The Usual Suspects Respond to the Recovery School District

Governor Deal asked legislators to consider a system that would take over failing schools. Greg Bluestein and Wayne Washington rounded up the usual suspects in the AJC for their responses.  
Nancy Jester
Interestingly, no one called Nancy Jester; the one candidate who called for a state-wide “achievement district”.  I spoke with Nancy who said, “As an advocate for this type of district, I’m pleased to learn about the Governor’s proposal.  For too long, the State Department of Education has subsidized the failure of troubled districts and schools.  There must be consequences to continued poor performance.”
Valerie Wilson (State Superintendent Candidate – D)
“If we truly want to move Georgia forward, blindly adopting an unproven model is not the answer.”
Note: This model has been adopted in numerous states including Louisiana and Tennessee and has been very successful in being a change agent for failing schools.
Richard L. Woods (State Superintendent Candidate – R)
“Time is needed to fully implement and fully assess the policies that we currently have in place.”
Tim Callahan (Spokesperson – Professional Association of Georgia Educators)
“We already have a statewide charter commission, so it would be adding yet another layer of bureaucracy. It would also appear to be a large-scale repudiation of public schools as a ‘failed system,’ which educators, parents and anyone connected with our state’s public schools would find repugnant. Perhaps (Deal) got carried away on the stump and that’s not really where his heart is. We certainly hope so.”
Note: The charter commission evaluates the request for startup and conversion charter schools. Governor Deal is proposing a school district that would take over failing schools regardless of permission from the school or district.
Michael O’Sullivan (Director – Georgia Chapter of StudentsFirst)
“We’ve seen the impressive results that Recovery School Districts have made in turning around chronically failing schools in Louisiana and Tennessee and we believe we can have the same positive effect in Georgia,”
Verdaillia Turner (President of the Georgia Federation of Teachers)
“The New Orleans miracle is more myth than miracle.” According to the AJC, Turner goes on to say, “schools in Louisiana and Georgia that get proper funding and strong teachers will see improvements.”
Governor Nathan Deal
“Your ZIP code should not determine the quality of your education. Every child deserves the opportunity to get a great education.”
Tony Roberts (President – Georgia Charter Schools Association)
“Something needs to be done to turn around low-performing schools. We’ve already seen that putting them on lists and giving them more money normally doesn’t work.”
State Sen. Jason Carter ( D-Decatur)
According to the AJC, “[Jason Carter] blasted Deal for signing into law budgets that don’t provide districts with all of the funding the state’s funding formula calls for them to receive. His campaign ripped Deal for even considering the recovery district plan.”

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