by Georgia Charter Schools Association
By Dr. Tony Roberts,
Suppose a car with a mother and three children are in a car wreck due to icy road conditions. The car slides in front of an oncoming 16-wheel semi-truck who hits it head-on. The car is smashed and immediately burst into flames. Because of the car’s unique build (maybe it’s a Volvo or something) and the quick action of good Samaritans rushing to rescue the mom and all three children, there is not a single fatality. What should be the title of this story? I guess it depends on your point of view.
1) Mom with Three Children Endangers Children Driving in Icy Condition
2) 16 Wheeler Unable to Avoid Car Due to Icy Roads
3) Police Say Both Car and Truck Driver Should Have Been Using Snow Chains
4) Children and Mother Saved Due to Quick Action by Good Samaritans
Now, I would have chosen #4 without a question on that story. What about you?
So, this is my mindset as I reflect on this morning’s AJC article “Charter schools slip on latest state report card.”
First line of article: “Georgia’s public schools took a step backward academically, an annual state report card released last week found, and many charter schools did not escape the lower marks (emphasis mine). Webster defines “many” as a “large but indefinite number,” while some might say it means, “more than one.” Generally, to me, it means, “quite a few.”
Sounds like charter schools, as a whole have really taken a dive, right? Wrong! Read down further into the article where most have stopped reading by now.
“There was some encouraging news from the recent CCRPI findings for charter schools. Middle schools with data available were four points better than the state average. Elementary charter schools were on average five-tenths of a point better.” (Emphasis mine)
So what charter schools caused this negative headline? Get this: “The index shows several charter high schools are in trouble or need improvement. Three charter high schools were 50 percent or more below the statewide high school average for academic achievement.” Later in the article, the writer says, ” The data reviewed by the AJC showed charter high schools were on average three-tenths of a point below the statewide average.”
As readers of this blog know, there are a lot more middle and elementary charter schools and charter school students than charter high schools. Not that our high schools and other charters could not be improved, but I do believe credit should be given when due.
The content of the article alone suggests the most accurate title should be, in my opinion, “Charter elementary and charter middle schools showing gains on latest state report card.”
So, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the many charter schools that are doing an excellent job and are doing it without the credit they deserve. They are, however, all doing it with this mission in mind: serving students better and helping them achieve at higher levels.
Postscript: To be totally fair, the AJC published another article this morning with a totally accurate title: “Project aims to birth more Georgia charter schools.” Well, maybe it could have been better: “Project aims to birth more high-quality charter schools.”
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.