Friday, January 27, 2012

Sad, Sad State for Charter Schools

Back in June, I blogged about a Georgia Supreme Court ruling which declared that the statute authorizing Georgia Charter schools was unconstitutional.  I found the logic of the court's ruling very questionable and disturbing.

Interestingly enough, when I spoke to parents who had children in these charter schools which were affected by the ruling, they seemed quite unperturbed. Surely it would not affect them.  All would be well.

Well, here we are six months later.  How are things for these charter schools? Uh, not too good.  Not too good at all!  It truly saddens me.

Ivy Prepatory Academy is an all girls middle school in Gwinnett County that opened as a Charter School.  The plan was for the school to grow one grade a year to encompass high school as well.  As parents of a current 5th grade girl, living in Gwinnett County, our family has been keeping an eye on this school. We have seen some very good things coming out of this school.  After all, if homeschooling didn't work out well this year, she would need to go to school somewhere, right?

Not simply trusting parental word-of-mouth, we were interested in as much factual data that we could acquire.  It certainly helps when trying to see how a school is performing.  So, how does Ivy Prep measure up compared to the typical Gwinnett County Public School (GCPS)?  Take a look at some of the statistics.  I stole the nice table from Peach Pundit.

6th GradeReadingSocial StudiesScienceEnglish Language/ArtsMath
Ivy Prep100%78.0%87.0%100%86.0%
7th GradeReadingSocial StudiesScienceEnglish Language/ArtsMath
Ivy Prep100%93.0%89.0%100%97.0%

So what action has the Gwinnett County Board of Education decided to take regarding Ivy Prep? Why deny an extension of the school's charter, of course.

What in the world is my County doing?  You have a school that is working.  Working better, in fact, than most of your other schools.  Don't support it.  Don't try to learn what they are doing better than the rest of the schools.  Don't try to emulate it.  Actively work to shut it down!  
Friends have wondered why I didn't want to use the public schools.  Why don't I have faith in the public school system?  I don't trust them.  Our values regarding education are clearly not the same.  I don't believe that the Gwinnett County Board of Education places providing the best possible education for the children of Gwinnett County on its priority list in any sort of a leading position.  Perhaps providing an "adequate" education is on their list, but certainly not providing "the best possible" education.
Outside of health and safety, there is nothing more important to me than ensuring that my children receive the best possible education that we can provide.  What a sad state of affairs that exists in Gwinnett County (and throughout the rest of Georgia too)!  I predict that the homeschool movement will continue to grow, particularly in Gwinnett County, while the local governmental approach is so hostile to innovation and effectiveness. 

1 comment:

  1. children attend Ivy Prep's new DeKalb school. Join our petition, please: