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Coincidental? Former GPS board member Helen Hollands schmoozes with the East Valley Tribune about the great options for students in Mesa Public Schools. "From prototypical district campuses to traditional and charter school options, some East Valley parents embrace the school choice options afforded their families in Arizona...The Gilbert mom has looked at a charter school on the Mesa-Gilbert border, a traditional school in the Gilbert Unified School District and another school in Chandler."
GPS Superintendent Dave Allison's timing on the controversy to close Gilbert Junior High School and repurpose it as Gilbert Classical Academy (which Helen Hollands voted for) will accomplish the exact opposite of what Allison says GPS needs to do: recruit students from outside the district. In addition, the poorly executed rollout of this bad decision is likely to drive in-boundary parents away from GPS. This amateur-hour management turns off employees, as well. GPS will never know how many professional educators refused to apply to the EV district famous for retaliating against employees. Competitor schools look better than ever in comparison to GPS these days!
I think missing from open enrollment is questioning the family as to why they don't want to send their kid to the local school. I am not saying they should not be able to attend another school, I just think it would be interesting intell as to what people think about the local school. Also interesting when school districts shut down schools for their original purpose to save money and then re open it as a school again? How does this save money? Or they allow a Charter school to operate on the premise which presumes that the charter can fill the seats and operate presumeably at a profit. Does this seem strange to anyone else?
Have all these choices really improved the overall K-12 performance in Arizona? It seems to me the emphasis has shifted to marketing a school or school district rather than improving it. Arizona schools are just like strip malls; a "shiny new" option opens and draws a crowd. Others remain open, and while half empty, still have to be kept up, and still hold out hope of being revitalized.Education reform should always be a top priority of our legislature. This reform shouldn't hinge on adding choices that provide cushie jobs for charter administrators and unfair competition because these charters don't have as many mandates.
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East Valley Tribune
Phone number: 480-TRIBUNE
Address: 1620 W. Fountainhead Parkway, Ste. 219
Tempe, AZ 85282
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