JohninSuwanee

JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Trio re-elected to school board

On the whole, I believe that Gwinnett's school system is a good one. As such, I would not advocate sweeping changes to the BOE as some have indicated here. I have no firsthand knowledge of corruption of these individuals, so I will not speak to that aspect. However, I do believe that it would greatly benefit the BOE and the system as a whole to get some new thinking into the mix and someone who challenges the status quo. I cannot help but believe that “group think” (everyone starts thinking similarly) has to be an issue with this board. Also, based on some specific instances I’ve personally seen at public board meetings, I believe that the board likely does not challenge Wilbanks enough. I’d love to see a new face or two on that board after the next round of elections in 2014.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

Unfortunately, the "us/them mentality" originates with the people who are OPPOSED to charter schools. As I've stated before, I'm all for public education and improvement of the public school system (and have no intentions of removing my children from public schools.) However, I'm also all for having choices when the public school system fails (and yes, it does fail sometimes...see the post from ptcconcerns above.) Most people in public education are adamantly opposed to charter schools because it creates competition for a system that’s had little competition before. So, if I discuss charter schools with educators, most almost shut down and won’t even consider that there are benefits. I, on the other hand, agree that “public” education should be redefined to include both regular and charter schools. So, who’s the one proliferating the” us/them mentality” again?

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

I've read the amendment (A1) in its entirety more than once, so no need for you to get into the language for me...same with TSPLOST. In terms of amendment 2, although I appreciate the spirit of what you are saying here, if you omit the phrase about reducing operating costs, you don’t effectively convey the intent of the measure. In legal documents (contracts, legislation, agreements, etc.) the intent of the action or measure is perhaps the most important aspect of it. Without it, you leave it wide open to future interpretation about why the measure was passed to begin with. In this case, perhaps the ballot question would have been better stated, “Shall the constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the General Assembly to authorize certain state agencies to enter into multiyear rental agreements [only] when it is determined that doing so results in a reduction of operating costs?" Then the body of the amendment could outline what “determined” means.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

Although the amendment was more about the process of getting charter schools approved than it was about having charter schools in general, this is a fantastic example of the benefit of having alternatives! In this case, it isn’t about “rich” people sending their children to some exclusive school. It’s about concerned parents having an alternative to a public school that apparently has serious issues that are impacting their children’s ability to learn. I agree that these issues are not the fault of the teachers or the school, but they exist and aren’t being solved in public school. Ivy Prep may have its issues, but it certainly sounds better than the picture of the public school painted by this poster.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

...who know that if the current inefficient and bureaucratic system continues to exist, they will be fired and replaced.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

No, I'm not misinformed. If you know anything about the system that was in place prior to this passage, you would know that it was clumsy, inefficient, and very bureaucratic. That’s the reason this measure was introduced to begin with. However, if you believe that the measure only replicates the system that was in place, you shouldn’t feel threatened by it.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

Just curious, how would you reword amendment 2 on the ballot to incorporate the idea that passage may result in our corrupt politicians abusing the system to land 20-year contracts for their cronies, and thus, line their pockets?

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

The taxes that I pay more than compensate for my own children going to a charter school, so you shouldn't worry about being personally burdened by my children. Besides, I personally have no intention to send my children to a charter school. In fact, unless I see a reason to remove them from their current PUBLIC school, I will not do so. However, if I see that an established charter school is much better than the one that they go to, you can bet I will consider the option...as any good parent should.

My support of this measure and charter schools in general is not rooted in any intentions I have of placing my children in one of these schools. It’s about the ability to create alternatives to the existing norm so that I can have options if I’m not happy with the education that my child is getting. Also, I see nothing wrong with creating a little pressure on existing public schools to up their ante if they are being outperformed. If they aren’t, then it isn’t an issue because people will not send their kids there and they will close.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

With due respect, the wording isn't the only reason it passed. It passed because many people don't trust that local school authorities will always be objective when making decisions about charter schools being established in their districts. The fact that Wilbanks so strongly opposes the measure certainly indicates that this belief is likely true.

Based upon your last statement, it is obvious that you are simply opposed to charter schools in general and would support having obstacles to their creation. Charter schools exist today and will continue to exist, much to the chagrin of local school authorities. This measure simply offers a community another avenue to pursue if they want a charter school in their community and the local board says “no”. Given the obvious conflict of interest, I think most would agree (and did yesterday) that having this option is beneficial.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year, 5 months ago on Charter amendment passes

I find it interesting that Wilbanks attributes the outcome to misleading language and a more powerful & better funded advocacy for the measure. I suppose that in his mind, we voters are too ill-informed to understand it and fell victim to the persuasive rhetoric of those who wanted it passed. I have news for you Wilbanks, I believe that everyone understood the wording and fully understand its meaning; otherwise, the measure would not have passed so resoundingly. In fact, if you pay close attention to the results, Gwinnett said “yes” even more resoundingly than the state as a whole (a big black eye to Wilbanks.)

The outcome had nothing to do with Wilbanks’ inability to reach the people with his message or any other such nonsense. It had everything to do with people saying we want a reasonable avenue to establish alternative schools, even when the local school authorities attempt to block it. If Wilbanks wants to avoid charter schools from being established, all he has to do is make sure that our current public schools are performing as they should. If people are happy with the schools, they won’t push for alternatives…problem solved!

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