State leaders quietly undermine public education

UPDATE: Gwinnett County schools have won the 2010 Broad Prize, the highest honor awarded to an urban district.

“Gwinnett County has demonstrated that an unwavering focus across a school system – by every member of the district and the community – can lead to steady student improvement and achievement,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in announcing the award. “Districts across the country should look to Gwinnett County as an example of what is possible when adults put their interests aside and focus on students.”

More than half of Gwinnett’s students are African-American or Hispanic, and half are eligible for subsidized lunches.

For the second year in a row, the Gwinnett County school system has been honored as one of the five best urban districts in the country by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

If Gwinnett goes on to win the top prize, which will be announced today in New York, Gwinnett seniors will share$1 million in college scholarships. That would be an impressive achievement for Gwinnett, particularly in a state where education reform has come so slowly.

It’s too bad, then, that Gwinnett public schools and those who lead them don’t get much respect closer to home.

In 2007, for example, the duly-elected Gwinnett school board decided against granting charter-school status to Ivy Prep, a proposed all-girls middle school and high school in Norcross, in part because it questioned the value of such a school. The state Board of Education then decided to override Gwinnett’s decision, approving creation of Ivy Prep as a state charter school and eventually diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars in state aid to the school from Gwinnett public schools.

That was quite a break from tradition in Georgia, where public education has always been delivered by local government, not the state. In fact, the Georgia Supreme Court is now considering whether state officials overstepped their bounds by making such a major change in policy without first seeking voter approval through a constitutional amendment.

The court’s decision is likely to turn on legal arguments and debate over the current wording of the constitution. However, the legal fight could have been avoided altogether if legislators had asked voters to approve the significant shift in philosophy in the first place.

But that’s not going to happen. Rather than put the question to voters directly, state leaders are using a piecemeal, low-key effort to dramatically alter public education in this state without anyone noticing.

Take vouchers. In every state where the question of school vouchers has been put to a vote, the concept has been defeated. So Georgia backers of the proposal have taken an incrementalist approach.

In 2007, the Legislature passed a voucher program limited to special-needs students. In 2008, it came very close to passing a voucher program for students in poor-performing schools, and in 2009 the Senate Education Committee approved a statewide voucher program that would not have required voter approval.

Two years ago, legislators also approved a measure that in effect allows taxpayers to pay their state taxes directly to private schools. For every dollar contributed to a private school scholarship program, a dollar is deducted from your state taxes. Last year, the program diverted $25 million from state coffers to private schools.

And in 2004, Gov. Sonny Perdue tried to weaken a long-standing constitutional provision that bans the use of state money “directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.”

Without the change, Perdue and others claimed, lawsuits were already coming down the pike that would make it illegal for groups such as the Salvation Army, YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs to sign contracts with the state to provide social services.

Opponents, however, claimed that the proposed change was actually intended to allow payment of school vouchers to religious institutions, a charge that Perdue and others denied vehemently.

Fine, opponents said. Amend the resolution to clarify that it doesn’t address vouchers, and we’ll support it. Perdue refused, and the bill died.

Six years later, the Salvation Army and other groups are still contracting with the state, and those trying to whittle away at public education in Georgia still have their carving knives out.

223 comments Add your comment

Bubba Bob

October 19th, 2010
9:44 am

So money is the issue?

I think parental involvement is the only issue. We throw money at this problem when kids need parents who care about their education and work with them and encourage them.

Jay

October 19th, 2010
9:51 am

Bubba, I agree that parental involvement would go a LONG way. But how do you generate it and sustain it?

BlahBlahBlah

October 19th, 2010
9:51 am

Vouchers = more freedom. So I can fully understand why Bookman would be against it.

It makes *so* much more sense to handcuff a child to a school based solely on where the parents choose to live. But if we only could throw more money down the rathole, we just *know* we can solve the problem!

Thankfully, we home school. I’ll let someone else deal with the failed social experiment that is our public school system.

SPC

October 19th, 2010
9:59 am

Absolutely right. The easy answer is to throw money at education. That’s been going on for generations. The hard task is to educate, and that seems to have been stalled for quite some time. It’s the parents, not the money or the teachers that are the problem. What do you think the crime rate in Atlanta would be if everyone had a high school education?

seeingsea

October 19th, 2010
10:03 am

Let’s say vouchers get passed. What if everyone wanted to go to the same ‘best’ school? Schools and teachers all over the state would be fired or closed. Maybe we should be asking more of our students. Looking at the Ed. systems in the rest of the world, ours is a joke. Multiple choice tests is a staple of our system–they’re a joke!

Not My Real Name

October 19th, 2010
10:10 am

If the Clayton County School Board ran things all would be well in Georgia.

Parents are responsible for their kids education. The public schools provide opportunity to learn. It’s up to the individual student to take advantage of the resources provided. Not all kids can cut the mustard. The world needs french fry technicians too.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
10:14 am

Two years ago, legislators also approved a measure that in effect allows taxpayers to pay their state taxes directly to private schools. For every dollar contributed to a private school scholarship program, a dollar is deducted from your state taxes. Last year, the program diverted $25 million from state coffers to private schools.

I have to say I was pretty surprised at this little gem when I read about it — the same week that teachers got laid off at the OB’s school and headline after headline was talking about how the state can’t balance the budget.

It’s always been my theory that the GOP secretly whittles away at the education budget — pretty much behind the eyes of the voters so they can justify the need for more private schools and pour more money into those institutions — they take away money from the public schools without anyone really knowing about it, then the public schools start to decline, then they can say — see? this is why we need private schools.

It’s GOP magic tricks — sadly, it works though because the sheep are too blind to see it.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
10:16 am

“Parents are responsible for their kids education.”

Maybe back in the pioneer days, but actually it’s up to the schools to provide education for our children. Otherwise we’d all be home schooling our kids.

Jefferson

October 19th, 2010
10:17 am

Pay your taxes, spend what’s left on any school you want to — total freedom, vouchers are for those who want wellfare for their personal choices.

EducatingthePublic

October 19th, 2010
10:18 am

Let’s be clear about one thing: Ivy Prep cannot be taking money from public schools as it is itself, a public school (operating on less funds than traditional public schools, while we’re on the subject of money).

That school is an excellent school and I would imagine you’d have a hard time finding a parent of an Ivy Prep student to agree that the school’s existence is somehow a bad thing for education in Gwinnett.

But here’s the broader picture. The legislature isn’t just looking out for Gwinnett (which is already a more successful than average school system). They have to worry about educating the public. And since not every system is doing as well as Gwinnett, there are parents around the state who need other, immediate, options.

And let’s stop making it sound like they play favorites to the private schools. They tried to pass public school choice too but were thwarted at every turn. And the $25 million donated to non profits who give out scholarships (donations are not allowed to go directly to private schools) amounts to less than one quarter of one percent of what we spend on public education. That’s hardly a threat or the big difference maker.

Thogwummpy

October 19th, 2010
10:20 am

You know, I’m sick of Public Education being treated as a sacred cow; because it’s whole mission is a fraud. WHAT?!?!? Yeah, that’s right…and if you don’t like it, listen up. Educators just loooooove to say that they are ‘preparing students for their future’. Right? WRONG. If so, they’d be getting a healthy dose of economic and financial curriculum—instead, schools are virtually sterile of that topic. In a free market system, they’d be given the other side of the debate; and actually recieve insight as to why Capitalism is good and effective, along with a criticism of socialism and why it’s an implosive model (kids get nary a word of that truth). Moreover, business courses should be taught, as well as some education about job market requirements along with the pay scale of industries. THIS would prepare kids for life much better than the pantheon of floopy, meaningless, “feel-good” courses they get. The fact that a teenager graduates high school and can’t even balance a checkbook or read a credit report, is an absurdity in America! BUUUUUUUUT, if a person is educated to understand economics, some finance, and become more self-reliant—-then the LESS LIKELY THEY ARE TO BECOME DEMOCRAT VOTERS. And THAT is the horrid mission of Public Education. Seriously, think about how many English Lit courses you took…and not ONE hour given to help you manage your personal finances…learn to get a home loan or any of the things we must navigate in adulthood? When I put this question to teachers, they babble like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Fact is educators, you DO NOT prepare kids for their life ahead…to say you do, is an outright lie!

carlosgvv

October 19th, 2010
10:21 am

Public education in Georgia is a witch’s brew of race, politics, money and backwardness. It has been this way for many long years now and shows no signs of improvement. A strong enlightend leadership would be very helpful but we all know how likely that probably will ever be.

Not My Real Name

October 19th, 2010
10:22 am

Bosch is wrong, wrong, wrong !

As a parent you are responsible for your kids education. The schools only provide a place and opportunity to learn. Either the student applies himself/herself or they end up cleaning toilets when they’re 25.

USinUK

October 19th, 2010
10:24 am

“Seriously, think about how many English Lit courses you took…and not ONE hour given to help you manage your personal finances…learn to get a home loan or any of the things we must navigate in adulthood?”

:lol:

yeah. let’s take sex ed out of schools because “parents should be teaching it”, but put in how to balance a checkbook.

oy, oy, OY.

Normal

October 19th, 2010
10:24 am

Vouchers, privatized education…same, same. What happens to the kids whose parents can’t afford private education? Do we have governmental socialistic programs for aid to them (like healthcare, maybe?), or do we just kick them to the curb? After all, World Vision can take care of them, huh? And we will need under educated, low pay workers around if we ever want to get our jobs back, right?

Fred

October 19th, 2010
10:27 am

No jefferson, vouchers are a way for students trapped in under performing schools to have a way to get an education. Is it the best way? I don’t think so. i think a better way would be to fire the “leadership’ of the under-performing schools and hold their feet to the fire so they WOULD perform.

Get rid of political correctness. Put the stupid kids in classes with their peers (smaller classes at that) so the teachers could teach to their level, the mid students at their level and the smart kids at THEIR level.

The way it is now, the stupid kids get left behind because they can’t keep up and the smart kids don’t learn because they aren’t challenged. Everything is being taught to the mid level of mediocrity.

Old Retired English Professor

October 19th, 2010
10:32 am

Seriously, think about how many English Lit courses you took…and not ONE hour given to help you manage your personal finances…learn to get a home loan or any of the things we must navigate in adulthood?”

Sadly, I see strong evidence on this blog that few people took advantage of liberal arts courses to broaden their perspectives and get their heads out of their anuses.

larry

October 19th, 2010
10:33 am

What do people do when there is no private schools ?
Why should people in rural areas where there is no private schools subsidize people who want to take their children to a private school ?

Scout

October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

Since we’re talking about kids ………………..

Headline (ABC): “Woman Caught Throwing Cat Into Trash Pleads Guilty”
Headline (AJC): “Man slammed puppy to death during domestic dispute”

Ah yes, you can go to jail for harming a dog or cat (which generally I agree with) but unborn children are “open season”.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

“As a parent you are responsible for your kids education. The schools only provide a place and opportunity to learn.”

Do you honestly think that all the parents in this state know how to teach their kids? Could you teach your kids AP Physics? AP Calculus? AP English?

And those classes should be provided to all kids in public schools– not just those whose parents can afford to send them to a school where they learn it.

Shang Hai Sonny

October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

Bubba, I agree that parental involvement would go a LONG way. But how do you generate it and sustain it?

Chinese immigrants are Georgia’s best hope for a new generation of parents that actually have an education. Of course, they will have their hands full trying to properly educate their children especially once they see the education tools this state offers them to work with, starting with teaching their children that catsup is not really a vegetable.

Scout

October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

“Bubba, I agree that parental involvement would go a LONG way. But how do you generate it and sustain it?”

Not with money.

Mrs. Norris

October 19th, 2010
10:36 am

I agree with Bosch. What are we paying teachers for?

Gator Joe

October 19th, 2010
10:38 am

Jay,
The public school system doesn’t present the opportunity for Republicans to line their pockets like vouchers and religious, private, “non profit” schools would. These organizations lobby and contribute to Republicans in order to establish a voucher system. The voucher system is yet another attempt to return to segregated schools, this time adding segregation by economic class to that of race.

Fred

October 19th, 2010
10:38 am

Bosch
October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

Could you teach your kids AP Physics? AP Calculus? AP English?
+++++++++++++++

Ummmmm, yes. I could. And I’m just a dumb redneck who didn’t graduate college.

Jaywalker

October 19th, 2010
10:39 am

Public schools are government schools, period. Reminds me of government healthcare, Medicare, Obamacare. The results speak for themselves. Congratulations to the Georgia Legislature for attempting to break up the monoply.
I still can’t find anywhere in the Constitution where it says education is the role of government. Parents, doctors, patients, make much more informed decisons than do Obama, Perdue and school boards, thank you very much.

Shang Hai Sonny

October 19th, 2010
10:40 am

Ah yes, you can go to jail for harming a dog or cat (which generally I agree with) but unborn children are “open season”.

What would really be great is for you to offer up details of your claims regarding this so-called “open season” on unborn children. I anxiously await a proper reply while not holding my breath, for obvious reasons.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
10:40 am

Another a.m. of poking and prodding in private places by strangers. I’m not supposed to be operating heavy machinery, so I guess the laptop doesn’t count! They’ve already done the blood pressure checks, so I guess it won’t hurt to come in here…

JAY

“Bubba, I agree that parental involvement would go a LONG way. But how do you generate it and sustain it?”

You can probably answer that question better than most. Your kids went to public schools that have it. How did y’all do it?

FRED
Excepting the reference to “stupid” kids, I would agree with you. But it’s called tracking and it’s a no-no in the public arena.

Seeingsea

“multiple choice tests are a joke…”

Don’t even get me started on THAT one! If I had to zero in on what I think the biggest problem in education is today, that would probably be my number 1.

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
10:44 am

“but unborn children are “open season”.”

to save the life of an unborn foetus…how would YOU go about forcing a woman to carry her pregnancy to term?

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
10:45 am

Home schools…that depends on the parents involved. One of my “side jobs” is developing curricula in the humanities for parents homeschooling their children. Their demands and expectations are way, way higher than either the public or private schools. And believe me, they go over the product with a fine-toothed comb. A lot of people have a seriously limited view of who home schools and why…

USinUK

October 19th, 2010
10:46 am

Doggone … 10:44 … I dunno … workhouses for pregnant wimmen? not *really* prisons, but, close enough

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
10:47 am

“close enough”

They NEVER answer it, do they?

USinUK

October 19th, 2010
10:49 am

Doggone – because if you make it illegal, it’ll go away! just like in the days before 1973

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
10:50 am

“because if you make it illegal, it’ll go away!”

Yup! It’ll work just as well as making murder illegal has worked!

Left wing management

October 19th, 2010
10:51 am

“That was quite a break from tradition in Georgia, where public education has always been delivered by local government, not the state.”

Just goes to show. The conservative movement that’s overtaken the state government is for local control until it isn’t.

USinUK

October 19th, 2010
10:51 am

doggone … and spouse abuse and jay walking

Scout

October 19th, 2010
10:52 am

A “life and death” subject instead of petty politics:

Headline: “Troops chafe at restrictive rules of engagement, talks with Taliban”

By: Sara A. Carter
National Security Correspondent

“October 19, 2010 KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — To the U.S. Army soldiers and Marines serving here, some things seem so obviously true that they are beyond debate. Among those perceived truths: Tthe restrictive rules of engagement that they have to fight under have made serving in combat far more dangerous for them, while allowing the Taliban to return to a position of strength.

“If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can’t shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can’t shoot back,” said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.”

This is SICKENING! And who will be held responsible for the U.S. lives lost unnecessarily ??

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Troops-chafe-at-restrictive-rules-of-engagement_-talks-with-Taliban-1226055-105202284.html#ixzz12ogQWwsg

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
10:53 am

“and spouse abuse and jay walking”

And stealing too.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
10:53 am

USinUK and Doggone

And of course, drug use.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
10:54 am

And donkeys in bathtubs.

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
10:55 am

“And donkeys in bathtubs”

Yeah, that too!

USinUK

October 19th, 2010
10:55 am

Bosch … wait … donkeys in bathtubs are illegal???

ummm …

I’ll be back in a few …

;-)

Old Retired English Professor

October 19th, 2010
10:55 am

“multiple choice tests are a joke…”

Don’t even get me started on THAT one! If I had to zero in on what I think the biggest problem in education is today, that would probably be my number 1.

I beg to register my dissent. A properly constructed multiple choice test can be superior to an essay examination if the objective is to measure knowledge attainment and not communication. I know, for I once did a study of the results of more than 5,000 examinations containing both multiple choice and essay questions. For all except the lowest quartile of student performers (who were going to fail anyway), the objective items proved more reliable and valid. Of course, a disclaimer here is that the tests I examined were developed by professionals specially trained in test development. I doubt, however, that most elementary and secondary school teachers have the skills to develop a good test, nor do they have the skills to avoid essay response bias.

Scout

October 19th, 2010
10:55 am

Headline: “Chavez in Iran for talks on energy, trade”

Look at the photo ! Hitler and Mussolini !

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.737890bf1c048f30ee89ce13aa9232f5.181&show_article=1

Fred

October 19th, 2010
10:56 am

josef, I’m not politically correct, nor do I care to be. Words have meanings. Stupid is just that, stupid: lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.

I have used the word correctly (accurately even) and will not apologize for it. Feel free to insert whatever is the current politically correct term for stupid. You can disguise it all you want, but it all boils down to stupid. While I wouldn’t call a child stupid in a conversation with them, this isn’t a conversation, it’s a dispassionate discussion. If we can’t use the correct terms when discussing a problem, how do we ever solve the problem?

Fred

October 19th, 2010
11:02 am

josef (again lol): You write curriculum for home schoolers? Bravo. 20 years ago i thought home schoolers were just “religious nutcases.’ Then I did some research and found out how wrong i was. Yeah, a small minority are, but for the most case, home schoolers are awesome. Personally, i don’t have the discipline to do it. I fear I would grow slack and my child would suffer for it, but for those who do it and do it well, I say good job. And a good job to folks like you who make it possible for them to out perform traditional schools.

Jay

October 19th, 2010
11:03 am

And Fred, that’s exactly why your proposed approach can’t be implemented. Because others — students, teachers, parents, administrators — will do as you have done and label roughly a third of the student body as the “stupids.”

stands for decibels

October 19th, 2010
11:07 am

State leaders quietly undermine public education

I humbly submit they’re only managing to do it “quietly” because our so called liberal media in GA rarely bothers to call out these scheming 100-pounds-of-crap-in-20-pound baggers.

But thanks for doing your part, Jay.

barking frog

October 19th, 2010
11:07 am

Unfortunately, many people do not understand that our school
system works fairly well for those students that want to
participate. For those students that do not want to participate
no system works. If you desire excellence run your own school.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:08 am

OREP
As you know, I value your opinion and would tend to agree with you on the multiple guess format being valid for “just the facts ma’am,” the first level of learning. It does little to assess the capacity for applying those facts to the solution of a problem and nothing to determine an understanding of the potential ramifications of the application in the social outplay. I would agree with you up to a point on the essay bias, but in my experience with the Georgia Fifth Grade writing test, I have found that the “scoring” is well done and blessedly free of bias. I also disagree that most elementary and secondary school teachers lack the skills to develop a good test. Many lack the training, but not the ability. And finally, what’s with this “were going to fail anyway?” Isn’t that indicative of a bias? Finally, and it’s the point I find the most galling on these standardized, machine scored abominations, where is the “show your work?” Did Johnny miss problem # 8 because he lacked the basic calculation skills to multiply 542 x 204 or did he slip up and say that 4 + 6 = 9?

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
11:08 am

“For those students that do not want to participate no system works”

that is not true. A system geared to getting the students to want to participate works. Part of the problem we have in public education is that too many people…administrators, politicians, parents AND teachers…expect a “one size fits all” approach to work for every student.

Fred

October 19th, 2010
11:09 am

Well gee Jay, then what is the pretty word for the kids born with out the mental capacity of their peers? Like josef, use some pretty code word for stupid then.

Again I say, if you can’t speak accurately and dispassionately about a problem then you sure as hell can’t solve it. You are too busy hiding from it.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:13 am

Fred…
I would buy your argument on the use of stupid in its true meaning, except I don’t think that is the reason so many (the bottom quartile? :-) ) would fall into that track. Many are simply disinterested in the subject matter at hand and others are just slow on the uptake. Some are just plain dull and so are their teachers…and, yes, some ARE stupid! But let’s do a little triage there in the bottom quartile, too!

Old Retired English Professor

October 19th, 2010
11:16 am

And finally, what’s with this “were going to fail anyway?” Isn’t that indicative of a bias?

Nope, josef. It simply means that the results of the exam were already known by the time I studied them. If a student finished in the bottom quartile of those results, the grade was F.

Not My Real Name

October 19th, 2010
11:17 am

But Jay – a third of the kids are the stupids.

Not everybody belongs in college and somebody needs to clean the porta-potties after an event at Piedmont Park.

thomas

October 19th, 2010
11:17 am

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
11:08 am

You cannot teach someone who does not want to learn.

carlosgvv

October 19th, 2010
11:17 am

Jay and Fred

In any large public grade school there will be a number of low IQ children who will never learn much no matter how well you teach them. And in a classroom mixed with the smart and dumb the dumb will hold back the smarter. Common sense will tell you that. And, Jay, ignoring this or pretending it is not true will not make it go away.

DawgDad

October 19th, 2010
11:20 am

“Just goes to show. The conservative movement that’s overtaken the state government is for local control until it isn’t.”

Many of our State leaders are RINOs, not conservatives. In most cases, not to the degree of the Northeastern RINOs in Congress, but they are liberal government thinkers in many respects.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 19th, 2010
11:20 am

There is nothing sacred about “public” education, and by all measures private contractors deliver a superior product at a better price. Remind us why our leftist friends are so determined to cling to the overpriced inferior?

stands for decibels

October 19th, 2010
11:21 am

What would really be great is for you to offer up details of your claims regarding this so-called “open season” on unborn children.

I want to know why Scout and others who use that terminology don’t think big and refer to all embryonic cells as “unborn adults” or “unborn senior citizens” or even “unborn hundred-year-olds.”

Go for the gusto.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:21 am

Back when I was in the 6th grade and the benighted Magnolia State public school I was attending still taught students at their levels of mastery, I was sent to the Senior high school lit and history classes where I was held to the same standards as the others in my class and was ranked in the top there. Great! He’s gifted! Well, I also sat in a second grade math (we still called it arithmetic back then) and was pretty much rock bottom there. Stupid? By some measures, no doubt, So which was I, brilliant and gifted or slow and dimwitted?

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
11:23 am

“You cannot teach someone who does not want to learn.”

You CAN find what motivates them TO learn…and THEN teach them. If you ever read the original “Room for One More” the author had three foster children, one of whom had been abused and had no interest in learning to read. She finally “hooked” him because he loved to cook and she kept “teasing” him that he couldn’t follow recipes he couldn’t read.

stands for decibels

October 19th, 2010
11:24 am

by all measures private contractors deliver a superior product at a better price.

While you’re cherry picking a few well worn metrics to try to make this stupid case, kindly tell me which successful industrialized nations around the world are managing without a public education system.

thomas

October 19th, 2010
11:24 am

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:21 am

Seems like that was a pretty good plan for you. If you were able to keep up in the lit and history then by all means you should have been challenged. but if you were struggling in math it was the correct thing to do as to ensure that you had a solid fundamental understanding of math.

Today it would not work as the feelings of the student may be hurt or offended.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
11:25 am

“She finally “hooked” him because he loved to cook and she kept “teasing” him that he couldn’t follow recipes he couldn’t read.”

For my kids who hated to read (not because they were abused, but because they hated to read) it was “Harry Potter” — got every one of ‘em of me youngins.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
11:26 am

AND Doggone,

“he couldn’t follow recipes he couldn’t read.”

Recipes are for wimps!

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:27 am

OREP

I’ll buy that clarification.

Real Name
Not a third, maybe 10%…

Ragnar

I do work in “private contracting.” I do it outside the public sphere. It works there. It doesn’t work in the public sphere.

yuzeyurbrain

October 19th, 2010
11:28 am

As Governor Barnes recently noted in a debate with Congressman Deal, it borders on immorality to divert $50 million a year in public funds to private schools when the the legislature has reduced funding of the public schools (which 93% of all students attend) to pay for just 147days a year of schooling. Without knocking the academic excellence of some private schools, the reality is you are not going to have a well-educated populace without a good (with a goal of excellence) functioning public school system. It simply has never happened anywhere. And without a well-educated populace, Georgia will be severely handicapped in attracting the 21st century industries which bring the best jobs and income.

Left wing management

October 19th, 2010
11:29 am

DawgDad:

What’s a ‘liberal government thinker’ ?

Fred

October 19th, 2010
11:29 am

I agree josef, that’s why I stated for the less academically adept (does that 4 dollar term for stupid work lol) to have smaller class sizes. With smaller classes for them, the teachers could work more closely with them and identify the ones who actually are lacking in brain power from the ones who have other external factors determining their lack of progress. With such a system, the others wouldn’t be slowed up and/or they themselves wouldn’t be left behind. When a child made the leap, they would be “moved up.”

I know it’s a pie in the sky dream, but it WOULD work if there was some way to to implement it. The harm isn’t in “classifying’ students, but in “MIS-classifying” them.

I’m seeing that you are an educator, and from what it looks like, a very dedicated and concerned one. How many ’smart’ kids have you seen drop out of school (mentally, not physically) because teachers just physically didn’t have the time to spend to challenge them? They had to teach to the medium and help the slow catch up.

I still maintain that under the current system, the high end and the low end students are not served. As you may be able to tell, i am passionate as well about the education of our children. SO passionate that I include ‘illegal aliens” in my definition of “our children,” but that is in and of itself another subject……….

professional skeptic

October 19th, 2010
11:30 am

GA GOP: Now that I GOT MINE… to heck with public education.

Typical.

What would happen if we were to set aside all the GA Rethuglicon office-holders who graduated from a public institution? How many Georgia Rethugs would be left to govern?

They don’t think about that. From their selfish viewpoint, it’s all just peachy… they got theirs, so now it’s time to slash away.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:30 am

thomas

It did work for me. And, no, they were worried about my self-esteem. That’s why they put me back in second instead of first where I really belonged!

Jefferson

October 19th, 2010
11:32 am

You can’t make cornbread out of flour, but there are uses for flour.

The state has a responsibilty along with the parents, if the school is failing solve the problem between the 2.

Christine O'Donnell

October 19th, 2010
11:33 am

Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?

Old Retired English Professor

October 19th, 2010
11:34 am

by all measures private contractors deliver a superior product at a better price.

It’s a flat-out lie, Ragnar—not that a libertarian and Ayn Rand disciple would lie. I’ve taught the products of both public and private schools for many years, and I think I know a little more about the subject than you.

You Can't Fix Stupid

October 19th, 2010
11:36 am

@Scout
October 19th, 2010
10:52 am
A “life and death” subject instead of petty politics:

Headline: “Troops chafe at restrictive rules of engagement… This is SICKENING! And who will be held responsible for the U.S. lives lost unnecessarily ??

Who should be held responsible? Bush, Cheney, Obama, Biden, and their supporters are the war criminals responsible for the loss of so many innocent lives.

stands for decibels

October 19th, 2010
11:37 am

not that a libertarian and Ayn Rand disciple would lie.

…well, they rarely stop at just one.

stands for decibels

October 19th, 2010
11:43 am

parental involvement would go a LONG way. But how do you generate it and sustain it?

provide stable home environments for these parents via living wages, well maintained infrastructure, and hey while you’re at it, maybe allow all monogamous folks who want to marry to get married? nah, that’s crazy talk.

You Can't Fix Stupidl

October 19th, 2010
11:44 am

Now, back to the subject at hand, which is education in Gooberstan. A truly intelligent person would learn much more on their own than in a classroom environment. For instance, i went to school in A-hole County Ga, where anything resembling an education was consciously and subconsciously denied to people who were not from the right families. The cotton mill family ran the county and did not want people to get an education as they would not work for the low cotton mill wages, and in truth public education is often a means to suppress real learning and discovery in the interest of creating good stupid sheeple.

And Jawja 2010 is the net result… What a cesspit!!!

Fred

October 19th, 2010
11:44 am

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
11:23 am
+++++++++++

Amen brother (or sister). You can teach anybody if you find what motivates them. Especially kids. Kids want to learn. Sadly too many people lose that desire as they grow older. I don’t understand that because at almost 50, I still have an insatiable desire to learn. I want to know everything about everything lol.

What I keep reading here from folks is that people can’t learn. That is simply not true. They may not be able to learn calculus, but they can learn up to the limits of their ability. And what exactly IS that ability? Who knows until you gently push them beyond what is thought to be their ability. I disagree with the posters who have said “they will fail anyway’ and “there will be a number of low IQ children who will never learn much no matter how well you teach them.”

They may not learn as much, but they WILL learn if we as a society find a way to teach them, or slow down enough for them to keep up, (without slowing down those who need to speed up.)

larry

October 19th, 2010
11:44 am

Paragraph I. Public education; free public education prior to college or postsecondary level; support by taxation . The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation. The expense of other public education shall be provided for in such manner and in such amount as may be provided by law

Matti

October 19th, 2010
11:45 am

I can name more than a dozen recent graduates of public schools, personally known to me, who are currently attending some of the best universities in the nation. (And yes, I applauded for ALL the nearly five hundred who walked that day.) We ALL benefit from having educated young people in our midst. They truly are our source of hope for the future.

How would we benefit if only the children whose parents could afford private schools were well-educated? Where’s the logic?

thomas

October 19th, 2010
11:45 am

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
11:23 am

The real world is not that easy… Notice how that is a work of FICTION, and also from a much different time.

It appears you have not been in a classroom in quite some time and may be shocked to find the amount of disinterest. If you do think it is only a matter of motivation… the state of GA is always looking for teachers in math and science. If they are not i know Florida is.

Hell the state had to bribe kids to come to school or lose their privladge of having a driver’s license… gee from a former high school teacher let me tell ya all that does is force kids to come who don’t want to be there. And those same students do little more than disrupt the others.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:49 am

FRED
Some interesting and valid points you raise in that @ 11:29.

I agree entirely with what you say…I would simply say less academic, myself, but your answers have made it clear that we are essentially on the same page and what terms we’d use is just a parlor game! Smaller classes oriented to level of mastery of the curriculum objectives IS the key.

You ask what, to me, is a key question being left unaddressed by all those making socio-political hay out of this matter, and that is how many “smart” kids are dropouts…I’ve seen it over and over and over again. The ratio of drop outs in that group is a national shame. In my experience, these also tend to be more highly represented in the discipline problems. There’s a great deal of truth in the old adage that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and he’s got a lot of Fortune 500s out there!

And believe me, you don’t want to get me started on the “illegals!” I’ve got three on my personal interest roster right now who are graduating from high school this year at the top of the class, but their aspirations will have to end there. So many of them are in the drop out group for the simple reason it’s more rational for them the apprentice to the carpet layer and drywall installer than to put their attention to getting that high school diploma which will still not open wider doors.

I truly p*ssed off a “focus” group not so long ago which was oriented to the question of the high Hispanic dropout rate (equivalent to and for the same reasons as the Roma in Hungary which was my own “in put.”) I listened to what the august “educators” were saying about where and how to intervene and started boiling. Finally, I said, “oh, let’s just go ahead and adopt the Great White Chief Theodore G. Bilbo’s philosophy when he vetoed the Negro Education Bill, ‘why waste money on his education when the only result is to spoil a good field hand and make an insolent cook.”

John Birch

October 19th, 2010
11:50 am

Public education wastes entirely too many resources on the culls, political correctnss at it’s worst. NCLB is a great example, a program that requires teaching to the lowest common denominator. Reality, as Charles Murray so eloquently pointed out, is that the top 10% determine the quality of life for all of us. We should ensure they get the resoruces they need, work on the marginally talented to increase the meaningful lives to 15% and just track the rest of them. Just teach the culls to cook my french fries and change my oil and stay out of prison, if possible.

thomas

October 19th, 2010
11:50 am

Matti

October 19th, 2010
11:45 am

The argument could be made that it would motivate the parents of the underprivladged children to do better and begin a more prosperous life for themselves, and giving their children a better start… maybe gaining a higher level of education themselves, thus allowing them more purchasing power in their child’s education.

Paulo977

October 19th, 2010
11:50 am

Bosch

Well, well, well, and here were we under the mistaken notion that “The plantation oriented philosophy ” where only the elites would be accorded all the rights and benefits of a good education that had dominated the South for long had disappeared …after all here was ALL this hustle and bustle about making public schools ACCOUNTABLE by having them publicly shamed if they didn’t post good scores on Standardized Tests . Of course the Hidden Intent in all of this was to make sure the low students would remain just where they were supposed to i.e.at the bottom of the societal pyramid because ,folks, the crafted state standards and tests were so unrealistic that they were failure guaranteed. So public funds are being siphoned off to private schools …Have we changed?

bart

October 19th, 2010
11:51 am

Perdue and the Republican legislature have cut over 4 billion dollars out of education in 8 years. All they care about are their rich supporters most of whom send their kids to private schools as do many of the legislators. Deal will continue this assault. What they do not seem to understand is that quality of life issues, such as a strong public school system, will bring new business and industry into the state quicker than anything. Republicans are talking tax cuts to attract new business, but we already have one of the lowest tax rates in the country. It’s quality of life issues that will get new business here. Sadly, our Repubican friends don’t seem to understand that.

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
11:55 am

Fix stupid

Where are you from and where do you live?

As for company towns and company schools…that place I was talking about where I was in the 6th grade was one of those schools in one of those towns. An enlightened company. The company required some highly skilled professionals and I daresay you would have had a challenge in Dr. Aaron’s chemistry class and might have been lost in the machine shop classes…secretarial studies and bookkeeping…no slouches there, the company wouldn’t have it…Of course this was a Southern company and not one of the capitalist imperialist ones from Up Nawth….

AmVet

October 19th, 2010
11:55 am

“It’s a flat-out lie, Ragnar..”

Professor, to my knowledge he has never provided the first scintilla of data, evidence or facts to corroborate his many “unusual” claims.

He merely pontificates in his pedantic way.

And really should consider ending his posts with, “So let it be written. So let it be done.”

Jay

October 19th, 2010
11:57 am

“the culls….”

well, Fred did say we needed to drop the political correctness and call things as they are.

Fred

October 19th, 2010
12:02 pm

Jay

October 19th, 2010
11:57 am

“the culls….”

well, Fred did say we needed to drop the political correctness and call things as they are.
++++++++++++++

Yeah I did but to paraphrase the old joke: Brother, even I wouldn’t have said that…………

Hoisted with my own petard………….

josef nix

October 19th, 2010
12:07 pm

JAY
As much as I’d like to agree with your sarcasm at 11:57 that IS calling things as they are. That’s exactly what’s at work here.

I started out feathers in a ruff over Fred’s use of the word “stupid,” but in listening to what he is saying, I kinda like what I’m hearing…

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
12:07 pm

“Recipes are for wimps!”

Maybe once you’re experienced, but you gotta GET that experience first!

Finn McCool

October 19th, 2010
12:09 pm

Off topic.

It’s amazing. Nathan Deal with ethics violations and now Joe Miller in Alaska is confessing to ethics violations. Can you folks not find candidates who can win ethically and fairly?

Can you not do better than this? What are these folks going to do in office? Why would they change? If you find out a kid cheated on his finals and you promote him anyway -knowing what he did. What are you saying to the community? What are you saying to the kid?

Republicans are utterly pathetic. Claiming the moral and economic high ground but turning out to just being a spend-happy bunch of cheaters.

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
12:10 pm

“Notice how that is a work of FICTION, and also from a much different time.”

Sorry, but it is NOT a work of fiction.

Bosch

October 19th, 2010
12:14 pm

Doggone @ 12:07 — well, yeah, there’s that. :-)

I think recipes are a great teaching tool for many reasons….math, reading, etc. all in one!

Doggone/GA

October 19th, 2010
12:15 pm

“I think recipes are a great teaching tool for many reasons….math, reading, etc. all in one!”

Yep! All of that. Things like “shop” are a good jumping off point too, but our schools aren’t geared to thinking like that.

RB from Gwinnett

October 19th, 2010
12:16 pm

“We’re last in education” is a lie being told by people who want your money.

And would one of you please tell me how more money is going to improve the sub 50% graduation rate in APS?

getalife

October 19th, 2010
12:16 pm

“It all boils down to this,

The rent is too Damn high”.