Gov. Deal selling his school plan through deception

osd

The calculated, cynical and brazen deception behind the effort to sell Georgia voters on Amendment 1, the so-called Opportunity School District proposal, is something to behold and to beware.

In fact, I’ve really seen nothing quite like it.

You can see that cynicism on the ballot, where the Amendment 1 preamble — largely written by Gov. Nathan Deal and his staff — promises that it will improve failing schools “through increasing community involvement.” You can see it echoed again in the pro-amendment television ads featuring Deal, where phrases such as “Enhance local control” and “Empower teachers and parents” are splashed prominently across the screen.

Those phrases tell us a few things, but the truth is not one of them. They tell us that Deal and his allies have done polling, and the polling tells them that preserving local control of schools is important to Georgia voters. The polling also says that most Georgia voters believe that parents and teachers — the people with the most at stake in public education, and the most committed to its success — ought to have considerable influence. So proponents of Amendment 1 have built their marketing campaign around those popular themes.

Yet that campaign is an obvious, magnificent lie. The primary purpose of Amendment 1, its complete reason for existence, is to wrest power away from parents, teachers and locally elected school officials. If approved by voters, it would give the governor the unchallengeable, unchecked power to seize control of local schools, including local tax money, and to put that power in the hands of a superintendent whom the governor appoints.

The English language is remarkably flexible, but it cannot be twisted and tortured enough to claim that Amendment 1 will “enhance local control.” It clearly destroys local control. Amendment 1 and the legislation that accompanies it contains no mechanism for local control whatsoever, and no means for challenging the dictatorial powers it places in the hands of the governor. And it certainly doesn’t “empower parents and teachers.” It puts several additional layers of bureaucracy between parents and teachers on one hand and those who would actually be running the schools. Those making decisions about closing schools, budgeting, hiring and firing teachers, etc. would not be accountable in any way to those at the local level, but only to the governor.

Selling an approach like that under the banner of “enhancing local control” is like advertising black coffee as a sleeping aid or cigarettes as a cure for asthma. It’s just astoundingly dishonest, and it explains why delegates to the Georgia Parents and Teachers Association voted 633-0 to oppose Amendment 1 at its annual convention this summer. They don’t feel empowered by it, they feel undermined.

“Amendment 1 circumvents the parents, community, and local school board to implement the appointed superintendent’s plan,” as state PTA President Lisa-Marie Haygood explains. “This does not increase community involvement; it diminishes it. We want parents to be an active, respected voice in their schools. Amendment 1 could effectively silence parents.”

While our schools are improving, slowly, they are not what we want them or need them to be. In Georgia as elsewhere, the problems are particularly challenging in areas of concentrated poverty. Nobody disputes that.

However, if Deal wanted to make an honest argument on behalf of his proposal, he would have to stare into the camera and explain to Georgia voters that somehow, he and his appointees would be so much better at running local schools than are parents, teachers and locally elected school board members. He would also have to explain what magical, school-transforming power resides in the governor’s office that would be unleashed by Amendment 1.

By relying instead on lies, he tells me that no such power exists.

Reader Comments 0

2200 comments
oakislandbeachboy
oakislandbeachboy

 Sounds like thug-ary and intimidation by the guv to me.  Taking too many cues from the dumpster, er "trumpster".

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Kamchak @DownInAlbany  You're the only one that has posted that in, oh, about 18 months now.  In spite of the fact that I've pointed out that it was debunked about 19 months ago. 

Paul42
Paul42

FIGMO2

I read Kyle's piece objecting to dedicating funding for victims of sex trafficking through assessments on the adult industry.  

His objection was not that the proceeds would go into the general fund, doled out by the Legislature.  His objection was that the amendment " would levy new taxes and dedicate the proceeds to specific causes: children victimized by sex trafficking for Amendment 2," (Absent restrictions, legislators have repeatedly put taxes levied for one purpose into the general fund. Only a constitutional amendment can keep their hands out of the cookie jar.")  thus bypassing the legislature's ability to redirect funds.  

He then goes on to argue that in times of recession the Legislature shouldn't have to cut other areas because funding for victims of sex trafficking isn't cut.

That strikes me as very, very weak.  If voters see a link between one industry and victims, then establishing procedures to protect victims' program funding from whims of legislators seems reasonable.

Not 'bleeding heart.'

Paul42
Paul42

@honested

I'm trying to figure out a consistency in what conservatives advocate for or oppose and I'm just not seeing it.

honested
honested

@Paul42 

Pseudo-intellectual-conserrrrrrrrrvative-crap.

Why do these fools pretend there is some unwritten code that must be obeyed.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Paul42

(Absent restrictions, legislators have repeatedly put taxes levied for one purpose into the general fund. Only a constitutional amendment can keep their hands out of the cookie jar.")  thus bypassing the legislature's ability to redirect funds.

Same thing I said but in fewer words.

Paul42
Paul42

@honested

When you read old-line conservatives such as Buckley or even "every good Christian should kick Jerry Falwell right in the @ss" Goldwater you could see the principles they used to tie the elements together.

Not with this lot that's taken over, though.

Paul42
Paul42

@FIGMO2

I thought you had written that Kyle's opposition was that the funds would not be earmarked, but would go to the general fund.  The amendment corrects for that.

He's still basing his argument on loss of control by legislators to fund what they want.  I do not share his ideology on this.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Paul42 @FIGMO2

As of now, there is no amendment to right that wrong, Paul.

You need to read Kyle's piece more closely.

Two separate issues.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

The Electoral College sends Donald a fork...

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

You guys know that the investigation was never 'reopened,' right?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@ScubaSteve  The only other option is it was never "closed."  Of course, it's difference with NO distinction.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@ScubaSteve You are expecting way toooooo much from obvious trolls.

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany @ScubaSteve 

Yet if comey had FOLLOWED THE RULES and quietly made his recommendation to the AG, there would never have been any confusion brought about by an inappropriate 'press conference'.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@DownInAlbany No, that's an important distinction given what happened here. Why write this grand letter to Congress that says "HEY THERE MAY OR MAY NOT BE AN UPDATE" to an ongoing investigation? That just isn't something the FBI does. If definitively there is something new and substantive, say that. Until then, continue to investigate in silence.


Like I've said before, while i question being super vague, I don't have a real problem with Comey doing this -- provided he actually has something. If he doesn't he has effectively ended his entire career in disgrace.

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany @honested @ScubaSteve 

The DOJ protocol is clear and somehow everyone up until comey was able to follow it.

I guess the modern conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvative has decided they are above the law and precedent in all situations.

Up In Cleveland
Up In Cleveland

@DownInAlbany @honested @ScubaSteve The Hatch Act. Pretty sure that's a rule. There is also long standing precedent of avoiding doing anything within 60 days of an election that might influence it. Also the firmly established guideline that the FBI doesn't comment on ongoing investigations. It doesn't matter, she's going to win anyway.

All he's done is permanently stain his reputation.

honested
honested

Meanwhile, the number of people rushing to change their votes in the states that allow it are .....ZERO!!!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

I see that Lee zip code and Down's are back together again.  A love affair that not even Jay can separate with a ban. LOL

honested
honested

@StraightNoChaser 

When there is only one person in the room who will talk to you, I guess that's what happens.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser Still lying just to be relevant, now that's sad. How many times have you been called out as a shameless troll on this blog?  Desperation is what drove you too like Lee zip code Down's.  Now back in the corner, both of you.  LOL

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb 

The focus on Hillary's emails during this second round will and is concentrating more on the Clinton Foundation link.

Certainly, this will be THE HOLY GRAIL of game changers.

Until it isn't.

NEVERKILLARY
NEVERKILLARY

@Kamchak @JohnnyReb Do you think they would have announced the investigation now if they were not planning on pressing charges?


Even Obama is backing away from this one!

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@Kamchak I have been waiting quite a while for that game to be changed.


Also, did you happen to catch Man City's rout of Barca yesterday? Impressive.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@ScubaSteve 

Damn, I missed it.

I'll become a Barca fan again when they rid themselves of Luis "Biter Boy" Suarez.

He should be permanently banned from the game.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@Kamchak Haha, I can understand that. He's nuts but the man can play. That front 3 of Neymar, Suarez, & Messi might be the best ever.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

The focus on Hillary's emails during this second round will and is concentrating more on the Clinton Foundation link.

Comey may have taken her off the hook on violations of the Defense Secrets Act, but the same will not be so on using her position as SOS to sell  favors via the Foundation. 

honested
honested

@JohnnyReb 

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Chances are that we will have a warmer winter.