Archive for the ‘Vouchers’ Category

State school chief endorses private school voucher proponent

School chief John Barge endorsed one of the state's leading voucher proponents, which will likely surprise a few folks.

School chief John Barge endorsed one of the state's leading voucher proponents, which will likely surprise a few folks.

“Politics,” as editor Charles Dudley Warner said, “makes strange bedfellows.” Here is proof.

This endorsement blurb from state School Superintendent John Barge can be found on the campaign website of state Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, a leader in the effort to expand private school voucher programs in Georgia.

I asked DOE if Barge had endorsed Rogers and received a single word reply: “Yes.” However, a few minutes later, DOE sent me this statement from Barge explaining his endorsement.

Here is what you will find on the Chip Rogers site:

“Senator Rogers is a true conservative leader, committed to education reform. Our paths to reform may sometimes differ, but our goal is the same; giving Georgia’s students a chance for a world-class education. I offer my full support for Senator Rogers and look forward to continuing our work together making Georgia the best …

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UGA prof: The real educational crisis is manufactured educational crises

UGA professor Peter Smagorinsky has penned another provocative essay for us to discuss on whether all the laments about the state of education have an underlying purpose: To further profits and agendas.

By Peter Smagorinsky

I recently read a document about the need to improve high school writing instruction so as to prepare students better for the expectations that await them in college. Like just about every story written about education these days, the paper opened with the rhetoric of crisis. The argument goes like this: High school teachers aren’t doing their jobs well, because 32 percent of all high school graduates, according to some studies, are performing on writing tests at rates that do not meet the standards for quality writing at the college level. We therefore need to intervene to improve this horrid rate of success, so that kids can better compete in this global economy.

From there, the authors took their own direction. To them, what we need is more university …

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No Child Left Behind: A conspiracy against public education that too few called out

Jim Arnold (Pelham City Schools)

Jim Arnold (Pelham City Schools)

A while back, I ran a piece from Jim Arnold, superintendent of Pelham City Schools in Mitchell County. Several of you commented that you wished you worked for such a straight-talking school chief.

I think that sentiment is going to be even stronger after this piece, which I plan to run on the Monday education page that I assemble for the AJC. But I can’t fit all of it in the newspaper, so here is the full version.

By Jim Arnold

We’ve done it now. Eleven years we had to educate the public, to register our protests and do everything in our power to warn people what was coming, and we blew it. We knew the moment would eventually come and we hem-hawed, looked at the ground, kicked at the dirt with our shoes and failed to look the opposition in the eye and face them down. All of us saw this coming, but very few took a stand and now we – and our students – are paying the price. We could have been prophets but failed the test.

We allowed the …

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Indiana: Vouchers and warnings to parents about ineffective teachers

In an update to a story that we have discussed on the blog, Indiana passed the nation’s broadest voucher bill this week. It also passed a teacher merit pay bill that seems designed to create discontent among teachers and parents.

Part of  Gov. Mitch Daniels’ education reform package, the voucher bill gives tax dollars to parents who want to send their children to private schools. The bill is not limited to low-income families or those whose children attend low-performing schools.

In a media statement thanking state legislators, Gov. Daniels said, “Their political courage and their commitment to a great education for every single child deserve the thanks not just of parents but of every citizen; Indiana has a far brighter future because of them.”

Critics maintain that the changes will  drain funds from already struggling public schools in Indiana, which, like most states, has been cutting funding over the last few years. (This year, Indiana restored some funding, which …

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