Jack Hassard, professor emeritus of science education at Georgia State University, writes here about the passage of a bill in the State Senate that would allow the state to takeover struggling public schools and turn them over to a statewide district as charter schools. This is an attempt to replicate Louisiana’s Recovery School District and Tennessee’s Achievement School District. Never mind that the Louisiana Recovery School District is one of the lowest-performing districts in the state or that the Tennessee ASD has not achieved any of its goals. The important thing is to hand these low-performing schools over to a private operator and give the appearance of “doing something.”


Wouldn’t it make more sense to reduce class sizes in these schools? Make sure these schools have adequate resources? Send in expert teachers to help the staff? Establish high-quaity preschool programs in each school district? Put a school nurse in every one of those schools? Make sure they have a library, after-school programs, and a school psychologist? What do you want to bet that every one of these “struggling schools” has high rates of poverty? The state should act responsibly to help the children now, not to fob them off to an entrepreneur.