by Georgia Charter Schools Association
By Dr. Tony Roberts
Back during the days when we were educating the public about the need for a constitutional amendment to create a new charter schools commission in Georgia, there was a lot of stiff opposition. For instance, the Atlanta Journal Constitution had three editorial cartoons published at strategic times that were all anti-amendment.
Outside the AJC, the most eloquent opponent was probably syndicated writer Dick Yarbrough. He wrote at least four articles published statewide dedicated to the defeat of the amendment including “Ten reasons to vote no on charter school amendment.”
At one point, I was able to sit and interview with Mr. Yarbrough to address some of the issues that nagged him. Having a lot of teachers in his family, he said, “I am tired of everyone blaming teachers for the problems with education.” I offered that we had not uttered one negative word about teachers in all our efforts—which he could not deny. A friendly meeting, but he was not convinced. But, I respected him immensely for listening to our side of things and for sharing his concerns—a sign of an open mind.
Fast forward now three years and a month. This morning, his article is published in the Athens Banner Herald “Yarbrough: Charter schools commission seems to be working.” Do not misread my comments as anything other than continuing admiration for Mr. Yarbrough from the beginning. I am glad he now has seen for himself that the Commission is needed and working as planned and that he is unafraid to say so.
Dr. Tony Roberts is President & CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association
The views and opinions expressed on CharterConfidential are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.