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Not Giving Georgia Voters Credit

Why DID the majority of voters in Georgia say "yes" to Amendment One? Were they easily mislead by the wording or did they a solution to a big problem?

It's amazing the reaction we're seeing from those who so strongly opposed Amendment One.  Many did so because they saw their monopoly hold on the arena of education in danger.  But that number is not so big.  The bigger group is the one who is barraged with the panic and scare tactics from the first group.  The "Educrats" have been spreading so much fear and vitriol that they can hardly slow down now that they've been told by the majority of voters to shush. 

So, we're hearing, "Just you wait and see!  We're going to have to let people go and have more furlough days!  We're going to lose sports!  We're going to lose band and chorus!  And it's all because of charter schools!"  Parents -- good people who are so close to the shouting that they truly cannot see the forest for the trees -- are ducking and suspiciously eyeing the sky expecting it to come crashing down on their heads.

The other day, a friend and fellow charter school mother was in the grocery store with her son.  He saw one of his old friends from his previous school and excitedly greeted him.  The other child backed up and told him that his teacher had told her class that CCA was making HIS school lose their sports programs.  Then he proceeded to push my friend's son and yell at him!  My friend was shocked and jumped in to stop it.  The other child's mother stepped in and admonished her child for using his hands but commended him saying, "I AM PROUD OF YOU FOR STICKING UP FOR YOUR SCHOOL!"

What?!  I'm not even going to "go there" regarding the way that mother chooses to parent -- but I AM going to go there regarding what put this woman in the mindset that she is/was in.

These parents who, of course, love their children want the best for them and are feeling like the few are taking from the many -- the many who don't have anything to spare -- in order to fund their own private party.  But NOTHING could be farther from the truth!  This is about those who have had control doing a less-than-stellar job delivering the service they are paid (some quite handsomely) to do.  They see their control in danger and they are scaring the teachers, parents, and students they are able to influence.  I encourage you all to read a paper written by Christine P Ries, an economics professor at Georgia Tech. 

Now that the election is over, they are suggesting that Georgia's voters are easily mislead and cannot think for themselves -- that, somehow "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?" is deceptive wording.  Wow.  They must think we are pretty stupid!  This is about fixing a largely broken system.  Yes, Cherokee County schools are doing well -- but we are the exception in our state.  Georgia's kids deserve better!

For those of you still hearing that this Amendment's passing is going to destroy education or your kid's school or starve teachers or whatever -- just hold on and see.  We ALL want nothing but the best for our children, for our neighbors, for our teachers, for our state!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

mfecope@gmail.com November 09, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Very well said! They are looking for the red herring, which doesn't exist. I understand that the teachers are scared but they are scared because they are being fed misinformation. They do not need to be discussion stuff like this in the class. They are paid to teach, not to discuss this stuff.
Common Sense November 09, 2012 at 09:47 PM
What a load of... you know what. Considering that neither one of you have children in a CCSD school (which I can only assume based on your constant rants on the Patch), this is all sounding like a lot of hearsay. If one lousy parent let her mean kid bully someone else's child at a grocery store, that is HARDLY a reason to point fingers at the thousands of CCSD teachers doing their jobs WELL - with furlough days galore. Give it a rest already! The teacher-hater crowd in this county needs to spend 1/2 a minute in a teacher's shoes one day. I can't IMAGINE dealing with what they do on a daily basis. Yet, the education/teacher-bashing blogs continue to pour out from the A1 supporters who 'truly care about every child.' Put your money where your mouth is, and call your Legislators today. Ask them to stick to their promise of QBE. Ask THEM to help eliminate furlough days. Until you do, I HIGHLY doubt that any teacher will think ANY OF YOU are truly 'watching out for them' when you spend your days spewing hate all over cyberspace! With that said, I am going to send my son's teacher a very detailed 'thank you' note for a job well done. She'll need it if she's dared to peek at The Patch lately.
Boney Mahroney November 10, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Common Sense, I am a teacher in a CCSD school, and I think you owe Ms. Pascoe an apology. What she's doing on this blog is most certainly not "spewing hate." Instead, she's exercising her right to free speech -- something we teach about in CCSD schools on a daily basis. The amendment was voted on, it was passed, and it's over. Move on.
A B Alcott November 10, 2012 at 04:51 AM
While I was well informed, or at least I like to think I did the research on this Amendment prior to voting, I don't think many people were. I did vote yes. I did so for the sake of choice, but at the same time, placing a lot of trust in our politicians to do the right thing afterwards. I would like to believe that they would not put this on an already failing economy if they were unable to fund the already existing schools in our communities. Having said that, it seems that there are a lot of people that say they are for choice that are anti-public schools. How can you say you are for choice, when you are only really for your choice? That is just selfish and is not for the betterment of our educational system. The same goes for people that are anti-charter schools. As for the "misinformation," it seemed to be spewing from both sides. It was more like speculation than information. Both sides were spreading information that their schools would close, or not be funded. Right now, I'd have to say the people defending public schools have the better argument seeing as to how our government leaders are not making it a priority to fund those schools. As for those uninformed voters, the wording is a bit tricky as is most legal jargon. When you read it, with the word "or", you would think you get to choose state or local. The items in the Preamble are never addressed in the bill itself. Who would not vote for improving student achievement? Now, tell me how.
Debbie Pascoe November 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM
How in the world did you read that as "teacher bashing"?! Read it again, Common Sense. The teachers are as stuck in this situation as the parents are. There are many who thrive and are happy, yes. But there are many who are feeling over-worked, micro-managed so they can't implement their unique ideas, frustrated, and scared. Teachers are WONDERFUL and it kills me that, in the US, they don't get the respect they are due. Teachers are human -- they can make mistakes -- there are some who aren't that great -- I'll admit that. But this blog is about being frustrated with BOEs and "educrats" -- not the teachers.
A B Alcott November 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Boney, I don't think we can expect them to "move on" until we prove to them that this vote was about all the children, not just those attending charters. Try telling the Republican party that "the election is over. Obama won. Move on." You'd probably expect some opposition until the Obama Administration gains our trust.
Debbie Pascoe November 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM
A B Alcott, have I said anything that seems anti-traditional public schools? If I have led you to believe I don't think they are valuable, please accept my apology. In my childhood, I attended private and public schools. Twice (once in fifth in PA and once in tenth in VA) I moved from a private to a public school because I was so unhappy at the private school and both times was better for the move. This blog is intended to support choice -- options -- parents' ability to find the best choice for their children. Yes, I do end up defending the charter school my child attends -- we have been really surprised by the misinformation and I want so much to set the record straight. Choice means giving parents options among schools. The funding disparity -- I should write something on that to clear that up...
Debbie Pascoe November 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM
haha! I can't click "like" on here... Thank you, er, Boney... :)
Cherokee Mom November 13, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Common Sense - I have had children in CCSD since 1989. I have had some great experiences and two very successful children graduate from Sequoyah. My youngest just needed something different to achieve the same success. She is a middle schooler at CCA and is thriving. Great school and teachers may not be great for every child and what a great county we are to have options.
Debbie Pascoe November 15, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Hi there, Common Sense. I did respond to this but I must have not hit the right button -- because my response didn't connect to your response. Take a look -- it's down at the bottom of this thread. I am very curious to see the evidence of "spewing hate all over cyberspace" -- I haven't seen it and I would be as angry as you are if I did. But, you totally knee-jerked to my blog. There is zero ranting or hating coming from me. I AM frustrated with our school board, to be sure -- but see this as ALL parents, students, teachers on one side of the struggle and the powers that be on the other.
Holly J November 16, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Ms.Pascoe, you may truly support all teachers, but what you, and all the other charter folks, need to understand is that every time you talk about how great your charter school is serving a child, you are also saying "because the other school and its teachers were not" and most, if not all, teachers, will not hear much support in those words. I continue to be amazed that charter parents don't criticize the legislators who pass all these stupid mandates and refuse to fully fund QBE as much as they do the superintendents and BOEs. It's never the Gold Dome folks' fault in your analysis- it's always the supers,the BOEs and, ultimately, the teachers' faults.
No More Bullies November 17, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Given that CCSD schools do not have sports programs in the elementary and middle schools, with the exception of middle school basketball that has not been "lost" at any middle school, the grocery store scenario could not have happened, at least not in the way it is portrayed above. Youth sports organizations such as CYFA and CYB operate sports programs for children and may organize teams around school attendance zones, but the schools themselves do not field or fund these teams.
Debbie Pascoe November 17, 2012 at 03:56 AM
I think that's somewhat ridiculous, honestly. Guess who teaches at the charter school -- teachers. If people want to say, "I know you said that but that's not what you meant," you're going to think what you think regardless of anything I do or say. QBE will never be fully funded. It just won't. There are many broken parts here and many factors and participants in the problems with our schools. Check this out: http://www.casfg.org/reports/gaps_in_the_qbe_formula.html
Debbie Pascoe November 18, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I don't think most elementary schools have sports programs. Not the best argument. Has anyone out there attended an elementary school that had a sports program?

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