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Oconee High principal announces she will retire at end of school year

Very sad day for the Warriors, who lose a great leader--one who always put students first. Though Beckham was never "man" enough for those who matter, she always epitomized true leadership, attended intensely to details, and always made others better. So thankful for her sacrifice and her effort which made OCHS a great place for all students.

posted @ Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 21:25

Blackmon: Lawmakers creating problems for education

@myra blackmon: Thanks for fighting the good fight, Ms. Blackmon. It is sad that our leaders evade their responsibilities to their neighbors and have invented a system of lies to convince others to do the same. It is most certainly and most historically un-American.

posted @ Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 22:51

Blackmon: Lawmakers creating problems for education

@craptastic: It is not a matter of more funding, but funding that fulfills state law. If funding is not the issue, why are tax breaks for the wealthy and religiously slanted being used to destroy the system? Why are charter school corporations and online learning academies in need of money? Please take a look at a school system budget before you lecture folks on statistics. The costs of public education are bound by testing, special education, lawyers, etc. The number of bus routes cannot be eliminated even if the legislature continues to defund school systems. It is about a promise and a child, not a number. That bus route represents the promise. Many schools are not even functional at this point. It is a shame that so many Georgians live in poverty, and our state legislature is using manipulated statistics to choose winners and losers among the children. Per pupil spending is entirely pointless for comparison purposes. Remember that we are communities, and the entire purpose of education is to pool resources to make more opportunity for all.

posted @ Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 22:49

Blackmon: Lawmakers creating problems for education

@cornish531: I feel bad for your private school history education, because it has failed you. Surely you have read A Nation at Risk and know that it presents no evidence. And surely you know public schools have been "failing" since Sputnik in 1957 when Eisenhower blamed public school teachers for the Soviet's technological first. You also must know that the tests are not designed to demonstrate anything but failure, designed by the very people looking to eliminate the truly American institution (which Europeans are copying) and which our founder agreed should be funded. Providing an education for all of Georgia's children has been a rule since 1787, but those with means who share no responsibility for their neighbors have always tried to ignore such a responsibility. "Failing schools" has been a most convenient narrative now finally with the marketing and the false data (based entirely on multiple-choice exams) to support the lie.

posted @ Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 22:41

Blackmon: Lawmakers creating problems for education

@The Eagle: You understand basic math, right? How can schools be asking for more money when their budgets have been slashed for the last decade? They are asking to get back to 75% of what the law mandates they receive. The tests, designed to prove failure, are taking the remaining funds.

posted @ Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 22:36

Blackmon: Best aspects of teaching can't be evaluated

[quote][b]cornish531[/b] - For the last twenty or so years public school student performance has been on the decline.[/quote]
Mr Cornish, you need to check out some history books. The narrative of failing schools that you espouse has been firmly in place for a century. Eisenhower blamed public-school teachers for the Soviets beating the US into space. The decline that you reference began with the Nation at Risk Report in 1983. Like your commentary, it was a pronouncement with little evidence, arguing that public education was failing the nation, its children and its security. After that report, tests were invented to create a data set that would automatically deem schools failing and confirm the findings of the Report. Today, in Georgia, for example, it is impossible for every student to be successful on an EOCT; the scores received by the students are not actual scores, but are based on overall test data: some are confirmed winners and some losers, and the overall data is used to say the system is failing. Therefore, since it is failing, public education should either be eliminated or given to these private corporations Ms. Blackmon is discussing. You, Sir, have no idea about "the reality at hand" and refused Ms. Blackmon attempt to convey such realities, such inadequacies of blind reliance on quantifiable data based entirely on multiple-choice tests, etc. Has it crossed your mind that those making "reforms" are the same folks who have been in charge over the last twenty years? We have been following their system, and it is operating exactly as planned. If you think a teacher can say no to the life-numbing reality of multiple-choice and standardization, then you are sorely mistaken.

posted @ Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 09:24

Epps Bridge Centre developer encourages mixed-drink sales in Oconee

Mr. Bishop's definition of "stewardship" has been skewed by the dollar signs for sure. The OC Board of Commissioners continues to bow to the money. When a developer says the public-private partnership is good, it means the public is losing. Bring on another nail salon. There might be a corner in OC without one.

posted @ Friday, January 24, 2014 - 14:28

Schools at a breaking point after years of cuts?

@Save our Republic: Many of the expenses in education over the last 20 years have to do with legal fees and special education rules. In the last 10 years, the costs of testing are factored into the per pupil spending, but are almost a complete waste. Testing is now more important than learning and as costly. That must change. To me, that is a greater problem than administrative personnel costs, even as some of the administrators in education are pushed up the ladder because they cannot cut it in a classroom. This practice makes even the best teachers furious. The ABH opinion piece last week about addressing poverty in Georgia as a way to improve education is important too.

posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 - 22:46

Schools at a breaking point after years of cuts?

@Save our Republic: Jefferson and his counterparts in Georgia believed that public education was an essential responsibility of state government. "Private sector schools"? What are these? Private schools and those charters in which corporations are banking tax dollars are not always outperforming public schools. Schools are not a business. In a business, the business owner can control materials, production, etc. Schools, and our state's mandated responsibility to educate ALL kids, cannot have the choices inherent in the private sector. Kids are not raw materials. In the private sector, there is competition, which is impossible with private and home schooling compared to public schools, because they have different students, with differing home, parental, and economic situations which are all factors in academic success, not to mention different tests. You are severely overstating the bureaucracy in education. With the current testing realities and obsession with data (which is designed to destroy the institution altogether but supersize administrative tasks), it will be impossible to eliminate more administrative positions. Combining schools may eliminate a principal here and there, but that eliminates the local control, which I think we agree on.

posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 - 22:35

Schools at a breaking point after years of cuts?

@Save our Republic: Private sector? As in the industries bailed out with your tax dollars and the banks who are daily on trial for irresponsibility and corruption? Our founding fathers, who made public education, would beg to differ with your solution. Education is NOT a business!!

posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 - 21:26

Schools at a breaking point after years of cuts?

The folks mandating the absurd amount of testing are the same reducing the budgets, as enrollments increase. The administrative costs of those tests are a complete waste. It has little to do with administrative staff in buildings. The tests, the data, and the cuts are designed to cripple an institution that some Americans and its corporations have rarely wanted to support. Capital no longer needs an educated workforce; machines can complete the task. The middle class is no longer needed by capital. Our schools and the Republic they were created (in the 1780s) to buttress will be undermined.

posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 - 21:04

Stossel: Early colonial history and 'tragedy of commons'

[quote][b]Save our Republic[/b] - But accept that History should be unmolested, because the moment the revisionist re-write it, the lessons learned by it are forgotten![/quote]

Sadly, you do not see that your interpretation of this moment is entirely revisionist. The arguments made by the writer are nonsensical and illogical. They use and abuse evidence, existing far outside the boundaries of legitimate historical interpretation. It is widely accepted that the Pilgrims and the Jamestown settlers were different from each other and different from the writer's characterization. Have you read Adam Smith? Karl Marx? William Bradford? Doubt it. Real students and real historians read these texts and make plausible arguments, not berating their neighbors with fantasy and tirades about "government schools," mere selfishness parading as liberty. Shame. Our founding fathers who invented public education and the Pilgrims who followed the Gospels (not Marx) know not of the America you have invented. No legitimate historians outside of the 19th century would argue that history is Truth, that we can actually know what happened. But we can make a sound interpretation and be fair to the historical actors and the contemporary reader--at least try to get it right, rather than make the past fit our warped, narcissistic vision of the world.

posted @ Monday, December 2, 2013 - 13:40

Stossel: Early colonial history and 'tragedy of commons'

This is a joke, right? Comparing the Pilgrims to Karl Marx? Arguing that Jamestown, founded by the Virginia Company, was communal in nature? Any high-school history student can tell you that the Virginia Company was a joint-stock company, an early example of capitalism, and that these two early colonies were founded for very different reasons. Even Adam Smith himself argued for publicly-owned and government-kept roads. These Fox News guys should stick with imitating two-year-olds who scream only "Mine. Mine. Mine" and leave the history to historians and folks who use reason and fairness when interpreting a source.

posted @ Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 22:42

Pitts: '12 Years a Slave' more than masterpiece

Anyone know if the film will ever show in Athens?

posted @ Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 21:57

Tom Dyer, admired as historian, teacher, creative administrator

Thank you, Prof. Dyer, for making UGA a better place.

posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 17:20

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

Fitting that the Tea Party supporters in these comments would miss and then ignore the history lesson entirely. Ellis is no radical historian, as he is made a living selling the founding fathers to the masses. Best line: the Tea Party "truly [believes] that government is “them,” not “us.” Therein lies the problem. We are the government, it is not an enemy. It is us.

posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 12:36

Nachman: Education should help students develop own interests

@friendlyfire: Be careful. "Competition" and "self-reliance" are the foundational ideas of "standards" and standardized testing. Both Republicans and Democrats are responsible for eliminating creativity and the pursuit of student interests from education. Obama has continued to implement a single-minded, data-driven, and soul-wrenching formula for learning that was conjured by Bush. The lack of handwriting-instruction is a result of technology; punctuation/writing are no longer valued because they cannot be tested with multiple-choice exams. Without the exam data, how could we deem schools "failing," in need of reform, and, unfortunately, thus provide a stepping stone in an ignorant politician's election? Expectedly, Gov. Deal has proven himself a threat to the opportunity and education of so many of Georgia's children, and unfortunately the state legislature continues to fund less than 50% but make the absurd rules for neighborhood schools. We need communities, including those mesmerized by religion and rank, to support local public schools and invest in OTHER peoples' children.

posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 22:39

Jones: New education group comes to Georgia

@Farmer GA: The two largest professional organizations of teachers mentioned above have no collective bargaining rights--the essential definition of a labor union. They are not unions. Yes. They are groups of teachers--a union--but not as a labor union as defined by either of the last two centuries. They do little more than provide legal services and beg on behalf of Georgias children before congresspeople who apparently find rationality as difficult as some on these boards and who are bought by walmart, koch, and Ga's "masters of the universe" who want to ignore the founder's constitutionally mandated charge to educate ALL Ga's childen.

posted @ Monday, July 8, 2013 - 16:00

Jones: New education group comes to Georgia

@Farmer GA: but you should be clear, honest, and respond to the point: you don't know any teachers who are union members. Such unions are illegal in Georgia. Strangely states with unionized teachers have better performing schools, per Rhee et al measures.

posted @ Monday, July 8, 2013 - 14:57

Jones: New education group comes to Georgia

Why is there no mention of Rhee's own cheating scandal? Rhee is pushing reform that will never work.
The tests do not measure learning, only learning in relationship to other students. Rhee and the reformers are simply choosing the winners and losers, eliminating the public's responsibility to educate ALL students. The reformers claim to be fighting bureaucracy, but in fact the tests and the NCLB reforms (from which they emerged) have substantially increased bureaucracy and red tape at all levels. Their arguments are without reason, and the students lose. The teachers who stand for the kids and speak out against Walmart, Koch, etc. are demonized and, more significantly, silenced.

posted @ Monday, July 8, 2013 - 08:47

Jones: New education group comes to Georgia

@Eastville: Because everyone knows that the most self-serving profession is teaching. There is so much money in it. As a career, it is unmatched. And the collective bargaining that Georgia teacher professional organizations have done has awarded teachers so many perks. Please be a responsible citizen and educate yourself on Georgia education politics. Georgia is a right-to-work state. No unions.

posted @ Monday, July 8, 2013 - 08:41

Echols: Germans have interesting model for energy transition

It is sad that the German government is left footing the bill to educate those making energy decisions in Georgia. Let's stop denying science, injuring our planet, and leaving disastrous consequences for our children. You would think, with all their rhetoric, state leaders would be better stewards of our resources.

posted @ Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 09:44

New teacher evaluation law 'fundamentally flawed,' some say

Imagine that, some mindless poster on this board claiming to know more about education than people who have studied it for decades and those who practice it everyday.

In other shocking news, the desert is dry.

Just because you have been to school doesn't mean you have a clue how it works, much less how students learn.

posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 22:37

Yarbrough: What do teachers make?

[quote][b]RightWingExtremist[/b] - Alas, you should not throw stones in a glass house my friend.[/quote]

That doesn't even make sense. But some unionized teacher would have told you that your logic, even hidden behind such eloquent aphorisms, is, in fact, not logical. Is that the source of the disrespect? Mr. Yarbourgh is suggesting the very lesson you propose. You get that, right?

posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 08:18

Yarbrough: What do teachers make?

[quote][b]RightWingExtremist[/b] - Our state legislature isn't starving our school systems, it's the ineptitude on display in the Metro Atlanta Area that starves the life out of our schools.[/quote]

Your state legislature is definitely starving our schools. Since Sonny's reign, the dismantling of the state's constitutional obligations to our children have been systematically and deceptively undone. This has been exacerbated by the economic crisis and the subsequent attack on the public sector at all levels of government. I am sad that you too are under the spell of propaganda. You understand that teachers in Georgia cannot be in a union, right? We, Georgians, love the right to work. How many teachers do you know? Sadly, the injury caused by your lack of respect, the lack of respect of kids, and the frustrations caused by the Gold Dome make that massive paycheck just not worth it for most teachers?

posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 08:11

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