Barge gets it wrong by opposing charter-schools amendment

Few people claim to be a true conservative by complaining about preventing judicial activism and saving money. But state schools superintendent John Barge tried it last week.

On Tuesday, Barge proclaimed his opposition to a constitutional amendment that would ensure the state’s authority to create charter schools. Barge cited three key factors: his support for local control, his desire to limit government, and the $430 million he said the amendment would cost the state over five years.

But Barge left out a few things.

I won’t spend much time on local control. As I’ve explained before, no control is more local than that wielded by parents and students, who would be empowered by this amendment. To fret over whether the state or a local school board grants them that power is to focus on the wrong question.

Barge’s reference to limited government concerns the state charter schools commission which the amendment would re-establish, reversing a 2011 state Supreme Court ruling. Here again, Barge misses the point.

A commission might seem duplicative given that the court’s ruling did not block the state school board from creating charter schools. But as the majority opinion notes, the court did not address the school board’s authority because it wasn’t asked to do so. The ruling does make clear, though, that a majority of the justices believe the Constitution gives the power to create schools almost exclusively to local school boards. The exceptions are special state schools serving, for example, the deaf or blind.

Given the ruling’s sweeping language, the only thing preventing the court from striking down the state school board’s chartering authority is another lawsuit. And if that lawsuit succeeded, we would be right back where we are today — if, and only if, the Legislature could summon another two-thirds majority to put the amendment back on the ballot. That was no small feat this year.

After the court’s ruling, the state school board continued to award charters, and Gov. Nathan Deal and legislators added money for those schools to bring them closer to the funding traditional public schools get, thanks to their local tax bases. The money comes from a different pot than that used for traditional school funding. Now Barge argues that “extra” money for future charter schools, $430 million between now 2018 by his count, should be used to restore budget cuts.

Here’s what he didn’t say. First, the supplemental spending for charters this year, about $33 million, amounts to just 2.9 percent of this year’s education shortfall, less than $20 per student.

Second, despite the cuts, state education spending per pupil has increased by 10 percent since 2003. No windfall, but hardly brutal austerity.

Most damning of all, though, is that local systems stand to save money that far exceeds that “extra” spending by the state.

This year, that state supplement of $33 million covers almost 16,000 students at state-chartered schools. But the average local school system in Georgia spent almost $3,700 per student in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available.

At 16,000 students, that comes out to local savings of about $58.6 million. Not a bad trade. At that rate, local systems would save about $750 million over five years.

Parental control, legal certainty and more savings. I call that a conservative solution.

– Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

295 comments Add your comment

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
6:14 pm

There should be no need for a supplement for charter schools. The schools that lose students should lose funding proportional to the loss of students. Why continue to spend the same amount of dollars on a school with fewer students than before?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
6:19 pm

Does the proposed amendment truly give parents the authority to set up chartered schools?

If not, I would oppose it. If you really believe that putting control closest to parents is the best way to go, and the parents aren’t getting that control and it’s going to a state board instead, then it would be preferable to leave the control at the county level.

Hillbilly D

August 17th, 2012
6:29 pm

I don’t really have a strong opinion one way or the other on charter schools but I believe in local control, so I’m ag’in the amendment.

It also sounds like a good way for somebody’s buddy to make some money, with state help. We’ve seen enough of that.

schoolme

August 17th, 2012
6:33 pm

Another “shift the burden” of funds. Unless I missed it, there may be a voucher for charters. Parents would find themselves shouldering more. So, we have more money off the state books and onto the tax payers. And, where is the support for the ailing state educational system without adequate funding from the tax base after the shifting of funds.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
6:34 pm

Bad schools destroy whole neighborhoods while choice does no harm, how could you be agin it?

MakeItWhiter

August 17th, 2012
6:39 pm

Parents who want charter schools think charter schools will somehow shield their white children from mixing and mingling with blacks, hispanics and any other undesirables. They won’t admit this but this is the ultimate movitation for charter schools for these “caring’ parents. “Charter” is code for “let’s make the schools a lot less diverse”. A sprinking of upper crust black and hispanic students is ok, just not too many.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
6:39 pm

I don’t know about your fourth paragraph one way or the other; but, this issue seems to me to be exactly about a matter of control. There are folks and companies that aren’t happy that the local folks are opposed, right or wrong, to their proposal for a charter school. They went the state route and got shot down by the court. This proposal gives them another shot at doing what locals don’t want done. Explain again why I should be on board with that. It’s bad when Bad Obama does it to the States. Why isn’t it bad when Bad Deal does it to the Counties?

Hillbilly D

August 17th, 2012
6:41 pm

I Report

They can already have locally controlled charter schools, if they choose, as I understand it. Why get the state involved?

@@

August 17th, 2012
6:44 pm

This is a tough one for me. It was Clayton County’s citizens who elected the school board members that caused our schools to lose accreditation.

In my county, it would probably be better to give the state control.

We’re a dysfunctional county.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
6:46 pm

And, what MakeitWhiter said. There is an element of folks that have wanted to “charter” to create a “public” but exclusive school with public money and have been shot down. This proposal would give them a better shot with the “less diverse” folks at the state level.

Erwin's cat

August 17th, 2012
6:47 pm

is the blog open for the weekend?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
6:48 pm

D – To remove the motivation and money issues. Laziness and poverty are why kids is stoopid to begin with.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
6:57 pm

I Report, I’m the only “D” in the thread. I’m an old white guy that grew up poor and I’ll admit to a bit of lazy, but I get by. Are you equating poor and lazy to minorities? So it’s okay to cut them out, they’ll mess up no matter how much money you throw at their worthless butts?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
7:00 pm

Didn’t I say remove lazy and poor from the equation?

What is this race baiting garbage, can no one think anymore?

td

August 17th, 2012
7:02 pm

Kyle,

I totally disagree with you on this issue. Let us get some facts straight, Dr. Barge is not in opposition of Charter schools.

1: Where has it ever been a conservative or tea party value to take away Education decision making authority away from the local community and give it to an unaccountable, unelected commission?

2: You know as well as anyone else that the entity that controls the money controls the game. What happens when this local parents want to set up a curriculum that is in opposition to the sitting commission? Will the parents win the battle or will the unelected commission?

3: Where is this “another pot” of money going to come from? Are we going to raise taxes? If we agree that we are not going to raise taxes then the next biggest pot of money to pull from is the Education budget. Is it not true that while all other state budgets (including the DOE budget) was being cut that the legislature found money for the original Charter school commission? Since our budget has to be balanced and we did not raise any taxes then how many furlough days did this original commission cost our children?

I am all for parental choice in Education but this is not true choice and I smell a rat for Ed Lindsey to come out so forcefully to Dr Barges opposition.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
7:03 pm

No, I Report, you “removed” “motivation and money issues.” Poor and lazy are still in play. So black folks and poor white folks are their own worst enemies and don’t deserve a decent school system. Come on, spit out what you want to say.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
7:10 pm

Let’s start from the beginning, Dave. It takes effort to better ones self and money to provide the necessary tools for this betterment. Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas made the effort as did Paul Ryan. obozo, on the other hand, drifted through life in search of his next entitlement, and was a total failure in each and every one of them. Do you consider Chicago to be “organized?”

Is that what you was wanting to hear?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
7:13 pm

If you are wowed by obozo’s abilities the you really should consider a charter school for your next generation.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
7:14 pm

I was laughing so hard I forgot my n.

geez

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
7:14 pm

Parents who want charter schools think charter schools will somehow shield their white children from mixing and mingling with blacks, hispanics and any other undesirables.

Would you like to address this lying piece of inane stupidity Kyle or should I?

What the heck I’ll do it anyway. To the contrary, it is not the proverbial so called “white” children that benefit the most from school choice.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right

August 17th, 2012
7:15 pm

I find that people who complain about bigotry (like makeitwhiter) are actually the biggest bigots on the planet.

ktbl

August 17th, 2012
7:18 pm

Over all of our opinions…..I am asking our Mayors, Governor, Cities Councilmen/women what is wrong with our state and the people we have elected to serve us…the people. We are being pounded with taxes, and with that comes more deceits by those who have been elected to serve us. Murders, trash in our cities, byways and highway and main interstates where we travel; slums, vacant buildings, homes, strip-malls, children needs food, education, people needs work, we have not close the gap among the have(s) and the have(s); we have demonstrated poorly leadership and mostly, we have shown that we don’t care about one and other but we have said we want you all to pay more so we can continue to cheat, steal and deceive all of you of your money as we make promises we don’t intend to keep. That is what I have read and what I have seen and to me, this whole thing about our state government don’t sit right at all! TSPLOST was not about untie anything; it was about the New Dome with upscale shopping venture with hotels, indoor parking decks with condo-like seating boxes for the rich and more money for the “beltline”, street-cars or for anything else they want to use the 7 or 17 billions over the 10 or 20 years without telling us anything until after they have either build or start to build whatever projects they deemed necessary. We was about to shoot ourselves in the foot and then there were noone who was willing to stop the bleeding! I want all of the Mayors, Governor, Counties Commissioners to resign on the lies they have told us as voters. They advertised to deceive us into thinking that TSPLOST was going to untile all of this traffic….in every counties mentioned or far out, in fact, it was about to make more of a traffic mess, worse than what it is now! TSPLOST was about making us all pay more for the benefit of the people and businesses to gain while we foot the bill. Remember………the Governor said funding that was my key, funding mean for a long, long period of time until the tax payers pay for those project they have already put on the table to begun. It has nothing to do with us voting to unclog anything such as traffic. Traffic…will remain traffic!

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
7:18 pm

MakeItWhiter: Parents who want charter schools think charter schools will somehow shield their white children
————————

What a surprise–a liberal making a race-based attack.

MakeItWhiter: Racist.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
7:19 pm

Agreed Tiberius.

CharterStarter,Too

August 17th, 2012
7:20 pm

@ Kyle, YES! You hit it square on the head!

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
7:21 pm

Dave: And, what MakeitWhiter said.
———————-

Hmm…are non-white children eligible to attend charter schools?

Too bad Kyle doesn’t ban racists like Dave and MakeItWhiter. Their presence here disgusts Real Americans.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
7:25 pm

Now who is it that really loses under school choice? Teacher union members, particularly members of the democrat party, the NEA and the bureaucracy controlling the government education monopoly.

MakeItWhiter

August 17th, 2012
7:29 pm

Wow. I think I touched a hot nerve in some of you. Maybe hit your conscience also? Good for you.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
7:31 pm

No, MakeItWhiter, you’re just an idiot.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
7:36 pm

Read this, racist idiots MakeItWhiter and Dave:
———————-

“We are concerned about the overrepresentation of charter schools in low-income and predominantly minority communities,” wrote the NAACP, the National Action Network, the National Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and others in a statement last year.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204485304576643461600325694.html

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right

August 17th, 2012
7:36 pm

I have no respect for ignorant race-baiters such as you, makeitwhiter. The difference is that I don’t give a rat’s behind what color you are as long as you pull your own weight.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
7:40 pm

Lil’ Barry and the other guy (it isn’t worth scrolling up for his name) call me an idiot. Please, please? It makes for such good discourse. You might not agree with me but, talk would you? Why not? Convince me that I just have made some wrong decisions in life. These threads always amaze me. I though because I got in early on that it might be about what Kyle wrote. Rather, it’s about the commenters’ prejudices (I suppose mine included). Enjoy the weekend folks.

dabir dalton

August 17th, 2012
7:41 pm

To put it bluntly Kyle the money spent by the state on charter (private) schools is WELFARE FOR CONSERVATIVES. If you want to send your kids to a private school then by all means do so…Just don’t ask me to sit idly by while the conservative politicians you support steal food out of the mouths of my family to pay for it. Be a REAL MAN and TRUE to your stated PRINCIPLES and pay for it yourself.

Mary Elizabeth

August 17th, 2012
7:42 pm

Two points: (1) The charter movement is a growing phenomenon, so even if there have been only relative few charter schools to be concerned about supplanting traditional public schools presently, the real possibility for even greater momentum in this direction lies on the horizon through political means. (2) There is only so much taxpayers’ money to go around, divide it how you wish. Too much financial resource taken from traditional public schools for charter schools will weaken traditional public schools – which are charged with educating ALL of the children of the state. That is why local Boards of Education should be the overseers of this balance between charters in their districts and traditional public schools in their districts.

I want to go on record as saying that I am not against public charter schools and that I believe that working through local Boards of Education, public charter schools might complement rather than dismantle traditional public schools. Furthermore, there is no need for this amendment to Georgia’s Constitution, as there already exists by law a means of appeal to parents regarding establishing charter schools to the state’s Board of Education via the Superintendent of Schools.

I posted the following on Maureen Downey’s blog earlier today:

“The primary reason for the ‘vitriol’ around this issue is because it is political in nature – more than educational. The amendment to Georgia’s Constitution has national impact.

Those political forces who do wield national impact are looking at what will happen to this amendment to Georgia’s Constitution in November. Those politicians in Georgia who refuse to state what I have written as political reality are playing a surface game of educational and political reality with Georgia’s citizens – by using Republican ‘educational talking points.’ They have underestimated Georgia’s citizens and their commitment to improving traditional public education for ALL of Georgia’s school children – and it will not happen simply through charter schools. When Rep. Lindsey mentioned the words ‘education novice’ in order to berate Dr. Barge, he unwittingly also disparaged Georgia’s citizens who follow educational and political issues and are far from being “education novices” as to what is really occurring in this matter.

I was in attendance at the House Education Committee meeting in which Rep. Jan Jones (a member of ALEC) spoke in behalf of this Constitutional Amendment. She co-sponsored it along with Rep. Edward Lindsey (also member of ALEC). After citizens spoke for and against this amendment, a leading member of that committee said, ‘We are going to pass this (HR 1162) bill.’ That translated to me to signal that the House Education Committee had already predetermined its own agenda regarding HR 1162, irrespective of the public’s voice, and what it was going to do regarding this Constitutional amendment.

Here is a list of Georgia’s politicians with ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose agenda is to dismantle traditional public schools and use public tax dollars for the implementation of ‘public’ charter schools throughout the nation.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Georgia_ALEC_Politicians

This educational issue would never have this type of heavy-handed conflict unless it had national repercussions, politically. Readers should be aware of this fact. I would think that that fact, alone, would make citizens wary of voting for a Constitutional Amendment in November that is so political in nature – especially since there is already a means for citizens to appeal a local decision regarding disapproval of a charter school to the state Department of Education’s Superintendent of Schools. Again, this is not about education. It is about political power.

If Georgia’s Legislature spends almost a decade undercutting financially traditional public education, how can one expect traditional public education to improve? The main answer is not simply ‘public’ charter schools; the primary answer is for Georgia’s Legislature to start funding traditional public education with more commitment in the future.

In my opinion, Dr. Barge is being a true public servant and not a politician in this matter – and they evidently are hard to come by. The public should also take notice of that fact and compliment him for exercising his conscience even as political ‘darts’ are thrown his way, publicly. Abraham Lincoln had had a change of opinion, also, because of his conscience, and his deepening moral consciousness resulted in a better America.”

Good evening to all.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
7:43 pm

Charter schools aren’t private, dabir, so your entire post is ignorant garbage.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
7:43 pm

Oh hell, what dabir dalton said too. I’ll hang out for awhile for the flack.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
7:46 pm

Enjoy the weekend folks

Oh we will and hopefully one that brings a better informed group of people with reality based facts not lies that have been repudiated so many times on this blog, on this very subject by Kyle, myself and others it should, by now, serve as judicial notice in any court of this country.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 17th, 2012
7:46 pm

Why shouldn’t traditional public schools that lose students to charters also lose funding?

Continuing to spend the same amount to staff a school with fewer students is just plain dumb, and an argument made mostly by folks who haven’t mastered simple economics and math…like those educated in traditional public schools.

@@

August 17th, 2012
7:51 pm

Where are all the white people in this newscast?

MakeItWhiter needs to acknowledge that many black parents are deserving of something better for THEIR children. They, themselves, are saying as much.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
7:51 pm

Mike, yo! Michael H. Smith, there was that one moment a few months back when we went back and forth about something and agreed a bit, even Kyle weighed in and commented on it! What happened? Bad night, week, month? Why don’t you folks want to have a conversation? Why is it all invective?

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
7:53 pm

dabir dalton

To put more honestly 1) why should I let socialist liberals keep my tax dollars from being better spent to give any child better education, though it has been demonstrated to benefit the very children socialist liberals claim need help the most and who often are depraved of better schools due to geography 2) Make everything I want to destroy politically stronger Et al the NEA, the government education monopoly, government worker unions and the democrat party?

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
7:56 pm

Dave

Pal if you agree with that ethnocentric nut-job and his BS on charter schools I’d say we are a world apart. My day week months moment whatever else are just fine and my position on the issues including this one have only become stronger.

Dave

August 17th, 2012
8:04 pm

So Mike no more discussion, just like the rest of the country, we bunker into our prejudices and hope for the best. Sad.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
8:09 pm

Too bad Logic isn’t here, I’m sure he’d play with the race baiter.

Kyle, could you unleash our boy, just for one evening?

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:15 pm

Excuse yourself Dave, didn’t you say you were leaving and rather angrily as I recall?

When it is so common knowledge that the public schools education monopoly in this country fails blacks and mestizos at a far higher rate than whites and yellows and then you rush to defend it by agree with a ethnocentric nut-job?

Nah Dave, that is what you’d call sad.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right

August 17th, 2012
8:22 pm

Dave, the amount of money being used for charter schools doesn’t begin to cover the cost someone pays in local school taxes.

No welfare at all.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:24 pm

Why did European kids call American kids “STUPID”, John Stossel?

Dare anyone with even half an open mind to read and watch John Stossel’s coverage on school choice.

The truth will make you mad before it sets you free.

Beverly Fraud

August 17th, 2012
8:25 pm

What proponents can’t say:

Yes we want to circumvent local control (even if it goes against our grain) because we are tired of our WILLFULLY IGNORANT peers voting in totally dysfunctional boards. And we are MORE than sick of ethically challenged boards such as APS turning a blind eye to cheating and having a FSQ (failed status quo) call them AWARD WINNING, for God’s sake!

Yes it does circumvent local control, ’cause some locals you just can’t fix…not unlike stupid.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:28 pm

Tiberius

The public funding of education K-12 is an investment. As with any investment that I’ve ever involved myself in or with, I always want the very highest and best rate of return on my money. Education is no different.

Welfare, as we know it or as obama wants to have it is unwise charity, plain and simple.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:31 pm

Yes it does circumvent local control

I totally agree with Kyle on so-called local control: Nothing can be more local than the control of a child’s parents.

Beverly Fraud

August 17th, 2012
8:34 pm

Yes it does circumvent local control

I totally agree with Kyle on so-called local control: Nothing can be more local than the control of a child’s parents.

Well @Michael and Kyle that IS a nicer way of putting it than “my WILLFULLY IGNORANT neighbors continue to re-elect totally dysfunctional school boards”

G Mare

August 17th, 2012
8:43 pm

Well said, Mary Elizabeth. I agree with you. I will be voting NO on this.

See, Dave, you are not alone here, badly outnumbered but not alone.

@@

August 17th, 2012
8:44 pm

Is Beverly talking to me?

Victor Hill made me do it.

schnirt

Mr_B

August 17th, 2012
8:46 pm

“It also sounds like a good way for somebody’s buddy to make some money, with state help. We’ve seen enough of that.”

Exactly. And BTW Kyle, $20. ? student would make an annual difference of about 13K a year at my small rural high school. That’s a copy machine that works more than 1/3 of the time, or about 400 or so instructional DVDs that last for years or about a million other things that we don’t have the money for right now.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:46 pm

totally dysfunctional school boards

One of the reasons I like giving parents the liberty and power of school choice and providing them with the public funding to pay for their children’s schooling is that then they can totally circumvent any and most all dysfunctions, independent of elections.

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:52 pm

badly outnumbered but not alone

Oh you big government socialists are just breaking my wuddle social democracy hating heart.

Booowhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaha :cry: !

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:59 pm

Yo Mayor Kasim, how’s the beltline corruption working for ya?

I mean… TSPLOST voter mistrust

Just saying

Beverly Fraud

August 17th, 2012
9:00 pm

Who opposes this amendment? Herb Garrett and the Georgia School Superintendents Association, who named Beverly Hall their “Superintendent of the Year” and who, to this day, STILL refuse to rescind the award.

Talk about supporting the FSQ (Failed Status Quo)

And these are the people claiming the moral high ground????

Beverly Fraud

August 17th, 2012
9:05 pm

Aren’t LOCAL people going to LOCAL polls to vote on this? It’s not like they are hiring some outsourced for profit organization to come in and do the voting are they?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 17th, 2012
9:09 pm

(CNN) – The Republican National Committee said Friday it raised $37.7 million in July, making last month the best July in the party committee’s history.

Better start swimming libs, the waves a’comin.

td

August 17th, 2012
9:16 pm

Michael H. Smith

August 17th, 2012
8:52 pm

badly outnumbered but not alone

Oh you big government socialists are just breaking my wuddle social democracy hating heart.

I am in no way a big government anything and am opposed to this amendment. How can you as a conservative value to set up another bureaucracy that is unelected and not accountable to the voters in a local school district?

G Mare

August 17th, 2012
9:18 pm

I report, only in your dreams!

obozo

August 17th, 2012
9:29 pm

Keep your eye on the bling! Watch as the bling swings back and forth. Isn’t the bling pretty and shiny? Does the bling make you sleepy? Hello?

Alright, this one’s ready. Whisper in his ear, when the Repugs use a lot of big words and you can’t remember what we told you to say, call them a racist. When some Con points out how awful the economy is, call him a racist. If you hear some smartass say that the IQ in a room goes up when me and Biden leave, call him a racist.

Got it, Dave?

poor_richard

August 17th, 2012
9:32 pm

Charter schools are re-segregation.
Somebody please show me all of the rules that charter schools do not have to follow.
Teachers that are uncertified? Unlimited class size? Different standards and graduation
requirements? Selective admission? Sounds like a publicly funded private school.
And there is still no evidence that they outperform public schools. , Parental control is great if parents are informed. Most are not, don’t even know their own kids.

Centrist

August 17th, 2012
9:34 pm

I’m with Kyle on this.

Especially the most local control option of parents, instead of politically motivated politicians, and that is what school board members are. If the districted school is not cutting it, instead of moving – a parent would/should have a charter school option. Competition is good.

poor_richard

August 17th, 2012
9:43 pm

I have a bird that I can train to sing songs. He’s gifted and can repeat them with 100% accuracy every time. He is pretty and obedient too because I am bigger than him. I keep him in a cage so that he only knows the songs I teach him. He is not potty trained. I pay him minimum wage in bird feed.

@@

August 17th, 2012
9:44 pm

I’ve just returned from an “AlterNet” universe…early 2011, where a bunch of progressives were giving Obama the heave-ho for having deserted them.

He had one lone defender…his name was Andy.

Paul

August 17th, 2012
9:46 pm

What is galling is that almost all of the parents that are demanding charter schools for the thinnest of reasons don’t pay enough in property taxes to cover more than about 1/3 of the cost for their child to attend school. The rest of the money comes from property owners who dont have children in school but as part of the community understand how their property taxes and state income taxes contribute to the betterment of our state. I dont like the assumption that is made by the charter school proponents that my portion of taxes that are paid to educate their children should be re-allocated without my input or permission.

obozo

August 17th, 2012
9:50 pm

I know those people, @@, and you should wash up.

@@

August 17th, 2012
9:57 pm

Actually, they seemed to be a lot nicer than most of our progressives/liberals/democrats.

I learned something new over there.

The cure for cancer has been found!

Recent studies have shown that smoking pot kills Stage 4 cancer cells?

(ISH)

Cutty

August 17th, 2012
10:20 pm

So the mistrust of government was fine to vote against T-Splost, but ok to approve charter schools. Kyle voted for Newt, so I agree with Barge on this. He knows more than Wingfield and his zany opinions.

MA

August 17th, 2012
11:05 pm

If we are going to have public schools then all money should go to public schools. Charter schools should be like private schools. They should charge tuition. If you have not worked for a public school system you need to stay out of the fray. If you think you can handle it then get in a classroom and help all of Georgia’s children.

Hillbilly D

August 17th, 2012
11:16 pm

If you have not worked for a public school system you need to stay out of the fray.

I disagree with that. Millions have children and millions pay school taxes and they deserve their say as much as people who work in the schools.

G Mare

August 17th, 2012
11:20 pm

You said it, MA!

yuzeyurbrane

August 17th, 2012
11:48 pm

Kyle, if the public schools got rid of all their students they would save even more money per your just absolutely stupid rationale. I hate to use such a harsh description with you because you usually seem smart but an ideologue. Same thing about parents of the school being the best local control. Nice ring to it. Why not just have the PTA’s run our public schools? It won’t happen and they don’t want to because they aren’t qualified nor do they have the time. What you and Koch brothers want is Capella University k-12 style. Why don’t you take your many good right-wing contacts and try as stint as a good investigative reporter? Follow the money and then report on it like they taught you at Grady School of Journalism at UGA. Honest and straight.

Charter Parent

August 17th, 2012
11:48 pm

To “MakeItWhiter”…Your racist rant is ridiculous. I put my kids in a charter school in part because of its diversity. If they went to the public school mandated by our zip code it would have been all white.

maly

August 17th, 2012
11:53 pm

Not sure who said it but addressing the person about white people wanting to keep the school white so they get A CHARTER school. Im white, my child went to an all white school. She had never seen a brown person until we went south and she was scared. We now go to charter and love it.
She now goes to school with all races of people. I loved the diversity!

yuzeyurbrane

August 17th, 2012
11:55 pm

Charter Parent, maybe you are the exception that proves the rule. If you look at the charters being set up in rural counties you will they are almost all white while the corresponding public schools are almost all black. Either it proves white superiority or a racist backsliding to segregated public education since both would be funded by tax money. I am a white Georgia native and I know the nature of the beast. Hardly the assimilation institution that molded 1 nation out of many diverse racial, ethnic, and religious groups.

Roger Dodger

August 18th, 2012
12:01 am

Straight From the “Defeat The Charter Amendment” War Room…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puw4AjBPxPk&feature=player_embedded

md

August 18th, 2012
12:11 am

“Recent studies have shown that smoking pot kills Stage 4 cancer cells?”

The studies I find comical are the ones that link pot with helping dementia patients……but it’s only funny if one reads the study that suggests pot causes dementia first……….

CharterStarter

August 18th, 2012
12:13 am

@Roger – TOUCHE!

Kyle, thanks for hitting the nail on the head again. With nearly half of Democrats supporting the amendment on their own primary ballot question (which was clearly intended to accomplish something else), I believe Dr. Barge’s recent statement is merely a rollout of the next phase of the establishment’s strategy. He is clearly the Superintendents’ Superintendent. His statement could have been written by Herb Garrett, and I would not be at all surprised if some intrepid reporter uncovers as much. The $400+ million comment was a huge straw man, as is the “for-profit” line. I guess textbook, furniture, equipment vendors and consultants are the only ones allowed to make a profit in education (and believe me, they DO!). God help the company that wants to help parents and teachers do their own accounting or HR paperwork so they can focus instead on curriculum or kids.

Thank you as well for pointing out that supermajorities in both houses of our legislature had to pass the referendum question. BOTH parties want this. The opposition is from the status quo, which is afraid of competition – and they should be. The parents and voters of Georgia are fed up with a lot of money getting us nowhere. Their elected representatives have spoken, and now they will speak themselves. I predict a strong majority in favor of the amendment.

Political Mongrel

August 18th, 2012
12:50 am

No. No, no, no. Barge has it right. If the legislature has required public schools to take $4.4 billion in cuts over the last several years and has furloughed teachers an average of 10 days over the last three, it has no business finding an extra $420 million for charter schools for the disaffected parents and students. Kyle, you’ve missed yet again.

Thoughts

August 18th, 2012
1:08 am

Parents do have choices already….private schools, homeschooling, moving, requesting a transfer to another public school with available space.
Kyle, you make it sound as if there is just a great big extra pot of money for these state appointed charter schools. Money doesn’t grow on trees…it is going to come from somewhere – like my taxes. So whether or not it is drawn from the education budget, it says to me that my taxes will probably go up. This is a waste of taxpayer money for a duplication of services. If the public schools aren’t cutting it, then help those specific schools that need it. Many public schools do a great job, especially considering the wide variety of expectations placed upon them.
This is an easy “no” vote.

CharterStarter

August 18th, 2012
1:22 am

@Thoughts, why don’t you want your taxes spent in an effective manner/? Dr. Barge’s position assumes that full funding of education will fix the problems and is an important first step. Whatever full funding means. I think it means “what we can afford.” We must work hard to get the most bang for the buck. Charters are not a deviation from that path – they are, in my expert opinion (having worked with two dozen in Georgia alone), a very necessary part of the solution. And the rest of the solution will require a business-like approach to education, not a bureaucratic one.

This is an easy yes vote. 44% of your liberal friends agree. Do you really expect 60% of Republicans to agree with the establishment? Have fun spitting into the wind!

Thoughts

August 18th, 2012
1:36 am

Not a democrat or a liberal – not a public school teacher – just prefer no taxation without representation.

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
5:29 am

G Mare, 8:43 pm

“Well said, Mary Elizabeth. I agree with you. I will be voting NO on this.”
————————————————————————

Thank you, G Mare. I am glad to read that you will be voting “no” in November on this amendment to Georgia’s Constitution.

This amendment, imo, is more political than educational and, as a result, it will hurt, not help, public education in Georgia. Moreover, it is not necessary because there is already, by law, another means of appeal to decisions made by local Boards of Education regarding public charter schools.

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
6:48 am

BOTH parties want this.

Yeah, okay :lol:

The democrat party in this state is a joke. The Republicans don’t need their votes to do anything, thankfully.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
6:48 am

Dave: So Mike no more discussion
——————-

That tends to happen when you start the discussion by calling people who hold different opinions racists.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
6:50 am

So how’s that Arab Spring dealie workin for y’all?

“It’s anyone who is resisting the new Egyptian government,” Ibrahim said. “In this particular case, the people attacked and crucified were secular protesters upset because of Morsi’s hostile campaign against the media, especially of Tawfik Okasha, who was constantly exposing him on his station, until Morsi shut him down.”

Well, I guess there are some upsides to having some government janitor bust a jacketed hollow point in your ass, at least he didn’t nail you to a cross.

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
6:54 am

I’m glad to see more yes votes for this amendment on Kyle’s blog than these three no votes that keep patting each others back for support. :lol:

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:05 am

That tends to happen when you start the discussion by calling people who hold different opinions racists.

What tends to happen when people use words they don’t know the meaning of, is they reveal how weak they are in the head.

There is only one RACE of many ETHNIC divisions. RACE is human RACE has many different skin colors, speaks with many different languages, has many different cultures but in all RACE is human.

Now, proof me wrong you “mental cripples” that depend on the phony “social crutch” of so-called race and racism to support your entire reasoning for everything in life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recent_African_origin_of_modern_humans

Don Abernethy

August 18th, 2012
7:14 am

Low income Christians have to send their children to public schools and have their children exposed to all kind of anti Christian teachings in the name of political correctness. Diversity has increased the crime and drugs and problem children in public schools. Home schooling is the only way low income Christians can avoid all the bad things that happen in public schools. Only the rich can afford the Christian private schools.

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:17 am

Oh by the way Don, Christianity is full of diversity.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
7:18 am

Why the focus on Christians, Don?

JamVet

August 18th, 2012
7:24 am

…exposed to all kind of anti Christian teachings…

Pure unadulterated b*llsh*t.

And why you did not, will not and cannot provide the first example.

Some of our thumpers will not be happy until they get their Christian Madrassas established in this country.

Wake up, the 1950s of Joseph McCarthy and segregation are gone forever.

NO thanks to the arch-conservatives in this nation…

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:32 am

Well, you know lbb when race fails to inflame an argument or someone defuses it then religion is often thrown into a discussion to deflect attention from the genuine issues.

Fact: American children – who have no school choice – fall behind European children – who have publicly funded school choices – academically once they leave the elementary levels of school.

Astounding how our American socialist liberals want us to be everything European Socialist are in this country but not have to do with the educational successes fund in Socialist Europe.

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:34 am

Well, you know lbb when race fails to inflame an argument or someone defuses it then religion is often thrown into a discussion to deflect attention from the genuine issues.

Right on cue brucie! :lol:

JamVet

August 18th, 2012
7:36 am

OK, off to do some good in the community and help some friends on this wonderful Saturday

You enraged neocons all stay inside today, yammering away and puking up your boundless hatred for all things non-Republican all day and all night long, OK?

Toodles…

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:37 am

Pardon my over editing on the fly…

Astounding how our American socialist liberals want us to be everything European Socialist are in this country but not have “anything” to do with the educational successes fund in Socialist Europe.

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:39 am

Yeah, run along brucie, now that you’ve been exposed. :lol:

Michael H. Smith

August 18th, 2012
7:43 am

Oh and by the way brucie, anytime you are willing to let the ajc identify how many times you comment on its’ blogs and how much time you spend doing it, I feel very confident that your “day and night” accusation applies to you more than any one of us you accuse of doing it.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
7:45 am

Don’t have a smartphone to take with you, Jamvet?

Ol' Timer

August 18th, 2012
7:47 am

Charter school superiority to regular public schools is an illusion. This is just another shell game conservatives try to play to extend their power; but as far as the end results, I’ve yet to be shown where Charter schools are superior and merit the money and attention they receive.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
7:51 am

Thoughts: Parents do have choices already….private schools, homeschooling, moving, requesting a transfer to another public school with available space.
———————

By that line of thought, the government shouldn’t be paying for (or conscripting others to pay for) contraception, abortion, sterilization, family leave, ad nauseum.

It’s all about choices, right?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
7:54 am

Ol’ Timer, I don’t see how charter schools extend the power of anyone but parents.

Couldn’t your argument also be flipped around to say that opposition to charters is just another way for liberals to hold on to their power?

AU Liberal in ATL

August 18th, 2012
7:59 am

Once again the pot calls the kettle black. You’re not much of anything else, but at least you’re consistent.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
8:08 am

That’s it, AU, don’t let MakeItWhite and Dave get away with it!

ragnar danneskjold

August 18th, 2012
8:08 am

A “state schools superintendent” opposes charter schools? What a shock, a typical bureaucrat refuses to lose one brick from his castle. The funny part is his claim to be a “conservative” – he uses the term the same way a Soviet aparatchik would have.

David

August 18th, 2012
8:36 am

PARENTS WILL NOT STAY INVOLVED. WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. DON’T WE?.

sheepdawg

August 18th, 2012
8:41 am

Barge for Governor in 2014!!! This man has morals and character to stand up to the elitiest hatemongers. Charter shcools are another GOP ploy to divide the classes.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
9:10 am

“Charter shcools are another GOP ploy to divide the classes.”
—————–

Which class is excluded from charter schools? We’re going to need a link or some other proof of your statement; my guess is that it is based in ignorance. Prove me wrong.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
9:16 am

@ Poor Richard (and Yuzeyurbrane) –

“Charter schools are re-segregation.”

Then why do charter demographic mirror traditional public school demographics almost exactly? Please check the annual report for charter schools to verify this fact. Also, @ Yuze, you speak of rural charters. Let’s talk specifically….Pataula Charter Academy serves 5 districts. Those SCHOOL districts are almost 100% black, and yet, the districts themselves (according to census data – please verify for yourself) are about 50/50 white/minority. Patuala is about 25/75, which is more integrated than the district schools, and continues to grow its minority population as the school seeks to demonstrate to both its black and white families that ALL children can and should receive an excellent education. They are making gains in healing the chasm in those communities between black/white that has been perpetuated (despite a resegregation order for 30 years) by the districts. They SEEK to integrate.

“Somebody please show me all of the rules that charter schools do not have to follow.
Teachers that are uncertified? Unlimited class size? Different standards and graduation
requirements? Selective admission? Sounds like a publicly funded private school.”

Charters may waive MOST local and state rules. They may NOT waive health and safety, the state’s standard curriculum, accountability measures, or having highly qualified teachers. According to the Professional Standards Commission, certified is not the same as highly qualified. Charters (and indeed, school districts) may have some uncertified teaching staff, but they must be highly qualified, and HQ status is only good for 3 years before you have to obtain certification. So it’s a null point. I encourage you to pull the certified/HQ stats for your own school district to see if all teachers are certified and what % are HQ. Few are at 100%.

Charters may have different class sizes. In some cases, that number is higher, and sometimes lower. I encourage you to look up each school in your district and find out their teacher:student ratio. What you will find is that it differs across districts. The “class size” number is based on an average across a district. The and short of it for charters and districts is if students are achieving and staff is not overburdened, class size is not a factor.

It is against the law for charter schools to have entry requirements. They must admit (space allowing and following lottery) any child that enrolls who lives in the attendance zone, just like a traditional school. It is interesting to note, however, that traditional schools CAN have entry requirements. Consider magnet schools. That is oft held up as “choice.” But magnets can have entry requirements, and thus, every child is not eligible. Just a thought to ponder.

“And there is still no evidence that they outperform public schools.”

I beg to differ and encourage you to go look for the data yourself. I have provided public links. Before you generalize, at least check your facts.

“Parental control is great if parents are informed. Most are not, don’t even know their own kids.”

I don’t know how to even respond to this, as it is such an unquantified and unqualified over generalization. I ask you that if people in communities don’t “know,” then how can we have enough kids enrolled in charters to keep the schools open? And how come we have thousands of kids sitting on waiting lists?

Just trying to bring some facts (that you can go check yourself) and logic to the discussion. I do hope people vote with their brain and not with hearsay or unsubstantiated generalizations.

Chris Sanchez

August 18th, 2012
9:28 am

Unelected officials in charge of ANYTHING funded by taxpayer dollars is suspect and should be scrutinized. I will be voting “No” on this amendment. I would much rather see vouchers enacted to allow the money to follow the students. THAT is choice!

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
9:40 am

@ Chris – two things:

1. The elected officials aren’t “in charge.” They simply appoint an objective body to approve high quality schools (that have been turned down from their districts) and oversee (that is, make sure the charters achieve academically and are being fiscally prudent). The parents and community members on the boards of these schools are “in charge.”

2. My main issue with vouchers is accountability, since that’s my main issue with districts there is no accountability. I believe strongly that every tax dollar should be earning a return on investment, and with education, that return on investment is with student achievement, graduation rates, and a qualified work force. Charters are the ONLY choice that has true and absolute accountability for those dollars.

Baffled!

August 18th, 2012
9:44 am

This is to MakeItWhiter. I pulled my child this year from a traditional public school and our neighborhood is a nice diverse neighborhood. The school she was attending is diverse as well, but not many brown children in her classes, maybe 15 out of 100 and then maybe about 20 Asian. I did not pull my child out because of the “black” (as you put it) children and other “undesirables”(as you put it)! I pulled her out because of 33 kids per class and I had to reteach her every night during our 3 hour homework sessions! I now have her in a Charter School, which I have to drive her everyday and pick her up every afternoon, since there is no money for transportation. I choose to do this. But, my whole point to you is there are more “black” (as you put it) kids in her class than in her traditional public school! The Principal is hispanic! It is a great school so far. I met her best friend in her class Tues night at a school skate party to raise money for the school and guess what, she was “black!” Oh and if you haven’t guessed, it I am white! I don’t teach hate in my home! I am truly offended that you can call this a race issue!

Anyone that applies can get in this school and if there is a wait list, you may be picked. We waited for a half a school year to be picked and my “black” neighbor got picked to have her kids in there before I got mine in there and she put them on the list after I did because I talked her into taking them there. So, I don’t think you can get by with this one! Look at the Charter Schools in Fulton County! People want a choice, this is America afterall! What is the difference in giving money to the new traditional public schools that pop up all the time!??!??! Also, the teachers are not paid as well at a Charter School as they are in Traditional Public schools, I know because I have a friend that teaches there.

MomToJack

August 18th, 2012
9:52 am

What is the incentive for a local school board to approve a Charter? none.

My understanding is that Charters in Georgia greatly serve minorities. Go to a Charter school event and observe for yourself.

@@

August 18th, 2012
9:54 am

OK, off to do some good in the community and help some friends on this wonderful Saturday

Sheesh!

I hope AmVet’s attitude improves before arrival… otherwise his efforts will go over like a big ol’ THUMP.

schnirt

middle of the road

August 18th, 2012
10:11 am

“Parents who want charter schools think charter schools will somehow shield their white children from mixing and mingling with blacks, hispanics and any other undesirables.”

No, parents who want charter schools think it will shield their kids from discipline problems, kids who don’t care about education, kids who never show up for school – if those happen to be kids of color, that is their problem. Parents don’t want their own kids dragged down into the gutter with the lower-quality students. The issue is not race.

Ethics Advisor

August 18th, 2012
10:21 am

All of us need to read and reread the comment from Mary Elizabeth, August 17th, 2012 at 7:42 pm. Yes it’s long and doesn’t give anyone a target to throw tomatoes at. She tells the truth. What are our priorities here?
1. To provide the best education possible for all our children. Education gets harder every year because of stereotyping by all involved, parents, teachers, administrators, school boards and our elected officials .

2. To provide your local school system with the support it needs; parental attendance at school meetings so you can find out firsthand what your school is doing and planning for the education of your children, monetary support by paying taxes and if needed special taxes approved by the voters with explicit terms in the tax law for the disbursement of the funds solely for funding classrooms and teachers only, one is not good without the other. Support your teachers, most of them are wonderful people who do a thankless job. If you are fortunate enough to have a good school board and school administrators, support them, if not vote them out and if the school administrators need to move on, elect new school board members who will support this action. DO NOT MAKE IT PERSONAL. Making it personal usually makes you lose control of the thoughts and actions that you desire and causes harm to you and who is now an adversary instead of a colleague.

3. Check your child’s homework and review their tests and other schoolwork after grading, this is where you find your first problems, whether it is your child not understanding or your teacher not presenting the work explicit enough for your child to understand or teacher incompetence. Contact the teacher and treat them with the respect they deserve and find out. If you enter the meeting with a hostile nature you have already lost any help you want for you and your child. No person with a sense of self-worth is going to listen to anyone who attacks without an organized thought about the meeting which is to HELP YOUR CHILD.

4. Concerning Charter Schools, they are an admirable idea whose time has not yet come. The point, as I understand it is to pick the finest students from all the local system schools with the money for the school coming from the remaining school system funds which reduces the money for all other schools in the system or district. As another writer says, ”it will reduce the schools funding as funding is based on the number of students.” I don’t know the real reason for those who embrace charters schools in their present plan and description; I do know that it is unequal in its result. It promotes elitism even though it is intended to produce the best in America. The only way I can support Charter Schools is if a lottery system is held with all students having a chance to attend not just those with a B average or higher.

Does this thought contradict the intent? Yes and No! All some children need if they seem unable to perform at a higher level is a chance to be in a group that will challenge them to work harder to be competitive. Yes, I know that this does not apply to all struggling students. Unless you have experienced the dynamics in a class room as a teacher, you really don’t know what you need to know about improving your school and its impact on your child. Maybe you should take a day off which is a real burden for most of us and spend the day in class with your child. Your child will thank you and a good teacher will, too! I echo my support for Superintendent Barge for his stand for all our children. For the politicians who shamelessly tell us that it is about education, hope you lose your next election unless you are willing to admit your wrong actions and change them. I have no real political affiliation. I am an independent who has voted largely Republican unless his or her opponent was better qualified. Thank you for your time.

Ray

August 18th, 2012
10:45 am

The voters spoke and their clearly against the Constitutional amendment. Kyle, is it really necessary to disparage Dr. Barge, too?

md

August 18th, 2012
10:54 am

Way off topic, but quite worthy of sharing. If anybody ever had any doubts about Iran’s intentions….:

““It would be the golden opportunity Iran has been dreaming of for 32 years,” he said, referring to the date of Iran’s 1979 Revolution that led to the current clerical state. He did not mention what an attack on Iran would mean for Hezbollah.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/hezbollah-chief-says-he-will-transform-lives-of-israelis-to-hell-lebanon-attacked/2012/08/17/ecc3c938-e881-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
10:55 am

It just dawned on me that Amvet sounds just like al-Gore.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
10:57 am

So I guess the next step in this process is for the Union Goons to smear feces on the wall of some charter school and stalk the principle.

md

August 18th, 2012
11:02 am

“The main answer is not simply ‘public’ charter schools; the primary answer is for Georgia’s Legislature to start funding traditional public education with more commitment in the future. ”

OK Mary……with a balanced budget requirement, where do you propose cutting to do your funding. Calling for more funding is the easy part……….are you an advocate for raising property taxes since they are the primary source of educational revenue??

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
11:08 am

@ Ray – When did the voters speak?

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
11:16 am

I have just posted the following on Maureen Downey’s blog (latest thread on charter schools) in response to a question posed to me by another poster. I want to repost that post here for any who may be interested in my thoughts regarding larger issues related to the growing number of for-profit charter schools vs. traditional public schools that have not been designed for profit. See below:
================================================

Other poster: “If the local community had garbage pick-up and you were forced to pay $40 per month, but you knew that a for-profit company would offer you better service and only charge $20 per month. . .”
—————————————————————-

First of all, education is not a public service like “garbage pick-up,” it is a field of public service that fosters the elevation of human beings – intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Educators are not simply teaching facts such as that 3 x 3 = 9; they are inspiring our young to be the best that they can be in all of the areas mentioned. Do you want our young people to think that they are being used for profit, or that they are valued simply because they are human beings, equal to one another, to be cared for and nurtured to their full potential through public servants who desire only that their students reach their full potential? Is it not better to signal to students that service to one’s fellow human beings – without a profit incentive in doing so – is more to be valued in our society than value placed upon monetary gain, primarily?

That is one of the main reason I support public (not for-profit) education over education that makes a profit on its students. It is what we are teaching our young that is of value for them to emulate as we model for them, in the process of how we educate them, that matters to our nation’s future character and destiny. I have posed on this blog, previously, whether Americans will desire to perpetuate the “muscular” values of “winning, hierarchial dominance, competition, and power” over the more elevated values of “service, collaboration, intellectual and spiritual enlightenment, and egalitarianism” into America’s future. The first set of values create situations in which educational institutions (and other institutions) within our society believe that they must cheat in order to sustain their dominant power, and the latter values do not create that kind of America. They foster service to one’s country and to others as well as foster egalitarianism, the principle upon which this nation was built.

Furthermore, it appears to me that you have bought into the Republican negative propaganda about public school education. “Ludicrous amounts of money” have not been spent on public education in spite of Republican talking points. In fact, in Georgia alone, over 4 billion dollars have been cut from public education in the last decade. How can traditional public education improve as citizens’ desire, with such deep cuts happening, yearly? Even if some in Georgia’s Republican leadership state that educational funding has not been cut more than funding to other governmental agencies, I believe – and have observed – that our Republican leaders had cut funding to most of Georgia’s governmental agencies, including education, even before the Great Recession began. Their rigid ideological thinking, imo, has hurt many families and children in Georgia because of its severity. I believe that this regressive thinking has, also, kept Georgia behind economically and has kept Georgia from moving progressively in innovative thinking toward more growth possibilities instead of simply thinking toward more cuts to government. (Furthermore, state workers buy goods and services from private enterprise markets in Georgia so that when these state workers are laid off, all Georgians pay the consequences, not only in their reduced services, but because more of the state’s population, being out of work, are not able to buy from others in the private markets.) We are all interconnected whether we acknowledge this truth or not. How much better, spiritually and economically, it would be for Georgians to at least acknowledge that truth? One primary source of educational problems has been poverty. The state must, again, more fervently address this issue, aside from its educational impact.

Moreover, the national Republican ideological agenda has been to disparage traditional public schools so that more private educational corporations (based on profit) can move into the educational field/market. Studies, such as the Stanford Study, have shown that charter schools on the average do not fare better than traditional public schools, and many do not perform as well as do traditional public schools. Some are of poor quality. Some are not even monitored for quality. So, I do not buy into Republican propaganda regarding the overall poor quality of traditional public education. Many traditional public schools remain excellent schools.

However, traditional public education does need to change and improve, but it needs to do so, primarily, from within through fully understanding and implementing sound instructional principles such as (1) mastery learning, (2) continuous academic progress of each student according to his or her potential to master instructional concepts at point in time, (3) improving discipline, and (4) supporting of teachers in achieving those ends. Public charter schools might help to improve traditional public education, also, but they must work in collaboration with local school districts and traditional public schools, not in competition against them. Most importantly, their ultimate goal must be to improve the calibre of students under their care, not the financial gain of their proprietors.”

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/a-monumental-choice-for-americas-future-character-and-destiny/

Steven

August 18th, 2012
11:29 am

@Mary Elizabeth! Thank you for making this discussion without vitriol. I agree with you, the Charter School Amendment is political and not educational in nature. The adopting of this Amendment reminds me of accusations the GOP had of the President of getting the Affordable Care Act to pass. They say his Administration shoved it down America’s throat. The proponents of the Charter School Amendment are doing the same thng. They are also berating the opponents because they don’t agree with them.

I am so eleated that Mr Barge changed his position on his support for the Charter amendment. I, Mr Wingfield, think and am thankful that he did get it right in spite of all the vitriol people are hurling his way.

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
11:39 am

Steven, thank you for your comments and compliment.

I, too, salute Dr. Barge for his moral and courageous stand in behalf of all of Georgia’s students.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
11:39 am

@ Steven – if we (the charter sector) are “shoving it down people’s throats,” then how is it that WE are the ones stating that the voters of Georgia should have the final say in this? To the contrary, opponents in both the legislature and in general, tried very, very hard to shove status quo ideology down everyone’s throat and keep the voters from expressing the public wishes.

One of my issues with Dr. Barge is that he says (quite firmly) that his position has remained consistent. If he had come out and said that he had reviewed the matter thoroughly and after computing numbers, talking with his ENTIRE stakeholder group, etc., he had changed his position, I could be more understanding and receptive. It is clear from his original strong position in favor of HB 881 that his position has, indeed, changed. He is playing political word games with you so he does not look foolish. Please verify this for yourself. My other beef with him coming out on this is that he represents ALL public schools. Similar to the antics of PAGE making a stand on this issue, he has marginalized a portion of his own stakeholder group. Both should have remained silent on the matter and allowed the public to vote its wishes in November.

Please help me to understand your point of view considering these two points.

md

August 18th, 2012
11:41 am

” In fact, in Georgia alone, over 4 billion dollars have been cut from public education in the last decade. How can traditional public education improve as citizens’ desire, with such deep cuts happening, yearly?”

I’ll ask again Mary, what do you propose to cut instead? Everybody wants more money for everything, yet most don’t want to pay for it. Their usual solution is to raise the taxes on others…..

ron f.

August 18th, 2012
11:48 am

No, I think he got it right. Charter schools can become the vested interests of corporations and their ideology. What happened to democratic values that serve all people, not just the privileged?

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
11:48 am

@ Mary (in follow up to md) –

What evidence do you have that higher funding levels yielded higher achievement before austerity cuts were put into place?

How do you explain high achievement of charter (and some district) schools earning less than 75% of what their traditional school counterparts are earning?

What, in your view, is an “adequate” amount (dollar figure) that schools/districts should be funded to provide a quality education that yields results….and…how did you come up with that estimate?

yuzeyurbrane

August 18th, 2012
11:52 am

CharterStarter @ 9:16–I have read many of your many blogs on this issue and admire your passion. Would you please post a link or give a cite to the annual report of charter schools that you mention as the basis for your denial that rural counties are using charters to re-segregate? I am open to persuasion on this point.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
11:56 am

@ Mary – You are very committed to accuracy, as you have demonstrated by always connecting people to information (which I appreciate). Did you, by chance, go through Dr. Barge’s “evidence” and verify its accuracy and if there are omissions or inconsistencies with state data?

Secondarily, if we held the district to the same bar as Dr. Barge has so narrowly defined in his “evidence” for charters, how many would hit it? The very clever positioning of this ASSUMES that districts have already hit this bar. How can you actually provide a comparison when you only provide one of the variables?

Shine

August 18th, 2012
11:58 am

If Republicans are for it it has to be a bad idea.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
12:04 pm

@ Shine – what do you say if 44% of Democrats are also for it?

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
12:07 pm

@ Yuze – sorry, forgot one….here is a link to find census data: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13000.html

Ethics Advisor

August 18th, 2012
12:12 pm

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth, your words are eloquent and represent what is best for all of us. There is no doubt in my mind you are or have been an educator and if not very well read on this topic. Thanks

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
12:15 pm

md, 11:42 am

I believe that the best way to address your question to me is to quote from my post at 11:16 am, and then to refer you to the closing link, below:

“Even if some in Georgia’s Republican leadership state that educational funding has not been cut more than funding to other governmental agencies, I believe – and have observed – that our Republican leaders had cut funding to most of Georgia’s governmental agencies, including education, even before the Great Recession began. Their rigid ideological thinking, imo, has hurt many families and children in Georgia because of its severity. I believe that this regressive thinking has, also, kept Georgia behind economically and has kept Georgia from moving progressively in innovative thinking toward more growth possibilities instead of simply thinking toward more cuts to government.”

I would urge you to think not so much in terms of what else our legislators can “propose to cut,” but how they can, instead, increase Georgia’s revenues by emphasizing growth possibilities for the state.

Please read Alan Essig’s excellent article which he wrote for the AJC, and which was published online on August 16, 2012, on the “Atlanta Forward” blog – the thread entitled, “Spending Reductions – Budget Deficits.” He is the Executive Director for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. He explains this financial concept of economic growth as a priority over more budgetary cuts, at this time, much better than I. Link below:

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/08/16/spending-reductions-recurring-budget-deficits/

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
12:22 pm

Ethics Advisor, 12:12 pm

Thank you for your kind words. I am a retired teacher, and I was an educational leader (not administrator) in schools during most of my 35 year career in education.

Buzzy

August 18th, 2012
12:26 pm

I think John Barge got it exactly right.

Rep. Lindsey and people like him want control of this “independent” commission. The Charter Schools are going to be used as a vehicle to funnel money to Republican owned businesses like online education providers. The Republicans will tell you they are for small government, and some of the rank and file are. However, the Republicans in our legislature are all about money. They want that government money.

Rep. Lindsey wants control and he wants to influence the money. He doesn’t care about kids or education. I am glad that John Barge stood up for all the people of Georgia. We need more like him.

retiredds

August 18th, 2012
12:32 pm

If the GA legislature drew up this amendment then it is a bad deal for Georgians. I do not trust the GA legislature to anything that is in the best interest of the people and students of this state.

md

August 18th, 2012
12:32 pm

OK Mary……so you propose taxes and spending to cure our woes from spending too much. You have some nice flower rhetoric that really looks good on paper, but your real life applications seem to be a bit skewered.

If growing the economy and raising those much needed revenues were so easy to do, I doubt much of the planet would be on the verge of heading back into recession.

Best I can tell, you are proposing to just keep spending as long as there are no cuts to education. That seems to be a very unrealistic approach to the real world and the economics we are facing…..

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
12:42 pm

md, 12:32

I regret that you misinterpret my words. Your thinking regarding my vision, financial and educational, is wrong. I refer you, again, to Alan Essig’s article. Good day.

gramma

August 18th, 2012
12:47 pm

I was educated in the generation of overcrowded classrooms, limited school funding, and using public transportaton to get to class. I turned out just fine. The problem that I have with today’s schools is that there is no dicipline available in the classroom. If the teachers and principals were not so afraid of lawsuits, then the troublemakers would be dealt with quickly and effectively.
The one property that Charter Schools have at their disposal is the ability to discipline and reject any child who continues to break rules. This gives the parents of said children more of an impetus to make sure that the child is aware of this prospect so that rules are obeyed. County schools do not have this authority and must accept all the children within the stated school area.
If we could give the County Schools the ability to discipline our children – not spanking or any other physically hurtful method – then our schools might be able to achieve what the Charter Schools have managed to do.
BTW – the Charter School that my grandchildren attend has a very diverse population…quite representative of the county where they live. In fact, the school they attend is MORE diverse than the county school to which they are assigned.

md

August 18th, 2012
12:54 pm

No Mary, I read he article…..he calls for tax increases. So, here’s the problem, there are numerous cities/states/nations that have tried that method with even worse results.

Japan…..tried stimulus spending for 2 decades and now have a 200% debt to gdp ratio….

Greece…..need I say more.

CA…..16 billion in the red using this guys methods……

It doesn’t work Mary……one can’t take more money out of the pockets of consumers in the form of taxes and then expect them to spend more…….

td

August 18th, 2012
1:14 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
11:39 am

Your beef is made up and bogus. Dr. Barge never said he was in favor of this Constitutional Amendment. He has always said and continues to say that he is in favor of Charter schools. The difference that he is opposed to a unelected, appointed, (I am summing) by the legislature, commission to make the choices as to who and how a Charter school is established and to oversee said commission.

Now can you answer the question I have posed several times on this blog? How is it a Conservative or Tea party value to allow a third bureaucracy to be set up of unelected members to establish Charter schools?

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
1:16 pm

@ Gramma – Charters have to follow the same due process for dismissal of any public school. The difference is really more qualitative. Charter generally have very strict disciplinary expectations to ensure a safe and productive learning environment, and they don’t play around. Children are expected to behave, and the discipline codes are strictly enforced. It helps that there is a shared culture of expectation cultivated in the charter schools and they communicate expectations very clearly to parents. Clarity of expectations and consistent reinforcement go a long way. Charters have the same risks for parents suing that districts have, but they realize that with proper documentation, training, and oversight over processes, the risk is minimal.

We get the “complaint” that charters just send misbehaving kids back to the district. Charters can expel, based on their discipline policy and due process. The districts then can choose to: 1) uphold the decision and the child goes into an alternative school (which the district gets funded for) or 2) take the child back through tribunal, which has generally ended up with allowing the kid to go back into the regular school setting without consequences. In other words, the districts perpetuate the problem by having and reinforcing lower behavior expectations of kids.

Teachers in district schools, in my humble opinion, struggle to get the support they need from administration and county office. I think this is one of the biggest frustrations of public school educators in general. And it’s normally not the kids fighting, bringing drugs, or weapons to school that drive them crazy and impact learning the most. “Frequent flyers” that continually disrupt are not addressed in any meaningful way, and so everybody in the classroom suffers by the distractions and teachers, again, are demoralized with the lack of support.

Districts USED to uphold their own discipline codes and didn’t tolerate nonsense, but now many of the schools (particularly middle and high schools) just handle discipline issues in the office with a triage approach, and only the most egregious are dealt with meaningfully. Parents and teachers should demand that discipline be addressed. WIth the level of issue with have with discipline, I’d not be surprised if parents of behaving kids start filing suit for the disruptions impacting their child’s right to a quality education.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
1:20 pm

Awesome article -

This is the way the welfare-state altruist “cares.” He cares about you in the impersonal way he cares about a famine in Africa. It’s just another excuse to raise some money and send it off to be spent on a program that may or may not work (foreign aid is another great example of money spent with very little regard for results) and to skim off a comfortable salary made all the more comfortable by a smug sense of moral superiority.

If you want to know which system is actually cruel, think about this from the perspective of the person who looks to the elites in Washington, to Mr. Chait and his neighbors, to solve his problems. This is the cost of dependency: sitting around waiting for a bunch of millionaires and comfortable upper-middle-class types to feel sorry for you and enact a government program-rather than taking your fate into your own hands.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/08/16/the_washington_dc_bubble_115129.html

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
1:21 pm

@ td – Please go read Mr. Barge’s survey where he shows STRONG support for HB 881 (which established a Commission AND DEDUCTED money from districts).

It’s not a Conservative, Tea Party or a Democrat party value….establishment of this Commission represents everyone’s collective Democratic ideas that started with our fore fathers. They set up a checks and balances in government for a reason, sir. And this is why it has bi-partisan support.

td

August 18th, 2012
1:48 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
1:21 pm

Is it true or not true that this survey was done prior to the 2010 election? Is it true or not true that Georgia SC overturned the commission in 2011? I have read the survey but do recall any mention of HB 881 in it. Why are you saying that he supported this particular bill?

“establishment of this Commission represents everyone’s collective Democratic ideas that started with our fore fathers. They set up a checks and balances in government for a reason”

Checks and balances for what? How in the h3ll does this commission set up a check and balance on anything?

How does a unelected commission set up represent a Democratic ideal? You are started to make yourself look really unintelligent and with an agenda by making these types of statements. Yes, an appointed commission is more democratic then a locally elected school board or a state elected Superintendent. I see that point.,

” bi-partisan support.”.

It only has support right now because of people like you and Rep. Lindsey are selling a false product. Supporters are making it sound like no Charter schools can be established under current law and that is totally false. Currently there is two ways to set up a Charter school. The Local school board or the State DOE. Both entities are accountable to the voters of this state for the decisions they make. The supporters of this amendment want to set up a Commission (I assume it must be appointed by the legislature since the governor already appoints the State BOE members and has control over that body) to override the authority of the local boards and the statewide elected Superintendent.

When this information gets out to the public I have a strong feeling that this amendment may go the way to the TSLOST.

BTW: Please explain to us why having this additional appointed commission so critical to your movement?

td

August 18th, 2012
1:58 pm

“Let me say this again: I fully support the creation of high quality charter schools for Georgia’s students.” (Dr. Barge)

5. But I only support high quality charter schools, those with a consistent record or those who have demonstrated capacity for:
• Strong academic results
• Well trained and high functioning governing boards
• Financial sustainability
• Legal and regulatory compliance

Sounds reasonable to me. Can you supporters tell me what is not reasonable about this statement?

td

August 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

“However, I cannot support the creation of a new, costly, and unnecessary state bureaucracy. ” (Dr Barge)

6. “As a conservative, I believe our state needs to be fiscally responsible, support local community control, and limit government. ” True statement for any conservative.

7. “This amendment runs counter to all three of these critical conservative principles.”

8. “In fact, the amendment creates an unnecessary government agency and restricts local community control.”

Supporters of this amendment: Refute these statements.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:08 pm

@ td – Here is the link to the survey, It was provided during the election, as noted in the address section of the survey. The charter association was looking to see where Mr. Barge stood on a variety of issues, with one of them being multiple authorizers, specifically a Commission, which was established through HB 881.

As for Democratic ideals… this Commission would provide an objective, incontestable (legally speaking) body to review districts’ decisions related to charters. This, sir, is a checks and balances. If we didn’t value it, then our district courts would not have a state court, employers (particularly government and non-profits) would not have grievance policies. We all want to make sure processes are fair…and there is no sure way to do that without another body reviewing the decision. And although the state board is doing it NOW, that does not mean it isn’t going to be legally contested. This takes care of both issues.

I am not selling anything. You are right. Charters can be established now. The charter sector has never said differently. What we have said (and continue to say) is: 1) Districts OFTEN obstruct authorization. 2) The state’s authority as an appeals body is currently legally questionable and open to challenge. The ballot question is not confusing. It clarifies both entities that will (or do) have authority to authorize charter schools. Without an appeals process, charters will continue to be obstructed and, as Rep. Lindsey put, starved to death.

I don’t claim any sort of superior intelligence, sir. I express my beliefs, provide public resources for those to verify on there own, and ask questions that hopefully encourage people to reflect and question for themselves. I trust that people are able to to reason for themselves. I don’t need to “sell” anything. Common sense and accurate and comprehensive data sells itself.

I struggle to understand your reasoning. You say I am “selling” the idea. Yet, the Democrat party during the primaries, phrased a straw question themselves with language clearly intended for the answer to be “no”. Those opposed have been heavily campaigning…and yet, 44% showed their approval (in a public election…albeit, not binding) of a Commission/the state approving charters as well as districts. I wonder what the Republican voters would have said if the ballot question had been placed on the primary ballot as well? Given recent polls, it would have been widely supported. Is it possible that this amendment actually makes sense, which is why there seems to be quantifiable bi-partisan support?

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:16 pm

@ Well, first of all, the data he used to “rate” rate the schools is inaccurate, inconsistent, and/or incomplete. I have asked folks to go and track his data he uses. I won’t re-state my long narrative again about the issues with it. You can read through the blog if you wish and find it.

And….he mentions nothing about comparing district schools by that same standard. He says that charters perform “no better,” and yet, he only provides the charter “data” (as riddled with issues as it was) as a variable. For any validity, he would need to also show districts to be fiscally responsible with strong governance practices and high achievement in comparison.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:21 pm

@ td –

#6 – I understand and support his statement; however, he has not yet proven that districts are being fiscally conservative with ALL of their tax dollars or that there is a good return on investment. Again, he is putting up his belief about charters (rather unsubstantiated) without showing the other variable.

Secondly, state charters will earn 66% less than earnings in traditional schools. This is a savings.

Thirdly, I would say that by putting some control in the hands of parents and communities, you ARE limiting government.

#7 – I disagree for the reasons stated in #6.

#8 – An objective Commission with a specific functions (authorizing when appropriate, and ensuring accountability) are very necessary. I believe oversight for accountability is lacking with our traditional districts. This is clearly needed, given our current predicament in public education.

#7 -

td

August 18th, 2012
2:26 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:08 pm

“this Commission would provide an objective, incontestable (legally speaking) body to review districts’ decisions related to charters”

Is it not already true that this is the responsibility of the state board of education? Is it not also true that the state board is appointed by the governor? Is it not true that the work of reviewing denied applications are the work of the State DOE and its head is elected statewide? If all these statements are true then it seems we have “checks and balances” by people that are accountable for their actions by statewide elected people and the original school board decision is accountable at the local level by locally elected BOE members.

Why do you want another bureaucracy of unelected commission members to override the local elected and statewide elected members that currently hold the checks and balances?

“And although the state board is doing it NOW, that does not mean it isn’t going to be legally contested”

“• It is worth noting that the state chartered special schools law remained unchallenged for the past 14 years because everyone accepts that QBE funds should follow students and – since state chartered special schools received only QBE funds – students at local school districts were not harmed.” (Dr Barge)

Where is the lawsuit? This is another false assumption for the supporters of this amendment.

td

August 18th, 2012
2:32 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:21 pm

One more time. Who is appointing this state commission? How are they more qualified to make these decisions then the local BOE’s or the State DOE and the state BOE?

You talk about being fiscally responsible but then you talk about setting up another bureaucracy. How big will this commission grow and how much will it cost? Since you are advocating for this commission then why are you not advocating the elimination of the state DOE and the local BOE’s since they will be unnecessary?

td

August 18th, 2012
2:40 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:21 pm

“Thirdly, I would say that by putting some control in the hands of parents and communities, you ARE limiting government.”

1: The people elected a person to the county BOE to ensure they will have representation over local decisions. Are you trying to tell us that a for profit Charter school administration is going to give an individual parent more control over the material their children are taught?

2: What types of decisions(please give examples) can this local control make?

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:47 pm

First of all, you do realize that the State Board is appointed by the Governor…who is an elected official? That entity has absolute respect and its authority is not questioned (and shouldn’t be).

Secondly, this Commission will be officially selected by the SBOE based on recommendations:

3 appointees recommended by the Governor (who is elected)
2 recommended by President of the Senate (who is elected)
2 recommended by the Speaker of the House (who is elected)

The Commission will be under the authority of the SBOE.

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:48 pm

@ td – I believe you are coming into this conversation quite late. Please start at the beginning of this blog and the “War of Words” blog by Maureen Downey. Your questions are answered throughout. Thank you.

td

August 18th, 2012
3:01 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
2:48 pm

@ td – I believe you are coming into this conversation quite late. Please start at the beginning of this blog and the “War of Words” blog by Maureen Downey. Your questions are answered throughout. Thank you.

So in your previous post you talk about the SBOE has impeccable credentials. By your statements this commission will be established with approval of the appointments by the SBOE.

Since the SBOE is currently reviewing the applications rejected by local boards and has the authority under current law to override the local board then WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER LAYER OF BUREAUCRACY that is going to cost the state millions of dollars?

There is either something you are not telling us or I do not see the entire point of this amendment. The state BOE is going to do what the Governor wants and the way this commission is set up the Governor still has control over the decisions made. What is the difference?

td

August 18th, 2012
3:03 pm

Can any of the other long term Conservative bloggers on this blog please help me out with the reason for this amendment?

Kyle?

catlady

August 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

I have to LOL, sadly, about those of you who say charter schools are just to protect your children, so that others are paying for “private school” for you, yet at the same time seem to be oblivious to the state taxpayers’ money being siphoned off by the ability of the wealthy to avoid paying taxes to the state and get the credit for their taxes given to private schools! Folks, we should be marching in the street over that! Put it together with the “special ed vouchers” and the proposed special state charter schools, and even Stevie Wonder can see what this is leading to! Let’s take all the money paid by taxpayers for education and flush it into the giant maws of the private businesses who wait rapaciously for the legislators to shovel it in! I mean, GET A GRIP, people! Wake up! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE JUST SHEEP!

catlady

August 18th, 2012
3:12 pm

Here is what I have learned over the last several years: Vote NO on every amendment to the Georgia constitution (watching to be sure it hasn’t been worded in the negative already to trick many Georgians) because it will be an attempt to shift power or money to a relative few people or businesses. Great rule of thumb. Apply it, and nip all these money-grubbing special intestests and their enablers in the legislature and in the executive branch in Georgia in the %@!!$

catlady

August 18th, 2012
3:17 pm

And here is local power, folks: In our county the three school board members up for re-election lost resoundingly(one got only 18% of the vote) because they were NOT representing what the people wanted! The other two board members need to listen to the people very carefully!

Michael

August 18th, 2012
3:40 pm

One of the comments was that a board appointed by our governor has absolute respect, and its authority should not be questioned. Apparently, you don’t know much about our governor.
My problem with this is that it focuses on the students and parents who are most motivated and probably have more resources to devote to their children’s education. The students left behind in the typical public school most likely have parents that are less involved and with fewer resources. This will create a problem for the public schools, as they will retain the disciplinary problems and less motivated students. This will continue the downward spiral of Georgia schools
I wonder what Caterpillar thinks of its decision to locate in Georgia now that Georgia has demonstrated a lack of commitment to improving transportation and is now overriding its school superintendent regarding public education in Georgia.
This reminds me of the US congress giving its expert medical advice regarding the Terry Schiavo case.

@@

August 18th, 2012
3:57 pm

catlady:

It took an executive order by Governor Perdue to dump six of our nine board members.

It was a circus. S-o-o-o-o-oooooo embarrassing.

I’ll never forget what school board member Lois Baines-Hunter said when the citizens begged her to step down. Her response?

“You’ll have to find me another job first.”

CharterStarter,Too

August 18th, 2012
3:57 pm

@ td – again, the Supreme Court decision created a gray area regarding the state’s authority. The amendment clarifies the state’s role so there can be no legal challenge.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
3:59 pm

Mary Elizabeth
August 18th, 2012
11:16 am
————————-

Mary Elizabeth’s post reminds me of Obozo’s statement on capital gains–even if revenue goes down as a result of increasing capital gains taxes, we have to do it in the name of “fairness”. Likewise, even if for-profit schools do a better job at lower cost, we can’t go that route because profit is evil.

How’s about we do what’s best in terms of providing the best education possible?

Mary Elizabeth would rule out for-profits and charter schools simply because she prefers the big-government, teachers union model. We spend more on education using that model than almost all other industrialized nations, many of which are doing a much better job. In other words, Mary Elizabeth’s approach has failed.

It’s time for change.

Vote American.

td

August 18th, 2012
4:03 pm

CharterStarter,Too

August 18th, 2012
3:57 pm

@ td – again, the Supreme Court decision created a gray area regarding the state’s authority. The amendment clarifies the state’s role so there can be no legal challenge.

Then why not just have a Constitutional amendment that says the SBOE has the duty to review denied local Charter schools and to override their vetos? Why create a totally separate level of bureaucracy?

You still have not justified this extra level of bureaucracy?

CharterStarter,Too

August 18th, 2012
4:03 pm

@ Michael – you find appointment of members of the State Board problematic (along with all other appointed positions?) Some SBOE members were appointed by Barnes, some Perdue, and some Deal. Are you just saying you don’t like how our government is structured?

Perhaps you can try for your own Constitutional Amendment (or hey, why not version # 11) in 2014.

td

August 18th, 2012
4:09 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout – Vote American

August 18th, 2012
3:59 pm

You know from my writings that I am a huge conservative and I know you are a conservative. Can you please explain to me what is an improvement in this amendment? Everything that the new supporters of this amendment have said for reasons is contradictory conservative and Tea party values. Charter schools exist now and there is still a process for them to exist in the future through elected local BOE members or the elected state school superintendent so I see no good reason to set up another bureaucracy of appointed members to override local people.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
4:20 pm

td, don’t mistake my very strong support for charters with support for the amendment. I too believe in local control, and as I wrote here earlier, if the amendment gave control to parents rather than to the state, I’d be for it.

td

August 18th, 2012
4:24 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout – Vote American

August 18th, 2012
4:20 pm

I also support Charters and am pretty sure so does Dr. Barge. I for the life of me can not figure out what is conservative about this amendment. I smell a rat but can not prove it.

The best way to improve education would be vouchers.

Pogo

August 18th, 2012
4:33 pm

Mary Elizabeth is a long winded commie.

Pogo

August 18th, 2012
4:39 pm

Mary Elizabeth has never seen a progressive idea that she did not agree with. Never. That position is impossible for any political ideology unless the person having it is nothing but a hack. Enough said.

Michael

August 18th, 2012
4:51 pm

Chartless,
You brought up the issue of a board appointed by the governor (our current governor is Nathan Deal) as having absolute respect, and this is a reason we should have respect and confidence. If you believe that, you aren’t paying attention.
Your point about proposing an amendment is the high school equivalent of Nyah, Nyah, Nyah. This would not get you a position on the high school debate team.
My point is the state is diverting tax money to private schools and charter schools. This is diluting the ability to properly fund our public education system. Countries with the best educational systems concentrate on the system they have, rather than better students in a separate environment.
By the way, the car driving around Mars was made in the USA. Apparently, someone in the US is getting a good education.

[...] of not telling the complete picture of the charter amendment.  You read Wingield’s article here.  Wingfield has it wrong, not Barge.  The charter amendment will open the flood gates to [...]

Doctah

August 18th, 2012
5:48 pm

Charter Schools…..just another attempt to privatize schools that discriminate with public money……We do our dead-level best to continue racial segregation by any means necessary. Local control is such a veiled argument. True conservative……its like the religious equivalent of true believer…code for religious intolerance.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
5:49 pm

Like I needed anymore proof -

Davis, who said in May he was switching parties from Democrat to Republican, said he had only disagreed with Ryan on one subject: the status of Led Zeppelin as the “#1 band of the modern era.”

A Zep head.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
5:50 pm

And we also agree that obozo is the #1 jackass of the modern era.

Hillbilly D

August 18th, 2012
5:50 pm

Catlady @ 3:12 ……

…..has it figured out. Unless I am 100% certain (and I never am), exactly what an amendment means and what all it’s unintended consequences will be, I figure it’s best to vote against it. I’ve seen too many of these things turn out to be 180 degrees from what they were sold as. They are intentionally worded to obfuscate and confuse. If an idea is a truly good one, it ought to be able to pass muster in plain English.

As I’ve said, I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other on charter schools but there’s already a way to have charter schools, if the local people want them. No need to get the state involved. In my opinion, it’s an opportunity for somebody’s buddy to make some money. Haven’t we had enough of that, at the state level?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
5:56 pm

Doctah, please tell us about just one charter school that excludes children on the basis of race.

Didn’t think so.

Liar.

Mary Elizabeth

August 18th, 2012
6:36 pm

To the poster at 5:25 pm,

Thank you for posting this very substantive link entitled, “Give Us Charters, Or We’ll Amend the Georgia Constitution.” I urge all readers of this blog to read that link, in full.

As a result of reading the article from your link, I posted the following on Maureen Downey’s blog, and I am reposting my post, here, to urge readers of this blog to read the article so that they will become more fully informed about the amendment to Georgia’s Constitution, and about the movement toward more charter schools. See below:
==========================================

“I also urge you, and other readers, to read the following article, in full, written by Jack Hassard, a writer and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University, from the link which I provide, below. Here is an excerpt from Professor Hassard’s article:
————————————————————-

“One of the consequences if the charter amendment passes is the loss of local control of some educational policies. If the amendment is approved, then the state commission will run a parallel school system that will take more than $400 million from the already stretched education budget in the state. Money and decision-making are at the heart of the charter school issue in Georgia, not the improvement of education or options for parents and students.

If the Georgia charter amendment is approved it will result in an increase in politics and influence peddling in the context of multimillion dollar opportunities by establishing charter schools in various counties in each state. Real estate investment firms will find a pot of gold here.. Firms will come in to buy land and/or empty buildings (schools, factories) and then in turn lease them to for-profit charter school management companies, such as KIPP, Academica, or Charter Schools USA. Boston recently worked out a deal in the interests of corporate investors.”
———————————————————————–

http://www.artofteachingscience.org/2012/08/18/give-charters-we/

CharterStarter,Too

August 18th, 2012
7:08 pm

@ ME and your expert GSU professor…KIPP is non-profit.

obozo

August 18th, 2012
8:02 pm

Foamy, foamy, foooooamy
Wasserman Schulz is homely
All the kooks and fools believe her every fantasy

Foamy, foamy, foooooamy
I lie about Roooomney
And all my tools repeat that crap at any opportunity

Foamy, foamy, foooooamy
I am the almiiiiighty
Lording over all the bling from sea to rising seeea

Foamy, foamy, foooooamy
Paul Ryan can blow me
But I’m not allowed to say what he can do with austerity

Foamy, foamy, foooooamy
Polls are lookin crummy
I’m gonna lose and be the ass of all time hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiistory

Fred ™

August 18th, 2012
8:26 pm

Is this place closed down or is the so called topic just so stupid no one want to go on record for it?

lefty_316

August 18th, 2012
9:07 pm

My concern is that our tax dollars will be used to support evangelical schools. I consider evangelical Christianity the most perfect form of hucksterism in existance today. And any school does not teach or questions the most solid of all scientific theories, evolution, should be excluded from the program.

Dusty

August 18th, 2012
9:08 pm

Well, I miss Lewis Grizzard. He would tell you exactly what he thinks about charter schools or any other schools in his dauntless direction. . But Lewis is not here. So I will tell you about some of my teachers. Like my first grade teacher, Miss Jenny Brown, She was tender, ;powdered, anicent, and dedicated. She had taught the parents of some of my classmates. She probably knew more about a union suit than a teacher’s union. Romance for her had been in books. Her life was teaching!

Then there was Miss Lila,of fourth grade fame. There were battleships less formidable than this lady. She had no misbehaving in her class. We all understood perfectly. If parents received a call from Miss Lila, you were in big trouble ’cause Miss Lila never called about trivia. There was noTRIVIA in that fourth grade.

They were all there to teach. Aunt Daisy Q, Mr.Hallman who taught us more about his Plymouth and his current car repairs. than science. They were all there for us, the superintendent, the janitor and even the lady who sold peanutbutter/raisin sandwiches for those of us lucky enough to add those delicious morsels to our home made baggies. Yes, folks, the good ol”days.

The good ol’ days of a small town with a public school, dedicated teahers, parents who watched over their children and meant what they said There was an academy run hy nuns who helped children who stuttered or needed special help. Probably there were political squabbles in the local school board. But few of us at school knew much at that. We trooped in dragging our book bags knowing we better make the best grades;possible ’cause that was why we were there..

Charter schools? When did that begin? Did public schools fall so low that another kind was needed? D id school boards lose control? Did parents forget their children?

“Charter” in schools means to establish a new branch. Do we need a new branch to an old trunk if the old one is not good enough? I don’t know. I only know the old way seemed very good. Maybe it wasn’t but it surely seemed that way.

My own children have passed such worries . “We” made it through quite well in the public sector. but they did understand that school was there as the door to education and they, the children, better be there to learn. It worked ! Would charter schools have done the same? Probably

So the question remains as whether our taxes should be used for two systems doing the same thing? Does not sound practical but then we go the second mile for our chldren. But that does not answer the question eother: Do we need to go another rmile? .Get over to your school and find out, parents. Your children need you.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 18th, 2012
9:13 pm

The Redskins are getting trampled but if you listen to their announcers, who are probably naked by now, gush, you’d think they were up by thirty.

MakeItWhiter

August 18th, 2012
9:20 pm

Parents who want charter schools think charter schools will somehow shield their white children from mixing and mingling with blacks, hispanics and any other undesirables. They won’t admit this but this is the ultimate movitation for charter schools for these “caring’ parents. “Charter” is code for “let’s make the schools a lot less diverse”. A sprinking of upper crust black and hispanic students is ok, just not too many.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
9:31 pm

MakeItWhiter, back for a second bite at her racist, hate-filled apple.

MakeItWhiter

August 18th, 2012
9:34 pm

Lil’Barry, what is a hate-filled apple?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
9:39 pm

A metaphor.

Given your earlier spasms of ignorance, I’m not surprised you didn’t recognize it.

MakeItWhiter

August 18th, 2012
9:44 pm

Wow. I think I am still touching a hot nerve in Lil’ Barry. Maybe hit your conscience also? Good for you.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 18th, 2012
10:01 pm

Too late for pretending to have performed some sort of public service, MakeItWhiter.

You already told us what we need to know about you.

Racist.

MakeItWhiter

August 18th, 2012
10:03 pm

Lil’Barry – what about your name. What’s it mean? Anything to do with Goldwater?

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:10 pm

MakeitWhiter and Barry

Both of you guys come off as not being the sharpest tools…….

Maybe you can meet for a drink and solve the worlds problems.

Dusty

August 18th, 2012
10:12 pm

MakeItWhiter,

Do you have any children in school? I doubt it. Children are not filled with bigotry until they are taught it. They study together, play sports together, enjoy music together and get along just fine until someone like you comes along.

Stirring the old flames of yesteryears does not make you a crusader. Just a bothersome old biddy instigating hate for the fun of it.

Get another hobby. . .

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:14 pm

Ignoring the past doesn’t make it go away, but there is a correct way to address issues

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:22 pm

Some people have this notion because a law changed that should be it. Several hundred years of sociological and physiological negative impacts do not get made better in 40 or 50 years.

Everyone is still responsible for themselves, however on a macro level there will be problems, both ways, for years to come.

Problem was systemic for years and will take many years to clear out.

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:22 pm

psychological not physiological

MakeItWhiter

August 18th, 2012
10:28 pm

BackBackBack – so you’re saying———-what are you saying?

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:33 pm

Problems must be addressed and in many cases they have been.

With that said, you can not legislate bigotry or racism for that matter out of someone’s thought process.

You can have the law say you can not discriminate, but that in itself doesn’t change someone’s mind per say.

This country has come along way, but there are still divides. Those divides are not always one way.

Former Republican

August 18th, 2012
10:34 pm

I’ve paid taxes for over 50 years. My community and I have paid to educate multiple thousands of children- some of which were admittedly mine. I have no problem paying to educate other people’s children simply because I voted to put into office the people who tax us for schools AND also RUN the schools. If I don’t like the way they’re doing it, I, and my neighbors, vote them out. That’s called local control. We need educated people to vote. It’s the schools responsibility to teach them how to read, write, cypher, and think about how and why we vote. Everything else is the parent’s responsibility. I am opposed to state-sponsored charter schools. I trust the legislature about as far as I can throw a senator.

Parents, it’s not your RIGHT to take tax money that is used to pay for schooling for ALL children of your county and use it like you want to. We never set up this republic for this. Parents have no more right to tell professionals how to run schools any more than car drivers have a right to tell policemen or firemen how to run their jobs.

I’m voting NO on this stupid idea of letting Edward Lindsey and his ilk take my hard earned taxed money and use it like he sees fit!

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:37 pm

Former

As a single person who owns several properties in and out of state, I will be voting no as well

Dusty

August 18th, 2012
10:37 pm

Ah back back back and the “correct way to address issues”

We have been shown the correct way to address issues many times but not everyone listens. Do I need to mention MLK, Ghandi, Mandela, Sister Teresa or Christ?

It isn’t that we don’t know the best way. Sometmes the wrong way is chosen. As the poet Snow said,”And that makes all the difference “

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
10:40 pm

Dusty

As you know people make mistakes. There is no easy fix. Sorry you want an insta-fix like a microwave meal, but that is not reality or history. But I am sure you know that

Dusty

August 18th, 2012
11:09 pm

Back back back

Yes, all ;people make mistakes. Those with the strongest minds and spirits either get over it or use
it to make things better. We know the alternative.

But bigotry does neither and its only equivalent is hatred. We see it around the world today, Iraq, Afghanistan among many, killing their own people.

Bigotry is a well known beginning for conflict. I see no excuse for that after years, centuries or eons have passed.. After that time, it is a chosen hatred.

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
11:11 pm

And it works in all directions

Such is life…………… Been going on since the beginning of time.

Lots of great people in the world, unfortunately there are a lot of bad one as well……… and that would fit regardless of how we defined “bad”

Dusty

August 18th, 2012
11:29 pm

Back back back

Oh yes, been going on since the beginning of time.

Still no reason to stop fighting bigotry,is it?

I hope you have not given up.
———————————-

The Braves lost tonight. Now, I really hate that… Goodnight….

Back Back Back

August 18th, 2012
11:31 pm

No need to be a smart behind

Nite

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
12:08 am

Former Republican, 10:34 pm

“Parents, it’s not your RIGHT to take tax money that is used to pay for schooling for ALL children of your county and use it like you want to. We never set up this republic for this. Parents have no more right to tell professionals how to run schools any more than car drivers have a right to tell policemen or firemen how to run their jobs.”
=======================================

Former Republican, as a retired teacher who had spent 35 years of my life as a very dedicated professional, I want to thank you for your words, above, that have so much needed to have been stated to the public, as forthrightly as you have voiced them – especially that “We never set up this republic for this.” Your words are wise, and you speak truth. Thank you.

lefty_316

August 19th, 2012
12:16 am

Former Republican —- Very well stated. I’m also looking at an article here from the Wisconsin State Journal, August 2012, that reports Milwaukee voucher students from poor families perform the same or worse than their counterparts that stay in public schools. And there in Milwaukee Salem Evangelical School was on the verge of closing due to low enrollment when an infusion of taxpayer voucher money saved it. The pricipal of Salem Evangelical, Steven Carlovesky, said “This is an outreach. We bring the gospel.”

If Georgia schools want to bring the gospel as well that’s fine. But it’s not fine to do it with our tax dollars.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
6:40 am

Mary Elizabeth
August 19th, 2012
12:08 am
——————————

Hilarious. Poster A argues against something that isn’t being proposed (vouchers), parental choice of schools for their children, and local control. Big-government, teachers-union-supporting Poster B (big surprise) agrees and congratulates Poster A for her wisdom in desiring to maintain the failed but Poster-B-profiting status quo.

I’m starting to think it’s the teachers, not the parents, who need to butt out of deciding how best to educate our children.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

August 19th, 2012
7:14 am

“Parents, it’s not your RIGHT to take tax money that is used to pay for schooling for ALL children of your county and use it like you want to. We never set up this republic for this.”

Former, Republican, maybe if you remember where these school systems GOT that money you’re talking about, as in those very same parents you deride, you might have a little more appreciation for the fact that some simply want what they’ve been forced to pay (at the point of a gun) to provide a better education for their children than the mediocrity that government schools give them now.

And you ARE right about one thing; government schools were never contemplated in the original formation of this Republic. In a strictly interpretive sense, government funding for schools is un-Constitutional at the Federal level.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
8:49 am

I may vote for this thing just to annoy those trying to block any reform of failed government schools.

Mr_B

August 19th, 2012
9:00 am

OK, Tiberius, Maybe you could explain to me why I should trust an unelected bureaucrat appointed by a politician in Atlanta, over whom I have almost no control, to decide how to spend my tax dollars; more than I should trust on of my own neighbors who comes knocking on my door every couple of years and asks directly for my vote, and who has to earn that vote by answering my questions?

I don’t have a beef with charter schools per se. Some do a great job, and some are abject failures. But if the taxpayers of my southwestern GA county want to establish one, we already know how to go about it. We don’t need help from our ethically-challenged friends in Atlanta looking out for their buddies in the for-profit school business.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
9:02 am

Mr_B, if a for-profit school did a better job at lower cost, would you support it?

Mr_B

August 19th, 2012
9:12 am

Sure, but I’ve never seen one, and I’ve seen many that weren’t as good as public schools. I’ve seen some good private schools too, but they weren’t set up as for-profit.

Barry; I’m a teacher. I’m no genius, but I do know that kids perform best when the adults around them care about them as individuals. For-profit schools have to treat kids and their families as profit centers, or they go out of business.

An no, I’m not a member of some non-existent (at least in GA) teacher’s union.

Mr_B

August 19th, 2012
9:14 am

Sorry, 3rd paragraph should begin “And,” and I normally discourage beginning sentences with a conjunction.

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
10:09 am

Please read the following excerpt, from the link below, to better understand the business interest in profit that exists within the current national drive toward more charter schools:
=====================================================

“While nonprofit charter schools are more pervasive than their for-profit counterparts, for the quarter of charters that are for-profit, the obvious problem is that the drive to make a profit will compromise educational quality. And for-profits and non-profits are under similar pressure to expand as quickly as possible.

Edison Schools Incorporated is one of the largest for-profit charter school companies. It ran twenty schools in Philadelphia alone until it was discredited this year. With board members like John Chubb of the Hoover Institution and Brookings Institution, it made a bald-faced attempt to turn millions of dollars in profits by controlling 157 schools. (Not very successfully, though; it was traded on the NASDAQ for four years but only showed one quarter of profitability.33) The most fundamental problem with a private model of education is that a company’s profits depend directly on cost-cutting. The cheaper the services they provide, just as in private prisons and hospitals, the more profit they turn. So there is always an incentive to do things on the cheap—poorly maintained physical plant and equipment, low pay for teachers and other staff, and larger class sizes mean bigger rates of return.

The dynamic works in fundamentally similar ways with nonprofit entities. The pressure to cut costs in order to have money left over for expansion forces nonprofit entities to act in a similar fashion to their for-profit cousins. Every nonprofit charter operator is under immense pressure right now to expand as quickly as possible and to measure success by how quickly they are able to replicate themselves. The newest mandate from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is that we need to close thousands of broken inner-city schools and replace them with charters. There is fierce competition over who will get the contracts, especially among nonprofits. And nonprofits are, of course, allowed to pay their administrators very high salaries as well as keeping a small profit.

And then there is corruption. Celerity, a nonprofit charter school that made an attempt to co-locate on the campus of Wadsworth Elementary in Los Angeles, contracts out all its services to a for-profit firm, Nova, run by the same owner. This backdoor model—of a nonprofit funneling dollars to a separate, for-profit entity—is common. Kent Fischer explained it in the St. Petersburg Times:

The profit motive drives business…. More and more, it’s driving Florida school reform. The vehicle: charter schools. This was not the plan. These schools were to be “incubators of innovation,” free of the rules that govern traditional districts. Local school boards would decide who gets the charters, which spell out how a school will operate and what it will teach. To keep this deal, lawmakers specified that only nonprofit groups would get charters. But six years later, profit has become pivotal…. For-profit corporations create nonprofit foundations to obtain the charters, and then hire themselves to run the schools.34

Whether it’s technically legal, ‘contracting out’ or direct corruption and profiteering, abounds. In their article ‘The Corporate Surge Against Public Schools,’ Steven Miller and Jack Gerson cite many cases of such corruption. Brenda Belton, charter oversight chief for the D.C. Board of Education, admitted to arranging $650,000 in sweetheart contracts for herself and her friends, and C. Steven Cox, CEO of a large chain of charter schools in California, was indicted on 113 felony counts of misappropriating public funds.35″

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
10:14 am

If government schools were doing the job, we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all, now would we?

Local control and parent choice are the answer.

School boards, school administrators, and teachers will do all they can to block reform.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
10:54 am

School funding is not the problem, either. We spend more than almost every other developed nation, and we spend much more than we did in previous decades.

Don’t fear facts.

http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/edlite-chart.html

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
11:02 am

Don’t be fooled by those who have an interest in profiteering, using children to do so.

Public schools, and public school teachers, have been under a heavy-handed propaganda assault for well over a decade. Perhaps having read my 10:09 am post, readers can better understand why.

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
11:04 am

@ Mr. B – I will ask you the same questions as I have posed another poster…. How can you on one hand support the RIGHT of locally elected officials on school boards and denigrate the authority of locally elected STATE officials? My state house rep. is someone I’ve known in my community for years. Just because his office happens to be downtown versus the board of education does not make him less caring about our community…and just as accountable for how he votes to appropriate state tax dollars (which YOU and I, through our vote, have vested in him the responsibility to decide.)

Secondly, are you saying you disagree with how our state government is set up: an elected official (for whom YOU had a vote) with Constitutional and legal authority to appoint all sort of offices with decision making at greater levels than this little Commission. If you disagree with how our government is structured, as I recommended to another, perhaps you’d like to lobby for a Constitutional Amendment in 2014. That’s how it works, sir. The charter sector is using the framework of our government…including the amendment process (which requires the support of our state.)

Truly, I don’t mind folks disagreeing if there is accurate and comprehensive data presented, but hypocrisy and illogical arguments are so tiresome.

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
11:09 am

Another excerpt from the link I provided in my 10:09 am post. This excerpt focuses upon the performance of charter schools compared with that of traditional public schools. See below:
———————————————————————–

“Charters don’t perform better.

As far as teaching American kids high-level skills to get them ready for the job market, data conflict (at best) as to whether charter schools fail more often than public schools do. The New York Times, in an editorial titled “Exploding the Charter School Myth,” uses statistics from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to argue that fourth-graders in freestanding charter schools showed worse performance than their public school counterparts in math and reading scores. (The data were different, however, for those students in charter schools affiliated with public school districts.) As the editorial argues, “the problem with failing public schools is that they often lack both resources and skilled, experienced teachers. While there are obvious exceptions, some charter schools embark on a path that simply re-creates the failures that they were developed to replace.”36

According to the important book Charter School Dustup: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement,37 a study published in 2005 by scholars with the Economic Policy Institute and the Teachers’ College at Columbia University, “an analysis of California found that socioeconomically disadvantaged Asian-origin and Latino students in charter schools had composite test scores (literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies) that were about 4 to 5 percent lower than their counterparts in public primary schools.” Overall, in every state besides Arizona, they found charter schools’ performance is no higher than that of public schools in every demographic category. The comparisons were no better for low-income Black students.

The charter school movement cooks the books to try and prove otherwise. KIPP Schools, a nonprofit company that runs fifty-two schools nationwide and was formed in a partnership between ex–Teach for America (an anti-union organization) teachers and Donald Fisher, cofounder of Gap Inc., illustrates this point. It claims the highest test scores in the Bronx. But one comparison found that 42 percent of entering fourth-graders entering the KIPP school passed state reading tests, as compared to 25 percent for the surrounding public schools. They are starting with a group of students who already have better test scores.

In California, charter schools did worse than regular public schools at achieving their Adequate Yearly Progress goals, even though those goals are flawed because they are set by No Child Left Behind mandates.38 By a slightly better measure, “academic momentum,” which tries to measure improvements in schools, 24.8 percent of charter schools, and only 19.6 percent of public schools earned a “high” ranking. But by the same token, 26.3 percent of charter schools got a “poor” ranking, as compared to only 19.6 percent of public schools. The best charter schools seem to be improving slightly faster than California public schools, but a higher percentage of charter schools perform poorly. Perhaps charter schools aren’t the great equalizers that they claim to be.”

td

August 19th, 2012
11:26 am

Lil’ Barry Bailout – Vote American

August 19th, 2012
10:14 am

If government schools were doing the job, we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all, now would we?

Local control and parent choice are the answer.

School boards, school administrators, and teachers will do all they can to block reform.

I must disagree with you on this point. The teachers present the same information to the students in East Cobb and North Fulton as they do in Clayton county and rural Georgia but they receive different results. If the information is presented the same in both areas and you get different results then what is the problem?

I submit that the difference is the PARENTS. Yes, I know the libs will say it is because the parents in East Cobb and North Fulton are rich so their kids have an “unfair” advantage but it has been proven over and over again that money does not equal a smarter kid. The real underlying difference is 2 fold:

1: The parents in the East Cobb and North Fulton districts are proof and believe that getting an education is the key reason of success. They set an expectation for their children to receive and education and they follow through with making sure they receive the proper education. They make sure their kids are reading in off time, they make sure their children are doing their homework and understand what is being taught in the class and they continuously talk, with their children, about the importance education.

2: This is a huge problem that no one wants to take on. You see way less single parents in East Cobb and North Fulton. There have been many many studies that point to the facts that a child of a single parent (usually) scores less on standardized test, grades are lower in the classroom, more likely to take illegal drugs or to drink, more likely to drop out and more likely to end up in jail. You can say it is also way harder for a single parent to give the children this support they need to be successful in the classroom just because of time constraints.

I would also submit that in East Cobb and North Fulton you could place all first year teachers in the largest classroom sizes in the state and they would still out perform their counter parts with the most experienced teachers and smallest class sizes in Clayton county or rural Georgia.

It is not the teachers but the parents that must change if you want to see real change in education. Until this happens then we are just throwing money down a rat hole with plans to improve education. IMHO

td

August 19th, 2012
11:34 am

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
11:04 am

I have been asking you a general relevant questions for two days now and all you have done is deflect and go back to some set of (IMO) false set of talking points. Until, you answer these questions directly and can convince me and other conservatives on this board that this amendment is better then all you are saying is really irrelevant.. One more time:

So in your previous post you talk about the SBOE has impeccable credentials. By your statements this commission will be established with approval of the appointments by the SBOE.

Since the SBOE is currently reviewing the applications rejected by local boards and has the authority under current law to override the local board then WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER LAYER OF BUREAUCRACY that is going to cost the state millions of dollars?

There is either something you are not telling us or I do not see the entire point of this amendment. The state BOE is going to do what the Governor wants and the way this commission is set up the Governor still has control over the decisions made. What is the difference?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
11:49 am

Mary Elizabeth: Don’t be fooled by those who have an interest in profiteering, using children to do so.
——————-

Including teachers.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
11:54 am

td: It is not the teachers but the parents that must change if you want to see real change in education.
—————-

Good parents outside of the high-performing districts you mention have little choice but to continue sending their kids to failing schools. Bad parenting leads to poor student performance to be sure. Choice and competition are the answers. Teachers unions and associations like we have in Georgia, and school administrators and school boards are obstacles to reform. Parents who keep voting in the same obstructionist school boards should be ashamed.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
11:58 am

Choice and competition are the answers (for those parents who care, that is).

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

@ td – First of all, I was not providing a judgment statement about the SBOE’s “credentials,” as I do not know all of these individuals personally and only know what they do collectively. My point (which perhaps I did not articulate clearly) was that the districts have never questioned the authority of the SBOE (and to my knowledge, NO state appointed Commission’s authority has ever been challenged).

I HAVE answered your question over and over and over. So I will try once again and will break it down.

1. The Supreme Court’s ruling left a GRAY area related to authority of the state to authorize schools. This has been well documented and addressed by members of the Supreme Court who dissented AND the Attorney General. There are some who disagree with the state’s authority. This leaves the door open for a lawsuit (which will be costly to taxpayers and will take focus away from EVERYBODY’S job to educate kids). The ONLY way to CLARIFY for both sides is to ask the voters who THEY think should be able to authorize charters.

2. This is not “another layer of bureaucracy.” First of all, they will have direct decision making authority over the Commission schools (and will be overseen, like districts) by the SBOE. Secondly, there are TONS of Commissions (governor appointed) in this state that address specialized topics that local and/state agencies don’t have the capacity to address: Here’s a list: http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/boards_gov.htm.

3. This Commission will NOT cost the tax payers more money. Here is why: 1) they are a VOLUNTEER board (district boards certainly don’t work for free). 2) The tax payer dollars educating Commission students is LESS than if the students attended district schools. 3) The state is not raising taxes to address these schools. It is taking a VERY, VERY tiny piece of the state budget that is NOT K-12 education money and moving it to these schools, which, we have elected the legislators to carry forth this budgetary responsibility. 4) The Commission staff will be funded by administrative fees (not to exceed 3% and cannot exceed actual costs) of the Commission approved schools. If the schools were authorized locally, they would STILL be paying up to 3% for the same administration by district office staff, so it’s a wash from a cost standpoint.

4. The Governor’s office did not get into the business of the Commission when it was operational. The process was transparent for approving (and yes, denying) some charters. The SBOE heard the recommendations of the Commission and publicly addressed them. The Governor’s Office, aside from the official appointments (recommended by elected officials) doesn’t otherwise get involved.

Now let me ask YOU a question. Nobody is forcing this decision on Georgia citizens. It is going out to them for a vote. Both sides have the opportunity to educate on the matter. Why are you (and others) fighting so hard against Georgia voters having a voice in this? Seems like trying to block the opportunity for a public vote on the matter removes local control more than anything.

I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Jerry Eads

August 19th, 2012
1:14 pm

I will be forever fascinated that people who have the temerity to call themselves “conservative” would look to central control by state appointed political appointees as a solution to any disliked electoral process – in this case local elections (!). Who could possibly actually believe that such an approach would lead to better “parental control” — except, perhaps, for those two or three political appointees who happened to be parents?

We KNOW from an avalanche of research that charter schools are AT BEST no better than the regular public schools they are intended to provide escape from, which makes them DISMAL FAILURES as a “fix” for anything about public schooling.

Yet we have elected officials who are virtually hysterical in their desire to centralize control of rampant implementation of them at the state level. How can anyone come to any other conclusion than that there are ulterior motives afoot – that most llikely have everything to do with large sums of money for someone – and absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of kids.

td

August 19th, 2012
1:21 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

1: Red Herring argument that can not be proven. The State BOE has been approving Charter schools for 14 years and is still approving them. The State SC said nothing about the State BOE and if any of the people that wanted to do away with all Charter schools had thought so then the other law suit would have been already filed and heard. The law that allowed the SBOE to set up special Charters was not part of the decision.

2: One more time. If the SBOE is doing the job then WHY SET UP ANOTHER COMMISSION? Why will you not directly answer this one question? Local and state officials do currently have this ability and have been doing their jobs for years now. Why is another layer necessary?

3: I do not have enough information to talk about the money but the state DOE has said it was cost millions of more dollars. Besides the extra money cost go back to #2 and answer the question about what is the necessity of a separate commission that is overseen by a board that currently has the ability to do the job?

4: And you can prove that the governors office did not make its recommendations how? Are you telling us the governors office did not talk to its appointed members about any schools? This argument makes no sense to anyone that understands politics. BTW: Did the legislature get involved by its appointments to the board?

To answer you question: As a person that believes we are Taxed Enough Already this issue appears that it is not a issue of parental choice but rather a issue of certain members of the legislature wanting to control money going to the school system for some reason. Sort of like the TSPLOST supporters wanted to do with transpertation money. We currently have a method for Charter schools to be approved by local BOE’s and if rejected then an appeal process through the state BOE (Exact same authority this amendment would give to the commission and then to the SBOE). I do not see how this is going to improve our educational system and all it does is allow the Speaker of the house and President of the Senate to influence which Charter schools get approved.

killerj

August 19th, 2012
1:22 pm

Pure speculation on both parties part about who,s saving what,you can,t project monies saved in a 5 year period because of how volatile the market is by our free spending government,this is where they always fail by spending money thats not even there,”We the People” need better leadership than what,s provided to have the money in hand before anything is done.

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
1:50 pm

@ Jerry Eads – Honestly, we continue to destroy this country with partisan “values.” At some point you have to throw it out the window and consider what is right for kids, what is right for communities, what is right for tax payers, and what makes sense. Speaking to each of these points:

1. Kids do not have equal access to quality education in this state. That is a quantifiable fact. There should be another option. Other ‘options” are not accessible in every system or to every child.
2. When parents demand another option and put forth a quality petition, they have the right to an objective review of their application. This has not occurred consistently across our state and has been documented.
3. The current system is NOT providing return on investment. We continue to funnel money to districts and many (certainly not all), but many do not have even adequate achievement. Charters do have accountability and provide return on investment, whether they are locally or state approved.
4. Every other decision making body in our society provides for an appeal – and one that can not be legally challenged. Communities desiring charters should have the same.
5. If districts are fair, the Commissions work will be pretty limited.
6. In November, the voters will determine the merits of both sides.

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
1:52 pm

@ td – I cannot help you any more, as you seem determined to talk in circles and say the same illogical things over and over. Best of luck to you.

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
2:00 pm

@ KillerJ – May I ask you something? You and others continue to allude to these big government officials spending our money.

Has it occurred to you that:

1. District elected officials can and do spend YOUR money, too, and are not giving you back much for it…and there is no accountability for it either.

2. Our state officials who appropriate money in the budget are LOCALLY elected and they represent our communities.

td

August 19th, 2012
2:05 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
1:52 pm

@ td – I cannot help you any more, as you seem determined to talk in circles and say the same illogical things over and over. Best of luck to you.

This is because you refuse to answer fundamental questions like if we already have a system in place with an appeal process then why do we need an additional level of bureaucracy? Until you can answer this question then I will continue to work to build a coalition to oppose this amendment in November.

td

August 19th, 2012
2:09 pm

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
2:00 pm

“2. Our state officials who appropriate money in the budget are LOCALLY elected and they represent our communities.”

Now this is getting to the crux of the issue. You and others believe that the legislature should be involved in the process of selecting schools in the local communities. If this is the case then why should we have locally elected BOE’s?

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
2:27 pm

@ td –

I HAVE answered you. The amendment is to affirm or deny the state’s authority in this process. The Supreme Court decision is open to challenge. I still do not understand why this does not make sense to you. Why not just let the public clarify?

Secondly, I believe that the local boards should have the first say so in decision making (just like local courts have the first say so in violations of the law). But I believe the state should have authority when the district level violates ethical, transparent practices, or when they make an error (just like a state court does). I also do not believe the state should “start” schools, so to speak. This should be driven by community needs/desires (as stated in the amendment language).

Do you dispute the state’s authority in creating the School for the Blind and Deaf?

The point I was making in #2 is that these people making decisions about what happens to the state budget aren’t removed from our communities…they are voted in BY our communities to represent our communities and larger state needs/priorities. We have all vested in them this responsibility.

CharterStarter, Too

August 19th, 2012
2:36 pm

@ td – I think the REAL problem the opponents have is that they are fearful the public WILL affirm it. That’s why they fought tooth and nail to avoid the public having a say so in this.

I think the opposing side is AFRAID to ask the communities if they are satisfied.

I think they are afraid to ask their teachers if they are satisfied.

The charter proponents are all pretty to the point and provide transparent data to support their reasoning. We aren’t afraid to debate. We aren’t afraid to send voters to public data sites to verify for themselves. We don’t spin propaganda.

The opponents continue to change their target (first it was how the Commission was funded…then it was their right to exist….no it is loss of local control….) They try to obfuscate and mask the real issues chartering in general addresses in this state and nationally. I mentioned in another blog, the opposing sides chooses oratory with ideology, scare tactics (unsubstantiated) and emotive language.

I challenge the opposing side to speak to the issues, put up your best facts and data to support why the public should trust in YOU and what YOU are doing for our children and our state’s economy. You see, I am that SURE that if they did, we would win hands down, which is why they absolutely won’t and why you will never see anyone in the “know” on the other side actually debate someone who is a proponent of this amendment. They are just praying the public is not paying attention to the facts. I guess we will see in November.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
3:32 pm

Unfreakinbelievable, the doormat dog breath Royals, who’ll lay down and die for any other team in the League, and that includes the Little League, bring forth a no hitter into the 7th, a virtual second coming of Rolan Nylon or some such nonsense.

Phbbbbt.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
3:33 pm

Where’s my paper bag at? I’ll put it on my head until this is over and then throw up in it.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
3:34 pm

How about CutlerToMarshall, packer fans?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
3:39 pm

For that matter, how about CutlerToJeffrey? Can you say we’re gonna eat you up?

md

August 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

“Don’t be fooled by those who have an interest in profiteering, using children to do so.”

You are aware that the feds took over the student loan program and the interest rates range between 3.5% and 7%…….while the fed fund rate is currently at a range of 0% and 0.25%…….right?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
5:13 pm

On Sunday, new president Mohamed Morsy completed Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state. In the space of one week, Morsy sacked the commanders of the Egyptian military and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, and fired all the editors of the state-owned media and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists.

He also implemented a policy of intimidation, censorship and closure of independently owned media organizations that dare to publish criticism of him.

And the lib response is

.

Maybe sheik obozo approves?

Don

August 19th, 2012
5:59 pm

Mr. Wingfield, What pot will these funds come from. With the state budget in dire straits, how can the state afford to have a different pot set aside to fund charter schools which are no more than private schools for certain public students. What Mr. Barge did took exceptional courage and it was done after a careful evaluation and examination of the facts. That money should be placed in the general education budget to allow for programs which have been cut from public schools over recent years, i.e. middle school sports and music. I also wished you would have spend some time to address the local control. This committee totally takes the control away from the local boards. How can you guys say shrink the size of government on one hand but expand it on another. What you are really saying is shrink or get rid of the programs/agencies you don’t want and replace them with the ones you like. Thank you Mr. Barge for putting public education for all children ahead of petty partisan politics.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

August 19th, 2012
7:27 pm

The only way to fix public schools is fire everyone, throw out the education manuals, and start over with new ideas.

If you are tired of the 40 year old argument with no solution here is a good article from Newsweek.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/08/19/niall-ferguson-on-why-barack-obama-needs-to-go.html

Johnny B Good

August 19th, 2012
7:57 pm

Only the damn Dems and idiots like John “I am a flip-flopper” Barge want to keep things as is, saying “we are doing just fine in public K-12 education. We don’t need choice or competition for children and families. We need more money”. As if throwing more money is the cure all for everything. We give local districts $$$$$$$ and they squander it with overhead as oppose to placing it in classrooms.

November 6 is the day when we as a state can say “vote yes” and change the dynamics of this sinking education ship GSBA, GSSA, Herb Garrett, Angela Palm, Sis Henry, and others in the education status quo have placed us in.

saywhat?

August 19th, 2012
8:22 pm

Kyle Winfield is FOR the amendment, and like George Costanza, you can pretty much rely on him being wrong every time. Just that fact tells me which way I should vote, even if I didn’t already know enough about this issue. Thank you, Kyle!

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 19th, 2012
8:42 pm

The vote in November will be in favor of more charter schools.

Johnny B Good

August 19th, 2012
8:44 pm

@td, you sure do come across as an angry old education status quo @$$.

As you SHOULd know by now, no LOCAL tax money flows to state special charter schools. The additional dollars in the HB 797 funding formula are intended to partially offset the loss of local dollars when a charter application is denied by a school board. The funding formula results in an average $6,900/student amount for state special charters, while the state-local average for traditional schools is $9,700. Because you appear to have some difficulty with you math, that is a $2,800 difference between average local funding and the set funding for a state authorized charter school.

If the charter is successful, that is a savings to the state. If the charter is not successful, the charter is closed. (accountability is the part you and your status quo friends hate to talk about)

Now let’s look at APS as an example. You remember APS, the nation’s largest cheating scandal? A state charter school would receive about $6,400 for a regular education high school student. At Atlanta Public Schools, the system would spend $15,000 on that same exact student.

But I now what you will want to point out, if the people of Atlanta are so dissatisfied with their local board, then they need to vote them out of office. And in the meantime, you will continue to shackle the next generation of children of failing schools and districts to their economic disenfranchisement.

VOTE YES on November 6th. It is a vote for children and families or all color and economic backgrounds!

Teacher in DeKalb

August 19th, 2012
8:48 pm

Have you people paid attention to what is happening here in DeKalb or elsewhere in our state? I want choices for children and families, but I want choices for me as a teacher even more.

I will be voting yes on November 6th. All teachers should be voting yes as well. I want to have options which meet my teaching philosophies!!!!

Jason

August 19th, 2012
8:50 pm

I do not understand the fear of reform. Are we as a state really satisfied with the current accomplishments of our education system in Georgia or across the United States? I do not expect charters to be perfect, but I am more afraid of keeping things as is for the years to come.

td

August 19th, 2012
9:03 pm

Johnny B Good

August 19th, 2012
8:44 pm

“@td, you sure do come across as an angry old education status quo @$$.”

You my friend are either new to this blog or have changed your screen name. I am not angry and I do favor Charter schools. I do not favor this amendment. As a conservative and having been Taxed Enough Already, I do not see the need to set up another bureaucracy when either the local board or the State BOE has the ability to set up Charter schools.

@@

August 19th, 2012
9:34 pm

Among the many things I did not know…

The Kwame Nkrumah Academy is a Chicago public elementary charter school. The mission of the Kwame Nkrumah Academy is to equip students with a strong sense of personal identity, requisite ethical moorings and academic and leadership skills to prepare them for participation in the global community.

The Kwame Nkrumah Academy was birthed under the vision of Trinity United Church of Christ and the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright., Jr. to establish an exemplary public school in the heart of the community.

Somethin’ wrong with Chicago’s schools?

@@

August 19th, 2012
9:40 pm

I wonder if Rev. Wright is teaching religion at the Academy?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
9:45 pm

Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope. – NewsWeak

It looks like even the tools are jumping over the side of this ship.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 19th, 2012
9:50 pm

Peggy Noonan: If Biden Were Republican Meet the dePressed Topic Would Be ‘How Stupid Is This Person?’

Well.

And it would have to be a 26 part documentary too.

@@

August 19th, 2012
10:16 pm

Why The Screwed Generation Is Turning To Paul Ryan

Kirsten Powers has always been smarter than the average lib.

Every time I see her, she can’t seem to support what Obama’s about.

No longer an Obama girl, I guess.

She REALLY doesn’t like Joe Biden.

@@

August 19th, 2012
10:17 pm

Goodnight, Andy.

G Mare

August 19th, 2012
10:39 pm

Vote NO. We taxpayers do not need to give the state officials MORE control of our money. Especially if you voted NO on tsplost, you should vote NO on this amendment, too.

Johnny B Good

August 19th, 2012
10:59 pm

@td, then you must have been in favor of the original law which ensured the children attending a state authorized charter school were funded with local dollars since they live in that community.

Let me go ahead and answer that one for you, you would say “no” b/c we don’t need a commission to do the work of the SBOE.

Well td, obviously you don’t give a damn about the welfare of children as you don’t care that some children are funded less, so long as your precious yet failing school system remains unharmed financially. Your arguments are meritless so long as you care more about systems/district employment factories and less about children.

You say you are a conservative but I bet you are a closet Democrat. Why don’t you come on out of the closet and admit you are a Cynthia McKenny supporter, keeping people down with the education status quo?

VOTE YES ON NOVEMBER 6
http://bettergaschools.org/

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
11:16 pm

“I will be voting yes on November 6th. All teachers should be voting yes as well. I want to have options which meet my teaching philosophies!!!!”
=================================================

Teachers who vote “yes” for Georgia’s Constitutional Amendment in November will be voting against their own best interests. Their options will decrease, not increase. Rep. Jan Jones, the sponsor of HR 1162 which created the words for the Constitutional Amendment that will form a State Commission for Special Charter Schools, also sponsored another bill in which teachers who teach in those special charter schools could be disallowed from being a part of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia by their principals in those special charter schools. Furthermore, from the link I provided at 10:09 am, teachers should take note of the following words:

“The most fundamental problem with a private model of education is that a company’s profits depend directly on cost-cutting. The cheaper the services they provide, just as in private prisons and hospitals, the more profit they turn. So there is always an incentive to do things on the cheap—poorly maintained physical plant and equipment, low pay for teachers and other staff, and larger class sizes mean bigger rates of return.”

From that same article, teachers will also read that some public charter schools have become profit-oriented schools through the influence of the corporations that have been chosen to run them. Some have even become private charter schools, based on profit, in time. See the link below for that information:

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml
———————————————————-

Teachers, refuse to put your “heads in the sand” on this Constitutional Amendment and not see that this amendment will hinder traditional public education, as well as public school teachers’ choices and interests. Vote “No” in November on this amendment to Georgia’s Constitution. Also, be aware that there is no need to change Georgia’s Constitution because parents, by law, already have a means to appeal their local Boards of Education’s decisions – by appealing decisions to the Superintendent of Georgia’s Schools, within the State Board of Education.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

August 20th, 2012
12:09 am

Who knows how well traditional and charter schools are spending public monies? To remedy this unacceptable situation, Georgia taxpayers need to see the unredacted reports of competent, disinterested, out-of-state auditing firms which would undertake regular, comprehensive financial, personnel and efficacy evaluations of all publicly-funded traditional schools, charter schools and school systems in Our Home State.

Mary Elizabeth

August 20th, 2012
1:53 am

I have just posted the following response to another poster on Maureen Downey’s blog on this topic. I wish to repost, here, to communicate my thoughts – related to this issue – with readers of this blog:
——————————————————————-

” I am going to say a few blunt words to you now so that you might see. ALEC has effected your life, my life, and the lives of all other Georgians more than you are aware. It has had influence in the creation of this Constitutional Amendment, imo. Most of Georgia’s legislators – I can assure you – are aware of its influence, and it is past time for Georgia’s citizens to become aware of this truth.

Jefferson was a primary shaper of the ideals and values of this nation. He would be appalled at the prospect of the education of America’s young turned into a profit-making industry for the greed of a few, and that is what could easily happen. Just as Lincoln, in his era, knew that it was up to him to have the fortitude and the vision to continue Jefferson’s (and Washington’s, Adam’s, and our other founders’) vision for our nation, so it is up to us, the living, to now know what we must be about in today’s America to make certain that this nation continues to be one “of, by. and for” the people, and not a nation for the corporate, monetary interests of the few. If you do not understand that, you are missing the main point of what this is about.

I am posting this simply for your awareness. There is no need for a response. Thank you.
———————————————————————–

From the link below, Jefferson’s words to William Giles in a letter dated 1825:

‘Jefferson wrote in 1825 to William Branch Giles of ‘a vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ‘76, now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and monied incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.’ ‘ ”

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/end-democracyquotation#footnote3_54erh5f

Steven

August 20th, 2012
5:36 am

@CharterStarter, Too

August 18th, 2012
11:39 am

Shoving down Georgia’s throat also meaning A WHOLE LOT OF MIS-INFORMATION.

At the core of the argument for Charter schools is ’separate but equal’ phenomenom. This phenomenom nevers has worked and never will. Driving through the Carolinas and observing the predominately white State supported schools and the predominately black state supported schools. One will observe a BIG difference in how the campuses differ from each other. The predominately white schools look far superior to the predominately black schools and they are both tax payer supported. So, the Charter school amendment will never fly with me and my mileu.

CharterStarter, Too

August 20th, 2012
6:56 am

CharterStarter, Too
August 20th, 2012
6:45 am

@ Mary Elizabeth – Let me just take this one point at a time.

Retirement. Perhaps you are unaware that the state is upside down with the retirement system in Georgia. Teachers are FORCED to pay into a retirement system that may or may not be sustainable by the time they retire. There are many, many other retirement investment options available to individuals that would be less costly to the individual, the employer, and provide a better return on their investment. The state chartered special schools are being given an OPTION (not a requirement) to explore other investment opportunities besides TRS. Teachers CHOOSING to work in these schools will know this prior to being employed and can decide for themselves.

It is amazing to me how easily people are led into believing they should only have one choice in life and in their careers. That is simply not true.

CharterStarter, Too

August 20th, 2012
6:57 am

@ GMare – Can you please help me understand how this amendment will cause the state to have MORE control over your money?

CharterStarter, Too

August 20th, 2012
7:00 am

@ Steven – I am not sure what misinformation to which you are referring. Every bit of information I have provided has been via references to public sources where I recommend that people go and look for themselves.

As for racially divisive schools…the demographics show (go look for yourself) that charters demographics mirror traditional demographics, and in some cases are even MORE diverse. I have given the example in southwest Georgia where Pataula is more diverse than the almost 100% minority public schools in a community that is closer to 50/50.

I want to understand your concerns here. Can you please explain further?

Mary Elizabeth

August 20th, 2012
8:17 am

CharterStarter, Too, 6:56 am

“The state chartered special schools are being given an OPTION (not a requirement) to explore other investment opportunities besides TRS. Teachers CHOOSING to work in these schools will know this prior to being employed and can decide for themselves.”
==============================================

Your have chosen your words, above, shrewdly, which tells me a lot about who you probably are besides being a parent and teacher. If a given teacher has no other prospect for a job, because of teacher layoffs in traditional public schools, she/he may have no other financial choice but to work in one of these special charter schools. You, and readers, should be made aware that Rep. Jan Jones brought before the legislature in the last legislative session a bill in which teachers from these special charter schools were NOT to be given an option of whether they could join, or not, the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia. I read the language of Rep. Jones’ bill very carefully. Principals in these special state charter schools (formed by this Constitutional Amendment) were to be given the option of disallowing their teachers from joining the TRS. Their teachers would have had NO choice in whether or not they could have joined the TRS, once hired. If their principal said they could not join the TRS, then they couldn’t join it, even if they desired to. That is a regression in the respect afforded teachers as adults with full autonomy, and it reeks of paternalism toward teachers.

Charter Starter, Too, you are only disseminating surface realities to the public with this post of yours. Jan Jones’ bill was a bill that would have undermined not only the choices of those particular teachers in those special charter schools (formed by this Constitutional amendment), but it would undermine the TRS itself. The bill was pulled, fortunately, but its content should tell you, and the reading public, the intent behind its having being created to begin with. I will remind you, again, that Rep. Jan Jones is a member of ALEC.

BTW, the Georgia Teacher Retirement System’s funds are doing well because they are in the hands of financial experts who have the best interests of Georgia’s public school teachers in mind. Teachers, a few years back, refused to let the state of Georgia handle entirely their teaching funds’ investments, unlike other state agency employees’ retirement funds, and Georgia’s teachers have also refused to let Risky Venture Capitalists in Georgia – whose revenues fell to the tune of 40% according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle this past quarter – use any percentage of their retirement monies for their own risky adventures in business, unlike other state agencies, in which politicians have controlled other state employees’ choices, in this regard.

Most teachers are savvy to what is going on, stealthily, to their detriment, by some Republican politicans in Georgia’s General Assembly. Shame on them.

— Peach Pundit

August 20th, 2012
8:25 am

[...] – Barrow calls on Anderson and Allen to take a position on the Ryan budget. – Georgia Gwinnett College is growing, adding sports. – Runoffs in Gwinnett tomorrow: Beaudreau vs. Hunter for County Commission and four women compete for 2 Judicial positions. – Macon Telegraph: Runoffs Across Middle Georgia. – Wingfield: Barge gets it wrong by opposing charter schools amendment. [...]

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 20th, 2012
8:32 am

Hey, do prisons house the legitimate rapists with the illegitimate rapists? Is there a status difference between the two?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 20th, 2012
9:06 am

“a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and monied incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.”
———

GM. Chrysler. Solyndra. MF Global. Fisker.

Thanks for reminding us of the real danger posed by our government today.

CharterStarter, Too

August 20th, 2012
9:40 am

@ Mary Elizabeth – please link us to this language of which you speak. The schools (having stakeholder input) would have the option of using TRS or not.

Do you really expect that charters will hire teachers “just looking for a job?” Ummmmm….no. They are looking for educators with a shared philosophy, passion, and proven results. Also, what your are insinuating is that out of the thousands of schools in the state – public, private, etc, unemployed teachers are going to be “forced” to be employed by one of these 16 charter schools. That is absurd.

Did you know that the state will not allow some charters who are not in State Health Benefits to opt in? Districts for years prevented teachers in charters from joining. What are your thoughts on that? So you want them forced into the retirement system which may or may not be in the best interests of those employees….but the state and districts should not be required to allow for health insurance. Really?

Mary Elizabeth

August 20th, 2012
10:12 am

Charter Starter, Too, 9:40 am

“Do you really expect that charters will hire teachers “just looking for a job?” Ummmmm….no. They are looking for educators with a shared philosophy, passion, and proven results. Also, what your are insinuating is that out of the thousands of schools in the state – public, private, etc, unemployed teachers are going to be “forced” to be employed by one of these 16 charter schools. That is absurd.”
=======================================

You build a case against my thoughts based on your own dramatic distortions of my thoughts, and then you call that “absurd.” You are playing semantic games with yourself, not with me. My thinking is more measured. For example, a teacher might need a job to survive financially and ALSO possess a “passion” for teaching and have “proven results” with students. And, I am not insinuating anything based on “16 charter schools.” Unlike you, I look to the future – the near future – based on precedence, not on a simple, flat reality of the present moment. There are already many laid off public school teachers in Georgia. They will look for jobs where they are available.

Do you realize that the State Health Benefit Plan (Department of Community Health) functions in conjunction with the Governor’s administration and members of the General Assembly? They don’t make decisions as an entirely separate entity; instead, their policies are made in conjuction with these two additional political, governmental bodies (which are now dominated by Republican leadership). Again, look deeper. Are you aware that Georgia’s state retirees were changed, without voice, from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage under a Republican governor’s administration in the past decade? Are you aware that Republicans, nationally, support Medicare Advantage?

But since you have resorted to distorting my thoughts in your erroneous restatement of them, as well as thinking, erroneously, that you have the luxury of insulting me which you do not, I will bid you farewell. Good day.

Mary Elizabeth

August 20th, 2012
10:18 am

My words from my 10:12 post: “Unlike you, I look to the future – the near future – based on precedence, not on a simple, flat reality of the present moment.”

For readers, please read the article, in full, (from the link I am providing, below) which will demonstrate precedence, and trends, relative to public charter schools, nationally. Georgia’s leaders should be aware of these trends.

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml

Morning Reads August 20, 2012

August 20th, 2012
11:02 am

[...] – Barrow calls on Anderson and Allen to take a position on the Ryan budget. – Georgia Gwinnett College is still growing, adding sports. – Runoffs in Gwinnett tomorrow: Beaudreau vs. Hunter for County Commission and four women compete for 2 Judicial positions. – Macon Telegraph: Runoffs Across Middle Georgia. – Wingfield: Barge gets it wrong by opposing charter schools amendment. [...]

Dirty Dawg

August 20th, 2012
11:03 am

That’s tellin em Kyle…these guys that try to exercise their own ‘good judgement’ and dare to venture off the required Rethug Doctrine Reservation, will soon find out who’s buttering their bread, and who’s part of the ‘mind police’ – that would be you Kyle. By the way, are you still proud of your role in this massive brainwashing propaganda initiative?

Prof

August 20th, 2012
11:07 am

I usually only read Maureen Downey’s blog “Get Schooled.” She’s had a number of blog-threads recently about the charter school amendment that Georgia voters are to consider this November. Prominent on all of them is CharterStarter 2, always repeating the same arguments and making the same platitudinous claims about charter schools. This blogger immediately answers any reservations about charter schools and the amendment at great length.

Reading this exchange here (where the jousting with Mary Elizabeth is very like that on “Get Schooled”), I have become convinced that CharterStarter2 is, in fact, Representative Jan Jones, sponsor of HR 1162 that creates this amendment. He wants YOUR favorable votes, folks!

Ernest T Bass

August 20th, 2012
11:07 am

From what Ive seen Charter schools basically just throw out teaching Science and replace it with Religion

Exactly what Georgia needs .

Darwin

August 20th, 2012
11:46 am

Same old Republican story. Destroy public sector unions and cater to private corporations who donate to campaigns.

Carol

August 20th, 2012
12:22 pm

Barge should be commended for taking a tough and unpopular stand on this issue.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 20th, 2012
12:34 pm

The discord, these sources said, has on occasion flowed from Obama himself, who at repeated turns has made vocal his dissatisfaction with decisions made by his campaign team, with its messaging, with Vice President Joe Biden and with what Obama feared was clumsy coordination between his West Wing and reelection headquarters in Chicago. – Politico

Aahhh, yes, time to start throwing everyone under the bus.

We wouldn’t want our little obozo taking the heat for the landslide he’s gonna lose in, now would we?

saywhat?

August 20th, 2012
1:06 pm

We wouldn’t want our little obozo taking the heat for the landslide he’s gonna lose in, now would we?
____________________________________________________
Is he running against Ryan for prom king, or biggest brown noser?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 20th, 2012
1:16 pm

Neither, saywhat. Obozo is running against President Romney on a very important election to decide who’s going to lead us out of the disaster of the last four years–the liberal fascist who put us there, or an actual American with real world experience and a long record of business and leadership success.

No Artificial Flavors

August 20th, 2012
1:40 pm

Concerning the argument of more parental control being the best local control, I would ask two questions.

1) are these parents paying the entire tax tab for their babies’ education?
2) have you seen the quality of most parents in our culture today?

Bonus follow-up: Do you think these parents, the majority of whom are sorry excuses of humanity, know better than duely elected local school officials that are selected from the broader constituency?

Most parents are only interested in daycare, not education for our society.

CharterStarter, Too

August 20th, 2012
2:34 pm

@ Prof – Jan is quite a bit taller than me. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Johnny B Good

August 21st, 2012
11:22 am

Why does Mary Elizabeth continue to link to articles by “International Socialists Review”? I live in the United States of America Mary and welcome choice and competition, not the iron hand of a Carl Marx society.

SatisfiedCustomer

August 22nd, 2012
1:38 pm

“First of all, education is not a public service like “garbage pick-up,” it is a field of public service that fosters the elevation of human beings – intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Educators are not simply teaching facts such as that 3 x 3 = 9; they are inspiring our young to be the best that they can be in all of the areas mentioned.”

@Mary Elizabeth, you are so right in this statement and I believe this is why many people go into teaching in the first place, they want to inspire and help young people; however, something happens along the way in our traditional education system and many teachers are reduced to purveyors of the necessary facts & knowledge. That nurturing and inspiration that you believe can only come from a non-profit public school has been squeezed out of the school day; through no fault of the teachers for the most part, I’m guessing. For many students, this is fine; facts and knowledge are all they need, but for others, this isn’t enough. In fact, the nurturing and inspiration that you believe must surely be lacking in for-profit managed schools is found in the very same entity that you suggest it cannot exist in.

After my son’s confidence and self-esteem hit rock bottom in an educational environment (Our district public school.) that was toxic to him, we enrolled him in the local public charter school that is managed by a for-profit. His teachers at his charter school are AMAZING! I can guarantee you that they are not there for the money (Actually, I heard they get paid less than their district counterparts – though I haven’t verified this personally.). They have inspired my child and he enjoys school again and he has his confidence back. It doesn’t matter to me that a for-profit manages his school. What matters to me, his parent, is that before, I had a smart kid who hadn’t been successful in school for some time and now he might actually reach his full potential. I have never, ever witnessed such a high level of commitment and dedication to students that I see from the teachers at this charter school. I also have/had older children in traditional public schools so this is my 14th year as a public school parent and I attended public schools, myself. I had some wonderful teachers, my kids have had some wonderful teachers, but at this school, we’ve hit the jackpot!

Thankfully, the traditional public schools are successfully educating the majority of our children, but if the goal is to successfully educate ALL children in Georgia, not just the MAJORITY of children, charter schools, even those managed by for-profits, should be allowed if they can help get the job done. Also, the beauty of a charter school is that if a teacher doesn’t get the job done; their contract isn’t renewed. If the school doesn’t educate the kids as expected, it’s closed.

If you don’t do your job well, your employer lets you go. If a business cannot meet the needs of it’s customers, it goes out of business. What a concept!

waiting for jake

August 23rd, 2012
8:23 pm

If you think that diversity is the issue, you clearly have never stepped into a charter school. My son’s class clearly reflects the diversity of our county. The education is customized to _his_ abilities, both strengths and weaknesses. This allows him to be consistently challenged in his areas of interest and to avoid holding his classmates back when he struggles to keep up with them.
As for the confusion on funding, his school accomplishes all of this on significantly less funding per student than both our county and all of those surrounding us. Also, for the record, the reason the state offers slightly additional funding is that local county schools receive funding above what the state traditionally provides from local taxes, as well. The amount from the state in no way makes up for this per-student difference and makes the charter school’s ability to provide an excellent education at a lower cost-per-student even more impressive. Perhaps you can even infer from this that our locally-control board is operating quite inefficiently and simply wasting money that you could be saving in YOUR taxes if they would stop fighting us and instead try to learn from our success in this area. It seems silly to argue about an additional budget line item when your taxes are being wasted elsewhere, making the charter school option necessary in the first place. You may want to also note that that line item in no way impacts funding for your traditional public school, which comes from a completely separate coffer.
The school district we are zoned for has a record of test scores that decline by 25% between kindergarten and 5th grade. That tells me they are starting with fully capable students and then failing completely in their obligation to do so. By contrast, our charter school scores outperformed my assigned elementary school and the county as a whole, by a significant amount. (Makes that lower cost thing even more impressive…) We sought relief from our county and were denied, leaving us with a choice between a failing school and a private one to which we cannot afford to send our children. Yet in spite of this failure, we are still forced to pay the taxes that support this (substandard) education for others that our children will never use. If you have a child in public school and it is performing well, I truly am happy for (and a bit envious of) you. Your tax dollars are being used for a wonderful purpose in that case–please do not deny me the same privilege. If you do not have a child in school, wouldn’t you prefer to put the money you are forced to pay anyway into a school that spends it far more responsibly, placing less demand on the budget on a per-student basis?
Contrary to another post, there are no vouchers for either charter or private schools here. Your neighborhood school is your only choice. So many others in our area were burdened by the need for better schools here that the waiting list for our school far exceeds its capacity. There were more than twice as many applicants as there were slots available this year just for my child’s class alone. And since slots are assigned by lottery, using only an applicant number (based solely on the order your initial application was submitted), I find it hard to believe that there is any way to limit minority slots. They also cannot discriminate based on a child’s abilities, and must provide IEPs _and_ fulfillment of those already in place for every student as needed, despite any additional financial obligations they may incur as a result.
Please get the facts before you vote. Despite the picture painted by the school boards and the superintendent, some of the actual truth may surprise you–and benefit all of us in the long run.