- A hot topic within the field of education currently (and has been for a while) is teacher pay. Specifically, whether teachers should be paid based on “merit,” which is typically determined by teacher evaluations that take into consideration a few different factors including student test scores. Most educators have come out to be against the implementation of this pay scale. Here is an article discussing the dangers of merit pay.
2. An important issue that is of particular significance in Athens is equity within education. As the poorest county in the state, many Clarke County children find themselves living in impoverished conditions, which drastically damages their chances of graduating from high school and ultimately increasing their quality of life. Though this issue is a priority for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, not enough has been done to solve this problem.
3. School funding has been a rather contentious topic, and one that seems to lack a clear solution. Most would agree that our public schools (at least in Georgia) are, as a whole, underfunded. The state lottery fund has been a great help in establishing a state-wide pre-k program, yet funds largely remain insufficient. In fact, Georgia ranks near the bottom of the list of how much each state spends per student.
4. Common Core–the nationally instituted education standards system that forty-two states have adopted–has drawn much criticism lately. Many cite excessive cost for a reason why Common Core actually hurts local schools, and others claim that the federal government should have no part in developing state curriculums. Georgia is currently a part of the Common Core movement, but efforts to have Governor Deal repeal the standards have increased recently.
5. With funds uniformly being cut for schools across the nation, typically the first programs to go are arts and theater extracurricular opportunities. Despite many studies showing the benefits to art and humanities education, many public schools simply do not see them as imperative programs within their academic missions. Numerous articles have been published in opposition to this widespread revocation of the arts, and I’m sure one can be written in the context of where Clarke County schools stand on this issue.