Morgan to run for Ga. Superintendent
by MDJ staff
November 13, 2013 12:04 AM | 10333 views | 5 5 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan is surrounded by supporters as she announces her candidacy for Georgia State Superintendent at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday.<br>Special to the MDJ
Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan is surrounded by supporters as she announces her candidacy for Georgia State Superintendent at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday.
Special to the MDJ
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AUSTELL — Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan said she promises to create a sense of urgency at the Georgia Department of Education if she’s elected the new State Schools Superintendent.

Morgan (D-Austell) announced her candidacy Tuesday for the state’s top education post in 2014.

Morgan is the first Democrat to enter the race.

“I am a mother and I understand what it takes to address the needs of a child,” said Morgan, surrounded by family and supporters. “We need someone in the state school superintendent’s office who feels a sense of urgency about the education challenges facing Georgia.”

She slammed the state budget cuts of $7.6 billion to education since 2003, with more than $1 billion in cuts occurring in 2014 alone, she said. She also highlighted a growing number of Georgia communities reducing their school year to below the 180-day standard, cutting Advanced Placement, and arts and music classes.

“Today, our educational leaders at the state level do not feel the same urgency we do to address our students’ needs,” she said. “Each time a child drops out of school before graduation, gives up on learning to read or fails yet another math or science test, we should all take responsibility. Our economic future depends on it because these are our future leaders.”

Morgan promised to campaign aggressively across the state to build a grassroots coalition of education and community leaders who are ready for change at the Department of Education.

Morgan, in her sixth term in the State House, consults for the U.S. Department of Education, evaluating applications for programs such as President Obama’s federal “Race to the Top” and “Promise Neighborhoods” programs. She also serves on the House Education Committee in the Legislature.

Support for Common Core and charter schools

Morgan has also been a supporter of the controversial Common Core State Standards, a set of national standards for K-12 education that have been embraced by the U.S. Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Education under Republican Superintendent John Barge. The standards have been lambasted by many Georgia conservatives as a “one size fits all” solution that will federalize the nation’s public education system and erode local control of education. Some have also complained the standards are not rigorous enough, a charge Morgan refutes.

In a July article in MDJ, she said Common Core was a “critical step for us to take to ensure that students have a rigorous education.”

She has also been a supporter of charter schools and spoke at the Kentucky Charter School Press Conference in February on the topic “overcoming fear of charter schools.”

“I have dedicated my life to serving youth and to seeing that every child has an opportunity to succeed. As a mom of a first grader, this is personal,” she said via email Tuesday following the announcement of her candidacy. “I only get one shot to get it right for my daughter Lailah. I don’t have 10 or 20 years to do so, just one. I’m going to bring the kind of leadership to the Department of Education that puts students first and brings adults together from all communities including education, civic, faith and business. I’m going to unite Georgians who share the sense of urgency to get it right for my daughter and every child in our state.”

Comments
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Private School
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November 13, 2013
And, pray tell, why doesn't candidate Morgan send her first grader to a public school? Do we really need a charter school advocate who apparently

does not send her kids to public school as the state Supt.?
Shermaine Perry
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November 13, 2013
Her daughter goes to a public school... please check your facts.
No Thanks
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November 13, 2013
No thank you! The last thing GA education needs is another charter school shill in a position of power. As the MDJ has noted, Ms. Morgan has received substantial donations from for-profit charter school company lobbyists.
Teach America
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November 13, 2013
She supports Teach America which is comprised of people who are not trained in education. Kickbacks from all sorts of Charter groups. Loves to blame teachers for low performing schools. Why don't you blame the parents and reach out to them? No thanks
Ex-husband?
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November 13, 2013
Cobb BOE member David Morgan, who is now apparently Ms. Morgan's ex-husband, seems to be conspicuously absent from the photo op...
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