Category: Education

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.  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 black citizens live,… View Article
By Michael Horn What’s digital learning got to do with physical activity?  Quite a lot I believe. 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 learning is that a student’s schooling will be spent… View Article

Will the American Dream become the American Memory?

By Mike Klein 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 roll back reforms in South Dakota and… 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. 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. The amendment prevailed with 58 percent and… 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. 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 transfer to state charter schools. This analysis challenges… 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. 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 daughter was part of the FOCUS Program for gifted students; our 17-year-old son… 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. 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 students in Savannah. We were staunch… 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. 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 was convinced that in a small way, we… View Article
By Carolyn Jurick 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 took us two years to write the charter… View Article
By Eric Wearne 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 “tricked” into spending money on them. (When pressed … View Article

Name one other organization in the state that does what the Foundation does. You can’t.

Independent survey of Georgia business leaders on the Foundation. more quotes