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Charter school group's failures could lead to eventual success

Posted: September 5, 2015 - 11:19pm

Thomas Edison knew a little something about failure.

The man whose inventions forever changed our world once remarked he was never discouraged when one of his ideas didn’t work – even after 10,000 tries – because “every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.”

That’s advice we sincerely hope the group trying to launch an arts-infused charter school in Columbia County takes to heart.

This page, and many others in this community, would like to see it continue fine-tuning its proposal to obtain the necessary state approval next year to build the facility on 15 acres off Blanchard Woods Drive.

The charter school group’s second and latest attempt was voted down earlier this week by the State Charter Schools Commission based on recommendations from staff, who were concerned with several provisions in the proposal ranging from weaknesses in its academic programs to inadequacies in teacher recruitment strategies.

It didn’t help that charter school organizers, not surprisingly, lacked support from the Columbia County School District, which sent representatives to the commission meeting in Atlanta to speak out against the proposal in the same manner they did when the state rejected the proposal last year.

Some 130,000 students receive an education at more than 200 charter schools throughout Georgia, and even though Columbia County schools do provide an excellent education for our children, we must remember education is not a monopoly function of government.

We realize school board members and administrators think they are trying to look out for the citizens’ best interests, but we can’t understand why they extend charter school fans a closed fist instead of a helping hand.

Perhaps there are flaws in the plan presented by the Columbia County School for the Arts. Maybe this wasn’t their year.

No matter, if the charter school’s backers are as serious about education as we believe they are, it’s only a matter of time before they create a business plan for a school that is worthy of taking in the county’s most precious commodity – its children.

Indeed, many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Edison said that, too.

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