districts throughout the state.

@Jason – The comments you attribute to Buzz Brockway sounds like the words of a trojan horse voucher supporter posing as charter school advocate. I’m just saying. Those that were operating the institutions in question seem to be the individuals most accountable for the state of affairs at this point. If offered a 3 year renewal instead of a 10 year term I would have taken it, if my objective was to continue delivering quality education to kids. By rejecting such a compromise for me the true motivation of those operating these institutions is suspect. The outward appearance is that they did in fact a series of fiscal abuses going on and now the house of cards is crashing down around them. I think the district was exercising the due dilligence expected of them in the intital review of the charter renewal and the subsequent audit. With every day bringing new contridictory revelations who knows where this ends up.

@Dr. Craig Spinks – I would whole heartedly support your motion to have ALL publicly financed educational entities in GA submit to comprehensive financial, personnel and performance audits every 4 years conducted by an independent 3rd party.

Grateful FSA parent

June 7th, 2012
10:54 am

@ Meredith – “You can’t seriously argue that the ends justify the means!”

You obviously haven’t had a child in trouble that you then found a solution for…

follow the money

June 7th, 2012
11:02 am

Understanding Atlanta – I agree. However, that oversight was in place at this school. The school system requires monthly reports from the charter schools. The problem comes when those reports from the school are not trustworthy and when the charter refuses to comply with system requirements or state law. Then the only recourse left is non-renewal. I think it is telling that annual audits, Fitch Rating company audits and now independent outside companies have all audited this school. Every time there has been a critical finding from the system, the state or an outside entity, the school governing board’s response has been to claim that the school is simply misunderstood or the auditors are bigots. This governance board was given many opportunities by FCS over the last two years to change their practices and stay open. They have refused every time. If they were really concerned with the kids, would they not have simply tried to cooperate and just follow some basic rules (like don’t “withhold the material facts” a.k.a. LIE to the bank when asking for a $19M bond)? The governance board had the authority to make these decisions and now they have to live with them. Unfortunately, they have hurt the kids, the other charter schools and future charter schools. Why would systems ever want to have charter schools as partners if this is an example of how they act? I just hope FCS doesn’t let the actions of this one group color their view of other charters. They just moved to approve a new school for south county, so hopefully that is a good sign that FCS will continue to support charters. My daughter attends a good charter school that has a governing board that fully cooperates with the system and is successful. I hope the system and the taxpayers focus on good charters governing boards instead of this group.

catlady

June 7th, 2012
11:13 am

Grateful FSA parent: I am willing to believe that many folks who signed their kids up for this school did so because of the word “charter” and the words “science academy.” Both those words would appeal to the parents of high achievers because it indicates “something more.”

I am glad your child is doing well. I would posit that it wasn’t so much the school as YOUR perception of the school that turned him around. (That, plus maturation). But maybe not–maybe he was a $3.7M miracle.

Maureen Downey

June 7th, 2012
11:26 am

@To all, I want to emphasize that we asked Fulton County multiple times why it did not detect these financial issues earlier with the Fulton Science Academy since annual audits are submitted. The answer was that these audits, done by the school itself and turned in, are not detailed. The system’s attorney described them as “GAS” audits, which typically refer to more cursory audits produced in part by off-the-shelf computer programs. The audits given to the district were not done by a third-party hired by the county, but were done by the school, according to the school chief.
Such annual audits are often more of a drive-by rather than deep dive by actual auditors who spend weeks going through records, reconciling those records and following up on who vendors were and what they provided.
As a longtime reporter, I can tell you that “audit” can mean a range of things, starting with a computer-generated read-out that looks at select information and prints reports in an auditor-specified format.
Or it can mean several months of reviewing and probing by a team of auditors who look well beyond what is handed to them to what is not handed to them. Standard government audits — the ones required annually, for instance, as part of legislation — are typically the former. Detailed audits are very costly so they are not done frequently.
Maureen

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

June 7th, 2012
1:12 pm

Oxymorons: internal audit,
GDOE audit,
SACS audit,
local-/state-based accounting firm audit,
USG audit, and
Department of Audits and Accounts audit.

catlady

June 7th, 2012
2:39 pm

GAS audit = CYA audit?

Meredith

June 7th, 2012
3:13 pm

@grateful. Perhaps it is assumptions, such as the one you just made about me, which drop kick the credibility of the speaker involved. Much like the assumption FSA made when thinking that bending\breaking numerous rules (the means) were justified by high test scores (the ends).

The rest of you…seriously, you want to blame everyone else for FSA’s mismanagement but FSA?

Entitlement Society

June 7th, 2012
3:22 pm

Meredith – so “grateful” says he/she thinks the ends justify the means when it comes to his/her child’s education. I guess that’s at the expense at the rest of us taxpayers. If she/he doesn’t like the traditional public school option provided, she/he needs to step up and pay the private school tuition to get the “ends” that she/wants for the child, not expect, nor allow these shady practices to go on and condone them. I value my child’s education more than anything, but morals and ethics trumph anything. It seems like this mantra that you and I understand is lost on this parent, who is willing to justify anything for the sake of the child.

Question

June 7th, 2012
3:38 pm

Why do you think that “Grateful FSA Parent” isn’t really an FSA employee??

Meredith

June 7th, 2012
3:55 pm

@entitlement. No doubt!
@question. Given the ad hom attack, I can’t provide you with a good reason to think he/she isn’t an employee. Fits the base argument m.o of the school’s mouth pieces.

incredulous

June 7th, 2012
4:57 pm

So, let me get this straight. This much heralded charter school essentially gamed the system better than the host county and they are now being vilified? Really!? Really!!? With the frequent posts on this topic, this seems to be a very calculated distraction away from the real problem. Could it be the “crook you know is better than the crook as a stranger”?.

bootney farnsworth

June 7th, 2012
5:12 pm

not picking on grateful, but using s/he as a classic illustration of why we’re so screwed:
I don’t care they broke the law/did wrong, I got what I wanted so its all good.

working at GPC I know a bit about serving in a corrupt institution. yeah, we had a lot of good dedicated people working to educate students while the world went to hell around us.

does that mean we’ve been a good, upright, honest institution? I’ve got 24 million no way in hell reasons we’ve not

crankee-yankee

June 7th, 2012
5:22 pm

TC
June 7th, 2012
10:36 am

Same arguments as on other blogs, almost the same wording. Who butters your bread?

C Jae of EAV
June 7th, 2012
10:39 am

I do not argue there may be lapses on the part of FCS but I stand by my theory of unscrupulous business practices. I’ve been researching the Gulen Movement for that past few days and what is turning up across the country (in fact, the world) is very unsavory. There are many accusations flying around which may or may not be true but the old adage also holds true, where there is smoke, there is fire. There is a lot of smoke, enough that 60 minutes dedicated resources to their own investigation. Ditto the BBC in Britain.
Check out this site then do some additional searches, lots of stuff comes up.

http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/

Maureen Downey

June 7th, 2012
5:25 pm

@Incredulous, The big issue here — well beyond a single charter school — is whether Georgia law has sufficient safeguards in place and whether school quality excuses failures to follow legal procedures. (Despite all the sidestepping around the issue, there is evidence of “self dealing” and conflicts of interest. I talked with a former FSA parent who told me that, as someone who understands finance and who knows and respects the work of the audit firm used, he is concerned about the audit and that he wishes other parents would not dismiss it out of hand.)
Let’s be candid: Why are these charter schools being founded in the first place? They are a livelihood for the founders. And that is fine — it is the American way and they are entitled to apply for and win charters and run schools — but they have to make that livelihood within the confines of the strict rules and regulations governing public schools, which are far more stringent than how you could run a private school.
It is also odd to me that some folks are now saying that if there is, indeed, fiscal mismanagement, the fault rests with the Fulton officials for not keeping close enough tabs — one of the intents of the sponsors of the charter school laws in Georgia is to keep the district out of the schools. The point is that these schools are independent and that their own boards will monitor them, not the school board or the school chief.
Is that a great system? Some states are looking at more controls of charters because of issues with fiscal mismanagement. I think charters are too new in Georgia for us to say much about that; many of our existing charter schools are regular public schools that added charters to their name, but didn’t change much else. This remains an experiment that ought to be continued, but also watched carefully for areas that need improvement.
Maureen

incredulous

June 7th, 2012
5:42 pm

@Maureen. Thanks for the insight. My concern is with the obvious duplicity in the oversight of the charters.The same charges of mismanagement and cronyism have been leveled at many school systems throughout the state. As we saw with the APS cheating scandal and others, the main benefactors will escape any punitive measures and the system will reamin intact. At the center of the charter programs is the public desire for real and substantial change to the status quo. Charter programs are vilified for their failures and barely acknowledged for their successes. As a parent and tax payer, I won’t tolerate having ” smoke ” blown in my face. The state needs a thorough overhaul of educational law and processes. I think this is an example of the “status quo” exerting influence. I may be wrong. However, the timing and exposure of this scandal makes me think otherwise.
I agree that more oversight is needed, just not by the same “bosses”.

Attentive Parent

June 7th, 2012
6:42 pm

Maureen-You have a very interesting definition of the American Way. It has become at our great expense more rent seeking than market entrepreneurship.

Free markets are what brought America such great prosperity.

A government grant of taxpayer money and some sort of monopoly or preferred position is not the American Way.

However, it is just as wrong when SACS or school district central office employees decide to use a government monopoly to reward themselves as well.

Creating wealth through genuine innovation is the American way. In the private charter operator or SACS or school district employee scenario, they are ALL tax consumers not wealth producers. They all, public or private, live off the wealth created by others.

And together they are all killing the host through bad education policies that undermine future prosperity for everyone.

I am against parasites be they public or private. But private ones can only survive if they become political entrepreneurs.

Let’s get rid of public or private political entrepreneurship. And always recognize its inherent conflicts of interest.

If everyone strives to live off Other Peoples Money, there won’t be any.

crankee-yankee

June 7th, 2012
7:00 pm

Attentive Parent
June 7th, 2012
6:42 pm

Who taught you how to read? Write? Cipher? Perform logic? Problem solve?
Us parasites? Without your education, how would you be able to “create wealth?”
Maybe we parasites have an indirect path to “creating” wealth, by priming the pump.
Or do the “wealth creators” just burst forth fully prepared?

Attentive Parent

June 7th, 2012
7:31 pm

Actually crankee-yankee I taught myself for the most part.

You are only a parasite in my book if you live off what others created. If you are a teacher which I assume you are as you jumped to a we reference even though I was talking about SACS and admins, you are not a parasite if you are ultimately teaching in a way that enables your students to generate wealth and innovate.

If you are an admin, it depends on what policies you are pushing. Quite a few make the pushers mind arsonists and social saboteurs. I truly hope you are not in that book.

If my use of logic and knowledge of economics offends you too bad. Way too many ed administrators seem to be primarily driven by a strong case of the greenie meanies. ENVY.

Which has held back and destroyed many cultures historically.

crankee-yankee

June 7th, 2012
9:15 pm

Attentive Parent
June 7th, 2012
7:31 pm

My opening questions were not meant in a derogatory fashion, forgive me if they came across that way. They were meant to be rhetorical.
And although this is not a defense of building level admins, I can understand their position when they are told by their bosses their job depends on test scores. I disagree with some of the methods employed by some of them. Dropping elective classes for instance, where students would actually see a direct link between academics & the workplace.
The problem resides further up, beyond even the Board of Ed and right in the living rooms of the general populace. They have been led to believe a test score like the SAT, CRCT, ITBS, ACT, etc. is the true measure of the education their kids are getting. But since you cannot produce a portfolio of work (a much clearer assessment of what a child has learned) via a multiple-choice test produced by ETS, we are stuck with what the public wants.
The bed has been made, now we are sleeping in it. Some are waking up to the fallacy of what has been done but I fear I’ll be gone before sanity returns.

I’m sorry you never made a connection with a teacher in your youth. I had two or three who I remember still who got me to excel in their classes in spite of my distractions.

Attentive Parent

June 7th, 2012
9:38 pm

I made lots of connections with teachers. You said I owe what I know and can do to teachers. I have known some wonderful ones. My work continues to enable excellent teachers. Whatever their admins druthers to climb a hierarchy.

I am a voracious reader and have been from a young child. Some teachers adored that, some tolerated, some fumed.

If I want or need to know something I teach it to myself. When I talk about something on Get Schooled I have tremendous resources backing it up. In fact I need another bookcase because my piles are getting unstable again.

After I figured out what was going on in education, I mastered the relevant history and economics to make sure I could back up what my instincts told me the consequences would be.

This is not a game to me. I do not need to go online to have friends.

Everything I know says education is on a trajectory that is unimaginably destructive. And I get to rely on what insiders say their actual intentions are with policies and practices.

At the moment I am giving away hard-earned info trying to avoid a collision with the iceberg.

If you want to do right by the school children good for you.

You have my support.

another comment

June 7th, 2012
9:53 pm

Wow Attentive parent you have showen your true colors on this post. I am sure that your children will rebel from your grip to keep them under your thumb.

Joseph O'Reilly

June 8th, 2012
2:14 am

I believe the doubts and fears prevented Fulton County Schools extend the charter renewal mostly because they do not want a successfull effective school that can make all payments by year 2041. The board did not even read the whole plan and asked (watched in FCSTV) simple questions to CFO proving they did not read the plan. Dr.Avossa makes every attempt he can to secure his seat. Do you want to know one out of many examples ?

Check the cause of audit , changed many times!

Only a person who is desperate would do such a move.

Muareen was questioning why charters or lets say school choice? They must survive with success ,therefore promote competition with less money more flexibility.

FSA did a great job on these components but forced to go private. Good luck

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

June 8th, 2012
2:54 am

Educrats whine, “We need more money.”

Taxpayers retort: “Show us that you’re spending wisely the money we’re giving you now.”

Educrats respond: “Excuse us, we just got phone calls.”

Getting information, as opposed to misinformation, out of our self-serving educratic horde will make herding cats seem like falling off a log.