Category: Education

Short Session Shouldn’t Keep Legislators From Reforms

By KELLY McCUTCHEN KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Their sights may be set on the looming election season and campaigns, but a reluctance to rock the boat is no reason for Georgia legislators to keep 2014’s short legislative session in the doldrums when there are opportunities to move forward on policy in Georgia. With the exception of criminal justice, Georgia has left public policy innovation to states like Florida, Indiana and Louisiana. With income tax, pension and major education funding reforms pushed to 2015, tort reform could be the issue that puts Georgia in the national spotlight. Sen. Brandon Beach’s Patient Injury Act would eliminate medical malpractice litigation. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledge shortfalls in the current medical malpractice… View Article

Georgia Ranks 17th in K-12 Achievement

Georgia’s K-12 Achievement ranks 17th highest in the nation, according to an Education Week report released today. In terms of absolute performance relative to other states, Georgia’s performance declined at higher grade levels. Georgia ranked 36th in 4th grade math and 40th in 8th grade math; 30th in 4th grade reading and 36th in 8th grade reading; and 47th in high school graduation rate. One positive note, Georgia ranked 9th in the percentage of students with AP test scores of a 3 or higher. The good news is that it appears we are headed in the right direction. Georgia’s ten-year trend of improvement ranked it among the top 16 states in every measure above, with the 5th best improvement in… View Article

Celebrate Georgia School Choice Jan. 28

GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION EVENT | January 7, 2013 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or Celebrate School Choice Week with Georgia’s Top Education Experts Atlanta – Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation on Tuesday, January 28 for “School Choice and Georgia: An Update,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club in celebration of National School Choice Week. The panel discussion features three of Georgia’s leading education experts: Foundation Senior Fellows Jim Kelly, Ben Scafidi and Eric Wearne. The first 50 people to register for this event will receive their very own school choice woobie – and you can wear it to the School Choice Rally at the State Capitol that day! This event is… View Article

School Choice: Study Shows It’s About More Than Scores

By Benita M. Dodd         BENITA DODD The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice recently released an eye-opening analysis of why and how parents choose private schools. The analysis by the national nonprofit organization is worth the read for Georgians especially. It is Georgia-based, undertaken by Georgia Public Policy Foundation senior fellows Jim Kelly and Dr. Benjamin Scafidi, and uses the results of a survey of Georgia parents of K–12 private school scholarship recipients. The study, “More than Scores,” is available at It addresses what parents focus on in choosing a school; what information schools should provide, and whether school choice – public or private – would provide a more “spontaneous education order.” The authors of the study say they addressed… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation When President John F. Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon” in 1961, he meant quickly, before the end of the decade.  Eight years later an American flag was planted on the moon, the result of a clear vision and a clear goal.  Regrettably, no similar clear vision or goal can be found in Georgia’s new digital learning task force report.   Transition won out over transformation when something clear and bold is what was really needed. The Digital Learning Task Force report released Wednesday is the result of more than one year’s work requested by Governor Nathan Deal.  Divided into sections on infrastructure, digital content and courses, and, blended… View Article
By Eric Wearne ERIC WEARNESenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Much research has been done over the past few years on the idea of “blended” or “hybrid” learning.  Students in these models attend class part of the time, and learn online part of the time.  One school in Georgia is taking some of these ideas and trying to create a program that implements a hybrid system in a traditional public school setting. South Forsyth High School is in the planning stages of such a program, and recently held an event that drew over 100 parents and students.  Currently, the school is surveying its juniors to gauge interest and seeking applications from students who would like to participate next school year.… View Article

Alarming Social Indicators for American Youth

(This article is an excerpt from “MORE THAN SCORES An Analysis of Why and How Parents Choose Private Schools” published by The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.) By JAMES P. KELLY and BENJAMIN SCAFIDI JAMES P. KELLY Any meaningful discussion of parents’ preferences in choosing the most appropriate education for their children can take place only in the context of the difficult social and cultural conditions facing elementary and secondary school families in modern America. Some of the relevant statistics include the following: • In 2011, 40.8 percent of all births were to unmarried mothers. Among Hispanics, that figure was 53 percent and, among blacks, it was 72 percent. • As of 2011, 25.8 percent of children in America… View Article
By MIKE KLEIN MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The popular conception is everyone cares about test scores. This must be true because media is consumed with test score news, politicians endlessly ask about test scores and educators leap through hoops to emphasize scores improved, when sometimes they do improve.  But there is one sector that might be less focused on scores: School choice parents. A new Georgia-based study published today by The Friedman Foundation for Educational Excellence reports several hundred private school parents placed greater emphasis on factors other than test scores when they moved children from traditional public schools into private schools.  “MORE THAN SCORES: An Analysis of Why and How Parents Choose Private Schools” was… View Article
(Excerpt from Richard DeMillo’s address to the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.  Watch his address on the Foundation YouTube channel.) By RICHARD DeMILLO RICHARD DeMILLO, DirectorCenter for 21st Century UniversitiesGeorgia Institute of Technology The conversations we’re going to have today are conversations being held 100 times in the U.S., 1,000 times around the world.  No matter where you go everyone is worried about the status of their own university.  If you go to Europe, if you go to Asia or Africa everyone is looking at American universities and saying, that’s the gold standard, that’s what we want to be. The Times of London publishes an annual ranking of world universities, mainly research universities.  They rank maybe 1,000 universities around the… View Article

When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!

Congressman Tom Price more quotes