@King Minos: "In GA, the single biggest contributor to gains in education is probably better pay for teachers."
Often stated but there is no credible research to back it for Georgia or the nation.posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 18:21
@autumnlark: "Everything still depends on having excellent and rigorous individual teachers."
Teachers are very important to the learning process but they are not the only part. The qualification and preparedness of Principals are important too because guidance, oversight, direction, and development are important supplemental functions to the teaching process. In some cases, perhaps in many, a poorly performing school is an indication of a poorly performing or ill equipped Principal. Who hires the Principal...on and on up to and including the Board of Education? Resources (financial and otherwise) are important too.
I simply do not know how to respond to the other part of your comment.posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 13:47
The second aspect of your comment deals with the testing issue. There are legitimate criticisms, but they are fixable. Experts in this area seem to be more focused on the problem than the solution. I found many articles highlighting the pitfalls. I am still looking for those that propose fixes.posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 10:56
@autumnlark: "What standards-based education really does is close the door to imagination and creative, critical thinking"
Standards based education reform is based upon the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education.posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 10:47
Is revelation about IRS scrutiny a scandal? Is the outrage manufactured by raw politics? Is it being fueled by ignorance and lingering hostility at the IRS? In case you are interested some chronological facts follows.
First, I.R.S. scrutiny was instigated by applications for tax exemption by conservative groups such as the Tea Party.
Second, Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, contacted the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in March 2012 to explore an investigation of allegations of abuse by I.R.S. Officials reviewing applications for tax exemption by conservative groups
Third, Inspector general, J. Russell George, formally notified lawmakers on July 11, 2012, that he had begun his audit to determine if abuse has occurred. Mr. George also let the Treasury general counsel know of his audit in June 2012 and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal S. Wolin shortly after.
Fourth, for the last week the focus has been on who in the Obama administration knew what and when?
Missing in all the hoopla is why the scrutiny was started and was it a fair inquisition. Make the effort to get the facts rather than being led by people and groups with their own agenda.posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 12:00
All of your observations are astute, however, number 5 nails a recurring and notable issue that gets in the way of progress ..."We consistently excuse our poor performance because of the "poverty" of the children in our schools. We seem to enable and encourage the perpetuation of this poverty."
Student achievement evaluation results ought to raise questions that demand answers instead of perpetuating stereotypes, e.g., do the results say more about the students than the system charged with educating them? Answering that question require another level of analysis, which is the responsibility of the entire school system. Within that examination ought to be a serious look at the impact of system expectation upon student achievement.
There are all kinds of examples of exceptional ism within and among the students from the poverty group in Clarke County schools. What is the average achievement level among this group as compared to others? Why? What percentage of them dropout? Why? What percentage graduate? What percentage acquire some kind of schooling beyond high school...on and on?posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 14:40
Like you, I have followed reactions to release of Georgia’s first test scores under the new Common Core standards. Spin on the results range from reactionary to defensive. It is not uncommon to attack evaluation design, highlight the administrative burdens teachers confront, as well as the baggage associated with the students they must teach, especially when evaluation results are unfavorable.
The fact of the matter is that there has never been and probably won’t ever be a perfectly designed and administered test or evaluation system…all evaluation methods have some limitations, even those in the scientific field. That said, test scores under the new Common Core standards not only “offer one way to evaluate progress,” they also offer a way to make progress because their results can be instructive. They can instruct about resource (financial and other) deficits, school system personnel development needs, and personnel transfer, demotion, dismissal decisions.
Preparing our young for the changing world that awaits them and maintenance of America’s standing demand that they be equipped with relevant core knowledge and abstract wisdom. Taxpayers have a right to know if that goal is being achieved. If not, that corrective measure is being taken. In other words, there must be student achievement standards and there must be evaluation of those charged with helping students acquire them.posted @ Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 20:45
The primary challenge before America’s education system today is to provide students with a balance of the core knowledge and practical skills they’ll need for the world that awaits them and the abstract wisdom that will help them adapt when that world and they themselves change. Meeting that challenge demands acknowledgement of when performance falls short of goals and overall accountability, which include both the operational and political features of the system.
Mr. Martin, thanks for your courage to “speak truth to power.”posted @ Friday, May 17, 2013 - 08:20
Myra..Hate consumes rather than consummate. It is the root cause of irrationality. Please do not waste your exceptional talents.
Please join me in solace facilitated by the knowledge that this ilk is a shrinking breed.posted @ Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 21:30
@Curls: "The lack of adequate parental support for many students in the ACC schools plus the thug culture in Athens make the task of the ACC teachers very difficult."
I am having difficulty understanding the connection between parental support, thug culture and the teacher's obligation to impart knowledge and maintain behavioral standards in the classroom. Please elucidate.posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 08:22
"And for God’s sake, let’s tell the legislature to stay out of the curriculum business."
AMEN!!!posted @ Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 20:52
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise to the occasion. We must think anew and act anew.” A. Lincoln
Those words spoken many years ago ring challenging and clear today. Say what you will and support your fellow like minded for the comfort it provides if you must, but if America is once again to be at the top of the global economy and prepare its young to effectively cope in a digital and global world of diversity, it must overcome the voices of nostalgia, stagnation, skepticism, and status-quo. It must start getting a better result from its school systems.posted @ Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 16:34
@Tony Eubanks: "Results oriented? What results are you looking for?
Accountable? What are you measuring?"
Like it or not, maintenance of America's standing in the world demand answers to the questions you have raised. Obtaining consensus about answers to those questions will require political courage, updated curriculum, public support, among other things.posted @ Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 07:21
Thanks for another enlightening piece. The following lines speak to both the academic and "civilizing" purposes of schooling.
To paraphrase a well noted and seldom used quote, when it comes to America’s public school systems today …the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. Digital revolution and globalization have piled their challenges high with difficulty. Globalization has narrowed the world by bringing the economies, education systems, societies and politics of different nations closer together. The process of globalization is an amalgamation of interaction and integration among different groups of people, various organizations and governments of different nations. It is supported by information technology. The interaction not only influences people and their welfare in terms of civilization, traditions, political structure, financial growth and affluences. Globalization has given birth to tremendous competition and made the market an open place to excel with skills and quality.
The digital revolution began in the 1980s and involved sweeping change from analog mechanical and electronic technology to digital technology. It has brought sweeping changes to computing and the way the world communicates. It is predicted that in the next few years we will be able to shop, pay bills, and communicate with others through a television set.
These advances have ushered in the era of accountability in America’s schooling system, be it public or private. Curriculums and educational techniques of yesterday are inadequate to today’s challenges; we must think anew and act anew. If America is to maintain its standing, its public and private school systems must become more results oriented, which means more accountable.posted @ Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 22:55
@bertisdowns: "To me schooling pretty much comes down to teaching and learning-- that is the essential equation."
To me schooling has both academic achievement and social development purposes. Although I am a strong supporter of public schools, I cannot effectively defend their performance in these areas in the last twenty five years. As a matter of fact, the reform movement was instigated by poor performance of public schools.
Galis does an excellent job in summing up the issue and the various viewpoints about it. While his suggested "principled" broadened defense approach is excellent, I do not believe it will have that much persuasive power because accountability is the driving force behind the reform movement. The alternatives to public schools will also be measured by performance standards and only time can tell how they will stack up.
So, in my humble view the main challenge is to reach consensus on what constitute reasonable performance standards and effective ways of measuring those standards. National, state, and local politics make consensus very difficult, if not impossible to accomplish.posted @ Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 13:24
@The University Phantom: "If the allegations are true and proven, Doctor Beverly Hall is a betrayer of public trust. She directed the cheating effort while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and bonus for performance. She ruled with a very heavy hand and forced teachers to compromise their careers."
As serious as they are let's not forget that at this point in the process Dr. Hall is confronted with mere allegations. Let's also accord her the same consideration we would want and our judicial system requires.
At this juncture, I think the handling of this matter is gross overkill.posted @ Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 09:15
Admirable recognition for advancing the service mission of UGA, particularly the civic engagement aspect.posted @ Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 09:02
Keeper of state records is a major function of the Office of Secretary of State. Sadly, this is another illustration of the political and administrative ineptitude of
This move is another example of Kemp's lack of political and administrative acumen. Looks like he is in over his head.
Nice homeboy but apparently not the right person for Secretary of State.posted @ Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 08:04
"Hating President Obama is not a policy. Intellectually defeating his policies is."
Cal, hate consumes rather than consummates, which is why haters will never have the capacity to understand or accept your point.posted @ Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 06:05
@Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass:
Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass
rate uprate down
Sun., Mar 03 @ 8:41:04 pm
Because racism is not limited to those jurisdictions covered by the Voting Rights Act. And therefore, this act violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
You made the above comment in response to Pitts Commentary,"Why trust the south?posted @ Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 18:56
Jim, what an astute observation that is buttressed by the nature and substance of the comments so far.
I remain hopeful though.posted @ Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 09:05
@Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass:
Once again I give you the chronological facts and you accuse me of being partisan in my view on the matter. Well, it may surprise you but my view is strictly legal.
Based upon their demonstrated history, the burden ought to be on the jurisdictions targeted in the Voting Rights Act to prove that they should no longer have to be pre-cleared. The burden should not be on the exempted states based upon an assumption of "racism," as you suggest.posted @ Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 08:44
“The Constitution requires the federal government to treat all states equally under the law, as part of the “equal footing” doctrine. There were valid reasons in 1965 for Congress to treat states differently in order to finally achieve racial justice in the election process. Those reasons now are history. ...”
Really? Congress has reauthorized the Voting Rights Act four times since it was passed in 1965. Based upon thousands of pages of evidence showing that the covered jurisdictions have a propensity toward discriminatory rules, the Senate agreed by a vote of 98 to 0; the House, 390 to 33 to reauthorize it in 2006 for twenty-five years.
What has happened since 2006? Under the reason of preventing voter fraud the Republican Party implemented voter ID laws at in person voting places and excluded absentee voting in states and locales where they maintain political dominance. This was done in the face of known research data which clearly demonstrated that in the last twenty five years voter fraud was considerably more prevalent in absentee voting. It should be noted that absentee voting overwhelmingly favors Republicans.
Contrary to the prevailing thought and motive behind the 2012 Republican initiative, the overall percentage of minority votes experienced a substantial increase. There were a number of contributing factors, among which was the unanticipated motivating effect of the Republican initiative. Now, minority vote increase in the 2012 elections is being touted as evidence that voter confidence and turnout rose together, thanks to photo voter ID. That proposition turns logic on its head.
“Congress could amend the Act to apply Section 5 to all 50 states.”
Based upon the evidence or lack thereof, that would be a clear violation of the “equal footing” doctrine.
“But the better outcome would be for the Supreme Court to leave the Act in place, but strike down Section 5 as unconstitutional.”
Based upon what evidence showing that the targeted jurisdictions have changed their ways since 2006?posted @ Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 02:59
Google voter suppression historyposted @ Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 12:01
Want your business here? Contact Leslie Turner for more information.
Rep. Regina Quick, R-Athens, was one of two local delegates to score less than an "A+" in the Chamber of Commerce's annual legislative score card. She and I played phone tag Monday when I was reporting the story and I wasn't able to get her comments in a timely fashion. Instead, she sent over this statement Wednesday morning and she did not mince her words. (Links and italicized portions are my own; otherwise, it's as she wrote it.) Dear Friends: read more
The committee opted Tuesday night to put off deciding on the ordinance until, at the earliest, its next meeting. Of note: The Athens-Clarke County attorney highlighted that the proposed times are, in essence, placeholders for the commission to change or keep as it pleases. Full text of the Use of Public Right-of-Ways ordinance draft is below. read more