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Coweta BoE denies Senoia charter school application

The Coweta County Board of Education in a June 24 called meeting voted 6-1 to deny the application by the Coweta Charter Academy at Senoia that would have allowed the K-3 school to continue to operate and to expand through the seventh grade in August.

Upon hearing an analysis of the charter school’s application from Coweta County Superintendent Steve Barker, the board voted 6-1 to deny the application for the Coweta Charter Academy to join the Coweta County School System, said school system spokesperson Dean Jackson. The opposing vote was cast by board member April Parker.

Though local and statewide efforts on behalf of the charter school movement are ongoing, the ruling by the Coweta school board appears to have the result of preventing the Senoia school from re-opening in August. Coweta Charter Academy representatives at the school’s June 2 town hall meeting said nearly 600 applications had been received for the 2011-2012 school year.

“Today is a sad and very disappointing day,” said charter school Principal Terry Stollar. “The Coweta Board of Education has stolen education choice away from the people of Coweta. Instead of attempting to help students succeed, it has put money and power ahead of students and families. In Coweta Charter Academy’s inaugural year, CRCT test scores were very impressive. Our first graders were 100 percent proficient, second graders 97 percent and third graders 92 percent on their reading scores; 99 percent, 97 percent and 67 percent respectively in Math. In third grade, 33 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch and 25 percent of the students taking the test are special education students. All of this was accomplished in a rented church facility that housed 175 students. Imagine the impact we could have had in a new facility serving a larger population.”

Jackson said the analysis presented to the school board covered four areas including evidence for innovation within the charter school’s structure, Coweta County’s system-wide need for an additional elementary school, evidence of student academic performance during Coweta Charter Academy’s first year of operations and the governance structure of the school.

The analysis of the charter application and school’s performance was conducted since the petition was presented to the system on June 3, Jackson said.

The analysis was developed from information within the application, from meeting with Coweta Charter Academy parents and Charter Schools USA officials, from board member and superintendent attendance at the charter school’s June 2 town hall meeting and from communication with Coweta Charter Academy representatives, said Jackson.

“Coweta has taken a huge step back and the students of our community will suffer,” said Stollar. “We can only hope that taxpayers will allow their rage to turn to a productive end that forces future legislation to be put into place that abolishes the ability of a competitor being the only authorizing authority for schools. Taxpayers should have the right to determine where their taxes go. The monopoly created by the current legislation makes it nearly impossible for competition that would raise the bar on education and allow our children to compete better in the future.”

To view a copy of the analysis provided by the Superintendent, and a legal analysis provided by school system counsel, go to the Coweta County School System’s website at and follow related links under “School System News.”



grassroots's picture

The public school system in most parts of the country is broken and corrupt at the upper levels. This monopoly effects our children's education in the long run. Those who want choice are faced with paying taxes to this system and having to pay above and beyond for private school choice. This is tantamount to Gov George Wallace and the National Guard blocking the door to freedom of education.

Our public school system must develop literate and globally competitive graduates. CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!

Instead of improving in math, science, reading, and now — history, our kids continue to fall behind though the US is right at the top -- globally -- in cost per student. Businesses are paying a hefty price in taxes to do business in the US at present. Our corporate tax rate is second highest in the world. Businesses can ill afford to assume the responsibility of teaching their workers what they failed to acquire while they were in the public school system. It is much cheaper for them to go to China or Korea where the work force is better prepared.

Parents with kids going off to college should be asking, “Why is it taking upwards of SIX years for some of our kids to get a four year degree — and usually in a soft discipline?” Plus, look at the student loan debt we are allowing to be placed on our kid’s shoulders!! It now exceeds credit card debt, and way too many of them do not have a discipline that will allow them to unload that debt in TEN YEARS!! Businesses are not going to underwrite hard skill training when kids do not have the basics. Ask your local colleges what percent are having to take remedial courses in math, science, English — if they can read!! We kid ourselves about enhancing our kid’s ‘cognitive skills’ when they are not accustomed to comprehending what is in a text book!

Unless things drastically change, fully expect to see more jobs move overseas. Our young people who prepare themselves (largely in HARD ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES) to compete globally will be in a position to obtain employment (overseas). They will have to acquire a foreign language, but they will work. For those who are not prepared, GOD HELP THEM!

The large question is: WHY ARE SCHOOL BOARDS SO FEARFUL OF CHARTER SCHOOLS, or for that matter, WHY ARE THEY SO FEARFUL OF CHANGE? Remember the adage -- "Doing the same thing over and over after failing, while achieving the same result is pure idiocy!"

G35 Dude's picture

It's simple really. School boards fear Charter schools for a couple of reasons. 1. The charter schools will take the best students leaving mostly undesirables. 2. Schools get money from the state based on attendance. The loss of good students will hurt test scores that the public schools are trying hard to raise.

Guess that is how we reach our lowest common denominator. Too many of our systems are racing to that end -- and they are WINNING!

G25.....I admit, I know very little about charter schools and from what I have read, I have come to conclude that charter schools are not allowed to give admission tests, discriminate (based on sex, race, religion), charge tuition, force parents to donate or otherwise participate in fundraisers. I also am guessing that they are not obligated to write, implement or follow existing IEPs? Is this really the case? If so, then how would they be able to legally keep out the "undesirables?" I am guessing, that at some point, they could remove them due to rules violations, but what is to prevent them from accepting said students from the start? Which leads to my question...why do you think that all the "desirables" would leave? If there is no discrimination policy, then wouldn't it be a fair mix of kids that apply?

Main...loved the P2P school! I've already perused the math teacher websites! What an awesome place to work!

G35 Dude's picture

Legally you are correct. But in the real world it has been my experience that the undesirable kids have parents that are less involved. They will not put any extra effort into placing their child in a school that may require more effort on both the childs and parents part. The desirables would leave if they felt that the charter school provided a better education. And the public schools simply do not want the competition.

very sad day, indeed, that Coweta would vote against this small charter school. what are they afraid of? success maybe? open your eyes folks... charter schools have been around for quite a while, in other parts of the country... they have a positive impact on communities and produce students that succeed just as well as their public school peers, (most even exceed). here is just one example:

one of THE best schools in Boulder County... they have a waiting list to get in:

BHH's picture

of schools.

That's the only way to correct the problems in the current system.

Aside from eliminating the costs of providing transportation and subsidized meals.


and once these are learned, teach the other subjects that will insure that our students are well rounded and able to go to college without having to take remedial courses to bring them up to college entrance levels. If you do not have the basics of math, language arts and, yes, history and georgraphy, you cannot succeed in college and the business world. Knowing how to 'tweet' and 'twitter' and all the rest are great, but knowing how to add a column of figures without a calculator will do you more good. We have adults who do not know where Russia, Iran or many other nations (countries)are located , many adults who know nothing of our own country's history or know what is in our Bill of Rights and Constitution. When you have principals and teachers who have to teach to the test and stressed out students who have to learn to take the tests--not learn to gain knowledge, you have a problem. You only have to look at the cheating scandal we have here in GA to see that. What a waste of time and what a lesson for our students! If you can't do it legally, then cheat to look good--like so many other areas in our country, we are heading down a very slippery slope and something needs to be done and soon to correct this. We are beginning to lag behind many countries in too many areas. We need to stop looking for the 'quick fix' and get to the business of educating our children. Also, we need to face the fact that not every child is college material or that attendance at a college is a God-given right. We need to encourage and provide education for those who choose to be plumbers, electricians, etc.; they too are essential to our country's success.

in many communities make more money than the teachers in those communities. We appear to value running water and the flow of electricity more than the development of childrens minds. A sad commentary on our value system. On Sunday we profess adherence to 'values' and then forget about those values Monday through Saturday. The professional organizations in education need to work on a fair system for rewarding teachers who exhibit skill, integrity, and innovation in insuring that students LEARN.

phil sukalewski's picture

Not sure what your logic is, except to push that we throw more money at education; which hasn't correlated with better education over the last 40 years.

In reply, I'll pose a question:
The current BOE spending is over $9000 per student in the county (over $10,000 when you add in the school construction bonds).

With an average class of 20 to 30 students, that equals $180,000 to $270,000 per class with one teacher each.

If each teacher is paid $60,000 on average, where is the rest of the money going?

Phil Sukalewski

You say to reward teachers (I suppose individually) when they do a good job of teaching. Teacher's union won't stand for that! Nor will other teachers.

Just how do you determine who gets a special reward! You must know for instance that if they have been passed on to a teacher and were not taught before, they still can't learn! Give a bonus for that?

The words "development of children's minds," are somewhat strange to give a teacher! Most of a child's development comes from other sources. A teacher teaches readin, ritin and rithmatic. They used to teach practical things and manners an enunciation also---but that is gone. git thet homeboy?

As to plumbers, electricians and such, they spend just about as much time learning that trade as does a teacher learning theirs. The work is extremely hard, dirty, and dangerous. They get no benefits like a teacher does! Think! (once in a while).

As to the Sunday thing, I'm afraid that as long as total forgiveness is available for everything, there will be no one acting like a monk or sister seven days a week.

Don't you see those Mother's on TV saying that their sons and daughters are good kids and even though they just shot up a vehicle wounding three and all were carrying weapons, they deserve to be let go due to circumstances?
All they seem to want is "answers" (money)for their kid being shot. (in self defense!
Every funeral takes a week to ten days so that enough money can be collected to bury them! Apparently the morticians won't bury anyone until paid!

These kind of things are what is real----not platitudes of what ought to be----but can't!
The whole APS system and parents want the scandal to be forgotten and "move ahead". What then is to keep the next group from doing the same things?

I think until we all start speaking of the real problems, it won't improve.

Brer Rabbit's picture

I would love to have a voucher program in this state so I can direct my tax money to the school of my choice. My wife and I are not satisfied with the quality of public education and make a lot of sacrifice to keep our kids in private school where we are very involved. Schools should be run like a business. We have strict rules and accountability for both students and parents and have seen great results. Unfortunately, not every well-intentioned parent can afford private school, so charters are the only other option for them. Only wish the taxes that are taken from me by force could be directed to support the efforts that are benefiting my children.

If you are going to want your voucher sent to a specific school, it will HAVE TO BE YOUR PERSONAL MONEY, NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S TAX MONEY.

Might not some schools have ten times too many students and others 2-3?

Suggest you read the history of US schools before they became Universal!

If you could read and write you could teach, and be paid with fried chicken and potatoes, with corn bread, and a cot in the back of the one-room school house!

On Sundays, some may invite the teacher to supper.

grassroots's picture

Could This Happen Here?
I think not but the Teacher/Principal Scandal that's rocked Atlanta is all the more reason to promote and support charter schools. Where are all those parents going to place their children? Who can they turn to for support and trust? Now Washington DC is looking at their system with the same patterns. This will turn out to be not an isolated disgrace but a nationwide erruption and eye opening reason to debate the Public School System's monopoly and power over parents and children and teachers in fear for their jobs.

Don't you guess the Atlanta Super and her deputy are well out of GA by now?
With their bonuses!

I'm afraid this thing goes just as far the other way as it did to reach the top! There is no way that parents couldn't know how their kids were doing in school---most did but wanted them passed anyway. Where do you think all these basketball players and football players come from that can not read and write? You saw what happened to the UGA professor who was fired for saying "enough."

Wouldn't you know that your kid did little or no homework, therefore couldn't possibly make a good score on an outside test not given by the locals---they knew and it was the heritage for a long time.

grassroots's picture

The APS Superintendent , Beverly Hall, weighs in ....from Maui! She apologizes for "any shortcomings"? What a typical govt. hack liberal spin. Then she denies any responsibility. I say fire her, all who are involved, take away all her bogus awards, all the teachers credentials and future pensions.
Meeting being currently held to decide punishment.

If reprocussions are minimal then the citizens should be outraged!

Already hired by a similar place as Atlanta. They will have to pay her a million now to leave due to a contract.

Beverly wasn't fired before she retired to avoid a law suit for millions more. She can't be fired now or money taken back.

A civil suit would fail in Atlanta. No squealing against top dogs or petty thieves is the rule of the day!

This new guy can't make students smart in a year in 12 grades! They will continue to fail and still be promoted after he leaves.

It will take twelve years plus a five year start up to get students to college from Atlanta who can get a proper honest degree without being Herschel WALKER!


Cyclist's picture

was hiding out at the Wailea Beach Resort in Maui. A nice resort, that is if you like the Marriott chain. I find it rather interesting that the hotel staff provided information on a guest. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Anyways, I suspect we will see the classic "circle of blame" where those acknowledged in the state report will point to someone else. I think they'll point to the "left". :-)

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

PTC Observer's picture

is quite possible that Dr. Beverly, could be teaching in a Fulton County jail. It's not the crime of stealing from students lives that will put her there, it will be the cover-up.

So, I hope she enjoyed her little vacation.

Cyclist's picture

I suspect that someone with produce the "smoking gun" which will be very damming to Dr. Hall. The whole episode is so sad. I wonder if she’ll run back to Jamaica and go underground.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

It appears that the ugliness of this cheating scandal will continue. What is true - is that cheating has been going on in our country for a long time - hopefully not to this extent - but some cheating can be found in almost every school district in the country. Dr. Hall, being the Superintendent - the buck stops with her. The victims are the children who have been cheated. My concern is that only a few adults realize that all children are being cheated if they are just being taught to pass this particular test - rather than learning the concepts being taught and having the skill to utilize the concepts and facts to solve problems. Children from all economic classes in our country can play 'games' on their computers that require using analytical skills and developing strategies to 'win'. Poor, disadvantaged children are not categorically DUMB - as one teacher was quoted as saying...these children can learn - if taught! Why can't all of our public schools use some of the teaching strategies that successful charter schools use? In areas where competent parent involvement appeared to be lacking, volunteers from community businesses mentored in schools to children who needed additional adult involvement. Atlanta will evidently still have the support of some of the business community - and although thousands of children have been adversely affected by the cheating - there are Principals, teachers, and involved parents in the district who have been principled in the education process.

PTC Observer's picture

Makes you wonder how Dr. Hall got through school doesn't it?

grassroots's picture

Could This Happen Here?
I think not but the Teacher/Principal Scandal that's rocked Atlanta is all the more reason to promote and support charter schools. Where are all those parents going to place their children? Who can they turn to for support and trust? Now Washington DC is looking at their system with the same patterns. This will turn out to be not an isolated disgrace but a nationwide erruption and eye opening reason to debate the Public School System's monopoly and power over parents and children and teachers in fear for their jobs.

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