Failing charter finally closes and principal collects a cool half million. Is sufficient oversight in place?

I just spoke at the Atlanta Rotary Club meeting about the charter school amendment on next week’s  ballot.

One point that came up was whether the state had sufficient monitors/regulators in place to keep tabs on the charter schools it will approve if the charter school amendment is passed next week. (I noted that whether we are discussing bridges, day care centers or nursing homes, the state never seems to have enough compliance officers or resources to keep up with the recommended number of inspections, reviews and follow-ups.)

Most charter schools in Georgia are approved by local school boards where the distribution of funding is uniform and tightly controlled.  Tax dollars come already allocated with little latitude in setting spending priorities.

But neither local school boards nor standard funding procedures apply to state-approved or independent charters, which have greater freedom in how they spend their tax dollars and operate outside of the direct control of the district.  An appeal of becoming an independent charter  is that there are far fewer tethers on how money is spent or misspent.

In those schools, oversight falls to the governing boards. While critics contend that Georgia has been too slow to approve charters, it has prevented the scandal that’s occurred in states that may have been too hasty, including Florida.

Here is an Orlando Sentinel story that shows the fallout when a board of a charter school runs amok and oversight is absent:

An Orange County charter school that gave its principal a $519,000 departure payout was an academic failure that struggled to provide its students with basic materials and qualified teachers, an evaluation by the school district shows.

In 2011-12, NorthStar High School’s directors paid Principal Kelly Young more than twice as much money as they spent on the school’s educational program. Including her annual salary, bonuses and payout, Young took home at least $824,000 in taxpayer money that year, not including payments she continues to receive for winding down the school’s operations.

By comparison, the school spent $366,042 on instruction, including teacher salaries, last school year, according to an audit paid for by the school.

“I have never seen an act that egregious in 15 years of working with charters,” said State Rep. John Legg, R-Port Richey, a charter school business administrator who started a charter school 15 years ago. State lawmakers from both parties are calling for reforms to the charter law that would add transparency and accountability.

“What have we done?” said state Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, an educator for nearly four decades and a legislator on a key education budget committee. “How did we let this happen and how can we correct it?”

NorthStar’s lavish payment to their principal was not an isolated instance. In 2010-11, when Young’s contract called for $305,000 in pay, the school spent $372,009 on instruction. Her pay made up a third of the school’s budget that year.

The school lacked computers, a library or cafeteria services at its facility in concrete portables on Curry Ford Road. According to the January report by Orange County Public Schools, the school’s reading teacher was not certified in reading and NorthStar didn’t have someone certified to teach English language-learners. Nearly three quarters of NorthStar’s students failed the state reading test, and half failed in math. But students who attended say it was the first school where they felt supported.

In June, the charter school’s board cited Young for “leadership” and “providing an excellent educational opportunity for at risk and underprivileged children in Orange County” in its resolution authorizing the payout of more than $500,000 upon the school’s closing.

A 2010 contract that set Young’s annual pay at about $305,000 a year also obligated the school to pay off her contract if the school was not renewed. That made Young’s salary substantially higher than Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins, who is paid a salary of $230,000 for overseeing 181,000 students in the nation’s 10th largest school district. NorthStar had about 180 students.

“You can’t be having these golden parachutes in any industry, especially one funded with taxpayer money,” said Legg, who added that he wants to see more transparency in reporting charter school salaries.

The school, which operated for 11 years, was never an academic standout. It’s last grade from the state was a D, but it was losing ground last year. “It wasn’t a good educational environment for students,” said Christopher Bernier, who oversees charter schools in Orange County. “They weren’t producing. They weren’t learning.”

Michael Kooi, the administrator who oversees charter schools for the state Department of Education, said he would be looking into the situation at NorthStar. “The first and most important level of trust we place in the charter school is the governing board,” Kooi said. “You have a governing board that appears to have made a very poor financial decision.”

Before the school closed, the district was also investigating payments of $7,500 each to two board members for performing office work in 2010. Board members are not to be paid, according to the NorthStar contract. Montford said he’s already drafting legislation that would make charter schools more accountable and transparent.

“There may be others out there, but we don’t know,” he said. “Florida is known for transparency. Why does it stop at the charter school door?”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

105 comments Add your comment

Concernedmom30329

October 29th, 2012
3:09 pm

Speechless….

Mikey D.

October 29th, 2012
3:17 pm

Tip of the iceburg.

Matt

October 29th, 2012
3:22 pm

You forgot to highlight that this was a charter school authorized by the local school district/School Board – not by a state authorizer. With a strong authorizer like the Commission in place, issues like this are caught early and charter schools and Boards are held accountable. When charters are left to the local districts and school Boards, issues like this happen. As you note, there haven’t been any issues like this with Commission or State Board authorized schools. A great example of why Georgia needs the amendment to pass!

Also, when Charter School take actions like these, they are quickly shut down (as was the case with this school in Florida). When school districts take actions like this (or ones that cost even more money, for example: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/23/arlene-ackerman-philadelp_0_n_934351.html), taxpayers have little recourse.

Pompano

October 29th, 2012
3:26 pm

I’m not necessarily a supporter of Charter Schools (still undecided on the amendment). However, the behavior noted above is even more rampant in the non-Charter Public Schools. We hear lots of stories such as cheating APS teachers still receiving their salaries, Supt’s w/Golden parachutes and over-inflated salaries, shady land-deals to help-out buddies, etc.

The one central theme seems to be when you mix Education & Taxpayer money, corruption & greed soon follows. There appear to be very few “wise stewards” within the profession anymore.

Reality_Check

October 29th, 2012
3:27 pm

This is exactly what we will have here if this amendment is approved. Those people who speak in general terms about “choice” and “it couldn’t be worse” than our current public system ought to look closer at the situations in Florida, North Carolina, and Louisiana. The new charter schools in Georgia, if the amendment is approved, would be public schools which have no accountability except to a Deal-appointed state board. Is that what you really want?

Maureen Downey

October 29th, 2012
3:29 pm

@Matt, This Florida school is a different category than our school board approved charters as salaries here are determined and set by the pay schedule and controlled at the district level. So, while the charter was within the district, the law in Florida gave it far more autonomy and independence than a district-approved charter gets in Georgia. This school was run by a governing board of trustees that actually included the principal in question, not the school board. In fact, the story says the principal was president of the board, which is strange and which I don’t think would be allowed in Georgia.
From the story:
In June, the charter school’s board cited principal Young for “leadership” and “providing an excellent educational opportunity for at risk and underprivileged children in Orange County” in its resolution authorizing the payout of more than $500,000 upon the school’s closing.

Young was president of the board for the past three years and was a voting member, said her lawyer, Usher “Larry” Brown. The state’s top official overseeing charter schools said that serving as principal and board president is a conflict of interest.

Meeting minutes show Young abstained from the vote on her payment.
Maureen

Mikey D.

October 29th, 2012
3:30 pm

@Pompano…
Yes, because I know so many principals who make 500k per year.

MANGLER

October 29th, 2012
3:30 pm

Matt: With charter schools, when actions like these are taken, the payouts have been given, the school is closed, and the students are SOL, as well as the tax payers, because a private charter school can do what it wants with the money, unlike a public school. None of that would really matter if the school operated with private funds. But since it takes money from the public, it matters.

Were Out!

October 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

I have gone back and forth on this issue. Although our public schools are without a doubt a disaster and I do believe in choice. The thought of letting the crook Nathan Deal (yes he is… just left congress before they could prove it) appoint a commission to oversee this pretty much guarantees we will see a whole bunch of this going on in Georgia.

Matt

October 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

Maureen, local school-board approved charters in Georgia are eligible for the exact same waivers to the pay schedule and salary scale that State charters are. State authorized charter schools don’t get additional autonomy in their charters if there applications are approved by the state versus the local district. They get what they request in the charter contract.

I agree that this is a clear situation where better oversight was needed of the charter, and the Board shenanigans are a great example. I know the folks at the DOE and at the Commission would never let that happen – I don’t have that same confidence in the charter staff at a local district in Georgia (if they even have any dedicated charter staff)

Maureen Downey

October 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

Matt, Do you think the state has sufficient staff to deal with a vast expansion of charters?
Maureen

DeKalb Inside Out

October 29th, 2012
3:40 pm

Maureen,
If these Florida charters are in such a different category than anything we have, then why did you post this? Given your latest response to Matt, I’m not sure if this could ever happen in Georgia.

Pompano

October 29th, 2012
3:43 pm

Mike D – probably more than you think… If you actually tried to get rid of one (which rarely/never happens – they just basically draw a salary for life) – the local School Administration would pay out that equivalent in salary & benefits.

Here in Gwinnett though, our preference is the multi-million dollar shady land-deal.

Matt

October 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

Maureen, why do we think there is going to be a “vast expansion” of charters if the amendment passes? The amendment passing only puts Georgia right back where it was 2 years ago (only with more money staying with the local district). I don’t foresee some explosion of charters happening – I see the Commission once again holding high standards for the charters they approve since that’s what the established track record shows and it’s their reputation on the line.

As for additional staff, I’d much rather that additional staff be under the Charter Commission where it doesn’t require any state funds to operate (since they will be paid from oversight fees from the charters they authorize) than at the DOE where they would cost additional state funds. I believe the Charter Commission would continue to manage the growth of charters smartly, and with all of their decisions reviewable and overturnable by the State Board they would continue to be fully accountable to the citizens of Georgia.

Tony

October 29th, 2012
3:51 pm

This is a very real problem that Georgians should be concerned about because the enabling legislation that accompanies the amendment does not adequately address the financial practices of the charter management organizations that might be engaged to run some charter schools in our state. We already have some schools that have financial problems where the lack of oversight is at the heart of the problem.

There are only about 5 superintendents in Georgia making a salary like that principal in Florida was making. No principal is in that range.

Florida’s laws are too lax and the charters are able to avoid reporting how tax payer dollars are spent. The same will be true in Georgia if we approve the current proposal. Not enough scrutiny has been given to the details of this amendment.

California has had similar financial payments to principals of failing schools.

DeKalb Inside Out

October 29th, 2012
3:51 pm

Failing Charter Finally Closes

I wish we could say that about our failing traditional schools. The title of the post would be

Failing traditional schools finally close and Superintendents move on after fleecing the public for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Georgia is 49th out of 50. How many Superintendents are making 200K+, 300K+, 400K+ with no end in sight for these failing schools or the fleecing of the taxpayers of Georgia??

Mary Elizabeth

October 29th, 2012
3:57 pm

“An appeal of becoming an independent charter is that there are far fewer tethers on how money is spent or misspent.”
=========================================

I have consistently pointed out that this lack of cohesion will more likely exist if traditional public schools are supplanted for state charter schools en masse, and especially if these charter schools are not aligned closely with local school districts, which can more easily monitor them financially and academically than a far removed state agency with political motivations.

Students for profit. Immoral. This article does not suprise me at all. I am grateful that it has been posted today. Parents, improve public schools, from within, by your collective involvement with local schools boards and by continuing to foster the growing impetus to vote unresponsive school board members out of office, locally, when those members are unresponsive to students’ needs through their parents’ voices. Don’t “run away” to a separate “panacea” of charter schools that may, ultimately, turn traditional public schools into profit making vehicles for the unscrupulous.

Readers, please vote NO in NOvember for Amendment.

CJae of EAV

October 29th, 2012
3:57 pm

I concur that adequate oversight of charter school governance is essential element. However, I can’t help but wonder if focusing on events in other states get us any closer to addressing GA’s needs in this regard. If anything it serves as an imflamatory distraction to the debate before us.

Respectfully @Maureen, your blog does nothing to move the dialogue forward. I long for a higher level of exchange where we engage each other regarding what we need to do in GA instead of focusing on horror stories in other states with statues that may or may not resemble our own.

Mitch

October 29th, 2012
4:00 pm

Maureen, you act like a tsunami of charters will be approved and we’ll have no ability to provide oversight. You think maybe the Commission will keep an eye on that and only approve the number of charters that they feel like can be adequately monitored? Let’s look at the facts, with a ton of pent up demand, the Commission only approved a little more than a dozen in three years. That pent up demand no longer exists, so this is yet another attempt by you to distract and confuse the issue. By the way, how much is the opposition paying you for this service? I didnt see you listed on their expenditure report.

what?

October 29th, 2012
4:01 pm

@Pompano — that is 100% pure horse manure.

The top 10 principal salaries in the state come no where near that.

the highest is – $168,355.41 and the number 10 slot falls to $142,992.62

source is http://www.open.ga.gov/sta/viewMain.aud#

what?

October 29th, 2012
4:05 pm

For a little more perspective — The top 10 superintendent salaries in Ga range from $410,573.75 at # 1 to $231,396.18 at # 10.

what?

October 29th, 2012
4:07 pm

“Georgia is 49th out of 50″

Also complete horse manure.

Maureen Downey

October 29th, 2012
4:10 pm

@DeKalb and CJAE, The issue is oversight of schools that function under the imprimatur of a commission in Atlanta. These schools do have the latitude of the Florida schools. I have gotten calls from parents in state approved schools who are unhappy with the response to their complaint by their governing board. They want to know the next step up the chain. And right now, there is no real next step — the commission is not set up to be an arbiter of disputes at the school level.

And for those who keep saying this is not a real concern, I have talked to many charter school amendment supporters who believe oversight is a weak link in the discussion. In fact, no one is talking about ongoing oversight, only the approval process. The typical response is that a charter will not be renewed if it does not perform well , but I have covered that process and I can assure you it is not as easy as it sounds.

I am unsure why any mention of challenges with charter schools — challenges that we can see in states that are ahead of us in this process — is immediately shouted down. Why don’t we study what went wrong in those states and learn from them rather than pretending that it won’t happen here?

Georgia is typically late enough to any education idea that someone else has tried it. Yet, we never bother to look at how it worked and, if it failed, why it failed.

Ed Week had a recent story on the obstacles:

One of the most vexing questions about charter schools—when low-performing ones should be shut down—is receiving new attention, amid concerns that lax and inconsistent standards for closing them will undermine the public’s confidence in the sector.

Over the past few years, a growing number of researchers, policymakers, and charter school backers have called for removing obstacles to closing academically struggling schools, though many barriers remain.

Maureen

what?

October 29th, 2012
4:11 pm

19th in STEM currently for example

indigo

October 29th, 2012
4:15 pm

“why does it stop at the charter school door”

Because Republican politicans want to keep their electorate happy by supporting charter schools with Christian fundamentalist teachings. A happy electorate will keep them in power, so, don’t look for and “transparency” either in Florida or Georgia.

Maureen Downey

October 29th, 2012
4:17 pm

@CJAE: Here is an Ed Week summary of why charters close and why it is important for Georgia to deal with oversight of finances:

So why do charter schools close?

The greatest portion of them, 41.7 percent, go under for financial reasons, the center found. Mismanagement—which could be misspending, failure to provide adequate programs or materials, or an overall lack of accountability—is the next most likely reason, at 24 percent, followed by academic problems, at 18.6 percent.

Of the rest, 4.6 percent close because of problems with their facilities. “District obstacles” are another barrier, at 6.3 percent. The report maintains that in those cases, school systems may saddle charters with unrealistic paperwork or regulatory burdens or treat them with outright hostility.

While there are examples of charters that close because of conflicts with local school boards, the report says, many have closed because of their own shortcomings, such as a lack of oversight by authorizers

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/2011/12/about_15_percent_of_charter_schools_close_group_says.html

DeKalb Inside Out

October 29th, 2012
4:18 pm

What? Georgia is not 49th out of 50? OK … where are we?

Concernedmom30329

October 29th, 2012
4:28 pm

Go google Academy of Lithonia, which was a DeKalb County start up charter school that even DeKalb wanted shut down and the state was hesitant. It had a very politically connected founder and Board.

Terribly low performing — at times even lower than surrounding DeKalb schools and that is hard to do.

Finally closed down, but it was a battle.

Beverly Fraud

October 29th, 2012
4:32 pm

Of course this is a complete and total abomination; still it begs the question, “How is this any different than Beverly Hall keeping a cool half million and leaving a place in shambles?”

The answer of course is that the charter school is CLOSED and APS keeps going strong as one of the charter members of The Four Horsemen of the Incompetence

Sure it’s like inviting Somali pirates into a government bureaucracy in the hopes they’ll shake things up; but when the government education monopoly makes the North Korean government look progressive by comparison, can you blame people for wanting something, ANYTHING different?

Athens Girl

October 29th, 2012
4:38 pm

“I noted that whether it’s bridges, day care centers or nursing homes, the state never has enough compliance officers to keep up…”

Maureen: the “it’s” you wrote up there should read “its”. There is no need for a contraction in that statement.

Pompano

October 29th, 2012
4:39 pm

@what? – you should fully read someone’s post before commenting. Walk one of those Principal’s you mention out the door and watch what total comp they take in. Same with Super’s – the amount they walk away with far exceeds the amounts you list.

Heck – I’m not defending what happened in FL – I think both sides are corrupt and clueless (thus my indecision on the forth-coming amendment vote). However, to think the Public School System has not grown adept at ripping off the taxpayers is fantasy on your part. While Florida’s gig might be half-million dollar Principal salaries, we have plenty of home-town examples right here in Gwinnett (land deals/Admin offices), APS (paying cheating employees over a year not to teach/fake bonuses), Dekalb (Construction deals), and Clayton (not enough space to list).

Halftrack

October 29th, 2012
4:46 pm

All systems have flaws. Systemic flaw of the Public system is, cheating by teachers on standardized test of the children, low SAT scores, HS dropout rate, remedial courses at college and inability to fire or get rid of poor teachers. Tell us how students are going to be better off individually if the Charter system fails. Students are the last thing thought about in public schools because much money has been wasted in the recent decade on education and our students are no better off today than 10 or 30 years ago.

claytondawg

October 29th, 2012
4:52 pm

Public Education has not and will not improve until the government is totally out of the equation. And, Pompano, you are correct concerning APS, Dekalb, and Clayton.

NFparent

October 29th, 2012
4:56 pm

On a related note: Fulton County Schools BOE chose to implement a charter system with local governance oversight. Very soon, there will be elections to select parents and teachers to serve on that council in cohort 1 schools.

Guess who won’t get to vote? Citizens who don’t have children in THAT particular school. Factoring in the numbers of taxpayers who have older or younger children, or no children at all, the BOE has effectively silenced a majority of resident taxpayers.

I hope that majority comes to discover and understand that the only way to effect change is to vote out the current board as they play fast and loose with home values.

Tony

October 29th, 2012
4:58 pm

@Dekalb – please become better informed. Your bogus claim of 49th out of 50 is one of the lies that seems to perpetuate itself because too many people actually believe the crap on talk radio. Take a few moments and actually look up some bona fide facts.

13th in AP performance in the nation.
2nd in AP performance for African American students.
Some of the highest achievement rates ever for students according to most recent NAEP results. (This is actually the only reliable indicator over time.)

These are just a few facts you and others like you ignore.

MAY

October 29th, 2012
4:58 pm

I have to agree with a lot of the other posters here. You have at least appeared (and forgive me if I’m wrong) totally against charter schools….and this goes way back to before this amendment. Can’t we all point to alarming stories? I could say we don’t have enough oversight of band and football boosters because of the number of ‘officers’ siphoning the funds any given year…so get rid of them? The superintendents that walk off with exit packages after cheating scandals or loss of accreditation. Principals that harass employees or have affairs with employees. We all know the stories. To answer this question, I think the state commission will pour over the budgets the schools present and they will be required to complete external audits each year. If the governing board writes in a $500k exit package, I feel certain, they will have a lot of explaining to do.

Jaynie

October 29th, 2012
5:04 pm

I don’t see how Matt can say these schools are quickly shut down. The school in question ran for 11 years. Any amendment that gives a government appointed panel over anything without any oversight just should be voted down. Charter schools have their place, but there needs to be oversight from something other than an appointed panel of political cronies, whoever is in power. Oh and it’s is approriate as a contraction for it is.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 29th, 2012
5:05 pm

You know I attended the Chamber’s Innovation in Education conference last week. Turns out At&T is a partner of Amplify which is “working” with Fulton to create “new kinds of minds” with tablet technology. “Gaming” as the new substitute for knowledge. No wonder AT&T donated the Fox for Fulton’s strategic Plan announcement. How big will that contract be? Is anyone doing a story on conflicts of interest? Is anyone in Fulton aware the Super is selling students out to a company where his old boss from Charlotte, Peter Gorman, works? Do former supers get bonuses when their former subordinates send lucrative contracts their way?

Why do only some types of conflicts in education merit stories? Should Fulton be entering into expensive ESPLOST funded contracts to push ideas based upon articles that seek to “Use the Computer to Reorganize Mental Functioning?”

Maureen Downey

October 29th, 2012
5:07 pm

@Athen. No, I meant it’s as in:

..whether it is bridges, day cares or nursing homes….”

NFparent

October 29th, 2012
5:14 pm

Well said, Attentive Parent; too many parents aren’t paying attention.

FCSS administrators claim they will be more creative with seat time, allowing them to envision a future where students can be “off campus” two days/week. (Learning Kahn Academy style in their homes).

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 29th, 2012
5:14 pm

NF Parent-it is worse than that. SACS has written rules that the school governance councils as well as our elected school boards must defer to the principals and super if there is a dispute. As I wrote today, there is no question that the theory behind what is being pushed on our schools, Fulton especially under that charter, is based on Marxist political philosophy. So is the Digital mandate. I have those documents. So Avossa and Elgart get to impose the Marxist theory of the mind on Fulton schoolchildren with no recourse from parents or taxpayers. That was what that charter as it was written actually did. Thanks Glenn.

But that’s not a scandal because they have the magic ed credentials? http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/what-happens-when-a-charter-pillages-minds-and-wallets/ is the story I wrote months ago on that atrocious charter. I have a copy of Al Shanker’s speech from 1988 as well as Ray Budde’s description of using charters to bind taxpayers to the Deweyan education as Social Reconstruction/Political Transformation vision. It mirrors that Fulton language almost verbatim. Certainly in function.

But these assaults do not merit discussion as conflicts?
I wrote

10:10 am

October 29th, 2012
5:15 pm

Now apply this same self-righteous indignation … to those in charge of the failing traditional public schools so many parents are desperate to have their children escape.

Rockerbabe

October 29th, 2012
5:15 pm

I guess private schools aren’t all that they are cracked up to be!

Beverly Fraud

October 29th, 2012
5:19 pm

@Invisible to follow up on your response from the other day; you say the Australians, and the U.K. are all aboard this train. Is there a county or part of the world that is categorically rejecting it?

Also, were is a good starter’s course on “The Axemaker Mind?” (YOU come up first in a Google search)

MAY

October 29th, 2012
5:22 pm

@Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar – Very interesting indeed. I’m sure the AJC will have someone who will cover that story.

I was also not aware that the Fulton charter school boards would only be elected by parents at that school. There seems to be a lot of new information to vet. How can the Fulton Super put out a “neutral” fact sheet about the amendment that’s so darn slanted driving home local control through the school board only and then say his school’s parents are the only ones who get to elect that governing board. What about the parents of pre-schoolers? The empty nesters?

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 29th, 2012
5:24 pm

NF Parent-there is anger against Cobb and North Fulton going back to the 1979 federal court decision not to allow busing into adjacent counties in Atlanta. Federal Judge dismissed. They went after Charlotte to gut academics after Charlotte decided to stop busing and return to neighborhood schools. Now they have come to Atlanta to shut down the transmission of knowledge anywhere it ever flourished in Georgia. I have tracked this through the Regional Equity Movement and Gary Orfield’s work as well as Jean Anyon, a prof friend of Beverly hall from Newark.

We think busing is over. There is a hope Rodriguez and Milliken can both be overturned with the shift of one more vote on SCOTUS. There is so much going on in education that is unreported but it has become a political weapon while parents wonder what is happening to their children.

There really is an organized desire to use school, K-12 and higher ed, to prevent what are called Axemaker Minds. Paul Ehrlich calls it a desire for Newmindedness. But that’s not a story meriting controversy?

DeKalb Inside Out

October 29th, 2012
5:32 pm

@What?
Georgia is 19th in STEM … well Whoop-de-doo .. a paragon of education! Only an educrat would think that STEM is important … A coherent set of standards and curriculum, highly qualified teachers, a supportive system of assessment and accountability.

How about measuring something of importance
* Georgia ranks 45th based on SAT scores
* Georgia ranks 47th based on Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate for Public High School Students

Georgia is #1 in conforming to bureaucracy … Woo Hoo !!

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 29th, 2012
5:36 pm

James Burke in the UK who has done numerous TV specials over the years wrote a book called “The Axemaker’s Gift” on the desire to eliminate the kind of minds that could create life altering technology. He called them Axemaker Minds and wanted to prevent them. I found it to be such a useful metaphor for the desired levelling that I decided to publicize it. Somewhat like a dirigiste economy.

http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ is the story I wrote where I first talked about Burke’s book and how it related to what is really going on in ed.

There are parts of Europe fighting off the higher ed component. Qualifications Frameworks that are part of this have been very controversial. It’s a political and economic and social vision. Education is just a tool to get there without anyone noticing what was really going on in time. Unfortunately that scheme ran into a Due Diligence lawyer wondering what to do next as the kids were no longer little. I just treated education like any other government influenced economic sector and figured out what drove it.

The teachers are very angry in Canada so their implementation may not go as hoped.

In Australia as I think I have explained they have moved on to insisting that the private schools level as well.

So are there some bad apples in the charter business. Yes but it is tiny in comparison to overt political coups of these large school districts.

Education has political ramifications that are poorly understood AND swims in OPM-Other Peoples Money.

Too tempting for too many to ignore. But let’s cover all controversies in ed, not just some of them. It will keep everyone closer to what the taxpayers thought they were getting.

DeKalb Inside Out

October 29th, 2012
5:38 pm

Tony,
Yes … yes … yes … those are some good statistics for GA. Please give us a state ranking we should use then … not that STEM crap “what?” gave us.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 29th, 2012
5:42 pm

MAY-my personal experience with Robert Avossa is that he thinks he only answers to Mark Elgart, not the school board or the taxpayers or the parents.

Hinojosa in Cobb is apparently the same from what I have been told repeatedly. And given the reality of how much power SACS has in Georgia, I think those beliefs are factually correct. But taxpaers have a right to know that is the level of power SACS has over Georgia schools, K-12 and higher ed.

SACS and AdvancED are private and paid with your tax money and no one is screaming CONFLICT at the top of their lungs.

Well, maybe me in a loud voice.