Category: Education

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

Drilling Down on Learning Tech and Who Pays For It

By Eric Wearne “For state and district leaders, it comes down to two decisions: what devices and who pays.”  These are always fundamental concepts surrounding the adoption and implementation of school technology.  A new paper by Digital Learning Now! attempts to address both. Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation According to its website, Digital Learning Now! is “a national campaign to advance policies that will create a high quality digital learning environment to better prepare students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers.”  Convened in 2010, and currently co-chaired by former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, last week DLN released the first installment in its “Smart Series,” which… View Article

The Financial Impact of State Charter Schools

Questions and Answers about Charter Schools and the Proposed Constitutional Amendment What is the financial impact of the proposed constitutional amendment? The proposed constitutional amendment ensures state charter schools will not take local tax dollars from existing, traditional public school systems either directly or indirectly. The total funding for state charter schools will be lower than the average in all but two school systems in the state. FACT: The constitutional amendment addresses the direct use of local tax dollars by stating “no bonded indebtedness may be incurred nor a school tax levied for the support of special schools without the approval of the local board of education and a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon in each of the… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is our state’s leading organization promoting government transparency. The Secretary of State’s office shares the Foundation’s commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, which is why our agency was the first in Georgia to publish its budget and spending data on a public transparency website.

Karen Handel, Georgia Secretary of State more quotes