To Help Public Education, Gov. McCrory Must Veto HB 1080

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The Guilford County Board of Education is pushing Gov. McCrory to veto HB 1080, which would turn public schools over to charter operators in an achievement school district. A one-size-fits-all approach like this doesn't address the fact that students struggle for a variety of reasons. Instead, students in poverty-stricken schools could be faced with more dangerous experimenting by inexperienced operators.

From the Greensboro News & Record:

Research conducted by our 11-member board indicates that this bill, designed to take low-performing public schools out of the hands of locally elected officials and turn them over to charter operators, is destined to be an exercise in futility that will put struggling students even further behind.

The proposed district is risky and expensive; it fails to improve student growth and performance; it lacks accountability and will bring more uncertainty and less stability to poverty-ridden schools and communities already teetering on the brink.

...state takeovers of struggling schools have been “ineffective” in many parts of the country. Research studies cited in The Hechinger Report (Oct 19, 2015) point out that after years of experimenting with achievement districts, Michigan educators found its average ACT score is 13.7, which is well below the national average, and that after a decade of state -operated charter schools, Louisiana’s performance data shows only mixed results.

Why run the risk of putting low performing schools in the hands of for-profit entities that have no experience running highly impacted schools? Former ASD Superintendent Barbic maintains that there are “not a lot of great charter operators to begin with.” Giving private operators the flexibility to select staff and develop curriculum without oversight while requiring only limited accountability for student growth and budgetary transparency will make North’s Carolina’ s Achievement District ripe for failure and fertile ground for the kind of corrupt and fraudulent practices we have seen in Michigan and other states.

Why waste the taxpayers’ money on a failed achievement model that leaves schools open to inexperienced operators, declining achievement and fraudulent irregularities. Why allow our state’s children to fall victim to yet another educational experiment that is neither well thought out nor data driven?

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