P.L. Thomas On “Miracle” Schools or Political Sham?–Take Heed Georgia

P.L. Thomas On “Miracle” Schools or Political Sham?–Take Heed Georgia Georgia is on the verge of approving a constitutional amendment (Amendment 1 on the November 8 Georgia ballot) that would enable the Governor’s office to go in and rescue children who are enrolled in “failing schools” across the state, that got on a list based on student […]

The Real Deal: How the Opportunity School District Campaign to Pull the Wool Over the Eyes of Georgians is Being Funded

The Real Deal: How the Opportunity School District Campaign to Pull the Wool Over the Eyes of Georgians is Being Funded Ever since the US Supreme Court agreed with Citizens United, a Political Action Committee (PAC) in Washington, DC, eliminating restrictions on how corporations and groups can spend money in elections, state and Federal elections, amendments, […]

Open Your Eyes, Georgians—The Misfortunate School District is on the Way

Open Your Eyes, Georgians As I was thinking about the calamity facing education in Georgia, Governor Neal’s Opportunity School District, I thought of the phrase “open your eyes.”  I had actually thought of the phrase, “now is the time,” but it was replaced with “open your eyes.” In 2006, the fantastic Northern Ireland band, Snow […]

Georgia’s Misfortunate School District

Georgia’s Misfortunate School District I’ve been away pursuing other projects, but now is the time for all of us to open our eyes about a plan to turn struggling schools into a pet project of the Georgia Governor. In November when we vote to pick a new president (topic for a future post), citizens in […]

Atlanta Teachers–From Educators to Racketeers–I Don’t Think So

Latest Story Atlanta Teachers–From Educators to Racketeers–I Don’t Think So Last week, 11 educators from the Atlanta Public Schools were convicted on racketeering charges related to the test erasure scandal.  The fact that these educators were brought to court on racketeering charges is not only outrageous, but also informs us of who holds power, and […]

“The Vallas Manifesto”—Peddling Fear, and Weather-Beaten Ideas

Latest Story “The Vallas Manifesto”–Peddling Fear, and Weather-Beaten Ideas In an earlier post, I wrote about the discontent brought on by Paul Vallas’ article published in the AJC telling Georgians that  Governor Nathan Deal did the right thing in proposing his Opportunity School District (OSD). I wondered out loud if Vallas is looking for a job in […]

Paul Vallas Writes on AJC Blog Praising the Georgia Opportunity School District. Is He Looking for a Job?

Latest Story Paul Vallas Writes on AJC Blog Praising the Georgia Opportunity School District. Is He Looking for a Job? Update:  I received a tweet from Lindamarie via Twitter that linked to an article about Paul Villas and the Bridgeport School District in which he was superintendent.  It’s a stinging indictment of Villas and the […]

We Should Be Mad as Hell, and Not Take It Anymore from the Governor & His Opportunity School District Plan

Latest Story We Should Be Mad as Hell, and Not Take It Anymore from the Governor & His Opportunity School District Proposal. Why? The Governor’s Hypocrisy: Charter Lobbyist Pays for Travel to New Orleans Recovery School District.  The Governor claims it is his moral duty to rescue Georgia’s struggling schools by taking them over.  I […]

Governor Deal Exchanges Letters with Ed Johnson–Ships Passing in the Night

Latest Story Governor Deal exchanges Letters with Ed Johnson–Ships Passing in the Night. Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then […]

New Orleans Recovery School District Test Scores: A Closer Look Doesn’t Look Pretty

Latest Story New Orleans Recovery School District Test Scores: A Closer Look Doesn’t Look Pretty Governor Nathan Deal is pushing hard on his Opportunity School District (OSD) proposal which is modeled after the New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD).  In a reply to a letter sent by Mr. Ed Johnson, Deal claimed that the New […]

The Georgia House Should “Pink Slip” the Opportunity School District

Latest Story The Georgia House Should Pink Slip the Opportunity School District Last week the Georgia Senate voted and passed two bills, Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287.  Senate Bill 133 will set up the Opportunity School District (OSD), which will enable the state to take over public elementary and secondary schools that have a grade of […]

Letter to the Georgia House Democratic Caucus Leadership Opposing the Opportunity School District

Latest Story Today I wrote to the Georgia House Democratic Caucus Leadership urging them to vote against Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287 which will enable the state to takeover 100 of Georgia’s “chronically failing” schools. I wrote this: To: Georgia House Democratic Caucus Leadership From: Dr. Jack Hassard, Emeritus Professor, Science Education, Georgia […]

Dear Governor Deal: Here is an Alternative to Your Opportunity School District

Latest Story Dear Governor Deal, I am writing this public letter to offer you and members of the Georgia House of Representatives an alternative plan to the Opportunity School District plan. According to Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287 the state will be authorized  to takeover “chronically failing schools.”  I know you believe it is a moral duty to do […]

Is Your School on the List to be Taken Over by the State of Georgia’s Opportunity School District?

Latest Story Is Your School on the List to be Taken Over by the State of Georgia’s Opportunity School District? Last week the Georgia Senate voted and passed two bills, Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287.  Senate Bill 133 will set up the Opportunity School District (OSD), which will enable the state to take over public […]

Beware of Senate Resolution 287: The Opportunity to Take Over Public Schools

Latest Story Today, the Georgia Senate voted and passed (38 – 15) Governor Deal’s “chronically failing” school bill which would turn these schools into charters under the appointment of a “state” superintendent.  Senate Resolution 287 proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Georgia that will allow the General Assembly to authorize the establishment of an Opportunity […]

Stop the Louisiana Style Take Over of Georgia’s Struggling School Communities

Ted Terry, State Campaign Director, Georgia AFL-CIO and I have been communicating about the plan being proposed by Governor Deal to take over Georgia’s “failing” schools by implementing a Louisiana style state-wide recovery school district.  Ted Terry is organizing a campaign that we all should support to fight against this take over by the state […]

Georgia Governor’s Dangerous Plan to Takeover “Chronically Failing” Public Schools is a Bad Deal

Latest Story The Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, who was just elected to a second term, has proposed that he become the education Czar of Georgia by holding the power to put schools on a list that could be taken over by central command, in downtown Atlanta at the Twin Towers. But here is the […]

Atlanta Public Schools’ Equity Audit Finds Differences! by Ed Johnson

Guest Letter by Mr. Ed Johnson, Advocate for Education, Atlanta, GA Ed Johnson wrote a letter in response to the Atlanta Public Schools Equity Audit which was prepared by researchers at Georgia State University to look at differences in the characteristics across schools in the APS district.  As you will see in Ed Johnson’s letter, […]

Pearson Just Saved Us $82 Million: Where’s The Money?

According to an Education Week article by Sean Cavanagh, Pearson won a the major contract with PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) to develop test items, delivery of paper-and-pencil and computerized test forms, reporting of the results, analysis of scores, and to “work” with the states to develop “cut scores.” Nearly […]

Do Some Charter and Title I Schools Use a Pedagogy of Indoctrination

  I might be off my rocker on this post, but I want to get it out there, and ask you if there might be some truth in my claim.  My claim is that the No Child Left Behind Act set in motion a culture of schooling which seeks conformity and an authority to which […]

Re-Blog of Twitter Charter Debate with Michelle Rhee & Julian Vasquez Heilig

This “twitter debate” from Julian Vasquez Heilig’s blog appeared in my inbox today. I am working on a post on charters and public schools based on an EPI study of the Rocketship Education charters in Milwaukee. This twitter debate is a perfect introduction to that forthcoming article. Julian Vasquez Heilig is now an Associate Professor […]

Andrew Young Speaks Out at the Trial of Beverly Hall: Good!

  Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, U.N. Ambassador, and civil rights leader, was in attendance at the trial of Dr. Beverly Hall, former superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools. The purpose of the session was to hear arguments from both sides whether to grant a delay in the trial of Dr. Hall because of […]

Learning from the Elections in Atlanta and New York

Latest Story Last week, a new mayor was elected in New York, Atlanta reelected its mayor, and elected a new slate of members to the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Board of Eduction.  What can we learn from the elections in these two cities? Will education in New York set the stage for a large-scale rethinking of […]

What is Georgia's Race to the Top Plan for New Teachers?

What is the Georgia Race to the Top (RT3) Plan for New Teachers? Teach for America The simple answer is to hire inexperienced and uncertified teachers through contractual arrangements with Teach for America, a political action organization that provides boot camp summer training for college graduates from élite universities.  After five weeks of training, with […]

What is Georgia’s Race to the Top Plan for New Teachers?

What is the Georgia Race to the Top (RT3) Plan for New Teachers? Teach for America The simple answer is to hire inexperienced and uncertified teachers through contractual arrangements with Teach for America, a political action organization that provides boot camp summer training for college graduates from élite universities.  After five weeks of training, with […]

Georgia's Race to the Top: Follow the Money

In 2010 the Georgia Department of Education received ~$400 million from the Race to the Top (RT3) fund to Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: Standards and Rigorous Assessment–The grant proposal indicates that the state’s Common Core Georgia Performance […]

Georgia’s Race to the Top: Follow the Money

In 2010 the Georgia Department of Education received ~$400 million from the Race to the Top (RT3) fund to Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: Standards and Rigorous Assessment–The grant proposal indicates that the state’s Common Core Georgia Performance […]

How Georgia Could Turn Around Turnaround Schools

Georgia, like other states, has identified schools whose students and teachers have been labeled failures on the basis of high-stakes tests. These tests measure the narrowest and possibly the least important aspects of schooling, namely the ability to answer multiple choice questions on the lowest level of content in math, or science, social studies or […]