Although I have been against receiving RT3 funds, we now must face the fact that they are here for four years. It is not a lot of money (one percent of our budget), but here’s what we can do with it: we can use it to fund innovation in education. I will vehemently and actively oppose any “created positions” that take more funds from our schools and from our kids. The last thing we need is to put another tier into the GADOE or into the local counties of Georgia.
Most of us who have been in education know that alternative tracks toward graduation is not a new concept, but it is a concept that we can sink our teeth into and give more students more opportunities for success. As State School Superintendent, my plan will be to afford local counties the freedom to give their students more avenues toward graduation. I will encourage them to find ways to ensure academic success for all of their students, not just the ones who plan on attending university. This could include an agricultural school, a computer technical track, a culinary arts track, or an arts diploma. True innovation in education means meeting the needs of each individual student. Innovation also means implementing real school choice for our children by opening more charter schools or simply allowing students to attend any school that they wish to attend.
As our RT3 application states, we will promote innovation. Local counties will have the ability to take the invitation to be creative and run with it. I will not create more administrative positions at the state and county levels.
When the money runs out, and it will, the schools that are successful with their improvements will have my recommendation to continue with their programs. This will help us to analyze how we can even further advance education for our children without keeping positions that will no longer be funded by the Race to the Top Grant.
You can check out her opponents boilerplate responses by heading over to the Get Schooled blog for yourself. Three short paragraphs of nothing are three short paragraphs of nothing, but republican Barge gets brownie points for flinging a good sized cowpie at democrat Martin.