APS superintendent defends hire of Deal adviser, outlines plan to avert state takeover

If Georgia voters pass Gov. Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District next year, Atlanta Public Schools could lose more than two dozen of its schools to state control.

Deal’s takeover plan is patterned after the Recovery School District in New Orleans and the Achievement School District in Tennessee. The Opportunity School District would take over up to 100 schools deemed persistent failures. Twenty-six APS schools are eligible for takeover.

In one of the first public indications APS will strongly resist the transfer of schools out of its control, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen wrote a blog today outlining her strategies to avert state takeover, including the $96,000 approved by the Atlanta school board Monday to hire Deal education adviser Erin Hames. An architect of the Opportunity District, Hames is leaving state government to become an education reform consultant.

Here is an excerpt of Carstarphen’s blog:

Amid the public dialogue surrounding the state’s proposed Opportunity School District, I’ve received some questions and concerns about the strategies and tactics the Atlanta Public Schools district is taking to turnaround under-achieving schools and keep them under local control.

Along with running wiht the Jackson High track team and working out with the Grady football team, APS school chief Meria Carstarphen went back-to-school shopping with an APS family. Also on her agenda, preventing stake takeover of her schools. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Along with running with the Jackson High track team and working out with the Grady football team, APS school chief Meria Carstarphen went back-to-school shopping with an APS family. Also on her agenda, preventing stake takeover of her schools.  HSHIN@AJC.COM

I want everyone to understand that we are developing an aggressive and targeted course of action for school improvement. If we can achieve that, state intervention will be unnecessary. The Board and I share in the belief that ensuring all students have access to quality education and maintaining local control of education is critical to the health and well-being of Atlanta. Further, we have an obligation to the students, parents and taxpayers of Atlanta to do everything in our power to ensure that our schools improve at a pace that allows them to avoid state takeover.

But the reality is that the runway is short, and we have many challenges ahead of us.

For those who haven’t been following this closely, let me first explain how the OSD would work:

If voters approve the OSD, the state would likely start taking over schools beginning with the 2017-18 school year basing its selection on College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) data from the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.

At this time, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement defines “failing” as a CCRPI below 60.

When I saw the number of APS schools on the potential OSD list, it was clear to me that we didn’t have a day to waste. There are currently 26 APS schools that meet the above criteria, and there a number of other APS schools which are at-risk of eligibility either because they have one or two years of CCRPI performance below 60 and/or they have historical CCRPI performance close to 60.

Given this context, the Board and I agreed that we must undertake an aggressive, targeted strategy to improve schools that have been identified eligible or at-risk for state takeover by the proposed OSD.

Our effort to adopt a Charter System operating model (learn more here), some strategic hires and the implementation of our five-year strategic plan all go far toward creating a caring culture of trust and collaboration to turnaround our schools.

We also launched yesterday the eight-week New School Turnaround Strategy Project guided by the Boston Consulting Group, a national group with a strong presence here in Atlanta. Thanks to the generosity of some funders, we have been able to take advantage of their unique expertise in education. This project will include a robust community engagement component that will consist of surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings, and a community advisory panel to help inform our approach.  I will also be collecting feedback from our teachers and principals, especially those who are “in the trenches” every day in some of our most challenging schools.

Another part of our strategy involves having someone on board who intimately understands the Opportunity School District concept.

That’s where Erin Hames, the governor’s deputy chief of staff for policy and legislative affairs, comes in. I have worked with Ms. Hames extensively over the past year, and she stands as a person who genuinely cares about students and seeks to remove barriers to their success.

When I learned that she planned to leave the Governor’s Office at the end of the month, I could not delay. I knew she could be a key component in challenging us to do the tough and smart work as well as help us navigate the system to avoid the OSD. It won’t give APS an automatic pass, but I think it gives us the leverage of advice from an expert who understands the decisions surrounding the creation, mission and structure of the OSD.

With Ms. Hames, we have the added advantage of someone who can help coordinate assistance from both the state and federal departments of education, secure support from the philanthropic and business communities to support key school improvement and student support initiatives and help with other matters of policy, legislation and political strategy.

Through all of these efforts and community engagement, we can find a path that ensures that all of our schools remain APS schools. But that path can only be defined by child-centric agendas and not adult-focused ones.

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Reader Comments 0

104 comments
whatworks4children
whatworks4children

The Atlanta Superintendent worked for Michelle Rhee of Students First.  Michelle Rhee's husband is Kevin Johnson , Mayor of Sacramento. Isn't he in the business of managing schools...all for a profit?   The Super also just hired a person out of that city!  This is a set up for privatizing Atlanta's schools...all for profit. Note that the Atlanta Superintendent, Michelle Rhee, Chairman Courtney English, Board member Matt Westmoreland , were all at Michelle Rhee's and hubby Kevin Johnson's cheer-leading session on the day the Governor signed the school takeover bill.  


Legislator Mike Glanton...the guy who has/had a business by  bringing foreign teachers in ......has been negative toward teachers at the capitol.  He was lorded as a hero by the Michelle Rhee pep rally in Atlanta.  Rhee fired hundreds of teachers in D.C.     Connect the dots.  Courtney English supported Alisha Thomas Morgan.  Morgan, finally has a real job ...probably as a payoff...as CEO of a Charter school.  She just finished the right winged Broad Foundation's program for superintendency.  Will she be the OSD CZAR, with all power if this bill passes and becomes an amendment.  What a joke!  Morgan was in Virginia a few years back supporting vouchers with a right winged governor against her own party members!  OSD is modeled after the Recovery School District of New Orleans, the worst performing district in the state!  Kids are dropping out and parents are complaining there!


Morgan and Rep.Rahn Mayo helps to host young black elected folk into the indoctrination of the Black Association of Elected Officials.  These people are being MARKETED to the minority community...It's about PAY...MONEY ...nothing else...nothing more.  If they really want to help improve schools, they could work in their neighborhood schools to do so. Many others do...and they get positive results.....

Mom71555
Mom71555

I notice that the superintendent didn't mention that Erin Hames was hired with a no-bid contract!!  Why would anyone NEED a no-bid contract? However that works, I want to get in on it!!  I have FAR more experience in business AND education (and far more degrees) than Erin Hames--except I don't have a direct pipeline to the governor and legislators! She's not really being hired for anything except to protect the interests of APS administrators!! The fact that the superintendent/board approved this is nothing short of negligence!!

HS_Math_Teacher
HS_Math_Teacher

Does a state takeover include making sure that kids get promoted based upon merit?  I'd like to hear an honest answer about that one.  I'm sick and tired of our teachers trying to rescue and salvage kids who are 3 to 4 years behind the 9th grade level. Let's Make a Deal:  fund our schools at the true level they should be at, and if a school get's "Taken Over", YOU call the parents and tell them their kids are flunking....  YOU write the lesson plans that you THINK will remedy the situation.  You make sure that 180 copies are made, and teach the Special Ed teachers on what the flavor of the day is.


The state department of education has NO ACCOUNTABILITY - just people working in twin towers in downtown Atlanta....got the WSB piped in their cubicles...


You make me SICK!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The truth is the truth whoever writes it.  This author, Frank Hyman, a carpenter and a stone mason from N.C., is in tune with the truth of the South and how most white Southerners have been conned by the top 1% since well before the Civil War and lasting to this day. That is why he merited a lone Saturday editorial in the AJC. I hope his words receive a lot more exposure. "Truth is power."

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Perhaps Mr. Tom Cousins et al would fund a new charter school in the area along the lines of East Lake?

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

In a way, I think the OSD will be a good thing.  With it, someone can finally show us educators how it can be done!  As long as valid metrics are used (which is a very big IF--no fudging the data) we educators can then see what miracles we could have achieved with these same students. No transferring the students out, no sudden uptick in sped staffings, no sudden ESOL waivers, no difference in testing--just miraculous work by the teachers selected by the OSD.


Of course, that would required unbiased oversight, and we know the legislature is NOT going to provide for that!

Astropig
Astropig

@popacorn @class80olddog



"IF they succeed, it will be in spite of the teachers. "


I've said that I believe that the odds here are about one in three of long term success for the OSD (Up from ZERO chance with the current status quo).I have a very good feeling that any teacher, principal or educrat that tries to stand in the way of the OSD superintendent will soon find themselves "leaving to pursue other interests". The OSD super will report directly to the guv,so there will be some accountability that seems to be absent at the moment.


This announcement is some early indication that the takeover list is a list that you don't want to be on if you are a career educator/administrator/educrat.

class80olddog
class80olddog

IF they succeed, it will be because they address the actual issues, such as discipline attendance and social promotion.

Jim Retired
Jim Retired

Erin's three years experience in the class room should make her an expert on public education. As she says, experience and degrees have not shown to be useful. I am also glad she is not starting out her new job at first year teacher pay because then she might be tempted to use her influence for APS. She is a chip off the block for Nathan, lets make a, Deal. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

GA should approach “failing” schools from a business perspective. The identified problem is high percentages of students failing standardized tests in specific schools.

The simplest solution is to distribute lower performing students into higher performing schools. This brings all schools closer to the mean and produces fewer “failing schools” – a quick miracle.

The other solution is given parts to make widgets without recourse to different parts, the majority of a company’s resources would be spent to improve the substandard parts by any means necessary.

In a school system this would mean that 90% of the money would be spent only on “failing” students or those in danger of failing. The mid-level and higher students could be grouped in classes of 100, come to school every other day and be sent home to do Khan Academy lessons. As long as they don't "fail"  there is no problem.  The extra money for the failing crowd could provide high level nursery care and pre -school, small schools, small classes, expert teachers, tutors, support personnel, technology, and family career and educational coaching.

This IS the way businesses solve problems.  Anyone have a problem with the business model? 

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian  Boy, you can tell you have NEVER been in a business.  If a business has a plant that is not up to par - the first step is to investigate the problem and learn the true causes.  If an investigation reveals that employees skip work all the time, never show up on time, and management is doing nothing to address the issue, then management has to step up and address the problem or you fire the managers and hire better ones. Same thing if productivity is constantly interrupted by fights among workers - management is expected to handle such problems EFFECTIVELY.  Fire the offending workers (in a school the equivalent would be send to alternative school, but get them out of the regular classes).  And if management is faced with a below-quality product, you DO NOT go ahead and ship it to the customer, you retain it for rework.  If it is clear that no amount of rework can turn it into a quality product, you send it to the waste bin.


That is a TRUE business model, and it is one that would work well in Georgia Schools.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian Let's use this business analogy to describe what is happening in education.  Let's say that Chevrolet is producing cars and sending them to market without engines.  Then I come in to buy a car and, although it has all the proper stickers and certifications, I open the hood and discover there is no engine!  Am I going to buy that car?  H*ll no!  But then everyone calls me a racist and says I am biased against Chevrolets because I didn't buy it.  And the government starts a program that requires that a certain number of Chevrolets be bought by government, even if they have no engines!

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

"The Board and I share in the belief that ensuring all students have access to quality education and maintaining local control of education is critical to the health and well-being of Atlanta."

--Meria Carstarphen.

Have great empathy for what Carstarphen believes. I certainly do, as I’ve said.  Because I have conceptions of caring about Carstarphen where I had none for Hall, my heart and soul weeps as APS has been brought far closer to the brink of complete privatization than ever before.

Deal’s OSD is a heinous monster of a trap.  The more energy APS feeds the monster, the more energy the monster will demand.  And the trap is a “heads, Deal wins – tails, APS loses” proposition.  Thus to try to fight or “ward off” OSD boarders on the absurd simply because it can’t be done.  Regrettably, Carstarphen has lead APS to give up the moral high-ground, the only bargaining position APS had with OSD. 

But then Carstarphen’s push to turn APS into a Charter System eased the way to OSD.  It must be accepted that Carstarphen and her school board mindfully gave up “maintaining local control of education” when they decided to turn APS into a Charter System rather than to boldly choose the Status Quo option, the only option that allows innovating to improve APS through local control and by which to hold the moral high-ground.  What she and the board believe is now but sand blowing in the wind, constantly shifting and corroding, and made worse by their hiring Deal’s OSD architect, Erin Hames, and now Boston Consulting Group.  Who next will they hire?

Thus Carstarphen and her board have, by their own actions, effectively set the stage for a complete takeover and, in time, privatization of APS.  The perhaps counterintuitive point here being that, CCRPI-wise, state takeover of the “failing” APS schools would leave the remaining system of APS schools somewhat more capable to produce “failing” schools than would the system of “failing” schools the state took over.  Hence a perfect setup for privatizers of public education in Atlanta.

Keep in mind this the Austin Chronical reported: “It's rare that Carstarphen's loyalists and opponents generally agree on anything.  But this time, they all seem to endorse the idea that the best thing is for her to leave Austin.  Speaking diplomatically, AISD Trustee Gina Hinojosa suggested that Georgia may just be a better fit for her at this time… That's the polite way of saying that Carstarphen's position in Austin was untenable.”

Indeed, Georgia, and especially Atlanta, is a better fit for Carstarphen than Austin. Unlike some certain folk here in Atlanta, the many Hispanic folk in Austin simply would not stand for Carstarphen’s attempts to privatize their public education and turning the education of their children into behavioristic training for “college and career.”

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@EdJohnson Ummm, I don't think anything is getting privatized.   That's the NEA propaganda all over again.   Creation of a charter system is a way to decentralize management while adding more accountability measures.     And to clarify, APS hired Erin Hames as a CONSULTANT, not a full time employee.   I think you are making some misguided generalizations and reading this whole situation wrong.   @Maureen, perhaps we can add a refresher post about the key elements of a charter district and how it compares to the status quo?   Decatur is a charter district, and last I checked, it seems to be doing quite well, albeit with a smaller student base.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

To all:   my point of view is the same as it's been since @Maureen blogged about the OSD.


Before APS schools are moved into the OSD, give Carstarphen a year to show progress.   As the head of 50K + students, one of the largest systems in the state, she deserves a chance to show she can turn them around.   Doesn't make sense to take schools out of APS when the new Superintendent hasn't had a chance to execute her turnaround strategy.

Astropig
Astropig

@living-in-outdated-ed Good point. But the absolute earliest that any school could be taken over will be when Carstarphen will have been there 2- 2/12 years.It won't even be voted on until next year, so APS and other threatened systems still have some time to make improvements before any takeover goes into effect.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@living-in-outdated-ed

Doesn't make sense to take schools out of APS when the new Superintendent hasn't had a chance to execute her turnaround strategy.”

Just like it did not make sense to take Douglass HS principal out of that school after being on the job for just one year, although the school had, by many accounts, begun to achieve recognizable improvement.   No such recognition of APS improvement from Carstarphen’s one year on the job, right?

What’s that adage about the goose and the gander?

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

Witness a drive to a repeat of history, a repeat of history from just five years ago, a repeat of history that exemplifies that, indeed, some folk are easily taken in by shiny and glitz and other surface-level stuff:

“Meria Carsta[r]phen = smart lady.”

Beverly Hall = smart lady.

“She's making bold moves and bringing in some key talent.”

Beverly Hall made bold moves and brought in some key talent.

“Politically adept.”

Beverly Hall was politically adept.  How else does one think Hall got the “Atlanta business and civic community” to get the state legislature to bend the Atlanta Independent School District (“APS”) Charter to fit her “urban school reform” ideology?

“I don't know a lot about BCG's education chops so can't opine on whether they were the right team to do the project they speak about.”

One need not "know a lot about BCG's education chops."  One need only know something about BCG's education chops.  So here, again, is a link: http://parentsunitedphila.com/2013/12/16/ethics-board-responds-to-parents-united-lobbying-complaint/.

“Without having seen the RFP, I can't say whether other national firms could have been better, such as Bellwether Education Partners or others.”

Hall involved, among others, the Panasonic Foundation and Deloitte.  But why involve any national firms, at all?  Why isn’t Carstarphen having been “trained” (her word) by Harvard to do school turnaround work sufficient?  Could it be due to, at least in part, excessive involvement by the “philanthropic community,” where Hall involved to excess the “business and civic community?”

Come to think of it, who make up Carstarphen’s “philanthropic community?”  Bill Gates?  Eli Broad?  Michelle Rhee?  Arthur Blank?  Who, exactly?

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@EdJohnson Sorry Ed.    Doesn't work here.   Carstarphen is a smart lady and politically adept.  But she is doing it the right way.  She has brought in very smart people, all with ethics and morals and care about our kids.  She put together a strategic plan, courted foundations to help (e.g., Achieve Atlanta), and is over-communicating.   She has a lot to fix and it won't happen overnight.  But I don't think she's going to focus solely on test scores like her predecessor.     When I said politically adept, I meant she brought in one of the architects of the OSD.   Smart move.   That's political savviness. 


Ed, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to spar with you line by line.  Seems I could have changed Ed Johnson to Diane Ravitch, Susan Ohanian, Anthony Cody or any other NEA fraternity folks because you responded exactly how they would.   


Ed, in a year or two when Carstarphen has a body of work that can be analyzed and assessed, then lets talk.   Because if you think she's bad for this city, then at this point I'd say that no one is capable of turning around APS.  On paper, she was a good hire. Give her a year or two to show progress.  Rome wasn't built in a day. and turning around APS could actually take 5-10 years, realistically.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@living-in-outdated-ed 

APS does not and never has needed "turning around."  APS does, always has, and always will need improvement, continually.  This is what Hall could not understand, and it is what Carstarphen does not and perhaps has been “trained” to not understand.  Train a person with a particular tool then that tool tends to be the solution to every problem that can be made to fit the tool.

Now, much like Brer Rabbit said: "Please don't throw me in the briar patch!”…

Gosh, I cannot begin to say how much I feel honored by your:  “Seems I could have changed Ed Johnson to Diane Ravitch, Susan Ohanian, Anthony Cody or any other NEA fraternity folks because you responded exactly how they would.”  (Maureen, stop laughing!)

Yup, you have made my day to all get up!!!  You may get a kick out of this, too: http://dianeravitch.net/2015/06/19/edward-johnson-a-message-to-atlanta-about-real-reform/

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdJohnson 

"APS does not and never has needed 'turning around.'  APS does, always has, and always will need improvement, continually."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yours is a different slant that could make a huge difference in educating better our young.  Others have been programmed to pursue a business model in educational arenas, often without even realizing it.  One can never fit a square peg into a round hole regardless of how many times it is tried.  The education of our young should be continuous and it should be organic in design following the principles of human development, not manipulated by business criteria which will always be that square peg that has hard and harsh edges.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@EdJohnson @living-in-outdated-ed So my instincts were spot on.   You get the gold star for being featured on the most notorious blog in the United States.  I say that because it's a blog of psychological bullies.   Just a bunch of NEA members ranting and sharing a homogenous perspective on public education.  Any contrarians are bullied off the site.


So congratulations : )

Dismuke
Dismuke

@EdJohnson As to history repeating, I think another factor is the outside pressure put on both of them to do the impossible.  Granted, Hall promised the impossible, but that's what the folks hiring her wanted to hear.  Carstarphen is now being pressured by our Governor (who really is worthless when it comes to education) to turn things around immediately or else even the opportunity to do a good job is taken from her before she's even had a chance to start.  I don't care for Carstarphen much, but I'd rather see APS under local control than under the control of know-nothing Deal cronies.

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

OK Folks, the article didn't mention the schools to be gobbled up by the OSD; however, my guess would be that those schools would mostly be in the SE and SW portions of the APS.


The problem with these schools has been brewing since LBJ's Great Society (hasn't been so great, has it?) went into effect.  That was when our glorious government said, "don't worry, VOTE Democratic and we'll take care of you for the rest of your life and your children and children's children, too.  That was when entitlements taught people that "you don't have to work" and that is when society and the family structure started breaking down.  The schools (not just Atlanta's) started to suffer and then when the leadership changed, went completely to hell.  This is a problem that the OSD cannot fix......this is a family problem that has been building for generations.  It is a problem that will take many, many more generations to overcome.  In other words, "it's not the schools that aren't working, it's the family that's not working". Again, Money and a takeover by the State of Georgia will not fix the problem; however, something must be done because the problem is affecting the whole of Atlanta's School System.


It is my belief, and this is my OPINION only, that the schools on the North Side of Atlanta are not part of the problem that needs fixing.  Several years ago on this blog, I advocated a split of the APS into the SAPS and the NAPS.  Since then, I have learned that, under law, more school districts cannot be created; however, that is exactly what the OSD will accomplish.


The APS is too big.  That is why the system MUST be split into two pieces with a school board in each.  That way, they are able to concentrate on the problems at hand, and not the schools that probably don't need a whole lot of help.  I don't know, maybe Governor Deal reads your blogs, Ms. Downey and maybe he'll read this comment.  I hope so.  The State of Georgia DOES NOT NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON SOMETHING THAT PROBABLY WON'T WORK.


Finally, let us all remember that the APS Superintendent, first and foremost, is motivated mostly by the desire to keep her position.......remember this.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

The root of the problem in the Public school system begins at HOME, without a family structure of accountability and striving to achieve, all the money and teachers efforts will not overcome a dysfunctional family. There are good teachers but they get burned out with the politics of the system and quit leaving those who show up just to draw a paycheck and nice retirement  

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

Meria Carstaphen = smart lady.


She's making bold moves and bringing in some key talent.   Politically adept.   I don't know a lot about BCG's education chops so can't opine on whether they were the right team to do the project they speak about.   Without having seen the RFP, I can't say whether other national firms could have been better, such as Bellwether Education Partners or others.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

Just as Beverly Hall did, Carstarphen is making APS ever harder to improve and ever easier to “turnaround.”  Carstarphen continues the process of making the problem fit a solution.

Hall rode into town proclaiming she would work “urban school reform” magic within three years.  Never mind APS could be improved as a system, she proclaimed urban school reform the solution.  An aspect of urban school reform ideology is to blame and fire, to hold people accountable.  So first order of business for Hall included blaming and firing 90 percent of principals in 90 percent of APS schools.  This action effectively turned the problem of needing to improve APS into one that fits the magical “urban school reform” solution, except that it wasn’t as the greatest test cheating scandal in US history eventually showed.

Similarly, through last year, Fredrick Douglass High School had a principal who, by many accounts, was working on genuine improvement of that school in spite of the school being a SIG school.  But inproving Douglass did not fit Carstarphen’s “school turnaround” solution, so she blamed and fired the principal – i.e., held the principal accountable -- for failing to turnaround the school within one year, for failing to be a “school turnaround professional.”  Once fired, Carstarphen then hires for Douglass a principal who evidences being a school turnaround professional.  The fact that Douglass’ new principal thinks and speaks of Douglass teachers as “human capital” is evidence enough.

Carstarphen’s “school turnaround” is but Hall’s “urban school reform” restated.  Old status quo wine in a shiny, glitzy new bottle.  But then some folk are easily taken by shiny and glitzy.

class80olddog
class80olddog

If she is just like Hall, can I use the "Hitler" comparison yet?

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@EdJohnson I do not see how you can come to this conclusion without real data to support it.   We have yet to see whether Carstarphen's bold moves and strategic vision will pan out.  And it is reckless to compare a woman without ethics or morals to Carstarphen.  I haven't seen her demonstrate such reckless disregard for her consituents, have you?   Lets see some performance metrics before saying she has failed this city.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@living-in-outdated-ed @EdJohnson 

As I distinctly recall, EdJohnson made just the same estimate of Superintendent Carstarphen right after she was hired, on the basis of her resume.  He predicted she would be another Beverly Hall, mainly because she had expressed admiration for Hall during Hall's glory-days.

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@EdJohnson  Just want to be sure I know which financial metaphors are acceptable and which are not. Calling a person an "asset" is OK but "Human Capital" is not?


EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@OriginalProf 

Yup, but not just on the basis of here resume.  I held out hope, tried to help, encourage, like here that was written about, here.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdJohnson 

"Human capital," indeed!  Important information to know.  Thank you for revealing it.

A story to share:  Last evening I watched part of the Peter, Paul, and Mary 50th Anniversary Celebration on PBS-TV.  Peter was there speaking with an Atlanta representative during intervals. He was 20 or so when this group started singing.  He has to be pushing 80 now, and he looks it. Here is what he said:

"Mary said to me when we were singing at Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' March on Washington, 'Peter, we are fortunate to be witnessing history in the making.' "  He went on to say, "The world so much needs to return to the values and thoughts we had then of helping others with joy.  Today's world, because of the greed, insulting, and bullying that we experience daily, needs to return to what we had then in human compassion and community."

It seems, sometimes, that mainly those of us who are in our 70s, or older, were blessed to have lived in that world, and we still remember it.  I hope our voices can help to turn the world's consciousness back to one of caring, loving, and helping one another.  Those were more turbulent times than today's in terms of racial unrest, but today's people seem to value hating and blaming others, not helping others with joy.  I have hope that the Millennials will, again, attempt to reach higher in consciousness for humankind as we seniors did and make a better world than we inhabit today for all.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdJohnson 

Thank you for sharing this beautiful approach to teaching science, naturally, in nature, itself.  Our ideas on educating our young overlap in many ways.  Keep up the good work!

Gwinnetting
Gwinnetting

Those with an interest in perpetuating failing public schools are offended. 

Their "God-given right" to taxpayer-funded incompetence is soon to be challenged by voters who've lost patience with excuses.

MD3
MD3

So this woman is one of the "architects" of the OSD scheme, and then she leaves the governor's office and takes a lucrative contract as a private "consultant" to help schools manipulate their way around the OSD.... Anyone ever heard of conflict of interest?? Oh wait, I forgot. This is Georgia. Ethics don't exist.

jezel
jezel

@MD3 Is she a plant to insure that APS fails ? How can a dedicated professional flip flop so easily ?

Astropig
Astropig

@MD3


APS teachers should be cheering her on, especially the ones at crap schools. If she finds a way to keep them from being taken over and possibly dismissed, that $96K will look like nickels and dimes. But like most educational issues, it's too bound up in petty politics for that to be apparent to the very people that are most directly affected by it.


BTW- What she is doing is not a conflict of interest. She works for her company now, not the state. If she tried to work for the state and consult on the side, THAT would be a COI.

MD3
MD3

@Astropig @MD3 So having a state job and helping to create a problem, and then upon leaving said job, immediately sells herself as a solution to that problem isn't a conflict of interest??? Hmmm. Well, like I said - only in Georgia.

Astropig
Astropig

@MD3 @Astropig


She didn't create the problem of crappy schools. I notice that you completely let the board off the hook for being so neglectful for so long.


I don't see it as a conflict of interest at all.

MD3
MD3

@Astropig @MD3 Of course you don't. As long as someone is moving forward with the agenda you support, then it's no holds barred. Ethics don't matter. 


And I'm not letting anyone off the hook. I think the idea of bringing in someone who is a real expert and letting them work would be great not only for APS, but for many of our school systems. But this woman has 3 years of experience. CLEARLY she is being brought in not to help improve the educational experience for these children, but for her political connections. I don't see that as a positive for anyone except her.