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@harrumph: Trying to figure out here what "anti-intellectual means."

I'm all for intellect, as well as people who are blessed with it.

I just find it to be supplanted all too often by a piece of paper issued by an institution, which may or may not reflect any sort of true intellectual capacity.

posted @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:33

[quote][b]harrumph[/b] -
Every organic farmer with a bachelor's degree in agriculture might make a better organic farmer. [/quote]

Or they might not. In which case there might have been a big waste of time and money on their part. As well as society's part, if the college education was funded through public money such as HOPE.

posted @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:29

"Remember, those who dismiss college for all are talking about your kids, not theirs."

Quite the assumption there. I couldn't care less if my kids get a college degree or not. There are lots of other ways to be happy, productive members of society and leave the world a better place than you found it.

I wonder if all the advocates of "college for all" believe that every organic farmer should have a bachelor's degree.

posted @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 10:42

[quote][b]Willow[/b] -
Its been awhile though, so maybe things have changed?

Not hardly.

posted @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 21:07

[quote][b]Warty Bliggens[/b] - elected officials are chosen on the basis of promises to give out goodies to their constituents, not run the government better or more efficiently. [/quote]

Furthermore, most of our colleges and universities are dependent upon federal funding. Therefore there is no benefit for those who would be most able to examine the obvious damage that this model inflicts upon democracy.

posted @ Friday, June 1, 2012 - 23:07

@oakwerks: so what do you think of businesses Nuci's Space. Sure, non-profit, but it is a business nonetheless. And there are places like the Project Safe Thrift Store. Yes, it supports a "non-profit," but is it not a business nonetheless?

Everything is not black or white. The argument many are making is that government should be run more like a business.

posted @ Friday, June 1, 2012 - 22:54

[quote][b]lime45[/b] -My conclusion- the "cool" school isn't always the best school.

No doubt.

posted @ Friday, June 1, 2012 - 08:38

@dahreese: As to your earlier reply to my post:

1) I and others believe that there are not necessarily "best" schools. There are different schools which meet different children's and families' needs most appropriately, and it would be helpful to all if funding were distributed in a manner that every family could have access to the school that bests suits the needs of a particular family and/or children.

2) My statement did not assume that you were advocating the elimination of transportation My post was meant to open discussion as to possible modifications of the current model. Families who have the means pay for meals, why not transportation would be the gist of my thought.

Thanks for the discussion; I shall go forth and continue my idiotic ignorance today.

posted @ Friday, June 1, 2012 - 08:37

@dahreese: You certainly may call the ideas, opinions and beliefs of others "ignorant," "brilliant," or anything else you please.

I am simply questioning whether you and others who do so are interested in finding common ground, or if you believe that the opinions of others simply do not matter.

posted @ Friday, June 1, 2012 - 08:01

[quote][b]ponsoldt[/b] - i've counseled countless "private" organizations that not only were inefficient and dysfunctional, but were unable to self-correct.

Perhaps they needed different counseling. I do not mean that as an insult, but to demonstrate that you appear unable to escape the box within which you seem to be thinking.

Just because some private organizations have problems don't mean all of them do, or that all of them will become problematic in the future.

Do you know families who send their children to private schools? Do you know graduates of private schools? Have you heard of Kajal Patel and the recent beautiful acts of kindness done by her school community?

Please stop the hate-mongering toward private schools and open your mind to options and offer up solutions rather than calling opinions that happen to differ from yours "ignorant.'

posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 21:38

@ponsoldt: When will you and other "more liberal than thou" advocates understand that Republicans are being democratically elected for a reason? It's a democracy, and the majority in this state has elected the representatives making these decisions. Bashing them as "ignorant" will not change the underlying problem, which for you and yours is that Republican-leaning people are addressing the dissatisfaction that so many citizens have with public education today. You say:

" competition via vouchers for private schools would lead to the destruction of our system of public education, which has been key, for well over 100 years, to the growth of our middle class and maintenance of our democracy."

This sort of flawed hyperbole is telling of the paranoia that grips advocates of the current system, in which many, many middle class families are being cheated out of the fundamental liberty to choose the best educational setting for their child(ren).

posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 21:26

@fmrclarketchr: The second item on your list is oh so true, and tragic.

I've thought for a while now that the best way to find solutions would be to recruit a forum of retired and former school teachers, along with parents who have taken their children out of the public school system, in order to seek answers from a knowledgeable but relatively unbiased point of few.

Let's face it, current teachers, parents and administrators often feel too intimidated, either from their employer or from peers, to truly dig deep into the problems and solutions.

Parents who at one time were in the public school system obviously thought it was best for their child initially, but then something changed, so it would certainly be interesting to have a consolidated view of their perspectives.

posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 11:54

[quote][b]dahreese[/b] -
I'll chose the best school for my child (the same school that everyone else who wants the best education for their child is clamoring to get in to) and if that school is across town I'll expect the system to create a special bus route just to pick up my child - never mind the extra transportation costs to the school system.
In reality, only an idiot who knows nothing about education would make a statement like this.

Aside from the unnecessary name calling, this statement assumes two premises that are not necessarily true.

1) Everyone will be clamoring to get into the same schools.
2) We need to continue the model of providing free transportation for all.

These are the type of conventional and antiquated ideas that need to be put aside in order to come up with innovative solutions.

posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 11:46

"True school choice would allow parents to shop for the best schools."

This is the key phrase in the article. The problem is that staunch public education supporters are often completely closed to the idea that the current model is antiquated and needs to be completely revamped.

This is understandable, since so many are dependent on this inefficient and all too often ineffective bureaucracy for their livelihood. If you don't work in the public school system, you likely have a family member, friend or neighbor who does. Change is often construed as an attack on these individuals personally or professionally.

Until we get past the "defense" mode and move into a positive change model, we will not see our young people given the opportunities they deserve.

posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 08:48

If there is compelling reason to keep this center operating, $4.7M annually is really a paltry amount for a handful of private/corporate donors to sponsor.

Otherwise it might be time to realize that it is a concept that has likely run its course.

posted @ Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 09:56

[quote][b]proftom[/b] - @jrgarland: you made good points, BUT why not at least recognize the positive efforts of some for at least a minute? [/quote]

I can't answer for jgarland, but from my experience this sort headline and PR campaign from the school system is detrimental to the overall well-being of our children, in that it focuses on the high-achievers and takes focus away from the mission of the schools to educate the non-college-bound youth.

Consistently we hear praises for what the schools do for the superstar, standout crowd, but very little do we hear about kids who should be being prepared for a good, solid, productive career, which is quite possible without a college degree, but the skills for which are not being fostered here in CCSD.

Didn't we just read a couple of articles here in the ABH which state that the budget cuts are being made in vocational and alternative education areas? Why? So we can keep feeding more funding into things like the IB program, which in turn gives us shiny happy headlines like this one?

posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:29

[quote][b]mcdawg[/b] Private non profit schools are as a general proposition quite successful in setting and maintaining educational standards at exemplary levels. My wife taught at Mt. DeSales in Macon along with the Sisters of Mercy. Those teachers were underpaid, but they were dedicated professionals trying to educate kids. You will not get that from people trying to make a profit. [/quote]

So no one who works in a for-profit entity is capable of being a dedicated professional and trying to do their best at their chosen profession?

Wow, that's quite a statement on most of society, isn't it?

I suppose that means Dick Yarbrough is not a "dedicated professional."

posted @ Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 22:09

@bertisdowns: Please offer up some realistic solutions, instead of the continued rhetoric and politically charged internet links.

Like it or not, it is our elected representatives who are making the decisions. They have gotten elected through the democratic process, and seemingly because the electorate has taken a more conservative stance. There are reasons for that, and we need to address those before we can come to any permanent solutions. It's like an episode of "House," you can administer as much medicine (i.e. funding in the case of public education) as you like, but until you deal with the real underlying problem, there will never be a cure. If you are truly interested in making a difference, accept that fact, and move on toward solutions.

I would appreciate people in the community such as yourself who have put so much effort into defending public education, to put just as much effort into listening to people who disagree with your stance and try to find common ground from which we can all work. If you continue posts referring to "scams" and such, you will simply be off-putting to those of us who see things from a different perspective. This is how our national political scene has become polarized and gridlocked...surely we can do better here in Athens than they do in Washington.

posted @ Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 22:00

Passionate, personal please such as Mr. Yarbrough's are not particularly helpful to the discussion of how to better hire and keep good teachers. We all know people of various professions who are committed to what they do, yet are suffering because of various factors of the economic times.

Instead of continually and vehemently criticizing advocates of school choice, perhaps Mr. Yarbrough and others should view the inertia of such efforts as signal flares, alerting him and others to the fact that the public education system has become overburdened with too heavy of a load, and it is in danger of sinking if some of the weight is not removed from it.

I do not believe that those who initially envisioned public education in this country could have foreseen society as we know it today, with so many single parents, multicultural and non-English speaking students, two-working-parent households, the high-profile roll of athletics and other activities in our children's lives, and the generally heterogeneous society in which we live.

The line near the end of his piece pretty much sums up the error in Mr. Yarbrough's commentary: "It would be nice if they would deign to help you fix the problems in public education, not run away from them."

Mr. Yarbrough, I have heard this type of plea for nearly four decades now...if you and so many others are so passionate about "fixing" the problems, why have you not been able to?

I will give you my opinion on the answer, which is that we too often let the discussion dwindle down to emotional pleas, instead of doing the simple exercise of examining what we want public education to realistically do, and how we can set up a model whereby it can be funded in good times as well as bad. We must accept that it is time for advocates of public and private education to peacefully and non-judgmentally work together to do what's best for the generations to come.

posted @ Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 15:24

[quote][b]thepatrioticsob[/b] - before a penny is cut on education everything else should go first ...and start with the pay for those in office ... are there abuses in the system ??? sure but they can be fixed but doing anything that keeps our kids from getting better education than we had is a great thing and not something to mess with at all ...
if this is deal's ideas then the repubatard needs to go and every one that supports him ...

It's a democracy. The people in office were elected by the citizens.

I am beginning to find a little humor in the defense of public education as a great American institution, but in the condemnation of the great American democratically elected representative government which oversees it.

I mean, I get as mad as anyone at elected officials when they make decisions with which I disagree, but the fact of the matter is that a large part of this is backlash to abuses in the system that you mention. It's bad that everything has gotten to the point it has, but it is because in the good economic times, we as a society were all spending too much and wasting too much. It is human nature. Now we are paying for it and that stinks, but it is what it is.

posted @ Monday, May 21, 2012 - 14:05

Of course, judging from the salaries of university administrators, these days "keeping up with the Joneses" makes one merely "provincial." We should all be striving to keep up with the Buffets, Gates' and Zuckerbergs.

posted @ Monday, May 21, 2012 - 13:58

@swhitney: Maybe sad to you, but not to all of us. There are more than a few signs that higher education is not the be-all, end-all answer to our cultural and economic problems. From a recent NPR report: "A new Rutgers University survey of those who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011 finds that just half of those grads are working full time."

It seems as though you use the term "provincial" to give a negative connotation. I look at it as more democratic and socially productive than aiming for a never-high-enough standard of higher education. Why is it we are working so hard to re-establish locally grown food, locally manufactured products and locally owned businesses, yet our colleges and universities are only worthy if they are globally focused?

Sure, sure, go ahead and give me all the stuff back about how we are a global society and need to compete on that level and so on and so forth. You either buy it or you don't, and I don't. I see far too many problems we need to focus on here first and I believe that this "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude in higher education does more harm than good to the members of our society who just need a fair shot at a decent livelihood.

posted @ Monday, May 21, 2012 - 13:52

[quote][b]bertisdowns[/b] - people not in our schools might think that sounds like no big deal. They have no idea the importance of these people in the life of a school and the learning experience for the children who go there. [/quote]

I believe one of the things to which many of us object in this discussion is reading a subjective statement like this one, and then reading further the statistics where you attempt to make quantifiable statements regarding AYP and "Achievement Gap." Frankly, I think too much emphasis is often placed on these measures. Of course kids are doing better on standardized tests; our schools spend a disproportionate amount of time "teaching to the test."

It bothers me to read a post making a sweeping statement about the opinions of others, saying they "...think that sounds like no big deal" and "they have no idea the importance..." I do not mean this to slight or negate the paraprofessional model, I simply point out that it appears that there continue to be assumptions that individuals are either for or against our public school system as it exists now. I believe that there are many like me who are in favor of public education and wish to wholeheartedly support it, but believe that many of it's avid supporters blindly combat any significant changes, and have lost sight of its core mission.

Perhaps the difference of opinion is merely in the definition of "big deal" and "important." In my opinion, until we as a community decide the priorities, respecting the fact that we likely all have different ones, we will continue the funding tug-of-war and our school district will never reach it's potential to equally provide opportunities to all children.

posted @ Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 22:05

"The budget is based on the policies and long-range plans the elected school board has adopted. Those are used to decide among foreign languages, the arts, parapros, International Baccalaureate, social workers, athletics and a thousand other compelling, often competing, interests. The staff put the budget together, but final responsibility for it belongs to the elected board. A board member doesn’t have to know every penny of the budget to preside over community input about it."

This is a good response to the recent full-page ad in the Banner-Herald regarding school budgeting. It seems as though many high-profile citizens believe that our public schools are suffering a budgeting "Death from a Thousand Cuts."

Many of us ask, however, if the public education system would be vulnerable to such a lethal attack if it had not burdened itself with an overwhelming battle in the first place. The ad to which I refer quotes a portion of the State constitution, stating something to the effect that it is the one of the state's first duties to fund public education. Please explain how one defines "education" in this day and age when the line between teaching children and providing social services for them and their families has become indistinguishable.

The solution is simple...go back to square one: realistically define "education" and appropriately fund those things which fall within its realm. Leave social services to agencies established to provide them.

posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 22:42

[quote][b]snarkydude[/b] - One more comment: each time we vote on a SPLOST, and add all these touchy-feely projects, we have to maintain them, and staff them out of the general fund. We need to ask our legislators to re-write the SPLOST law to give us flexibility to delete projects no longer deemed necessary, and to provide for the on-going costs of those projects we do build. The picnic basket only holds so much, guys.


The Washington Street Deck is hurting the small downtown merchants more than anything, and we are all paying for it more parking fees. That is, those who still go downtown. More and more folks I know don't even consider it an option any longer, mainly because of the parking inconvenience. So they are heading out to other counties, further weakening the tax base in ACC. But hey...

"Visitors pay half!" Good thing, since that's about all we're going to be left with by the time it's time to vote on another SPLOST.

posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 12:51

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