I’m the mystery man forcibly removed by several PTA women last week, but here’s the rest of the story.
I’m an average Joe with a wife and four kids who is proud to live in Cherokee. Two of my kids have successfully completed their initial education through Cherokee School District schools, one is in a CCSD middle school and another is in the sixth grade at Cherokee Charter Academy. My wife has served many years on the PTA board at our elementary school.
I attended the “No-Summit” with an open mind and with little intention on passing out a pamphlet I created on the charter amendment. As the meeting progressed, the dis-information and speculative nature of the board members began to boil up inside me as I envisioned inaccuracies and misrepresentations being drilled into teachers and parents.
I will summarize a few of No-Summit’s misrepresentations. The No-Side argues teachers need not be certified. Charter Schools USA, which operations in Cherokee County, requires teachers be certified. A Georgia charter school must petition for a teacher certification waiver which CCA did not seek.
For Lisa-Marie Haygood to repeatedly play on the fear of “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft could show up in our backyard” or Sally Fitzgerald’s equating the percentage of failed restaurants to the potential for charter school closings illustrates the desperation of their fear message.
Under the proposed amendment, local school boards will continue to provide the first level of review. Local boards will play an instrumental role in assuring local communities receive quality choice options.
The No-Side repeatedly claims they are “for charters,” but their actions and words say otherwise. They continually knock any and all forms of school choice. Their misrepresentation of K-12’s methodology finally boiled over my patience and I left.
We need leaders within the schools, on the school board, and in the community willing to adapt and evolve their teaching models for next generation methods.
Residents here are not unlike the residents of Louisiana and Maryland that initially resisted charter schools, but after being swayed to adopt public charter schools from entities outside the local school board, are realizing the benefits and embracing charter schools.
We should expect the same collaboration among our local school board and our charter schools.
If you are on the “No-Side,” please visit your local charter school, not with the intention of moving your children, but to listen to the stories from kids who have had a life-altering event by having the option of charter school.
I may have both of my children back in our local CCSD schools next year, but my commitment to school choice will not waiver.
Georgia must move forward in our school options so we don’t continue to fall behind other states.
A “YES” vote to the charter amendment, will continue to transform the lives of children not only across Cherokee County, but across Georgia.
You will also let local school administrators and PTAs know the focus should be on the child, not politics, power, control and money.
A “YES” vote will tell them we expect them to keep innovating and evolving the public schools to not only make them competitive within Cherokee, but competitive across the nation.