The mission of community colleges is under siege

Rick Diguette teaches English at a local college. He is also a great op-ed writer. Here is a new piece by him.

By Rick Diguette

At the large community college where I teach, we face challenges that go to the heart of our mission as a gateway institution of higher education. Although student needs have remained relatively constant over the years, today the business of effectively meeting those needs is fraught with uncertainty. That uncertainty is driven by the struggling U. S. economy and by the fact that higher education, like it or not, is a business. Community colleges across the country, not just here in Georgia, are under increasing pressure to show that capital expenditures will translate into tangible future benefits, or degrees awarded.

The educator in me knows that the number of degrees awarded tells only part of the story. Community colleges have always served a wide variety of educational needs. Our open enrollment policies have seen to that. Some argue, however, that the community college mission has always been too ambitious. On top of that, state legislatures have been sending one very clear signal in recent years: as public revenues continue to lag so will funding for public education. In this kind of climate something has to give, and what is giving is the way we admit students to our community colleges. Open enrollment, long the hallmark of the community college system, may soon be a thing of the past.

The arguments for and against open enrollment have been debated for years. Now that state legislatures have tied funding to graduation rates, however, the debate appears to be all but over. Students applying for admission to a community college will have to prove that they are ready for college, or very nearly ready. What’s so bad about that? Nothing in a perfect world, and almost everything in the real world.

Most people would agree that a recent high school graduate seeking admission to college should be ready to do college work. But what if many are not? As reported by Jason Koebler in U. S. News & World Report, last year ACT, Inc. found that only 25 percent of the 1.62 million high school graduates who took the ACT college entrance exam met the benchmarks for English, reading, mathematics, and science. The report also showed that 28 percent of those 1.62 million high school seniors failed to meet the benchmark in even one of those subjects. It’s unlikely that this year’s test results will be significantly better.

Arne Duncan, U. S. Secretary of Education, has said “that states need to raise their academic standards and commit to education reforms that accelerate student achievement” (”A Quarter of ACT Takers ‘College Ready’ in Core Subjects” 17 Aug. 2011). While I understand where Secretary Duncan is coming from, this takes into account only those students still in the high school pipeline. Raising academic standards won’t help those who have already graduated with a sub-par education. Nor will this produce positive results overnight. Just as it has taken years to get where we are today, it will take years to get where we want to be.

Although community colleges receive thousands of applications for admission from recent high school graduates, many of our students are non-traditional. This classification includes students who delay entering college either by choice or out of necessity, students who must work full-time, and students supporting dependents. They have needs that no amount of standards raising at the high school level will address. Yet when they seek admission to a community college, they can now find themselves funneled into a one-size-fits-all placement process: prove they are college ready, or go elsewhere.

Where is elsewhere? It can be a vocational or technical college where admissions standards are typically easier to meet, and where students can obtain skills and certifications to enhance their status in the job market. Elsewhere can also be an adult enrichment program sponsored by a public library, community center, neighborhood church, or charitable organization. While these are options, they are not calculated to help students obtain admission to a liberal arts community college.

Everyone who teaches at a community college can tell you about a student who succeeded against almost insurmountable odds. A young Vietnamese woman whom I know arrived in Georgia three years ago at the age of 19 barely able to speak English. She had traveled here alone after convincing her father that she would get an education and use it to better the lives of others. A few weeks ago she became one of this year’s Jack Kent Cooke Scholars. The scholarship pays up to $30,000 a year and will allow her to pursue an engineering degree at Georgia Tech. That her journey in higher education began where I teach is a testament to the community college mission. But if it hadn’t been for our open enrollment policies, her dream of getting an education might still be only a dream.

In a perfect world Congress and the President would always work together, never allowing party affiliation to interfere with America’s economic recovery. State legislatures faced with a revenue shortfall would only consider cuts to education funding as a last resort. And high schools would prepare every student for college.

The real world is a far different place.

–From Maureen Downey for the AJC Get Schooled blog

54 comments Add your comment

Ann

May 20th, 2012
9:23 am

Just some general ideas that many surely are using already: use technology available to produce current data about job trends in communities; use technology to offer online and blended learning models for instruction; continue to partner with business to offer specialized training best delivered by staff current with trends and technology….and practice flexibility and agility within the confines of the current system, pushing those boundaries! More staff training to update instructional strategies!

Fred ™

May 20th, 2012
9:40 am

We don’t need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
-Roger Waters

Screw Education, let’s go fishing
-Sonny Perdue

One is sarcastic, the other isn’t. One dictated policy for our “great” state. One didn’t. One cut money for education while spending 19 MILLION to “Go Fish.”

One wrote great tunes and founded a legendary band, one somehow doubled his “investment” on a land scam when he left office at a time when land was down over 50%.

Vote Republican, we don’t need ethics, ethic reform, OR education. A dumb, uneducated population is a docile population and easier to steal from.

Besides, Community Colleges is mainly where ‘them people” go. ‘Them People” and the White Trash. They are too stupid to learn anyway and someone needs to make the french fries and clean up after the entitled. The money can be better spent on $64 million minor league baseball stadiums, and private interstate lanes for rich people, going fishing.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

May 20th, 2012
10:24 am

We need to beseige educRATS at the local-, state- and national-levels.

Anonmom

May 20th, 2012
10:25 am

I actually think that the role of the community college should be to properly bridge the gap between to get kids ready for college — that may not be what they were intended to do but given the dearth of information that we have that kids are graduating high school and are not college ready, they seem best suited to fill that void. Further, I think we’d do much good, in the “consequences” mind set, if school districts were actually assessed — dollar for dollar — the costs of re mediating their graduates who are not college ready.

Anonmom

May 20th, 2012
10:29 am

I’m very tired of the blame the Dems or blame the Republican stuff coming out here by various people. When you read the literature and look at No Child Left Behind –both parties are equally full of blame. The more dollars put in give more folks at the top more reason to put more money into their “pet” projects — no matter if they have a D or a R…. neither answer nor blame is in party affiliation — it’s in the massive amount of funds going in at the top without any checks and balances and without real accountability, without forensic audits and without competition. It’s a disaster that has been in the making for decades in which both parties bear equal blame and responsibility and no one has been watching out for the kids who have been the losers.

Miss Scarlett

May 20th, 2012
10:50 am

@ Dr. Spinks…I agree! We need a Leader!!!

drjd@gpc

May 20th, 2012
11:05 am

Excellent article. The Human Resources dept. at Georgia Perimeter forbids faculty from stating that they work for GPC in published articles. Why is this? A member of the Board of Regents writes a column for the Athens Banner Herald and is able to state that he is a member of the BOR. I’ve seen many articles from faculty members nationwide where their educational institution is stated.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:36 am

I predict the HR dept at GPC is gonna be pillaged by Rob & co. They made the Tricoli Reign of Terror possible.

From what I understand, the stupidity behind that rule is so the ousted regime could manage the flow of information to ensure it had correct propaganda value

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:37 am

@ fred

stop being an ass.
its Sunday morning

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:39 am

if you take a hard look at the metro area, its easy to see why we must remain an open access institution. the local HS systems have failed their duties so profoundly we are the only hope of getting many these kids pointed in the right direction.

unless we’re willing to just write off an entire generation of kids…

d

May 20th, 2012
11:41 am

I teach seniors and have high expectations of them since about 95% of them say they are going to a 2 or 4 year post-secondary institution. They, however, still want me to treat them like they are freshmen and coddle them with chance after chance to get the work done. Boys and girls, that’s not how it’s going to be next year. You might as well get used to it now. I am tired of thinking that next week’s commencement ceremony is similar to the mother bird pushing the baby bird out of the nest and hoping she flies. These young men and women that are the future of our Republic are going to fall face first if they aren’t exposed to some harsh realities before they get to college – be it the community college or a 4-year university. I can’t have students tell me “Don’t push like that, we’re still in high school.” I really can’t have higher ups in the system remind me that the students are still in high school when they are weeks away from graduating and failing a mandatory course just knowing that they will some how be “given” the passing grade.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:47 am

what puts us behind the 8 ball is a double shot of stupidity from the legislature and by extension the people of the state of Georgia. we elect those buffoons after all.

1) There is no real understanding of what we do at a very basic level. we’re not a trade school, and we’re not UGA, so what the hell are we?

2) even we don’t know exactly what we are. we’ve been so busy being “preeminent and innovative” under Jackie B and being a speed addict under Tricoli we have no institutional idea what the hell we’re supposed to be doing.

Rob gave us a huge hint Friday speaking as much as he did about us being a TEACHING institution.
Teaching instead of self promoting at a college. Can it really be true?

d

May 20th, 2012
11:48 am

@bootney – I don’t think it is necessarily the local systems that have failed students. I think the fact that the “reformers” have such a stranglehold on our educational system and have had such a stranglehold for the last decade have failed our students. I think the cartoon at this link http://bit.ly/JgBa8K best explains what NCLB and RTTT have done to us. States so hungry for federal money have bit into that apple and there is no turning back. Until we let the educators take over the reform movement and get the politicians and business people out of it, I see little hope… and again, the problem isn’t so much at the local level as it is coming down from Washington.

Just as a side note, I read a quote that a parent made to the Austin, Texas Board of Education recently: “Education is not a business, families and communities are not your market, teachers are not assembly line workers and students are not products.” Maybe if this mantra were more wide-spread we could actually improve American education.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:50 am

@ d

its an easy fix. let them to go UGA, have a good time, get placed on academic suspension.
if we’re still here, we can help them.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:53 am

@ d,

while we might disagree on a chicken or egg point (re: system vs “reformers”), I think we’re pretty much on the same page about the impact.

never before in history has the current rising generation needed to be well educated. and never before in history have we fallen so far down on the job

Prof

May 20th, 2012
11:55 am

@ drjd@gpc, May 20th, 11:05 am.

Very odd, even unprofessional. Usually institutions see their faculty’s publications as a source of pride and proof of the school’s scholarly productivity. It seems to me that there’s also an issue of academic freedom involved, since disallowing the faculty member to state where he or she teaches weakens the authority of the article.

****
I know that Chancellor Portsch (sp?) decided about 10-15 years ago to let the USG 2-year community colleges serve as preparatory schools for transfer to the other USG colleges and Universities, but I have always thought that they also had an important role in themselves for Georgia students. They’re much more than simply way-stations.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:58 am

@ prof

you’d think so, wouldn’t you?
but scholarly achievement was far less important than managing the propaganda message

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
12:07 pm

what really hurts us is the bit of tying us to grad rates. grad rates don’t accurately reflect what we do.
kids come to us, get what they need, and leave when ready. some graduate, most don’t. some pass thru in one term – others in several years.

if the state is determined to tie us to grad rates, change the HOPE rules to state you must attend a community/two year college to get fresh/soph funding. and you must graduate to get upperclassmen funding.

LongTime Teacher

May 20th, 2012
12:10 pm

Thanks Fred….The reason we are at the bottom……..Georgians don’t value education. I can’t even talk to my husband’s relatives in Boston about education in Georgia. They think our educational system is a joke. To them, I went to the mission field to teach.

Prof

May 20th, 2012
12:18 pm

@ d, May 20th, 11:41 am.

Like most University faculty, I announce an Attendance Policy on my syllabus. Mine is that if a student misses X-number of classes, he or she gets a reduced final class grade or I withdraw the student altogether –which I am allowed to do. Since it reduces the number of papers and tests for me to grade and removes the deadwood from class, I don’t hesitate.

Another of my announced policies is that for every day an assigned paper is late, I reduce the paper-grade by one grade. Two days late, two grades. Etc. If a student writes a paper on an unassigned topic (very typical for downloaded papers from the Internet) or that does not meet the assigned length, I simply hand it back ungraded and ask for another one that follows instructions.

And my University’s Disruptive Student Policy allows me to withdraw such a student from class after one warning.

I’m not at all unusual in my class rules. I hope your “coddled” students are ready to run into a buzz-saw when they enter college with those high school expectations.

EduKtr

May 20th, 2012
1:00 pm

Why does the lead article’s author refuse to acknowledge that individual effort is key to success?

If only 25% of graduating high school students are deemed “college ready,” is that the fault of taxpayers struggling to also meet their own family needs? Our existing public education system allows EVERYONE a chance at academic success.

If they will but commit themselves to pursuing it.

Ron F.

May 20th, 2012
1:17 pm

““Education is not a business, families and communities are not your market, teachers are not assembly line workers and students are not products.” Maybe if this mantra were more wide-spread we could actually improve American education.”

How very true!!

The problem with the education system is that it used to be okay to have a 50% graduation rate because there were always blue collar jobs for those who didn’t want to or couldn’t, for whatever reason, graduate from high school. Despite all the “reforms” we’ve tried, we still can’t get that number up where it should be. The problem, when all the blame is thrown around like oatmeal at a food fight, is that as a society we STILL don’t value education enough. We’ve certainly poured money and program after program into it, and the results are tepid at best. But, until we ‘reform’ the way we value education, in all corners of our society, we’ll never see the numbers we know are possible. And making it harder to get into community colleges isn’t going to help. In the short term, it might help their bottom line and success numbers to raise admission requirements, but in the long term it will continue to narrow the options for the marginal among us who truly want a chance to do something good, but who may not be among the best and brightest. We need community colleges, and our society overall will become less educated, not more, because we decide it’s time to exclude more people from admission. I spent two years at a local community college because we couldn’t afford anything else, even though I had the academic qualifications to go to a big university. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to start college, and probably wouldn’t have finished. I spent 7 years to get a 4 yr. degree as it was. This was before the big student loan rush, and I’m glad looking back that I did it as I could afford the classes. I sincerely hope we don’t exclude too many from the community colleges. They are a great alternative for the less financially able as well as those who are trying to improve their lives after spending much of it thinking they didn’t need an education.

d

May 20th, 2012
1:18 pm

@Prof…. it makes me jealous. I am still dealing with a parent who is very upset at her child’s grade on two projects at the end of the semester – both of which were so off of what was assigned…. I was generous in giving the grades on them that I did, but both were still failing grades. She is still upset that the child’s overall average dropped by a letter grade due to these two assignments.

Hillbilly D

May 20th, 2012
1:54 pm

I’m not part of the education community but I believe open enrollment at community colleges is a good thing. I think community colleges should serve several purposes.

1) As a way for someone to get an associates degree.
2) As a more affordable way to get your first 2 years in, on the way to a 4 year degree.
3) As a means to help people who want to go to college but aren’t properly prepared, for whatever reason, to get prepared.
4) As a way for someone, who is already in the workforce, to further their education, in an affordable manner. Some of these people may not be able to attend every semester, so they can go when they can.
5) For some folks, college just isn’t for them, again for whatever reason. This is a good way for them to find that out, without going head over heels in debt. Then they can make alternative plans and get on with their life.

I suspect that a lot of the push against community colleges comes from the administrative types at the 4 year schools. A lot of it is about turf protection, in my opinion.

Atlanta Mom

May 20th, 2012
2:31 pm

Fred hit the nail on the head.

Tabitha

May 20th, 2012
2:44 pm

If the needs fo the students have remained constant, why has the demand for funding increased so rapidly. The question is Are we going to provide an infinite amount of money to people to go to college who lack either the capacity or the willingness to succed?

drjd@gpc

May 20th, 2012
3:27 pm

@bootney & @Prof – thank you for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree. GPC’s HR department has been the tail wagging the dog for too long. There is a feeling that HR is not here to assist GPC employees, but to only keep us in line. Most HR employees mean well, but fear for their jobs because of the few. Those few should be rooted out. Such a move would improve morale no end.

The BOR have cut learning support English classes at community colleges, to say that those needing them should go to technical colleges. I’m not disparaging technical colleges, but their mission is different. Why should students needing learning support English be forced to start at technical colleges, then transfer to a community college before going on to a 4-year institution? Just to improve graduation and retention rates at the community colleges, not to provide the service that is part of the community college mission.

Dr. Watts is making some good changes. I truly hope he will find the time to look at HR, although I realize that Finance must be the priority. We have so many good faculty and staff at GPC. Most of us full-timers are willing to make sacrifices so that the part-timers may keep their jobs. In tough financial times, often the people who can least afford to lose a job are the first to be cut.

Good Mother

May 20th, 2012
4:16 pm

What the writer said is that students who graduate from Georgia’s high schools are unprepared for college, even a community college with an “open enrollment” policy.
Rather than wait until these kids get to community college and flunk, GA’s high schools and public schools from K up need to prepare kids by giving them a real education in what the writer calls the core “English, reading, science and mathematics.
The writer states that a foreigner was given $30,000 to educate herself. Regardless of her wonderful work ethic, her dedication and intelligence, I want my tax dollars going to honest public schools to teach our own citizens rather than handing it to a foreigner who will graduate, then take American jobs. When we do that, we are begging other countries to take us over.
The quality of our teachers has got to improve. I know why so many American children cannot pass freshman English; some of their own teachers cannot write or speak common, standard English, the kind our children will be tested on on the third grade CRCT.
Our future and our children’s future depends on the quality of education they are receiving and in America and particularly in GA, it is abysmal.

From the Inside

May 20th, 2012
4:34 pm

@drjd@gpc

You’re too late with willingness to take one for the team. The majority of term to term faculty have already been let go for fall and the remaining few that are left without their full time position were moved to part time. That is fine to get a little income but people are losing benefits. In this economy, it is even hard for a good instructor to walk into another job. I know of several people who have been term to term for more than 5 years, are heads of households and are now moving to part time. It is ridiculous because we can’t seem to get enough of a budget to hire a permanent person for a teaching position but we can put in a bogus service learning institute or give a senior level assistant their own assistant. There is always room for another $100K position but not a $38K. Doesn’t make sense. Thank goodness Rob is back to fix all this stuff.

Bill

May 20th, 2012
5:09 pm

Georgia’ commitment to educational opportunities for all its residents can be seen by comparing it to some of its neighbors.
Virginia has 8.1 million people and 23 community colleges.
North Carolina has 9.6 million people and 58 community colleges.
Florida has 19 million people, and about 135 campuses for its community colleges.
South Carolina has 4.6 million people, and like Georgia has separate technical schools (15) and community colleges (3).
Georgia has 9.8 million people and the USG site lists two 2-year schools. I was surprised to see that they list Georgia Perimeter as a four year state university. They only offer two bachelor’s degrees, so lets say three community colleges. To be fair, there are also 25 technical colleges, but there is much work to be done before work at these colleges is easily transferred to the USG system.
Virginia, North Carolina and Florida integrated their technical schools with community colleges long ago (NC calls some of them technical community colleges). We should be emulating North Carolina where nearly everyone lives within 30 minutes of a community college, not South Carolina.

yuzeyurbrane

May 20th, 2012
5:09 pm

What the professor complains about is just another manifestation of the under-the-radar move to privatization of all education. There are billions to be made by slick operators. How many of our politicians, especially at the state level, do you think are not open to corruption in this area? I suspect it has already begun all the way from public funded charter schools run by “education” contractors to online “universities” getting Federal loan proceeds from their students. Traditional public community colleges are a competitor for the same pot of funds. Wise up educators before it is too late.

Bill

May 20th, 2012
5:13 pm

Tabitha,

The change in funding is a reduction in state funding. No one is talking about infinite amounts of money. How will you determine who has the capacity and determination to succeed? The idea behind community colleges is to give everyone the opportunity.

Beverly Fraud

May 20th, 2012
5:49 pm

Quote from GM

“I know why so many American children cannot pass freshman English; some of their own teachers cannot write or speak common, standard English, the kind our children will be tested on on the third grade CRCT.”

“What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

catlady

May 20th, 2012
5:54 pm

Anonmom: dearth means “a great lack.” Is that what you meant?

Georgia has two true community colleges: Dalton and that one down in south Georgia. They offer the full spectrum of educational products.

Georgia has for so long been hamstrung by its organization of postsecondary ed, with vigorous turf-guarding by both the University system and the technical colleges. We cannot afford this! Each 2 year college needs a technical department, and these “community colleges, ” as they become, can serve as a gateway to many fields and levels.

http://img.coxnewsweb.com/C/06/98/03/image_7503986.gif

catlady

May 20th, 2012
6:34 pm

I have NO IDEA where that link came from!

TimeOut

May 20th, 2012
6:50 pm

I wish that some of the technical offerings were available part-time or in the evenings. Some of the avionics courses could be offered at night. None of them are available other than on a 9 to 5 M-F schedule. More than one of my friends in professional fields have been interested in switching to ‘blue collar’ technical work. Most cannot afford to quit working completely so as to attend classes during the day. It would be wonderful to see increased offerings in post-seconday vo-tech in the evenings, weekends, etc.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
6:54 pm

the whole stupid thing is -guess what- political.
within the BOR and the legislature, the allegiances are
1) UGA
2) the tech schools.

the whole point of making two year colleges subservient to the tech schools was the
desire to pay political debts.

I think its a great idea for us to partner -repeat, partner- with the tech schools, but not
to be subservient to them.

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
6:56 pm

@time out

I think some of it is driven by money – of the lack of it

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
7:00 pm

@ drjd

our problems are so big we can’t save our PTers.
we’re gonna be hard pressed to save ourselves

and after 5 years of no raises, I’m not sure our FTers can afford it anymore.

OldGrunt

May 20th, 2012
8:12 pm

What have local school boards added to the increased standards for public education? We have heard in recent years that local school boards have actually been a detriment to the institution for which they are supposed to be serving — to wit, the threat of losing accreditation due to ’school board’ misbehavior and wrongful involvement in school activities. Understand that these board members are elected, but so are the idiots we send to Washington.

Year after year, our kids fall further behind. We have been throwing money at the problem for at least 52 years that I have been paying taxes, so more money is not the answer. We have not seen any revamping of the basic education delivery system. Yes, we have computers in the classroom, but why not more distance learning? We have also proven that all of our teachers and test administrators cannot be trusted (as evidenced by the AJC’s timely investigative reports). Why can we not do testing on line, with the results going to a specific test evaluation center for scoring? We just have way too many administrators and bureaucrats that tend to stymie learning. In some of our systems in Georgia, it appears to be a ‘JOBS PROGRAM’.

Yes, parents should be involved, but until such time as a ’stick’ is employed to parents who are not ‘parenting’ the child, their involvement is not going to improve. Worry less about a child’s ’self esteem’ until they EARN IT!

Fred ™

May 20th, 2012
8:37 pm

bootney farnsworth

May 20th, 2012
11:37 am

@ fred

stop being an ass.
its Sunday morning
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

At booty farnsworth, KISS my ass, it’s Sunday morning. If you can’t handle the truth that’s not my fault. Georgia is last in the “57″ States of the US in education. The Republicans have been fishing the whole time and presided over the demise.

I HAVE the cash to ensure MY daughter doesn’t go to your shtty public schools. Others don’t.

TimeOut

May 20th, 2012
8:37 pm

Hey folks, let’s be careful about calling for more parent involvement. I had quite a few ‘involved’ parents. They were involved in harrassing faculty on a near-daily basis in an effort to gain unearned exceptions/perks for their offspring. I remember clearly the parent who announced that she was her daughter’s ‘best friend,’ that her daughter had never lied to her, and that I was making up everything, no matter what any other adult staff member had also witnessed. Unfortunately, her student ran away during her junior year, had a baby during that time period, and returned home to her mother, where she lives to this day. One parent, who was also a teacher in the same system, objected so vehemently to a consequence for her daughter’s cheating (the teen had admitted to and apologized for her misconduct, graciously accepting her consequence) that I received a letter from the PSC concerning an investigation that resulted in a finding of no wrongdoing on my part. That was not good enough. This parent continued to harrass board members in reference to the incident. Students regularly ‘threaten’ teachers with potential parental misconduct. After 33 years, I found an ethical, competent parent’s involvement to be a breath of fresh air. I wanted to roll out the red carpet and give him or her the seat of honor at any and every meeting. So many have so little faith in our personnel. Personnel who are performing well often experience the wrath that others may or may not have caused. I’ve seen so many parents who behave like cheating taxpayers with no worry of accountability for fraud: It’s their right and privilege to bully and otherwise abuse school faculty. This the reason for the local/state policy concerning the charges that one can receive for verbal abuse of school faculty on school grounds. This is the reason for the local/state policy/ruling that ‘didn’t hold’ concerning a teacher’s right to effect the removal of up to two students permanently, due to severe chronic discipline problems. Many of the new teachers on staff know nothing of these past decisions. There is no real tenure anymore in many Georgia systems; there is much abuse of RIF. With the heavy load of hostility from the general public, the lack of support on every front, we can expect many to look elsewhere for career fulfillment as the decades pass.

Archie

May 20th, 2012
8:38 pm

I went to Georgia Perimeter back when it was DeKalb Junior College and it was run by the Dekalb County Public Schools ( I kid you not!). Then as now, it had an “open door” admissions policy (which brought a lot of heavy-handed jibes from people who went to other schools). Despite this, the normal attrition rate took care of what the admissions policy didn’t. By the end of the second quarter, those who weren’t serious about academics had either (A.) Quit; (B.) Flunked out; (C.) Joined the Army or (D.) Ran off with the love of their lives. I do remember DeKalb had a very good faculty and while you don’t go to a community college expecting Yale, there was a definite dedication to its academic mission. It did a good job of getting me ready to go on to one of the more “respectable” colleges in Georgia

Fred ™

May 20th, 2012
8:39 pm

Oh and Booty? I know more about higher education than you ever imagined. My daighter ALSO can attend FREE one of the best Universities in the WORLD because of my “knowledge” of higher education.

When you talk crap about this, it’s apparent. You have opinions, I have facts. But you go on with your bad self………

Atlanta Mom

May 20th, 2012
9:17 pm

Fred, Fred, Fred,
I think Booty was trying on the “moderator of the day” hat. Hope he had his fun.

Dc

May 20th, 2012
9:37 pm

Maureen, it would be such a breathe of fresh air if maybe weekly this blog focused on what teachers are doing that is making a positive difference…perhaps even an idea sharing approach. Seems honestly to have devolved into a “gripe about the politicians” blog…which doesnt appear to be doing much other than embittering some teachers, and then some taxpayers.

Surely there are some people doing positive things that should be shared?

Tired

May 20th, 2012
10:47 pm

Not only is CC a good “bridge” between high school and college, it can also be a very economical way to get in 2 years of college before transferring to a 4-year school.

Anonmom

May 20th, 2012
10:48 pm

catlady — maybe poor choice of words… I like the post about the comparison between GA, NC & SC… I wish GA would emulate NC on all sorts of educational fronts. To Fred — Republicans have been fishing for a few years but Roy Barnes was a dem and DeKalb has been overrun with Dems protecting turf — No Child Left Behind has wrecked havoc on the schools and that was very bi-partisan although passed under Bush (but nearly with both parties full support). Both parties share the blame for where we are. The worst thing that has happened in GA is the back down on Barnes’ class size reductions…. that was an awesome move on his part. NC has done a super job on so many fronts that if we could just do what they do, verbatim, curriculum, teacher certification, testing, community/tech schools, etc. I think we would be legions ahead of where we were are. One thing I think about occasionally, is how is it that Georgia only has one really large city? Florida, Texas, NY, California, Pennsylvania, etc. have more than one large city… yet we have Atlanta and then countryside…. it’s actually a bit odd that none of our other “cities” have grown very big ….

bootney farnsworth

May 21st, 2012
6:23 am

@ Fred

feel better pumpkin?

would you like to get any other four letter words and stupid political yammering off your chest?
maybe throw in some Obama campaigning or proclaim your support for gay marriage?

let out son, let it out.

bootney farnsworth

May 21st, 2012
6:30 am

oh, and Fred….

how’s that Obama presidency working out for you?
big raises?
low gas prices?
strong real estate market?
better educational standards overall?

Fred?
Fred?

must be busy driving in the “rich lane” since he has so much money he doesn’t need
our crappy schools.

oh, and Freddy…
you’re right about one thing. based on your posts, ANY knowledge you have of higher
ed is definitely more than I imagined. so score one for you, big fella.