Rhyme and reason: Georgia should not adopt New Orleans state takeover model

Atlanta parent and education advocate Michelle Constantinides has followed the schools in New Orleans and reviewed the state takeover efforts there. She’s studied the progress reports on the schools from the Cowen Institute.

Here is her analysis of the efficacy of the state takeover, which Gov. Nathan Deal is proposing to duplicate here in Georgia. The Senate passed the governor’s bill this week.

By Michelle Constantinides

Here the State Comes To Save The Day

That means that Governor Deal is on his way. 

Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right the OSD will join the fight. 

On the CCRPI our schools will land,

As the Governor thinks he’ll get the situation well in hand!

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District proposal to help failing schools is modeled on the state Recovery School District in Louisiana. Michigan and Tennessee have recently implemented a similar state takeover reform model.

Is the state takeover in New Orleans a workable model for Georgia? (AJC File Photo)

Is the state takeover of schools in New Orleans a workable model for Georgia? (AJC File Photo)

But let’s take a closer look at the model the governor wants Georgia to adopt.

The RSD, established in 2003 (pre-Katrina) in Louisiana, now has schools in New Orleans, Caddo and Baton Rouge and, up until this past school year, in East Baton Rouge, St. Helena, and Pointe Coupee Parishes.  It is one of the largest school districts in Louisiana.

Although the RSD is its own district, its performance scores and grades are broken down by its locations and even those groupings have varied over the years in the Department of Education’s districts/Local Education Authorities (LEA).  Also noteworthy is the formulas for scoring and rankings from stars to grades developed by the Louisiana DOE have changed a few times over the years.

And while we can argue we should not use data alone to make decisions on the performance of schools, it is the very foundation of why the RSD exists.

Taking a look at the St. Helena Parish school district located on the west side of I-55 and north of I-10 on the border of Mississippi, we find a rural school system with more than a 90 percent free and reduced lunch population. At the time the RSD took control of the middle school in 2009, St. Helena had one elementary, one middle and one high school.

Over the course of its five years (a state law requires the RSD to manage a school for at least five years once it is taken over), the middle school never scored above an F. Both the elementary and high school also received Fs, but their School Performance Scores (SPS) were always above the SPS of the middle school.

There was much debate between the local school officials and the state. The St. Helena Parish superintendent, hired in 2011, said the heart of the school district was gone without its middle school population, and the school board argued the need for the local district’s control to maintain a consistent educational model.

St. Helena spent $14.7 million on two new school buildings creating a Pre-K-through-6 elementary and 7-through-12 high school, which began this school year and reached an agreement with the RSD to keep its hands off the schools through the 2017-18 school year.

St. Helena agreed to a third party consulting organization which the RSD has the final say in hiring. At the beginning of February 2015, the St. Helena school system held its first Parent Academy, a community effort to help parents become full partners in their children’s education.

The Pointe Coupee Parish had a tough time with the RSD, too (which took over its Central High, grades 6-12, in 2008).  Located outside Baton Rouge Central High, an all African-American and more than 90 percent free and reduced lunch school reopened the next school year with roughly 550 students under the management of the now defunct non-profit charter Advance Baton Rouge (which at one point ran several RSD schools in Baton Rouge).

Within its first year standardized test scores plummeted, reports of disorderly conduct grew, enrollment declined and churning followed with the administration.  Even after the RSD took operational control in 2012 nothing improved. By 2013, Pointe Coupee Central High had an F from the state with less than 240 students.

After six years of control, the RSD recommended the school close and be merged with Livonia High for the 2014-15 school year —  a decision forced upon the community by a U.S. District judge.

In East Baton Rouge, the RSD began taking over schools in 2008 and had similar issues as those described above. The state superintendent began a new phase of RSD in 2011 and by 2012 approached the East Baton Rouge superintendent about creating a Baton Rouge Achievement Zone with a partnership similar to the one the RSD enjoys in New Orleans.

The talks failed and the East Baton Rouge superintendent worked aggressively to protect about a dozen of his schools lifting them from their F rankings to foil the RSD’s plan. He believes the state’s reform model has not proven itself successful and knows there are more effective ways to improve public education.

For the 2013-14 DOE’s grades for RSD-LA and RSD-Baton Rouge, each one had one school under its title, both received Ds. At the end of the 2013-14 school year, the RSD schools closed in St. Helena and Pointe Coupee.

In Baton Rouge, two RSD schools closed and five RSD schools were given to charter organizations. The last five traditional schools under the RSD in New Orleans closed this past year to make all the RSD schools in New Orleans charter schools.

Not one of these closed schools has its scores posted for the 2013-14 school year. It is ironic the RSD is not held accountable for its poor performance, but at least it recognized it should not be in the business of running schools and will now be an overseer to its charter schools.

When you look at New Orleans in the 2013-14 DOE’s report, the local Orleans Parish School Boards (OPSB) grades for its (18) schools are as follows:  two received a C, one received an F and the rest were all As and Bs — only six are traditional or non-charter.  The RSD schools, which are mostly charters, garnered six in transition with no grade, six with Bs, 21 with Cs, 16 with Ds and seven with Fs.

And while that may look like these school are no longer failures, the proof for college and career readiness came out last month when a public schoolteacher in New Orleans, Mercedes Schneider, took a look at ACT scores for RSD schools and discovered this:

Out of a total of 1151 RSD New Orleans class of 2014 ACT test takers, only 141 students (12.3 percent) met the Regents requirement. Eighty-nine of these 141 attended a single high school (OP Walker, ACT site code 192113).

By far, OP Walker had the highest number of Regents 18-English-19-math-ACT-subscore-qualifying class of 2014 test takers (89 out of 311, or 28.6 percent).

Also noteworthy is that the RSD consistently ranks near the very bottom on national tests like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), well known as the nation’s report card.

Furthermore in 2015, special education advocates won a landmark case for special education students in New Orleans. This casts further light on the need for oversight on reform models. The settlement puts in place an independent monitor to make sure New Orleans schools are following the law.

There is an abundance of information about school performance in New Orleans and the work of New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students in New Orleans, and its work to support the RSD and charter schools. It is important to note that this school year, the RSD and its charters have 36 schools that are eligible to return to the OSPB, but not one has returned.

Last year there were 17 schools that qualified and not a one went back.  Since 2010 RSD schools have had a choice to return to local control, but word on the street is these autonomous entities have issues with the very structure of a locally elected school board because elected officials have the potential of being anti or pro-charter based on their electorate.

And let’s be clear, charter boards are not chosen by the public. More often than not, they are chosen from fellow board members with little to no recruitment from parents or community members.

Furthermore in 2012 and 2013 New Orleans erasures on standardized testing were higher than the rest of the state. Does that sound familiar? In 2012 it was three times higher and, in 2013, twice as high.

And if we are to look at the day-to-day lives of the students in New Orleans, to date there is the “One App” process which has completely disenfranchised neighborhood schools, as the OPSB joined the program this past year. At the last registration date in July before school started, an expected 300 families were due for final enrollment. The next couple of days over 2,000 came.

Over the course of several days, over 7,000 families showed up to have students assigned or reassigned (due to discontent with the lottery’s match) to new seats. If you miss the registration dates, students lose their seats and are then added to schools which need to be filled.  Siblings are not guaranteed admittance into the same school under any “choice” in this process.

Then consider the very costly — both financial and quality of life —  transportation needed to have students reach their assigned schools.  Many reports indicate that even though there are fewer students to transport today than before Katrina, the cost has gone from $18 million to $30 million with the miles traveled going from 1.9 to 3.4.  In the 2011-12 school year over 85 percent of students did not attend the school closest to their homes. There are students that hop on a bus at 6am to ride an hour and 45 minutes just to get to school and the same amount of time to get home – 3.5 hours.  Exactly, how does this serve the hardest to serve, underperforming students? All this while even pre-Katrina, New Orleans remains one of the largest areas for students attending private and parochial schools of any large city.

With over a decade in existence and over six years of data, the RSD in the state of Louisiana is not a reform model Georgia should be implementing. A state recovery school district under any title is nothing more than a parody for the real help needed in our lowest performing schools in any state.

By June of this year, Georgia is requiring one of three models for school districts to select and implement by the 2016-17 school year. The state must allow school districts the “opportunity” to raise performance in schools based on these models.

Should the state wish to create a platform to truly turn-around low performing schools, it should focus on funding for community and school-centered services including but not limited to:

–     Recognizing that Public Education is a Responsibility

–     Recognizing that Communities Matter

–     Providing Medical Care and Access for all Children

–     Investing in Quality Pre-Kindergarten for all Children

–     Supporting a Balanced Curriculum in All Schools rich in the arts, languages and physical education

–     Reducing Class Sizes

–     Providing Tutoring as needed

–     Providing Social Services for the Children who need it

–     Requiring that Superintendents, Principals and Teachers be Professional Educators with reputable backgrounds

There is no simple solution or one mighty plan to turning around schools as each community has its own unique traits and challenges.

It can and should be the responsibility of the state to recognize when a district needs help with a school or schools and work to uncover the underlying issues causing the lack of performance.

That work should be collaborative and support the district in order to deliver the resources needed to create the real opportunity that every child deserves, which will have a lasting positive impact on our schools, and save the day for the future of our state.

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

72 comments
ttrimaldi
ttrimaldi

Georgia today and New Orleans of 2005 are not exactly the same situations. One of the most consistent failures in education is where something - a program, a curriculum, an intervention, etc. - was successful, and there is an attempt to duplicate it in a different environment without tailoring it to the new environment's variables. Originally, the Recovery School District in Louisiana was a small scale initiative that was widely expanded post-Katrina. It was necessary in some situations, as there was no longer a functioning school district after the catastrophe in some places, and the sudden mass movement of the student population required drastic responses in other cases.

Public Education in Georgia has not been disrupted by a cataclysm. Quite the opposite, it is the result of a slow degeneration caused by people. The concept of the Opportunity School District for GA is noble in philosophy. The motivation for its creation is not genuine here in Georgia. School control is the next territory to be conquered in Deal’s version of Risk: The Battle for Georgia Public Education Domination (and possibly demolition). He began this game with John Barge as his primary opponent, conquered his territory (School Accountability). Now Richard Woods is the next defender to be targeted, and I’m not sure if he knows where the attack is actually taking place. Two years ago we saw Barge and Deal clash over the Charter school amendment (I would venture to say that open sparring between state leaders of the same party is not optimal). The result was the overwhelming victory of the amendment, and Deal taking an axe to the Department of Education’s budget as penance for Barge’s insolence. Barge failed to realize the strength of Deal’s army and position, and fell on his own sword by . . . . . . RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR (At least he didn’t embezzle money for hair transplants while state superintendent). So now we have a battle over school control. The facade that Deal is using to advance this assault is the need for the Recovery School District. No one can deny there are some really poor performing schools.I am very supportive of turning around failing schools. No child deserves to be forcibly subjected to an ineffective educational environment at the expense of his/her learning when he/she wants more. Reforming those schools is imperative and critical. No parent should tolerate a delay in correcting this issue.Yet here we are with this ruse of the Opportunity School District. The issue stems from the fact that there are already mechanisms in place for the Department of Education to intervene more assertively in failing schools, but they don’t. And so here is the real power issue: Who gets to control where the intervention takes place, and who will be in charge both during the “recovery” and who will be in charge after the recovery is over. It’s almost like we are seeing a public education version of Reconstruction with For-profit entities (e.g. Charter operators, curriculum companies, Assessment companies, etc.) as the carpetbaggers, and the Governor as the head Scalawag. Governor Deal has already stated that he wants to abolish the State Superintendent’s Office and bring the Department of Education fully under his control where he is able to appoint an Education Commissioner. This is about control. Education is the single largest line item in the state’s budget (51.5% of the 2014 budget - $9.6 Billion). This doesn’t include the more than $12 Billion in federal funding. While absolute power corrupts absolutely, large and small sums of money corrupt proportionally. There are great schools that have come out of the RSD in Louisiana for sure just as there are failed schools too. The heart of what makes any school successful are three premises: 1. Schools must provide an equal opportunity to all students, 2. Families/Communities must value education, and 3. Students must have ownership of their success or failures. It is a three-legged stool. If any one of the three is absent, the other two will fall. So, the solution lies in developing the three legs. Where there is inequality either by policy, practice, or economy, elevate opportunity. Where education is devalued in the home or community, build value(s). Where responsibility is deferred, require ownership.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Charter schools will be the salvation of our public school system.  And in the process, they will be the key to rejuvenating neighborhoods that have declined due to families leaving in order to escape the local public schools.   This is happening in areas throughout Atlanta.  


But of course, since it doesn't fit the "world view" of the AJC that anything other than the massive monolithic "teach ever kid with the same technique, and don't let anyone get ahead of anyone else" philosophy is bad, I'm guessing we won't see anything about these amazing success stories here.


Eventually, the kids who are succeeding because of these schools, will graduate, go to college, and become successful citizens.  And teachers who have moved to these schools are thriving in the new, innovative environments.  It must scare the crap out of the eduacracy to know those kid's and teacher's stories will actually get out, and their attacks on the charter movement will be exposed for what it is....a blatant attempt to control the taxpayer's money, at the expense of individual students and the job satisfaction of teachers.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@dcdcdc


Why do you assume that charters will be the "salvation" of the public school system?  Study after study conducted by ALL parties (not just "union backed educrats") have found that overall, charters do about the same at educating students (when factors such as SES are held constant) as traditional public schools.  They do better with some demographics and worse with others. There are good charters and bad charters, rather like traditional public schools. So why the insistance that they are so fantastic?

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Quidocetdiscit @dcdcdc  There are charters and then there are charters.  Some are "conversion" charters that are nothing but CINOs - Charters in name only.  The REAL carters are the start-up starters - you know, the ones the local schools don't want to fund.  They CAN BE the ones who will DO something about discipline, attendance, and social promotion.  As someone else also pointed out, charters may do about the same as traditional schools, but they often do it at a far lesser cost per student.


class80olddog
class80olddog

And in all of her list of things to improve failing schools, Michelle never mentions discipline, attendance, or social promotion.  I guess her misguided belief is that these problems will just naturally disappear if you throw money at the thugs and their parent.

AJCkrtk
AJCkrtk

@class80olddog The legislature is already considering a bill to deal with discipline - using PBIS.  Each of the problems you mention is a serious issue with differing impacts in every school district and school.  The best solution to the problems are generally worked out in each school, and in ways unique to each school.  This can all be accomplished by the thoughtful planning going on in every school district as it become an IE2, Charter or status quo district.  


Not sure where you live or how involved you are in your local schools, but attending the community meetings and public hearings that your school district is likely holding will demonstrate all the hard work currently going on.  That seems to have more promise than a Governor-appointed school superintendent taking over the school and managing it from afar.


Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog @AJCkrtk No, probably where you award them for behaving in a civilized manner, rather than expecting and demanding it.  one of the problems is, they  get desensitized to the rewards, which have to get bigger and bigger and bigger.  Just a guess.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog @AJCkrtk And to follow up on your big three--I think EVERY public school in Georgia should have some basic rules on attendance, behavior, and  promotion.  Such as:  If a child does not attend, the referral to the court will be immediate. (Don't think we can control what the courts do, however.).  If you child, no matter the age, is disruptive to the class, s/he WILL be removed to a more "structured" setting. If the child does not adopt non disruptive behavior, s/he will be dismissed.  And, if you child is unable to do grade level classroom work, they will be returned to the previous grade.  Exceptions only for verified sped and short-term ESOL students.  And the systems are required to provide sped teachers for the population of sped kids they have.


Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog @AJCkrtk  Hold the school systems in the state to those expectations.  (And try to get the juvenile court system on this, also.)  We are losing too many kids from the disruptions caused on purpose (behavior) or inadvertently (attendance and inaccurate promotion) that could be fixed within the state lines of Georgia.  Doing this might bring back some higher SES families who have fled due to those disruptions in their children's education.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog @Wascatlady @AJCkrtk Not true.  


We teach kids as though NONE of them are sped by having the same expectations no matter the disability.  It all falls upon the teacher to make magic happen.


There ARE ADHD boys AND girls, but much of it I think is due to a poor fit between expectations and actual child development.   Sometimes what is needed is an extra year before starting school.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AJCkrtk  PBIS - the latest in a series of failed attempts to discipline children without disciplining them.  Trust me - I have had experience - it will NOT work.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

And in response to @Starik 's first post which was clipped,

"how do you define 'professional educator'" -

Pretty sure what she means is that tennis pros and former NFL players should not be running schools, or some such thing. (which they are, or have been, BTW)

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@ProHumanitate @Starik AP at the local ES has never taught a day. He has been in 3 supervisory positions, and has zero teaching experience.  A true example.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

To takeover proponents - 


If you believe that the state of Georgia should take away control from the local district  because the state of Georgia provides some of the funding, makes some of the rules, and has declared the schools failing on their created measure,


should then the US government take control of K12 education in GA for the same reasons?   (Ga was one of the 6 lowest graduation rate states in 2013).


Not arguing either way, just looking for consistency on logic and arguments for or against.

Starik
Starik

@AvgGeorgian Good one. Should communities run their schools?  What if a school system consists of separate, identifiable communities?  Should one community rule the others?  Is DeKalb County a community? A community like Iraq. Is Fulton County a community? Like East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Is Georgia a community? The USA?

Bernie31
Bernie31

@AvgGeorgian  - But these are the self righteous words of the Pretend God Fearing Jesus Loving claiming Christians of America. The Pretend LYING Christians! Who will swear on a STACK of Bibles, they are for SMALLER Government, Less Government Intrusion, Local District Control. They will swear in the name of all that is HOLY!  they believe in this Theory, because The Community KNOWS! Exactly what the Needs Are of their Schools and Community and  Not The Government!  How many times, have we ALL heard this LIE?


All the time,they are supporting the King Like GOVERANCE of the individual STATES, as their own little fiefdoms of Control. The STATE King, like Governor Nathan Deal.  NOW makes ALL of the executive Decisions on everything!  We now have a COMPLETE & TOTAL control of Education and Healthcare being run by the STATE GOP KING'S. Doing whatever they desire, regardless of what the Federal Government Says or Mandates.

Here in Georgia, we have a (74) Seventy-Four year old, "OLD MAN" Governor who has not spent any time, ZERO! NADA! in a Georgia Classroom for any amount of Time. Other than for campaign Photo-OPS!

This same Broke, Unethical Governor by FIAT, has declared on his signature, a take over of (100) One Hundred supposedly Failing Georgia Schools. However, If you look closely at the Graduation Statistics State wide, 100% of Georgia schools are Failing!

Yet this same Broke Governor, with a straight face will tell YOU. The current President is some kind of Alien bent on being a King like Dictator!  

Somehow, its OKAY in their thinking. For a BROKE Old Man King Governor, who was summarily kicked OUT of The U.S. Congress for UNETHICAL DEALINGS to be the SOLE Decision Maker of an Ultimate Back Door Scheme to a return to SEGRGATION of Georgia schools.

The HYPOCRISY of what is occurring right before Our Eyes, STINKS of a DEAD SKUNK wearing Perfume.

When asked about the smell...the response is What Smell?. I do not smell anything!  Do You smell anything?

This is JEST good Republican Government in ACTION!  Never mind what we say! Just do not Do as we Do, is their MOTTO!

Talk about taking OUR Country Back...it looks like, if any take over is occurring, it is being done COVERTLY by The GOP of America, One State at a TIME! 

The Acts we are seeing and witnessing presently by the GOP of Georgia. Are the ACTS of an Organized Crime Syndicate. Acts of Criminal intent being committed on a STATE Level, Not seen before in this Great Nation of Ours..

There is nothing SMALL or about Local control about The Old Man Governor taking over (100) One Hundred Public Schools. This is PURE GOVERNMENT INTRUSION, at its WORST!

Oh, How these Republicans LIE! They are ALWAYS! Lying through their Chain Smoking, Coffee drankin,  YELLA Stained TEETH! then saying "Praise JAYSUS!", while denying Healthcare for 600K plus uninsured Children, All over this STATE!

Now! that should get the MONKEYS in this ZOO, to start screaming and throwing things.....uh..huh.

AJCkrtk
AJCkrtk

@Astropig, Actually the Democrats did propose an alternative in Senate Bill 124 that came out several days before the Governor’s plan dropped, See http://bitly.com/182bDyC .  When it was introduced, the Governor said he did not consider it to be a competing idea but one whose elements could be included in the Governor’s plan.  He did not include any of the ideas.  The bill has had not hearing.  The Governor also did not seem to listen to the lessons learned in LA, TN or MI to try to make a better RSD.  Start slowly, keep it local, get community support, don’t be heavy handed.  See http://bitly.com/17EankS The OSD does the very opposite in a very heavy handed way. 


And @Astropig, while the Governor was elected by a majority, it is hard to impute to all his supporters that they supported the OSD.  The Governor mentioned it in the Fall after Louisiana's Jyndal visited, but let it drop from his campaign speeches after pushback.  He continued to campaign on re-formulating the QBE funding formula for public schools, but he has sent that task to an Education Reform Commission that has only begun its task. 


But at least the OSD is a resolution and so will require a constitutional amendment.  This is because it seeks to take over local control and funds.  If the OSD passes both houses, voters will get to voice their support or opposition on the ballot in November 2016. 


By constitutional amendment, the OSD will take over locally owned facilities and likely turn them into State created OSD Charter Schools.  The state will get to create conversion charter schools, which has previously and rightly been a local prerogative involving a majority vote from parents and teachers at the school.  AND the OSD Charter Schools will get to take control of local funds, again not previously allowed to state charter schools.  AND once the OSD Charter School has use of the local funds, it never has to give them up – even after it exists out of the OSD.  AND all of this is done by Constitutional Amendment.  So all future Governors will get to set up their own method of defining “failing schools,” take them over and fund them with local funds.


And if the OSD decides to close a school, that facility can NOT be used again by the local district for the same grades or attendance zone for THREE years.  That building will sit vacant in a community.

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

@Astropig @AJCkrtk  Excellent point. Let the people decide. I am one of those people who will be voting for the State to take over failing schools. Schools are for the kids, not a jobs program for the know-nothings.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Astropig @AJCkrtk  - More Ignorance! is what I am afraid of to be honest with you. We have a backwards thinking people in a State, that has just re-elected a (74) year Old Broke Governor for a NUDDER (4) Four Years!


Have you had a complex conversation for more than Hour with a (74) Seventy-four year old Southern Man, recently?


Talk about SCARY!


The Lights on and No one is Home....We are in Big Trouble! 


You will see the results of this grave error, come to pass right before your very eyes...and soon.

AJCkrtk
AJCkrtk

@dg417s I agree, couldn't have said it better.  Based on the Resolution currently flying through the state Legislature, the question on the ballot will be:  "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?"  But who knows what the preamble to the question will say.


And one can assume that this bill will pass the House as it did the Senate.  It appears that the Governor is using every trick in his tool box to pressure or bribe legislators to vote yes.  See http://on-ajc.com/1C0Q7Yw


AJC coverage on the OSD amendment has been extensive.  Good work.

dg417s
dg417s

What I am afraid of is misleading ballot language like was used for the charter school initative. If it was true to what it really was, then I doubt it would have passed. I mean, who would vote for a commission that is made up of the governor's conies that have the power to overrule your elected officials and redirect local tax dollars over their objections? That is what the charter amendement really does, not the nice pretty Ivy Prep "I love my charter school" girl picture that was painted in the languauge "Shall the constitution be amended to allow the state and local boards of education to create charter schools?" Both the state and local boards already had that power. If that's all it was meant to do, we wouldn't have had to have that vote.

No, if the language is true to what the intent of the OSD is - to take schools away from local control - and the ballot says that, I'm not afraid of a vote. I highly doubt the language will reflect the true intent though.

dg417s
dg417s

@AJCkrtk @dg417s The key words are "intervene" and "chronically failing."  I'll deal with the latter first - schools don't fail.  They cannot.  Children can fail tests and there are lots of reasons behind this, but that is the measure - do children pass a particular test on a given day or not.  Never mind that the children are so far behind that the test cannot properly measure what they have learned, but that's a discussion for a different day.  Second I would argue that "take away from local control" is not an "intervention."  Call it what it is.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@dg417s @AJCkrtk  "Never mind that the children are so far behind that the test cannot properly measure what they have learned,"


Now how in the world could THAT happen?

Astropig
Astropig

@AJCkrtk @dg417s


If your side is too stupid to understand what they are voting on,then well, you need smarter voters.This is the LAMEST excuse I've ever heard for being on the losing side of an issue. 

dg417s
dg417s

@Astropig @AJCkrtk @dg417s It's called reading the ballot.  If the ballot says one thing but the actual legislation says something else.... well, then which side voted for something that sounds good but isn't?  I think it's your side, Astro.  I mean, of course, if you want something that your dollars paid for taken away from you because the state thinks it knows better than you do how to spend your money.... that's your point of view.

dg417s
dg417s

@Astropig @AJCkrtk @dg417s In other words.... why can't the authors of the legislation be honest in their intents?  What are they afraid of in writing ballot language that is true to what will occur if the amendment passes?

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

I don't care if the state of GA, the federal government or a for profit business takes over the schools
The priority must be the students. The must learn NOW, not when a district decides to get its act together.

Astropig
Astropig

I thank Ms. Constantinides for her perspective.


We had an election last year.I remember distinctly before that election that Governor Deal brought in the governor of Louisiana and strongly indicated that,if reelected, he would implement a system that was similar to the RSD.Not a carbon copy,but similar.He won over 53% of the vote. His opponent only garnered 45% of the ballots cast.To not be allowed to implement his plan if approved by voters would amount to a minority imposing its will on the majority of voting citizens.This is antithetical to our understanding of governance and the democratic process.


To date,Democrats have proposed no alternative to Governor Deal's plan.What you just read in the story is not a plan,but a statement of principles that is highly impractical to institute without any specifics to accompany it.Thus, it is simply a tyranny by a self interested minority for the Deal's plan to not be voted on by the general public and (if passed) to be implemented.He has not imposed a plan,he has proposed a plan.Let the people have their say.If you don't trust them to make the "right" decision,then you're not worthy to take their tax money.


The time for dawdling and dissembling is over.It's time for action.



newsphile
newsphile

@Astropig  We've gone over this before.  All 53% who voted for Deal do not support him or his plans. Many people voted for him because they believed he was the better of two bad options.  That's quite different from supporting all his plans.  If the election were help today, I know some who would vote differently because of Deal's pushes for OSD and/or transportation funding. 

Astropig
Astropig

@newsphile @Astropig


Deal can't impose this.He is asking the voting public to approve it. They should have the opportunity to vote on it's inclusion into our constitution.Those people that voted for the "better of two bad options" can always vote no on this ballot question.

Astropig
Astropig

@AJCkrtk @Astropig @newsphile


Governor Deal is not the first governor to trade what he can do for them for what they can do for him. I hope that you are right and the OSD gets an up or down vote by the people that matter-the voters.


We went through this a couple of years ago with the charter amendment.Every mossback educrat that wasn't asleep in a puddle of drool warned us that it would destroy public schools in Georgia,that it would lead to re-segregation, Snidely Whiplash would take all of the public funds for schools...Blah,blah,blah. It passed and an interesting thing happened...


...Nothing. Schools have received more money in the last two governors budgets (one of which was voted against by you-know-who), public schools are chugging along pretty much as before and schools are more integrated than ever. In short, the same old tired educrats were exposed for being the liars that they are.Now they have come out against this for one reason only: They don't want to run these schools properly,but they don't want anyone else to improve them.That's whats really going on here.


I say let the real owners of the state(the voters) have their say. If they desire to use this method to effect real change-they're the bosses.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@Astropig @AJCkrtk @newsphile

"schools are more integrated than ever" - ?

Compared to when? The 70s?

If you took the time to do some case studies on what actually happens when the charters come in, you might reach a slightly different conclusion. 

One interesting case study is the Jackson cluster of APS. Drew came in 2001, with ANCS and Wesley following in subsequent years. What happened? The charters gradually absorbed a greater proportion of the more affluent and less minority students. The "neighborhood schools" became more minority, more poor, and with more of the special education students. "Performance" declined at these neighborhood schools, they became under-enrolled, and some closed in the last redistricting. Several more are still under-enrolled and may face closure soon.

The question is where, then, do the poor kids, the ones with uninvolved parents, the homeless ones, those with more expensive special needs, go to school? If they are relegated to what's left of a "neighborhood school", that school will likely be deemed "failing". The state will be left with the most challenging to educate. 

Charter operators will not take over a zoned school with all of its zoned students.

I completely understand why parents in the Jackson cluster wanted to start their own schools back then. The parents who wanted meaningful change got zero support and no attention from the Beverly Hall ivory tower. But to ignore the subsequent consequences, or worse claim it didn't happen, is disingenuous.

From other fronts, schools in Durham, NC, have rapidly re-segregated after the proliferation of charters there.

There is a genuine debate to be had over whether schools should stratify along lines the academic ability of the students and their dedication to their studies. But have THAT debate, out in the open, rather than this obfuscation.


Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Astropig @AJCkrtk @newsphile Realizing that NEXT the state may come for YOUR school.  Pick a well-thought of Cobb County school.  If this is passed, the state could define it as "failing" and take it and its BUDGET, including buildings and locally raised money, over.  And there would be nothing you could do about it.


How could this happen?  Well, let's talk about McEachern.(I know nothing about this school  so this is just a made up example).  Let's say the school serves 90% kids in top SES families.  And the state decides that since only 88% of the students get 2200+ on SAT, the school is "failing" i.e., they are not living up to what they should be doing.  So the state can take the school and its building over, and take the money from those high school taxes paid by those parents, and gut the teachers and administrators, all on the premise that the school is "failing" --not living up to expectations.  Far fetched?  Hardly.


For folks who are usually so suspicious of others' intentions, the willingness to allow the state to take over ANYTHING local just blows my mind!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Astropig It IS time for action. Time for the state, led by Deal and the legislature, to FULLY FUND QBE.  It's like the immigrant debate--seal the border first.  Okay, FIRST, fund QBE as it was written.  Especially since this governor has backed off on his vow to "fix" school funding immediately. (Can he be held accountable?  I thought "accountability" was the big word here.  What about the legislature? Can they be held accountable for not fully funding?)

Astropig
Astropig

@Wascatlady @Astropig


His latest budget raises education spending again.


As to your other point, he is accountable-To Georgia voters.You're probably just unhappy that you can't lay a glove on him where you live these days.