Tag Archives: Education

July 27, 2011: Random News

NFL Lockout is over, former UGA players get calls, murder suspect with lengthy juvenile history, school dropouts, remember Jesse Owens, speaking up in representative government, and ATF guns to drugs dealers.

Good luck, Go Dawgs! Former UGA players get calls about free agency. As one young man put, “basically, I’m still trying out.” Yep. We’re all still trying out every day of the week. Good luck.

Too little funding, too little interest. This young man’s story is not uncommon. Juveniles are the most overlooked aspect of society. We don’t fund treatment for kids, we don’t properly fund schools, we don’t properly fund medicaid, we don’t properly fund the Department of Juvenile Justice, kids with big problems result. The deputy should not have died. Could someone or something have changed this child’s outcome?

Exploring School Dropouts and the Cause. NPR is running a series on School Dropouts. Children who live in chaos have no vote about the chaos. They cannot focus on school because their short lives are in a constant state of fruit-basket turnover.

Remembering Jesse Owens at the Berlin Games. What a great accomplishment! Jesse Owens.

Speak up! Whatever your politics. Apparently, people did speak up. 40,000 calls per hour! Let Congress know how you feel. One day of complaints is NOT enough. Unfortunately, my Congressman is a single minded dolt who listens to know one. But you all have hope! Keep calling.

Tough choices, complicated results. While I don’t envy the choices that the ATF must make in dealing with the drug war on the Southern Border of the U.S. One must wonder about the wisdom this particular choice.


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Can we improve?

The N Y Times reports on a study that our nation’s high school dropout rate directly correlates to the prison population. For those of us who work in the criminal and juvenile systems know this all to well. In fact, one wonders why a study was required.

Of the people that I represent either as counsel or guardian ad litem, most can articulate difficulty reading and writing. Some with great self awareness acknowledge illiteracy. Why do academics waste time on conducting studies of what people doing the work already know? Because academics identify problem, they do not solve them.

I challenge those academics to generate studies on fixing the dropout rate. Real fixes tested on kids. Perhaps look into long term suggestions beginning in pre-K or perhaps education of parents on how to raise children. Please stop telling up what we already know.


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Hoax or not: Startling Stats

Whether or not the teenage girls in Gloucester, Mass., entered into a pact to get pregnant, 17 pregnancies and 150 pregnancy tests in one school year is startling. The school system reports only four student pregnancies during the prior school year. Reportedly, Gloucester’s parents and elected officials raised an uproar when the medical department of the school encouraged birth control techniques in this predominantly Catholic community. While the Catholic church eschews birth control, I doubt the Pope has changed the church’s opposition stance on premarital sex.

Gloucester is an example of problems throughout this country. Parents cede their duties and responsibilities for parenting and educating to the schools without evaluating whether the schools teach the lessons the parents might deem important. Interested parents would ask questions: what type of discipline does the school system employ? what type of sex education is included in the curriculum?

For many parents, these questions never enter their mind. Some parents working so hard to make ends meet never ask because they have neither the time nor the education to ask these questions. Other parents just don’t care. Whatever the reason, the parents leave the government and schools to raise and discipline their children.

Parents abdicate their duties to these children. Do the religious leaders who decry the sex education teaching or the birth control equally hold these parents accountable for their abandonment of these children? Absolutely not. If religious leaders and their faithful adherents wish to excoriate the schools for filling gaps, these people should also hold parents responsible and use the same shame against the parents that they attempt to use against the gap fillers.

The religious community and its faithful need to offer an alternative education and support to these parents rather than paying lipservice to the problems. The tiresome religious community (both right and left) should expend their efforts on offering solutions instead of adding fuel to flames. Teen pregnancy, high school dropout rates and illiteracy are issues for everyone in society, not just parents. It’s time for everyone to sit up and pay attention.


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Again, Clayton County School Board Doesn’t Need Help

The New Mr-Fix-it Superintendent barred a group of volunteers from clayton county public schools for either (1) their agreement to provide service expiring (2) their need of background checks (which the school system provides free for volunteers or (3) according to some members of the group-the membership of some volunteers in a recall effort to boot board members (who hired the superintendent).

These volunteers are men who provide an example, a father figure and, for lack of a better phrase, life coaching for kids who grow up in less than encouraging homes. These men take time out of their schedules to help children in need-for FREE. The program began initially in one middle school and grew to include nine other schools. Superintendent Thompson needs figure out his priorities. The volunteer program IS NOT on your agenda. Have the background checks run, as you do on all volunteers, but SACS did not list the volunteers as an issue. Get to work on your checklist. Time’s ticking away… 



Why did Superintendent Thompson SHRED all the diplomas in advance of distribution to graduates of Clayton Co Schools? Because the name of his predecessor appeared on the diplomas. How much to replace these coveted items? $25,000-$50,000. Seriously, these students do not know him. They’re just really happy that their diploma is worth the paper it’s written on. Hopefully, the new diplomas will be issue before the school is no longer accredited. Mr. Thompson’s priorities appear to be out of order. Fix the school system, don’t worry with the small stuff. But, hey, the Clayton Co School Board made its bed hope they enjoy lying in it. 


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Progress in Clayton County?

Clayton County, Georgia (Again)

Apparently, the new chair of the school board believes that the Board must follow the mandates of the SACS (Accreditation Agency). Her first step on that agenda, NO not resignation, the deal with ethics complaints. Although one board member believes that the ethics rules should be suspended in this time of crisis. According to the ajc.com, Lois Baines-Hunter, indicated that the ethic policy should not enforced because of the crisis.

Violations of ethics policy and state regulations are the reason for the crisis. The ethics policy along with the oath taken by each board member and the logic carried by each person walking this earth are in place to insure that the rules and regulations of our civil society are acknowledged and followed. This school board has shown itself to be unable to comply with the rules of civil society. The Board members care more for the “status” as an embattled board member than for the children whom they were elected to serve.

Again, I pray: Give up. Step down. Let people who care take over the crisis.

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The Oconee War

On Sunday, John and I attended a lecture on the Oconee War. Billed as a history of the battle for the land between the North Oconee and the Apalachee Rivers, this lecture proved very interesting. Steven Scurry lectured about the Creek Indians and their aspirations to retain the “beloved” land in the region and attempt to co-exist with the Georgians.

Scurry loves this history and has conducted the research in this free time. His knowledge far out reaches the time alotted for the lecture. Look for book sometime.

The history began with an explanation of the Creek’s “beloved” paths between major areas of what is now Georgia and the treaty entered with Georgians in 1773. Scurry explained some of the traditions and the perspective of the Creek based on transcripts from Spanish, French and US archives. Unfortunately, we did not cover all the history listed in the program. If you have the opportunity to catch his lecture, you should make a point to hear him speak.

See The Flagpole’s Pub Notes for a great summary of the lecture


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Not Fated, but Destined

Dateline: Clayton County, Georgia

In this suburb of Atlanta, an imbroglio continues unresolved that will harm children because the school board members are too proud to own the mistakes and errors in judgment made in recent years. The public school system will lose its accreditation on September 1, 2008 if clear and specific changes are not made before that date. See http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/clayton/stories/2008/04/23/claylaw_0424.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab#comments

The experienced attorney who represents numerous school boards, according to reports on ajc.com, advised all of the elected board members to resign. A resignation would expedite the reelection process, already set for July election, by possibly forcing a special election earlier. Tonight the Board will consider firing their attorney because of his advice that they resign.

The pride of these board members jeopardizes the education of children. Children. Regardless of any positions held about even the existence of public schools, all can agree that children do not make the choice of where to attend school and what delivery system is used for their education. These board members choose their pride and their “status” as an embattled board member over the education and future of these children. Didn’t they take an oath before becoming board members? Should that oath have included a promise and duty to insure proper education for these children?

The parents and voters of Clayton County are not without some blame here. Mount a recall effort. Make your voices heard for the sake of your children. Unfortunately, the vocal minority, the interested, concerned parents, have yet to determine a means to motivate the already apathetic and unmotivated parents in that community to act. For the majority of parents, public school is just 8 hours of day-care and a potential lawsuit-windfall waiting to happen. These parents care not if their children receive an actual education. Daycare remains their primary concern.

Until Clayton County concerned parents and students find a means to motive the unmotivated parents and the School Board listens to their attorney, this school system is destined to fall apart. The Clayton County Board already failing its students, will fail the whole county if it’s not careful.

This destiny can change if change occurs QUICKLY. If the School Board swallows its collective pride, overcomes what I hope is ignorance, and not stupidity (ignorance can be repaired, stupidity is permanent), these schools and these children will have a chance to improve, not just maintain status quo ante.


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