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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This school takeover amendment - the "Opportunity School District" - do you think it's a state takeover / slippery slope, or a well meaning probationary plan to improve school performance?

Sales pitch from Deal:

In the proposal, chronically failing schools are defined as those that earn an “F†rating on the Georgia
Department of Education’s accountability measure, the College and Career Performance Index (CCRPI),
for three consecutive years. (The CCRPI includes measures of achievement, growth, and gap reduction.)
Based on an analysis of the 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 CCRPI scores, 6% or 127 - excluding
alternative, non-traditional, and special purpose schools - of Georgia’s 2089 schools would be eligible for
the Opportunity School District (OSD). These schools, excluding state-approved charter schools, are
located in 22 local school districts. In the future, the first year a school earns a CCRPI rating of “F†it
would be considered on a warning track, and the second consecutive year the school receives earns an “Fâ€
rating would be considered a probationary year. During the warning and/or probationary years â€" or if not
selected for intervention by the OSD, the district could apply to the State Board of Education for one-year
waivers that would allow adequate flexibility for innovative programs to support improvement.
https://gov.georgia.gov/opportunity-school-district-proposal

Opposition:

And Democratic opponents are looking to capitalize on support from conservative critics in deep-red counties where the proposal has ruffled feathers, such as the Barrow school board member who said Deal could “go to hell and take his money with him.â€

Here’s the text of the ad:

“Want the truth about the school takeover amendment? Read the fine print. Amendment 1 is a nothing but a power grab â€" a political takeover of our public schools by politicians and special interests Amendment 1 takes away local control; silences parents and teachers. Hands control of our schools to an unaccountable, statewide political appointee and out of state for-profit corporations. If you believe parents, teachers and local communities know what’s best for kids, Vote No on Amendment 1.â€
http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/09/20/school-takeover-opponents-step-up-their-pitch-to-georgia-conservatives/

Ballot text:

Ballot title
The ballot title is as follows:[9]

“
Provides greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.[10]

â€
Ballot question
The proposed ballot question is as follows:[1][9]

“ Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?
( ) Yes

( ) No[10]

â€
Ballot summary
The ballot summary is as follows:[9]

“
This proposal authorizes the General Assembly to provide for the creation of an Opportunity School District and authorizes the state to assume the supervision, management, and operation of failing public elementary and secondary schools, including the power to receive, control, and expend appropriated funds for such purposes. It amends Article VIII, Section V of the Georgia Constitution by adding a new Paragraph VIII. A copy of this entire proposed amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is availablefor public inspection.[10]

â€
 

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American
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The real problem is that it is the thin edge of the wedge. The state gets authority to take over failing schools. Everyone is for strong schools, so it passes. The state allocates to itself the authority to define and determine when a school is "failing". So, it is clearly possible, and given the penchant for bureaucrats to expand their fiefdoms whenever possible likely, that more and more schools will fall under that designation as the criteria are slowly changed from something wholly reasonable to something completely unrecognizable.
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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selected for intervention by the OSD
Amendment 1 is a nothing but a power grab â€" a political takeover of our public schools by politicians and special interests Amendment 1 takes away local control; silences parents and teachers. Hands control of our schools to an unaccountable, statewide political appointee and out of state for-profit corporations.
I asked someone and was told it allows the State to place a Political Officer in control of each school / district, requiring the local district to pay for it (whether they want "help" or not). The Political Officer is a policy fixer sent by the State.

Provides greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.
Translations:
"Greater flexibility" means gathering up of power / authorit'ah
"State accountability" means State, not local, exercise of that power / authorit'ah
"Fix failing schools" means compel compliance, the "teeth" of that power / authorit'ah
"Increasing community involvement" means as many new Political Officers as possible as soon as possible

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?
"To allow the State to intervene" means "empower State bureaucrats to insert noses locally".

IIRC the School System is independently empowered by the State Constitution, which is why an amendment is required.

I have to wonder... :-k ... maybe there was a reason for it? Maybe we shouldn't be so hasty to abandon that power balance no matter how pretty or "reasonable" the ballot wording sounds?

authorizes the state to assume the supervision, management, and operation of failing public elementary and secondary schools, ...
Even if the local district, parents and tax payers do not want it?

"Assume the supervision . . ." is the "takeover" and compelled compliance under the new Political Officers.

... including the power to receive, control, and expend appropriated funds for such purposes.
I'm guessing this includes the power of the Political Officer to open up those endless Federal funds through compelled implementation of necessary policy at the school(s).

Would this include compelled installation of "core common" too? How about "desirable" and "undesirable" curricula? If some Senator in DC thinks it would be a good idea for all the students to sing Kumbaya three hours a day with milk and cookies and offered a few million per school if they do it, would the Political Officer say that is what's needed to fix the test scores?
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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UtiPossidetis said:
The real problem is that it is the thin edge of the wedge. The state gets authority to take over failing schools. Everyone is for strong schools, so it passes. The state allocates to itself the authority to define and determine when a school is "failing". So, it is clearly possible, and given the penchant for bureaucrats to expand their fiefdoms whenever possible likely, that more and more schools will fall under that designation as the criteria are slowly changed from something wholly reasonable to something completely unrecognizable.
:goodpost:

Where are the checks and balances?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The real problem is that it is the thin edge of the wedge. The state gets authority to take over failing schools. Everyone is for strong schools, so it passes. The state allocates to itself the authority to define and determine when a school is "failing". So, it is clearly possible, and given the penchant for bureaucrats to expand their fiefdoms whenever possible likely, that more and more schools will fall under that designation as the criteria are slowly changed from something wholly reasonable to something completely unrecognizable.
My thoughts, too. Well said.
 

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Ninjaneering Computers
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{A bunch of stuff}
My initial thought was that since the state's largest teacher's union was against it, that probably meant it was a good idea and I should support it. You have changed my opinion.
 

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GeePeeDoHolic
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:goodpost:

Where are the checks and balances?
I read the amendment as allowing for a Board of Regents, but for elementary/secondary education.
 

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I too am usually against ANYTHING that the NEA (or similar union) advocates for, but this whole thing stinks and Deal stinks. For the most part, if Deal thinks it is a good deal, then it ain't.

I voted NO to this amendment. Leave it to the local boards to deal with it.
 

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American
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Now, if it were an amendment to prohibit NEA's existence............
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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jsaund22 said:
My initial thought was that since the state's largest teacher's union was against it, that probably meant it was a good idea and I should support it. You have changed my opinion.
:D And not a single personal attack! :lol:

Malum Prohibitum said:
One internet point for Coffeemate!
:woohoo:
 

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Vote no. They want to micromanage teachers. You'll see a mass exodus of teachers then standards will be lowered to fill those teaching slots.
 

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American
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Mass exodus of teaches? Really? Summer's off. 2-3 weeks at Christmas. 1week at Thanksgiving. No weekends. Best retirement program in the US according to several reviews. Education degrees that prepare you to do nothing else. Lockstep pay raises based on time served plus increases for advanced degrees plus occasional COLA increases. There are plenty of good reasons to oppose but a teacher exodus. :rotfl:
 

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You'll see a mass exodus of teachers then standards will be lowered to fill those teaching slots.
Yeah...I don't think so. The only teachers that are leaving (or would leave) are the ones that are *actually* qualified and to head to greener pastures (such as leaving DeKalb for Cobb). Teachers pretty much pigeon hole themselves into that career since they aren't going to much else with a teaching certificate.
 

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Deplorable bitter clinger.
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I had initially thought to vote yes, but I've also changed my mind. This is classic camel's nose under the tent in extending state control centrally over local governments.

Interesting take here, on the deceptive wording of the ballot question to make it sound like a good idea. : http://www.macon.com/news/local/education/article98728612.html
 

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Interesting take here, on the deceptive wording of the ballot question to make it sound like a good idea. : http://www.macon.com/news/local/education/article98728612.html
I would argue that just about every amendment on the ballot is worded for passage. I am not sure how that happens, but it sure seems like that is the case. Look at the wording on the Judicial Oversite Committee...which is a damn joke as it stands today.
 

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Deplorable bitter clinger.
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Look at the wording on the Judicial Oversite Committee...which is a damn joke as it stands today.
Exactly right. I'm STILL researching that amendment, to see if I can figure out what my position is on it. It smells, for sure, the convoluted way it's crafted.

My inclination is to vote "no" on crappily stated amendments.
 

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Exactly right. I'm STILL researching that amendment, to see if I can figure out what my position is on it. It smells, for sure, the convoluted way it's crafted.

My inclination is to vote "no" on crappily stated amendments.
I don't think you can go wrong with that line of thinking!
 

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I'm voting NO.

Only Gov. Deal could unite gun rights advocates with the Teachers Union. :lol:
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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Everyone please post this all over social media with your encouragement to vote against it.
 
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