Archive for October, 2010

AJC verifies poster’s contention that school board member and candidate have arrests in their backgrounds. Voters will have to decide if offenses deserve ballot box reprimand.

Here is the promised news story following up on the past arrests of current DeKalb school board member Zepora Roberts — arrested for picketing related to a civil rights protest –  and District 3 hopeful Corey E. Wilson, whose most recent arrest was due to domestic violence. Thanks again to the posters who alerted us to these arrests.

This is an excerpt from the news story:

Records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday show District 3 candidate Corey Wilson was accused of kicking his wife and putting her in a headlock in 2006. However, she later decided to not prosecute.

Wilson and his wife both referred comments to campaign spokesman Will Sellers.

“It was an argument over a financial matter. There was no physical contact,” Sellers told the AJC. “His mother had just passed away and emotions were running high. But the important thing is he was not convicted and there was no violence.”

However, courts records show Okevia Wilson’s teenage daughter witnessed Corey …

Continue reading AJC verifies poster’s contention that school board member and candidate have arrests in their backgrounds. Voters will have to decide if offenses deserve ballot box reprimand. »

Expect news tomorrow that the Georgia high school graduation rate shot up

I think this means the state high school graduation rate rose by a notable percentage statewide and at these three schools in particular. The governor and the school chief would not take their show on the road to announce  so-so news.  This very public and very broad sweep on Tuesday suggests that Sonny Perdue and the state have something to celebrate.

One of these schools has not yet told its students the governor is coming tomorrow and I was torn about listing that school, but my teenager assured me that no one under 17 reads newspaper blogs so I feel reassured:

Here is the release:

Gov. Sonny Perdue and state Superintendent of Schools Brad Bryant will make a series of surprise announcements at three Georgia high schools Tuesday.

The high schools are North Hall in Hall County, Eagles’ Landing in Henry County and Glynn Academy in Brunswick.

Continue reading Expect news tomorrow that the Georgia high school graduation rate shot up »

DeKalb school board candidate Corey E. Wilson: Response coming tomorrow. It ought to be today.

I just received a call from the Corey E. Wilson campaign saying that the District 3 school board candidate would issue a statement tomorrow  about revelations of several past criminal arrests and that the Corey Wilson of today has matured since those police incidents, some of which involve family matters and occurred when he was in his twenties.

I noted that at least one arrest was in recent times, 2006, and that I hoped Wilson would address that offense since he was in his mid-thirties then.

I told Wilson’s rep that they ought to consider issuing a response today as the news of his criminal arrests are now online and that the information will move quickly. The campaign aide said he would talk to Wilson about issuing some sort of statement today.

Again, when I get a statement, I will post.

Continue reading DeKalb school board candidate Corey E. Wilson: Response coming tomorrow. It ought to be today. »

Should criminal acts 30 years earlier haunt an elected official today? DeKalb school board member is about to find out. And will revelations of arrest records of other candidates impact election now?

Will Jesse "Jay" Cunningham's past haunt him in the Nov. 2 election?

Will Jesse "Jay" Cunningham's past haunt him in the Nov. 2 election?

UPDATED MONDAY: Thanks to tips from Get Schooled posters, the AJC is looking into the  arrest records of other DeKalb school board candidates. After checking out his arrest in 2006 and his mugshot, I have asked Corey Wilson for a statement about the arrest. I will post if he sends me one. Otherwise, I will post a link to the news story once it is online.
Maureen

Is an elected official’s wrongdoing 30 years ago relevant today? That has to be the question DeKalb voters are asking after the AJC story today about incumbent District 5 school board member Jesse “Jay” Cunningham’s arrest in 1982 for stealing $12,500 from a McDonald’s he managed. At the time, he was 23, old enough to know better.

But a lot can happen to a person in 30 years, so I am not sure voters will be swayed, especially those who believe in redemption and second chances. (I will be honest; I am not one of those folks. I would be concerned as a …

Continue reading Should criminal acts 30 years earlier haunt an elected official today? DeKalb school board member is about to find out. And will revelations of arrest records of other candidates impact election now? »

Is Jane Austen being pushed aside by Jodi Picoult? And isn’t it time to refresh school reading lists?

My two oldest children saw the 1993 novel “The Giver” on their school reading lists in fifth through ninth grade. It showed up so often that I began to wonder if the school system earned a percentage of the sales.

In talking about it with a teacher friend, she maintained there’s  nothing wrong with students reading a book in multiple classes over the years as they likely gain a more a nuanced understanding with each reading. I countered that it didn’t matter how many more layers students could uncover, there’s a boredom factor in revisiting the same book in several classes.

I wonder how schools set their reading lists and whether teachers compare note. Do middle school and high school teachers confer on reading lists?  (I do appreciate that “The Giver” is a current title and that it resonates with young readers.)

Is it time to update school reading lists with modern fiction or should be stick with Jane Austen?

Is it time to update school reading lists with modern fiction or should we stick with Jane Austen?

I think we lose kids by foisting dusty tomes on them that don’t …

Continue reading Is Jane Austen being pushed aside by Jodi Picoult? And isn’t it time to refresh school reading lists? »

Fayette County school board: Post 5 race

Noted for its excellent schools, Fayette has to figure out how to sustain them in this tough economy. We asked both candidates in the Post 5 race to discuss the challenges, but only Republican Sam Tolbert responded. (We tried to reach Laura Dillon Burgess six times to no avail; she responded to neither e-mails nor calls.)

1. Can Fayette still continue to have good schools in view of the deep budget cuts?

Sam Tolbert is the Republican Fayette school board candidate in Post 5.

Sam Tolbert is the Republican Fayette school board candidate in Post 5.

It would, indeed, be challenging to maintain the status quo given extreme budget cuts. The board and school superintendent would need to monitor expenditures year to year forecasting budget models three  to five years out based on forecasted school tax revenues. Decisions on expenditures would need to be very conservative and monies saved would need to be used as a set-aside for future year budgets. Creativity on how to get by with less would need to be adopted by everyone in the school system including …

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Forsyth school board: Two candidates in the District 2 race

Forsyth County boasts great schools but faces new pressures from the vast growth in the region. We asked the two District 2 school board candidates to answer these three questions related to those challenges:

1. How much of Forsyth’s academic success owes to its higher-than-average socio-economics? Is the system doing as well by its students as it should?

2. Is the system taking sufficient measures to deal with growth? What more should it be doing?

3. What innovations would you like to bring to Forsyth County schools?

Democrat Camille Fareri is an assistant professor of literacy at Brenau University in Gainesville. She has a doctorate in education and more than 30 years in the field. She is the mother of two  daughters and the grandmother of one boy.

Camille Fareri is the Democratic candidate for Forsyth District 2 school board seat.

Camille Fareri is the Democratic candidate for Forsyth District 2 school board seat.

1. Forsyth County has made tremendous strides in the last two decades. Much of its academic success may be owed to its higher-than-average …

Continue reading Forsyth school board: Two candidates in the District 2 race »

Trying again: Here is the Arne Duncan response to former Mayor Franklin’s plea for him to enter CRCT fray

Here is U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s response to former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin who sought his help to shore up the battered reputation of APS in the wake of the state CRCT erasure probe.

I am sorry for the mishap earlier that led to the blog disappearing, but it crashed when I attempted to insert the letter into it.

So, the Duncan letter is now in this Google doc.

In essence, Duncan uses the letter to stress how much Beverly Hall has boosted NAEP scores in APS,  but he says the probe into  CRCT erasures needs to go forward to ensure the integrity of student performance measures.

Continue reading Trying again: Here is the Arne Duncan response to former Mayor Franklin’s plea for him to enter CRCT fray »

Should Gwinnett have won the Broad Prize given its resistance to charter schools?

I am on my way this morning to a meeting of the state Charter Schools Commission (10 a.m. in the Twin Towers, 1414 west tower, if anyone wants to come.) The agenda includes a strategy session, and I am interested to see what the strategies might be and whether  they will address the pending state Supreme Court ruling on the commission’s legitimacy.

In the meantime, I’d like to direct you to education researcher Rick Hess’ short blog this week raising concerns about the Broad Prize going to Gwinnett County, which he describes as anti-charter system. (An overdue hat tip here to Attentive Parent for mentioning the Hess commentary on the blog this morning.)

Hess can speak for himself on that issue but I want to raise another one here: What I find interesting about Gwinnett and its achievements — which are real and verifiable — is that the district has not jumped on many fads or broken new ground. It has flourished under the strong hand of a strong superintendent, whose main talent …

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If students don’t want to hear prayers over PA system, they can “put their fingers in their ears.”

With the testing pressures and economic woes battering public education today, why do so many school leaders wander into First Amendment minefields and take on the explosive issue of the church/state divide?

Administrators of yet another high school –  Soddy-Daisy High School in suburban Chattanooga –  have been permitting Christian prayers over the loudspeaker at football games and graduation ceremonies. Contacted by some frustrated students from the school, the Freedom from Religion Foundation has taken up their cause and warned the Hamilton County superintendent about the “unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.”

Under the law, students are free to bow their heads and pray in school. As the U.S. Department of Education states, students may “read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour or other non-instructional time.” But a public school can’t compel students …

Continue reading If students don’t want to hear prayers over PA system, they can “put their fingers in their ears.” »