Casey Cagle has written a piece for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation on education:
Only when we design education around the individual needs of children will we achieve excellence. I have visited several schools throughout the state this session to share details of two of my priorities, which revolve around the fundamental belief that no two children learn at the same pace or in the same way.
I have seen this first-hand, in my own home with my three sons. What motivates one son in the classroom does not interest the others. Where one may gravitate toward reading to absorb information, another may learn better with a hands-on approach.
Because children learn differently, the best education occurs when local control is prominent and innovation and flexibility are involved. Untying the hands of our teachers and principals, allowing schools to be relevant to their communities and giving local control will create the best educational system for Georgia’s students.
The 60 charter schools in Georgia have demonstrated remarkable success, paving the way for more communities to look to chartering. Nine new charter schools will open in 2007 and the Georgia Board of Education has an additional 14 petitions pending.
Georgia’s charter schools are outperforming traditional schools and are serving a more diverse and economically disadvantaged population, according to the Georgia Department of Education’s annual report on Charter Schools. Additionally, charter schools exceeded traditional schools in both meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and graduation rates.
Georgia needs to free systems from burdensome state and federal mandates allowing communities to define their own educational system and letting teachers do what we have hired them to do – teach our children. Today, for a school to become a charter school, each individual school has to enact its own charter. By allowing an entire school system to charter, the process is streamlined and expedited. A competitive grant program would encourage systems to take advantage of this new process.
The charter system allows the truest form of local control of public education. By giving teachers and local education officials – who know their community and students best – maximum flexibility to tailor education programs around students, some really special things will happen.
I didn’t vote for him last November, but Cagle is doing a great job as our Lt. Governor.