Teachers group lines up against Nathan Deal’s school-rescue plan

The Georgia teachers group sparked into existence by changes to state insurance policies has taken aim at Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort to rescue troubled schools in Georgia. From the Facebook page of TRAGIC:

Having Washington dictate a top-down approach for Georgia’s local schools doesn’t work, and it won’t work coming from Atlanta, either. Every school within every district has its own student and parent population, and this means every school has individual needs and issues, which its community will understand better than an Atlanta bureaucrat.

This bill does nothing to address the root causes of failing schools: poverty, lack of parental involvement, and low student engagement will not be fixed by a state take-over. The only programs that have helped turn these types of failing schools around involve engaging all stakeholders in programs designed by those same stakeholders. This requires time, energy, and funding.

This accusation may require some sorting out:

By this law, any school deemed failing for three consecutive years on the Career College Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) may be closed and have their building shuttered for three years: no classes, no school, the facility is closed. However, the state can then give that building, paid for by taxpayers, to a for-profit charter school free of charge.

The charter school doesn’t just get the building, however, everything within the school building “including, but not limited to textbooks, technology, media resources, instructional equipment, and all other resources” shall “remain within the facility and be available for use by the opportunity school.” (Senate Bill 133, pg 15, lines 239-242). This clause legally grants the OSD Superintendent the power to declare a school failing and then hand over the entire building and facility to a for-profit charter school, transferring real estate, equipment, and materials purchased with public funds over to private companies.

By: Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy


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