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Charter Schools
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Dear Editor: A recent article in a local daily paper stated that Dr. Samuel King and others signed a resolution to keep local control with local school boards in Georgia.

Sounds nice and proper but the problem is that the local school boards have failed Georgia's youth for Decades. Our school boards must change the way students are properly educated in Georgia. We have always been at or nearly kissing the bottom of the entire Nation in state rankings every year for as long as I can remember.

We get great articles that so and so school got this award but the bottom line never ever changes, we stay at the bottom. It is a shell game that Georgia families have just accepted. Ever wonder why we do not garner more industry of the type we need here. Schools and their near "bottom feeding" national rating is one of the culprits.

The negative results are too many to mention here but let us cover just one.
This past week there was a full blown riot about to fully erupt in my own front yard. Yes a large group of white boys were at a home in my cul-de-sac and a large group of black students left the Hertiage High school campus to fight the white boys.

Now it was labeled a juvenile disturbance by the authorities but what if your middle school child got caught in this or your wife driving thru it.
My wife was a actual witness and a neighbor called the moment they saw the impending event. What would be the out come had the neighbor been napping etc. The deputies arrived so soon because they were alerted immediately and are stationed in near by subdivisions because of so many student related problems there. Cherry Hill , Dial Mill and others necessitate that law enforcement be there everyday to prevent problems. Well this does sound like your subdivision? Well it didn't sound like mine either until last week. Will yours be next.
The basic cause of this is as simple as discipline in our schools. No matter what kids have at home to deal with our schools must have total almost dictatorial control of every facet in the school day.

The top five private schools in Georgia are Catholic. Why you ask- well the answer is discipline!

You can have students from all over world with many languages and cultures but without complete discipline at every level in the school system you get what we have - breakdown of our control of the students.

This is not a race issue because all races are at risk .

This bleeds over to after school events as well. Then you have gangs begin to emerge during and after school.

You and I really know there are teachers in our local school system that are afraid everyday in their classroom. Why- lack of discipline. The school children we have here have the same abilities as those ranked first, second and so on in our nation.
Then tell me why we stay at the bottom. What day will Georgia ever see a ranking in the thirty's and do not start to dream we could reach the twenties ranking level.

Many will use the self trapping argument we need more money per student. Well let us see if say $10,000 will get you a 47th national ranking how about we spend $15,000 a get up to 38th. Why not just throw in the entire bay of bucks and spend $20,000 and get the 22nd position nationally.

Yes , easy to see how fast that old argument falls apart. If spending money was the answer we would have long ago spent our way upwards instead of downwards.
The answer will never ever be in the present method. The old guard wants power pure and simple. Please someone tell those in power here now that any system has a far greater chance than the decades old" bottom of the barrel approach" we have now. The teachers unions have wrecked what is left of our educational system. They fight at every turn for true accountability. Just look at what happened to Roy Barnes-do not mess with the teachers unions ever.

Now back to the resolution by Dr. King. I strongly feel that local citizens should be given the power somehow to put requirements on teachers and staff for student success. They are started at one pay level and if scores for their class go up their pay goes up also.

Teachers who send students to the next level under prepared give some of their pay to the teachers who receive those students and have to deal with the extra work. Not a perfect idea and wait till we all hear the teacher outrage on my comments. And by the way - teachers kick out those who do not want to learn. They go to the area were they are assigned real work- like mopping the floors in front of their peers at lunch. See how many will be a tough guy in class the next day.
The comments I really want to hear are from the successful and courageous teachers who sacrifice and will step out and tell the truth. Not the ones who stand close to the Superintendent and constantly back slap him on a job well done. He is also trap in an archaic system that will guarantee another generation of students promoted into a world that offers no place for second best on the job application.

The next time you see one of those Educator license tags ask yourself would you not rather have your child get a better chance at a charter school or anything else but this dead system.

Don Meyer
Home Owners For Better Government