Here We Go Again: Gwinnett Denies Ivy Prep Application

It’s déjà vu all over again as Gwinnett’s School Board rejected an extension of Ivy Preperatory Academy’s charter. Ivy Prep had asked for a five year extension but the Board rejected it…

…citing “significant deficiencies” including its financials and curriculum as well as its vision.

If the School Board is concerned about Ivy Prep’s finances they can start by giving them more than the $4,368 per FTE they give them now.  GCPS spends over $7500 per student, not counting building costs.

As for the curriculum and vision problems, let me point out that according to the 2010 CRCT scores students at Ivy Prep perform better in almost every category then GCPS students.

6th Grade Reading Social Studies Science English Language/Arts Math
GCPS 92.7% 78.8% 81.5% 93.5% 82.3%
Ivy Prep 100% 78.0% 87.0% 100% 86.0%
7th Grade Reading Social Studies Science English Language/Arts Math
GCPS 93.1% 84.4% 89.9% 94.6% 92.6%
Ivy Prep 100% 93.0% 89.0% 100% 97.0%


So what exactly was the basis for the rejection?

Gwinnett County voters should know that three Gwinnett County Board of Education members are up for election this year. Mary Kay Muprhy has already drawn a challenge from Jen Falk, who just happens to be a founding board member of Ivy Prep.

Gwinnett’s action comes on the heels of the Fulton School Board rejecting a charter extension for Blue-Ribbon Award winning Fulton Science Middle School. Last year in the mad scramble cause by the Supreme Court ruling overturning Georgia’s charter school law, charter schools in Cherokee and Coweta were rejected. Additionally, Atlanta Public Schools and Doughtery County Schools were the subject of high profile CRCT cheating investigations. Recently Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools have been in various levels on trouble with the accreditation agency SACS, and who can forget about Clayton County Schools losing their accreditation in 2008?

All of these things took place in a State that is by most measures at the bottom of the educational pile in the nation – a nation whose students each year fall further behind students in other industrialized nations in math, science and reading.  It’s past time to address Georgia’s problems.  It’s time to stop using local control as an excuse to deny school choice and accept poor results for our students.   We’ve got to pass a Constitutional Amendment reversing the Supreme Court’s charter school ruling and give parents more options.

My local Kroger has over 15 varieties of mustard.  Why?  Because the mustard consuming public demands choice.  Far too many people accept the notion there should be only one type of school provided by the government.   We demand a free market for condiments but not education.

As Jason mentioned, next week is National School Choice week.  There will be a pro-school choice rally at the Capitol on Wednesday beginning at 10 AM. I plan to be there.


  1. Max Power says:

    “We demand a free market for condiments but not education.”

    Yes but it’s not in our constitution that everyone should have free mustard. The fact is the market usually does a pretty poor job when it comes to universal service. However, I and others have long advocated abolishing local funding and local school boards and essentially making every school a charter school 100% funded by the state and giving each georgia child the ability to attend any school. Public school competition provides the best of both worlds.

  2. bgsmallz says:

    Overturning the Ga Court ruling on charter schools and eliminating the ban on ‘independent’ (aka municipal)school districts should be at or near the top of the priority list of the legislature.

    It doesn’t make any sense that Atlanta, Decatur, and Marietta can have independent school systems while Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, etc. are all stuck under the authority of mega-county school boards. Local communities should have the choice to take control of their local schools.

  3. Education Explorer says:

    I find Gwinnett BOE’s ruling to be a sad decision for quality education in Gwinnett County. I too have blogged ( about the same subject. I think it is no wonder why the homeschool movement continues to grow exponentially. If one seeks the very best possible education for their child, they may well need to provide it themselves. It is hard to have faith in the government, since it is clearly not a priority of theirs to provide the “best possible education.” Nor is it their inclination to support effective innovation.

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