Final stretch: Is charter school amendment about “money versus public schools” or “giving every child an option”?

As election day looms, the AJC examines the emotions and money around the charter school amendment in a Sunday piece. The amendment remains an explosive issue with great interest from both inside and outside the state.

Pro-amendment groups, including national school-choice advocates and for-profit charter school operators, have raised more than $2 million; amendment opponents have collected $123,243, mostly from public school officials, according to an analysis of campaign-finance records by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Please read the entire piece before commenting.

The AJC editorial page came out today in opposition to Amendment One, saying it would be a waste of taxpayer funds to create a new bureaucracy to do what the state board of education can already do. The AJC joined GOP State School Superintendent John Barge in contending that the creation of another layer of state government is wrong when Georgia has slashed billions from school funding over the last few years, leading to larger classes and shorter school years.

Gov. Deal offered an opposing view.

The AJC also looked at charter school enrollment in metro Atlanta and found that the schools have smaller ratios of low-income students. (This link takes you to a blog that discusses the change in the charter school movement, which began to create choices for poor kids trapped in failing schools but now has become a choice vehicle for suburban parents looking for more specialized schooling for their children)

So, there is a lot to read and discuss this weekend.

According to the AJC:

The ballot language makes no mention of dollars, but billions are at stake. Which is why vast sums are being spent to promote and – to a lesser extent – to oppose the amendment.

With Republican Mitt Romney heavily favored to win Georgia’s presidential contest, the charter school referendum is the local race to watch Tuesday. Pro-amendment forces have mailers, billboards and a television ad campaign extolling educational choice. Opponents are hitting back with a racially-charged radio ad in which The Rev. Joseph Lowery says the proposal would “resegregate our schools.”

Critics say it has sowed confusion. The motto of the pro-amendment side is “Vote YES! for Public Charter Schools,” and the ballot language asks if the state constitution should be amended “to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” A minister and a teacher sued arguing the language is misleading.

Mike Kwon, a 45-year-old Atlanta architect and martial arts instructor, cast an absentee ballot voted for the amendment but realized his error afterward when he chatted with friends by Facebook. He said he supports charter schools but favors less state involvement, not a new commission.

“I think I was totally hoodwinked by the (ballot) language,” Kwon said.

There are more than 100 charter schools in Georgia and two routes to establish them. Charter school applicants must first apply to the local school board. If the application is rejected, they can appeal to the state Board of Education, which may overrule the local officials. Which body approves the application affects whether a charter school receives local property tax dollars or not. Charters with either type approval receive state funds.

The amendment facing voters would create a third route for approval, an appointed state commission.

The issue has created an unpredictable mix of political alliances that make the outcome tough to predict. Prominent tea party activists have aligned with urban black Democrats and the state’s GOP school superintendent in opposing the amendment. On the flip side, many leading Republicans who frequently tout the virtues of local control are pushing for creation of a state commission that could provide a separate avenue for charter applicants.

It’s a fight that involves a huge pot of public dollars. State and local governments spend $13 billion a year to educate Georgia’s 1.6 million K-12 students. Charter schools are independent public schools that operate free of some state rules as long as they meet performance goals. They’re promoted as an antidote to poor-performing public schools.

The Georgia proposal has attracted dollars from stars in the school-choice movement. Deep-pocketed donors include Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton ($600,000) and StudentsFirst ($250,000), founded by ex-Washington D.C. School Superintendent Michelle Rhee, a leader in the push for teacher accountability.

Some of the large donors backing the amendment have ties to for-profit charter management companies. They include K12 ($100,000), the Herndon, Va-based company that manages cyber charter schools around the country; J.C. Huzienga, ($75,000) who founded Grand Rapids, Mich.-based National Heritage Academies, which manages charter schools including one in Atlanta; and Charter Schools USA ($50,000) in Fort Lauderdale, one of the oldest and largest for-profit operators of charter schools.

Some of the spending will remain secret. A separate effort by Brighter Georgia, a coalition of groups organized by the nonprofit Georgia Charter Schools Association, does not have to disclose its donors or how much it has spent. Brighter Georgia billboards have popped up around Atlanta, and its mailers have blanketed mailboxes. They stop short of asking recipients to vote for the amendment but lay out the benefits of it and of charter schools and look strikingly similar to the campaign mailers.

Bert Brantley, spokesman for Families for Better Public Schools, which has raised and spent the most among the pro-charter groups, said the big donations simply show the breadth of support. “We are very gratified to have such broad support,” he said. “It’s really about giving every child an option.”

Those who oppose the charter amendment say they aren’t surprised by the heavy spending. “This is money versus public schools. It is part of the privatization (of schools) effort. Everybody knows what this is about. It’s about the choice agenda and for-profit companies. There is big money to be made in schools,” Herb Garrett, executive director of the Georgia School Superintendents Association, said.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

115 comments Add your comment

suibne

November 4th, 2012
11:20 am

No. It’s about getting rid of socialism and removing the morons from the front of the class rooms. Public schools are the biggest socialist disaster of all in America. You want to know why we are in a mess? Look at the morons that have run the schools systems for the last fifty years.
suibne

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
11:34 am

Vote NO!

This amendment IS NOT an answer to the problems of which the proponents are complaining.

The proponents get a large majority of their funding from out of state. What does that tell you?

How many Georgia entities fund out of state issues across the country? Those that do have an economic reason to do so. What does that tell you?

The state superintendent of schools is against the amendment & went public against the man who appointed him to his position.What does that tell you?

The amendment duplicates what is already in place as far as an appeals process but slips in a change in the funding mechanism, shifting a state imposed charter to the local county tax digest whose majority does not want it. A stance that runs opposite to the GOP mantra of “local control.” What does that tell you?

Then the governor weighs in making questionable points. He has an unsavory track record. What does that tell you?

What it tells me is that it has NOTHING to do with education and EVERYTHING to do about money.

Beverly Fraud

November 4th, 2012
11:34 am

“It is part of the privatization (of schools) effort. Everybody knows what this is about. It’s about the choice agenda and for-profit companies. There is big money to be made in schools,” Herb Garrett, executive director of the Georgia School Superintendents Association, said.”

Herb Garrett’s organization named Beverly Hall their Superintendent of the Year. To date (correct me if I’m wrong GSSA) they have NOT rescinded the award.

And you claim to have CREDIBILITY??? Really?

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
11:38 am

“The state superintendent of schools is against the amendment & went public against the man who appointed him to his position.What does that tell you?”

That he, just like the local BOEs, care more about feathering their own nest than about serving their students. They don’t want competition because it might show how ineffective and corrupt the existing system is.

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
11:41 am

If the existing system did not want the competition from charters, they should have worked harder at solving their existing problems rather than trying the latest “politically correct” solution.

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
11:42 am

suibne
November 4th, 2012
11:20 am

“Public schools are the biggest socialist disaster of all in America.”

The same socialist entity that educated the masses throughout what is referred to as “The American Century.”
Yes, truly a disaster.

MANGLER

November 4th, 2012
11:48 am

How many of the charter schools get built in troubled neighborhoods or nearby to under perfoming schools? If this was truly about giving parents choice, the charter schools would compete directly with the under perfoming public schools nearby and not located off in the suburbs yet offer none of the infrastructure or accountability that public schools must offer to get students there.

Oh, and the whole issue about being staffed and managed by for-profit companies who show no interest in footing the bill to build a private school yet line up to manage a public school being given public dollars to do so.

MANGLER

November 4th, 2012
11:50 am

suibne:
let’s look at all of the successful and thriving nations that do not provide public education. I’ll start with …

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
11:52 am

“How many of the charter schools get built in troubled neighborhoods or nearby to under perfoming schools?”

So only troubled neighborhoods and underperforming school parents deserve a choice? The middle class has to leave their kids TRAPPED in existing schools?

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
11:54 am

If the existing “traditional” school system had tried to solve the issues that I constantly list, there would be NO DEMAND for charter schools and there would be no controversy.

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
11:56 am

mountain man
November 4th, 2012
11:38 am

“That he, just like the local BOEs, care more about feathering their own nest than about serving their students.”

A man who has spent a successful career in education as a teacher and administrator. He is a recipient of numerous education awards from non-aligned entities. His daughter attends public school.

Do you have facts to support your accusation about feathering his nest? Or is it just opinion?

Just to point out my own error, he was elected to his current position, not appointed, my bad.

RSM

November 4th, 2012
12:06 pm

The money always follows the child. It does not matter if it’s for a private school, charter school, home schools or even leaves the county. All of the under performing teachers try using this as a reason to oppose this amendment when they know its not true.

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
12:14 pm

“Do you have facts to support your accusation about feathering his nest? Or is it just opinion?”

People do what they do for their own reasons. Of course I don’t have proof of his intentions because they are in his head. It is my opinion.

He was elected to serve his constituents. We will see at the next election if the majority of his constituents belive he is doing that job.

We will see on Wednesday if the majority of Georgians think parents should have more options for choice of a charter school.

If this amendment fails, do you really think this issue will die?

Banderson

November 4th, 2012
12:15 pm

These good corporations just gave $2M to support STATE charter schools (we already have charter schools) because they love our little children. Of course, Sandusky loved children, so you have to be careful about that.

indigo

November 4th, 2012
12:16 pm

Governor Deal is just the latest in a long line of political hacks to occupy that office.

So, keeping that in mind, is this ammendment about helping our children or about money and politics?

You get three guesses. (the first two don’t count)

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
12:17 pm

mountain man
November 4th, 2012
11:52 am

“The middle class has to leave their kids TRAPPED in existing schools?”

In 30+ years of teaching, I have not met an involved parent who has complained of being “trapped.”

I HAVE met some parents who were displeased with the school system because their troublesome student was being disciplined. The first time I met them was after the bottom fell out from under their child, never when an attempt was being made to contact them about the run-ups to the serious situation in which they then found themselves.

I personally have had a student removed from my class because a parent did not want their child exposed to scientific facts that were “…the work of the devil.” I’m sure that parent would have been much better served in a charter school teaching creationism.

However, the overwhelming majority of the parents I come in contact with on a daily basis are quite happy with the education their child is getting in their local public school. This is probably why the Amendment preamble is so deceptively worded. The proponents know they are pushing an amendment that would not pass on its face alone due to a lack of public support.

indigo

November 4th, 2012
12:19 pm

suibne – 11:20

Our Military is run by the Government, so, we have a socialist Military.
By your logic, our Military should be a complete failure. It is not. So, maybe this “socialism” isn’t so bad after all.

Halle

November 4th, 2012
12:26 pm

It’s always about money. Money is the root of all evil! Absolutely nothing will be changed if the amendment is approved. The same parents, students, and teachers are still in place. Until parents are held responsible for their kids disrupting the learning process and teachers who don’t want to teach are ousted nothing is going to change. School is not a free daycare. This is the only country which gives no value to education and it’s very sad.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

November 4th, 2012
12:28 pm

Crankee-yankee-

The language of Fulton’s charter makes me feel trapped. Avossa’s Strategic Plan makes me feel trapped. The fact that Spence Rogers is doing professional development with his Teaching for Excellence model makes me feel trapped. Knowing hundreds of thousands has been paid to Cambridge Education to come in and tell teachers they cannot teach makes me feel trapped. All the project based learning makes me feel trapped.

The fact that Joel Klein announced at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon that Fulton planned to create new kinds of minds makes me feel trapped. The fact that Fulton principals are now interested in a student’s personality characteristics but still little knowledge makes me feel trapped. A Life Skills emphasis downright makes me want to gag.

It seems to me that State Approved Charter Schools may well be the only publicly funded schools in Georgia where there is any accountability to the taxpayer.

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
12:30 pm

“In 30+ years of teaching, I have not met an involved parent who has complained of being “trapped.””

My son was trapped in a system that did not care that he was refused the opportunity to go to the restroom and consequently soild his pants.

I removed him from that system, home-schooled him for the remainder of the year, then placed him in a private school temporarily, then moved to a good school system, where I never had any more problems.

A charter school in that county would have at least given one more option. If I had not had the financial means, he would have been TRAPPED in that system.

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
12:36 pm

Halle
November 4th, 2012
12:26 pm

“Absolutely nothing will be changed if the amendment is approved.”

I must disagree here. I do not trust the Deal administration to appoint commission members who will have a clue about the needs of education. I foresee rubber-stamping of requests for politically connected charters that did not have a sound education plan and were denied by local boards. I foresee these schools sucking education dollars away from local systems resulting in continuing program eliminations, class size increases & teacher layoffs.

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
12:57 pm

I stand corrected, I am now aware of two.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar
November 4th, 2012
12:28 pm

Project-based learning is a return to proven methodologies of the past (just a new name) where students have actual hands-on experiences as opposed to strict text learning that has come about due to decreased consumables budgets. I do not know the ins and outs of Fulton’s overall plans but I can speak with authority on that one issue you raise. Gwinnett School of Math Science & Technology (a charter school) implements this very well along with most other GCPS’s.

mountain man
November 4th, 2012
12:30 pm

There was not a charter in the county but what you recall would certainly give me ammunition to get behind a charter there. Did you get behind a push for a charter school? Were you denied by the local board? Denied again by the state commission? If not, your bluster loses credibility.

Nikole

November 4th, 2012
12:57 pm

I have no problem with charters but their funding should be equal to other public schools and independent of those schools. No other school should lose money to fund another. And I am very WARY of for-profit charters. How is profit to be made in a public service such as education?

A reader

November 4th, 2012
1:06 pm

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar, I live in Fulton county and I do not understand why you feel trapped. The county allows students to transfer to another school as long as it is not full. Given that a LOT of schools have been build in north Fulton in the past 10-15 years means that there is room in many of the schools there.

I know there is a big disparity between the schools in north Fulton and south Fulton. Given that both are run by the same superintendent and school board points to the fact that is it not the leadership of the school system, but rather the lack of parental involvement that drives the difference.

If you feel your child is “trapped” in their school, then find another school within the system that is better. Several of the schools in this system have been named Blue Ribbon schools. Several of the high schools have been named in the top 20 of all high schools in GA. In fact, the high school named #2 in the entire state has space and there are many high school students from south Fulton who commute 2-3 hours every day just to attend that school. While this is not an ideal solution, it certainly is not “trapped”.

Centrist

November 4th, 2012
1:24 pm

Since all polls (other than the grossly biased AJC which wistfully says it is close) show it passing, why don’t these AJC followers work with it instead of uselessly wailing against it? Deal with what you have, instead of what you wish for.

Concerned Charter School Parent

November 4th, 2012
1:27 pm

Wow! Just Wow! There is so much in this article and the comments that truly disturb me as a parent. First, AJC Editorial comes out in support of GOP State Superintendent in opposition of Amendment 1. Really? I never realized that the AJC should be in support or opposition when dealing with politics. It is your role to provide facts, stories and apparently personal political opinions. Absolutely, disgusted by this AJC. Second, I am a product of GA schools and I can tell you that I am educated quite well. However, having children of my own now, the issue and need for choice became apparent while consistently volunteering in my children’s classrooms. I know many other parents were pleased with our local school, but I was not. It drove me crazy volunteering at the school and watching my daughter sit idle because she had finished her work, but was given nothing else to work on. I am talking about challenging those students who are ready for additional work. Of course, I also saw other children struggling to understand the concepts. The teacher’s did their best trying to get the concepts through, but given one method for teaching the content really tied their hands. Our state ranks lowest in the nation in education. To me this clearly means, we are NOT DOING SOMETHING RIGHT! Now, comes the fight over control: money and government. Oh boy, here we go again! Money and Government, forget the children! If the local boards were doing such a fantastic job, then why is our state 48th in nation? If I have a choice of college to attend based on my skills, why can I not as parent choice the school that best suits my children needs? That’s right money and power! I VOTED YES TO AMENDMENT 1 and urge all others to think about the real facts: 48th in education! embrace change, embrace hope, embrace parental choice! For profit management companies exist with most non-profits. After all someone has to be responsible for the management duties, so the teachers can focus on their jobs to teach our children and ensure the child’s ability to comprehend the content. Know your facts and vote to support education and a parents right to choose.

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
1:28 pm

“Did you get behind a push for a charter school? Were you denied by the local board? Denied again by the state commission? If not, your bluster loses credibility.”

Charter schools were not allowed then. I am hoping that current parents would have an additional option.

Political Mongrel

November 4th, 2012
1:34 pm

To the attack dogs out there: unthinking criticism is not the same as critical thinking, nor is it as good.

Jim Chaput

November 4th, 2012
1:35 pm

The public school monopoly needs more competition and the Charter Schools Amendment is the only measure on the ballot offering it. Other measures, such as vouchers allowing any student to take a full share of “his” system’s operating budget to any public or private school that will accept him, would be better. But they are not on the ballot.

Dr. Monica Henson

November 4th, 2012
1:36 pm

crankee-yankee, would you please identify the Georgia “charter schools that teach creationism”?

MANGLER

November 4th, 2012
1:37 pm

Centrist, likely for the same reason that the GOP Congress has done everything it can to not work with the President and his cabinet, they are only thinking of themselves and not the Nation as a whole – or in this case, the parents clamoring for “choice” (on the public dollar thank you) are not thinking of working with the system as a whole but rather only thinking about themselves and their own kids and the rest of em’ be damned.

Mary Elizabeth

November 4th, 2012
1:43 pm

From the Shannon McCaffrey/James Salzer article in the AJC, linked above, are these words:
==============================================

“The ballot language makes no mention of dollars, but billions are at stake. Which is why vast sums are being spent to promote and – to a lesser extent – to oppose the amendment.

Pro-amendment groups, including national school-choice advocates and for-profit charter school operators, have raised more than $2 million; amendment opponents have collected $123,243, mostly from public school officials, according to an analysis of campaign-finance records by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
=============================================================

That more than 2 million dollars have been raised by pro-amendment groups should tell readers that this amendment is primarily about money vs. public schools. As Herb Garrett well expressed, above, “There is big money to be made in schools.”

Children in public schools should not be used to make money for profiteers.

Vote NO on NOvember 6 on Amendment One.

Jim Chaput

November 4th, 2012
1:48 pm

MANGLER, what is wrong with “…parents clamoring for choice (on the public dollar thank you)…” in the context of public schools? Choice works for publicly-funded colleges and I don’t hear anybody clamoring to assign students to the nearest college.

mountain man

November 4th, 2012
1:50 pm

Mary Elizabeth is one of those who would say all on the ship should drown because we only have a lifeboat big enough for 10%.

I have asked her if she does not agree that there are serious issues with the existing school systems with discipline, attendance, social promotion and she agrees (reluctantly, when pressured). So why, ME, has the existing school systems not done more to address these problems?

yuzeyurbrane

November 4th, 2012
1:51 pm

Since the concept of public education was first created here in America before Karl Marx was even born, I get a kick out of the factually challenged individuals who keep attacking it as Socialist. Public education is literally as American as apple pie.

Eddie Hall

November 4th, 2012
1:52 pm

IF this were just about the children and the quality of their education, you would see me, and MANY of the other folks who oppose this measure shouting from the rooftops. Make no mistake, this is about MONEY. I challenge the Gov to submitt some REAL reform legislation. We do need some changes, this is not it. One final thought, just because you write the check to the county for property taxes, instead of the state, that does not mean your taxes don’t go up!!

Centrist

November 4th, 2012
1:59 pm

@ Mangler – you are simply a partisan. Boehner stood up to the large Tea Party wing of his party and made a tentative “Grand Bargain” deal with Obama on spending, taxes, deficits, and debt – but it was Democrat Senators who made Obama renege. We are going to HAVE to have that or a similar “Grand Bargain” a year later – but this year’s election politics got in the way of Democrats who put party above country. A lame duck Congress will kick the can down the road rather than let the stupid fiscal cliff of increased across the board tax rate increases and draconian military spending cuts.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

November 4th, 2012
2:42 pm

A reader-I feel trapped because all those things I listed gut the transmission of knowledge. And because it is the high achieving high schools being targeted. It’s not a matter of bringing up South Fulton as insisting that the schools in North Fulton that were doing a good job may not any more.

Plus I am quite aware of what the terms Avossa loves to throw around actually mean. Plus I have a copy of the AdvancED accreditation standards and recognize that Mark Elgart does not want academic learning as traditionally understood going on anywhere. I am not being cute. Everything I listed works much differently than commonly understood.

crankee-yankee-I am quite familiar with project-based learning. Would love to see your research on what it is proven to do. My research says it is an attempt to push social interaction and cooperative learning as the point of the classroom experience and allows education credentials to be given to weak students.

I do not like the fact that everyone is trying to figure out a way to let kids who actually cannot read beyond a basic, in context, level a high school degree anyway. Then they get shoved to USG who has figured out how to do the same. Get a degree to people who are only marginally literate.

I think we are creating expensive expectations when we give out degrees to people who are so objectively weak. I want to fix those problems back in elementary school where they start not keep trying to come up with ways to not teach reading effectively and then decide print literacy is no longer really necessary.

As I have said on the language on this point in Georgia’s NCLB waiver-if being illiterate is not to be a barrier anymore, is anyone going to tell the poor students and his parents? Or let them take their solace from online gaming in the classroom and others doing most of the work in the group projects.

If the classroom teacher cannot lecture anymore, the only kids who will really know history are the ones getting it from home or from travel with grandparents. Lots of this skill emphasis will end up making the nature of the home and parents education all the more important. School ought to be about moving beyond the circumstances you were born into, not reenforcing those kids whose parents pay attention and recognize what is missing.

We will simply make kitchen table remediation and storytelling that much more important.

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
2:59 pm

Dr. Monica Henson
November 4th, 2012
1:36 pm

Although I have not always agreed with your points in the past, I always respected your opinions. Until now.
You have lost all credibility by grossly misquoting me. See below my actual quote of 12:17 pm.

“I’m sure that parent would have been much better served in a charter school teaching creationism.”

Nowhere did I say there were such schools in GA, just that the parent would have been happier in such an institution.

WhiteWolf of the Bones

November 4th, 2012
3:14 pm

As usual, the ignorant masses are clueless, haven’t done their own research, and see only what they are told to see. I stand with Mountain Man, and Robin Eubanks (ivisibleserfscollar.com). What is happening in the schools today is not a benign experiment. The dumbing down is deliberate, and the majority of students are not being educated, but are being schooled to become willing slaves of the system. But since this is not new, these people who cannot understand, who choose not see the truth, just can’t help themselves, since they are the product of this same system. They see the changes in the whole system as good, since they have little knowledge of the past, and have been indoctrinated themselves. Propaganda works because the masses are easily led by the puppet masters.

Some of us do see and want our own children and grandchildren to have a solid, well-rounded education…not the pablum that is being poured out in the schools today. And everything is about money. Our schools are not headed by wise stewards of the tax dollars…administration is over-bloated, with those at the top and all of their support teams raking in the money, while our teachers struggle with less. The politically correct bunch of nuts is more interested in the unruly, discipline challenged thugs, and their rights, and they know exactly what they doing with the ‘close the gap’ plans. You do not raise the bottom by bringing down the top. But that is what they intend to do. To level the playing field, they have changed from a knowledge base, to the feel good, lets sing some rap, and read an info manual instead. Past learning isn’t important, history isn’t important, science isn’t important, and neither is English, or literature. Unfair, they say that some children have the advantage over those poor children who haven’t learned these things. Watch out, they are already taking the books out of the classrooms. Instead nobody will know anything, and that is just the way they want it.

It will be too soon be too late, and those who have been misled, misfed, and mistaken, will be the ones who cry out the loudest. But those of us who have been aware, and informed will continue to ensure that ours get the education that we want them to have, in spite of the government systems.

Vote yes for choice…the money will get spent either way, and yet we may be able to have more of a say in what happens with it, by choosing these charter schools. I am willing to make that choice and take that chance. Some of us do know what is not working, and those of you who are happy, happy, happy with the state of your schools today, can keep them.

crankee-yankee

November 4th, 2012
3:19 pm

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar
November 4th, 2012
2:42 pm

I am compiling research now, what I do have supporting data for is that students who go through classes such as mine that include a strong project-based learning component score markedly higher the ITBS & CRCT. A weak argument I know but when the populace wants test scores, I’ll give them test scores. What is not overtly apparent is that the strong kinesthetic learners do much better on my end-of-course tests than they did in the past when I had to make do with classroom demonstrations verses actual student-based lab activities. They are absorbing knowledge on par with the visual & auditory learners where in the past, that was not always the case.

Pride and Joy

November 4th, 2012
3:27 pm

This topic has been beat to death. I challenge anyone to say anything meaningful they haven’t said before.

teaching taxpayer

November 4th, 2012
3:31 pm

I will vote for a statewide charter schools appeal board that give voters the CHOICE of who serves, but never one that allows Nathan Deal to APPOINT his unaccountable cronies. Vote “NO” to Deal’s cronies, and demand REAL choice in a 2014 taxpayer accountable amendment!

teaching taxpayer

November 4th, 2012
3:33 pm

Sorry — add an “s” to “give” in the first line of my post. I’ll proofread better next time, just as maybe our legislature will give us a better amendment if and when we reject this blatant attempt to give cronies the power to spend our tax dollars

Smith Francis

November 4th, 2012
3:46 pm

Yes, and you are obviously not enlightened regarding this subject and during this critical period of Republican ” anti-government, trickle-down economics mantra” especially here in Georgia. Educate yourself regarding the Georgia economic decline since the change to GOP and you will notice that unemployment in Georgia has been on a steep climb, from about 5 % to almost double today. Using my tax dollars to line the pockets of special interest is what this entire excercise is about. This is typical of the type of leadership that we have had in this state, under the GOP! Wake up Rip Van Winkles!!!

Undecided

November 4th, 2012
3:58 pm

I’ve got some questions:

Do charter schools take away taxpayer dollars from public schools? (sounds like it)
Do parents of students attending charter schools have to pay additional money (in addition to their tax dollars) for tuition to these schools?

Just trying to get up to speed on this issue and looking for honest answers.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

November 4th, 2012
4:02 pm

When Sis Henry, Herb Garrett and other educrats tell us that there’s “big money to be made in schools,” they ought to know. They’ve made plenty.

ABC

November 4th, 2012
4:02 pm

OMG, how could it be about anything but money??? Of course it is about the money!!

Meli

November 4th, 2012
4:06 pm

This is all about the egos of local school board members. There are local school boards all over the state who know they pretty much have their positions for life either because the voters are too uneducated to vote them out, or nobody else will run. They have no incentive whatsoever to do anything to improve failing schools in their communities because the state of Georgia is not inclined to take over a failing school system and you have to do something highly egregious to get SACS to consider pulling accreditation (i’m looking at you, Clayton, Dekalb and City of Atlanta). And yet their own egos will not allow a charter school to set up in their community because competition will require they step up and improve the public schools to compete. This is why the amendment is needed, because we have entirely too many adults in positions of power who are too interested in keeping their hands in the cookie jar and protecting their petty feifdoms instead of doing what is right for the education of the children.

Kris

November 4th, 2012
4:30 pm

Do you want the crooks and thieves in the gold dome to have control over your schools?
They will farm out your schools to the company offering the highest kickback to the corrupt unethical “Georgia government (term used very loosely”).

Dirty deals, default motel loans and fish farms to name a few.

FACT: Amendment 1 CHANGES the CONSTITUTION and permanently alters the governing powers over schools in Georgia.

“We already have a mechanism in place (to approve charter schools). I really have a concern about putting in place another physical agency when we already have two in place to do the same thing.” -state school Superintendent John Barge

http://files.www.votesmartgeorgia.com/facts/Vote_Smart_Sign-1.pdf

Recall Nathan DEAL (governor loosely used term)

Please vte No on Amendment 1