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Georgia Senate committee approves anti-Common Core bill

@drdonna: Not much yet, unfortunately. Dr. Lanoue is drinking the Common Core koolaide all day long. But it is a small victory for the opposition. We have much more work to do. Most of the legislators, particularly Millar, are trying to jerk us around. Sen Ligon is currently the only legislator up there who is truly fighting to help us get local control of our schools and get rid of these horrible standards. Join us here to get more info on the fight.

posted @ Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 00:30

Georgia Senate committee approves anti-Common Core bill

@marshalld: Actually, the legislature was bypassed as well as the general public with the adoption of Common Core. Two signatures signed us on to Common Core...former Gov. Sonny Purdue and former State Superintendent Kathy Cox. And if you think it is just the Tea Party opposing it...I suggest you dig deeper in your research of the opposition.

posted @ Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 00:24

Schools at a breaking point after years of cuts?

This 5 part series sums up perfectly what is happening in public education.

posted @ Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 22:06

Barge blasts Deal for teacher furloughs

Barge and Carter both support the same government/big corp policies and mandates that are bankrupting school districts by pumping money into unnecessary technology, high stakes testing, and massive data bases like SLDS and the new Red Clay State Test they are working on with SREB (another unelected school board that has no business existing) that Deal does. All three of them are receiving campaign donations from the same education reform groups like GAE, StudentsFirst, and Apollo Group and big business like Walmart and the Gates Foundation. This is not about republican/democrat or even funding schools..this is about local control vs federally controlled and privatized public school for profit. They are only interested in building a workforce for big business. Go to or Georgians against common core on facebook and get educated.

posted @ Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 16:51

Jones: New education group comes to Georgia
Education is under attack now more than ever. Please join these groups and come to this forum and find out how you can help fight the federal and private take over of public education.

posted @ Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 22:01

Downs: Many ways to help Clarke schools

Here is another way you can help. Get informed on what all the reforms mean and what they are doing to our amazing teachers and students.

posted @ Friday, December 27, 2013 - 14:10

Music filling schools with slate of holiday concerts

Also tonight at CCHS, there is a Holiday show by DanceFX. It is free but donations are accepted to benefit CASA.

posted @ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 10:01

Blackmon: Legislature isn't place for curriculum decisions

and here is what you get when you trust in the non-elected State BOE and not require or allow legislative and community input. Pre-submitted questions only?

posted @ Monday, December 9, 2013 - 14:29

Blackmon: Legislature isn't place for curriculum decisions

The graduation rate was actually steadily increasing, as well as test scores, up until we began implementation of Common Core last year. Unfortunately, it is going to decrease steadily now if we don't get rid of this.

posted @ Monday, December 9, 2013 - 13:15

Blackmon: Legislature isn't place for curriculum decisions

@cornish531: I don't think you have really done ANY research into who is for and who is against Common Core. If you had you would know that there are many on both sides from both the left and the right. The proponents and biggest pushers of Common Core include many republicans like Jeb Bush and our very own Fran Millar, Nathan Deal, and John Barge. In fact, it was Sonny Perdue who signed us onto this nonsense BEFORE the standards themselves were even written in order to get federal dollars. It also includes some big name democrats like Bill Gates and Jason Carter....and yes, the Obama administration is is pushing it also through RttT grants and Arne Duncan. This is not a left/right or repub/dem is a federal/private control vs. local control issue. In response to to Myra's article, she is right about one thing...there ARE many problems with Common Core. She is a very knowledgeable and intelligent woman who admirably gives so much of her time in our public schools and for that I thank her from the bottom of my heart! However, she does not know enough about the pervasive nature of Common Core. 1. We don't need new standards, the GPS were superior to CCSS and many other states as well. True, the CCSS are the same possibly up to about 80% but it is the parts they took out that were better and what they added is NOT developmentally or age appropriate. Also the CCSS is copyrighted which means they cannot be "tweaked" at all. Teachers must use the standards AS IS without changing or deleting anything. They can add up to 15% but anything they add will not be on the high stakes testing, which their jobs will soon be tied to, so why would they bother? This is the first time in history that a set of standards have been copyrighted by a private entity. 2. Pulling us out of PARCC does absolutely nothing. Barge and the SREB are developing another testing consortium called The Red Clay State Test that will include all the southern states that have pulled out of the other consortium and the tests will STILL be 100% aligned to the Common Core and carry the same weight on teachers evals. Not to mention David Coleman, one of the writers of CCSS and the President of the College Board, is currently aligning the SAT, ACT, and the GED to the CCSS as well. 3. As for the executive order Deal signed, that is useless too. If you read the RttT contract, you will see that we HAVE agreed to share our kids' data with the national database. And when the grant runs out we will forever be funding the huge data base SLDS that is rolling out. I have seen first hand what these standards are doing for my children who attend public schools and I will not stand for my kids being guinea pigs while we "field test" these standards for another decade, with or without the high stakes testing. If one wants to see what a few more years of this will do to our kids one only needs to look to states that are much farther along in the implementation process than us such as NY, NC, and IL. I could go on all day but I'll leave it there. If you want to know more come to this meeting next month and hear ACTUAL educators talk about what CCSS is, who is pushing it and why, how it affects your tax dollars, and much more. You can also join one of the many groups that are fighting it. These are for GA and Clarke County.

posted @ Monday, December 9, 2013 - 11:14

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

Coming to the Classic Center in January:

posted @ Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 08:31

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

@E.J.: Thanks for caring enough to ask Smile

posted @ Monday, September 23, 2013 - 17:19

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

@E.J.: It really doesn't take as much time as you think. I have three kids of my own and a full time job. I have still managed to mentor 3 kids. Two of which are in college now and one is still in high school. They don't need someone breathing down their necks, just someone to talk to. Someone who will be honest with them but temper it with kindness. Someone to send them a quick message of encouragement every day.
To answer some of your questions:
Would you have known to look toward government or organizations for help? Yes, they usually know where the public organizations are but they won't go to those for many reasons like the ones you mentioned...embarrassment, transportation, time, not being allowed to by their parents, and peer pressure. Which leads to your next question. Why does that peer pressure exist? Kids who have no support at home or live an abusive home rely HEAVILY on the support of their friends. This is one of the reasons gangs are so influential. They desire a place to belong, a place where they know someone has their back. It is very hard to be the kid who goes against the grain and tries to do better and live right without someone supporting you to do it. Another thing with kids is sometimes they just don't know that their way of life is not normal. This was how it was in my case. I grew up thinking that living on welfare and being abused was just how life was. It wasn't until I started dating and the parents of a boy I was dating began to realize how my home life was and then mentored me to believe there was better. If it had not been for them I would probably still be living in that trailer park or the projects I spent my childhood in. If you can't get involved through the school, do you attend church? Many churches have outreach programs. Like Downtown Ministries. Or there is the homeless shelter. Many ways to reach out to a teen. Don't wait...they need people like you who care won't regret it!

posted @ Monday, September 23, 2013 - 12:58

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

Wouldn't it be something if because of this article CCHS and CSHS were FLOODED with community volunteers tomorrow looking for kids to mentor?

posted @ Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 21:43

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance


" Somehow we have got to find a way to break the cycle you broke on a broader scale."

Yes we do! The answer is very bodies being mentors! Get with the schools and find a kid...period! With the world of technology today it is even simpler to stay in contact with a kid you mentor. Send them facebook messages and texts. Just be there to give advice, LOVE on them, or listen without judgement but always explaining why their actions have consequences. Anyone can complain about the "thugs" in our community as many here love to do but it takes compassion and effort to be the change that they need.

posted @ Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 21:41

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

@E.J.: Yes! This is the very definition of Common Core. I implore you and all citizens to start doing your research on this new set of standards and what it is doing to our children. I have not heard of Mead but I will look her up. I highly recommend reading Diane Ravitch's new book "Reign of Error". And here is a great history of education from KrisAnne Hall:
And a few groups to check out:
And before anyone starts hollering slurs at me for being some kind of right wing nut conspiracy theorist...this is a truly bipartisan effort being waged against Common Core. You will find both liberals and conservatives fighting this.

posted @ Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 21:31

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

'When over half the names in all the crime reports, of crimes committed by young thugs, we "READ" end in "............quavious" it doesn't help the perceived image of some teen acting out violently against his teachers. '

Emphasis being mine in quoting your words shows where your ignorance lies. If you are only READING about the problems in your community and then jumping to conclusions in your complaining about them then you do not know what the real issues are and you are part of the problem...not part of the solution. I'm sure if you were reading about crimes committed by teens in other areas the names might sound or look different but you some how seem to think our community is the picture of every community in is almost always the same reasons teens lash out no matter what their name sounds like or what their skin color is. Lack of support or supervision in the home and/or poverty or mental illness. What if each one of these kids who had little to no support at home had a mentor from their community? What if we started holding parents who were irresponsible more accountable and gave the ones who are responsible but struggling the support of the community instead of condescending judgement? Yes it is the PARENTS job first to teach children about the consequences of life but when that fails them is it not our responsibility as a community to step into the gap for them? Judgement never breaks the cycle of poverty only mercy and tempered with justice can do that. Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly.

posted @ Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 14:14

Clarke Central student charged for school disturbance

Kids are just frustrated because not only are some of them not getting parental support at home, they really are not respected as human beings capable of making decisions or choices for themselves starting as early as elementary school. You put kids in this box for 7 hours a day...tell them what to eat, what to read, what to wear, how to walk, when they can talk, ect ect and then give them contradicting reading material (like the book controversy I'm sure most of you same people gave your two cents on) that tells them to be activists, individuals, and volatile when they feel they are being treated unjustly. Add in the poverty aspect a lot of kids here in Athens are dealing with and this is what you that give up or blow up! Not done yet... add in the strange and unreasonable new standards that are leaving even gifted kids confused...things are going to keep getting worse and I feel really sad for the students and the teachers. Teachers are under so much pressure because of all the mandates coming down and their jobs now depend 40% on the tests scores of students and so that stress is carried over to the students. Your judgmental criticisms of this boy based solely on his name are disgraceful! You have no idea what some of these kids are dealing with. Until this community rallies around these kids and helps them see they have consistent support somewhere they will never break out of the cycle of poverty. I should know...I was raised in the projects!

posted @ Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 10:33

Yarbrough: State schools chief sounds like gubernatorial candidate

I think possibly Barge wants to be against all this education reform but he has had to play nice with Gov. Deal who is for it. I will only vote for the one who will stand up for public education and our teachers/parapros/students. There is another candidate who is definitely opposed to CCSS and all the nonsense tied to it. David Pennington.

posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 09:39

Blackmon: Classroom technology doesn't replace teachers

I think technology can be a wonderful ADDITION to the classroom but that is not the ultimate goal here. CCSD has a goal of 1:1 technology and plan to completely eliminate all textbooks (not just supplement them) by next school year as was told to me by the school at open house last week. A laptop, netbook, or ipad does not just cost a one-time fee of 200, 300, or 400 dollars. Let's do a short estimated cost analysis. When calculating just the cost of the technology itself let's say we pay $300 dollars EACH. They tend to last about 3 years before having to be replaced. That's $100 a year PER computer PER child (remember the goal is 1:1). Now...let's add in the cost of IT personnel, broadband/wireless fees, anti-virus software, educational software (our school pays for ticket to read, Vmath, and we were told we are planning to purchase IXL, and I’m sure there are many more I don’t even know about) fire walls to protect against inappropriate material, spare computers, and on and on for not just some technology but again 1:1 technology...these fees are annually recurring fees that NEVER stop. Now let's compare that to the cost of textbooks that typically need replacing every 5-7 years with no other support or fees attached to them except maybe having some spares. Also keep in mind that textbooks can be brought home and used at home regardless of whether or not the student has internet use at home. If the county goes completely digital how will we pay for the free broadband that will now have to be distributed to low income families at home so students can do their homework? Do you think Clarke County has that kind of revenue?
Computers are not taking the place of teachers? If you honestly believe that we are not being forced into excepting technology over actual teachers please tell me why education officials and the federal/state government can always seem to find the money to fund all these new programs that THEY think will benefit education (take the 75K a year we pay for the IB program as one example) but when it comes to budgeting for teachers there always seems to be a “budget shortfall” or “budget crisis”? Why are there more and more teachers and parapro cuts every year while class sizes continue to increase? David Coleman (One of the writers of CCSS and College Board member among other things conveniently wrapped up with CCSS…look him up!) has this to say about teachers who question class size and teacher/student interaction: She asks and he answers the question at about 54min into this video during a lecture he gave to a room full of teachers on CCSS. Also, why are there so many teachers with master’s degrees unemployed or working as parapros? Why is there so much advertising for FREE online public education? Because it takes a lot less teachers to teach an online class to hundreds than it does to have class sizes of 20-30 students. If the cost for technology is so much more cost effective than textbooks and it so worth the investment why are parents in Clarke County being pressured into a program called BYOT in which students bring their own computers from home back and forth to school? Technology has its place in education, but NOT at the expense of teachers and textbooks. Dr. Lanoue and the school need to be doing an ACTUAL cost analysis on this idea of 1:1 technology and publishing it for taxpayers/parents to see rather than just telling us that a computer costs 300 dollars. We are not that naïve are we?

posted @ Monday, August 19, 2013 - 11:52

Marlowe: Keep Rivera on Clarke reading list

@Joel Kight @melmarino: thankyou

posted @ Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 14:00

Marlowe: Keep Rivera on Clarke reading list

[quote][b]Normaltown[/b] - @l6jack: Thank you for your comment.

Your welcome, and thank you for yours as well.
Do I have limits for my children? Of course I do, but I use my parental skills to either allow or not allow my children to part of what ever it may be. However, I will not try to make that decision for any other parents's child.

So if there were something happening at the school that violated your limits you would not hold that same standard for the other children and make a request for a change?
I'm naive now just because I referenced what was written by Marlowe about it being a "set of parents"?
I'm sorry, I was assuming that was your perspective as well.

Does this parent have a say, you ask? Every parent does, it's called "don't let them read it". Think of it as your TV. Turn it off or change the channel.

Easy to do at home, not so easy to do at school. Parents ALSO have a right to voice opinions about materials used IN the school, just like those of you who are supporting the material are doing. It works both ways.

BTW, if you don't think 7th graders, to include your child and mine, aren't out their on their cell phones showing each stuff more offensive then this book then you might want to talk to some other parents.

Just because they may be doing something does not mean we make it acceptable or normal practice in a supervised environment and does not make the behavior right. Some kids are going to drink anyway, some kids are going to have sex anyway, some kids are going to lie anyway, some kids are going to steal anyway, some kids are going to do drugs should we just say it is ok for them to do it in the classroom where the teacher can make sure they are safe?

posted @ Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 13:20

Marlowe: Keep Rivera on Clarke reading list

@John Dewey: That's right, when have no rebuttal just attack the person. Typical. Good job Sherlock. I, unlike most people here am not afraid to speak my mind on issues facing our community on an every day basis and I don't have to hide behind an alias.

posted @ Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 13:09

Marlowe: Keep Rivera on Clarke reading list

@wasp: All of us? So you speak for the entirety of Clarke County? If kids are so good at discernment why have rules, lines of appropriateness, or codes of conduct at all? Kids feel safer when they have limits, that is a proven fact. Because some will rebel is never a good reason to not set limits. And just FYI, this is just the beginning. Once Common Core is in full swing we as parents and teachers will have no say in what is done in our public schools. Check out this lesson for a seventh grader in another county.

This is a Common Core aligned lesson.
"Here is a copy of question for my seventh grader, mind you, his is a direct email question- most kids parents don't see them:

A new topic has been added to the Collaborize site for Reagan Language Arts.
Topic: Controversial Topics and Banned Books

Our class novel The Giver is number 23 on the list of Top 100 Banned and Challenged books between 2000-2009. Books are often banned or challenged by communities based on a variety of controversial issues presented; the question is often: are these topics appropriate for students to read? Several issues have bubbled to the surface in our study of The Giver in class; pain, war, starvation, suffering, puberty, suicide, freedom of choice, control, fear, and love are all challenged as being issues too sensitive for schools.

Familiarize yourselves with this list compiled by the American Library Association. Many of these books are books that you read.

Some of our favorites, such as the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games trilogy are high on the lists of banned and challenged books.

Consider this:

Should we ban books to protect kids and communities from complex issues? If we think about and discuss an issue present in society, does that mean we condone or support it? Should we face tough issues, or should we, like Jonas's community, keep the issues shut up and locked away to "protect" ourselves?

(Note: this is the final essential question for The Giver. Please be thoughtful and thorough in your responses and discussions. You must remember civic discourse; be respectful and support your statement. Think about and discuss these questions as academics. Remember to proofread.)

Here is a sampling of the banned books to study:

Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

....So how would you all feel about your 7th graders reading something like 50 Shades?

posted @ Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 12:27

Marlowe: Keep Rivera on Clarke reading list

@Normaltown: Just because a child will be exposed to offensive things in life is not a valid argument against limiting it when possible or ensuring that that are being exposed to things in an age appropriate manner. Do you have NO limit in this world as to what you would expose your children to? I would suspect that all parents have a limit somewhere. Why does this parent not have a say in where the line is just because some disagree? It is also naive of you to think that it is just one set of parents who think it is not age appropriate for 7th grade.

posted @ Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 12:19

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