Category: The Forum

Georgia Attorney General Will Investigate Cherokee County School District

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said Friday his office will open an investigation into how the Cherokee County School District responded to a citizen’s request for information. The Georgia Open Records Act should give citizens a reasonable path to request information from their local governments, including school districts.  But how open is open when a local school district tries to charge $324,608 for the information?  That happened this week when Atlanta attorney Keith Meador sent a request to the Cherokee County School District. On Monday June 20 Meador sent a request to Cherokee County School Superintendent Frank Petruzielo.  Meador asked for documents including emails and other communications that pertain to the proposed Cherokee County Academy charter school.  The request dates… View Article

Friday Facts: June 24th, 2011

It’s Friday! Education – The largest portion of special education spending goes to special education teachers, who are trained in the law, know how to identify disabilities, and are steeped in theories of learning, according to Nate Levenson, a former Massachusetts superintendent. In “Something Has Got to Change: Rethinking Special Education,” Levenson says these teachers “are not, however, trained in math, English, or reading, even though most of a special education teacher’s day … is spent providing academic instruction.” He flags one district where special ed teachers provided 100 percent of extra reading help even though only 5 percent of the teachers had been trained to teach reading. Source:American Enterprise Institute Liberty and freedom Georgia ranks 15th View Article

Edelman Tells Educators United States “Is Going To Miss The Boat”

Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan were blunt about the failure of American education to prepare children for the brave new world when they addressed the National Charters School Conference Wednesday in Atlanta. “The United States is going to miss the boat to lead and compete in our globalizing world because we are not preparing a majority of our children for the future,” said Edelman.  “This is a disaster.  If children cannot read in this globalizing world they are being sentenced to social and economic death.  They are being sentenced to the prison pipeline.” “One of the most insidious things that happened in the country over the past couple decades is the dumbing… View Article

After Supreme Court Ruling: “How We Answer Will Define Us For Generations”

Georgia became the national battleground over charter public schools alternative authorization last month when the state Supreme Court ruled the three-year-old charter schools commission is unconstitutional.  So it was not surprising that there very pointed references to that decision Tuesday when the 2011 National Charters School Conference opened in Atlanta. “Fifteen thousand students have been left in limbo by a dreadful decision from the Georgia Supreme Court,” said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President Peter Groff.  “How we answer will define us for generations.”  Groff invoked the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he called for a “next generation of high quality charter schools fueled by technology.” Moments earlier, and not entirely in jest, Georgia Charter Schools… View Article

Bill Clinton Tells Charter Educators: Put America Back in the Future Business

Former President Bill Clinton challenged charter school educators to “put our country back in the future business” during his keynote address Tuesday morning that opened the 2011 National Charter Schools Conference in Atlanta. “People look to you to keep America changing for the better,” Clinton said toward the end of his nearly 45-minute address. “Too many people have given up on us and it looks like a food fight half the time in Washington and across the country because we’ve forgotten that evidence, experience and the aspirations of everyday people tells us what works. “This is not about ideology.  It’s not about theology.  It’s about what we can do to give our kids a better tomorrow by putting our country… View Article

Clinton at Charters Conference; Deal Meets With Gates Foundation

Good morning from the 2011 National Charter Schools Conference at the World Congress Center in Atlanta.  Former President Bill Clinton will deliver the morning keynote address to some 4,000 conference attendees.  The 42nd President pushed charter schools development during his eight-year administration, increasing them from virtually none to more than 2,000. Meanwhile, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has learned Governor Nathan Deal, state schools Superintendent John Barge, legislators and several influential business leaders will meet with a representative from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today to discuss Georgia education reform and potentially, financial assistance for the former state commission charter schools. Topic Number One in Georgia is the fallout from last month’s state Supreme Court decision that overturned the… View Article

Bill Clinton To Address Charter Schools Conference Tuesday in Atlanta

Former President Bill Clinton will headline Tuesday’s opening session of the 2011 National Charter Schools Conference in Georgia where the state has become a national battleground over alternative authorization of public charter schools.  The 42nd President will receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award and deliver an acceptance speech to 4,000 attendees. It is entirely coincidental that the year’s biggest annual national charter schools conference is being hosted in Atlanta about one mile from the state Supreme Court.  Last month a one-vote majority of the state high Court’s seven justices declared that the state Charter Schools Commission is unconstitutional, ending a three-year experiment with alternative authorization. Implications from the Georgia Supreme Court decision and the path forward will be discussed Tuesday… View Article

Georgia Will Test Telephone Self-Reporting for Low-Risk Adult Parolees

Georgia will test a new model that could result in more effective supervision of high-risk parolees because less time would be required for low-risk parolees.  In July the state will begin a three-month telephone reporting pilot project and the initiative could be expanded statewide. “The parolee population is increasing,” said Jay Lacienski, director of field operations at the state Board of Pardons and Parole.  “When you have an ever increasing (parolee) population and a stable parole officer population, you better figure out how to handle that.” Georgia’s pilot project will move 1,300 low-risk parolees into a voice recognition system developed by a Georgia-based outside contractor.  Face-to-face visits with a parole officer will be replaced by telephone reporting.  About one-third… View Article

Georgia Probationers Could be Picking and Packing Down on the Farm

Georgia is ready to put unemployed probationers to work picking and packing crops. This week Governor Nathan Deal announced state agriculture, corrections and labor officials will combine efforts to identify unemployed probationers who can work on farms that are trying to harvest crops quickly, especially in South Georgia where blistering 100-degree heat accelerated the growing cycle. Agriculture commissioner Gary Black told The Foundation that preliminary coordination began last week and small numbers of probationers “could be on the farm as early as this week.  This is a free market suggestion,” Black said.  “It won’t work for everybody and not every producer would want it, but what if it does work for some?  We owe it to the producers and the… View Article

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider State Commission Schools Decision

The Georgia Supreme Court has served the future of former state commission charter schools back over the net and back into the Legislature’s court.  This morning the Court announced that it will not review last month’s decision that overturned the three-year-old commission. “The majority of the Georgia Supreme Court has just found 16,000 innocent children in Georgia guilty of choosing a better education,” said Georgia Charter Schools Association chief executive officer Tony Roberts.  “And even worse, the justices have sentenced them to failing or inadequate schools.” This morning's announcement comes exactly one week before Atlanta hosts the four-day-long National Charter Schools annual conference.  Former President Bill Clinton will keynote the Tuesday session and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is… View Article

Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle more quotes