Georgia School Turnaround Law a Sham
By Kevin Palmer
Recently, in an article captioned, Turnaround office to begin work with failing Richmond County schools, the Augusta Chronicle reported, “Georgia Department of Education Chief Turn-around Officer Eric Thomas confirmed that his office has been invited by Richmond County School Superintendent Angela Pringle to begin work with some of the district’s 13 chronic-ally failing schools when the school year begins in August.”
Obviously, this was Pringle’s at-tempt to appear proactive. She was quoted as saying, “When you are working on behalf of children and you want all children to succeed, you put your ego aside and listen to others.” You also put your ego aside when your high paying job is on the line. The truth is, House Bill 338, directs the superintendent to listen and accept the advice of others or else.
Nevertheless, House Bill 338 was never meant to improve the overall academic success of the predominately Black children which have been al-lowed to languish in failing schools. Apparently, the objective was not to turnaround schools to be successful, but to raise the schools a little higher from the bottom. The article quoted Thomas as saying, “Our objective is to have these schools no longer in the lowest 5 percent in the state, and once they are no longer in the lowest 5 per-cent in the state then we are not necessarily going to stay attached to them.”
In other words, show a slight improvement, give control back to the same incompetent leaders, and keep the school to prison pipeline intact.