Atlanta lawmaker to push parent trigger bill in January. Cites North Atlanta High as an example of why it’s needed.

In a break from the charter school debate, here is something coming your way in January — a push for a parent trigger law in Georgia by Atlanta state Rep. Edward Lindsey. (See earlier blog on parent trigger laws.)

The trigger law allows parents to take over a failing school and reopen it as an independent charter if they collect signatures from the majority of families. Only a few states have a parent trigger law.  The first was enacted in California in 2010 and adopted since in some fashion in Connecticut, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

But 20 other states, including Georgia, have seen unsuccessful efforts to pass parent trigger laws. The film “Won’t Back Down” was a fictional account of a school takeover over a parent trigger law.

This is the official release:

State Representative Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta,  the Georgia House Majority Whip, announced today his intention to push for passage of a Parent Trigger Bill during next year’s legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. The measure will give parents a greater voice in school governance.

“We have been working with parents and educators on this issue for some time,” said Rep. Lindsey. “However, the events at North Atlanta High School highlight the need for this kind of legislation. Parents, students, and school staff were completely cut out of the decision making process. That is no way to instill needed confidence to improve our schools.”

A parent trigger bill will make it easier for parents to petition to convert their existing traditional public school into a local public charter school, which would give parents greater control over their children’s education and give the school greater flexibility in improving student achievement.

“An integral part of improving education in Georgia is greater parent buy-in to their children’s education. The parent trigger proposal will assist parents with this in both well-established and struggling low performance schools,” Rep. Lindsey continued. “A quality education for all of our state’s children is critical to their future and ours. All parents should be given a greater voice in achieving this.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

136 comments Add your comment

Mike

November 5th, 2012
4:51 am

Another push for charters. Where is the unlimited supply of excellent teachers to staff these magical places? Can’t be in the regular schools, seems we all stink and need to be replaced. Maybe they’re just waiting for that special time to show themselves and save all of the wonderful children once the charters are in place.

seabeau

November 5th, 2012
4:59 am

Given the sad state of the Atlanta School Systems,I believe the Parent Trigger Law to be necessary!

crankee-yankee

November 5th, 2012
5:17 am

Not having seen the wording yet, I withhold definitive support but on the face, it seems much more savory than the Charter Amendment since it targets only the offending entity. I have never dismissed the need for something to be done in cases such as APS, Clayton Co. & Dekalb Co. but the Charter Amendment is not the answer, a well worded trigger bill might be an appropriate vehicle for redress.

jd

November 5th, 2012
5:26 am

So, after running against Roy for passing such a law, now the Republicans thinks its a good idea! Another example of a lost decade!

Lee

November 5th, 2012
5:28 am

I think this law falls in the category of “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it…”

Mirva

November 5th, 2012
6:06 am

@ Lee- that aboutf sums it up right there.

pride and joy

November 5th, 2012
6:14 am

YES!
This is exactlh what NAHS needs — this kind of legislation will prevent the Errol’s of the world from turning over a high school on its head.
Bravo!

Mirva

November 5th, 2012
6:17 am

This is again an example of people thinking they are owed something they are not. Parents are not owed “more control” over their child’s education. Read the law, it states that each child be given “a free and appropriate” education. That is not the best education money can possibly buy. That is not choice of education or boutique schools that cater to individual interests or political or reliigious leanings. All you get under the law is free and appropriate. If you want more, you need to pay for it or suppliment on your own (that is what I do) There is school choice in this state, they are called private schools. Some are very expensive, others are not. If you want free, what you get is appropriate.

mountain man

November 5th, 2012
6:26 am

“Read the law, it states that each child be given “a free and appropriate” education. That is not the best education money can possibly buy.”

Unless you are a SPED student. Parents of SPED students have won court suits forcing the local sysem to pay for the “best”, often in out-of-state (and probably for-profit) teaching centers costing up to $30,000 per year.

not a workable plan

November 5th, 2012
6:27 am

Please read the analysis of the parent trigger law in the one place that it was instituted. It ultimately has 55 parents ( or there abouts) deciding the fate of the school and there was no legal recourse to change back once it was put in place. The divisions in school communities are on record. It is straight out of the ALEC playbook so I am sure this kind,magnanimous and forward thinking Republican is just doing his civic duty. That is appeases the outside of Georgia puppet masters called ALEC is no mistake. Follow the money. So convenient to shake up a functional school in a powerful area as a cautionary tale of what could happen and voila. charters look better and so does this damnable Parent Trigger. ALEC is laughing all the way to bank for playing Georgia electorate for all it is worth. The parent trigger has NEVER been successfully implemented and you want to experiment with high schools who need community not divisions.
Parent trigger is a terrible idea.
I and a group of our influential friends think that our local library hours are terrible, so we will set up a petition to get the hours that we want, majority rules.
Some friends and I want to have our school run the way we see fit, no testing schedules ( sounds great), no controversial subjects like evolution and nothing that interferes with the development of the best dang sports team you ever saw. It is what the parents want and technically still legal, but is it morally right to do. To bend a school around the minds of some instead of educated the whole.
Issues of how NAHS mess was handled should be fought and it should be defended against.
Chasing after this failed and divisive law as a panacea is not going to prevent this sweeping in and taking over of a school. This time it will be the parents doing this, with legal means, but how many self respecting, solid foundation teachers will stand behind that. The influence of parents to set policy in schools like this will corrupt the educational process and the powers that be will hold power but to detriment to the actual school community.
Shifting the players means that power grabs that have just been experienced can still occur. It is the parents this time instead of higher up administrators but the teachers and students will suffer. And only the teachers really get to walk away. Without their pensions, without their salaries and without their benefits but they can leave, the students are still sitting ducks for a take over.

catlady

November 5th, 2012
6:34 am

Goodness knows, we need to follow the example of Mississsippi, Louisianna, and Texas!! They always lead the way!

bad plan

November 5th, 2012
6:40 am

Not sure why my longer post didn”t make it through moderation but the link between the Parent Trigger and the national ALEC organization that wants to dismantle public schools by setting legislation in place is already established.http://www.prwatch.org/node/11763.
Maureen- please can the AJC do an investigation in how our elected officials are being bankrolled by ALEC to do their bidding. That outside of Georgia money and influence is evident- the Charter Bill alone should be chilling when the amount of money is being bandied about. These elected officials are suppose to do their best for their citizens but how can they when they are the puppets of ALEC.

bad plan

November 5th, 2012
6:44 am

The take over of schools should never be done= it destroys communities and no self respecting teacher will remain in schools so run. Stability and community are hall marks of a good school and being taken over by parents how ever well meaning will mean that power shifts away from the whole to a selected group and there sows the seeds of destruction.
Fight against takeovers of any kind, demand answers when they do occur but make no mistake, a power grab by admins is terrible and the sense of division and mistrust is palpable now. No way would that be a good thing for a school- this will be a terribly divisive thing and the best educators will not work in a school that doesn’t promote community nor power.

South Georgia Retired Educator

November 5th, 2012
6:57 am

What Georgia needs is comprehensive school reform that better addresses failing schools and adequate state funding. Both go hand-in-hand, and we must have a law that works and doesn’t provide an escape clause for lawmakers when the economy and politics get tough. After all, both sides agree that public schools will work with more local input and adequate resources, so let’s see if any leaders want to tackle the real issues. While it started out ok, QBE has become a big joke and teachers are taking the brunt of criticizism for anything that goes wrong in a school. What we have is a reflection of what the legislature and governor have given—inadequate funding and political sniping. Adding another law like Rep. Lindsey proposes is ridiculous.

Ed Advocate

November 5th, 2012
7:03 am

As with much legislation, the devil will be in the details. The version of Lindsey’s Parent Trigger bill that he introduced last session was problematic and likely to lead to more instability in schools. Because of his role as Chair of the pro-Amendment #1 campaign, I anticipate that Lindsey’s motivation for Parent Trigger will be more punitive toward educators, who he seems to view as obstructionist, rather than a pragmatic attempt to foster greater parent collaboration between parents and educators.

Admittedly, I am suspicious of the concept of Parent Trigger, because it’s starting premise is that educator bureaucrats are in full control of a school and that the educators discourage parent involvement. Then, after the “trigger” is activated, the parents are in full control and will be able to run the school in a superior fashion.

Both of these scenarios should be discouraged and are impractical. In order to increase student achievement and parental involvement (These words ring a bell? They’re in the preamble to Amendment #1), a strong collaborative and trusting environment must exist between parents, classroom teachers, and administrators.

Mountain Man

November 5th, 2012
7:09 am

“school reform that better addresses failing schools and adequate state funding. Both go hand-in-hand,”

So why is it that the worst “failing schools” spend the most per student? It is NOT about the amount of money spent, it is about the quality of the student and of the parent – those are the determining factors.

Mountain Man

November 5th, 2012
7:12 am

“teachers are taking the brunt of criticizism for anything that goes wrong in a school.”

I agree, and that is wrong. My belief is that TEACHERS would support the changes I have always blogged about – increased discipline, stricter attendance policies, no social promotion. How many teachers have been told that they cannot fail or retain a student; indeed, some have been told that they cannot give any grade less than a 50, even if zero work is done.

It is the ADMINISTRATORS that need to be all fired!

Concerned DeKalb Mom

November 5th, 2012
7:15 am

I wonder how a “Parent Trigger Law” would play out in DeKalb. I know a lot of the vocal critics of DeKalb come from high performing schools which wouldn’t be impacted by such a law. And the idea of a system-wide trigger law is, while attractive in the abstract, too difficult to implement in reality.

So…curious to see and hear what others from DeKalb have to say about such an idea.

cgregister

November 5th, 2012
7:19 am

Here’s the thing. If the news would quit making such a spectacle out of a something that happens on almost a daily basis in public education, things might get better. Quit trying to run things like this through the whole public eye and getting everyone so riled up. If I understand the news, the person who was “escorted” out was an interm principal and not the principal from last school year. He knew he was only going to be there till the end of October. Why are you all making such a big stink out of it? Okay, it could have been handled a lot better, but the news keeps egging it on and the person who was removed, seems to like to hear his name in the news, so he is aiding the news by filing some kind of “legal” paperwork demanding a hearing. Who cares, get over it. You were already retired.

cgregister

November 5th, 2012
7:22 am

Also, the reason our educational system in GA is in such a mess is because of the “government” both state and federal. They need to talk to the people who are on the front lines (teachers) to see what some of the solutions might be before jumping feet first into the fire and starting an out of control blaze.

concernedmom30329

November 5th, 2012
7:31 am

Concerned DeKalb Mom

I suspect the law could be tweaked any way legislators feel is appropriate. Despite what Errol Davis said, North Atlanta High School isn’t a low performing school.

At tonight’s board meeting, recruited parents will once again be paraded up in front of the Board of Education to talk about how fabulous things are at their schools. Not one of them will mention that schools can’t get basics like toilet paper or paper towels,without jumping through hoops. Not one of them will mentioned the huge school climate issues that many DCSS schools are having in part because Atkinson didn’t bring principals with proven track records in managing urban schools. No one will say that the teachers are overwhelmed, that special education children are being underserved, etc etc etc.
I have a friend who asked to speak tonight and was told that he would have to wait until Noon today to find out if there is a slot. Of course, he wasn’t going to be positive, but be honest.
Does Dr. Atkinson believe that anyone watching believes that all is OK. I know she desperately wants all to be well, not because she is so concerned about education but because she really can’t handle the amount of stuff that educated parents ask her about.

How did she ever get hired for a job she clearly isn’t qualified for?

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
8:03 am

mountain man If you could put down your whirligig and popsicle for me a minute, I’m going to mentor you some. :-) You have some good ideas, some good intuitions, and you have excellent real world personal experience. I accept you into my mentoring program and here, I’ll even award you a fellowship. congratulations.

Now, you’ve got a nice little agenda, a “framework” as they call it. You have your subjects of concern figured out. Good work. But it seems like you are visiting the Wailing Wall, (you know, like this one – http://www.saveyourheritage.com/images/Obama%20Wailing%20Wall.jpg ) with your questions. Well, there is no Santa Claus to give you an answer. What are you planning on doing with all of these non-grade level kids when you remove them from schools? Take them to the bowling alley? Exactly how do you plan on restoring discipline? I used to sometimes wonder if restoring “the paddle” is a good idea. I endured “the paddle” and lived to tell about it, but apparently world wide it is not a good idea, and here in the USA, it seems like many make a kluge of implementing things. I mean, no one even knows how to drive. There’s no driver training required to get a license. People camp out in the left lane on the highway like they’re setting up a lemonade stand and you be bamboozled if you think you’re going around their donkey cart. Anyway, mountain man, if you want to write a tract called Mountain Man’s Education Reform Method, I’ll publish it for you. And let us not forget that even Kurt Vonnegut had little hand drawn diagrams and stuff in his novels.

Hey did you hear the latest initiative? Here’s a press statement from the state DOE. It hasn’t even been put out yet (I have an inside source)

For Immediate Release 7 Nov 2012 – Georgia DOE will be test piloting a new $1.7 million value-centric program to serve all citizens of Georgia to bring opportunity and equality through the purchase of 25 Kia mini-vans that will be driven throughout the state in the left lane of Georgia highways at 50 mph 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. The effect of this exciting innovation will bring opportunity to all Georgians as we “Come Together” and will make opportunity for many of the 4000 displaced Georgia teachers who wish to participate in the “Stroll in the Beautiful State of Georgia” ™. Alternative fuels are being developed at UGA by throwing any and all library books more than five years old and dog-eared textbooks into a big hopper with soybean oil. We at the DOE are looking for donations of retired police cars for administrators to drive in who be cruising the state to make sure the “Stroll in the Park” drivers keep their speed at 50 mph +/- 2%. We are already receiving rave reviews from truckers and Porsche drivers who welcome this relaxed unity and chance to take a “Stroll in the Park.” disclaimer: This initiative would not be possible without the hard work of persons in China and India and we sincerely thank you for making all of the things we use every day.

Atlanta Mom

November 5th, 2012
8:03 am

Rep Lindsey needs to concentrate on getting schools the full funding they are entitled to under Georgia law. Then maybe he would have standing in this game.

ComradeAnon

November 5th, 2012
8:09 am

Wow! Republicans turning to Hollywood for an example of what they want to do. Well, not really Hollywood. More like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that put a couple million into promoting the movie. Which is probably more than the movie made. And Michelle Rhee who was somehow able to show it near the conventions several weeks before it’s theatrical release. The Parent Trigger law allows the union to be busted and the school to become a charter school.
This is all a very planned attack on public schools. Changing the Georgia Constitution to allow Charter Schools. Michelle Rhee. This movie. Parent Trigger bill.

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
8:18 am

“Trigger Law” sounds like farm talk. Here’s another approach, similar intent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3CHmg_iS8o#t=0m28s

Seriously, is there is a different way to phrase this without using gun language? I’ll say this, it is certainly succinct and quickly gets the point across.

sneak peak into education

November 5th, 2012
8:22 am

The residents of Georgia should take a few minutes to research how badly this has gone in California. I know in one school, the paid workers of a for-profit charter went door to door to garner signatures from parents and, by using misleading and vague language, was able to get to the magic 51% they needed. When the parents who had signed heard that it meant their public school was going to be put into the hands of a for-profit charter school, they asked the judge at the hearing to rescind their signatures from the petition-he refused and those parents were left feeling duped by the very same company they were now supposed to trust to run their school. Please remember, that once the trigger law happens, it cannot be undone and the school will forever be in the hands of a for-profit charter system. By the way, I always thought that when a traditional public school failed to meet AYP, they would be put on probation and receive help to bring it up to par. If that didn’t work, the admin and teachers would be replaced. Is that still not the case? The only thing that the charter opponents may not like in this scenario is that they don’t get to push for the segregation of the students they are hoping for.

It seems like there are some in our legislature and the puppets there to do the bidding of ALEC. The parents/teachers/communities need to come together and tell them NO MORE. Start funding our schools as stated by QBE and look for research-based reform that WILL work in our schools. Not these fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants reforms that have never been proven to show that they work

Mountain Man

November 5th, 2012
8:29 am

“What are you planning on doing with all of these non-grade level kids when you remove them from schools? Exactly how do you plan on restoring discipline?”

I think I have blogged this before. A teacher should have the absolute right to have any troublemaker (discipline problem) removed from the classroom. If it is a serious issue, then the student should be assigned to a separate classroom for the remainder of the year (alternative classroom). If it is a less serious issue, then the student’s parent (notice I use the singular) should be contacted and required to come to the school immediately. The student should otherwise be “kept after school” as punishment. The parent has to figure out the transportation. No transportation home = call to police to remove the student from the premises. Repeat offenders are assigned to an alternative school. Under NO circumstances should a discipline problem be returned to a regular classroom (to create disruption) until the matter is completely put to rest. If there are no “alternative classrooms” then the principal’s office should do nicely. Maybe get some use out of those $2000 chairs. I am sure if they had four “discipline problems” in their office, the principals would find a solution – fast.

AnonMom

November 5th, 2012
8:32 am

The legislators think that the “local” control would be best. I know, with certainty, that the current situation (at least in Dekalb) is not working (it’s a disaster and that’s testing it with “kid gloves”). That being said, I have a real tough time processing how our DCSS local high school could be a “charter system” or how the parents could successfully take it over in the way envisioned here. I could definitely see it being a charter school.. that’s different. But some of this requires too much agreement & coordination and that’s not present in my “neck of the woods” as bad as the county really is …

Mountain Man

November 5th, 2012
8:37 am

Private Citizen – I appreciate your offer of “mentorship” and I will gratefully accept any learnings you can spare. Effective, of course.

My thoughts on attendance: How hard is it to enforce attendance??? If a student is late, then keep then an equal amount after school. The parent has to figure out the transportation to get them home. Otherwise, turn them over to the police or DFACS. A couple of times of this and most parents will get their kid up for the bus. Same thing with absenses. If a child misses a day without a valid doctor’s excuse, then require the parent to appear in person to answer for the child’s whereabouts. Repeated absences – enforce the truancy law. Where are our truancy officers? Where are the court cases? If you want to give some parent who complains about not getting up early enough for the bus an alarm clock – fine by me, but that had better be the end of it. I have on occasion had to resort to a second alarm clock 10 feet across the room in order to get up in time – but I always showed up on time. Stop letting excuses get in the way – I was working a second job and was so tired I slept through the alarm clock and junior didn’t get up for the bus, and I don’t have a car, so he just couldn’t go to school that day. Teachers cannot teach an empty desk!!

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
8:40 am

Good idea to look at case studies. In the Harvard video about New Orleans, the key point / conclusion seems to be that state audit oversight is critical. If you do not have effective from-the-state audit / oversight, you really do end up with a propaganda-laden chicken coop on your hands. Here’s a description of what happened with the charterization of New Orleans: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/11/03/new-ajc-analysis-fewer-poor-kids-attend-charter-schools-in-metro-area-does-that-matter-to-you/?cp=all#comment-238532

Looks to me like charterization can provide innovation but the state has to keep an audit-eye on things like conditions for labor (teachers). I suggest the state would do best to not interfere in the teaching operations of charter schools. As a teacher, I do not want the state micromanaging my classroom.

yuzeyurbrane

November 5th, 2012
8:44 am

Obvious push to emasculate and eventually destroy public education. What will replace elected county school boards? Who will set standards? Who will hired? Who will fire? What will parents’ groups do to run schools? Answer: hire for profit companies whose main interest is the bottom line. Or maybe it will be such chaos that Lindsey will next propose vouchers good at both charter and private schools? Folks, think. A revolution (even a right-wing one) is easier to make than actually running something.

Mountain Man

November 5th, 2012
8:45 am

Social Promotion – a perfect example of letting our focus drift from education to “social engineering”. We don’t want poor Johnny to feel bad about being the only 7-year-old in a class of 5-year-olds, so we go ahead and advance him up where he doesn’t belong. So he is lost when the teacher is teaching subject matter beyond his grade level. Then the teacher has to take time from teaching the rest of the class to try to “catch him up”. Lose-lose situation.

My idea (never will be passed) is to test students for grade level at the end of the school year (not 20 days before). Passing students advance to the next grade. Failing students are required to attend a “summer school” – full time through the summer (assuming we still have one). Teachers go to a full-year schedule and are paid more like full-time professionals. Classes in the sumer are low-student-teacher ratio and are intensive to “catch the student up”. At the end of summer school, the student is retested and if he/she fails then, is retained. NO EXCEPTIONS!

By 16 if the student wants to quit – LET THEM. Increase our funding for state prisons.

Ima

November 5th, 2012
8:50 am

I work in the front office at a high school and based on the majority of parents who come in I’d be scared to hand over control of the school to them. We do get some parents who are well informed and reasonable, but that is not the norm. The norm tends to lean more to parents who want the teacher pulled out of teaching a class RIGHT NOW because this is the time they chose to drop by to talk to them unannounced about why my child was disciplined or had their phone taken away. Or, they need their child’s schedule changed because the walk between 2 classrooms is too far, or it gives them a lunch period that is not with their friends. If this is what these parents feel is worth coming in to complain about, I do not want their input in how my child should be educated.

A Conservative Voice

November 5th, 2012
8:52 am

“The trigger law allows parents to take over a failing school and reopen it as an independent charter if they collect signatures from the majority of families”.

Folks, believe me, you don’t want this. You would then have very incompetent administrators being replaced by a group of people (for profit companies) who are least interested and probably less competent to administer a public school. This will completely destroy what’s left of Georgia’s already failing public school system. We need to tell the USDOE to keep “our” money that comes back to us with all kinds of regulations and tell the State of Georgia to do the same thing and turn all our school systems back to local control, without the regulations that the USDOE hangs around our neck, so the people will have the power to do what needs to be done and educate our children the way they should be educated. This “one size fits all” approach is not working, has never worked and will never work.

You new folks who have come along have taken a very, very good public school system and have just about destroyed it. You should be so proud.

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
8:59 am

mountain man to be perfectly honest, you and I are of the same ilk- lots of ideas. The mighty Maureen has suggested than many here should be writing education reform books. She’s right. I might mention that in France (broken record, yes, I know) they read about 20x as many books as in the US. It is a much greater part of culture than TV, commercial media etc. Consider this idea as a little more “normalized.” It is the time-honored tradition of how things get accomplished, if you’re serious about your assertions, and I believe you are. By the way, there is a young man I mentored who went and wrote a pretty solid collection of poetry. Now, I need to figure out a way to work with him and distribute it. Believe me, he has little opportunity otherwise. He’s one of these guys who was havin’ fun kickin’ butt through high school and didn’t even get a diploma or GED. His idea of a good day was a day when there was a fight at the school. Anyway, with the internet, there are a lot of people doing self-publishing now and it is more legitimate than is past times. Music composer Philip Glass said that this is the way music distribution would go. I heard him in person tell of this. So think of forming / organizing your thoughts. Plus, you leave a legacy for your family. Which reminds me, my mom wrote a book on stock market investing. This was a minor part of her work, as her main work was mathematician. Come to think of it, I need to republish it. Yar, so make some notes and we’ll meet up sometime (?) at the big tea party in the sky when the day comes. I drive I-75/85 often, I’m sure I could hit your house with a sling shot. Plus, there’s a really cool liquor store in Macon, I mean “Denny’s”… I mean Dahlonega, I mean Valdosta… hey, did I tell you about a guy who used to be my boss in my little university student job and he had a cabin he had built in the beautiful and secluded North Georgia mountains? He said there were a bunch of roads now and a McDonald’s and stuff.

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
9:03 am

A Conservative Voice They might be billionaires, but the Koch brothers know how to run a paper mill. Who says they don’t know how to run a school system?

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
9:10 am

Good point Ima. Thank you for the report from the field. First-person source, as they say. Invaluable. This initiative might be productive where you have business manager or executive parents – and Atlanta certainly has this in some areas – who have decided that where is they is live is that they’re no going anywhere. You’re right, struggling parents with lots of “I want it now” demands would not perspective to govern. As a teacher, thank you so much for managing these parents from the front office. It is invaluable for everyone involved.

Top School

November 5th, 2012
9:19 am

APS North Atlanta already has a trigger on the students they value at their school.

Those students are flagged at the middle school level (Sutton) and separated into learning groups triggering the focus of their educational needs student by student. The PARENTS at Northside APS have been INVOLVED in the underground system of creating a “class system” to segregate their children in the schools in Northside APS long before Beverly Hall. Under the HALL administration the parents of these Northside schools could manipulate the Principals and downtown administration with their political strong arm if their child did not receive grades like they expected.

Northside APS serves the leftover students that can’t get into the private schools in the neighborhood.

Parents in this community do not “participate” any more in their child’s education anymore than those at lower performing schools. They just have the means to hire tutors or provide “other” services like after school care to give their children extra help.

ONLY an HANDFUL of parents actually volunteer at the Northside APS schools. These parents are the insiders and know who to talk to if something needs to becomes askew and needs addressed. The majority of AFFLUENT parents in this community are too busy to volunteer at their child’s school or get involved.

AFFLUENT children come to school…mostly smart…due to the environment they were exposed to prior to attending school. They come READY to learn in a structured environment. OFTEN TIMES CRAVING FOR SOME STRUCTURE…SINCE THEY HAVE NOT HAD ANY AT HOME. In some of the most elite families …often times, a nanny has raised the child in the early stages.

The TRIGGER is this…if everyone wants to send their child to THE BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL…a VOUCHER SYSTEM…or whatever…THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM.

Why not look for qualified ADMINISTRATORS that model the best skills to lead their schools.
AND I don’t mean ADMINISTRATORS that are at high preforming (scoring) schools.

The administrator in these HIGH PERFORMING NORTHSIDE APS institutions do not have to do much. There faculty is not necessarily above average. From experience I can tell you an APS Principal at these higher performing school rates a teacher after she’s sat back to waited to see how many complaining parents knock on her office door. If the teacher has few complaints and can “hold the fort” a teacher is consider highly effective.

A serious INVOLVED ADMINISTRATOR is not a figure head that manipulates test scores, student/ teacher attendance, and negotiates with a weakened faculty to change report card/ grades to appease complaining parents.

I believe an involved ADMINISTRATOR would be found in a lower achieving school…an average environment where children of all backgrounds are challenged and held accountable for their ACTUAL GRADES. An environment where parents are NOT SO involved… for “OTHER” reasons.

The true illusion of SUCCESS at APS Northside schools…the children come ready…and when the appropriate environment is provided…the learning starts to take place no matter the teacher.

The children in APS NORTHSIDE can survive and can STILL SUCCEED on standardized tests in a POOR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. Believe me…PARENTS in these
APS NORTHSIDE schools will tell you which teachers are POOR and noneffective.

The problem is…the POOR NONEFFECTIVE teachers …are given the students of PARENTS that don’t know the difference. These parents are just happy their child attends the school… believing learning takes place by osmosis.(which it does)

Administrators at NORTHSIDE APS institutions are considered SUPERIOR and EFFECTIVE…only if they are able to juggle the PARENTS who insist their children are given the TOP TEACHERS on staff. Those TOP TEACHERS are considered effective if they too, join in with the manipulation of test scores/ report card grades of the under performing high achieving students of the affluent and connected parents.

Teachers at these APS NORTHSIDE SCHOOLS are ranked according to the PARENTS…
(those manipulating what they want by any means)

The Principal VALUES the accommodating teachers that keep the APS Northside PARENTS from rocking the boat.

If a teacher at a APS NORTHSIDE school does not understand the politics …and does not play the PRINCIPAL’S game…they are given the “appropriate” children with mediocre parents that stay out the unethical manipulation of their child’s education.

APS should model their APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION on their schools that have administrators that are actually involved in producing an environment where ALL CHILDREN ARE receiving adequate opportunities to achieve without manipulating parents that have a strong arm with the PRINCIPAL.

Basically…these Northside APS Principals have an easier job when it comes to involvement in the actual education of the students.

The quality APS ADMINISTRATORS truly INVOLVED …and actually CARING about the schools they have been assigned…know which PRINCIPALS are sitting on a throne and holding court to the parents.

It appears…like others… MyGrant was sitting on the APS NORTHSIDE THRONE. ( KING OF STUDENT NORTHSIDE MANIPULATION)

How quickly the APS NORTHISIDE PARENTS have flip flopped their loyalty to a new leader once MyGrant was dethroned!

The “QUALITY” DOWNTOWN APS ADMINISTRATORS know which APS Principals are doing the actual work involved in providing a substantial appropriate education to ALL students.
They know the difference between “holding court”…and creating an environment where learning is achievable by ALL without manipulating the results.

The TRIGGER…APS NORTHSIDE involved PARENTS already hold a gun to the PRINCIPAL’S HEAD.

They already have greater control over their children’s education and manipulate the APS Northside school’s faculty and the downtown administrators with a flexible strong arm in their attempts to improve their child’s achievement by any means.

The INVOLVED NORTHSIDE PTA PARENTS have the TRIGGER cocked…THEY are READY to SHOW the new APS Northside High School WHO is in charge of this dog and pony show.

If he does not do what they want…they will ban together to TAKE OVER the school.

I am sure they will ATTEMPT the same rhetoric with the WHITE HOUSE after the election is OVER, too.

The TRIGGER is cocked and ready…

Top School

November 5th, 2012
9:24 am

I think my post is trapped in a net somewhere…

shaking my head

November 5th, 2012
9:29 am

@pride and joy please re-read it’s not about a power play…it’s about taking over a failing school and unfortunately NAHS has been failing for the last 5-6 years, so you would have expected a push for this based on that failure and not because some parents are upset because they were not included on an administrative decision

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
9:35 am

mountain man “social promotion” has been a purely practical matter. Dr’ Henson’s charter school is one effort to address this. It is an interesting idea, to differentiate chronologic age and learning / grade level. This would also put identity and responsibility on the learner instead of playing make believe and moving the students through the grades as a way of housing them during the daylight hours, which is a large role of the school systems. An education professor said, “Used to be kids who didn’t fit in went to work on the farm. Well, the farm is gone.” So, if you’re going to cull 20,000 kids from a school system, you better have a place or way to educate them. You’ve suggest parallel alternative schools or remediation environments for kids behind grade level. This was sort of the effect of the “performance academies” in the government schools, but the equality crowd set out to destroy them, like what happened recently at NAHS with the karate chop to the IB program complete with lower performing students chanting, “Yeah! Go get ‘em!” like a mob, so to speak. Maybe there is some wisdom that putting savant kids and regular kids under one roof is not a good idea. The savant kids have to walk around on egg shells, and the regular kids get pouty about not meeting the requirements to get into the advanced program. For some reason, it seems like in history now, maybe due so much digital organization or something, the idea of everybody under one roof, well clearly it has fallen to the sharpened axe of identity politics. So now the high performers have no choice but to fight back. It really is that clear. Here, I have a short answer for you, mountain man, take all of the out of grade level kids and send them to Dr. Monica’s remediation academy where they can do meaningful work at their appropriate level of where they are at. Okay. Done. Fixed. One thing I might mention to you is that a lot of the things you prescribe are being done. You haven’t walked the walk and done all of this, so you do not know the results. I assure you that a lot of genuinely caring schools and districts have done the many things you prescribe. Some of this is more difficult than you might thing when the phone numbers are out of minutes and the jails are full. Imagine spending an entire week of your time trying to remedy a case for just one student, sending a car over to their house, their whole bit. Guess what, no one lives at the listed address. There is a lot to it. Just the part about having current telephone numbers and addresses is practically impossible in some places. It makes more sense to have things that the families and students want to be involved in. As I have before hinted, we have some pretty severe social wellness things going on in this state. It is difficult to include in these weblog post repsonses, but at the same time it is deterministic of a lot of the niche topics being discussed. I suggest Mr. Lindsey immediately start reading OECD reports on systems of health care delivery of services, how it is done, so to speak. Another thing is, I don’t like playing doctor or referrer at the school house. It would be better if there was a doctor outside of the school house. One with a medical clinic. You know- like in the rest of the civilized world. Some places take this seriously and realize it is related to prosperity. Georgia is still on the plantation system.

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
9:37 am

I can’t seem to close a “bold” html tag today.

Amazed

November 5th, 2012
9:47 am

Never let a crisis go bye without taking full advantage of the situation. The issue at NAHS has little to do with parental involvement. It has to do with some personel decisions made for a variety of reasons that has unfortunately negatively affected APS and it’s student population, again. So now, Rep. Lindsey is going to push for a bill that casts a statewide net because of a local issue in his district. What a manufactured crisis! He is no better than the natinal polotcians who use tha same playbook to push ideological legislation that most folks in their local communituies don’t want. You wonder why folks outside Atlanta despise downtown politics. Rep. Lindsey apply your own solution for your own local problem don’t pull everyone else into your dysfunctional Atlanta political enviornment.

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
9:52 am

Ima you are really getting me today. The reason we “take the phone away” is because we follow the law. Now, I am the one who has “taken the phone away” when for the second time the student has the phone out and on and in their hands under their desk. So the parents comes to the school and raises all kinds of trouble look all official and desperate and stuff. So then months later the principal puts the bad vibe on me for “not getting along with parents” or somesuch. I tell you what, if I never see any one of these squishy politically-based principals in my life, that will be just fine with me.

Allow me to comment that, upon reflection, the two principals I actually liked and respected and enjoyed working for, both of them were run off by the administration crooks who insist on keeping their own type in place, the ones who walk around like twinkle-toes up-to-something. I’m not overstating it either.

CJae of EAV

November 5th, 2012
9:57 am

While I have generally support the concept of parental choice within the sphere of public education, I do not support the idea of establishing a so-called “Parent Trigger Law”. My rational is quite simple, the essence of the proposed legislation already exists in the form of the current Charter School laws already on the books. Such an effort by Rep Lindsey and other supports would be a huge waste of time and big distraction to the true work at hand on the public education front.

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
10:01 am

Amazedpeople outside of Atlanta could care less about “downtown politics.” Arbitrary rule over schools and corrupted government school management is widespread across the state. And in case you haven’t noticed, Georgia is really like two states. The AJC stops reporting at the dotted line that is Macon. And below Macon they sure could care less about anything north of there. Georgia is a deceptively big state. You should drive it some time. Ask people about “Atlanta” and they’ll look at you like you said “Utah.”

Out in Texas they have a joke about someone trying to buy tickets for the Olympics in Atlanta and the sales person on the telephone telling them, “New Mexico, Old Mexico, we don’t sell tickets outside of the United States.”

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
10:06 am

I think Representative Lindsey is doing something good here and it makes perfect sense that local properties owners who are paying their earned money for their local school should want to take an interest that the school is in good shape. Good work and “thank you” is what I think.

A Conservative Voice

November 5th, 2012
10:10 am

@Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
9:03 am

A Conservative Voice They might be billionaires, but the Koch brothers know how to run a paper mill. Who says they don’t know how to run a school system?

And, on the other hand, Private Citizen, who is to say “they do”? And, you know what else?…….you’re extremely “long winded”, a “Blowhard” if you please……you have your opinion, I, and others have theirs…….who’s to say whose are correct?…..your’s????? Hmmmmm…….

Private Citizen

November 5th, 2012
10:11 am

Corrupted administrators – Half their job is running the school, and the other half of their job is managing their political contacts and making sure they get their $100k salary and can hang on until they get their retirement met. And you can guess when it comes down to brass tacks or situational issues, which half is going to be the priority – every time.

Mountain Man

November 5th, 2012
10:13 am

“So then months later the principal puts the bad vibe on me for “not getting along with parents” or somesuch.”

A clear case of ADMINISTRATION not supporting their teachers. When the teacher is clearly in the right (taking away a cell phone is pretty clear), then the administrators should back the teacher to kingdom come. This is a failure of the DISCIPLINE system. Another failure of ADMINISTRATION. What should be done is that every phone confiscated should be forwarded to the principal’s office to examine and determine if any texts were sent/answered during class time. The parent should have to come to school to get a lesson in following the rules and asked whether they will see to it that it does not happen again. Second time gets the phone confiscated until the end of the year.