Avossa Says State Standards Are Too Low
During a talk in Johns Creek, Superintendent Robert Avossa said SPLOST IV allows a huge investment in technology. He also spoke to Sandy Springs City Council earlier this month.
"We need a wake up call," he said, adding that he has "very little faith" in Georgia's assessment tactics, which are sometimes driven by politics.
Video: Avossa's says SPLOST IV, the 1 percent sales tax approved by voters in 2012, is helping Fulton schools.
He said he has spoken to parents whose children make good grades and score well on state tests but then are surprised when their children score low on the SATs.
Avossa pointed to Fulton Schools' strategic plan launched late last year. The plan's goals are to raise SAT and graduation rates by 2017. In the plan, 90 percent of Fulton's students should graduate on time, with 85 percent eligible for admission into Georgia's university system. Right now those numbers are in the 70s.
The Superintendent visited Sandy Springs City Council earlier this month. His presentation at that meeting showed that 2012 SAT scores at Riverwood International Charter School exceeded Fulton and Georgia averages at just above 1600. North Springs Charter High School scores were in line with Georgia averages at just over 1400. Northview High School had the highest scores in Fulton County Schools with just under 1800.
Avossa told his Johns Creek audience that the challenge lies in South Fulton. He said that is where Fulton's state-approved charter system will help, as it will allow the school system more flexibility in allocating resources where needed.
The school system will not ignore high-performing North Fulton schools, either. Rather, Avossa wants to see schools in North Fulton continue to rank well nationally and compete with school systems like that in Fairfax, VA, where the graduation rate is 90 percent.
Avossa commended the Fulton system for operating with its means and with a budget surplus. "Most school boards have not had the courage to make cuts," he said, pointing to Cobb's school system which is facing an $80 million deficit.
The Fulton School Board meets for its regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m., today at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School, in Sandy Springs. The meeting can be watched live via computer and will be archived on the Fulton Schools website. The agenda can be viewed here.