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Sounds like Mayor Reed's going to try to put a friend in charge of APS, and hopes Erroll Davis will stay on just long enough to keep the seat warm.

 

If the mayor really wants to learn about how to improve Atlanta Public Schools  - he could consult with the extraordinarily successful educators Erroll Davis just slashed at North Atlanta.

 

And if the Mayor really wants to broaden community support for Atlanta Public Schools, he might want to hold off on endorsing someone who  so recklessly damaged relationships with school families, and the civic and business leaders of Atlanta who have already stepped up to the plate.

2 years ago on Mayor Kasim Reed endorses Erroll Davis; he pledges to become more involved with Atlanta’s public schools

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We could also cut our cost for HOPE with one very simple move - granting students college credit for successfully completed International Baccalaureate classes they took in high school, just as we grant college credit for AP courses. If it's good enough for ivy league schools, it should be good enough for Georgia schools too.

That one move could cut one or two years off of college requirements for some of Georgia's top scholars. The state would save money on HOPE, and Georgia families would save money on their college kids' living expenses, and kids who dare to take the very demanding IB curriculum would see an immediate benefit as well, and not have to sit through a couple of years of redundant classwork.

I also would like to see an investigation of the Georgia Lottery administration. Wonder when Sonny Perdue thought families here should find out they had to radically change their financial plans if their kids wanted to go to college. A few months before the tuition was due was a little abrupt.

I'd especially like to see a cost / benefit analysis of the Lottery's advertising budget. Hard to imagine it pays to run the rich ducks on a plane or the fire breathing goat ad more than 500 times a week.

And sadly, I expect the sorry consolation prizes we offered students in lieu of the HOPE they were promised will cost our state a lot more up front and in the long term. Given Georgia's track record of failing banks and dim oversight of lending practices, we don't need to be getting into the student loan business right now. And how much is it costing us to create a new bureaucracy to administer the so-called Zell Miller scholarship? We'll probably end up spending more money on stationary for it than it would have cost us to go ahead and give students the full scholarship they were originally promised.

The basic shortfall here is payback. Georgia's politicians can find hundreds of millions of dollars to fund bloated road projects and programs that benefit their big campaign contributors, and corporations that will give them some kick back consulting work as soon as they leave office - or even a few perks while they're still legislating ... but what kind of personal payback does a hard working high school student have to offer? Zip. So no one went to bat for them. I'm afraid it's that simple, and that sick. And if we don't hold every legislator who decided to cheat our kids accountable - and tell them to get it right or get out of office - then we deserve the cheats we got. But our kids deserve better.

2 years, 11 months ago on After decades of growth, Georgia now facing a whole new economic reality

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The best fix for Georgia to get out of this economic quagmire is to restore full funding to the HOPE scholarship, and honor the commitment we already made to students and families in this state.

Besides being the right thing to do, it's an investment that would pay extraordinary dividends by drawing more funding to our research universities and related industries, and give the new generation of "job creators" a good reason to stay in-state.

If Georgia doesn't restore HOPE and repay students what they are legally due after holding up their end of the bargain, then this state deserves its reputation as a place where bad business practices prevail and education takes a back seat to deals made by self-serving politicians whole pander to big businesses for campaign funds and personal profits.

HOPE was the best thing this state had going into the future. It was the lifeboat that could get us where we need to go - better than a trade office in China, better than another highway, better than a tax break for a foreign corporation that might want to build a factory here, or any other PR stunt this state could dream up.

HOPE is a real investment in what matters most - people in Georgia learning and excelling in ways that could benefit all of us.

If we want to get Georgia's economy going again, we need to get that HOPE boat revved back up before it drifts too far off, and all the bright, hardworking kids who were abruptly denied the future they were promised here, take their talents elsewhere.

2 years, 11 months ago on After decades of growth, Georgia now facing a whole new economic reality

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