A Time for Optimism

Thursday October 12, 2017

I spent some quality time this past week with one of the members of the Georgia House Education Committee and came away from the encounter refreshed and positive.  No all the news we hear is positive—we certainly have issues to work to improve but the chances for improvement and growth are ours for the using.

Two issues give me cause for optimism.  The selection of the Chief Turnaround Officer is nearing completion and the Turnaround Advisory Council and the State Board of Education should interview the finalists soon.  But what is so refreshing to me is the quality of the applicants with several from Georgia.

That is coupled with the very open willingness of Dr. Stephanie Johnson, GADOE’s new Deputy Superintendent for School Improvement, to work with the CTO and bring about meaningful change for Georgia’s schools.   Politics often gets in the way of meaningful reform but that is not the case here and I am genuinely excited about what is happening in our state.

The second issue has to do with CCRPI.  Dr. Melissa Fincher and Dr. Allison Timberlake of the GADOE are sincere in their attempt to reform CCRPI and assessment to make it reasonable and meaningful for Georgia schools.  Like any change there are differences of opinion about if such change is appropriate but I am impressed with the resolve with which those leaders are approaching the testy issue and the support they are receiving from Superintendent Richard Woods.  This is political sausage making and it is not always pretty to watch but it is most refreshing to see the commitment to what is best for Georgia children.

One of my all-time favorites is the Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself… To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.