The Necessity of the Charter School Amendment in Georgia

In Georgia, the Charter School Amendment is necessary to ensure the existence of some outstanding, successful charter schools that have proven track records in providing quality educational experiences for students.  Ivy Prep is planning to expand as is Fulton Science Academy, a nationally-awarded, Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Both of these schools’ charters have been arbitrarily rejected, while traditional schools that continue to fail year after year continue to operate.

Local school boards all too often have shown that they will not approve charter schools nor will they extend the charters up for renewal despite the fact that the schools have exceeded the promises of their charter agreements or contracts. These baseless decisions keep coming from some local school boards with virtually no new charter schools being approved- it just defies logic and the will of the people.

AJC Column by Kyle Wingfield linked here:  Latest Charter School Fight Shows Legislature must Act in 2012 

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Four of Fulton’s 23 middle schools, including Fulton Science Academy, ranked in the top 10 statewide for standardized test scores, according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 2010 Report Card for Parents. But four others were on the wrong end of the spectrum, landing in the lower fifth of those same rankings. Two of them failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), determined by the federal No Child Left Behind law, four times since 2007.

The Fulton system as a whole has failed to make AYP each year since 2008. Unfortunately, it’s not alone: The Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Paulding systems are in the same category.

Yet, there is no debate about shutting down the underperforming schools — one of which is even a charter school and should be easier to close. Instead, the only school that faces closure is Fulton Science Academy, which was designated this year as a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

-(Originally posted December 22,2011)

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