How about this pledge: We will not destroy public education

If you want theater of the absurd, tune into these final hours of the General Assembly. With the exception of the ban on the texting-while-driving bill that passed the House this morning, the rest of the day has been a lot of posturing and establishment of political cred, most notably the bill mandating that Georgia students study the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States and the Georgia flag.

Can someone give the legislators the address of the real world? And directions to it?

With all the problems facing this state in education, why they are wasting time on a bill designed to give them bragging rights that they are more patriotic than the next guy?

Has anyone mentioned to them that we are raising class size, laying off teachers and heading over the proverbial cliff? Yet, they are tacking on new, nebulous mandates?

The bill, SB 518, adds the requirement onto an existing mandate that students study federal and state governments and history. This bill already passed the Senate, so it now goes to Gov. Sonny Perdue.

If we are going to teach the history of the pledge and the flag, let’s teach all the politics around both of them. Georgia’s flag history is not a pretty story, although I suspect that’s how legislators want it presented in class.

By the way, if we are going to mandate what Georgia students learn, on the top of my list is reading, writing and arithmetic.

39 comments Add your comment

FultonTeacher

April 27th, 2010
1:55 pm

Chalkboard Flu

April 27th, 2010
1:58 pm

You don’t see thousands of teachers calling in sick today and protesting outside the gold dome, do you?

chuck

April 27th, 2010
2:02 pm

As a social studies teacher, I actually do this about half way through every year. I look for signs that the pledge has lost its effect with students which usually happens right after Christmas. I talk to my students about what the pledge means. I play the Red Skeleton version for them and then we say the pledge together again. I have no problem with that, but I’m a bit more concerned about what Purdue is trying to do to education on his way out the door.

Teacher&mom

April 27th, 2010
2:06 pm

catlady

April 27th, 2010
2:10 pm

AMEN, please God!

pay attention folks

April 27th, 2010
2:36 pm

“Can someone give the legislators the address of the real world? And directions to it?”

I’m afraid they are hopelessly lost.

Jordan Kohanim

April 27th, 2010
2:37 pm

Sigh.

This tells us how out of touch they are. I’m watching my 11th graders sweat over this EOCT, and these guys aren’t taking the time to secure their constitutionally promised “Quality Based Education.” Who knows what awaits my kids in the future. Who knows what awaits their kids. I guarantee if Sonny had his way there would be no public education.

The problem with politics is that it is full of politicians.

Kira Willis

April 27th, 2010
2:53 pm

Jordan,
Keep on the lookout for people running who are not politicians.

Jordan Kohanim

April 27th, 2010
3:08 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Neil Sullivan, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: How about this pledge: We will not destroy public education http://bit.ly/bCJ7Vm [...]

James

April 27th, 2010
3:34 pm

Forcing students to espouse a religious belief (the only reason for the bill) has no place in public education. Just “Good Ole Boy” politics.

@ harold

April 27th, 2010
3:35 pm

There’s always a political agenda when it comes to public education, and it’s rarely about reading, writing or arithmetic.

Allen

April 27th, 2010
3:43 pm

Sonny has been in office 8 years, almost. Can anyone point to a single positive accomplishment?

Ole Guy

April 27th, 2010
3:44 pm

Perhaps my basic education goes back to a long-gone time of legislative sanity…it seems I recall this “patriotic” stuff being covered in 9th grade civics.

In reality, these legislators, rather than tread on more-pressing issues, seem content to create their own work…THIS IS A SAD, SAD PERIOD IN GA HISTORY. Historically, I believe Georgia started as a colony for deadbeats…seems to be reverting to the origins.

Proud Black Man

April 27th, 2010
3:47 pm

Georgia is a deep south state, the white population fled the democratic party en mass when blacks received equal rights, republicans are in control of the state, republicans LOVE to pander to the lowest common denominator, uneducated white people often vote against their self-interests rather then siding with the democratic party, the racist white right is more concerned about President Obama’s birth certificate, hasn’t that been established?, then bringing jobs to their constituency, and the constituency is either (1) too racist or (2) too ignorant to realize that they are being played. Does this answer your questions?

Booklover

April 27th, 2010
4:00 pm

This state gets sadder and sadder every day. We have huge problems in GA and the legislators are focusing on minor resume-polishing such as this, which just shows how out of touch they are.

Proud Black Man is right. I’m a white girl and I’m completely embarrassed by the ignorant white trash that runs this state. For shame. At least in my home state (IL), when we had a corrupt, ineffective POS governor, he was unequivocally kicked out of office by BOTH political parties.

Legislators, spend your time FIXING PROBLEMS, or volunteer to go fight in Afghanistan or Iraq with my students’ parents. Maybe that will set your priorities straight as to what is important.

RBN

April 27th, 2010
4:01 pm

As long as we keep electing these folks they will keep underfunding public education, promoting vouchers, and hiding behind whatever flag is available. Reality? Not under the Gold Dome.

irisheyes

April 27th, 2010
5:21 pm

“Can someone give the legislators the address of the real world? And directions to it?”

See, the problem there is that they’d actually have to WANT to go to the real world. And, I think we’ve all seen that the LAST place the legislators want to be is the real world.

(BTW, Maureen, have you heard anything about a protest at Shiloh Middle in Gwinnett calling for “No More White Teachers”? There’s rumors floating at my school, but no one seemed to have any info.)

Puddin Tain

April 27th, 2010
5:23 pm

I hope the good old boys and girls under the Gold Dome are reading these comments.

Maureen Downey

April 27th, 2010
5:27 pm

Have not heard about such a protest but will inquire.
Maureen

Maureen Downey

April 27th, 2010
5:38 pm

Just checked and was told MACE may have been out there last week. Dr, Trotter, can you confirm and tell us what this was about?
Maureen

TeacherTeacher

April 27th, 2010
5:53 pm

Well said! Politicians should not dictate the how the education system works….it is never about what is best for children. It’s all about what is best for their next political campaign.

Proud Black Man

April 27th, 2010
6:01 pm

“BTW, Maureen, have you heard anything about a protest at Shiloh Middle in Gwinnett calling for “No More White Teachers”?”

Jai

April 27th, 2010
6:39 pm

Education should always, always be a top priority. I don’t understand this Gov. and am so glad his time is coming to an end. At this point it is up to us to pay attention this election season and change some things. They can’t get the office if we don’t vote them in. They are going to work hard for my vote this time around. They work for us, not the opposite.

the prof

April 27th, 2010
6:48 pm

PBM is not black folks, don’t buy into his comments

@ harold

April 27th, 2010
7:12 pm

And teachers thought Barnes was bad. Have teachers, their friends, families, church members, and neighbors had enough of this administration? Only teachers are left to stand up for students.

Teaching in dekalb

April 27th, 2010
7:25 pm

I transferred from a low performing school to a high performing school because I had my own children to raise and the stress of working in a low performing school was taking away from my own family. What a difference it was to teach motivated students with every advantage. My school is always lauded for achievement. We have a wealthy PTA. We don’t have Central Office personnel breathing down our necks. I admire anyone who teaches in schools that have low performing students, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.

bootney farnsworth

April 27th, 2010
7:28 pm

I got no problem with requiring kids to learn about patriotism, the pledge, and all that good stuff. American kids should know more,
not less about the history and politics of this nation.

I just wonder who’s gonna be around to teach it to them? and will
they get more money (ie merit) if their class can say it faster than
the next class?

bootney farnsworth

April 27th, 2010
7:30 pm

why does Sonny’s approach to education remind me of the Skopes
money trials?

Proud Black Man

April 27th, 2010
7:49 pm

@ the prof

“PBM is not black folks, don’t buy into his comments’

The clairvoyant skills of some of these bigot tea-baggers never fails to amaze me,

Let's stop lying shall we?

April 27th, 2010
7:59 pm

First lie to knock off the books is that schools can do nothing to control who walks through their doors.
Big, big, lie. You might not control the who, but you sure as heck can control how they behave.

For example, how many people are aware that an employer has to give an employee 20 hrs per yer to attend school conferences?

That’s at least ten times a school could require a parent to take off work and mandate a parent come to a conference to deal with a chronically disruptive child’s behavior. All it takes is a not saying the parent is required to come to the school with the child, and failure to show up is grounds for the child’s suspension. You don’t want to invest an hour of time in your child’s life? Fine, invest three days then, and let other children learn.

Make it more inconvenient to not discipline your child than discipline your child by making the parent bear the burden of poor parenting choices, and you’ll see a change in at least some parents.

the prof

April 27th, 2010
8:02 pm

PBM is showing is true color……

no mas

April 27th, 2010
9:02 pm

Told my graduating senior about the requirement to study the pledge, and the reaction was [ironic smirk on face of graduating senior): “I learned everything I ever wanted to know about sausage making when I was a page two years ago…”

Proud Black Man

April 27th, 2010
9:16 pm

“For example, how many people are aware that an employer has to give an employee 20 hrs per yer to attend school conferences?”

Isn’t your moniker “Let’s stop lying shall we?”

Just a Thought

April 27th, 2010
9:48 pm

This is so ridiculous that I am led to believe they are doing this on purpose. I can’t let myself believe that they are seriously giving attention to such trivial pursuits while we are in the middle of one of the biggest public education melt downs in recent history. At least if I know they are sabotaging our schools on purpose I can take comfort in the fact that they are not that inept.

Atlanta mom

April 28th, 2010
7:56 am

This ranks right up there with the Legislature wanting to determine school start dates. So much for small government. We must all be grateful that they only meet 40 days a year and not year round. Think of the damage they could do in an entire year.

fred

April 28th, 2010
8:10 am

And Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned!

octex

April 28th, 2010
12:33 pm

I think nothing is wrong with saying the pledge of allegiance. But in these rough times, is this really a priority?

Lisa B.

April 28th, 2010
7:55 pm

I believe most of the items in Sonny’s “new” bill are already covered in our curriculum. Elementary students learn about the Revolutionary War, the U.S. flag, etc. High school covers it again. Georgia Studies is taught in 8th grade. The Georgia flag is discussed at length. Please quit wasting time in the Gold Dome and fix some problems!