A hodgepodge of different teacher associations in the state are calling on Governor Nathan Deal to rethink the composition of his Education Reform Commission, which will recommend a new package of education proposals later this year.
Their main complaints: the Commission that Gov. Deal announced last month includes zero active classroom teachers and too few parents of public school students.
The signatories of the joint resolution include representatives from the following groups:
- Georgia Association of Educators
- Georgia Federation of Teachers
- Georgia Retirees Educators Association
- Professional Association of Georgia Educators
- Teachers Rally to Advocate for Georgia Insurance Choices (TRAGIC)
The resolution specifically calls for each of the five organizations above to have representation on the Commission so it will hear “input from individuals and groups who confront the challenges and successes of Georgia’s public education system on a daily basis.”
A technical point here: The Commission does seem to include some former classroom teachers, including 2011 Teacher of the Year Pam Williams. But it would seem that none are currently teaching in a classroom or would be directly affected as a teacher by the eventual changes the Commission recommends.
You can read the full press release for yourself below the fold:
Education Groups Issue Joint Resolution Seeking Representation on Education Reform Commission
ATLANTA — On January 21, 2015, Governor Nathan Deal’s office released the names of the members of his “Education Reform Commission,” which the Governor has convened to “study the state’s education system, including its funding formula, and provide recommendations intended to improve the system, increase access to early learning programs, recruit and retain high-quality instructors and expand school options for Georgia’s families.”
This commission is charged with an extraordinarily wide examination of our public education system. Unfortunately, the members of the commission do not represent a wide array of backgrounds. The Education Reform Commission lacks fair representation from those who would have first-hand knowledge of our state’s public education system. As currently constituted, zero active classroom teachers, one principal, and five Superintendents serve on the commission. In contrast, the committee includes ten legislators and seven representatives from charter schools or education consulting firms.
The commission does not include representatives from our state’s leading teacher organizations or parent representatives whose own children are subject to the “reforms” that might be suggested by this commission.
The undersigned organizations, representing thousands of Georgia educators, parents and students who have a direct stake in the success of our state’s public education system, have established a joint resolution to call for fair representation. We ask that each of the undersigned organizations be granted representation to be placed on the commission immediately.
Our organizations exist to see Georgia’s public school systems remain strong and vibrant, while serving the educational needs of all of Georgia’s children. We believe current and active educators and parents must be included in any discussion regarding the future of Georgia’s schools.
Sid Chapman, President
Georgia Association of Educators
Verdaillia Turner, President
Georgia Federation of Teachers
Bill Sloan, President
Georgia Retirees Educators Association
Margaret Ciccarelli, Director of Legislative Affairs
Professional Association of Georgia Educators
John Palmer, Vice-President
Teachers Rally to Advocate for Georgia Insurance Choices