Outgoing national PTA president on privatization of schools, funding and future

My AJC colleague Ty Tagami interviewed outgoing national PTA President and Georgia native Otha Thornton, a retired Army Lt. Colonel who won a Bronze Star Medal in Iraq.

Thornton has to be a brave man to answer Tagami’s questions so frankly, given the political climate in Georgia.

By Ty Tagami

For the past two years, Otha Thornton represented parents across the country as president of the U.S. PTA. The native Georgian — he was born in Elberton and graduated from Elberton County High School – completes his two-year term Sunday.

The retired Army Lt. Colonel was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for exceptional performance in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, worked as a communications officer in the White House under Presidents Bush and Obama and is back in Georgia as an analyst with General Dynamics in Fort Stewart. His two children graduated from high school in Maryland after attending elementary school in Richmond Hill near Fort Stewart.

Otha Thornton

Otha Thornton

Thornton is the first African-American man elected to lead the U.S. PTA in its 118-year history. He talks about the organization’s mission and about education in America — and Georgia.

Q: What do you see as the big challenges facing education?

A: We are almost infested with ALEC members — American Legislative Exchange Council. They’re for privatization of education. If you want to go to a private school, go to a private school. I have no issues with that. But 90 percent of our nation’s children go to public schools, so we need to make sure that our public schools are sound. Before I took this position, I was the Georgia PTA legislative chair, so I actually worked with some of those guys down there and some of the committee chairs at the time were ALEC members. [They wanted to give private school tuition vouchers to the children of military personnel.] If that military child goes to a private school — the government gives federal impact aid to public schools — so if … military kids get vouchers, the money will come out of the public school system. You’re going to lose federal impact funds that the government gives to states to compensate for those military kids going to public schools. In Columbus, Ga., alone, Fort Benning, Ga., they receive $1 million a year in impact aid funds, and [the lawmakers] didn’t know that.

Q: Next year, a constitutional amendment that allows the Georgia governor to take over “failing” schools will appear on the ballot. Will you tell people to vote for or against this Opportunity School District?

A: I’m speaking as a citizen of Georgia now: I would tell them to vote against it. It would impact most of your minority school systems, like Augusta, Atlanta, Columbus, and Athens. When you take a kid out, the school has to make up for the loss of students and the loss of state and federal funding for those students.

Q: What do you think is the biggest strength of our educational system?

A: Common Core is a great standard, but the Republican Party has politicized it. I remember back in 2009 when the National Governor’s Association, who were predominantly Republican and Sonny Perdue was the chair, brought Common Core forward. When President Obama came into office and he did Race to the Top [a federal grant program that encouraged adoption of the Common Core], people took that and they twisted it [into] ‘the federal government is trying to federalize education.’ That’s just not true. But if you continue to repeat something so much, people begin to believe it. In Georgia, the fact that we have implemented Common Core and it is still moving forward is a positive thing, and it’s going to help us move forward as a state.

Q: What do you think about the decision to create a local state test (the Georgia Milestones) rather than join other states in using the PARCC assessment to gauge mastery of the Common Core standards?

A: It doesn’t give a true reflection of how our kids stack up against other kids. I don’t know if xenophobic is the right word, or a parochial view of, ‘this is our state.’ It’s almost like we’re fighting the Civil War in some states again, and that’s unfortunate, particularly in the fast-moving world that we’re in, and competing with. I went to West Virginia and testified [about Common Core] before their joint education committee in their assembly in December and listened to them talk about state rights and state supremacy. I’m like, ‘good God, I’m back in the ’60s here.’

Q: Do we spend enough on education?

A: If you value something, you invest in it. And here’s something else for you to look at as you move forward. They’re looking at new base realignments and closings, and what these states don’t realize is the military actually looks at the rankings for state schools. So when they start drawing down, that’s going to play a factor. But the average state legislator doesn’t even think about that type of stuff.

Q: What are some of the best fundraisers you’ve ever heard of or seen?

A: As the national PTA president, I’ve encouraged parents that we are advocates, not fundraisers. We encourage parents to really push to make our government responsible for funding education in an adequate manner. The states that get it, they’re going well. Like California. They get it. Maryland, they get it. The states like Louisiana, they don’t get it. Alabama, they don’t get it.

Reader Comments 0

156 comments
Cere
Cere

Wow. I never knew education had gotten quite this political. This is really insanely political for someone representing the "PTA"...

class80olddog
class80olddog

In response to one poster's question - I favor complete financial transparency for ALL schools - charter and traditional.  As part of that, I particularly want to see educational expenditures broken out by SPED/ non-SPED expenditures per student.  Also, classroom spending versus administration.  I would LOVE to see how APS' $12000 per student is spent.  Also, what percentage of DeKalb's budget goes to legal expenses. 


Inquiring minds want to know, and there must be SOME reason this information is so hard to get!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog The state school board or legislature could require detailed budgeting information be made available to the public so taxpayers can better understand the funding. This should be done before reformers simply give the money to other people with the same or less accountability.

Dacula2012
Dacula2012

The tax credit (Goal Scholarship) is initiated by a charitable contribution.  The tax credit limit is $2500 for a married couple or $1,000 per individual.  The funds are not distributed to wealthy kids that can actually afford it.  The amount received depends upon household income and family size.  Also, a recipient has to come from a public school.  Some argue that wealthy families place their child in public school for a few weeks just to take advantage of GOAL. This is false.  The wealthy family that wants their kid in private school does not want to place their child in an environment where there are gangs, discipline problems, severe grade inflation, and teachers that don't care about the students. They will not place their child in this cesspool for even 5 minutes.  I know people that work several jobs in order to provide a better educational opportunity for their children.  The GOAL scholarship has helped many families that could not afford private school provide a better education for their children. Every child regardless of socio-economic status should have access to school choice.  If the public school is doing a good job, then they will stay.  I also, know lots of people that love their public school. However, the  child that is truly left behind is the ambitious one that has to spend half of the school day watching their teacher handle the discipline problems  or the one whose parents are falsely told that their child is doing well (ATL). The only reason so many teachers oppose school choice is because public school is a gravy train/ job corps for the otherwise unemployable. 


If public school is so great, why are there so many tags that say "Educator" in the car pool line at my child's independent(non-parochial) school?

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Dacula2012


Okay, you made some really good points...


And then you said this: "The only reason so many teachers oppose school choice is because public school is a gravy train/ job corps for the otherwise unemployable" - which shifted your comments from a thoughtful argument to just the typical anti-teacher rhetoric.


Too bad.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Dacula2012 I have no problem with people making a personal choice for their child's education. I do not believe that all Georgia households should have to pay an additional average of 18 dollars per household in taxes to send other peoples kids to private schools.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

I see Otha has pushed all the politically correct hot buttons:


"Infested with ALEC members"


Opportunity School Districts will "impact minority school districts" the most.


"Republican Party has politicized it [Common Core}"


"Fighting the Civil War in some states again"


The PTA should "encourage parents to push for more funding"



MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2


Lt. Colonel Otha Thornton's views are on the right side of history.  He had courage in service to our nation and he has courage to speak truth, as he sees it, to others in our nation and state.

CSpinks
CSpinks

Was hoping my friend would discuss the low regard accorded "excuse-based" GaPubEd by many of our military personnel. Soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen don't want their kids to fall back academically upon entry into our GA public schools but be forced to play catch-up upon entering new schools in other states with more advanced systems.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Seems to me if the state really had a workable plan to turnaround "failing" schools they would take over one school at a time starting with the worst and work their way up the ladder showing how well it works. If they meaningfully improved performance at the same or less cost, who could argue with that? Has anybody got a link to the state's OSD strategic plan to improve performance?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog 


I will agree with you that lack of attendance, disruptive behavior, and pushing a student past the his/her challenge level are all huge barriers to increased learning.



Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian


" If they meaningfully improved performance at the same or less cost, who could argue with that?"


You can't possibly be serious. The above question is a put on,right? A little ha-ha at our expense?


This paper,the educrat cartel,GAE, PAGE and every other financially interested party from Rising Fawn to the Atlantic Ocean would do nothing BUT argue with the administration,whether they succeeded or not.


The teachers cartel hounded a guy from their own party out of office for proposing mild reforms that look positively quaint in our own day.As usual, they listened (as they do today) to their most radical elements and have paid the price (a full generation in the political wilderness),instead of working with the other side.They've set education reform up as a "winner take all" contest and they're not taking too much right now.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@class80olddog @AvgGeorgian


class80olddog,


I do not know why you act so surprised when teachers agree with you about attendance, disruptive behavior and social promotion.  Most of us are very aware that theses are major problems... but they are also ones we have a hard time addressing as classroom teachers.  And the administration has a hard time addressing them because, thanks to the "reform" movement, now it is all about appearing to be doing a good job on paper.  The Board office really does not care about the nuts and bolts, they just want the data that proves their schools are succeeding.  That means few discipline reports and students passing - they aren't really concerned that much about HOW you get those results. So if a school tries to enforce discipline and has "too many" referrals, they get punished, while the school they lets things slide gets a pass. And the school that holds children back gets punished, while the school that passes them on gets a pass (or praised.) And the schools that say they need more funding to hire teachers to remediate small groups, or counsel behavior problems (you know, as in actually try to DEAL WITH the problems) get told they can't have the funds cause - you know - throwing money at the problem won't solve it!  


And rather than addressing THESE problems, the public pushes to open charters and get vouchers which will not solve the problems either.  Even with "alternatives" for some children, we will still have the underlying, system problems and there will be even less money to truly try to address them.


How about parents demanding that schools open more after school support programs for struggling students?  (Oh yeah, we used to have those before funds were cut, and you know, throwing money at the problems won't solve them.)  Or parents could demand in school ISS programs to address repeated discipline issues.  (Oh, but that means hiring someone to run those programs and actually work on addressing the underlying reasons behind them - like counselors - which cost money.)     Or parents could demand smaller class sizes, giving teachers more flexibility in dealing with such issues, (Dang, we used to have that too, before budget cuts and all the money was siphoned off into "accountability testing.")  


Or, how about opening charters that are based on remediating struggling students, or dealing with chronic discipline problems and work with those students till they are able to rejoin the general population?  Charters staffed with counselors, and content area specialists to serve small groups of students who need these supports?  Then you would be removing disruptive and struggling students from the general population while giving them the support they need.  But no one seems to push for this.... maybe because those kids aren't likely to give the "scores" that will make those charters look so successful and earn the CEOS the big bucks. 


(Of course, then I am sure the issue would be raised as to whether their is any biases in those assigned to these alternative schools. )


But people would rather remove students from the public system and send them to alternative schools - however, they seem to overlook the fact that we will STILL have all those problems, and even less money to deal with them, and the "left behind" students will eventually leave school and be out on the street... and without addressing their discipline and learning issues we will have even more undereducated, behavior disordered non employable young men and women roaming around... what do you think is going to happen?  How many "gated communities" we will build?  How many prisons?  


Or maybe we could try to put that money into early intervention and work to establish an educational system that supports all levels of our society and not just some. 


As to attendance, that is a tricky issue because schools have limited recourse when it comes to enforcing attendance policies. Child support services generally are not going to get too bothered by poor attendance - especially following the recent cut backs in those services - and taking parents to court costs taxpayer money and lot of time and usually is only a temporary fix.  (Families general return to previous behavior after a short period of compliance.) What tends to really help are outreach programs - but again, there are those pesky parent liaisons and school social workers that no one wants to pay for.


You have brought up some very important issues involving schools, but the public (and politicians) want quick fixes and pithy talking points... and the problems are messy, complex, and require a level of grit, long term commitment, and sustained effort that most people do not possess. 



class80olddog
class80olddog

@Quidocetdiscit @class80olddog @AvgGeorgian  You bring up very good points, and I believe if teachers would have real discussions on these issues, you would find that you and I agree on more than we disagree.  Maureen almost NEVER posts anything about attendance, and when she does, it is followed by another posting three hours later, while this post about financing has been up three days .  Now I am not accusing her of deliberately doing this - it is more likely that it just happens with the schedule.  I would like to see a good discourse on some of these issues.  I agree with you that these are very difficult problems to solve, and I agree that principals have been under pressure to solve them and have responded by rampant CHEATING (yes, changing grades, promoting students, and deliberately underreporting discipline cases is CHEATING).  We should do a LOT more to hold these administrators accountable for their numbers.  In business, if we found a subordinate manager was "cooking the books" they would be fired immediately. But it "starts at the top".  We need superintendents who insist on the unvarnished truth - that is the ONLY way progress can be made.


And the public is not fooled - when schools graduate people with diplomas who cannot write a coherent sentence, it makes the entire profession look bad.  When principals are caught changing grades, it puts a stain on the educational system.  When the state passes a law giving diploma to 8000 students who failed the GHSGT -  it infuriates the public.


I favor a state "ethics line" that teachers can call and disclose practices at schools - but it has to be serious and has to be investigated and enforced - it cannot be just a "show" piece.


Teachers today work under terrible conditions (that is why I recommend no young person go into education). If enough teachers left, they would HAVE to change working conditions.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Quidocetdiscit @class80olddog @AvgGeorgian 


Good points, Quid, as usual.


I wish to add that children will not attend schools in which they constantly meet with failure. They will drop out and most prisoners (80%) are high school dropouts. Not attending school is the first step in their becoming a high school drop out. The answer is not to force students to sit in classes where they constantly fail and do not understand what is being taught.  Instead, we must teach all children where they are performing regardless of their grade level assignments, and we must stay with it - and with them - until they legitimately earn a high school diploma, even if some of them are 21 years old when they are able to earn that diploma.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig @AvgGeorgian


You quoted one of my questions but sidestepped them both -  


"If they meaningfully improved performance at the same or less cost, who could argue with that? Has anybody got a link to the state's OSD strategic plan to improve performance?"


Instead, you started talking about educrat, teacher cartels. Very reminiscent of Edu.. he who shall not be named. The bottom line is that the state wants to take over schools and seems to have no plan other than giving the money to different people than the local citizens elect. The lack of accountability with the state charter schools and the private school tax credits should make anyone worried about accountability for more reforms. Again, it's simple - if the state has a workable plan, implement it in existing populations of failing schools, no OSD needed for that. Is there no plan or is it a secret?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog


You are correct that it is the "easiest way" but failing students in whole grades is not the best way.  Many students who fail entire grade levels, or high school courses, give up, stop attending school and eventually drop out of school, and thereafter many end up in prisons.  The feelings of failure are destructive to students in the present, and in their futures, when we "fail" them in entire grade levels.  Dylann Roof who killed 9 church goers in S.C. recently was a high school drop out who had failed courses and he well may end up incarcerated.


As I have tried to explain to others so often on this blog, the most effective, most positive, way to have all students meet with success in school so that they keep trying until they earn their high school diplomas, with mastery, is a Continuous Progress Instructional Model, which I practiced for a decade successfully from the mid-1970s - mid 1980s as a school instructional leader of students in grades 1 - 7 in the DCSS.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian  A state takeover of schools will only result in improvement if they address the trinity - Discipline, Attendance, and Social promotion.  Otherwise, they would be no better than the Status Quo.

ScienceTeacher671
ScienceTeacher671

Lt.Col. Thornton makes good points about the impacts on military districts - and Georgia is home to several important military bases, including Ft. Benning, Ft. Stewart, and King's Bay.  


Common Core would ensure that military children (and others whose parents moved from state to state) wouldn't either miss or repeat important concepts.


Being able to compare school performance from state to state is also important for military and other transient parents.

Pavlov
Pavlov

ALEC Derangement Syndrome (ADS) is a treatable mental illness. But recognition of its symptoms is a required first step.

redweather
redweather

@Pavlov Or maybe it's simply an addictive behavior.  A variant of MCR (mindless conservative reactionism).

Kvinnan2
Kvinnan2

@Pavlov 

LOL. This blog does seem to have a surfeit of ADS sufferers.

Astropig
Astropig

@Kvinnan2 @Pavlov


...Or maybe they see failures like you people (forever begging some bureaucrat to "make our lives better! Please! Please!"), and figure that there's a better way to get ahead than be a semi educated panhandler.You people also probably believe in magic and Santa Claus.


Yeah- That's it.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig @Kvinnan2 @Pavlov


Have noticed an accelerating trend in comments. Some posters seem to consider topics from several angles and provide content based on experience, research or other articles. I enjoy reading these posters( agree or not) and learn from them. Other posters seem to refuse to engage in thoughtful discussion, refuse to address data or provide supporting data of their own. In short, a small segment has their mind made up before they read the article of the day and come here to post negative mocking comments at a level that lacks intellectual. informative, or entertainment value. It has become tiresome, repetitive and and does very little to inform the discussion.


As Maureen recently posted, very few people post or read comments. We may be swimming around in a fishbowl with the same few inhabitants, some of which seem to hate the neighborhood. Maybe they can't afford to post on a private education forum and are waiting for a charter forum to open up.

Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian @Astropig @Kvinnan2 @Pavlov


Funny- I've noticed that when the hard,radical leftists are losing the public debate they spend most of their comments on the other commenters.The subject at hand is almost incidental to their commentary.They love ad hominem attacks as long as those hominems are their political enemies.


That's what I've noticed.



AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Will someone please point me to the ALEC business model where a business takes all adults and only all adults age 18-30 (or any 12 year span) in an elementary school zone and hires them as their workforce. This workforce must be effective and productive at a certain standard BUT, you cannot fire anyone, you cannot make them come to work, you cannot make them listen, you cannot make them learn, and some are not interested and many don't want to be there. You also have to transport them to and from work, feed them lunch(and some breakfast), provide a company nurse, spend hundreds of hours every few years preparing for company accreditation, test workers several times a year on how well they have learned company procedures, and hire extra personnel for all adults with disabilities and provide needed supports and accommodations for them. Your management staff has to have a 4 year degree and be certified in the department they manage. Management pay starts about $40k and can top out about 75K after 30 years if the manager spends about 50-70K and 5-10 years earning 3 more degrees. Managers are expected to spend their own money on supplies or think of fundraisers for that money. Managers are expected to attend night time and weekend meetings whenever needed. Managers are expected to take work home with them 50% of the time. Managers should also be expected to coach or manage after work clubs or sports.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian  Your "business model" arguments grow tiresome.  I have consistently pointed out that businesses would NEVER operate along the lines of the STUPID rules that schools PUT ON THEMSELVES.  Can't fire them - you can certainly EXPELL students who don't give a damn and are troublemakers!


The second part of your tirade - managers in the business world consistently work nights and weekends.  For myself, I got called into work on Valentine's Day, had to cancel a cabin and nice dinner I had planned for my wife, because of a work issue.


And in the business world, we can't retire at 52 and draw a PENSION for the rest of our lives.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@class80olddog @AvgGeorgian


"And in the business world, we can't retire at 52 and draw a PENSION for the rest of our lives."


FYI: There are a lot of limits on this in education as well... it depends upon how many consecutive years you have taught in one state.  Many teachers do not fall into the category of those who can retire at 52 and draw a pension for the rest of their lives - or the pension they COULD draw will in no way support them.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog @AvgGeorgian



The business model is posted to ask for evidence that a "business model" for education would work with the population and requirements in place. I never see one. I never see an example of a business model, charter school, or private school taking over an existing population of low performing students and make an appreciable difference with that same population using the same tests and cut cores that were in place at the time of takeover. All I hear is slogans that seem to be handed down from the school reform folks at the top(the ones that will make the money or private school vouchers). 


If you want the pension, it may not be not too late for you. You can start now and retire 10 years from now if you will be over 60 by then. You are definitely interested in education and might make an excellent teacher. Who knows?

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@AvgGeorgian @class80olddog 

He may be able to retire in 10 years at age 60, but he won't get very much of a pension.... 20% of the average of his two highest annual salaries-- in a state that hasn't had any teachers' raises since about 2008.

class80olddog
class80olddog

I would last about one week as a teacher. The principal would order me to change a grade, I would refuse, and he/she would fire me.

Poidawg
Poidawg

Please forgive my errors in my previous post, I did try to edit my post but it said I had run out of time. I think that everyone can see that I wrote with passion, as I have loved education and being a teacher. It breaks my heart seeing what is being done in the name of reform in this state.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Poidawg  " It breaks my heart seeing what is being done in the name of reform in this state."


Physician - heal thyself - or we will do it for you.

Poidawg
Poidawg

I am very disturbed by some of the comments on this thread, for so many reasons. To attack Mr. Thornton because he gave opinions on education that disagree with some of the audience is misguided and small. He has given back to America, both through his military service and his time in the PTA. I wonder how all of the critics have "given back", what do they do for all children, not just their own?

I am very worried about ALEC's influence on education across the country. Our children should not be looked upon as means to enrich corporate coffers. Why isn't everyone bothered by that? That truly is the reason why vouchers and charters are being pushed so hard by the governor and the legislature. Above and beyond everything, I am not impressed with the overall progress of private charter schools across the country, so why would I want that for Georgia's children?

Having taught for thirty plus years, I have seen many theories come and go. Personally, I have wanted there to be a standard of what each grade should accomplish, across the country for my entire career. That is what Common Core means to me. As far as I know, when Common Core was developed, it simply defined when a skill must be taught. It WAS politicized by politicians and then tied to standardized tests that required that certain skills be taught in a manner so that students could succeed on these tests. In reality, it did not come with a way to teach skills.

If anyone thinks education is adequately funded, all I can say to the person is, "you have no idea what you are talking about!" In all my thirty plus years, I never spent less than $500 per year, of my own money (and that was when I made $9,300 a year and many times over $2,000 a year! The school system never fully funded my activities in my classroom.

If anyone thinks what has been done to public education is the right way to educate the children in this state, and seem to care little about the children in poverty or the special needs children of this state

In regard to what Mr. Thornton said about OSD, how can anyone argue against that? Do you really want to give the governor control of education, without any safeguards? The children in poverty, special needs, problem children will get the short end of the stick if this goes through. It will effectively destroy public education by taking much needed funding away from schools, until such time the entire system will crumble. Again, who benefits, the children or corporate America?

Mr. Thornton has given voice to the fears of many teachers and parents across this state. I stand behind everything he said and would like to thank him for all he has done!

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Poidawg  P.S. I will support Common Core 100% if they will enforce the standards 100%!

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Poidawg  "Personally, I have wanted there to be a standard of what each grade should accomplish, across the country for my entire career. That is what Common Core means to me"


So, do you believe children should be accountable for fulfilling what the standards require of them? For example, if the standards say that 3rd graders should have certain skills, and they do not, what do you do then?  Keep socially promoting them until they reach the 11th grade?  Then what?  I would like to have an honest answer.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Poidawg "The school system never fully funded my activities in my classroom. "


Then why don't you blame the REAL culprits - I am sure your administrators got THEIR pay raises.

Astropig
Astropig

@Poidawg


"To attack Mr. Thornton because he gave opinions on education that disagree with some of the audience is misguided and small. "


In my opinion,he's done a great disservice to the PTA.His rhetoric has politicized the argument on choice,charters and other current educational policy questions and put the PTA squarely in the camp of the eduacracy. His dog whistle attacks on ALEC will no doubt erode support for what has supposed to be a service organization committed only to bettering education. His intolerance for parental empowerment puts his organization at odds with a great majority of the taxpaying,voting public.


He is certainly free (and encouraged!) to speak up,but he needs to understand that there will be consequences to that speaking up.

bu2
bu2

@Astropig @Poidawg 

Agreed.  I think his service is the only reason he didn't get criticized more with his rhetoric and politicization.


As for the teacher and others opposed to the government taking over failing schools, they never offer an alternative beyond more of the same.  The ones that would be taken over are the worst of the worst that the local districts clearly don't know what to do with.  And they are overwhelmingly in certain districts that aren't doing their job very well.  And schools districts ARE government entities, just like a state government.

bu2
bu2

@Astropig @Poidawg 

He also uses California as an example of a state that spends properly on education.  I guess he doesn't care that they have been falling like a rock in the state rankings.  Meanwhile Texas, which spends a similar amount to Georgia, has been rapidly rising.

Astropig
Astropig

@bu2 @Astropig @Poidawg


I would advise the PTA to stick to its mission and stay away from the political rough and tumble of public education.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Right on cue, he wants to lock poor kids into failing schools and education environments...and says he wants to do it in the name of helping kids.


What people like him really care about is the "education system", not the kid that is drowning in an awful school.  But he wants to make sure they don't have the  right to get out to a "private school".


Oh wait..he is fine with it if you are rich and can afford it yourself.  Just don't let the poor kids have that same option.


But he "cares"....makes me sick.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@dcdcdc Yes, he wants you to up your taxes so the schools can pay more administrators to push papers and kids still are going to get the same education.  And of course he does not want to make kids accountable for CC standards.

Astropig
Astropig

@Quidocetdiscit @dcdcdc


Your attitude is why poor people stay poor. At every crossroads in life,they take the wrong turn because they have a short term,"what's in it for me" mentality.I know first hand that many,not all,but many, of the "poor" can prioritize spending on amusements,vices and creature comforts instead of investing that money in their children to assure a better life for them.The people that do make that investment and sacrifice usually end up on these pages as a success story.Many people of modest stations in life had a housekeeper, janitor,lunch lady or similar hard working mom and/or dad that inculcated the belief that they could succeed if they would work hard enough.


Now,that is not to say that nobody,anywhere should make that investment.No sir! You're perfectly happy for the rest of society to make that investment for the parents that won't. (And you just HAPPEN to benefit personally).Great racket you got going there. Kudos.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@dcdcdc


You really think the "poor kids" will have enough money to cover private school tuition?  I can guarantee that any voucher will not cover the full cost, and most "poor" families will not be able to make up the difference, which means they will still be denied a private school education, while rich families who can afford private school anyway will reap the benefits. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@dcdcdc Please see below, the available data for state managed school reforms. Is this what you want statewide?