ATLANTA, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With 60% of Georgians rejecting OSD, children still struggle in public schools, where the majority are not reading on grade level and are facing an up-hill battle. After experiencing the largest cheating scandal in American history, and public schools failing across Georgia, Governor Deal recommended a plan, and instead was turned into the Boogeyman. Whether you supported OSD or not, certainly we can agree that far too many of Georgia's children are denied access to a quality public education.
Special Interest groups for and against OSD dedicated a tremendous amount of resources to promote or obstruct Amendment 1. Collectively, a significant amount of money was raised and spent on this ballot initiative on both sides. Proponents of Amendment 1 spent millions saying a new approach was needed to be managed at the state level. While the opponents spent their millions to educate voters on why they thought the Amendment, and its creators, not only had bad intentions, but used flawed language and racial politics to try to get it approved. This all playing out in the midst of a long and divisive presidential election that left the majority of the country in tears.
Better Outcomes for OUR Kids (BOOK) was neutral on Amendment 1, which allowed them to present both sides of the argument. BOOK advocates for a greater understanding of school choice in the African American community. They foster authentic dialogue around what the community's role should be in supporting public school success. Question? With millions collectively raised around Amendment 1, with smart people working on both sides, could that time and treasure have been better spent on implementing "common sense solutions?"
A PhD or an OSD isn't necessary to see that struggling schools often have similar characteristics. Schools succeed with strong leadership, high quality instruction, wrap around services for kids, school autonomy, and community engagement and support. BOOK believes that if you just put "Our Children First" over "Adult Issues", the problems will be solved. Walk inside one of our failing schools, and spend time with the principal, teachers, parents and kids; you will understand the love that's needed. Then, get in your car and tour the surrounding community, and you will understand the love that is needed. After investing a little time, many questions about our failing schools will be answered. BOOK was proud to have Ebenezer Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. Raphael Warnock in Atlanta to moderate our Pastors Roundtable and Public Forum. He stated,
"We've answered the question and the question wasn't the answer. Whether you voted "YES" or "NO," nothing miraculous happened to our children on November 9th. We've got work to do and we need to be engaged."
Now that the election is over, BOOK challenges leaders to re-direct their energy towards implementing "common sense solutions" for improving our public schools. Now is not the time to "let our guard down". Everyone must work with the same sense of urgency they had during the campaign to create Better Outcomes for OUR Kids.
SOURCE Better Outcomes for Our Kids (BOOK)