Category: Education

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
By Eric Wearne Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Recently, the state of Minnesota used a state statute to briefly ban online education.  The state’s Office of Higher Education (OHE) informed new online education startup Coursera that the company could no longer provide services in Minnesota because they had not been approved by the state.  According to a policy analyst at the OHE, “This has been a longtime requirement in Minnesota (at least 20 years) and applies to online and brick-and-mortar postsecondary institutions that offer instruction to Minnesota residents as part of our overall responsibility to provide consumer protection for students.”  Coursera’ s courses are all freely available on the internet, however, so no one would be… View Article

Have U.S. Schools Become Just Another Jobs Program?

(This article was written for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.  The author is a Friedman Fellow.  The chart below shows how 1992 – 2009 Georgia public school personnel growth for teachers and all other personnel far exceeded student population growth.) By Benjamin Scafidi Benjamin Scafidi, Professor of Economics, Georgia College and State University America’s K-12 public education system has experienced tremendous historical growth in employment, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Between fiscal year (FY) 1950 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students in the United States increased by 96 percent while the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) school employees grew 386 percent. Public schools grew staffing at a rate… View Article

What’s Next When the School Says it Cannot Help?

By Addie Price Addie Price, Public Charter School Parent An option in education can make all the difference in the world. I didn’t know anything about charter schools before I applied for my daughter to attend a new charter school opening in our community about a year and a half ago. All I knew was that my daughter, who was incredibly bright – teachers had even said she was brilliant – was going into seventh grade in advanced classes but was reading on a second grade level because she has a form of dyslexia. Her teachers and school told me their hands were tied and they couldn’t give her any further reading assistance unless she was failing. In other words,… View Article

Choice, Charters and The Children

By Benita M. Dodd Benita Dodd, Vice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation With less than 40 days to the November 6 elections, passions, tempers and misinformation are on the rise regarding a school choice question on the ballot in Georgia.  Georgia voters will decide whether the state should be able to consider and authorize the creation of a public charter school, at the applicant’s request, if a local public school system rejects the charter application. Charter schools are public schools that have a charter, or contract, that gives them greater flexibility than traditional schools in return for being held accountable for improved student achievement. Generally, the charter is up for renewal every five years but can be voided, like any… View Article

The Search for an Online Learning “Magic Bullet”

By Eric Wearne Economics writer Arnold Kling recently discussed his views in The American on likely future winners and losers in the education technology / online learning sector.  He has also thoughtfully written about online learning here, and here, for example. His thesis in The American article is that technologies that enable “one student [to receive] personalized instruction that comes from many educators” will be the real future of teaching, rather than technologies that allow one teacher to reach many more students. Given that approach, Kling bets against MOOCs, just as others are doubling down on that strategy.  Coursera has just doubled its list of partners, adding Emory, among many others.  (See also here and here regarding… View Article

Powered Up at Home but Powered Down in the Classroom

(Editor’s Note: Rick Ogston is the founder of Carpe Diem Schools in Yuma, Arizona.  Ogston will discuss education innovation at the 2012 Georgia Public Policy Forum on Friday, September 21 at the W Hotel in midtown Atlanta.  Click here for additional conference information.) By Rick Ogston Rick Ogston, Founder and CEO, Carpe Diem Schools Carpe Diem was created out of my own frustration.   I had what I call an Ichabod Crane moment.  Walking through my school I was looking through the windows and walking into the classrooms and I noticed a lot of disengagement, not just students but also teachers.  I was a bit challenged by that and I was thinking we’ve got to do something about that.  Why are… View Article

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State Senator Eric Johnson, President pro tempore, Georgia State Senate more quotes