According to the official
Sonny Perdue election site (fall 2006):
So HOW did Sonny protect HOPE?
According to a recent newsletter from our high school:
Many of these students are now HOPElessInGeorgia - thanks to the Governor.
The rules changed for the class of 2007 halfway through the game. This is like starting a baseball game, then changing the rules in the 5th inning if you don't like the score. Here is one way that Governor Perdue changed the calculations after these students had started high school and had already completed classes:
So what did that really mean?
Hope was previously calculated on a 100 point scale. It's now on a 4.0 scale. Here's how it works under the new "Sonny Math". The results are pretty clear.
Is Your Student Affected?
Sonny do? Give me the details.
Here's what Sonny REALLY did:
What kind of student is rejected for HOPE in
Georgia? Here's one example.
... But this senior is not quite good enough for HOPE under the new 'Perdue' rules!
Why this web site?
It is difficult for me to comprehend that our student will not qualify
for the HOPE scholarship. It seems that a number of ambitious and gifted
students in our school find themselves in similar circumstances, and I
suspect this is not uncommon.
I now question our choice to push our student to take more difficult
Honors and AP classes. Our student is bright and we felt that
challenging classes made more sense than easy classes, and that higher
grades in easier classes didn't impress college admissions staff very
much. We didn't expect this decision to kill eligibility for a HOPE
scholarship. It also didn't help with HOPE eligibility that we chose
a great school district with tougher competition for top grades.
HOPE would have been a 100% certainty by taking regular high school
classes or attending a lower quality Georgia school.
If one assumes that grades are roughly allocated in each school based
on a bell curve, and that abilities vary greatly by school in Georgia, it
would seem that families living in suburban areas with top schools are
grossly penalized for selecting neighborhoods based on the quality of the
schools. Students in top schools are penalized for HOPE under the
rules of Governor Perdue. The situation is exacerbated with the new
penalties for Honors and AP classes, and the change from a 100-point to a
4-point scale. Sonny just doesn't give a rip about kids in good,
It would seem to me that these families represent a core support group
for the Governor as they are family-oriented folks living in quality
suburban neighborhoods. I donít think it was a good choice to screw
these people with the changes made to HOPE. Unless the legislature voted
to override a veto itís my guess that the Governor signed the bill
implementing the rule change to reduce the number of suburban students
able to receive HOPE. Were the suburban students sacrificed to insure an
appropriate number of less academically-capable students would receive
HOPE? What kind of political deal created this result?
The situation as it stands is immoral and it is wrong. The Governor is sending the exact wrong message. This is the real message to smart kids from Governor Perdue regarding HOPE:
By now you must assume that I'm a raving, left-wing nut-job out to get Governor Perdue.
I almost never miss an election, have been a registered Republican for decades, am fairly active in local politics (Republicans only) and voted for Sonny previously. I really liked the guy.
But right now I'm mad because Sonny could have fixed this problem in his first term. And the solution was simple.
Basing the HOPE scholarship on grades means that subjective and varying standards by teachers determine the scholarship.
Average students from underperforming schools qualify (since they stand out and get A's) while students attending rigorous schools must perform at a much higher level to earn A's. And those A's count the same, regardless of actual results or learning. Extra AP and Honors points helped smooth out that imbalance -- before Sonny.
The obvious solution is to use OBJECTIVE measures to determine eligibility and the Governor could have made this change. Students in this state take an alphabet soup of tests - but those standardized, objective tests are ignored with HOPE.
Zell Miller (the only Democrat to earn my vote in 20 years) was responsible for this great program. But the program has always been flawed because scholarships were essentially awarded by teachers using subjective and uneven standards.
Governor Perdue had the chance to fix HOPE - and instead he made it worse.
And for that reason I didn't vote in the Governor race.
Maybe Sonny should return to his former vocation of castrating dogs because he's sure not doing anything to help education in the state of Georgia.
Has your kid been to visit the school counselor?
Are you HOPElessInGeorgia?
Epilogue: The student submitted all required materials to attend UGA and would have met the entrance requirements. An incompetent clerk at the suburban high school decided to NOT send the official copy of the SAT score because it was already printed on the transcript.
UGA rejected the application despite calls from the school counselor explaining that the school made the error and the student should not be penalized. There is no recourse and the student will NOT be allowed to attend UGA due to the incompetence of a clerk at a high school.
Screw you Hope Scholarship and the politicians using it to buy votes.
Screw you Sonny Perdue for not doing your job.
Screw you incompetent high school clerk and the administrators protecting your job.
Screw you UGA and the entire Georgia "education" system. What a joke!
Oh - my student?
The student has been accepted to the honors program at UA (Tuscaloosa, AL) and starts Fall 2007.
Upon completion of high school advanced placement classes a student can take AP exams. If the scores are high enough the student receives college credit. Our student did well on all AP exams, eliminating well over a full semester of college requirements.
But in Georgia, a student with a high SAT score and successfully passing enough AP exams to skip over a semester of college doesn't qualify for the Georgia HOPE scholarship. Not with Sonny math.
Way to go, Sonny! What an ass.
This site WAS NOT created by or on behalf of any political
It represents the personal views of the author.
The Office of the Governor and the Georgia Student Finance
been encouraged to contact me with any errors in this web site. They know how
to reach me and they know about this site.
They have not contacted me with any errors. Truth hurts.