Effort to turn around low performing schools gets new push in Georgia

on February 13 | in The Top Spot | by | with 3 Comments

A proposal aimed at changing the direction of failing schools may have new life in Georgia.

After Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District (OSD) plan came up short at the ballot box in November, political observers have been waiting for a promised “Plan B” proposal. On Friday, it came in the form of House Bill 338, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville).

House Bill 338 would create the position of “Chief Turnaround Officer,” placing an appointee of the State Board of Education in charge of overseeing low performing schools. Unlike the Opportunity School plan, this legislation requires that the new officer report directly to the state board, rather to than the Governor himself.

Also unlike the OSD plan, the new proposal places a heavier emphasis on addressing community-wide challenges that many teachers say affect the ability of their students to succeed.

With the help of experienced “turnaround coaches,” the state’s chief turnaround officer would ensure that school performance issues are addressed partially through community collaboration. Not only would state and local resources be allocated to improve affected schools, but they could also be directed to address poverty, lack of economic development, safety, transportation options for parents and students, and more.

It’s a provision that seems to have warmed teacher advocacy groups to the proposal.

“We are pleased to see the bill’s provision for a more robust root-cause analysis of why schools are struggling, including community factors,” a spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Additionally, Governor Deal has already indicated support for the measure.

“I look forward to working with the General Assembly to improve education outcomes for Georgia students,” he said on Twitter. “Thank you Rep. Tanner for your work.”

With a handful of powerful cosponsors, expect the bill to have significant muscle as it travels through the House. Those signing on to HB 338 include House Education Chair Brooks Coleman (R- Duluth), House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones (R- Milton), and House Majority Leader Jon Burns (R- Newington).

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3 Responses to Effort to turn around low performing schools gets new push in Georgia

  1. Floyd Gross says:

    Many of our schools are failing because they are packed with illegal aliens. They are tough to teach because they speak little English. And it is the Republicans who get the big bucks from the Chamber of Commerce, the Chicken Council and the Growers Assn., They keep the illegal aliens coming by giving them Georgia Drivers licenses. Then lying and proclaiming they are not doing what they say they are doing. See thedustininmansociety.org blog for details. Estimates now are that Georgia has more illegal aliens than Arizona! All because these guys want a perpetual supply of below market labor. God bless President Trump! God, please send a Trump the Georgia to shake up a corrupt Republican Party.

  2. Terry Hanger says:

    Well, at least it is a plan to try and actually fix these schools. Failing and throwing money at them and continuing to fail is not an answer.

  3. Floyd Gross says:

    “Turnaround coaches”. What total nonsense. How can you believe putting a new bureaucrat in charge will fix things? The biggest lie ever, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”
    There is only one thing that will fix the education system…vouchers. Give families power over their own children and most will do a better job.
    The Republican party in Georgia has become a bunch of bugger eating liberals. Don’t let them tell you they are conservatives. They are not.

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