Archive for the ‘Fayette County’ Category

Incumbents appear safe in Gwinnett, Clayton. So, are voters happy with direction of their schools?

The results of school board board elections show incumbents retaining their seats in Gwinnett and Clayton, suggesting that voters are not unhappy with the direction of their schools.

Or at least not unhappy enough to vote in change.

On the other hand, voters approved the controversial charter school amendment, which gives the state more power to get involved in local education decisions.

Clayton offers an interesting situation. In July,  dissatisfied Clayton residents voted out two incumbent county commissioners and the sheriff. So, you can’t argue that Clayton voters aren’t paying attention or willing to act. They have proven they will oust incumbents, who often retain their posts through Georgia due to voter inertia.

But Clayton school board members appear to be holding onto their seats based on current vote counts. Yet, the district is under a warning from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that its accreditation is being jeopardized by board feuding.

So, are …

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One answer to “Why are there 42 kids in my child’s class?”

The AJC had an interesting piece this weekend on the inexact science of predicting school enrollments. I cannot link as the story was limited to AJC subscribers and did not appear online.

The gist of the story: Despite reviews of multiple records — census, birth records, housing, dropout and migration — and mathematical formulas, schools can get enrollments wrong. The predictions become even more difficult in a recession when parents are pulling their children out of private schools. (Public school enrollment is up nationwide.)

Here is a short excerpt of the AJC piece, which is worth reading in the Sunday paper:

Cobb County recently spent $2.2 million hiring 30 extra teachers because its projection was low by 1,364 students. Gwinnett’s projection was 2,059 students low. The district is hiring 10 teachers because of the growth, and it transferred 16 teachers and 10 support staff from schools under the projection to those that were over.

DeKalb County broke a record with 98,943 …

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Surprising news out of Fayette: School chief is out



Outgoing Fayette school chief Jeff Bearden in happier days in the county. (AJC file)
Outgoing Fayette school chief Jeff Bearden in happier days in the county. (AJC file)

Breaking news out of Fayette County where the Citizen reports that Superintendent Jeff Bearden is leaving his post in January with a year’s salary.

Bearden had run afoul of some board members with his proposal to trim costs and close schools. The school chief’s exit comes after the school board voted unanimously in June to extend his contract to June 30, 2015.

But relations between Bearden and some board members have frayed as the district, like others around the state, experienced fallen revenues and enrollments. As a result, Fayette was grappling with the always emotional issue of whether to close schools and which ones.

The friction over which schools to close spilled into the public arena when Bearden wrote a lengthy and detailed letter to the Fayette Citizen last month in which  he stood by his recommendations to close Hood Avenue Primary, Fayette Intermediate and Fayette Middle …

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Are school budget cuts leaving teachers “overstressed, overburdened and overwhelmed”?

The AJC has a good story on shrinking school budgets. The question is how these deep cuts will affect the classroom and student learning.

According to the AJC story:

In their budgets for the 2013 fiscal year, which began Sunday, many of the biggest school districts cut their teaching staff, which will drive up the number of students in each classroom. Most also imposed furlough days, meaning teachers will lose time for planning lessons or hold class fewer days.

Among metro Atlanta’s biggest school systems, only Fulton County escaped significant cuts. That’s because Fulton curbed spending in prior years, shaving about $200 million since 2009. The rest of metro Atlanta’s big school districts — Atlanta and the systems in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties — slashed around $150 million collectively, cutting at least 2,000 teaching positions.

The loudest uproar was in DeKalb, where about 500 teaching positions and 600 support positions were eliminated as part of …

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Fulton and Fayette teachers win presidential medals for math, science

President Obama today named 97 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  The two Georgia winners are Carol Taylor of Fayette County schools for math and Kelly Stewart of Fulton County schools for science

Dr. Taylor teaches math at Rising Starr Middle School and was Fayette County’s top teacher of the year in 2009. I found a news story about her in which she noted, “I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, yet also a private pilot of a single engine aircraft, an advanced certified diver, windsurfer, marathon runner, student, Sunday school teacher, and piano and flute player. I approach my students with the attitude that if you can dream it, you can do it.”

Kelly Stewart is a former science teacher at Ridgeview Charter Middle School where she was teacher of the year in 2011. She is now a school data analyst for Fulton County Schools.

According to the White House:

The Presidential Award for …

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