The November election in Georgia is important because the Governor is trying to slip an education Trojan horse into every school system. The Opportunity School District constitutional amendment sounds harmless or helpful: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?”
Intervene. Intervene how? The Governor’s Office, not the state department of education, would take over certain schools with the option to declare them charter schools and privatize these schools. “Oh, you went to a school so bad that the state took it over…what a stigma…do you know what stigma means?”
First, my concerns aren’t about Democrats and Republicans. When Governor Deal was a congressman from the northern section of Georgia, he did a fine job representing the people of that region. However, Georgia is a big and diverse state with different regions. Muhammed Ali once said that the problem with Atlanta is that it is surrounded by Georgia. Come on, champ, some of us prefer the rest of Georgia.
My point is that the conservative region above Atlanta doesn’t understand that schools fail for various reasons and only bloggers will admit that the primary reasons might be home life—little Johnny can’t focus at school if home is rough. Of course, we all want kids to be ready to learn, focused and prepared to concentrate like we were…and we were because we grew up focusing from the front pew of church.
Wait a second, my conservative friends have been fighting against federal or state control of local governmental matters for 40 years. Generally, they would hate a state officer telling them what to do with their local schools.
Some ultra conservatives have been trying to resegregate schools since Brown vs. the Board of Education. Paying property taxes to fund a school full of kids whose parents don’t pay property taxes burns them up. The situation is exacerbated by the notion that “those kids” at times are the discipline problems that make the public schools unacceptable. So, Mr. Property Owner must go deeper into his pockets to pay for private school. For the record, everyone should cheer for the academic success of every child because you want to have an intelligent labor force to attract well-paying industries. If you don’t pay for school, you will pay in time in prison cost…Georgia State University or Georgia State Penitentiary.
Ultimate Real Deal
The Opportunity School District is a Trojan horse that would open the door to privatizing public schools and taking control of schools from local leaders and citizens. I bet you will find some corporations that run schools at the center of this idea. Remember, they tried the same thing with privatizing prisons—built the prisons and they got rich off mass incarceration. Orange is the New Black is based on facts.
This deal is even cuter. This plan goes down like this: Rather than cherry-picking the best students and putting them into charter schools or magnet schools, you open the door to cherry-picking the worst schools or students, turn them over to private companies and the remaining students will be better off.
Yes, something must be done about under-preforming schools and the effort will require an honest analysis of all factors…including students, parents and environment. But, the governor’s office taking over schools is not the answer.
Hillary Clinton Smiling
You know that Democrat voters in Georgia are experiencing an enthusiasm problem. They aren’t necessarily hyped about voting for president because the national media keeps saying that Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are the only swing states this side of the Mississippi River. Clinton will win those states and with the help of Republicans running from Donald Trump, Georgia and North Carolina are on the toss-up list.
Clinton should be smiling because this crazy Opportunity School Board mess would light a fire under unlikely registered voters. If presented to the people correctly, OSB could be a game changer. Wait, it gets better. Real money is flowing around the state to stop this ill-conceived amendment. Traditionally, Dems raise money in Atlanta to spend in say Florida but this year, Hillary and maybe the U.S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale might win by riding the coattails of the anti-Opportunity School Board movement.
Bloggers are ready to stop OSB with rallies, cookouts, tailgates, receptions and radio spots. Georgia Dems can be elitists at times—elbowing each other for glory. We don’t have time for that crap this time because the stakes are too high…what’s in the balance is the future of our kids. We won’t let them recreate a second class school system based on race, region, or income. I think they want rural school systems to have a city kids school and county kids school but that is really county kids getting new schools and town kids keeping the old, current schools.
The plan to stop OSB centers on early voting and educating voters about voting the total ballot. President Obama recently said at Howard University’s graduation that he would have had a different congress if voters who voted for him would have voted for congress and other ballot items. We must get the word out and it needs to come from trusted members of the community…like me. They need to put that money on the street…old school style, Maze and Motown playing at rallies, family reunion style. Oh, I would put a Trojan horse with OSB on him on 3,000 t-shirts in one month.
Citizens should consider their use of time in support of the communities’ youth. So, you can sit in a high school football game for three hours to support the players, cheerleaders and band but you won’t take 10 minutes to early vote for good candidates and against junk like OSB. You use your smartphone to play Angry Birds but won’t get angry about conservative politicians trying to quietly take over our schools; we are talking about the same conservatives who constantly called for the end of the state and federal departments of education. As projectlogicaga.com’s Best Interest Initiative states, everyone has an agenda.
My agenda is to use social media to mobilize and energize every voter this year.