Category: Education

Is Technology Ready for Blended Learning?

By Michael Horn Michael Horn, Education Editor, Innosight Institute “The technology is five years behind where it needs to be.” It was the complaint of yet another school trying to build a blended-learning model that utilizes multiple providers. “The software content providers are proprietary. It’s impossible to get data out of them. And when we do, the data doesn’t connect easily to the standards and the data from other providers.” So went the grumbling from another blended-learning school. What strikes me as most noteworthy about these comments, however, is just how un-noteworthy this state of the industry is in any industry. At the outset of any industry, the technology tends to be immature and not yet good enough for the… View Article

African-American Voters Inspired by School Choice

By Douglas A. Blackmon One of the most striking results of the vote on Amendment 1, which was approved by Georgia voters on Tuesday and creates an independent commission to authorize public charter schools in the state, is the absolutely extraordinary level of support received from African-American voters.  Douglas A. Blackmon Of the 20 Georgia counties where African-Americans make up half or more of the population, the amendment was approved by 61 percent of all voters and in 14 of those 20 counties. In two of the other six counties, the amendment still got 49 percent of the vote; in the other four, support ranged from 42-44 percent. In the 13 counties where more than half of Georgia’s 3 million… View Article
By Michael Horn What’s digital learning got to do with physical activity?  Quite a lot I believe. Michael Horn, Co-founder and Education Policy Director, Innosight Institute A couple weekends ago I had the privilege of presenting at TEDx Manhattan Beach where I heard another presenter, Dr. John Ratey, speak about the importance of physical exercise in increasing brain plasticity and boosting student learning. His book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, details the connection. Although I normally write about digital learning’s potential to transform our education, as a Crossfit enthusiast myself, I believe in the importance of living a healthy life with physical exercise. One of the biggest misconceptions about the rise of online… View Article

Will the American Dream become the American Memory?

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation When he spoke recently in Atlanta former New York City Public Schools chancellor Joel Klein suggested, “The question we are discussing right now is whether the American Dream becomes the American Memory on our watch.  That’s how serious I think this discussion is because the world is changing dramatically and our education system is not changing at all.” Georgia changed just a little bit this week when voters approved a path to state authorization for proposed charter schools that were turned down by local school boards.  Washington state voters voted on charters, Indiana voters rejected their reformist state superintendent in favor of a union-backed candidate, unions were successfully able to… View Article

Charter Opponents Overplayed a Bad Hand and Lost Big

By Mike Klein Truthfully, the public charter schools constitutional amendment that Georgia voters approved Tuesday was a modest proposal that sends a message voters in the state will insist on public schools innovation, even small innovation which is where the state is with charter schools. Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The big stuff like linking teacher salaries to student academic performance and eliminating teacher tenure was voted on in other states.  We are not ready for those votes in Georgia. Perception is a significant percentage of reality.  Imagine the national perception that would have been created if Georgia became the first state to vote against a constitutional amendment that sought to expand public charter school options for parents.… View Article
A comprehensive mathematical analysis of Georgia public school funding models has found local school systems that enroll nearly nine-out-of-ten public school students would experience increased resources when a student transfers to a new or existing state charter school.  This model is based on funding levels approved in 2012 by the Georgia General Assembly. Christine P. Ries, Professor of Economics, Georgia Tech Analyzing revenue and expenditures, Georgia Tech professor of economics Christine P. Ries based her calculations on the funding formula that would be used if voters approve Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 on Tuesday, November 6.  Ries concluded that most of Georgia’s 180 local school systems enrolling 89 percent of all students statewide would gain rather than lose funds when students… View Article

Think Hard About Education We Often Take For Granted

By Deloyce Dhoruba After my husband and I completed military service, we moved our family to Georgia from Fort Richardson, Alaska.  As service members we have seen public school systems all over the U.S. and in other countries as well. I grew up in Chicago and my husband in New Jersey and coming to Georgia, we were very disturbed about what we saw when it came to education. Deloyce Dhoruba, Technology Sector Program Manager and Parent Committed to Quality Public Education My husband and I are middle class.  We both work, we spend time in our children’s classrooms, and we always took the time to volunteer at their schools.  We have had two children in local public schools. Our 10-year-old… View Article

Creating the Vision for Savannah Classical Academy

By Barbara Grimm My journey through the relatively new world of public charter schools began when my first child was in the fifth grade in 1999 and I began to visit middle schools looking for the best placement for him. Schools and classrooms and their issues were not entirely foreign territory as my husband and I were both educators in the public school system.  We had a frame of reference. Barbara Grimm, Co-Founder, Savannah Classical Academy The neighborhood school was known for its lack of discipline and low academic expectations, and so, for us, having our son attend that school was out of the question.  My husband and I were aware of the lack of opportunities available for middle school… View Article
By Kelly Marlow Having grown up in metro Atlanta, a visit to the Gold Dome for PTA Day at the Capitol still held as much thrill for me as a Mother as it did when I was in school. As I walked the stone staircases in the winter of 2011, I was overwhelmed with youthful memories of school field trips and civic lessons. Kelly Marlow, Member-Elect, Cherokee County Board of Education As the parent of second grade twins and also as my Cherokee County school’s PTA Board Member-Elect, I walked arm in arm with my fellow school leaders who shared a palpable sense of pride in our role as the drivers of meaningful parental involvement in our public schools.  I… View Article
By Carolyn Jurick Carolyn Jurick, Georgia’s First Public Charter School Principal Seventeen years  ago I was principal of the first charter school in Georgia.  One retirement, one big move and many years later, I find myself once again helping to launch a charter school.  I was the principal at Addison Elementary in Cobb County for sixteen years.  Now some of my time and energy is focused on helping to start the Tybee Island Maritime Academy, which will become the state’s first and only elementary school focused on maritime education when it opens next fall.  What a journey! Years ago at Addison Elementary we were looking at ways to increase student achievement.  We started to examine the charter school concept.  It… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is the best source of the rarest and most valuable commodity in public policy debate: facts.

State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes