Critic of school takeover plan: Fairy dust needed to make it work

On Nov. 8, voters in Georgia will decide whether to grant the state sweeping new powers to take over schools deemed under-performing. It requires an amendment to the state constitution to shift power from local districts to the governor’s office.

Voters won’t see the fine print to understand in detail what absorption into Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed Opportunity School District will mean for a school, but a retired librarian delved into law. And Susan McWethy of Decatur is concerned with what she found. She doubts state control will fix schools and urges voters to dig deeper than the ballot language.

“On the ballot they will see words to make them believe that Amendment 1, if passed, will ‘fix’ schools that are allegedly failing, increase community involvement, and improve student performance. It would take lots of fairy dust to make any of these claims come true,” McWethy writes today in the AJC Get Schooled blog

“The OSD superintendent, responsible for the operations of the OSD, would be appointed by the governor and serve at his pleasure, stripping away accountability from local school districts and handing it to a less involved, bigger-government bureaucracy. This political appointee will determine which of four takeover models will be employed for each school: direct management by the OSD, shared governance with the OSD superintendent having authority over changes, reconstitution as a charter school, and closure,” she says.

To read more of McWethy’s concerns about the OSD and defenses of it, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.

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