Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cox: One Tough Lady on Education

When four in ten Georgia students fail to graduate on time and SAT scores are in the cellar, Mark Taylor bragging about the HOPE Scholarship is a bit like the Captain of the Titanic complementing the ship’s d├ęcor. While Taylor clings to old ideas that alone have failed our children, Cathy Cox has partnered with the experts-classroom teachers-to develop a bold agenda for change. To stem the dropout rate, Cox proposes a potent combination of effective early intervention to make sure children arrive at school ready to learn and partnership with business and industry to create state of the art tech high schools that will keep children engaged in school and prepare them for the work force. While Taylor proposes simply throwing more money at the problem, Cox embraces innovation, partnership and common sense solutions including relieving teachers of lunch duty and bus duty so that they have more time to do what they do best: teach. Cox has earned my vote in the July 18th Democratic primary because she not only supports the HOPE Scholarship: she offers real hope for the future of our schools.

To Learn More Details:

Read Cathy’s Agenda to Lead Georgia Forward in Education, Health Care and Retirement Security

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8 comments:

Tina said...

The Georgia High School graduation tests contribute to the drop out rate. The state uses the same test for college prep and vocational students. A new look needs to be taken at those tests and their validity standards. Perhaps they should be dropped entirely in favor of a nationally standardized instrument, such as the ITBS. The Georgia tests are "home made," there are too many of them, and prepping for them and administering them takes too much class time

Ed Hula III said...

you think HOPE has failed GA's students????????

Is this sentiment echoed within the official CC campaign?

Amy Morton said...

Ed, Ed, Ed, you know that I don't speak for the Cox Campaign. But as to your first question, I said that HOPE alone has failed Georgia's students, and that is evidenced by the dropout rate, a rate that has not improved in response to HOPE. Last time I checked, you pretty much have to graduate to use a HOPE Scholarship, unless you use the one time credit to take the GED. So, yes, we cntinue fail the 40+% of students who do not graduate on time. It is not enough to simply support HOPE. That program has been in place for years now and while it has benefitted a segment of students, the core ills of the system have been largely unaddressed. One of the keys is effective preschool for every child, something Taylor claims to have made available. That is actually not true. In my community, there are not enough lottery-funded preschool slots to go around. More than 200 children are on the waiting list now for next year. There are also big problems with the effectiveness of the curriculum in those programs. Cathy proposes working through Family Connection Collaboratives to target at-risk preschoolers. This will better utilize a resource that already exists in every Georgia county to bring public and private partners to the table so that we can better prepare our children for success. I have heard no innovation like this coming from the Taylor camp, and my vote in the Governor's race is influenced most strongly by my personal commitment to education. Cox is the choice, no doubt.

Lyman Hall said...

Why was Taylor endorsed by the largest teachers' group in the state--GAE? I'd like to hear the conspiracy theory on this one.

Amy Morton said...

There's no conspiracy, Lyman, but education unions do not always speak for teachers, and in this case, teachers were not even polled. I challenge you to read Cathy's plan for our schools.

Ed Hula III said...

Unions do not always speak for their entire membership. If memory serves me--in 04, 60-65ish% of the Union members voted for Kerry. Number of unions who endorsed W: approx 0.

Your argument implies that HOPE has not done anything to improve education in GA. MT wants Pre K for all. not sure what CC wants.

Tina said...

Underlying societal problems such as poverty, poor health care, drug use, teen pregnancy, and lack of stable family life all contribute to poor performance and drop-out rate. There are kids who could use the HOPE scholarship to go to tech school but do not because they lack parental support and transportation. We cannot solve education problems without looking at the whole context in which school failure is embedded.

Button Gwinnett said...

Good points Tina. In watching the debates last night, I was glad to see that the Democratic candidates had some discussion of those factors in drop out rates. It sounds like they've done their research into those problems, covering both the human aspects as well as administrative ones.

Meanwhile, I don't believe that the Republicans broached those factors as part of the bigger issue. I came away with the impression that both Carter and "Bizarro" Kathy were out of touch with people and wrapped up in the beaurocracy of it all.

Again, HOPE is the goal after graduation for either a college or vocational education. But HOPE alone cannot solve education woes. It has nothing to do with losing 4 out of every 10 students BEFORE graduation.