Charter school question on Nov. ballot: Clarity or confusion?

Furthering the charter school discussion already under way on this blog, the AJC has a lengthy piece tonight on the amendment on the November ballot.

If approved, the amendment will counteract a state Supreme Court ruling that the state cannot overrule the will of the local community — as manifested in the elected board of education — and approve charter schools.

According to the AJC:

The intensity of the debate would make it seem that charter schools, which are public schools, will go away if voters reject the constitutional amendment. Except, they won’t.

Local school districts will still be able to consider charter applications. Amendment backers, however, fear that without a stamp of approval from voters this fall, the state’s power to authorize and fund charter schools could come under legal threat. They point to a 2011 Georgia Supreme Court decision as proof. It stripped the Georgia Charter Schools Commission of the authority to approve charter schools. Local school boards, not the state, have the constitutional authority to oversee K-12 education, the court ruled.

Before and after the ruling, the state Board of Education has approved charter applications, and charter school proponents fear that, without passage of the amendment, that power would be challenged next.

While the legal underpinnings of the charter school movement in Georgia could be strengthened by voters this fall, pro-charter state legislators have already bolstered its financial pilings.

A little-noticed — at the time — change in charter schools legislation opened up a new funding source for charter schools that are approved at the state level. That source — supplemental, state taxpayer money — will go to state-approved schools no matter what voters decide this fall.

Some charter schools could get as much as two and a half times the amount of state funding traditional public schools receive, an analysis by the Georgia Department of Education has determined.

Every nickel charter schools get from the state is one that isn’t going to traditional public schools, amendment opponents argue. Georgia spends $1 billion less on schools than it did in 2009.

Understanding how that supplemental funding fits into the total financial picture requires some understanding of how charters are approved and funded in Georgia. Charter school applicants must first apply for approval from the district where the school would be located. If they are approved, they receive federal funds, state funds and local property tax money.

If the local district rejects the charter application, the applicant can turn to the state Board of Education. Before July 1, when new legislation took effect, charter schools authorized by the state would not get local property tax money.

The new law, however, gives state-approved charters additional money. The goal was to bring them to financial parity with traditional public schools and with charter schools that receive local property tax funding.

Natilee Brown-Van, principal at Heritage Preparatory Charter School in southwest Atlanta, said the funding will be a financial lifeline for a schools like hers, which was denied a charter at the district level and receives no local property tax funds.

Elizabeth Hooper, the parent of a public high school student in Alpharetta, said amendment backers are not spelling out what specific problems in traditional public schools charter schools are supposed to fix.

Hooper is among those who say the actual ballot question — “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” — is misleading because it gives the impression that the state is not currently approving charter applications.

Eric Gray, communications director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, said that’s because voters have not been given the facts. “We have found that once people realize these charter schools take money from the public school systems, their opinions change,” Gray said.

The Democratic Party question “was worded in a way to have people say ‘no’ and yet 250,000 Democrats still voted to give parents more options,” said Tim Melton, vice president of legislative affairs for StudentsFirst, a California-based education group that backs passage of the Georgia amendment.

“I think the handwriting is on the wall,” Melton said, predicting passage of the amendment in November.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

87 comments Add your comment

Beverly Fraud

August 8th, 2012
10:37 pm

Does anybody have any doubt that Paul the Octopus (of World Cup fame) could do a better job approving charter schools that either state or local boards?

Bernie

August 8th, 2012
10:51 pm

The short term gain to be garnered for the States authorization and expansion of Charter Schools, will only put a further strain on the already strained and critical educational budgets that exists today. This passage will only set the stage for a already planned school voucher system that is in the works. That unproven plan will
further decimate the public education system and you can count on the fact it will be the State Of Georgia’s death blow to public education as we know it!

The needs of the many will be sacrificed for the selfishness of the Few!

15years or so from now, those left behind will be the future criminals of tomorrow!
Unfortunately, a sizable number of those successful few will be their chosen victims!
Lets hope and pray that your child will not be among their victims!

Go ahead…..Lets Roll the dice and see how it turns out!

Karma! has a very strange way of correcting the unjust!

Ron F.

August 8th, 2012
10:54 pm

Considering the funding issue that recent legislation has created, I think it best to leave the constitution as it is. When you think about how much education funding has had to be cut just since the recession began, how will the state fund charter schools the commission approves without further cuts to public education, especially at the rates the legislation approves? In systems like APS and Dekalb where local BOE practices have undermined the effectiveness of the system, charter schools would be a welcome change. I’m still not comfortable with the idea that the legislature, with its obvious vindictive nature and one-sided political control, is the best body to choose such a commission. Now if they proposed legislation to either remove dysfunctional boards or stop funds to mismanaged systems, they might have something worthwhile. I still see this as one step on the road to total state control of education and vouchers for private schools. The recent issues in Louisiana aren’t helping me feel any more supportive of anything coming out of the Gold Dome concerning education.

Sonny

August 8th, 2012
10:55 pm

Strange that this is being pushed by a more conservative view since it increases state government control and trumps locally elected board of education members. You may like those in charge at the state level today but what does the future hold. Keep it local!

Beverly Fraud

August 8th, 2012
11:01 pm

“Now if they proposed legislation to either remove dysfunctional boards or stop funds to mismanaged systems, they might have something worthwhile.”

The problem with that legislation RonF is SACS and how they play politics. How else to explain how the APS board was subtly threatened with removal for the one FUNCTIONAL thing they did, removing a documented enabler of cheating from the chairmanship of the APS board?

Sonny

August 8th, 2012
11:02 pm

Strange that this is being pushed by a more conservative view since it increases state government control and trumps locally elected board of education members. You may like those in charge at the state level today but what does the future hold. Keep it local!

alpharetta mom

August 8th, 2012
11:15 pm

Students First is Michelles Rhee’s non-profit based in Sacremento. Try finding their tax returns on Guidestar. No luck. Upon calling I was informed in no uncertain terms that if I wanted to see the non-profits return I could make the request in writing. Yikes. So much for transparency. BTW I do know that she received 1 million from the Walton Family Foundation in 2011 because they are transparent.
Wonder how much she’s donating to get HR1162 passed. Word on the street is that the pro-school choice effort has 60 million to pump into the effort. Just think if all that money went into “the kids.” Also interesting that the Sacramento Bee reported by Michelles friends at the American Federation for Children reported on all the “pro school choice” candidates that were re-elected in our primary last week. Who knew Californians cared so much about politics in the Peach state. Oh – guess what, they cared because the AFC donated to all the candidates campaigns. Please start asking questions where ever you go.

Old Physics Teacher

August 8th, 2012
11:20 pm

There was this joke that got a high-ranking member of Jerry Ford’s administration fired. The punch line was: “He no play’a da game; he no make’a da rules!” It applies here. When the state fully funds public education at anywhere near 90% of the cost, then they get to decide who and how much money any “extra” public school gets. Until then, with the local communities putting in way over 50% of the cost of education, the locals get to “make’a da rules!”

As far as I’m concerned, since the legislature has so screwed up the process of education to the point of destruction (which I’m not convinced they aren’t deliberately trying to do — It’s hard to believe that many individuals could be that stupid), they need to get out of the business and let the local boards decide where the money goes.

3schoolkids

August 8th, 2012
11:25 pm

Separate but not equal. Let the lawsuits begin.

Beverly Fraud

August 8th, 2012
11:35 pm

Let’s see, people who have their own vested interests at stake (local school boards and the “friends and family” program) don’t want to lose their power to another group who have their own vested interests at stake (make sure we maximize every profit, err, every child’s education)

Gee would it be better if a massive earthquake struck Georgia, or a massive asteroid? Come two think of it, either one of those options, or better yet BOTH COMBINED would probably yield better educational outcomes in the long run than the first two.

Mary Elizabeth

August 8th, 2012
11:55 pm

“As far as I’m concerned, since the legislature has so screwed up the process of education to the point of destruction (which I’m not convinced they aren’t deliberately trying to do. . . .), they need to get out of the business and let the local boards decide where the money goes.”
———————————————————————————

I agree.
===============================================================

“I still see this as one step on the road to total state control of education and vouchers for private schools. The recent issues in Louisiana aren’t helping me feel any more supportive of anything coming out of the Gold Dome concerning education.”
———————————————————————

I agree.
======================================================

“Please start asking questions where ever you go.”
——————————————————

Well said!

yuzeyurbrane

August 8th, 2012
11:58 pm

What the??? “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” Talk about doubletalk. The fix is in like it was on TSplost language. Let’s hope Georgians see thru this bs, too.

More info

August 9th, 2012
12:21 am

Learn more about the amendment: http://www.bettergaschools.org

Bernie

August 9th, 2012
1:09 am

The Good ole Boys down at the Dome are making a way for Pastor BOB and his associates to get State financing without all of the rules. This is to insure that little Timmy and Suzy will not have to share the same class room with those on the other side of town. The following hurdle after the issuing of the school voucher is the return of prayer in school, further blurring lines of Church and State. Another end round of that dreadful U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court , they always claim to love and support so much.

This is an ill conceived and dastardly Republican and Tea Party inspired plan to take us all back to the 1950’s version of America. Separate and Unequal at ALL costs!

Many of us, have seen this Movie before, its just the actors have been changed and the packaging is a bit slicker in its presentation with the ultimate goal staying the same.

The South will rise again is not just a whacked out slogan. You are witnessing its next
attempt, happening right before your eyes! This time its your Kids, who will be used as the BAIT. To Educate or Not….. is the real question being asked in this vote, about ALL of OUR children?

Kara Martin

August 9th, 2012
3:48 am

I feel that what has not been explained clearly is this….the amendment does not guarantee approval of Charter Schools at the state level. It is simply allowing an appeals process IF the local board denies a Charter application. Surely we can all agree that it is a basic American right to have an appeals process. After all, convicted criminals can appeal to a higher court, surely parents who want an issue like Charters to have a second opinion/perspective should be entitled to the same. And as stated above, over several years 83 Charters appealed to the state and ONLY 16 of those were actually approved. I think another issue lost in translation is that Charters ARE public schools. Any child can attend a Charter school until attendance is full. Also, no one is saying that traditional public schools are not a vital part of education….they absolutely are and are needed. However, there are children who are also being lost in this system, children that require a different set of educational needs in order to be successful. The point is that if traditional school can not reach these children’s needs, we should have other options. We should be OBLIGATED to give every individual child the tools and learning environment they will need in order to be successful. Saying that if a district school can successfully teach 80% of the children well and the other 20% are just casualties is not good enough. And lastly – NO LOCAL funds will go to a state approved charter. So, not only does the class size decrease because seats open up, the district still receives those LOCAL funds for that child. On the local level – more money, less children in the classroom. On the state level – the Per child money follows that child. The argument that the school should ALSO receive the state funding for the child that will not be in that school is ludicrous do to one fact. If the child were to home school,attend a private school, or an online school then the district school also does not get that state money. So regardless of the option, the state money still does not go to the district school. And we are giving those students a choice in their education if the traditional can not meet their needs. So please tell me, why are we against this APPEALS process?

living in an outdated ed system

August 9th, 2012
3:50 am

Nice try. You’re trying to spin the debate when the game is over. The democrats made a strategic blunder with their “unethical” decision to alter the wording of the APPROVED referendum by forcing a negative bias. And guess what? It backfired. The other referendums received overwhelming majorities – in the 70s and 80s. ONLY 56% voted no. That’s what I call bi-partisan support.

Move onto another policy battle because this one has already been decided. You need to know when you’re on the wrong side of the issue and admit defeat. This amendment is good for Georgia’s children. It’s not about the teachers or funding or anything else. More public options will improve the quality of education we provide to our children.

Move on, everyone. You’re wasting your bandwidth on this issue.

Ed Advocate

August 9th, 2012
6:43 am

The ballot question is absurdly misleading despite the efforts of public school advocates and legislators to make it more transparent during the legislative session. Those who drafted the ballot question are intentionally misleading Georgians and apparently think by adding the words “public” “local” and “community” that voters will approve the amendment, thinking they are supporting their local public schools. Makes me wonder what else these folks have in store for GA schools that they are subverting. I hope Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters reject this state overreach and blank check, which is likely considering the heightened voter scrutiny of ballot questions in the wake of TSPLOST.

redweather

August 9th, 2012
8:38 am

As soon as I see “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended” on the ballot, I vote NO. The Legislature has played this misleading game for decades–one of the worst instances had to do with Tort reform back in the late 70s or early 80s.

Chunter

August 9th, 2012
9:02 am

Clearly, the teachers’ unions are continuing to invest much money into the fight to limit parental choice and educational innovation.

Reading the the same scripted arguments against reform—from the same daily handful of blog denizens—one wonders if they and their union paymasters think parents and taxpayers are oblivious to the movement for change currently sweeping the nation and indeed the world.

The excellent film WAITING FOR SUPERMAN documents how union money has hitherto stymied education reform. But new winds are blowing, and they’ve (finally) made it to Georgia. If unions and the Democrats are going to continue to fight parental choice—they’ll increasingly do so without the help of inner-city parents whose kids remain prime victims of the status quo.

CharterStarter, Too

August 9th, 2012
9:05 am

@ Alpharetta Mom – StudentsFirst was founded in 2012, per Guidestar, and therefore, would have no tax forms/990 forms available yet.

@ Physics Teacher – For districts like APS who pay 80% in local taxes, that makes sense…so does that mean in rural districts where the state funds close to that much, the state should make the rules there? Just want to be clear and ensure that your logic holds throughout. Why not look at the TOTAL contribution Georgians pay in taxes towards public education (local + state) so that the issue is equalized across districts, despite district wealth? Then I think we can make the argument about how much is REALLY going to public education. State charter schools will and are paid LESS of Georgia tax payer dollars than the district schools. So, if they are REQUIRED to show children are learning at or above current performance, and they are doing it for LESS, then the Georgia tax payer gets a better return on investment.

Tell you what, Maureen, why don’t you call the DOE and ask them this question: “Despite the fact that charters, with the supplement, earn more in state dollars, do charters earn LESS than district schools in state and local funding? And if so…by exactly what percentage?”

Let me predict their answer (but be sure to ask them to confirm). The answer is YES, and it’s more than 20% less.

You see, when tax payers only get part of the facts due to purposeful omission, they cannot make an informed decision. Tax payers deserve to know the whole truth.

And Maureen, while you are asking THAT question, please ask this one as well….if the state had not committed the .0004% of the NON K-12 state budget to state charters, is there any guarantee the budget would have added more to K-12 education?

@ Yuzeyurbrane – Double talk? What is unclear. Under current Constitutional interpretation, currently ONLY the locals have this authority. So the question clarifies that BOTH have the authority. It also clarifies that the state can’t just willy nilly set up schools, but that LOCAL communities must drive it. Explain to me how it is double talk…or do you think Georgia voters are stupid and can’t comprehend (or perhaps your REAL fear is that they are smart and WILL understand)?

@ Ed Advocate – Georgia voters WILL be supporting their local public schools – or should I say, they will be supporting ALL public school children (because of course, the goal is not trying to protect SYSTEMS but to ensure every child gets what they need). If charters drive greater accountability in public schools (which they do, because if they don’t they will be closed), then what we have in our current public schools, then how is that not being supportive?

Ed Advocate

August 9th, 2012
9:11 am

@ Living: if “the debate it over,” then why do you post on every con amendment thread on this blog?

@ Kara: GA already has a state-level appeals process for the charters denied at the local level. It’s the state board of education. Since legislators haven’t planned a tax increase to pay for the new schools, then fewer state funds will flow to local school systems on top of the multi-billion dollar cuts the state has already passed on to locals. Local property taxes go up and local schools ax popular student programs, stuff students into classrooms, and shorten the academic year as a result. So yes, the constitutional amendment’s impact on local funds is huge.

Chris Knowles

August 9th, 2012
9:13 am

Why is it that “public education advocates” continue to insist that more money solves the problem? Clearly, we have more money than most of the countries that best us in the global picture of education yet we need to spend more – on, what? Teachers? Supplies? Books? Buildings?

Our public education system is failing and we here in Georgia want to stick our heads in the sand about the real issue. The AJC article, while lengthy, was certainly targeted towards those who read this blog and believe that “more funding” is the only solution.

We live in a world were people lose their jobs every day with little or no notice. Companies are going out of business because our economy is so weak we can’t sustain growth. Yet, our “public school advocates” (who are typically employed by the system in some manner) continue to say “If you want to fix the problem, show me the money” Let’s keep things just the way they are and more money will make it all better …

The time for that fairy tale has passed. We need a fresh perspective on how to fix our education system and it cannot come from “the inside.” It certainly won’t come from this blog or this newspaper.

living in an outdated ed system

August 9th, 2012
9:24 am

Ed Advocate – you and most of this blog are in denial. Why did I comment? Because you all need to know how sleezy my party – the democratic party- was in what they did on the primary ballot. It is one thing to have respectful debate but it is not ok to mislead the voters with a question that will be worded completely differently in November. It was dead wrong! And that has nothing to do with the debate itself, but the tactics employed by my party which I’m ashamed of. Oh – and I let the folks who run the Georgia Democratic Party hear about it, believe me!

what's best for kids???

August 9th, 2012
9:30 am

@Kara,
How many appeals from the state are denied?
What happens if/when a charter goes defunct? Who then educates these young people? Do they have to wait until the next school year to enroll in a public school?
Lots of logistical questions, for which I have ideas for solutions, but no one is interested at the state level in hearing what lil’ole me has to say,.

Goodforkids

August 9th, 2012
9:31 am

@kara,
This state commission will open the doors wide for charter chains interested in making a buck from our taxes to come in and run their companies. I don’t care if they are profit or nonprofit, they will be able to pay themselves handsome salaries with few rules, regulation, oversight. They will have vast freedom regarding the quality of what they offer, and some of them may be good. But their focus will be on the dollars they can access, and their loyalty is to their stakeholders. I am confident that this corporate model will roll into our state if we have political appointees on a state commission with no particular loyalty to a local community who might actually gain from the alliances they have with charter chains. Really dangerous scenario, and ultimately not good for kids.

Ed Advocate

August 9th, 2012
9:31 am

@ Chris: My husband and I strongly support public education (and charter schools) and enjoy sending our child to our local public school. I will not concede that these schools are failing because I see the great achievements that students and teachers make daily.

To deny the funding crisis in public schools around the state is almost criminal. As a life-long Georgian who is not from metro ATL, I see the impact of the state budget cuts and I fear for the poorer areas in GA, particularly. Throwing more money at schools won’t solve all the problems, but it’d be a start.

what's best for kids???

August 9th, 2012
9:39 am

@Ed Advocate,
How about simply saying, “Funding the schools so as to meet the federal and state mandates that are required of public schools?”
“Throwing money at it” has lots of negative connotations.

Goodforkids

August 9th, 2012
9:39 am

@what’sbestforkids,
That is funny that we have similar monikers and were addressing Kara almost simultaneously! Yes to your points as well. Kids are vulnerable when ANY transition occurs. Transition can promote growth, but they can also be setbacks. Kids moving back and forth between schools will be a more frequent and unfortunate consequence as we get more charter chains. If one reads the national news, it is clear there are some horror stories where schools have shuttered their doors without care for their students. Of course the data shows that most charters don’t outperform and often don’t even match their traditional public school counterparts. But who needs data when what you really want is profit. And ultimately vouchers.

Chris Knowles

August 9th, 2012
9:42 am

My last comment on this topic …

@Ed Advocate> I am glad your public school is working for you (at least as far as you know right now) and I agree that “poorer areas” need to have access to equal quality education. We can’t blame the kids and I am not blaming all of the teachers.

However, this IS about bureaucrats, bloated budgets for property and construction, outdated policies (like tenure) and antiquated curriculum / teaching techniques. Money will not fix any of those issues and those are the issues that have been eroding our education system for at least three decades if not longer.

I am ALL ABOUT the kids in this and I DO support the need for a strong public education system but the system has to be all-inclusive, not all-in-one. We need to stop our incestuous growth of inbred policy makers in the system or we’re doomed and we can watch out country continue the illustrious slide right down the global food chain.

sneak peek into education

August 9th, 2012
9:51 am

Again with the untruths that our public schools are failing. It is known as THE BIG LIE!! If the education reformists state it often enough then the public will believe it. The truth is that in schools where the number of students in poverty is 20% and less, American scores are at the top!! As the number of children in poverty increase, the scores decrease. Therein lies the problem that the reformists don’t want to admit or confront-poverty is the number 1 determining factor of educational success.

The problem I have with the reformists is that insist on pushing an educational model that does deliver the promise of providing a better education than that of the local, traditional school. Sure, in a small % of occasions, some schools do better but these are not the norm. Also, the other problem I have is that you are willing to decimate public education to feel that you are getting something akin to a private education for your children-to H**L with everyone else. The for-profit charters will move in and their only mission is to make money off of the backs of our children, I have a huge problem with that and cannot understand why anyone would think it is acceptable. The charters in other states do not have to be accountable for the education they provide to the children sitting in their class rooms and you can bet that our legislators, with the backing of ALEC, will go down the same path and we will have the same debacle that is happening in LA, NY, and PA.

Adam Smith, who is seen as the father of modern capitalism, warns us against those who seek to gain profit at the expense of others. See the excerpt below and he explains it perfectly. This should be a warning, even to those who say privatize, privatize, privatize education.
http://dianeravitch.net/2012/08/06/adam-smith-warns-beware-the-profit-seekers/

sneak peek into education

August 9th, 2012
9:54 am

Please check out the link below and see an example of true parental support. This is fantastic and inspiring The parents in Athens got together and put an ad in their local paper directed at the legislature.All of those who are for public education should do the same and maybe buy some billboards. Let’s fight against the BIG LIE, the reformists are spouting. This is what I call parental support at it’s highest.

http://static.onlineathens.com/adhub/1001314704.html

catlady

August 9th, 2012
10:08 am

Is anyone surprised that ignorant people might end up voting the opposite way from what they want? No.

I’d be much happier with the idea of charters if for-profit companies were not allowed to run them. Parent/community charters, with nothing to gain financially–I would not mind if the state could do an end run around recalcitrant school boards. But the state being able to give tax monies to private business run to educate for profit? No.

Chris Knowles

August 9th, 2012
10:29 am

CharterStarter, Too

August 9th, 2012
10:49 am

@ Sneak Peek – So….what you are saying then is that poor kids can’t learn….or, that the public school system cannot adequate teach poor kids. That position is unacceptable in my view. Look at the 90/90/90 schools (public and charter). They SUCCESSFULLY educate poor kids, so why are we allowing those who can’t a pass for failure? If it CAN be done, they why is it not being done in every school?

If I go to the store to buy a gallon of milk and pay 5.49 for Mayfield and 3.49 for Big Value brand, I don’t expect the Mayfield brand to give me soured milk. Should I hold the Big Value brand to a higher standard for freshness? Of course not, we should expect BOTH products to be fresh. However, if Mayfield served up sour milk and cost more, then why wouldn’t I go to Big Value? I get a better product for a better price. Poor people pay taxes with the same expectation that middle class and rich parents do – that the public education system will educate their children, too – not serve up sour milk. And keep in mind, the whole purpose of a public education system is to ensure an educated public, not just a fragment of the population. If we don’t believe every child can and should have access to a quality education, then there is no longer a need for public education. I, personally, do not believe this. We NEED public education.

Charters, by legislative design, are intended to raise student achievement (note it does not say for only rich kids – ALL kids is implicit in the legislative intent for charters. Charters CANNOT make excuses. Regardless of what population they serve, their students MUST perform or they will be closed. End of story.

DunMoody

August 9th, 2012
11:05 am

I’m watching this legislation in hopes it passes … because that will open the door to changing the constitution to allow local school systems to form once again. It’s beyond ridiculous that this issue is constitutional, but so it goes in the quirky state of Georgia.

Ron F.

August 9th, 2012
11:26 am

“Charters, by legislative design, are intended to raise student achievement (note it does not say for only rich kids – ALL kids is implicit in the legislative intent for charters”

Not to nitpick, but “legislative intent” ain’t worth a whole lot in this state anymore. The intent of the mountain of education legislation enacted since God was a boy has been to raise achievement for all kids. The problem has been the one size fits all approach. If charters can free themselves from that and pick specific populations to draw from, then they might just succeed. I’d respect them more and be more likely to support them if they would specialize and advertise it. Part of my opposition is that they are touted as “public” schools, when they need to specialize. If the legislative intent is to support that specialization based on need within a given area where a charter wishes to begin operation, then let’s get them started. In the long run, if they try to act like public schools, they’ll end up with the same problems.

As to the amendment, yes the wording is tricky, and I think it’s on purpose.

sneak peek into education

August 9th, 2012
11:30 am

2charter-now you are putting words into my mouth; I never stated that poor children can’t learn. What I said is that poverty is the number one indicator in achieving educational success.

Why is it that the reformers don’t want to address the issue of poverty?
Why is it that the reformers want to push through legislation for charter schools when research shows that. more often than not, charters do not provide more educational success than their traditional counterparts.
Why is it that the reformers, who tend to be conservative voters who advocate for privatizing education, want the public to vote for an amendment that goes against their own view point of smaller government (ie local control v’s central government). By the way, Alabama’s governor just publicly stated that his state will not pursue charter start-ups because of this very reason and they are a red state.

sneak peek into education

August 9th, 2012
11:31 am

Way to go parents of Cherokee County. Check out the link below:
http://www.empoweredga.org/cherokee.html

bootney farnsworth

August 9th, 2012
11:37 am

confusion, obviously.

just read some of these responses.

bootney farnsworth

August 9th, 2012
11:38 am

@ Ron

of course the wording is tricky.
the last thing those fools downtown want is (regardless of position) the voters to understand what they are voting for.

Get Educated

August 9th, 2012
11:44 am

Folks, get educated and get the facts: http://www.votesmartgeorgia.com

bootney farnsworth

August 9th, 2012
11:47 am

for the Waiting for Superman crowd:

you do realize it is a propaganda film, right? produced by people with a point of view and product to sell. no different than a Michael Moore film. or a beer commercial.

if it works for you, God love ya. just understand its not objective, balanced, or impartial.

bootney farnsworth

August 9th, 2012
11:52 am

@ Chris

since apparently no one has said it in words which you understand:
we, educators as a whole, do NOT think more money is a solution to anything. it is in fact an enabler of our worse problems.

if you scan though these blogs, you’ll see people like me (currently unemployed educator) posting at length about the waste in educational spending

for the most part, we are advocates for responsible spending of existing dollars, not more money to be spent on some principals new leather sofa.

Get Educated

August 9th, 2012
12:01 pm

A yes vote to this amendment = expansion of state government into local schools and a state appointed “commission” making decisions. A no vote = local control by local school boards and local voters of local schools. Like accountability? Then vote no.

bootney farnsworth

August 9th, 2012
12:09 pm

IMO opinion, a yes vote on this issue will create a secondary ed version of the board of regents.
if you vote yes, be sure you know what you’ve agreed to

Beverly Fraud

August 9th, 2012
12:12 pm

“The Good ole Boys down at the Dome are making a way for Pastor BOB and his associates to get State financing without all of the rules.”

Yes Bernie, but here’s the problem: the status quo that is expressing its “moral outrage” is the same status quo that brought us:

-Beverly Hall
-Crawford Lewis

And organizations like the Georgia School Superintendents Association, who will AWARD people like Beverly Hall, then REFUSE TO RESCIND the award.

When the status quo acts like THAT, it’s not that hard to exploit voter DISGUST is it?

Beverly Fraud

August 9th, 2012
12:19 pm

A no vote = local control by local school boards and local voters of local schools. Like accountability? Then vote no.

@Get Educated, I think many people supporting this ARE educated. They know FULL WELL that their ignorant, uninformed peers in the voting booth, give “local control” to people like:

-The Clayton County School board
-The APS School board, which BURIED its head in the sand for YEARS while systemic cheating was going on.

Worse, this APS board was deemed award winning while it steadfastly REFUSED to deal with the cheating.

People pushing this want some leverage over the local board, because they have rightly figured out their uninterested, ignorant and uninformed peers CONSISTENTLY make poor decisions at the polls, and the status quo actually REWARDS school boards that act without integrity.

It’s pathetic sure, but is it not TRUE?

Beverly Fraud

August 9th, 2012
12:34 pm

@sneak peek, I’ll be happy to answer your questions

“Why is it that the reformers don’t want to address the issue of poverty?”

Answer: Because the schools themselves won’t. Because the single best way to address it, to make students accountable for academics AND behavior, which teaches children they have CHOICES in their lives, schools aren’t willing to do.

Why is it that the reformers want to push through legislation for charter schools when research shows that. more often than not, charters do not provide more educational success than their traditional counterparts.

Answer: Because it chips away at the EDUCATIONAL MONOLITH. If a charter school isn’t responding to needs, there’s at least a fighting chance that committed parents can bring about change EXPONENTIALLY EASIER than trying to change the educational monolith

Why is it that the reformers, who tend to be conservative voters who advocate for privatizing education, want the public to vote for an amendment that goes against their own view point of smaller government (ie local control v’s central government).

Answer: Because THAT’S HOW BAD the government schools AND the status quo behind them, have acted.

They are SICK and TIRED of watching “leaders” like the DeKalb County School board

They are SICK and TIRED of watching “leaders” like the APS school board. They are sick of hearing how a board that turned a blind eye to cheating was given AWARDS for its competence for God’s sake! (You really think ANYTHING would have changed if not for the AJC being willing to finally report on what they knew for YEARS to be true?)

Sure, this bill could have some awful consequences. But this bill is a NATURAL consequence of local school boards violating the public trust, again, and again, and again.

Beverly Fraud

August 9th, 2012
12:51 pm

@get educated

Here is the opening sentence from your link:

“Herb Garrett at the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association wrote a letter…”

Let me get this straight; you lead off with a quote from a person whose organization named Beverly Hall Superintendent of the Year, but now refuses to RESCIND THE AWARD? You REFUSE to repudiate Beverly Hall, but you want us to trust your intentions and integrity?

MAYBE if Herb Garrett was willing to say “We were wrong to have honored Dr. Hall, and now, with this new information brought to light, ETHICS and INTEGRITY lead us to having to take the necessary step of rescinding our award to Dr. Hall,” maybe people would trust them more.

But if they aren’t willing to address THAT, it’s pretty hard for them to take the moral high ground on anything, isn’t it?

Not all charters are created equal

August 9th, 2012
1:34 pm

I am a supporter of charters generally, but if you are a resident of SE Atlanta,then you know that the charter schools there are just becoming tax-payer funded private schools for white middle class families who dont want their children to go to school with low SES, primarily black children who attend their local public schools. I am voting no.