Archive for the ‘CRCT’ Category

Approach effort to criminalize school test cheaters with caution, GOP leader warns

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) this morning expressed doubts about two bills backed by Gov. Sonny Perdue that would make it a crime for teachers and administrators to fudge school test scores.

HB 1111 and HB 1121, introduced this month by state Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), would make test-tampering a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to 30 days in jail, and loss of pension.

The bills have yet to pass a House committee, so there’s been very little talk about the issue on the Senate side of the state Capitol. That said, Rogers – the leader of the Senate GOP caucus — urged Republicans to take care.

“I’m very hesitant to create any more crimes,” he said. “I think we need to solve this problem. This cheating scandal is damaging to the confidence of everyone in Georgia, on how our education system is performing. But most importantly it hurts students.

“But to criminalize it, I think, is something we must be very careful about doing. I …

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Your morning jolt: If no public option, count Johnson out of health care reform

Count U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Decatur) among those who think President Barack Obama would be making a mistake if he dropped a public option insurance program as part of a health care reform package.

Johnson, in fact, says he’ll vote against any measure that doesn’t include government-based competition for health insurance companies.

In an interview with Denis O’Hayer and WABE (90.1 FM), Johnson said:

”I don’t think it would create the same level of competition for the insurance companies as would a public option. The co-op idea certainly would allow groups to negotiate with insurance companies for health care for their members.

“But if you don’t have insurance because you can’t afford it, that concept does nothing for those people.”

O’Hayer asked Johnson if he would oppose a measure that included only non-profit insurance co-ops:

”My position is hardening as we speak. There’s got to be a different way other than to appease the millionaires and the insurance companies. We are …

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Your morning jolt: Candidates beg for spare change

On Tuesday, with a June 30 deadline only seven days away, Karen Handel begged for spare change.

“Any amount you can contribute right now will go a long way in helping us meet our goals next week,” the Republican candidate for governor said.

At five days out, John Oxendine , a GOP rival, asked supporters to empty their pockets, else a Democratic bogeyman will reign over them. “I am running to protect the traditional values Georgia holds dear from Roy Barnes and the liberals in Atlanta,” he said.

Republicans and Democrats alike, whether running for governor or something else, see the end of the month as a kind of CRCT test for grown-ups.

The size of a candidate’s treasury in the first six months of this year will be read as a measure of strength and viability — could determine the size of his/her treasury for the next six months as well.

There will be exceptions. Democrat Roy Barnes specifically declared that he wouldn’t start his campaign until next month, escaping any scrutiny …

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Your morning jolt: Where Mark Sanford has been could determine where he’s going

So who knew the Appalachian Trail stretched that far south?

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this morning, debarking from a plane just in from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

His staff had said he’d been on a domestic hike to clear his head, but the South Carolina governor had left a trail of clues indicating this wasn’t actually the case. The State — the newspaper of record in the state capital — summarized the breadcrumbs this morning:

[Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer] admitted staffers still did not know the governor’s location. Sanford has been out of touch with staffers and family since leaving his security detail and driving off in a State Law Enforcement Division SUV on Thursday. The vehicle was spotted late Tuesday night at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, according to CNN.

— A mobile phone tower picked up his last known location near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Thursday, according to a source …

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Your morning jolt: On grading Shirley Franklin, and whether Mark Sanford uses MapQuest

During a two-hour evening forum hosted by Leadership Atlanta on Monday, candidates to replace Shirley Franklin were asked how their styles would differ.

None really wanted to make that comparison.

But at the end of the night, each candidate was asked a more provocative question: On a scale of 1 to 100, how would you grade the current mayor?

According to my AJC colleague Eric Stirgus, despite the city’s financial troubles, concerns about crime and other criticisms, she scored well among the candidates.

Councilwoman Mary Norwood, first to respond, gave Franklin an 85. State Sen. Kasim Reed, who was Franklin’s campaign manager for both of her successful mayoral bids, said he’d award her an 88. Or a solid A, if grading on a Bill Campbell curve.

Political newcomers Jesse Spikes and Glenn Thomas gave the mayor an 85 and 80, respectively. The high score came from city council President Lisa Borders, who graded Franklin a 90.

“She has transformed the city,” Borders said, drawing …

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Real detention for cheating teachers, principals

The chairman of the Senate Education Committee wants teachers and principals who tamper with state-mandated tests to be treated as criminals.

A state audit last week showed that fifth-graders’ answers had been altered on Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in four Georgia schools. At one, Atherton Elementary in DeKalb County, the principal resigned and the assistant principal was reassigned last week.

“I think it’s awful what they’ve done. It cheats the kids, and it’s not good for their school systems and not good for the state of Georgia,” said state Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody)

This morning, on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators didn’t exactly jump up and say “Amen.”

The host, Tim Bryant, kindly sent the sound. Said Jeff Hubbard of the GAE:

”We going to have to talk to Senator Weber — that story broke this morning — to see exactly what he wants to do with that.

“What people have to understand is these people, I’m certain, will be …

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