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 State University
Yesterday, I wrote a public letter to Governor Deal and the Georgia House of Representatives explaining why it is wrong to set up a state-run Opportunity School District. In that letter I described an alternative plan that I think is in line with your thinking on school improvement.
For more than 10 years I’ve authored a policy education blog at the artofteachingscience.org, after being Professor of Science Education for 32 years at Georgia State University. During the past week I’ve written five articles explaining the research and my reasoning why a state take over of struggling schools and their communities lacks evidence, and is not in the best interests of local schools, students and their parents.
I propose a more powerful plan, which does have research evidence to support it.
Local neighborhoods, communities and school districts need to be supported, not just with funding, but with a range of human resources. It is governmental arrogance to think that local schools can be run better by a central government. We need to support the more than 100,000 Georgia teachers, principals and superintendents and seek their wisdom to improve schools. Reform will be more humane and effective from the bottom-up, not the top-down.
I appreciate your taking the time to read this letter. If I can be of any further help, please call on me.
Emeritus Professor, Georgia State University
I also included a copy of the letter that I wrote yesterday to Governor Nathan Deal and the entire House of Representatives, which you can read here.