While speaking to employees new to the Hall County school district about education reform and the Opportunity School District constitutional amendment proposal, Gov. Nathan Deal missed the opportunity to explain his real education goals to those new employees. He had the opportunity to tell the new teachers in the audience that 4 of every 10 of them will be gone by 2021. A document issued by the Georgia DOE in December, 2015 provides statewide statistics supporting that fact.
If the governor had asked those folks new to the teaching profession about their certification experience, in particular a requirement identified as edTPA, they would have rolled their eyes. Completion of that process hampers the teacher preparation process, increasing the likelihood of new teacher frustration.
The governor spoke about education reform. During the first 10 years of my teaching career, the education reform issue was front and center. “A Nation at Risk” was published in 1983, identifying changes that needed to be made to insure that we would have world-class schools. Numerous reform proposals followed, including No Child Left behind (a.k.a. No Child Left Untested).
At the Hall County School Board meeting July 25, the board approved a testing calendar for 2016-2017. There were too many test dates on the list for me to count!
The governor should have proposed that school districts fund modernization of our schools. No reform process that has been in work for 33 years will accomplish anything other than enriching those folks who do not care about our children.
The governor also spoke about the Opportunity School District amendment proposal. What he did not say is that it is a proposal to enact taxation without representation. Under the proposal, once a school has become part of the OSD, taxpayers in the district where the school is located will continue providing funding for the school, but will have no input regarding the operation of the school. There are other problems with OSD.
The governor missed some opportunities, and he is not taking the opportunity to make our public schools what they could and should be.