Charter Schools and State Superintendent Candidates …

The Georgia Charter Schools Association asked each of the 15 candidates for State Schools Superintendent to complete a questionnaire specific to chartering in Georgia. 

Of the 15 candidates on the ballot for the May 20th primaries, 9 candidates completed the survey, 1 candidate turned in an incomplete survey and 5 candidates declined to participate.

While each question is answered with a “Yes” or “No” there also is space following each question for the candidates to comment, if they want to.

What is each candidate’s position concerning charter schools?

Which candidates thumbed their noses at voters and did not bother to answer the questionnaire?  Or, maybe worse, waited to see the other candidates’ positions before deciding on their own.

Who do you trust?

Go here to find out …

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About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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17 Responses to Charter Schools and State Superintendent Candidates …

  1. I read this today. The best we can hope for is a choice between Nancy Jester and Alisha Morgan. They are both strong supporters of local choice, including charter schools. I stand behind both of them. Both are fully aware of what the job requires. Jester is against Common Core, Morgan is for it. I believe that both of them are running for the right reasons (children).

  2. Another comment says:

    It is disturbing that so many just ignored this survey. When you are running for political office you owe it to voters to answer their questions even if you do not agree.

    I am in no way a Republican. I can not stomach the fake ness and the hypocrisy. The hate towards the least of their brother yet, the claims of being such good Christians while doing everything other than what Jesus or The Lord would do 90% of the time.

    Then again, I am certainly not what was the Southern Blue Dog Democrat, and am totally discussed by City of Atlanta , Dekalb and Clayton brand of Democrats that have replaced white leadership, to create an even worse Friends and Family, Cascade Elite, Mega Church followers clicks; with the likes of Campbell, Ellis, Big Bev, Pat Reid, C Lewis, etc…

    So I will be a moderate voting for the best candidate. I will ignore Nancy error with the T-shirt and vote for her. Ms. Thomas and her Husband/ ex husband Cobb School Board member David Banks are just looking for the next political rung up.,She is a Michelle opportunist.

    I do not understand why this Legislator punted on Removing the words from the constitution that restrict the number of school districts, which prevent real local control. One high school and feeder size school districts are the optimal size. Two High schools max, in a district. The North -South; East – West disparities constantly witnessed or alleged in these 50,000 k plus districts. The districts should be able to break-up by community or city ( town , villages have their own school systems throughout the country). I don’t see why every public school teacher doesn’t support this. right now they are stuck working for about 5 employers in Metro Atlanta. You can be punished as a teacher and the next year be sent to a school 75 miles from your old school, because you work for the district not school. All the Dekalb teachers are stuck to Dekalb county, and only have a very limited number of options to apply for jobs. With one high school or city districts their will be more employers. If the City of Dunwoody has it’s own district, then you can be assured of staying their if you are their or you can apply to work their if you want. The same thing if Sandy Springs had its own District, then Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Brookhaven, Tucker, Lakeside, Druid hills, the new King city in south Fulton. All of a sudden you have 9- 10 new employers for teachers to choose to go and work for. This is just like all the Police and Fire fighters have found. Now formerly good Cobb County Police Dept. Is bleeding good officers, because they have left for. Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Dunwoody or other North Fulton Cities that offer better pay, benefits and environments. it becomes the same with teachers.

  3. thedeal2 says:

    I can’t get past Nancy’s new obsession with Common Core and Bill of Rights. There are about 100 more pressing issues facing a state that ranks in the bottom 5 of the country. She lost my vote.

  4. midvaledad says:

    @thedeal2,

    It isn’t Nancy’s new obsession. She wrote that piece a year ago. It is the AJC’s new obsession. Go to Nancy’s websites and see what she wants to do.

  5. Gil says:

    Interesting that all those who declined to respond were democrats.

  6. We think the AJC posts things about Nancy because she generates a lot of views. Check out the comments on any post at the AJC about Nancy and you will see 3 or 4 times as many comments as other posts. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is what it’s all about! Need readers? Sweeps week? Write about Nancy Jester and one way or the other – you’ll get a LOT of conversation!

    FWIW, we have heard Nancy talk about the ‘irony’ that our SS curriculum does not specifically teach the Bill of Rights for the last year or more – we just teach about ‘people’ across history that fought for civil rights, which is good – but without a foundation of knowledge as to what our Rights specifically are as Americans, how are students supposed to realize the connection of these American leaders to our founding documents? We applaud Nancy for bringing attention to this gaping hole in the GA standards.

  7. dsw2contributor says:

    Creative Loafing covered last night’s debate of the Sheriff candidates:
    http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2014/04/30/wannabe-sheriffs-spar-in-brookhaven

    Vernon didn’t bother to show up….

  8. thedeal2 says:

    There are 1000 problems with public education (also many good things). My point is that social studies curriculum, while obviously valuable, is not at the top of the list for what is currently wrong in the state of Georgia with respect to education.

    Also, while Nancy may have always spoken up to some extent about the curriculum issue, her previous “mom with a calculator” incarnation was more concerned with an open and balanced budget, lowering class sizes, and cutting administrative bloat. Since her state-wide campaign really kicked into high gear, she has been pandering more for Tea Party votes than sounding like someone who was once in the trenches of a board of education.

  9. Stan Jester says:

    TheDeal2. I understand what you’re saying. All I hear about from the AJC is Nancy and Common Core or the Bill of Rights. The AJC is doing a big spread on Common Core this Sunday, there’s no escaping it. Recently, Maureen Downey broke out that article on the Bill of Rights Nancy wrote before her run for State Superintendent.

    Despite the media driving the conversation, Nancy is still on point. Since the beginning of her campaign, these are the articles she has written:
    * Shrink Bureaucracy and Help Teachers and Taxpayers
    * Georgia Loses Money Earmarked For Teacher Merit Pay
    * Education Spending and Results in Georgia

    This is what Nancy is FOCUSed on:
    F – Financial Integrity
    O – Opportunity and choices
    C – Consequences
    U – Upgrade our funding formula
    S – Standards

  10. educator90 says:

    Common Core is extremely necessary to fight in providing a quality education for children. It is not rigorous and will not make our children college ready. Our primary kids are being asked to do things that they are developmentally not ready to do. The math is confusing and even engineering PHDs don’t get it and see it as a hindrance, since so many kids have to take remedial math when they get to college already. The excessive testing is not necessary, if one has a quality teacher in the classroom. The math and science educator on the standard committee would not sign off on the standards and speak out against Common Core and what it’s doing to education in America.

    As an educator, Common Core is the issue in public education. Any time a standard is copywritten and a state can only change 15% of the standards. We see Bill Gates’ Foundations and others spending millions and millions on Common Core and promoting, yet his own children attend private school and are barely touched by it. When kindergarten children aren’t able to have plays in their classroom, because more work is needed to get them college ready and career focused all under Common Core, yes, we have a problem. I could go on with examples, but it’s obvious that people in DeKalb need to become better educated about Common Core and it’s effects on children. Wake up DeKalb!!

  11. d says:

    Just a couple of thoughts:

    1) What third grader will understand “A well regulated militia” or “the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”. I am not saying these concepts are not important, but early elementary students do not have the mental capacity to really understand the intricacies of the Constitution. I think understanding freedom in general and those who fought for it lays the foundation for when students are able to really grasp what the Constitution is all about. (By the way, I teach Social Studies, so I understand the importance of this, but the foundation is important for true understanding).
    2) I don’t really think it matters who wins as State Superintendent. The real power is the Board of Education – who are all appointed by the Governor. Look what happened to Dr. Barge when he went against the Governor.

  12. educator90 says:

    State Superintendent does matter, because Common Core and the dumbing down of our children is a state issue. If we have someone in the State Education Superintendent that is okay with Common Core and the dumbing down of our children, school boards won’t matter, because every school relies on funding from the state and federal government. Following to Common Core is necessary for state and federal by any local school system.

    Governor matters as well!!! 3 of the 4 running for Governor are for Common Core. David Pennington is the only one who is against Common Core.

    d, if you are a teacher, you are showing that you don’t understand how education is funded or what is happening to our children with Common Core, or that you just don’t care.

    Local school boards must follow the rules that the state and federal department of educations put on them. They cannot do their own thing, even if it is better for the children that they are in charge of educating.

  13. d says:

    I understand fully how we are (and are not) funded. In the end, the state board of education has the ultimate power – and that body is full of the governor’s cronies – and if the state superintendent does something the governor doesn’t like (such as standing up for the 1.6 million children in public schools), the governor takes away the budget of the Department of Education and takes over the programs.

    I also understand what Common Core is and is not. It is not curriculum. Curriculum is what teachers do every day in the classroom. Common Core is a set of standards – what we expect our children to know. It was backed by Sonny Perdue. What has happened is that when 45 states signed on that yeah, we agree that basic skills in first grade, eighth grade, whatever don’t vary between Georgia, North Dakota, and Arizona textbook publishers saw (as any well run company should) a huge opportunity for profit and basically screwed up what could have been a very good thing. Districts seem to have jumped on the common core textbook bandwagon without really examining what they were buying leaving us with the problems we see today.

    I will just ask you, educator90, please tell me what specific standards are a problem? I will say we didn’t do Common Core right in Georgia – again, the problem isn’t the standards. I’ve heard certain state school superintendent candidates fuss about the Social Studies Common Core (which is non-existant). We still operate on the GPS for Social Studies with no real change to that in sight.

  14. howdy1942 says:

    Another note to remind everyone that we will vote on the next Dekalb County School Board on May 20 – just over two weeks from now. For years, our teachers, our kids, and our people have suffered with the poor actions, poor decisions, and poor results of a school board majority and many on this blog have posted comments about those. We now have the opportunity to do something about those dismal results. We now have the opportunity to get the focus back on the classroom, to get our financial house in order, to repair the relationship between teachers and administrators, to take away the priority of our dollars being spent on lawyers and place it on our kids, to restore the trust between our people and our school system, and to expect results from those who lead our school system. Starting in January, my fervent hope is that the majority of the comments posted on DSW will be about the good things that are beginning to happen in the DCSS. We haven’t had that many to post about in recent years.

    Let’s all vote – the earlier the better.

  15. That’s all true, Howdy. However, we have seen this kind of ‘opportunity’ come and go over and over. We even held out hope for change when we counted on SACS and the Governor to step in. Sadly, the power structure inside the palace is still very much in place. DeKalb schools is first and foremost a $1.2 Billion a year jobs and contracts enterprise. Somewhere long after that in importance, it is sometimes a collection of schools – if only they could have schools without the cost of those pesky teachers!

  16. howdy1942 says:

    @DSW – I certainly understand your point. But the voters have so much to remember this time. Eugene Walker and all the embarrassment and anxiety he caused. Crawford Lewis and his sidekick Pope. The lawyers, the Heery case, the teachers vs. Dekalb County School Board, the appointment of Michael Thurmond by the former school board as the door was slamming on its existence, his appointment as the “permanent” superintendent by current school board without even a hint of a search or consideration of any alternate candidates, the endless “executive sessions” by the former school board, the promises to specify those “600 positions” that were “eliminated”, the promises to conduct a financial audit, the vote to buy 15 new cars for administrators using SPLOST IV funds that were “authorized by the voters”, the DCSS being placed on probation by SACS making Dekalb the only school system in the United States to be on probation, the Governor’s removal of the school board, the unexplained “resignation/termination” of Dr. Atkinson with a huge severance package, the failure to explain the “leaks” by the former school board of confidential information provided by other candidates when Dr. Atkinson was selected, six furlough days for our teachers, a 17% teacher turnover rate, expansion in the size of the administration, a slap on the wrist for an administrator who forced students to buy his book in which he plagiarized much of the material, the specter of two principals fighting on school grounds and simply being reassigned, the denial of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster for no reason without even the opportunity to try, school board meeting after school board meeting in which few if any of the board members were prepared or even attempted to ask administrators any questions on key issues such as the budget, the strong efforts led by those in Dekalb County to expand the number of school districts in the State so that we could have an alternative to the DCSS, the division caused by three cityhood efforts that had their roots in the declining DCSS. etc., etc. And just today we learned that a convicted felon from Florida was hired by the DCSS even though that information was readily available to the DCSS – yet another embarrassment for our County.

    In all of my 40 years in Dekalb County, I don’t remember a time when voters have endured so much from the Dekalb County School System and have so many reasons to vote. As for me, I am pulling for Stan Jester, for John Oselette, and Don McChesney. We’ll need just one more and the changes can begin. When that happens, the “friends and family jobs program” is over – history! Let’s make that happen!

  17. The latest update on the state super race:

    Conservative talk show host, Erick Erickson has endorsed Nancy Jester

    National conservative activist and media figure Erick Erickson today announced on Facebook that he’s “going with Nancy Jester” in the Republican Primary for Georgia State School Superintendent.

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