Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

1/23: Cuts in education

Moderated by Maureen Downey
With the Legislature in session, we can expect fierce debates over how to improve education in the state. In my weekly column, I discuss what some legislators think about cuts in education, while a guest columnist wonders about the disconnect between Georgia’s standards and its performance.

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1/22: College consolidation in Georgia

The AJC Editorial Board

The pain and challenges of merging eight campuses must lead to benefits greater than financial savings. The quality of higher education and access to it must improve for Georgia students.

Ever since the GI Bill flooded campuses with thousands of new students, America’s colleges have followed one model — a growth model. But, as Thomas Longin, board president of the Society for College and University Planning, said, “Everyone is real clear now that the new normal doesn’t look anything like a growth model, and, no matter what else you do, you are going to have to consolidate programs.”

To its credit, Georgia has embraced that new economic reality sooner than most states, taking the unprecedented and unpopular action of consolidating eight colleges into four. In doing so, however, the state has to ensure that consolidation leads to improved quality at its reshaped institutions.

The University System has to communicate that the pain caused …

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1/9: No Child Left Behind: Hit or miss?

Moderated by Maureen Downey
The federal No Child Left Behind Act turned 10 on Sunday, a birthday that is not being met with many congratulations or good wishes. We devote today’s education page to why the landmark legislation and its standards-based accountability provisions have proved so consequential and, in some people’s estimation, so challenging to America’s public education system.

Read my column, an op-ed piece by Neal McCluskey and comment.

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12/12: A question of quality

Moderated by Maureen Downey

In a guest column today, a lawmaker from Smyrna says the cuts to the HOPE scholarship are hurting the students who need the most help going to college.

In my column, I talk about National Board Certification for teachers and Georgia’s attitude toward it. Tell us what you think.

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11/28: Reform and how best to do it

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today’s theme is reform and how best to do it. I discuss the state’s pilot program to better evaluate its teachers, including a controversial proposal to ask even young students to review their teachers.

In the guest column, a school chief says reform will never work if we don’t involve teachers.

Read what we have to say and tell us what you think.

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11/21: The value of a degree

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today is a college page, with an interview I did with the author of a new book about how to be yourself and still get into college. There is also a commentary on the sustaining value of a degree and the pre-eminence of U.S. campuses.

Read the opinions and then comment here or on the Get Schooled blog.

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11/14: Setting climates for learning

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today, two teachers talk about the role of parents, but from different perspectives.

Shekema Silveri, who just won the Oscar of teaching, talked to me about her calling to teach in classrooms in which children need another mother.

In another commentary, a teacher in a suburban school calls on parents to get more involved in their children’s education.

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11/13: Backing our schools when it counts

By AJC Editorial Board

Despite a citizen disquiet marked by widespread disdain for most any public institution, last week’s E-SPLOST election results and other recent events prove voters and taxpayers are still willing to back our schools when it counts.

That’s encouraging news for the public schools that educate 9 of 10 Georgia children. Georgia’s Constitution demands that an “adequate” public education be provided for each child. And never has that promise more needed to be fulfilled.

“Yes” votes approved education special purpose local option sales taxes in the cities of Atlanta, Buford and Decatur, and in the counties of Cherokee, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett and Henry. The SPLOSTS are projected to bring about $3.2 billion into those districts during the next five years.

The elections showed voters could put aside skepticism or disbelief that the SPLOST proceeds would be well-spent. Now it’s up to school boards and administrators to make …

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11/04: Should voters approve SPLOST for schools?

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Up to now, most metro Atlanta voters have been happy to tax themselves an extra penny for their schools. But the special purpose local option sales tax — SPLOST to friends — could face more resistance in places where it is up for renewal. SPLOSTs are on the ballot in Atlanta, Buford and Decatur, and in Cherokee, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett and Henry counties.

Ernest Brown, a businessman and DeKalb County  parent, plans to vote yes on the measure.

Rick Callihan, a small business owner and writes the DunwoodyTalk blog, plans to vote no.

What do you think?

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11/2: Dealing with the farm labor gap

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia has a severe farm labor gap. State officials have proffered a potential solution: Put to work nonviolent inmates who volunteer to pick fruits and vegetables. Inmates could earn money. Crops won’t wither, as was the case this year.

Today’s guest columnist touts the benefits of most prison labor,  while a farmer who experienced a similar plan this summer offers his views.

Can prisoners take the place of  farm laborers?

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