Gov. Deal’s Opportunity School District is Now About Poverty and Crime!

Gov. Deal’s Opportunity School District is Now About Poverty and Crime! That’s right.  In a paid TV advertisement, the Governor is pleading with folks in Georgia to Vote Yes on Question 1 on the November 8th ballot.  His message is that if you vote Yes, then poverty and crime will be affected. Where did this […]

The Undemocratic Character of Georgia’s Chronically Failing School Turnaround Amendment

The Undemocratic Character of Georgia’s Opportunity School District Over the next several weeks, leading up to the November 8th election, we will explore the Opportunity School District from the standpoint of research just published by the National Education Policy Center.  The 697 page book of 28 research chapters addresses the nature of schooling entitled Learning from the […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Scary Language of Crisis and the Seductive Language of Choice and Accountability by Alfredo Gaete and Stephanie Jones

Latest Story by Alfredo Gaete of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Stephanie Jones of the University of Georgia. The Georgia General Assembly is one vote away from approving Governor Nathan Deal’s plan to take over the state’s “chronically failing” public schools by privatizing them with charter schools.  It’s a plan that demolishes the public […]

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 […]

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 […]

The NCTQ Review of Teacher Prep in the University System of Georgia is Feeble & Incompetent

The NCTQ Review of Teacher Prep in the University System of Georgia is Feeble & Incompetent. In this post I’m going to explain why I conclude that the NCTQ Review of Teacher Prep of the University System of Georgia colleges and universities that offer teacher education is feeble & incompetent. I am Professor Emeritus of […]

Poverty in Georgia and Its Effect on Student Learning

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story in which the writers connected the state of Georgia’s new academic performance score card with poverty. In their article they reported that Georgia students in poor schools got lower grades than students in affluent schools.  To show this they used a bar graph comparing poor schools (schools who have 40 or […]

Governor Deal's Weather Task Force is More of a Mob Than a Problem Solving Team

To improve the state of Georgia’s response to severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal appointed a 28 member task force.  A few years ago, when Atlanta educators were accused of changing answers on student tests sheets, the Governor (Sonny Perdue) appointed a panel of three to investigate and prepare a report.  Why do we need 28 […]

Governor Deal’s Weather Task Force is More of a Mob Than a Problem Solving Team

To improve the state of Georgia’s response to severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal appointed a 28 member task force.  A few years ago, when Atlanta educators were accused of changing answers on student tests sheets, the Governor (Sonny Perdue) appointed a panel of three to investigate and prepare a report.  Why do we need 28 […]

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 […]

Letter Number One to Governor Deal and State School Superintendent Barge of Georgia

Dear Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge, As sitting elected officials of Georgia, the next year will challenge each of you to think courageously about your views of K-12 education and the basis for your positions. Since you will be running against each other in the primary next year, you will have many opportunities to talk […]

Georgia's High-Stakes Plan Based on Erroneous Conclusions

“High-stakes plan could change teachers pay,” is the title of an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution paper. The article is a good review of the history behind why the state is going to move to “merit” pay, and how the Race to Top grant that Georgia won in 2010 provided the funds and a mandate […]

Georgia’s High-Stakes Plan Based on Erroneous Conclusions

“High-stakes plan could change teachers pay,” is the title of an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution paper. The article is a good review of the history behind why the state is going to move to “merit” pay, and how the Race to Top grant that Georgia won in 2010 provided the funds and a mandate […]

From Educators to Racketeers: How Education Reform Led to a National Testing Scandal

Thirty-five Atlanta Public School educators were accused by a grand jury of racketeering, false statements and writings, false swearing, theft by taking and influencing witnesses. How could this happen in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS)?  The district is in a city that is home to The King Center, The Carter Center, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia […]

Georgia’s Movement Toward the Corporatization of Higher Education

Laura Diamond reported December 13th in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Newspaper that a new formula will be used to fund colleges and universities in Georgia staring in 2015.  The new formula, approved the Higher Education Funding Commission, will be the first step toward the corporatization of higher education in Georgia.  Scan the “wordle” that I created […]

Georgia's Movement Toward the Corporatization of Higher Education

Laura Diamond reported December 13th in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Newspaper that a new formula will be used to fund colleges and universities in Georgia staring in 2015.  The new formula, approved the Higher Education Funding Commission, will be the first step toward the corporatization of higher education in Georgia.  Scan the “wordle” that I created […]

Using Students for Politics & Influence Peddling

I was in Augusta, Georgia on Friday and Saturday and during the  local evening news program, there was a TV Ad supporting the Charter School Amendment on the November ballot. The TV Ad was paid for by Families for Better Public Schools, which is chaired by Georgia Republican Representative Edward Lindsey. The TV Ad features a […]

Using Students for Politics & Influence Peddling

I was in Augusta, Georgia on Friday and Saturday and during the  local evening news program, there was a TV Ad supporting the Charter School Amendment on the November ballot. The TV Ad was paid for by Families for Better Public Schools, which is chaired by Georgia Republican Representative Edward Lindsey. The TV Ad features a […]

Don’t Let Them Pull One On US!

Did you know that the bill that passed in the Georgia Legislature and signed by the Governor to Amend the Charter School provision in the state constitution was actually written by ALEC?  Because this is an amendment to the Georgia Constitution, we citizens must approve or reject it.  You probably thought that our representatives in […]

Don't Let Them Pull One On US!

Did you know that the bill that passed in the Georgia Legislature and signed by the Governor to Amend the Charter School provision in the state constitution was actually written by ALEC?  Because this is an amendment to the Georgia Constitution, we citizens must approve or reject it.  You probably thought that our representatives in […]

3 Grassroots Education Organizations in Georgia

Educational reform desperately needs reform.  Reform in education today is in the hands of Federal programs including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Race to the Top Fund of 2009.  Although states can submit “flexibility requests” to receive waivers on some aspects of the NCLB, the reforms that have been affecting […]

The Common Core Arrives in Georgia: Reasons for Caution

The march to standardize and uniform the curriculum is a dangerous movement in a democratic society, and especially in one that is so diverse in cultures, languages, and geography as America.  How can we really think that one set of statements of science objectives written by non-practitioners can be truly be valid for all learners, […]

Why Some Georgia Districts Choose Not to Partner with the State’s Race to the Top Grant Proposal

Georgia was one of nine states and the District of Columbia to receive millions of dollars from the Race to the Top Fund from the U.S. Department of Education.  Georgia will receive $400 million. Not all districts in Georgia will participate in the Race to the Top grant.  Three large districts in the Atlanta area, […]

Why Some Georgia Districts Choose Not to Partner with the State's Race to the Top Grant Proposal

Georgia was one of nine states and the District of Columbia to receive millions of dollars from the Race to the Top Fund from the U.S. Department of Education.  Georgia will receive $400 million. Not all districts in Georgia will participate in the Race to the Top grant.  Three large districts in the Atlanta area, […]

The Real Meaning of Standards: Rigor, Shock, Stacking Up, Raising the Bar!

There was an article in today’s Atlanta Journal/Constitution newspaper by Maureen Downey, a columnist who writes on education issues entitled “Georgia’s Core Values.”  The article had nothing to say about “core values”, but had a lot to say about the new national math and English/language arts “core” standards. Surprisingly Downey writes without any criticism or […]

Scientific Illiteracy in Our House (of Representatives)

Yes, the U.S. Congress did pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), but within Congress—in the House—there was clear evidence of “scientific illiteracy.”  And no, it was not the kind of thinking that we as science teachers advocate.  It turns out that one of the U.S. Representatives from Georgia, Paul […]

CRCT: A Failed System in Georgia: It Needs to Change.

In yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution an article reported that the Georgia State Department of Education knew students would fail the social studies test in huge numbers, but refused to share this information with superintendents, teachers or parents in the state. 69% of students in grades 6 and 7 failed or as the state puts it: “Does […]

High Stakes Assessment in Georgia Fail the Test

In the last two posts, I’ve opened a discussion on the high-stakes testing in Georgia.  More than 80% of the students who took the social studies test failed, and about 40% of the students failed the math CRCT (Criterion Referenced Competency Test). The Georgia State Department of Education is at a loss to explain these […]

No Child Left Behind "Needs Improvement"

Into today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, the article “Long road to school sanctions” underscored the dilemma that this country is in with regard to the education of youth. Instead of educating youth, enormous resources have been and continue being spent of mandated testing, and then the holding of schools and districts hostage—before and after the results […]

No Child Left Behind “Needs Improvement”

Into today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, the article “Long road to school sanctions” underscored the dilemma that this country is in with regard to the education of youth. Instead of educating youth, enormous resources have been and continue being spent of mandated testing, and then the holding of schools and districts hostage—before and after the results […]

State-Wide Testing, The Hoax of Tough Standards–It's Time to Stop Testing

I wanted to write about our nations obsession with testing the daylights out of students in our schools, K-12 about a week ago, but got side-tracked by writing about climate change! Go figure. The State of Georgia released the results of its state-wide testing program, and the results showed that more than 25% of Georgia’s […]

State-Wide Testing, The Hoax of Tough Standards–It’s Time to Stop Testing

I wanted to write about our nations obsession with testing the daylights out of students in our schools, K-12 about a week ago, but got side-tracked by writing about climate change! Go figure. The State of Georgia released the results of its state-wide testing program, and the results showed that more than 25% of Georgia’s […]

Dropping Out of High School is the Thing to Do

Or at least, that seems to be the situation in American high schools. According to statistics compiled by The Gates Foundation, and reported on their website Stand Up, one-third of public high school students will not graduate. You can investigate the statistics for your own state, and even get statistics on any public school in […]

Intelligent Design Goes to Court

A group of parents in the Dover, PA school district have taken the school board to court to challenge the board’s decision that requires high school biology teachers to read a four-paragraph statement that notes that intelligent design offers an alternative theory for the origin and evolution of life — namely, that life in all […]

Putting Science Back into the Curriculum

The State of Alaska put a “bit of science” back into its state science curriculum standards. And what was that “bit”? Evolution! It turns out that the Anchorage School District made the proposal to change the life science standard to read: “…an understanding of how science explains changes in life forms over time, including genetics, […]

Using the Web to Transform Learning Possibilities

Fifteen years ago, a team of educators from Georgia took 6 Macintosh SE 20 computers, modems, and printers to the then Soviet Union, and then proceeded to install one computer, modem and printer in five different schools we were collaborating with (2 in Moscow and 3 in St. Petersburg). We connected each computer to a […]

The Case of iBooks in Cobb County Schools

This is the county in Georgia where I reside. I followed the story in the local newspaper on the Cobb County School District’s decision to provide Apple i-Books for all teachers, and students in grades 6 -12, beginning with an experiemental phase beginning next school year in four of the district’s high schools. It created […]