Archive for September, 2011

9/5: Uneducated guesses: Reforming education by committee rather than evidence

Except from Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled column

Statistician Howard Wainer doubts the salvation of public education will come from blue-ribbon commissions, a popular strategy in Georgia in which dense reports on how to fix schools stack higher than the Gold Dome. (As we discussed recently, the state is taking another swipe at funding reform, assembling its sixth commission to tackle the challenge.)

“If you try to change a very complicated system — and a school system is very complicated — the worst way is to appoint a blue-ribbon panel with a name like ‘Education 2030’ and ask them to come up with a plan to improve things,” Wainer said. “That is not going to work because we are not that smart.”

Read the entire column

More on education: No Child is no way to fix our schools

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9/4: Rewriting how we tackle metro issues

We’ve listened to you: We’re expanding our Atlanta Forward civic conversation around the region’s biggest challenges and bringing you a new, balanced slate of columnists.

By The AJC Editorial Board

Related links: Opinion Editorial Staff | Balanced views | A broader discourse

This newspaper has long been at the center of civic conversations that have helped define our community and create the Atlanta region as we know it today.

Here at the AJC, we’re always looking for ways to better fulfill this important duty. A big part of our job in this regard involves listening to you, the readers, and learning what’s on your minds and what’s important to you in your daily lives.

Based on what you’ve told us and on your reaction to the journalistic work we’ve done in recent years, we’re making some changes starting today to strengthen our opinion pages and make them more valuable to you.

In his column on this page, Editor Kevin Riley writes about the overall strategy behind what we’re …

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9/4: Opinion/Editorial staff

Here’s the story on the journalists whose names you’ll be seeing on our Atlanta Forward pages and the Sunday Editorial page. Information about AJC columnists Kyle Wingfield and Jay Bookman can be found at this link.

Related links: Tackling metro issues | Balanced views | Broader discourse


Opinion moderators

Rick Badie

minibadieHe will be overseeing new topic pages on the regional economy and leadership; the latter will focus on governance issues in our area. Badie joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as an education reporter in 1997. He has also covered the region’s immigrant communities, and for several years was the opinion columnist for the AJC’s Gwinnett edition. Until assuming his new duties last week, his column continued to appear as part of the paper’s Saturday Opinion page. Badie’s also worked as the newspaper’s feature obituary writer.

Maureen Downey

minimaureenShe has written editorials and opinion pieces for the AJC about local, state and federal education policy for 12 years. …

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9/4: Balanced views in print every day

Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is  beginning a new lineup of columnists who will bring you their insights and opinions on the issues of the day in our print edition.  Several have appeared in the AJC for some time, but there are some new faces in the mix. Their brief bios are below. Our intent is to bring you a wide range of views that is balanced along the political spectrum, with an equal number of contributors from each side of the aisle. For more on the changes, please see Editor Kevin Riley’s column.

And visit the Atlanta Forward blog every day to join the discussion of community-wide issues.

Related links: Tackling metro issues | Opinion/Editorial staff | Balanced views

SUNDAYS & WEDNESDAYS

Jay Bookman

minibookmanJay Bookman is a columnist and blogger at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has written about foreign relations; the environment; the economy; and national, state and local politics.

He’s a winner of the National Headliner Award and the Scripps-Howard National …

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8/28: The Georgia Forward forum

Shower the state with unity; it’ll grow: More than 200 voices made clear that the “Two Georgias” construct has, for far too long, tamped down initiatives and collaboration that could help us all.

The AJC Editorial Board’s Opinion

Another view: We can rise above what divides us

“We must work together all across Georgia. We must work together across regional and political lines as well.”

— Gov. Nathan Deal, in a video address to the Georgia Forward forum.

Our economy is at best stubbornly stuck in neutral, and too many elected leaders seem to agree only that the best way forward involves little more than pointing fingers and shouting accusations. That backdrop made it especially heartening to observe the more than 200 Georgians who traveled to Pine Mountain recently to discuss the future.

Over two days, participants at the Georgia Forward forum at Callaway Gardens pondered ways to help get this state back to the critical business of creating more jobs and better, more …

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8/28: Another View: We can rise above what divides us

By Amir Farokhi and A.J. Robinson

The Editorial Board’s Opinion: The Georgia Forward Forum

For the second consecutive year, more than 200 leaders gathered recently at the Georgia Forward Forum to examine our state’s challenges and discuss innovative, transformative solutions. What makes this event unique is that it draws a cross-section of the state and a peerless mix of business, government, non-profit, foundation and academic leaders, all eager to think big, collaborate and problem-solve.

The forum is Georgia Forward’s first step in building a sustained, creative conversation among Georgians. The intended result is greater statewide collaboration and bold solutions to our policy challenges. We can no longer afford to let regional or political divides prevent smart, proactive statewide policy. Indeed, the recession has exposed the shortcomings of our education system and transportation infrastructure and the absence of new ideas for our collective prosperity and …

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