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Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun-carry rights

“This is the apple capital of Georgia. And, yes, it’s a community where we cling to our religion and our guns,”

Mom, apple pie, guns and religion. Now ain't that Amurican? At what point have guns and religion become paired? Next thing we'll be pairing prayer and nuclear weapons, as well as meditation and grenades.

posted @ Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 07:09

Most area schools improve on state school report cards

"The scores, strongly correlated with wealth in a school system..."

For decades it has been known that there is a strong statistical correlation between socioeconomic status and academic performance. This is not an excuse, but a reality. That is one of the reasons that we cannot have the expectation that every child will be at the same point at the same time. Everyone can grow, but folks, it is not a level playing field. Let's bless, rather than curse, those teachers who lovingly work with our most disadvantaged, but can't show the "scores" to reflect their diligence.

posted @ Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 07:24

Blackmon: An Easter prayer for love and forgiveness

When I was working with children professionally, I told them that "I'm sorry" wasn't enough. They had thrown the relationship out of balance, and therefore had to work to restore it. They, instead, had to ASK forgiveness, which the offended one might or might not want to give that very moment. Then they had to perform some act of kindness to restore balance. They also had to ask for guidance to control themselves from being a repeat offended. This process slowed down the reflexive "I'm sorry" that frequently is without meaning.

posted @ Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 11:12

Dupuy: Call for truce in hypocrisy wars

I love you, Tina. However, I think that hypocrisy is part of the human condition, and really cannot be assigned a political party. It rears it's ugly head in every profession, race, creed, nationality, and in both genders. I'm sure it's equally prevalent in the gay and straight communities. Hence the saying,"Do as I say...", which I doubt has much to do with political party affiliation in the US.

posted @ Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 07:50

The Editor's Desk: A do-nothing mayor and commission?

I understand that the mayor sets the agenda, but who originates requests for inclusion of various items? The commissioners? The public? If, for example, I had an issue of concern, what is the protocol? Would I contact my commissioner and ask that s/he consider sending it to the mayor as a potential agenda item? I'm interested in how this works when there is not an election at stake.

posted @ Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 07:37

Drug testing for food stamp recipients in Georgia may not pass legal muster

This Bill is just a smokescreen to get conservative votes. It appears Morris was well-advised that this bill wouldn't hold water, but went ahead anyway. He can tell his constituents, "See folks, I really tried." If the goal, as he says, is to keep taxpayer money safe from subsidizing illegal drug use, he must know of stores that accept food stamps for the illegal substances they apparently carry legally.

posted @ Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 08:21

Planned work to close Athens intersection for summer of 2015

We understand that much-needed changes to the intersection of Jennings Mill and the Atlanta Hwy will be coming soon. Is that state rather than county jurisdiction? Who do we contact to find out when we can expect that work to begin?

posted @ Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 06:48

Jones: Senate bill didn't kill Common Core as issue

The Christian Right does not want GA students to think that both evolution and global warming are scientific (and not theological) issues. Even if 99 percent of scientists agree, they still do not want students to think that it is a done deal. And of course, the Common Core will bring the science and social studies curriculum to the forefront before long. Legislators, more interested in votes than in education, will continue to pander to this group of constituents, while selling out our students.

posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 07:50

Jones: Senate bill didn't kill Common Core as issue

@marshalld: You have nailed it. Anyone who has actually seen the Common Core standards knows that they are more rigorous than what is currently in place. Georgia will not come out of this looking good. I have administered nationally-normed valid and reliable achievement tests to hundreds of Georgia students, and the CRCT inflates performance in almost all cases. Then students go and take the SAT, do poorly, are shocked, and decide they must have a learning disability or poor test-taking skills, or maybe even undiagnosed ADD. They have actually been "disabled" by receiving inflated information about their achievement for so many years.

posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 07:43

Blackmon: Improving education is simple question of will

Great column, Myra! Thanks for modeling how to express being "for" rather than against. I endorse all of your thoughts. I would make one small edit--I would say learning that was "developmentally-appropriate" rather than "age-appropriate." While advocating for community support, let's not forget in-school support. I am thinking about school counselors and social workers in particular--who it seems are always on the chopping block. The community problems that interfere with learning come to school right on the backs of the children who live among those problems. It is unrealistic to divide up the child, attempting to only deal with academics at school and family/community problems outside of school. It makes sense to have the support available in the setting where our kids spend most of their days.

posted @ Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 08:42

Galis: Common Core honors founding principles

Gallis, Blackmon, and Cornish may be our three most informed writers when it comes to education. All three are thoughtful, and present viable opinions. Reading this "discussion" between them is really thought provoking. How about it, Jim Thompson, why not sponsor a community panel with all three? Add some teachers and parents, and you have an EVENT!

posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 - 09:16

Blackmon: Lawmakers listening to wrong people on public schools

Preach it, Myra! This should be a headline on the front page of the ABH. Every point you make is absolute truth to anyone who is currently (or previously was) working in a school. Wake up, Georgians. The emperor is buck naked, and our legislators are hoping you will not notice.

posted @ Sunday, March 2, 2014 - 08:29

Georgia Senate committee approves anti-Common Core bill

What does this mean for Clarke County?

posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 - 10:15

Gov't offers new approach to classroom discipline

Cutting through politics social leanings, I'm glad to see two trends here: (1) Folks are realizing how unbelievably difficult it is to teach in today's world, and are not too forgiving of people who still act like it's a slam dunk job; and (2) people are realizing that there is a difference between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. Zero tolerance was a post-Columbine over reaction, that makes no sense when working with children.

posted @ Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 17:48

Economic recovery leaving poor behind, report says

“Children are more likely to be poor in Georgia than in 45 other states, including regional peers South Carolina and Texas,” she said.

Why do we somehow ignore this piece of the puzzle when we look at our educational outcomes? Why do we blame teachers and keep raising standards, pretending that poverty is not a factor and that we should expect the same academic gains as other states where more children are more economically advantaged? I'm for reality-based high standards, but REALITY is the operative word here.

posted @ Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 08:23

Ga. sheriff cuts ties with A&E over Robertson flap

Please stop referring to anti gay beliefs as "Christian beliefs." As a Christian I resent being grouped under the same umbrella with people who are against gay relationships. Although fundamentalist Christians would disagree, I believe that their literal interpretation of the Bible is but one point of view. It certainly does not represent the view of all Christians--or me.

posted @ Monday, December 23, 2013 - 09:21

Johnson: Faith, politics and 'War on Christmas'

The 'sweetie" is so condescending! It dismisses Jessica as a child. Offensive. Since all "news" is a function of ratings, my hope is that FOX, over time, will have to moderate some to a changing demographic. There is no place for race in Christmas since there was no place for race in Jesus' message. Who cares about Christ's race? We are all God's children. It's ironic that Hobby Lobby, advertised as a very " Christian" business, is the very first to bring in Christmas merchandise--in the summer! Is this not a perfect example of the commercial war on Christmas.

posted @ Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 18:36

Blackmon: Find time to observe Christmas in silence

Thank you, Myra. You captured your message beautifully. You reinforced a message from Sunday School earlier today. As I look at my almost-dead mantel greens, as well as the tree with half-burned lights, you encourage me to let go. The light that chases darkness comes through the cracks of imperfection.

posted @ Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 17:58

Pitts: Lincoln's words still burdensome

The concept of "moral equivalency" is a media maneuver--for the purpose of ratings and sales. Although there are a multitude of perspectives around any issue, they are not necessarily equally civilized or humane.

posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 - 13:57

Jones: Common Core debate set to continue in Georgia

Marshalld--that's it exactly. We are running scared, and afraid of national comparisons. There are already plenty out there. Local vs federal control is the excuse we always hear because it jazzes up the constituents, who also know nothing about this. I am appalled by the outright lies being perpetrated by some of our legislators. Why are we not seeing results of polls from teachers? They are the experts. The CC is extremely rigorous. It's hilarious that our state government wants to "go local" so we can have higher standards. This will make sure we create even more failure. Would you want your car mechanic to determine your cardiac medication--at least without first consulting with your physician??? Let's hear from the only experts out there--those teaching the CC..

posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 - 13:42

The Editor's Desk: Legislative prayers are loose fabric of civic life

Just because it's traditional does not seem reason enough to offer a Christian prayer before public business meetings. I identify as Christian and pray many times everyday. However, I do not feel that I should assume this is what others want. It's not whether the other is 'uncomfortable " or not that is the issue; it's that I would be taking for granted that MY way is the "best way." (Oh wow--I must be one of those liberal, wispy washy Christians! Wink It's all about separation of church and state---which is what allows me to continue to practice my Christian beliefs.

posted @ Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 10:51

Sikora: Republicans entirely to blame for shutdown

Here we go again, with the blame game. Who will win THIS game?? When can we let go of winners-losers, and start to think in terms of the common good? Why not act like the UNITED States, and stop trying to assign fault. Let's say we could successfully assign fault, and all agreed. Then what? How does that move us ahead? We are not living inside a video game.

posted @ Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 09:35

Conant: Tea party on way to irrelevance

What a great opinion piece! Politics should not be a sport where we root for our side to win and boo the opposition! Unlike sports teams, our government has a task at hand--other than winning. Sports teams are not supposed to compromise to achieve a COMMON goal. Elected members of congress need to be experts at the art of compromise, and we should be rooting for them to do just that.

posted @ Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 09:27

Ellis: Tea party wants to take America back ... to the 18th century

It's a happy day for our democratic system. Important lesson learned (I hope): an extreme minority cannot hijack the government for its own agenda. How threatening for all Americans if this was successful, and future minorities (regardless of ideology) saw this as the way to promote a cause.

posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 09:14

Bernard: When will people learn?

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

posted @ Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 07:37

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  • Andrew

    Blog: Can we please fix the Oscars?

    Summary:  Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. First, a few thoughts on the winners: read more

  • Joe

    Winter storm drama

    Athens-Clarke County police officers responded to Pinewood Estates North on a 911 call concerning a heated domestic dispute. it reportedly was an argument over the lack of heat and food in a family's trailer and a woman was threatening to stab anyone who tried to take away her 7-month-old child. State patrol responded also, from their post nearby on U.S. Highway 29 North. The situation apparently was resolved. An officer reported he was driving the woman and infant to another home in Athens. read more

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