Duncan repeatedly stressed Monday the "competitive" spirit he wanted to see in schools moving forward. He noted the administration's new "Race to the Top" program, in which roughly $5 billion in competitively awarded grants will be available to schools willing to raise their academic standards, improve teacher quality and allow more innovation. He said he supported ongoing work to develop common national academic standards in English, language arts and mathematics for grades k-12. Georgia is among 48 states that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Drafts of those standards are expected to be made public sometime next year.
Duncan also spoke encouragingly about some school choice efforts, particularly charter schools. His first stop Monday was at Tech High School, an independent charter high school in Atlanta that has a 97 percent graduation rate. The city system's average rate is 69 percent. He also toured the city's Grady High School in Midtown and attended a discussion about a White House initiative to prevent youth violence.
Superintendent Cox's Statement on Charter Schools Commission Vote
MEDIA CONTACT: GaDOE Communications office, (404) 651-7358, firstname.lastname@example.org
December 14, 2009 -- State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox released the following statement today regarding the Georgia Charter Schools Commission's approval of seven new charter schools:
"I fully support high-quality charter schools because they give choices to parents and students and also come with the same accountability as all public schools. After the approval of seven new Commission charter schools today, it is apparent that the Commission used a rigorous process to ensure that quality public school options continue to be available for Georgia school children. We look forward to working with the Commission to ensure that these new schools achieve the rigorous student achievement goals set forth in their charters."
Georgia Charter Schools Commission website: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/pea_charter.aspx?PageReq=PEACSCommission
List of Seven Approved Commission Charter Schools:
- Pataula Charter Academy - Calhoun, Clay, Early, Randolph,and Baker counties
- Atlanta Heights Charter School - Atlanta Public Schools
- Fulton Leadership Academy - Fulton County Schools
- The Museum School of Avondale Estates - DeKalb County Schools
- Peachtree Hope Charter School DeKalb County - DeKalb County Schools
- Coweta Charter Academy at Senoia - Coweta County Schools
- Heron Bay Academy - Henry and Griffin-Spalding Counties
Too bad Secretary Duncan didn't get to see the way things really are. One of schools he visited was of course cleaned up, with buffed floors, posters removed, and all trash picked up. The students were actually not allowed to roam the halls on this day. He didn't see where students are holding classes in an overflowing school. Or hear about how they can't schedule students in correct classes. Too bad he didn't find out that they just lost their internet connection on Tuesday after lunch and no one bothered to fix it until Tusday mid-morning - which meant no attendance, no online grading, no research, etc. (during final exam week). It's not his fault, but he was snowed.
^ *meant to write no internet connection until WEDNESDAY.
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