Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thurbert Baker maybe on to something here: The "BEST" Initiative.

Presser from the Baker Campaign Yesterday

When we passed the Georgia Lottery eighteen years ago, we made a promise: we would change higher education in Georgia for the better. We called our program the HOPE Scholarship. And it worked. Today, over one million Georgia students have gone to college or vocational school because of HOPE.

Today, we propose a new initiative as bold as the original HOPE Program itself. Georgia will now do for primary and secondary education what it has done for higher education. Our promise is simple: we will make Georgia schools not just better than any schools in America, but as good as any in the world. We call it the BEST initiative: Best Education, Students and Teachers.

It's based on a simple idea: more instruction time and better quality instruction time lead to better student performance.

Here's what the BEST program will do:
Assure that every child can attend Pre-K
Make kindergarten mandatory
Give every child two hours of after school instruction and activities
Bring our school year up to the average in the industrialized world
Have the single best student to teacher ratio in America
And, in the process, make Georgia's teachers the highest compensated in the United States

We will pay for it by adding bingo to Georgia's lottery and run the program through the Lottery Corporation, just as we do with HOPE.

Some parts of the BEST initiative will be implemented immediately. Some will be phased in over a period of ten years.

Can it be done? Of course it can. All it takes is leadership and resolve.

Shortly after he took office, President John F. Kennedy said "we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard ...because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win." If we could go to the moon in a decade, we surely can do this.

We will transform Georgia's education system in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it must be done. We will accept the challenge. We will not postpone it.

We will make our schools as good as any in the world.

To read the plan please go to

Baker may have something here! This paln sounds really good and in addition, he has a plan to pay for it. But will a state that is only two remaining that doesn't allow the sale of alcohol on sundays let Georgia have legalized Bingo? But on the surface, this is a great idea by Baker.

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