Charter schools amendment on ballot draws heat

Sue Ella Deadwyler. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Long-time Georgia political commentator and GeorgiaInsight.org creator Sue Ella Deadwyler had her sights set Monday night on the defeat of the charter schools amendment that will go before voters on Nov. 6.

The main thrust of Deadwyler’s comments before approximately 50 people at the Harvest Christian Community Center in Fayetteville dealt with her position that charter schools are unconstitutional and that they compromise the local control of boards of education.

The Georgia legislature created the Ga. Charter School Commission in 2008. In 2011, the state Supreme Court on a 4-3 vote ruled that the commission was unconstitutional. Meantime, there are more than a dozen state charter schools, such as the Coweta Charter Academy in Senoia, that are still operating.

The ballot referendum up before voters next month reads, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” And for Deadwyler, the answer to the question is, “no.”

“It’s unconstitutional in Georgia, and the legislature knew that when they passed that bill,” Deadwyler said. “They said parents would control the schools but they don’t.”

Citing her other main objection, Deadwyler said, “Charter schools remove local control by local school boards. Nowhere in the constitution does it say anyone can come in and override the local boards of education.”

Referencing academic issues, Deadwyler said in a charter school no child can go higher than the achievement level of the slowest learner in the classroom.

“It’s a strict restriction since every child must learn at the same rate,” Deadwyler maintained.

Another of Deadwyler’s issues with charter schools is the contention that they are changing the focus from academics to workforce training.

Yet another aspect of her opposition to charter schools comes in relation to those created by local boards of education. In doing so, those local school boards were giving away their power, Deadwyler said.

“They can’t give away their authority,” she said.

She also expressed concern about some aspects of school board-approved college and career centers.

Deadwyler on several occasions referenced a proposed charter school in Florida that she said was to be funded by the Chinese and another in Fulton County that was failing and being run by “people from Turkey.” She did not mention any of the remaining 14 state-chartered schools in Georgia.

Deadwyler in her presentation provided a wealth of historic background pertaining to the charter school movement, both in Georgia and in the United States.

A portion of the presentation dealt with the state funding received by traditional schools and charter schools, both of which are public schools. Deadwyler said traditional K-12 schools received an average of $2,101 per student while state charter schools received $6,992. She said Ga. Dept. of Education Communications Director Matt Cardoza had confirmed those numbers.

Contacted Tuesday by The Citizen, Cardoza said the average state funding for traditional K-12 schools is $4,290 per student while the average for charter schools is $6,392. Unlike traditional schools, charter schools do not receive the other half of funding dollars that come from local property tax collections.

Several area residents offered questions and comments after the presentation. Some agreed with Deadwyler’s assessment of charter schools while others did not. Among those was Georgia Charter School commission member Mark Peevy, who noted that the total funding from state and local property tax dollars in traditional schools averaged $8,900 per student.

Peevy also questioned Deadwyler’s earlier statement that parents were not in control. He said the governing boards of the state charter schools created by the commission included parents, community and business members, with some of the schools having a majority of parents on the board.

Coweta County resident Brant Frost in his comments said he was disillusioned with government schools.

“Monopoly breeds mediocrity,” he said, adding that many Republicans in the legislature and elsewhere support the charter school amendment while Democrats and liberals tend not to. “We don’t have local control of the school board. We haven’t had it for years. In Coweta, we don’t run the schools, the government does.”

A portion of the Monday night meeting included comments by American Principles Project representative Jane Robbins, who spoke on the Common Core curriculum set to be implemented in Georgia.

Common Core is essentially a federal takeover of private interests in Washington, D.C., Robbins charged. Being implemented initially in math and English language arts, Robbins said other curriculum areas were likely to be targeted in the future.

She said a significant source of funding for the initiative was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to the tune of $100 million and with another $150 million in the offing.

In what is now being called “Race to the Top,” Robbins said former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue submitted the application for Common Core without the General Assembly being involved.

Robbins said Common Core tests are being developed in Georgia, with outside funds paying for curriculum development.

“This is not legal, but there are no states’ attorneys general that we’ve found yet to challenge it,” Robbins said. “We have to adopt it word for word and the authority to modify the standards is not yet determined. The constitution gives the states, not the feds, control over education.”

stranger than f...
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Let's Be Consistent

Since the majority of the comments on this blog seem to favor wresting control of educational decisions from locally elected officials in favor of wise and distant appointed bureaucrats, may we assume that you have no objections to the President's similar strategy for federal health care decisions? Mr. Romney strongly contends otherwise.

Larry Sussberg
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stranger than f...
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Duplicate post

Duplicate

Quallacherokee
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THE question is ....CAL

Cal Beverly and those hand picked to write for the Fayette Citizen,,AND allowed to be published, Do y'all know that Folks HERE on the net are but a SMALL miniscule amount of the "Hard Copy" readers and responders...

Do y'all remember reading about the "Down Syndrome" Girl shot dead on her own front Porch??? over here in little ole Tyrone...Where's the follow up?" oh I know follow up in THIS "News" paper there aint none,,,

For those that were here back in 1988, Where's the investigation on the DOUBLE Murder on Ellison Rd on the "old Perkins"place,,, ya know, the land Pastor Dollar bought,,oh and what about HIS charge?? where does THAT stand??
Where is the "NEWS" dealing with Bills MR Westmoreland is considering?
Where is the "NEWS" Dealing with the Bills that might be effecting Fayette County in the General Assembly?
Where is the "news" when ANY law anywhere MIGHT affect Fayette Citizens???

Hey Cal, the "NEWS" usually goes BEYOND the day it's recorded,,,

Follow up IS and or would be NEWS,, any chance WE might expect a "NEWS" paper anytime soon?

(Like I said, YOU will HATE the day you ALLOWED me to post and join the "comment" page)

Cal Beverly
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Q, your entitlement syndrome is showing

Anytime you would like to volunteer for free your investigative talents to assist our two reporters in covering two counties, check with me in person.

Otherwise, I'll be glad to refund your subscription price to both the print and online editions.

Davids mom
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Is an amendment necessary? Will voting'no' end Charter Schools?

“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”

It is my understanding that the ‘Commission’ was declared unconstitutional – not Charter Schools.

Is this amendment necessary? It appears that other counties are operating Charter Schools successfully in the state of Georgia.

In a world where public school attendance was never limited for any reason other than school attendance area – the needs of students with different skills and interests have always been addressed. The current organization of the public schools is severely challenged by having to meet the interest and skill levels of all students in their classrooms. Communities where successful Charter Schools have been implemented have been most supportive of the Charter School concept. By skill levels, this does not mean innate intelligence, but persons innate ABILITY and interest. Steve Jobs and other creative, intelligent, and innovative humans were bored stiff with the ‘curriculum’ of a ‘the standard school offering’. Well-planned and implemented Charter Schools can meet the interest level of all students in attendance. A well organized Charter School, focusing on specific interests – has proven most successful in meeting the skill/interest level of the students in the classroom. Not all students enter school with the same academic skill level, but can be taught in the same classroom by an experienced teacher who is providing lessons that meet the interest and learning goals of the students in the classroom. Charter Schools provide this focus of interest and learning goal. (Many innovative schools, not being Charter Schools, have organized their school offerings by interest and goals)

Charter Schools usually gives the community and school staff more control of academic offerings, etc. Charter Schools often offer a less bureaucratic use of funds. If a community is comfortable with the performance of their local schools – there may not be a need for ‘Charter School’ involvement.

Quote:

Referencing academic issues, Deadwyler said in a charter school no child can go higher than the achievement level of the slowest learner in the classroom.

I have no knowledge of Mrs. Deadwyler and her expertise – but this statement is erroneous for ANY CLASSROOM, which is under the control of an experienced teacher!

Fayette County, like other counties in Georgia, should have the ability to approve a Charter School if they determine the need for such a school. This means, to my understanding, that the local school district in this state has control of the Charter Schools in their district – following state guidelines.

G35 Dude
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Quote:

Is this amendment necessary? It appears that other counties are operating Charter Schools successfully in the state of Georgia.

I think it is. You see at this time the local BOE has the final say if a charter school can operate within that school district. A failing system will never allow that competition. So the local children are trapped unless their parents can move to another district. This amendment will allow the state to overrule the local BOE if they deem necessary.

Quote:

Fayette County, like other counties in Georgia, should have the ability to approve a Charter School if they determine the need for such a school. This means, to my understanding, that the local school district in this state has control of the Charter Schools in their district – following state guidelines.

They do have the ability to approve a charter school. They also have the ability to deny. And at this time the charter school has no recourse no matter how unfair they feel the denial was. No school system wants to approve a charter school as it will take money away from the public schools. What if you lived in Clayton County and they lost accreditation again. Wouldn't you love to have a charter school alternative?

So to answer your question "Will voting no end charter schools?" Well not by the legal definition but for all probability yes.

Davids mom
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G35

So - the operative words in this amendment are 'state or local'. A Yes vote would allow the state to over rule a board that denies a Charter School for an inappropriate reason. Where can we find the official pros and cons to this amendment? (who is supporting the amendment/ who is against it - officially ) Thanks. Have run into the 'debate' in California, but each state is different. The money usually follows the child - and families remain in the public school system when they have some choice. Old / high-performing Charter Schools have lasted for years. As you pointed out, interested parents who apply for these schools are quick to abandon them if the school is low-performing. IMO, I would hate to see families forced to leave the public system because a BOE wants to protect low performing schools - and keep the regular schools funded and the BOE's so-called power remain in tact. (instead of taking steps to improve low-performing schools!)

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G35 & Charter Schools

So what's wrong with the elected BOE of any county having the approval/disapproval authority for charter schools? Should the BOE not (theoretically) reflect the wishes & desires of the citizens who elected them? If there is a failing school, hopefully, the residents of that school district would be screaming for improvement, be it charter school or something else. And if they don't they are essentially agreeing to remain a failing system and therefore consign their children to that fate in the future. The State does always NOT know best! I'm leaning to 'no'.

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Quote:

So what's wrong with the elected BOE of any county having the approval/disapproval authority for charter schools? Should the BOE not (theoretically) reflect the wishes & desires of the citizens who elected them?

To my way of thinking it is un American to need approval from your competitor to open a business. If you wanted to open a grocery store should you have to have approval from the Kroger down the street to do so? Can you see why they might say no? If someone wants to open a charter let them. If they don't do a good job the residents of that school district will shut them down by not sending their kids to that school. Under the current system only 12 charter schools have been able to open in Georgia.

Quote:

If there is a failing school, hopefully, the residents of that school district would be screaming for improvement, be it charter school or something else.

Exactly. And how do they do that if the local BoE says no? Try to get the law changed maybe? What if 80% don't care and the 20% aren't deemed to be loud enough we turn our backs of those kids?

I understand that there are reasons to not support charter schools. Especially if you are part of the public school system. You don't want to see those dollars go away. And in places where the public school system has done a good job and parents are happy then why rock the boat. But what if a place like Fayette that has had good schools in the past does go down hill later and we've voted down charter schools. Do we fight to get this put back on the ballot? Just because this passes doesn't mean that we are required to open charter schools here. And even if one does open no one will force you to send your kids to it. It is all about having a choice.

hutch866
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G35

In my opinion, your analogy is faulty. If you want to open a grocery store, Kroger has no say in it. Now if you expect Kroger to help fund the new grocery store, then why shouldn't Kroger have some input. The fact of the matter is, at least here in Fayette, If your child wants to succeed in school, there's nothing here that will stop them. I've seen so many kids here in Fayette, that applied themselves, and entered great schools. But, it's because they applied themselves. If the kids don't care, and the parents don't care, don't matter if it's a charter school, or not, the kid won't succeed.

PTC Observer
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Hutch - I suppose

It depends on how you define success.

http://www.publicagenda.org/charts/state-state-sat-and-act-scores

Let's take our children's future out of the hands of school boards that promote mediocrity.

Vote "yes" to allow Charter Schools in Georgia, by allowing someone to look over the shoulder of special interests.

Larry Sussberg
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Charter School Amendment Is Special Interest

Almost every dollar to fund this amendment comes from outside the state of Georgia.
Charter Schools have their own lobbyists.
In addition, the funding for this added bureaucracy will come from tax dollars.
Finally, the 7 member board of this new tax funded agency will be political appointees, not necessarily professional educators
3 will be appointed by the governor
2 by the GA assembly speaker
2 by the assistant governor

When you actually read the amendment in the voting booth you will see how misleading it is, designed by professional lobbyists and lawyers to fool Georgia citizens.

The amendment is proof how special interests and professional politicians work together to mislead the citizens.

Unfortunately this amendment will pass because of its wording.
Border line corrupt!

PTC Observer
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Well Mr. Sussberg

If we have entrenched incompetence at the county level how would you suggest breaking free of it? Throw money at it? That's what has gotten us into the mess we are in now.

You want us to approve more money for an underperforming system (compared to the national averages), for a BOE that can't make hard decisions. What's the downside of providing another option?

I say it's time for change, radical change, to the way business is done by our government. If you can't see this then vote against the amendment. However, let's don't throw around charges of "borderline corrupt". I think we can make informed decisions without the hype.

Thanks

Larry Sussberg
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PTC Observer

It is borderline corrupt. No hype,
Trace the money....and read the amendment.

The amendment will pass, based on how's it written.

How about we agree to disagree on this topic and not speak in a Don Haddix tone to each other.
I have always respected your opinions, we just differ on our schools which I think is ok.
Thanks
Larry

PTC Observer
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Mr. Sussberg - now

That's low Mr. Sussberg, comparing my dialog with you as "Haddix like".

We disagree on this for sure. :-)

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AtHomeGym
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Larry Sussberg & "Assistant Governor"

What in the hell is an "assistant Governor" and who is it?

Larry Sussberg
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AtHomeGym

Lt Governor is Casey Cagle
Sorry, not assistant but hey, he picks 2 on your tax dollar.

Do you know who he is? Lt. Or Assistant, does it matter?

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Husband and Fat...
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Charter Schools

I don't know much about this amendment. What is misleading?

Are there any good charter schools in GA?

Husband and Fat...
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Hutch and PTCO

You both make fine points.

Hutch. I agree, if a child wants to suceed there is nothing that can stop them. Having parents who care, helps tremendously. I think we have this in Fayette County.

However, PTC Observer, has a great barometer of the states sucess. And Georgias scores are not acceptable.

We are preparing to send our kids out into the world competing against the best and brightest. They will be competing against kids from Georgia, other states and globally. How are we helping our kids by accepting these scores. Its great that FC can be one of the best in the state, but we are so far behind other states. How can any of us accept this?

We have to push the envelope. This means pushing back on our local, state, and national government demanding a better education for our kids.

If we can develop a charter school that enriches our kids knowledge above the national average, I am all in.

I would love to find a school that encourages the children to learn more than the kids thought they were capable. Pushes them to strive for greater things than average. Demands accountablility and parental involvement. I just don't think our public schools can provide this type of learning environment. Charter Schools appear to be a possible alternative.

hutch866
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G35

In my opinion, your analogy is faulty. If you want to open a grocery store, Kroger has no say in it. Now if you expect Kroger to help fund the new grocery store, then why shouldn't Kroger have some input. The fact of the matter is, at least here in Fayette, If your child wants to succeed in school, there's nothing here that will stop them. I've seen so many kids here in Fayette, that applied themselves, and entered great schools. But, it's because they applied themselves. If the kids don't care, and the parents don't care, don't matter if it's a charter school, or not, the kid won't succeed.

hutch866
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G35

In my opinion, your analogy is faulty. If you want to open a grocery store, Kroger has no say in it. Now if you expect Kroger to help fund the new grocery store, then why shouldn't Kroger have some input. The fact of the matter is, at least here in Fayette, If your child wants to succeed in school, there's nothing here that will stop them. I've seen so many kids here in Fayette, that applied themselves, and entered great schools. But, it's because they applied themselves. If the kids don't care, and the parents don't care, don't matter if it's a charter school, or not, the kid won't succeed.

G35 Dude
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hutch

I agree my kids did well here. But this is a state issue not just a Fayette issue.

hutch866
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G35

It might seem that way in your mind, but actually, I think what I said applies to the whole state. The kids who care, and whose parents care, will do well regardless what county they live in. The counties have enough problems with their budgets without having to fund these charter schools.

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hutch: agree

There are kids in under-performing school systems that are still graduating and going to Ivy League schools, West Point, athletic scholarships to big universities,etc. or not going to traditional 4 year colleges and instead going into the job market and becoming electricians, machinists, HVAC techs, plumbers...skilled labor jobs that aren't ever not going to be in demand.

About the the only thing "the state" can do is provide some type of minimal framework. At the end of the day, it's the parents and students that either make it happen or not. It can't be a one size fits all model either, which is a real problem in public education today.

As far as charter schools go....anyone is free to start their own. It's called being a private school. The difference is one lives or dies based solely on who attends there and pays the tuition and the other wants the taxpayer's money to fund their enterprise instead of the other public schools that are being funded already.

AtHomeGym
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Hey Hutch

speaking of kids,how's the Hutchette doing?

hutch866
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Gym

The hutchette is doing great, especially since in so many people's opinion, she graduated from one of the lesser schools here in Fayette. In another year I figure she'll be running DC.

AtHomeGym
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G35 & charter schools

appreciate your logical & sensible reply. But I think we're talking profit-vs non-profit businesses here. Charters can't operate without making money--pubic systems do not generate operational revenue (not that I know of anyway). I reflect on a situation in St Johns County, FL--they had several charter school operators submit applicationsto start charter schools inthe county---county leaders said "wait, we've got good schools here, why would we want these charter schools?" and denied the requests--and the community supported the decision. So question is: who knows best? Locals or State bureaucrats? I know I'm glad my offspring are both college grads and not involved in this local mess.

G35 Dude
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AHG-Thank You and...
Quote:

So question is: who knows best? Locals or State bureaucrats? I know I'm glad my offspring are both college grads and not involved in this local mess.

I agree totally with everything you said. I do think the locals should have the final say. But by locals I mean the citizens not the BoE. Maybe a charter school should have to get a petition with a certain number of signatures to apply? And I agree again that I'm glad that my kids are one college grad and one 2 semesters away. None in the public system any longer.

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Butt'n in on this Charter School discussion

I've tried to follow this thread, have made a few comments, and with y'all grace I want to make one more (for now, subject to addition if needed lol)
Oh and Please understand this is simply MY opinion, even if not written exactly so.

Yes, We citizens of Ga DO need an Educational Amendment as to We Citizens of the US. One that FORBIDS any government entity higher than a County to interfere/administer/regulate/fund/and or otherwise have ANY say so with Education of Children, in grades Preschool - Grade 12.

See I'm ov the opinion, that the students here in Fayette, would be FAR better educated if the Parents that are actually involved with Having these children have a DIRECT say so in their education, I mean seriously, what does the well meaning Parent in Homer, Alaska now about what is best for the child growing up in Golf Cart City? (NO offense meant, just my little nick name for you fine folks, and no I aint jealous, I prefer Horses)
Anyway; the question remains, even if we change the Homer Alaska to say,
Albany Ga. WHY do they have a say in YOUR child's educational needs or yours theirs?

this in no way prevents private schools, there could even be "scholarships"
awarded to people of surrounding counties,,,if WE are so inclined.

I understand the logistics of what I'm proposing seems insurmountable, but then isn't that exactly how this Country was founded? It could be done, it SHOULD be done, as clearly the experiment of the last 100 years of Government Education (as evidenced by # 17th Globally in educated Children) Has indeed failed

G35 Dude
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Qualla-Welcome

Your input is always welcome here. I think at the core of this discussion we all agree that the locals know best how to run their school system. The debate as I see it is do you trust your local BOE to have full control? I do not want the State to be involved either but I don't want the BoE to have total control. To me the perfect answer would be to let anybody that wants to build a charter school to be allowed to do so. The locals will have the final say by sending their kids to that school or not. I just fear someday that Fayette County might be in the same shape that Clayton is in with the BoE that put them/us there having total control as to what our options would be to get out.

Quallacherokee
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G35

Thanks for the kind invitation and yes I know I don't "need" it but is nice to be welcomed...

Now as to this Charter School current debate, YES parents should,,scratch that; MUST have say over THEIR child (even if the parent is an imbecile)

But I do, even though I'm NOT involved personally, I do have concerns with Fayette County Tax money being given to "X" (non per se' Fayette Co Schools,
and maybe I'm missing something here and would welcome CORRECT enlightenment
but it seems to me that if a group of parents are willing to sign up and jump through the hoops to get their child(ren) into one of these Charter Schools, then why can they just not "opt out" of said taxes" and start their own Private School, seems to me the revenue to the "Normal" schools would remain the same either way, so for now, FWIW, I'm incline to NOT vote on this Amendment as I don't really know enough to "have a say"

AtHomeGym
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G35 &charter schools

Understand--but we,the citizens, elect the BOE, just like we elect our Congressional delegation--therefore whatever decisions they make are in fact an extension of our priorities--like it or not! And the solution to citizen dissafaction is to elect someone whose values are closer to yours! I hink we should all back off a tad and see what these newly elected BOE members do.

Quallacherokee
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At Home Gym

Sir(?) With all politeness I can NOT disagree with an idea more than what you put forth ""I (t)hink we should all back off a tad and see what these newly elected BOE members do.""

Sir(?) OH HELL NO ! at NO time should WE the Citizens EVER "back off",
should we proceed kindly, with intellect first and emotions parked out back,,YES,but I swear to all that I hold Spiritual NO WAY IN HECK do "we" back off....After-all IT IS NOT UP TO THEM,, no way would I EVER turn my childs future over to a THEM, as you just suggested.

AtHomeGym
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QC & BOE

Go ahead, knock yourself out--you'll discover that you get ONE vote, just like I do!

Davids mom
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G35

Thanks!

Davids mom
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G35

Thanks!

Davids mom
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Peter Pfeifer
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Mr. Sussman, Charter Schools & Term Limits

Larry; I thought it might be useful, given the fact that there is an election, to discuss something that is actually on the ballot (The Charter School Amendment) as opposed to discussing something that isn't on the ballot (Term Limits).

Larry Sussberg
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Oh sorry

It's Pfeifer not Piper

AtHomeGym
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Sussberg & Piper

Perhaps you were unwittingly exposing your linguistic skills! Tschuss!

Larry Sussberg
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AtHomeGym

That's very funny...thank you.

Actually the correct derivation of the name is zeisberg which means sweet mountain in German. The agents at Ellis Island changed it to sussberg because it was easiler to pronouce.

In checking Fayette County telephone directory, I could not fins a Sussman listed.

AtHomeGym
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Zeisberg vs Sussberg

Wrong Larry--Zeis is neither a word I am familiar with nor one I can find in my Cassell's dictionary. The word for "sweet" is "suess" or "suss" and the "U" has an umlaut,therefore the "e" in the first example. Regardless, I wasn't trying to be funny just becaause you used the translation of Peter's surname from German to English--and I suspecthe doesn't really mind.

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Peter Piper

It's a wonderful topic, thank you.

Maybe I am just a little cynical after reading how the amendment is worded. I suspect it will pass with most voters not sure what they even voted for.

However, since you active here in town, I thought now was as good of time as any to raise these issues so they make the next ballot.

Sorry, didn't mean to change the topic.

Thanks

Larry

Peter Pfeifer
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Charter School Questions

I do not believe that the proposed Amendment targets Fayette County public schools. We've had no Charters turned down. The purpose of the State involvement is to address school systems that are failed systems, that turn down Charter applications because they don't want to lose their power and control and so they give parents no alternatives.

I'm hoping that some anti-Charter School Amendment people can answer my questions.

The Anti-Charter School positions (ACSP) are in quotes;

“There isn't a majority of parents required for the Charter School Committee”. My question is if there isn't a “majority of parents” required to run local public schools either, why does this make Charter Schools different than local public schools?

ACSP; "Local Boards of Education (BOE) could apply for State Charter School status." They can now, can't they? Wouldn't that BOE be subject to local control? Doesn't this proposed amendment deal only with Charter Schools that have been denied by the local BOE?

“Charter Schools aren't under State Control.” That's the point of them, isn't it?

The suit that culminated in the previous State Charter School process being declared unconstitutional was filed by Gwinnett, DeKalb, Atlanta Public Schools, Griffin/Spalding … Does anyone else see a common problem with these plaintiffs?

“Charter schools violate the US Constitution” because the schools should be a State, not Federal issue. Why doesn't this apply to ALL local public schools? If it does, Charter schools are no different than public schools, they both violate the US Constitution. Isn't this then a non-issue if the discussion is about Charter Schools?

Charter Schools violate the State Constitution. Isn't that the purpose of this vote? To amend the State Constitution so they do not violate it?

“State Costs for Charter Schools are triple that for traditional public schools.” Data please, what data is this statement based on?

“State Chartered schools receive state and local money”. I understood this to be incorrect, that the legislation specifically prevents this. Is that incorrect?

If both “Public” and “Charter” schools have to comply with Federal standards (Common Core), isn't our issue with stopping Common Core, not an issue of stopping Charter schools?

Thanks for your answers.

Peter Pfeifer

AtHomeGym
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Pfeifer & Charter Schools

I am generally anti-constitutional amendment of any sort, unless there is a clear, compelling reason to pursue such. Not sure I see that here.

Larry Sussberg
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Mr. Pfeifer-Let's Fix Fayette Politics First

How about we focus on Fayette County and correcting some local issues to restore faith in elected officials and possibly eliminate career politicians and political hacks...

Let's start with

1-Term limits for every elected position in Fayette County - city, town and county

2-A reduced salary for every elected official in Fayette County - city, town and county at no more than $6,000 a year.

The fact that Fayette County Commissioners earn 2 to 3 times more than elected city officials is wrong...no wonder term limits never came up at the county level, and the fact we have a mayor suing his own city and council to get his salary back after "raiding the kitty" by circumventing proper procedures, shows we need elected officials who offer our Fayette true public service so let's make service vs income the motive to seek elected office.

How about someone call a meeting to focus on these issues Then, we can move on to Common Core.

Larry Sussberg
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Public School Bureaucracy & Politicos

Let's remember that Ms. Deadwyler is a career politico, a paid lobbyist.

I would put career politicians, professional politicos and lobbyists all in the same category and flush them down a toilet as quickly as possible.

She is being paid by the charter school industry to speak and although charter schools are non-profit, we all know that those at the top, unchecked such as the past United Way CEO will pull out top slaries and perks to maintain the non-profit status.

Its an industry, check her facts!

Larry Sussberg
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Qual

Oops
You are right....wrong article on wrong day!

Wait to read the wording of this "amendment" on the ballot.

Totally mis leading
It will most likely pass the way it's worded!

Sorry for my error

Quallacherokee
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Larry S

lol Hey Perfection is way over rated ...
Glad to know you're not a BOT ...

Larry Sussberg
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.

.

Quallacherokee
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Larry,

Why in the world would a Paid by Charter School Industry person speak so adamantly against Charter Schools?
I mean the article I read she Will be Voting AGAINST Charter Schools, She pointed out how "bad" Charter Schools are, I get the notion she might instead being a Charter School Industry
Paid Speaker, she might be a member of the NEA...

YourGoodPalMike
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Bloated Bureaucracy

Public schools have become a Bloated bureaucracy. The staggering amount of paperwork, policies, and meetings at all levels has deeply undermined the principle objective in public schools: Teach children.

As a parent you should be asking these fundamental questions:

* Is my child's teacher spending maximum amount of time on instruction or is my child's teacher being pulled in several directions due to administrator objectives and goals from the school, county, state and federal government?

* Are the curriculum coordinators and ISTs (instructional support teachers) actually working in the schools alongside teachers and students, or are they in a central office far-removed from children and instruction? How often do the ladies in the Central Office actually sit next to a child in a math or language class? Why are their offices not in the schools? Can they not communicate by email and phone like everyone else? Is there a particular reason that these educators are not in schools? If you were one of the factory managers in quality control, would it make sense for your office to be nowhere near the factory, or should you be in the factory?

* Can the schools run effectively with less administration? Ask yourself why a private school, such as Landmark, only has administrators in the school building, but in the public schools there are administrators in the school building, in a central office, at the state department, and at the federal level? So a private school has one layer of administration while public schools have four? How's that working out for those public schools?

I use Landmark as an example because they are outperforming Fayette County, the state of Georgia and the nation on standardized test scores (they use the ITBS for younger grades and the SAT for the high school kids). But they only have one layer of administration, not four.

* Is it truly the school system's responsibility to teach children how babies are made, how to be nice to each other, and how to avoid drugs and alcohol? In other words, is your child's teacher the primary role model for morality or are you?

*Where is the academic freedom? Private schools have it, but public schools lost it. Landmark (again, my example) teaches evolution. It's a private Christian school that teaches evolution, BUT it also teaches a Biblical foundation of creation. They at Landmark understand that students need to fully realize the knowledge of the world while at the same time focusing on a Biblical foundation. In other words, they put their faith first, but do not embrace ignorance. They have the academic freedom to do as they see fit, and the proof of their methods is in the success of their students. Where is the county office, state office or federal office to help Landmark achieve this success? Is it possible for public schools to operate successfully without an additional three layers of management?

* Finally, ask yourself this: To what degree are the few (students with behavior issues, students who lack motivation, students without proper parental support and encouragement) taking away from the many? How often are teachers pulled from their true job (teaching) in order to attend endless meetings that solve little but create more layers of bureaucracy?

* If you are a parent you might want to ask your public school administrators this question: "How many hours per school year is my child's teacher pulled from the classroom while a substitute teaches my child?" You won't like the answer (if you get one).

There is a reason people are working so hard to start charter schools. They want to get back to basics: teachers teaching children in a classroom without all the bureaucracy (and it's an awfully high level of bureaucracy).

Today's public schools are swamped in red tape, swamped in policies, swamped with administrators and "important" people sitting in a central office, dictating one program after another when the teachers need to be left alone to do their jobs. Teachers are meant to teach children, not work on school improvement plans, committees, filing reports for far-removed administrators in central offices who rarely see students, or endlessly shifting from the new and latest programs to the even newer programs. The state of Georgia spent millions on GPS and a decade writing and implementing it. Then, just like that, the rug was yanked in favor of Common Core Standards (which are great standards, but that's not the point. The point is that the entire state of Georgia threw away millions of dollars and wasted countless hours on something worthy, only to drop it in favor of chasing President Obama's dollars from Race to the Top).

Parents: Take the time to visit Landmark Christian School. Take a look at the many small private schools in your area. You'll notice something that public education lost sight of twenty years ago: teachers in classrooms, teaching children. Administrators in small numbers, and no central office. A central office doesn't exist in private schools because each school is autonomous and doesn't need the added layers of bureaucracy that come from both the central office and the state and the federal government.

bureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy: school, county, state, federal.

It's like one young bride trying to cook dinner for her new husband with four mother-in-laws telling her how to do it.

NUK_1
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Landmark is a poor comparison

Not devaluing what they are doing, but for a few thousand more you can get a MUCH superior education at other private schools like Woodward, Marist, St. Pius, Westminster or you can settle for "slightly lower" FC public schools that you already are paying for.

Landmark is a very poor ROI on dollars spent, IMO. If u want the best, you have to pay a little more and since everyone in FC is already paying for FC schools, it has be a lot better than what Landmark produces. FC is "free" so to speak and not that far behind Landmark's expensive results. Landmark doesn't even enter into the discussion when you're talking test scores compared to other comparable private schools.

If you're willing to pay for two school systems in effect, why choose something that isn't top of the line if you're going to shell-out 13K or so? What? The other 4k? broke you?

YourGoodPalMike
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I think we're in agreement, Nuk
NUK_1 wrote:

Not devaluing what they are doing, but for a few thousand more you can get a MUCH superior education at other private schools like Woodward, Marist, St. Pius, Westminster or you can settle for "slightly lower" FC public schools that you already are paying for.

Landmark is a very poor ROI on dollars spent, IMO. If u want the best, you have to pay a little more and since everyone in FC is already paying for FC schools, it has be a lot better than what Landmark produces. FC is "free" so to speak and not that far behind Landmark's expensive results. Landmark doesn't even enter into the discussion when you're talking test scores compared to other comparable private schools.

If you're willing to pay for two school systems in effect, why choose something that isn't top of the line if you're going to shell-out 13K or so? What? The other 4k? broke you?

I also mentioned that there are many other private schools that do an effective job of preparing students for college, not just Landmark. I wasn't in any way implying that Landmark is superior to any other private school. I actually have no idea how they compare to Trinity or others. I only know Landmark from experience.

And, yes, their tuition rate is expensive, but the vast majority of students come away with scholarships to college that far outweigh what they paid in tuition for high school. Look at their statistics. They are sending kids all over the nation to top-rated state and private colleges at little to no expense. In other words, these kids pay for high school and get college for free. That's a really good deal. And it's not just a few of the students. It's most of them.

Nevertheless, I'm sure there are many fine private schools in our area accomplishing the same. I'm not claiming Landmark is the best, just one of the best.

But my bigger point was the layers of bureaucracy that we see in public education. It's completely and totally out of control. By "out of control" I don't mean that as a figure of speech (people use that term all the time). But I really mean out-of-control. This ship cannot be turned. Too much inertia. The idea that we can cut the federal government out of education is very unlikely (although it's necessary). And then there's Atlanta. The state department of education is huge. It has almost 400 employees, all pretty much managers of some kind making some pretty good money. Do we really need more than a handful of them to push papers back and forth?

How many employees are in our central office here in Fayette County? Every conceivable subject has two or three curriculum coordinators and their assistants coming up with all manner of programs for teachers, none of which were asked for in the first place (teachers really do know how to teach). Of course, with each new program comes training, meetings, and more that create more distractions from the teachers.

I'm not a zealot who complains about government. Government is good (it keeps us safe and applies regulations that are necessary), but what I AM complaining about is too much government at all levels.

And I can't be wrong. Look at the Fayette County Board of Education. Twenty million dollars in the hole. Realize, friends, that approximately 90% of the FCBOE budget is in personnel, not books, computers, etc. Teachers aren't making too much money, because Fayette's teachers make less than neighboring counties. The fact is that our county hired too many people, and they are not the ones in the classrooms.

It's management.

We need to start cutting at the top.

In addition, we need to rethink the way we elect/appoint board members. Right now they are elected and serve for too long. They aren't accountable to anyone, because they make little money. Losing their jobs is no hardship, so they can crash the boat and leave the bill for someone else.

Here's an idea: Sell the entire Lafette Educational Center and eliminate all those administrative jobs.

Then ask yourself this: Will the children still be taught at their local schools? The answer is yes.

Here's another analogy: General George Washington was paid better and had better food/clothing than his soldiers, but he was right there in each battle. When was the last time a general in the U.S. Army fired a shot at an enemy or was shot at by an enemy? It's pretty much the same in public education these days. The generals are far-removed from the field of battle.

The word on the street is that Kindergarten and First Grade Paraprofessionals might be cut next year. These are people who work with your kids. They sit in a chair right next to your kids, helping them sound out words, form letters, solve math problems, dry tears, apply bandages, etc.

But what about the central office staff? Ask your child to name them.

PTC Observer
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Goodpalmike

Your description reads a lot like the government itself, bloated, ineffective, job programs to pay people a lot of money to do useless work in the hopes of "shaping our future".

The government should stick to protecting our freedoms and let us do the choosing. This includes but is not limited to what schools our children attend.

Vote yes for a better educated student at lower overall cost, while dismantling the bureaucracy, vote yes to charter schools.

Then demand that our new BOE authorize all of our county schools to become charter schools. Let's see if they have a backbone and will really save the taxpayer money while improving student performance.

Robert W. Morgan
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Good analysis, Mike. Good analogy too

My extra mother-in-law - the federal government. Very scary.

The reason Landmark and other Christian schools excel is because they are Christian. Christians are simply better people than the heathens - just kidding. No, seriously, a Christian school doesn't have to struggle with being all things to all people. The kids are there because they or their parents want them to be, have paid for it and accept whatever core beliefs the institution espouses. Same as the Catholic schools of my youth - not for everybody and that's why they were good.

Public schools have all those layers of useless management because they have to include everybody and offend no one. It is impossible, but they have to try. Teaching evolution (or not) is a pretty good example. Of course any responsible teacher without an agenda would teach both evolution and creationism and offer up the correct analysis - specifically that no one actually knows because they couldn't possibly know, but some people believe in on or the other. That is also how one should teach history and politics - making it clear that there are different beliefs and interpretations and we should simply accept those differences and be respectful about it.

Quallacherokee
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RWM

I'm not sure if you're aware, but you just made a VERY compelling argument as to WHY in a supposedly educated Country, State, County such as ours
Government Schools should be permanently closed.
Government Schools have to be "everything to everybody" and this is not possible. I propose that in this trying we and our offspring LOOSE valuable lessons in life, such as:
1) Life isn't Fair
2) Life is not Equal
3) Even idiots are allowed freedom to be idiots
4) There are reasons to celebrate differences

In "my perfect world" The good people of Fayette would build and maintain schools of THEIR choosing, as would Clayton Fulton Cobb, etc but if the folks down in say Talbot Co can't or don't want to do this fine, as in my perfect world we'll always need ditch diggers and burger flippers, and they would also know in my world, there won't be any hand outs coming from the Government

PTC Observer
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Vote for Charter Schools

Why?

If charter schools don't perform, they go out of business.

Public schools don't go out business they consume more and more and more, no matter what their performance.

The BOE should make all our schools charter schools.

IMHO

Robert W. Morgan
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That's one angry white woman. I'm voting yes as well.

Freedom, liberty, personal responsibility - all that.

As an aside, this Sue Ella person lives on a vacant lot in DeKalb County where the high school listed for that neighborhood is a Charter School. Odd business, that.