Congratulations, Gwinnett! Now it’s time to do right by ALL of your students.
ATLANTA – The following is an official statement from Georgia Charter Schools Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Roberts, Ph.D.
“While Gwinnett County Schools may deserve an “A” in many areas of their operations, they deserve an “F” for failing to offer school choice and charter schools to students and families. They deserve another “F” for attempting, by a lawsuit against the State of Georgia and its Charter School Commission, to close down a highly successful and diverse all-girls charter middle school in the county—Ivy Preparatory Academy.
“It is not just an oversight, but a conscious decision not to embrace charter schools as a viable tool for raising student achievement when the largest district in the state has authorized and supports only one other Independent Start-Up charter school (although that school is a great one!).
“One of the major criteria in determining the winner of the Broad Foundation Award is stated on its website as: “The reduction of achievement gaps between ethnic groups and between low-income and non-low-income students.” What better way could Gwinnett demonstrate its commitment to that objective than to embrace charter schools that are specifically targeting these groups like Ivy Preparatory Academy. We would hope that they would acknowledge the value of charter schools and embrace them in their strategic plans as is being done in the Atlanta Public Schools – a Broad Foundation Award finalist in 2002 – and Fulton County Schools.
“It is not enough for a school district to do a great job for the majority of its students! The real sign of success for a school district is how well it does the job of using every available means to close the achievement gap for ethnic groups and those having low incomes.
“So, congratulations to the Gwinnett School District and the other 2009 Broad finalists for this recognition! We hope that Gwinnett, its superintendent and school board now will go the second mile for all its students by embracing charter schools as an important part of the overall effort to improve public education in our country. We would like to see your “F’s” replaced with “A+’s.”
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For more information about Ivy Preparatory Academy visit www.ivyprepacademy.org.
ABOUT THE GCSA
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is the nonprofit membership organization for Georgia’s charter school operators and petitioners, established in 2001. The mission of the GCSA is to be an effective advocate and service provider for all charter public schools in Georgia by:
- Advancing awareness of charter schools and their mission.
- Increasing awareness that charter schools are public schools.
- Communicating charter school needs to state and local officials.
- Supporting legislation to strengthen charter schools in Georgia.
- Facilitating opportunities for networking/collaboration among charter schools in Georgia and nationwide.
- Developing and implementing programs and services that advance student achievement, accountability and success in all of Georgia’s charter schools.