Your morning jolt: Georgia K-12 education ‘abysmal,’ says No. 2 Senate leader

Those who live outside the city of Atlanta and its cheating scandal ought not get cocky, says the state Senate’s No. 2 leader.

From Blake Aued and the Athens Banner-Herald:

The U.S. is near the bottom of developed nations in education, and Georgia’s schools are among the worst of any state, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, told Athens Republicans on Monday.

“It is abysmal in this state on the K-through-12 level,” Rogers said.

Rogers proposed using technology like online classes to improve learning. Students also need more options and flexibility, such as the freedom to take some classes online and others at brick-and-mortar schools, or to home-school some days and attend public school on others.

***
As part of the ongoing debt-ceiling fight in Washington, Tea Party Patriots say they’re targeting Blue Dog Democrats today. So U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah, and his staff can expect to be read a script that includes this:

You are a member of the Blue Dog caucus and that means that you have committed yourself to fiscal responsibility. You cannot possibly allow America keep spending money we don’t have. It used to be that overspending would trap our children and grandchildren in a web of debt, but we have gotten to the point where overspending impacts Americans today. Overspending means fewer jobs, period.

It is up to you to persuade your fellow Democrats to stop the out-of-control spending. You can be a hero to the American people if you stand up for us now. We can’t afford rhetoric that pits American against American, so please don’t allow a campaign of class warfare to be waged on the backs of the unemployed.

***
The Macon Telegraph today takes a look at the money behind the city’s mayor’s race:

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert has taken in about twice as much cash from supporters as the other three mayoral candidates combined during the past three months.

Campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the state’s ethics agency show that Reichert had taken a significant lead in financing, while candidates Paul Bronson, Robert Brown and Jack Ellis gave or loaned money to their campaigns.

Reichert reported raising about $115,000 during the quarter that ended June 30. Ellis, a former mayor, reported raising about $37,000 in the quarter and lending himself about $5,600. Brown reported raising about $15,900 for his mayoral race while loaning his campaign $7,500. Bronson raised $730, while donating about $8,800 to his own campaign.

The Telegraph article also includes this curious fact:

Another filing with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission shows Brown’s Senate campaign fund raised $4,000, but he spent about $24,100, mostly on advertisements and office expenses. Brown, who left the Senate to run for mayor this year, reported that his Senate campaign fund is $20,103.94 in debt.

A spokesman for Brown said the filing was likely an error.

***
Former Clayton County district attorney Jewel Scott and her husband Lee told Tom Jones of Channel 2 Action News that a county official’s decision to shutter their office buildings has nothing to do with code violations and everything to do with politics:

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today examines Gov. Nathan Deal’s promise to implement zero-based budgeting when doling out state dollars.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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66 comments Add your comment

Cutty

July 12th, 2011
9:27 am

So after Rogers and his crew have defunded education for years, he’s upset at the result. Typical yokel.

TSA on the way to second base

July 12th, 2011
9:33 am

OMG, chip go suc it….

GA is the only state in the Nation that has Math I, II, III, IV; who brought us that great concept

“Students also need more options and flexibility” , yet GA has a ONE track graduation system –one size fits all– who approved that? Chip you really dont have a clue….

let me see if i can explain it fo ya:

other states and countries have school systems to work on the strengths of their students… some can handle STEM classes others may be better geared toward tech studies. Now if you want to do some good; bring back Vo-tech or use GA’s JC/Tech schools to work with HS to offer training in services the students are interested in.

Beth Merkleson

July 12th, 2011
9:33 am

I thought I was the Number 2 guy, I mean girl, in the Georgia State Senate

ByteMe

July 12th, 2011
9:38 am

so please don’t allow a campaign of class warfare to be waged on the backs of the unemployed.

Now I wonder what they thought they meant by that.

professional skeptic

July 12th, 2011
9:39 am

Clearly, the answer to all our state’s education problems is more cuts to education, right?

Ghost Rider

July 12th, 2011
9:40 am

“So after Rogers and his crew have defunded education for years, he’s upset at the result.”

How can you distinguish “before and after” the defunding? The numbers appear to be pretty much the same.

shirley

July 12th, 2011
9:40 am

Cheers to Rogers for continuing to push all of us to improve k to 12 education across the state.

Young Lady

July 12th, 2011
9:55 am

@ Now if you want to do some good; bring back Vo-tech or use GA’s JC/Tech schools to work with HS to offer training in services the students are interested in

Um they already have that. All the high schools in my area have the option to take vo-tech classes just like they do for college ones. I don’t know why people keep suggesting this when it already exists in many counties, especially rural ones like mine. It’s not the cure all you seem to think it is. It certainly hasn’t improved our graduation rates or our education standards in this county.

If you want to improve K-12 education you need to start by improving the quality of education and not the variety. If you throw out a lot of sub-par options that doesn’t improve anything. If anything we need to ditch this standardized testing route like most of the western world and raise the bar on what we actually teach in schools and stop catering to under-achieving.

Fish 'n' Chips

July 12th, 2011
9:57 am

Chip sends his kids to private school. Apparently, the rather well regarded public schools in the Towne Lake area aren’t good enough for him. So yes, he is the quintessential outsider agitator with regard to public education.

td

July 12th, 2011
9:57 am

Until the parents have a change of attitude about the importance and responsibility in their child’s education and we as a state get rid of this silly notiion that all children are college bound, nothing will change. There are some great schools in this state and we have a lot of exceptional students and they all have one thing in common. Parental involvement from an early age. Parent’s placing high expectations on their children, parents being teachers at home from an early age and then those parents being involved in the child’s school.

Amount of money does not equal learning. Parents, communities and children’s attitudes equal learning.

Rule .303

July 12th, 2011
9:58 am

Ah, so I take it GA was near the top before the cuts? You guys must all be products of GA public education….LOL

Throwing good money after bad has never been the answer.

Beverly Hall

July 12th, 2011
9:59 am

I know how we can fix our education problem.

Rethuglicans

July 12th, 2011
10:00 am

“so please don’t allow a campaign of class warfare to be waged on the backs of the unemployed.”

Which is repubspeak for “let’s keep the tax cuts for the uber-rich while doing nothing to help the unemployed, and nevermind the Bush tax cuts, or the stimulus tax cuts over the last 11 years haven’t created the jobs like we still claim….”

Keep doing this GOP

July 12th, 2011
10:05 am

Chip Rogers only mission is to ruin this state from the inside out. Cut funding for education and make it harder for counties to raise money for education. And then he sponsors the bill that make counties send out these assessment notices which wastes county money.

And then people wonder why a bank is suing him and his buddy Tom Graves for non payment.

The legislature would be better off without Rogers and his other buddy Bobby Franklin.

Linda Schrenko

July 12th, 2011
10:07 am

I hear I’m getting a new cellmate soon. When Bev gets here we are going to come up with an action plan for education. First thing we plan on doing is talking Beth Merkelson into starting a new education blog.

Do I look fat?

jconservative

July 12th, 2011
10:08 am

“It is up to you to persuade your fellow Democrats to stop the out-of-control spending.”

Interesting sentence by the Tea Party Patriots. The White House is wanting to cut the deficit by $4 trillion and the House Republicans have backed off that figure and now only want to cut the deficit by $2 trillion.

Why are the Tea Party Patriots now pushing for keeping thhat $2 trillion as a deficit?

Interesting.

Uncle Tom

July 12th, 2011
10:10 am

Don’t overlook this fact———————–for advanced placement high school test scores, Georgia is # 11 nationally. You can’t do much better than that.

td

July 12th, 2011
10:12 am

jconservative

July 12th, 2011
10:08 am

Where are these spending cuts coming from? Are they immediate or are they cuts to project future increases? We know where the tax increases are coming from. The devil is in the details.

JP

July 12th, 2011
10:24 am

TD – the Republican backed house passed an increase in the defense budget (to be fair it was backed by dems too). But if the R’s wanted to cut spending, why pass an increase in the DOD budget?

No Longer Republican

July 12th, 2011
10:24 am

Gosh, something in this world must be wrong because I actually agree with comments TD made and this is definitely a first. The only way to truly improve education is have parents involved. The parents have to take an interest in their children’s education. Teachers can’t do everything. Most teachers are already overworked and underpaid.

Another thing that will help is a comment made by “young lady” who said we must quit catering to the under-achieving. We must decide what needs to be taught and teach it. If the kids don’t get it, offer remedial help for those who need it, but don’t hold back the kids who get it by making them sit there bored to death while the others catch up. Identify the gifted and challenge them even more.

I got really excited a few years back when Middle Georgia College created the GAMES (Georgia Academy of Math, Engineering and Science). It was for gifted high school juniors to go to college two years early to get a head start on college. My daughter went, though, and she said it was easier than her classes at high school. Maybe there were challenges she didn’t find, and I still support the concept, but you have got to challenge the gifted.

The Republicans are always gonna play games with the funding and always push for the voucher program. That is because Republicans are not concerned with education of all of Georgia’s kids, just those who are in there socio-economic zone. With Repubs it is ONLY about money and how they can get more. So as long as that is the mind set in Atlanta, Georgia education will never get better.

No Longer Republican

July 12th, 2011
10:25 am

dang I wrote a book!

td

July 12th, 2011
10:35 am

JP

July 12th, 2011
10:24 am
TD – the Republican backed house passed an increase in the defense budget (to be fair it was backed by dems too). But if the R’s wanted to cut spending, why pass an increase in the DOD budget?

The DOD is one of the few Constitutional responsibilities of the Federal government. I would like to see the House Republicans put a bill on the floor to cut the entire DOE. Education is the sole responsibility of the state governments.

GoodScout

July 12th, 2011
10:39 am

Sounds like most of the posters here have Chip Rogers pretty well figured out. Glad to see it.

Young Lady

July 12th, 2011
10:43 am

@ TD’s “Until the parents have a change of attitude about the importance and responsibility in their child’s education and we as a state get rid of this silly notiion that all children are college bound, nothing will change.”

I graduated in ‘03 and I will tell you straight up there is no silly notion in public education about all kids being college bound unless the parents are the one’s forcing it on their kids. And that’s not an educational problem; that’s a parenting one.

In fact most of the issues are parenting ones and the lack of intellectual standards in K-12 in GA. Just because you want to go into a vocation doesn’t mean we should have things as lax as they are. Vocational training should be an option on top of a rigorous general education. We have that option in many districts already. What we need to work on is our general education quality.

JP

July 12th, 2011
10:50 am

TD, I am not talking about DOE. – Why not cut the defense budget even 1%. I mean the house passed an increase. If there is waste in Medicare/Aid, etc, don’t you think there is wase in the defense budget?

TSA on the way to second base

July 12th, 2011
11:06 am

@young lady…

really; with all the countries of the WORLD offer different tracks and TEST their students to determine what type of school to send them to. there is REALITY and then what you would like to happen.

Okay, let me try a different approach. lets talk about the US military; The US military gives an exam called the ASVAB. WHY? to determine strengths and weakness’ of the recruit; so the US military can place that recruit in a job/position to benefit the military and the recruit.

For god sakes what the military figured out hunderds of years ago by “jarheads” we cant even get so called educated folks to figure that out

Marlboro Man

July 12th, 2011
11:14 am

The only way to change a republican is to stop doing business with them…

td

July 12th, 2011
11:17 am

TSA on the way to second base

July 12th, 2011
11:06 am

And if you look at every country “ahead” of us in the world they all have one thing in common. They track their students, early in life, and send them through the best educational path for them and for the country.

td

July 12th, 2011
11:23 am

JP

July 12th, 2011
10:50 am
TD, I am not talking about DOE. – Why not cut the defense budget even 1%. I mean the house passed an increase. If there is waste in Medicare/Aid, etc, don’t you think there is wase in the defense budget?

Sure there is probably waste in the DOD but I feel more comfortable in letting the defense experts determine the waste and cut it internally. Now if we cut the entire DOE we can pay for the increase in defence spending.

td

July 12th, 2011
11:24 am

Marlboro Man

July 12th, 2011
11:14 am
The only way to change a republican is to stop doing business with them…

The only way to change a Democrat is to cut off their welfare check.

JP

July 12th, 2011
11:30 am

TD – but the R’s want to cut spending right? They passed an increase in defense spending. They didn’t even hold the line and keep it flat. Folks gleefully point out watse in other departments (and I concede there probably is too) but when it comes to defense – the mantra is “I’ll let the experts decide that.”

jd

July 12th, 2011
11:49 am

You defund a program, then criticize it for failing, then say the failure leads to only one conclusion… hmmm

BTW, why hasn’t anyone asked why the state failed to find the statistical aberration which led the AJC to ask questions about APS and cheating? Oh, right, the state defunded the mechanism to monitor such data— hmmmm

td

July 12th, 2011
12:01 pm

jd

July 12th, 2011
11:49 am
You defund a program, then criticize it for failing, then say the failure leads to only one conclusion… hmmm

Please show me one statistical analysis that proves any scores on any test have decreased since funding was cut?

jd

July 12th, 2011
12:08 pm

td,

that’s my point — the legislature cut funding to the program designed to monitor performance — so we don’t know and wouldn’t know except for the analysis done by the AJC. We do know that in the last 9 years, no improvements in grad rates (use IPEDs data, the last administration cooked the books), literacy rates, and SAT scores

Course, the total effects will take another 5 or 6 years to measure ,,,

J Throckmorton Malcontent

July 12th, 2011
12:09 pm

Let’s implant microchips in all the kids’ heads to make them more smarterer…oh, too late, it’s illegal here.

sports

July 12th, 2011
12:14 pm

Maybe Rogers should donate some of that money he made off 900 betting lines to help some of the schools out!

findog

July 12th, 2011
12:15 pm

The solution is to mandate all students do some home school time. That way we can use the home school exemption to testing to rid our state of these low scores; problem solved.

TSA on the way to second base

July 12th, 2011
12:22 pm

@malcontent

now thats funny

MrLiberty

July 12th, 2011
12:26 pm

I don’t know why he is singling out GA K-12 education. ALL GOVERNMENT RUN EDUCATION IS ABYSMAL !

td

July 12th, 2011
12:27 pm

jd

July 12th, 2011
12:08 pm
td,

that’s my point — the legislature cut funding to the program designed to monitor performance — so we don’t know and wouldn’t know except for the analysis done by the AJC. We do know that in the last 9 years, no improvements in grad rates (use IPEDs data, the last administration cooked the books), literacy rates, and SAT scores

Course, the total effects will take another 5 or 6 years to measure ,,,

Actually Grad rates are up (even after the “cooked books”) according to this paper.

You just proved my point. Barnes and Perdue (1st term) almost doubled the money into education and what were the results? Amount of money spent on education does not equal amount of learning. I hate defending Perdue(because I thought he was a huge RINO) but he managed the budget and effected education the least amount possible during the economic downturn.

I will put the scores up from Walton (Cobb), Brookwood (Gwinn), any north Fulton school, South or West Forsyth against any school in the country. There is learning going on in the schools. It is just in places where the parents are most involved.

eatmotacos

July 12th, 2011
12:35 pm

Georgia is required by law to teach English to the 10s of thousands of non-English speaking Hispanic students enrolled in our school system(ESOL). All of the millions of tax dollars being spent for this could have been used to teach math, science and reading, not to mention the degradation of learning for the other kids, caused by the general disruption.

You can give full credit to the carpet and chicken cartels, and the South Georgia, government subsidized, international, corporate farmers for this part of the equation. This groups impact on the citizens of Georgia will be felt for decades. If the citizens realized the sum of the damage they have caused, these guys would surely be brought to justice, one way or another.

Veteran Observer

July 12th, 2011
12:40 pm

As a Republican and a Tea Party member I support fiscal integrity! However, Chip Rogers is so out to lunch on education, he may never check back in! His kids go to private school and his hidden agenda is Vouchers where we pay for their religious education! If he whines long enough he feels he may get others to whine with him! Every dime we take out of the public education is a dollar we will be paying in the future in welfare and public assistance! As an elected leader, he should step up and force the state board of education to cut character education, ethnic education, and all the other electives that detract from the basic mission of giving young people the skills to compete in the world! Everyone who graduates should be able to go out in the world and add, subtract, communicate both written and orally, and know basic science! Senator Rogers’ rhetoric is the problem which has plagued us from both Democrats and Republicans. It is time to do something!

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

July 12th, 2011
1:10 pm

Ol’ Newt must be lurking around somewhere, so I wish the Republican/Tea Party would ask him how shutting down the government worked for him in ‘94. If I remember correctly, it sent him into political exile for about 16 years.

“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.”
~ James Freeman Clarke

Ramguy

July 12th, 2011
1:15 pm

Does this surprise anyone? It’s been this way for years….just look who the voters put in office….Deal, Broun, Saxby..etc….Yep that about says it all.

yuzeyurbrane

July 12th, 2011
1:16 pm

Chip, where’s the beef you hypocrit? It takes money to run a large education program, which you well know since that is why you have been working so hard to divert scarce public funds to parochial schools.

td

July 12th, 2011
1:17 pm

Veteran Observer

July 12th, 2011
12:40 pm

I agree with you. I am as conservative as you get and I am not in favor of vouchers. If you want to send your kids to private school or home school then you should have the choice to do that but at your own expense. Now I do think every parent should have the right to send their kids to any school within the county as long as they provide transportation. This would send a clear signal to the administration as to which schools/teachers/Principals are effective and which ones are not.

Obamaniqua

July 12th, 2011
1:22 pm

“…and Georgia’s schools are among the worst of any state,…”

Part of the problem is our public schools are struggling to educate kids from dozens of different countries who speak little or no English. A newspaper article couple of days ago mentioned an African kid in a Gwinnett County school who only speaks a “remote tribal dialect”. How on earth does any teacher deal with that.

td

July 12th, 2011
1:22 pm

Ramguy

July 12th, 2011
1:15 pm
Does this surprise anyone? It’s been this way for years….just look who the voters put in office….Deal, Broun, Saxby..etc….Yep that about says it all.

As opposed to Barnes, Cleland and McKinney. I think I will stick with the conservative choices.

yuzeyurbrane

July 12th, 2011
1:34 pm

So the Tea Party Patriots (aka Koch bros.) don’t want class warfare!! You Seniors and middle class folk who are being screwed, just stay quiet. As Warren Buffett said: “There already is class warfare and my class is winning.”

Ga Values

July 12th, 2011
1:43 pm

Linda Schrenko

July 12th, 2011
10:07 am

Just stand next to your new cellmate Ms. Hall & you’ll look thin as a reed.