Introduce competition into education

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The Augusta Chronicle's editorial board is correct to cast doubt on the infusion of $6 million and token "reform" efforts at Glenn Hills, Josey and Laney high schools ("Odd but fascinating," June 29).

Real education reform should include putting parents in charge of their kids' education. Instead of earmarking more money for underperforming schools -- with the likelihood of seeing no return in student outcomes -- the Richmond County school board instead should give parents hope. That hope should be offered by taking the $6 million and offering one-third of the school's least fortunate students a $7,500 scholarship each -- enough to cover tuition at most private schools in the Augusta area. That is far cheaper than the $8,775 that the school system spent per student in 2009.

The competition not only would give the children who obtain scholarships a shot at a better education now, it also would encourage teachers and principals to embrace innovation to turn around their schools.

Just as McDonald's competes with Wendy's and Publix competes with Kroger, so too would these public schools compete to do a better job to keep their customers -- students.

(The writer is director of the nonprofit Center for an Educated Georgia.)

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soldout
1287
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soldout 07/04/10 - 10:37 pm
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Good letter; public

Good letter; public education is a fairly new idea and it hasn't worked too well lately. There were plenty of well educated folks before public education and that is re-inforced today with the excellent results of home schooling. If public education is dying just let it die. Where there is a demand for something (education for children) it will be filled by someone or some institution. It was never to be the role of government to have government schools. Let the free market do the job.

willie7
1107
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willie7 07/04/10 - 11:19 pm
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Many public schools are doing
Unpublished

Many public schools are doing fine. There are 1.3 million children in Georgia enrolled in public schools versus 100,000 in home and private schools .Sure, there are some schools in our county that are trying to educate children from dysfunction family and that's a big job. The private schools couldn't do no better with these students. I tried to get 10 students from these schools to go to a private school and pay the tuition. The private school accepted only 2 and before the year was up, they were dismissed.

corgimom
55853
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corgimom 07/05/10 - 05:49 am
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"There were plenty of well

"There were plenty of well educated folks before public education"- sure, and they all looked alike- rich, white, and overwhelmingly male.

Dixieman
25000
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Dixieman 07/05/10 - 06:16 am
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Government schools = child

Government schools = child abuse. Take a second job, go into debt, do whatever it takes to get your kid into private school!

55 F-100
1
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55 F-100 07/05/10 - 06:52 am
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"Real education reform should

"Real education reform should include putting parents in charge of their kid's education", and I could not possibly agree with that statement any more than I do. Unfortunately, the broodmares who download children for welfare money because that is their one and only career path, well herein lies the problem. The most thought given the child by the mother is the selection/creation of the name for the child which usually will doom that child's hopes of anyone giving them any serious consideration in the job market in years to come.

Riverman1
171494
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Riverman1 07/05/10 - 07:09 am
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Yeah, that is a good concept,

Yeah, that is a good concept, but the problem is it won't happen in our lifetime. Let's be realistic. We are stuck with public schools and have to do all we can to make them better. Plus, the private schools in the Augusta area don't just accept anyone. There are standards of conduct they enforce that are only learned in a good home.

Techfan
6466
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Techfan 07/05/10 - 07:22 am
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Center for an Educated

Center for an Educated Georgia, a branch of Georgia Family Council, affiliated with James Dobson's Focus on the Family. They have nothing to do with education, they are simply a lobbying group that wants to siphon tax dollars to religious schools so the kids can learn real science, like the earth is 6,000 years old and man lived alongside dinosaurs.

chascush
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chascush 07/05/10 - 07:26 am
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willie7, ‘The private schools

willie7, ‘The private schools couldn't do no better with these students.’ I can see from your English you went to a government school. School have continuously gotten worst since the federal government began taking them over in 60s.

chascush
1
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chascush 07/05/10 - 07:33 am
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willie7, ‘Sure, there are

willie7, ‘Sure, there are some schools in our county that are trying to educate children from dysfunction family and that's a big job.’ The problem is there are way too many dysfunctional families in Richmond County. Schools can’t fix that problem The Augusta public schools are more like detention centers.

Techfan
6466
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Techfan 07/05/10 - 07:34 am
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I left out all the

I left out all the segregation academies that were somehow not needed until schools were integrated.

smalltowngal
0
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smalltowngal 07/05/10 - 08:13 am
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Teachers cant teach students

Teachers cant teach students who arent in school, who come to school high, who sleep in class, who disrupt class, who have no desire to do anything other than immulate thugs. Cant make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

southernguy08
614
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southernguy08 07/05/10 - 08:25 am
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Allowing REAL competition
Unpublished

Allowing REAL competition between public and private schools by giving parents school vouchers would make public schools work harder to educate and raise the educational standards for our children. It would also force public schools to be more accountable for their failures. Too bad this will never happen, along with term limits and a balanced budget amendment. Politicians will never vote something into law that they consider a threat to their staying in power, and the NEA is a bigtime contributor to campaigns. Sad but true.

smalltowngal
0
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smalltowngal 07/05/10 - 08:36 am
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What schools need are

What schools need are consequences with teeth for those students who dont comply with school rules. The system coddles them as it does their caregivers. If we are serious about educating students, they must be placed in the most appropriate setting conducive to learning, be it the regular classroom, ydc, or home. Giving vouchers to students with little desire to learn and no support from home to be better, is throwing money away.

chascush
1
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chascush 07/05/10 - 08:48 am
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Why go to school and get a

Why go to school and get a job when the government will take care of you while you sit on your butt.

FaceTheMusic
0
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FaceTheMusic 07/05/10 - 09:18 am
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David Pusey is a hack writer

David Pusey is a hack writer for the Center for an Educated Georgia, which is an arm of the Georgia Family Council, which is an arm of the Family Research Council, which was founded by James Dobson and George Rekers. Rekers, as you probably know, was recently caught with a rent-a-boy on a return trip from Asia, despite the fact that he has made millions of dollars offering "expert" testimoney against gays and gay adoptions. I guess no one really knew how much he knew about the gay lifestyle! That being said, the only difference between private and public schools are the students they have. Private schools can accept only the students they want; public schools do not have that choice. I once heard a businessman speak at a conference and he said: I admire public school teachers greatly because you have to accept whatever comes in your door. As a businessman, I don't have to do that. If a supplier backs up to my loading dock with a supply of raw materials and I don't like the materials, I can refuse to accept them. Public school teachers don't have that choice; they have to accept everybody." That about sums up the difference between public and private schools.

dani
19
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dani 07/05/10 - 10:56 am
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Facethe music. That is the

Facethe music. That is the exact reason why parents should do everything in their power to get their children either in private school or home school
them. Public schools are not what they once were. Visit one and cry.

usafvet
3
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usafvet 07/05/10 - 11:02 am
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Federal Government

Federal Government interference and threatening to withhold funds that never should have reached them to begin with and political correctness are the down fall of public schools. The remark about creating rich white academies has its own racial overtones. Why should anyone who can afford it allow their children to be in a public school, getting a sub-standard education, forced by federal mandates to socialize with punks, thugs, illiterate, legitimates and those who really don't want to be there. Then, also because of PC, there are too many teachers who are not really qualified, directed by administrators that are constantly moving to more money or running from the truth when credentials are questioned, governed by a group of misfits made up of folks with no qualifications to run a school system. The only thing they know is "raise taxes and throw more money".

Techfan
6466
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Techfan 07/05/10 - 12:45 pm
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My best friends from public

My best friends from public school; Me-BA History/Pol Sc, BSN, one oncologist, one MS Agronomy, one CPA, one manager Chattanooga Visitor Center, one lawyer, one nuclear engineer, one master carpenter. What a bunch of losers we are.

johnston.cliff
4
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johnston.cliff 07/05/10 - 01:30 pm
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Techfan, again you take the

Techfan, again you take the exception that proves the rule and refer to it as though it were the rule. It's not that some can't survive government school and still have the ability to achieve, it's that MOST don't. The whole idea of the government school system is to make sure there are plenty to fill the production lines, according to Presidents Wilson and FDR. Individualism is frowned upon.

chascush
1
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chascush 07/05/10 - 03:35 pm
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Government schools,

Government schools, especially in Augusta, are not much more than detention centers. They need to improve the guards.

johnston.cliff
4
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johnston.cliff 07/05/10 - 03:38 pm
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Several of my customers are

Several of my customers are retired teachers. All but one feels competition is evil. It seems not being a winner can hurt ones self esteem. This is one of the attitudes that makes government schools inferior on several levels.

Techfan
6466
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Techfan 07/05/10 - 07:11 pm
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It's not competition if it's

It's not competition if it's not on equal footing. As long as private schools get to cherry pick their students, their performance will be artificially inflated. Give the private schools the lowest performing students from public schools with no parental involvement, and they will still be low performing students. All Mr Pusey and the religious and private schools want is tax dollars to fill their coffers. They have no desire to take on the discipline problems and the uninterested students and parents that public schools are required to accept. Also, I doubt seriously the segregation academies would be willing to accept an influx of minority students that would put whites in the minority in their schools, since that is the only reason they were formed in the first place.

edreformfan
0
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edreformfan 07/07/10 - 03:21 pm
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Techfan, you can call private

Techfan, you can call private schools "segregation academies" as much as you want, but such a designation is inappropriate. The truth is, private schools do discriminate; however, they discriminate based on behavior, motivation, and performance (fairly objective criteria). Individuals such as yourself argue that such criteria are motivated by race; however, I would argue that no private school would turn down a minority student who was willing to work hard and behave in the classroom.

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