Tuesday, June 17, 2008

News conference release

See, I pleasantly stand corrected.

From the DPG ...

House Democrats call for immediate investigation into Department of Education

Democrats in the Georgia House of Representatives called on Governor Sonny Perdue to commission an immediate, independent, non-partisan investigation of the state Department of Education today, in the wake of statewide failures on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). It has been widely reported in the media that the Superintendent of Schools knew months in advance of the projected failure rate, yet the Department of Education failed to warn administrators, teachers, or parents of the coming fiasco.

"We're calling on Governor Perdue to appoint an independent investigator to collect information from Superintendent Cox and the Department of Education, analyze where the Department went wrong, and to prepare a detailed timeline of when the Superintendent knew about the problems, what actions she took, and why schools and parents were not warned in a timely fashion," said House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin). "In short, we need the answer to one simple question: What did Kathy Cox know, and when did she know it?"

"The Superintendent and her Department have blamed the school systems, the principals, the teachers, even the students ," said House Democratic Caucus Chair Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus). "We know that the blame lies much closer to the top. Our teachers did their jobs, they taught their lessons to the best of their abilities, and have done much for our students. But when you have A and B students failing the test, the fault does not lie with the teacher, and Georgia knows that."

The Democratic legislators also called on Perdue to make funds available to school systems that have to bear the brunt of exponentially increased summer school enrollment due to the Department of Education's failure to warn schools. "We've got to make school systems whole again, and the last thing we should do is force more unfunded and unexpected mandates on a public education system already staggering under the weight of $1.5 billion in cuts over the past few years," said House Democratic Whip Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus). "If the Governor is sincere in his commitment to education, he needs to come out to today and announce that he is committing the necessary funding to help school systems through this crisis."


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