Category: Charter Schools

A Celebration in Education: 25 Years of Charters

By Benita M. Dodd The Georgia Public Policy Foundation helped establish Tech High, a STEM charter high school in Atlanta Public Schools. The school was successful academically but succumbed to the bureaucratic burdens of the school district. Twenty-five years ago this month, City Academy High School opened in Saint Paul, Minn., the first charter school in the nation after Minnesota’s state law authorized the opening of eight “results-oriented, student-centered public schools.” As it celebrates its silver anniversary, City Academy can take credit for inspiring 165 charter schools with nearly 54,000 students in Minnesota today. But wait, there’s more! By the 2016-17 school year, there were more than 6,900 charter schools operating across the nation, with more than 3.1 million students,… View Article

Education Reform Requires More Than Tweaks

By Benita M. Dodd It’s no secret that a 2017 legislative session begun with a smorgasbord of meaningful education reforms disintegrated into crumbs for Georgia families struggling to find viable alternatives when public schools fail to meet their children’s needs. This week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law some education legislation that survived anti-choice sentiment under the Gold Dome. Last year, voters defeated a constitutional amendment for a statewide “Opportunity School District” covering Georgia’s chronically failing schools. It fell victim to a well-funded opposition campaign. Foes themed their opposition around Georgians’ fierce loyalty to local control, claiming it would take money and control from the local school board and superintendent. Lost in the kerfuffle, unfortunately, was that providing parental… View Article

An Unwarranted Criticism of School Choice

By Russ Moore May is known for flowers, Memorial Day, graduations and – to some in the education arena – the annual GradNation report by America’s Promise Alliance.  The report, the seventh annual, is commendable: chock-full of well-researched statistics and compelling charts reporting America’s progress becoming a “GradNation” by achieving an average high school graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020. Sadly, the predictable “spin” from groups with an ax to grind has also hit the streets. Case in point: A recent article on the Education Week (EdWeek) blog has the tantalizing headline: “Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds.” EdWeek may not be an “enemy” of school choice, but a casual search of its… View Article

School Choice Benefits: More than test scores

Hundreds of school children braved chilly temperatures to attend the National School Choice Week rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta In a new article for Education Next, Martin R. West of Harvard University explains that research focused solely on standardized test scores will understate the benefits of school choice programs, since effects on high school graduation and college enrollment are stronger—especially among urban minority students. The study builds on early research on school choice by James S. Coleman: The chief beneficiaries of policies that expand parental choice appear to be urban minority students—precisely the group that Coleman argued has the least choice in a public school system in which school assignment depends on where a family lives. And… View Article

Correcting Misinformation on School Choice

This blog post by Martin Lueken was published by EducationNext at http://educationnext.org/correcting-misinformation-on-school-choice/. By Martin Lueken In an opinion piece in the Nonprofit Quarterly with the title “What Wisconsin and Arizona Should Teach Us About School Vouchers,” Martin Levine recycles several claims commonly trumpeted by school choice opponents – but without any evidence or appropriate context. Mr. Levine ignores the ample evidence available that school choice provides benefits for children. This does a disservice to the thousands of children and families who have benefited from school choice over the last couple decades. Let’s first begin with Mr. Levine’s claim of “little evidence of improved educational outcomes from those students who these programs have assisted.” Though a frequent talking… View Article

What Happened to The ‘Public’ in Public Schools?

By Benita M. Dodd Ashley-Kay Wyatt was a freshman at Brantley County High School in southeastern Georgia when boys happened. Unimpressed by her handling of the transition into the high school, her parents pulled her from Brantley High after one semester. She enrolled in Georgia Cyber Academy, one of the statewide, online, “virtual” public charter schools. Today the 15-year-old 10th-grader, adopted by the Wyatts at age 9, is an honor student. Her counselor at Georgia Cyber Academy says she is “an extraordinary student and has proven to have the maturity needed to be successful with online learning.” Ashley-Kay Wyatt (above) is an “extraordinary student and has proven to have the maturity needed to be successful with online learning,” according to… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release August 4, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation’s Friedman Event in Savannah: ‘Exceptional’ Atlanta — Friday, July 31, would have been the 103rd birthday of economist Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winner and champion of school choice who died on November 16, 2006. Friedman’s birthday is celebrated worldwide annually as “Friedman Legacy Day.” Last year, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation hosted Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day in Macon; more than 10,000 people at more than 100 events around the world gathered to recognize Friedman’s life, legacy and ideas. This year, the Foundation celebrated with a Policy Briefing Luncheon in Savannah on Wednesday, July 29, at Vic’s on the… View Article

Georgia School Choice Creeps Forward

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD When National School Choice Week was launched in 2010, there were just 150 events around the nation, one of them the Georgia Policy Public Policy Foundation’s. This year, the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on January 21 was one of 11,500 events marking this annual event. Officially, National School Choice Week takes place January 21-31. The Foundation’s 2014 event barely beat the January 28 ice storm that paralyzed Atlanta and cancelled the annual rally at the State Capitol. There’s no rally this year, either, but not for want of support. “We’ve had great attendance and enthusiasm from thousands of students, parents and legislators across the state in the past few years,” said Randy Hicks, whose Georgia View Article

Utopian Academy Determined to Succeed in Clayton County

Sixth in a series about new Georgia start-up charter public schools MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein We hear a lot about how reduced state funding caused public school systems to schedule fewer than the 180-day traditional calendar. This year sixth and seventh graders at Utopian Academy for the Arts were scheduled for 190 school days, even as students in the Clayton County public school system are scheduled for 175 days. That would be three more school weeks at Utopian. “Our school year looks a lot different from the traditional public school setting,” said Utopian founder and executive director Artesius Miller. There are other differences. Classrooms are single gender and Utopian offers middle school electives that you… View Article
Fifth in a series about new Georgia start-up public charter schools MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Each morning students at Atlanta Classical Academy finish the Pledge of Allegiance and then they add, “I will learn the true. I will do the good. I will love the beautiful.” ACA Principal Terrence Moore said he introduced these simple ideas because, “If they can hold by those principles and if they really commit them in their minds and hearts then they will have a life that is rich and full of happiness.” Atlanta Classic Academy opened this month at full capacity with 488 K-through-8 students in a former private school located on Northside Drive in northwest Atlanta. ACA is… View Article

The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.

Governor Sonny Perdue more quotes