When plans and hopes collide with reality, Georgia style

These were the headlines at the top of today’s AJC Metro section cover.

I thought it captured our predicament quite nicely. A little piece of accidental wisdom, so to speak.

hedline2

– Jay Bookman

477 comments Add your comment

Guy Incognito

January 26th, 2011
3:09 pm

How do we teach kids who: refuse to bring a textbook, pen, paper, do the homework, stop talking in class, and have mothers (dads awol) who come in and are convinced that every teacher that her lil darling has ever had has been out to get him/her?

willbrad

January 26th, 2011
3:10 pm

Throw money at education!! That always works!!

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
3:19 pm

“When plans and hopes collide with reality, Georgia style” – Doesn’t this remind you a lot of the hopey changey bologna that Obama has been spewing the past 2 years? I wonder if he’s met reality yet…

I still don’t understand why Deal wants to put so much emphasis on K-12 and wants to cuts funding for colleges…makes as much sense as whipping before ya poop.

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
3:21 pm

Deal needs to take basic math and home finance courses.

Normal

January 26th, 2011
3:21 pm

Sprout Puppy,
I hope you really don’t whip it after you poop…and thanks for that mental image, by the way…

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
3:22 pm

The NUMBER ONE, NUMERO UNO, NUMERO UN, NUMMER EINS thing we can do is get the parents more involved in their child’s education.

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
3:24 pm

(NOT) Normal, thanks for being the spelling fairy around here.

barking frog

January 26th, 2011
3:32 pm

Peadawg, I have never understood how you can take a child
to a professional educator for 8 hours a day and then expect
an untrained overworked parent to do what the professional can’t.

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
3:34 pm

barking frog, the professional educator can’t make the child do homework, study, etc. That’s where the parent comes in.

BADA BING

January 26th, 2011
3:35 pm

No Child Left Behind, strives for mediocrity. When you seek the lowest common denominator, don’t be surprised if you find it. The children that fail should not be passed. You are doing them no favors by sending them to the next level of incompetence. Hold them back as long as it takes.

barking frog

January 26th, 2011
3:36 pm

Governor Deal clearly intends to expand the H1B visa program.

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
3:36 pm

Amen BADA BING!

Adam

January 26th, 2011
3:38 pm

What can you say except… LOL

barking frog

January 26th, 2011
3:39 pm

Peadawg, the child has been professionally educated for
eight hours. Why does the child need night study or
‘homework’ supervised by an untrained parent?

stands for decibels

January 26th, 2011
3:41 pm

Anyone here posting actually have kids enrolled in GA’s K-12 program? Show of hands?

(got mine up.)

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
3:42 pm

so 8 hours a day is enough to grasp everything? maybe for SOME kids but not most. And I would use the word, “Professional” very loosely in some cases. ;)

Paul

January 26th, 2011
3:43 pm

Bada Bing

“No Child Left Behind, strives for mediocrity. When you seek the lowest common denominator, don’t be surprised if you find it.”

Have a school superintendent up here who, when he speaks at civic groups, passes out sample questions from tests based on NCLB standards. Most adults in the audience don’t pass.

The cracks about the low standards and how things ‘were better when we were kids’ stop.

BADA BING

January 26th, 2011
3:44 pm

Parents….if you don’t take those @%&$#@ electronic gadgets out of your children’s hands and make them play outside, and read books, you will raise a zombie incapable of thinking in the real world. Don’t pass your job on to the village, most of the village is busy staying alive!

Bosch

January 26th, 2011
3:44 pm

stands,

got mine up too! both of them

Bosch

January 26th, 2011
3:45 pm

” both of them”

And, yes, you may be asking yourself how it is that I might be typing while doing so….

stands for decibels

January 26th, 2011
3:45 pm

Bosch, is it just me, or do they assign a crapload more homework than we ever had, these days?

Bosch

January 26th, 2011
3:46 pm

stands,

” or do they assign a crapload more homework than we ever had, these days?”

I very rarely remember having homework when I was a kid. So yes….

barking frog

January 26th, 2011
3:46 pm

sfd, my youngest on graduated 19 years the oldest 23 years ago,
from a lower rated north georgia school. both could have attended
college, neither did. both are employed at trades( in the trades,in
the recession, in florida) and are as happy as most. Point please?

thomas

January 26th, 2011
3:47 pm

why are there some schools that seem to do we above the national average yet other schools who seem to do way below. If it was a statewide problem, it seems there woud not be such a gap in some cases.

What are the factors that cause one school to do well and the other not so much. The DNA of the students can’t be that drasticaly different.

BADA BING

January 26th, 2011
3:48 pm

Paul…I see your point. However, the adults were taught differently, and learned what they needed to know at that time. The children from other countries are out to steal our children’s jobs. We have to take it up a notch to remain competitive.

larry

January 26th, 2011
3:48 pm

I had homework when i was a kid , most of the time they assigned it on the weekends.

I had most of it done Friday night so i could play all weekend.

stands for decibels

January 26th, 2011
3:49 pm

BF @ 3.46, I don’t have a beef with anything you’ve posted. Just wondering who have kids, who are affected by decisions made by our politicians at the moment, is all.

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
3:50 pm

Why would anyone trust Nathan Deal with their finances. I’m still at a loss on that one. Yet, Georgia’s majority Republican constituency put him in office. Does anyone have proof that the guy can balance a checkbook. How about a copy of his proof of completion of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover program. Then again, given all of the failed banks in Georgia and the not-so-startling news of Georgia congressmen’s involvement in so many of them, why should anything that members of the GOP do alarm me.

barking frog

January 26th, 2011
3:52 pm

Peadawg, you reach my point, If the schools cannot educate our
children, we certainly will not be able to. Or maybe they think we
don’t really need to educate them, just train them to show up and
get along. Most teacher complaints are about student conduct.

thomas

January 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

Hasn’t been a real long time since I was in high school and even less since i was teaching in a ga high school, homework is not that much more it is just counted for a grade now everytime, it seems, to help the grade average of the class and bring up low scores on class test.

larry

January 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

I have a kid in pre-k, she does some homework but not a whole lot yet.

Paul

January 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

Bada Bing

I believe that was the point of the original NCLB legislation – to impose standards and certify a certain level of understanding before passing the kid on. Before, even within states, what was required ‘acceptable’ varied widely.

But as with many things, once the bureaucrats get their hands on something, it morphs all out of recognition. Add to that putting federal dollar allocation depending on performance and we have another mess on our hands.

barking frog

January 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

sfd,We all are as evidenced by my school tax bill.

stands for decibels

January 26th, 2011
3:55 pm

I very rarely remember having homework when I was a kid.

Me neither. Certainly not the hour-plus worth of work I’m seeing most weeknights.

Anyone who thinks elementary school age kids have a soft go of it, probably don’t know any actual kids that age. They work about as hard in a given day as a lot of grown ups I know.

Are they working them smarter? Hard to say.

Speaking of which, gotta go back to producin’. Later.

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
3:56 pm

Someone loaned Deal the 3.2m or so he was due to pay that he couldn’t. With no collateral. Reckon this was based on Sonny’s growth in worth while he was in office.

jm

January 26th, 2011
3:58 pm

I’m coming to the conclusion (APS reinforced) that all public schools should be converted to charters, vouchers should be handed out en masse. Keep testing and permit state shutdown of vouchered schools. And if that doesn’t work, increase the funding as necessary until the children are getting a legitimate education. And start confiscating paycheck funds from the parents of underperforming children, if necessary.

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
3:59 pm

Too much TV, video games, and awake hours makes it hard to learn school work and get the homework done. In many cases its kids raising kids.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
3:59 pm

I’d agree that a lot of our problems in the schools can be traced to the home. If they aren’t taught at home that education is important and that they are expected to perform to a certain standard, they are behind to start with. As to how you fix that, honestly, I don’t know the answer.

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
4:00 pm

Vouchers are a copout.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:01 pm

Funnily enough I met Deal today at a luncheon. He spoke quite well.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 26th, 2011
4:02 pm

I respectfully suggest the paired headlines are a tautology: if you are already the worst, you can only get better. It would be as if Chauncey promised to be a better president. Or as if Ragnar promised to write lucid comments.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:02 pm

jewcowboy – glad he didn’t speak “good”. :)

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:03 pm

Jefferson – failure is not an option

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
4:03 pm

Y’all shouldn’t spend time worrying about Nathan Deal’s finances. He’ll have his Congressional pension and a pension for his time as Governor and a legislator. He’ll be fine. He’ll likely have more retirement income than anybody on this blog.

thomas

January 26th, 2011
4:05 pm

it also reminds one……….

w/o sad there could be no HAPPY
w/o poor there could be no WEALTHY
w/o losers there is no WINNER
w/o dumb there is no SMART

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:05 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe,

“He’ll have his Congressional pension and a pension for his time as Governor and a legislator. ”

Plus he has subsidized housing…

carlosgvv

January 26th, 2011
4:06 pm

Teachers, like all of us, have to work with what they are given. If a large number of Georgia students are below average in intelligence, no amount of good teaching will make much of a difference. You can tip-toe around this as much as you like, but it will not go away.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:07 pm

jm,

“failure is not an option”

Except for Rush…

Jay

January 26th, 2011
4:07 pm

I’d be more willing — note, MORE willing, but not necessarily willing — to discuss vouchers if the schools that accepted them were required to:

1.) Test their students regularly for progress, using same tests used in public schools.
2.) Accept students as they came, or if necessary through a lottery system, so they couldn’t cherry pick the easily educated and leave the tougher cases for someone else.

As a rule, voucher proponents reject both conditions.

Also, the truth is that experiments with vouchers have NOT produced noticable improvements in student performance.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:07 pm

carlosgvv,

“no amount of good teaching will make much of a difference. ”

Stupid is as stupid does?

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
4:07 pm

Public school is a conditional right, but I have little sympathy for the unruley kids. Life is full of sad stories and bad parents most of the time(not always) have bad kids. Fair rules of conduct and attendance should be followed, otherwise a public education should be revoked.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:08 pm

zoiks. Hillary just did a 180. or at least a 90 degree turn

U.S., in shift, bluntly urges Mubarak to reform now
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70P71O20110126

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
4:09 pm

If a large number of Georgia students are below average in intelligence,

I’d bet that the basic intelligence level of students would vary little from state to state. You’re going to have about as many above average as below average, most anywhere.

Plus he has subsidized housing…

Exactly. I’m no fan of his but I don’t really worry about him going broke. I’d be surprised if that happened.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:10 pm

Jefferson,

“Fair rules of conduct and attendance should be followed, otherwise a public education should be revoked.”

And they should be made to clean grease traps at the local Arby’s as punishment. Oh wait…that or prison is usually the path a lack of education leads to anyway.

Kamchak

January 26th, 2011
4:11 pm

If they aren’t taught at home that education is important and that they are expected to perform to a certain standard, they are behind to start with.

I come from a family where education is the family biz (in which I did not follow). Seems to me that the breakdown of home involvement came when two incomes were necessary to provide for the family. And this cut across all income levels, the parents were just too involved in maintaining jobs/careers just to keep food on the table, shoes on the feet, roof over the head etc.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:11 pm

Jay 4:07 –

1-agree
2-agree

Regarding improvements – I agree. But clearly bureaucracy is a part of the problem….

I might stick all non-private school management under every mayor / county commission chairman and completely dispense with boards of education….

larry

January 26th, 2011
4:11 pm

vouchers would be prone to abuse as well as some people would demand that they be allowed to send their child to a religous school, which would be be state promoting religion. So vouchers are not the best option.

Florida tried them for a while and they were not what they thought they were.

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
4:12 pm

Plus he has subsidized housing…

I wonder if he gets government taxpayer subsidized healthcare too.

EJ Moosa

January 26th, 2011
4:12 pm

One/half of all students are below average.

There is no amount of money that can fix that.

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
4:12 pm

jc, if you have been fair and that didn’t work, you move on and use them as an example. Fair being the key word.

Left wing management

January 26th, 2011
4:12 pm

I think them hifalootin folks up dere in Washinton and New York call dat COGN’TIVE DISS’NANCE. When things in the persepual field crash up again each otha.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
4:13 pm

Fair rules of conduct and attendance should be followed

I’d agree with that but that leads back to the home, again. I was raised in a house where I was told that it didn’t matter if I was dumber than a rock, I could still sit there a keep quiet and behave. Not all kids have that and as important as it is, it can’t really be legislated.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:14 pm

“Also, the truth is that experiments with vouchers have NOT produced noticable improvements in student performance.”

Also, while this is true, what it makes clear is that any reforms have to be augmented by better teacher training, hiring/firing flexibility, and real emphasis on testing (apparently with outside proctors since APS teachers love to cheat)

AmVet

January 26th, 2011
4:14 pm

I always enjoy josef’s input on these topics. I don’t profess to have any answers, but I do know that some of the more strident do.

They go along these lines:

First blame the teachers.

Then blame the teacher’s unions. (Even when they’re not really unionized!)

Then blame the counselors and principals.

Then blame the school boards and PTA.

Then blame the Dept. of Education.

Then blame the government. (But ONLY the federal government!)

Then blame the Democrats.

Not sure where everybody else was raised, but even in podunk, Kansas, I had homework virtually every evening.

I graduated from High School with honors and in the top 3% of my graduating class and took ass-kicking physics and advanced mathematics classes. Trust me, these were not the kind of classes where you just showed up and made A’s or B’s.

But then, along with many other places, they take education pretty damn seriously in the Midwest.

And my folks were not at all inclined to hear any BS about grades, behavior, etc. And to Hillbilly’s point, probably a BIG reason (along with a lot of backbreaking work – those books were heavy!) why I was a straight A student at every level.

So now it breaks my heart to see so many vapid and vacuous kids who think being willingly ignorant is cool.

And now, some of them blog at JBs! (grin, smirk, snort and schnirt)

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
4:14 pm

Kamchak @ 4:11

A lot of truth in that.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:16 pm

Jefferson,

“you move on and use them as an example. Fair being the key word.”

I’m of the mindset, if they don’t want to get an education, put them to work in public service. They’ll learn one way or another.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:16 pm

re vouchers – also, does it not occur to folks that being locked into a school based on where you happen to live is as antiquated as the county unit system that resulted in 159 counties?….

playing the dozens

January 26th, 2011
4:16 pm

What about the strides in education Obama laid out in his State of the Union? It left educators scratching their collective heads.

State of the Union mystery: What do Obama’s Race to the Top plans mean?

* Replace No Child Left Behind with a new, more flexible law, that he said should be modeled after his competitive Race to the Top grant program.

That last point had a few education experts scratching their heads, since Race to the Top is a totally different animal from the broader Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the formal name for No Child Left Behind. The ESEA is the means by which the federal government delivers most of its money to schools and states – more than $100 billion, mostly determined by certain formulas, compared with the $4 billion of competitive grants that made up Race to the Top.

“He’s putting his chips on something that has limited usefulness, but it’s not a broad usefulness, and we don’t even know yet how well states will spend the money from Race to the Top,” says Jack Jennings, executive director of the Center on Education Policy in Washington, who otherwise liked the education themes Obama sounded in his speech. “With No Child Left Behind, he should have talked about [the need for] broader reforms and improvements and raising standards, rather than making the theme of competitiveness the main thing.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0126/State-of-the-Union-mystery-What-do-Obama-s-Race-to-the-Top-plans-mean

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
4:17 pm

And now, some of them blog at JBs! (grin, smirk, snort and schnirt)

Anyone we know. hehehe

larry

January 26th, 2011
4:17 pm

Probably will 160 counties before its said and done.

larry

January 26th, 2011
4:18 pm

“will be 160″

Left wing management

January 26th, 2011
4:19 pm

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here’s to good ol’ Georgia intelligence!

AmVet

January 26th, 2011
4:21 pm

Kam’s point is a good one.

And the ongoing War of the Middle Class has consequences far and wide. Especially for the children.

Welcome to the plutocracy…

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:21 pm

Jay

January 26th, 2011
4:21 pm

Amvet, that teachers’ union argument always makes me chuckle.

I’d be willing to bet that if you compared the academic performance of states with strong teachers’ unions, such as New Jersey, against the performance of states with non-existent or powerless unions, such as Georgia, the unionized systems would come out better most of the time.

Not because they have unions, but because of differences in cultural attitudes toward education. Unions don’t matter much one way or the other.

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
4:22 pm

Rules are rules, “Without rules, there is kaos”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHEHA3-9b9k&feature=related

Jay

January 26th, 2011
4:22 pm

jm, I think that trend toward disempowering school boards is crazy. I mean, it’s great that we have Kasim Reed as mayor, and that everybody is ready to dump all kinds of problems onto his lap, from the port of Savannah funding to rescuing APS.

But a few years ago we had Bill Campbell as mayor. Would you really want HIM in charge of APS?

Scout

January 26th, 2011
4:22 pm

OUTLAW THE NEA.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
4:23 pm

Carlos, a large number of Georgia students ARE of below average intelligence, just as a large number are above average intelligence. It’s the same everywhere. But there is no logical or scientific reason to expect that the distribution of intelligence is any different here than anywhere else. They’re born just as smart, on average, as kids born in Korea or Israel or Sweden. It’s what happens after that.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
4:24 pm

Kammy @ 4:11

OUTLAW N.O.W.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
4:25 pm

Jay:

Except those kids whose parents are first cousins.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:25 pm

Jay 4:22 – “Bill Campbell ”

I know. But I think there are ways around that issue. Namely having some kind of state-level “check & balance”, ie some state level board authorizes and certifies principals of schools, or district superintendents.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:26 pm

Jay. What do you think the solution to the education issue is?

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:26 pm

“OUTLAW THE NEA.”

Outlaw retarded posts…sorry developmentally challenged posts.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
4:27 pm

Your solution is more bureaucracy, jm?

AmVet

January 26th, 2011
4:27 pm

Scout, outlaw the NEA or deport the people therein?

Man, if only you were King…

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:27 pm

jm,

“What do you think the solution to the education issue is?”

My solution: Microchip the little buggers who don’t want to learn and set them free in the Everglades.

Bosch

January 26th, 2011
4:28 pm

“OUTLAW THE NEA.”

Outlaw retarded posts…sorry developmentally challenged posts.”

Nope, jewcowboy, that’s straight up retarded.

Bosch

January 26th, 2011
4:28 pm

My solution? Bring back the paddle.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
4:28 pm

The fact that Georgia has 159 counties really didn’t have anything to do with the county unit system. The size of counties was based on a day’s ride to the courthouse. It was to take a person no more than a day, to ride to their county seat. The counties are pretty small in North Georgia and they grow larger as you move south and into better terrain. There are actually a couple less counties now than in 1875. The County Unit System started officially in 1917 and had been operating informally since the 1890’s.

I remember my Grandpa talking about when his Daddy was on jury duty. They lived 10 miles from town, so he had to ride to town and get a hotel for the week, to serve on the jury.

Once local governments get entrenched, it’s hard to do away with them. And I kind of like being able to visit my county courthouse and deal with people that I know and who know me, rather than total strangers.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:29 pm

Jay 4:27 – no. One state level board / commission solely for certifying superintendents or principals in return for eliminating 159 county level boards and untold city BOE’s is a reduction in bureaucracy.

Bosch

January 26th, 2011
4:29 pm

My solution? Allow teachers to jack up kids from their collars and be able to tell them they are being stupid little pieces of sh*t and if they don’t stop causing trouble they will be dismembered by a pack of wolves.

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:29 pm

jewcowboy – gator bait?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 26th, 2011
4:29 pm

Dear jewcowboy @ 4:27, “Microchip the little buggers who don’t want to learn and set them free in the Everglades.” Won’t that upset the alligators and pythons?

jm

January 26th, 2011
4:31 pm

Hillbilly – I’m aware of the horse, county seat thing. Outdated…. unless I’m having a lifelong hallucination about the creation of this thing called the automobile.

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
4:32 pm

Kids just need the proper motivation and they’ll learn just about whatever they need to learn. For example, when I was growing up, we were taught to swim by being tossed in water over our heads. I made it on the first attempt. They say that you lose many brain cells with each failed attempt. I wonder if anyone has used that data to establish any pertinent correlations with Republican congressmen, for example.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:33 pm

jm,

“gator bait?”

They will soon find out which is smarter…200M years of instinct or 10 years of Playstation…

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 26th, 2011
4:34 pm

jm

I think if you reduced the number of counties nothing would change. If county A has 100 employees and county B has 200, if you combine them, the new county will have about 300 employees. Things would be pretty much the same, the county officials would just be a little farther removed from the people.

jewcowboy

January 26th, 2011
4:34 pm

Ragnar Danneskjöld,

“Won’t that upset the alligators and pythons?”

As slow and fat as modern kids are, Michelle Obama may have to start a healthy eating program for those alligators and pythons.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
4:34 pm

jm, I’ve spent some time in APS classrooms as my two kids went through the system (not nearly as much as Josef, of course). I think that you could watch a 1st grade classroom for two days and identify with 90 percent certainty those who would not be graduating 11 years later.

Find those kids, intervene with them, intervene with their parents. I have good friends in the APS system who can tell you horror stories about what some of these kids have to deal with at home, and then those kids grow up and have kids of their own and renew the cycle.

You’ve got to break that somehow, by throwing time, resources and attention at them early. Keep them in school til six if you have to — in the long run, it will be a lot cheaper.