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19 Comments

  1. 1

    HMM

    Any local parents have an opinion on this? I was reading up on it the other day and felt like it *seemed* like a good idea on paper, but had a nagging feeling I was missing something.

  2. 2

    Mark

    Yeah. I have an opinion. It’s crap. Green has only been in DeKalb just over a year. He is making a difference. These are not changes that can be made overnight. I say stay the course and table the osd until 2018. If the schools are still struggling then do the osd. My two cents.

  3. 3

    HMM

    But what about failing schools in other parts of Georgia (rural etc)? (not arguing, just trying to get all this)

    Or is OSD viewed by as making a grab at Atlanta area schools?

  4. 4

    Riley OConnor

    Much has been made of the fact that DeKalb has more failing schools than the rest of the state. I’m sure that this is true, but the DeKalb school system is one of the largest in the state (I believe that Gwinnett is larger). So it is more likely to have more bad schools just because of sheer numbers. This in light of the fact that just a couple years ago, DeKalb was about to lose its accreditation. Michael Thurmond was hired in 2013 to get things back on course, which he did. The accreditation problem is now in the background and there is a new Superintendent who has been on the job for a bit more than a year.

    It’s really a little early to talk about success or failure in DeKalb, but there are still schools around the state which are failing. But the school system which will be most affected by the passage of this Amendment will still be DeKalb.

    I’m guessing that the “nagging feeling” which you are having is related to the shift of control from the local school boards to the State. There is also a Federal presence, too, but it is not clear just how well all of this will be working. Traditionally, a lot of things are under local control for a good reason; things like law enforcement, education, elections, property taxation. All of which seem to be best in the hands of people who are your neighbors in the community, not someone in a district far away. And not someone who was appointed rather than elected.

  5. 5

    Riley OConnor

    I don’t know if “grab” is the right word. On the sunny side, it simply could be an effort to make Georgia more attractive to employers who want to move their operations out of high tax states and away from the snow.

  6. 6

    HMM

    Thank you for taking the time to write out such a thoughtful and detailed response. 🙂

    I’m torn because I think kids in lower income areas should receive good funding for their schools and I’m not convinced that is happening. But will OSD do this ?

    My nagging feeling is due to two things- 1) when home shopping here I super briefly researched Atlanta area schools and found stories of teachers actually going to federal prison (?!?!) for corruption and I have no idea if there is a larger corruption problem here or if this was just a few bad apples and 2) while I lived in another state, Newt Gingrich made national news saying lower income children should have to clean the toilets at their schools to earn their keep– so I’m a little wary (currently) of trusting a Georgia Republican with a school bill/amendment that some say is far too open-ended and vague.

  7. 7

    HMM

    Hah! Yes, I don’t mind paying taxes, but snow is BAD!!! 🙂

  8. 8

    Riley OConnor

    Don’t know how many actually went to prison, but it was a clear example of the problems in modern education. They tried to come up with a metric to establish if students were learning and the teachers were teaching for the test. And then jiggling the results to meet their quotas. At the same time, there needs to be a way to judge performance. You can’t just turn them loose with the kids, and employers and colleges are counting on reliable information from the schools on which to base their decisions.

    It’s the unintended consequences that finally catch up with you. Consider the current state of affairs at Wells Fargo Bank.

  9. 10

    Eddie E.

    True!
    The Governor and the General Assembly always have the “opportunity” to replace the 8 billion odd dollars they have robbed from the education budget since 2003.
    Hire enough teachers and para-pros to reduce class sizes. Spend the time necessary to EDUCATE rather than train for tests.
    You know, do what schools are supposed to do.

    Or we could just hand the whole show over to a ‘for profit monitor’ and school operating company and see how that works out.

  10. 11

    Marjorie Snook

    20% of school system in this state are still furloughing teachers because of lack of funds. The state has underfunded schools for all of this governor’s tenure. I think he should restore the funding he helped cut before saying, ‘Well, they’re in bad shape, I guess I have to take control!”

    Our Governor has a serious and well-documented cronyism problem. This effort is largely about giving him the power and control to hand over local school system to for-profit education corporations. Vote no.

  11. 12

    HMM

    The more I read about the Governor the more inclined I am to vote no. The vague wording concerns me as well. . . and who knows what future governors will do with this. After the so-called “religious liberty” law attempt I really don’t trust giving Georgia Repuplicans more power, particularly power that appears will go unchecked.

  12. 13

    Riley OConnor

    The religious liberty issue is expected to reappear in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. Deal vetoed last year, but they’re going to try again.

  13. 14

    HMM

    Yeah I saw that. . . I googled “Georgia voting” instead of “Dekalb” when I was trying to find what would be on the November ballot and some new “religious liberty” stuff popped up. I know some are now spinning it as a bill to “protect preachers”. . . this is when I got too aggravated to google anymore and went to play with my dogs. 🐶🙂

  14. 15

    Clustered District?

    Vote YES! Do you really think DeKalb county can fix failing schools like Montclair, Woodward, and Dresden? Uh if you believe that, I’ve got some swamp land down in Florida to sell you. How many years has this been going on? Maybe the influence of APES families into these poorly run schools are middle and high school level may help, but my feeling is that it will just bring what’s left of APES down. I’ve busted my butt to help make APES what it is and it looks like it will be for naught.

  15. 16

    HMM

    How many years has it been going on? (I honestly don’t know)

    Why has Deal cut school funding? (Again, I honestly don’t know)

    Why will OSD be ruled by one person/two as opposed to say a board or committee? (Again not arguing- not from Georgia, don’t have kids, and genuinely trying to understand this)

  16. 17

    Stacey

    My understanding of OSD, which isn’t great at this point, is that because the part of the State Constitution that precludes cities from forming their own school districts would need to be modified if OSD passes in November. This somehow opens the door for the formation of new districts, with a few caveats pertaining to newer cities that have been created, i.e. Brookhaven. I’m hoping someone with more knowledge about this will chime in. It could definitely create some interesting scenarios and is noteworthy.

  17. 18

    HMM

    Okay, I’m not really sure what voting down to questions accomplishes. I’m sure there are many other people without children that are as clueless as I am. Would you rather us all to make uneducated, uninformed votes? Or just not vote at all? Geeez. 🙄

  18. 19

    Stacey

    HMM, I think your questions are all valid ones that we should be seeking answers to!

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