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Posts Tagged ‘Schools’

Wilson's Chapel UMC Rural Setting

Us vs. Them and this side vs. that side has me weary.  I am on the side of right.  But, we should consider the plight of the southside today…southside of town, of the state and of the nation.  Oh, it’s an issue because the governor wants to control schools on the southside, Atlanta feels it’s carrying South Georgia at times, and the America South doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Traditionally, southern towns were divided by railroad tracks and my community was on the southside.  Some of us wax nostalgic for Black businesses, Black schools, and Black neighborhoods.  Was integration a two edged-sword?  The November ballot includes a constitutional amendment to create a so-called Opportunity School District.  The OSD would be a statewide district and the governor’s appointee could closed an underperforming school or privatize it.

In many cases, the schools on the list are the last neighborhood schools on the southside of their towns.  Schools, hospitals and governmental buildings often serve as institutional anchors of an area.

In many Georgia towns, the battle isn’t northside vs. southside; it’s city vs. county.  Let’s be real, southern White people love owning land; I like that myself.  If you have several acres in the country, it seems like your own kingdom or estate.  Fox News and conservative talk radio have those people retreating to their forts…guns in hand.

If you notice, the new schools are in the county or on the outskirts of town because the White exodus left a Black center.  “Wait a minute I might live in the county but my tax dollars pay for too much…federal, state and local. I should still control the city.”  If you are a millionaire in the county, Kesha who works at the plant has more pull in town than you…if she would only vote.  The money-having White minority who live in town controlling everything would be American apartheid.

On the state level, Georgia’s governmental power struggle is between Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.  The governor and a disproportionate number of leaders are from North Georgia. The reason why is simple…they vote every time up there.  South Georgia seems like an afterthought.  Newsflash, every dadgum body can’t live in the Atlanta….and that statement comes from people living in Atlanta.

Nationally, the South has it’s own vibe/favor.  I am going to scream if I continue to hear and read “urban” as a synonym for “Black” in the news and on BET.  Blacks who live in the country want to be in the country.  We should be approached differently than our cousins in the city.  If not for racism and lack of employment, many of those city Blacks would love being back in the piney woods.  If they sold their ATL McMansions and got acres in the county, where would current county folks flee to next?

There is a growing sentiment that the Democrat establishment cares more about the LBGTQ community and the undocumented Latino community than southern Blacks.  Bernie Sanders would have beaten Hillary Clinton if not for Blacks in the South.  I don’t agree with my friends that think all Blacks wanted from the election of Obama was for him to be Black….that’s bull.  We appreciate President Obama’s service…period.

In summary, we must vote, speak up and stay vocal because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you don’t vote, you have zero right to complain about President Trump’s view of the southside…typing President Trump was difficult.

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trojan-horse-in-troy-city

The November election in Georgia is important because the Governor is trying to slip an education Trojan horse into every school system.   The Opportunity School District constitutional amendment sounds harmless or helpful: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?”

Intervene.  Intervene how?  The Governor’s Office, not the state department of education, would take over certain schools with the option to declare them charter schools and privatize these schools.  “Oh, you went to a school so bad that the state took it over…what a stigma…do you know what stigma means?”

First, my concerns aren’t about Democrats and Republicans.  When Governor Deal was a congressman from the northern section of Georgia, he did a fine job representing the people of that region.  However, Georgia is a big and diverse state with different regions.  Muhammed Ali once said that the problem with Atlanta is that it is surrounded by Georgia.  Come on, champ, some of us prefer the rest of Georgia.

My point is that the conservative region above Atlanta doesn’t understand that schools fail for various reasons and only bloggers will admit that the primary reasons might be home life—little Johnny can’t focus at school if home is rough.  Of course, we all want kids to be ready to learn, focused and prepared to concentrate like we were…and we were because we grew up focusing from the front pew of church.

Wait a second, my conservative friends have been fighting against federal or state control of local governmental matters for 40 years.  Generally, they would hate a state officer telling them what to do with their local schools.

History

Some ultra conservatives have been trying to resegregate schools since Brown vs. the Board of Education.  Paying property taxes to fund a school full of kids whose parents don’t pay property taxes burns them up.  The situation is exacerbated by the notion that “those kids” at times are the discipline problems that make the public schools unacceptable.  So, Mr. Property Owner must go deeper into his pockets to pay for private school.  For the record, everyone should cheer for the academic success of every child because you want to have an intelligent labor force to attract well-paying industries.  If you don’t pay for school, you will pay in time in prison cost…Georgia State University or Georgia State Penitentiary.

Ultimate Real Deal

The Opportunity School District is a Trojan horse that would open the door to privatizing public schools and taking control of schools from local leaders and citizens.  I bet you will find some corporations that run schools at the center of this idea.  Remember, they tried the same thing with privatizing prisons—built the prisons and they got rich off mass incarceration.  Orange is the New Black is based on facts.

This deal is even cuter. This plan goes down like this: Rather than cherry-picking the best students and putting them into charter schools or magnet schools, you open the door to cherry-picking the worst schools or students, turn them over to private companies and the remaining students will be better off.

Yes, something must be done about under-preforming schools and the effort will require an honest analysis of all factors…including students, parents and environment.  But, the governor’s office taking over schools is not the answer.

Hillary Clinton Smiling

You know that Democrat voters in Georgia are experiencing an enthusiasm problem.  They aren’t necessarily hyped about voting for president because the national media keeps saying that Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are the only swing states this side of the Mississippi River.  Clinton will win those states and with the help of Republicans running from Donald Trump, Georgia and North Carolina are on the toss-up list.

Clinton should be smiling because this crazy Opportunity School Board mess would light a fire under unlikely registered voters.  If presented to the people correctly, OSB could be a game changer.  Wait, it gets better.  Real money is flowing around the state to stop this ill-conceived amendment.  Traditionally, Dems raise money in Atlanta to spend in say Florida but this year, Hillary and maybe the U.S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale might win by riding the coattails of the anti-Opportunity  School Board movement.

Bloggers are ready to stop OSB with rallies, cookouts, tailgates, receptions and radio spots.  Georgia Dems can be elitists at times—elbowing each other for glory.  We don’t have time for that crap this time because the stakes are too high…what’s in the balance is the future of our kids.  We won’t let them recreate a second class school system based on race, region, or income. I think they want rural school systems to have a city kids school and county kids school but that is really county kids getting new schools and town kids keeping the old, current schools.

Plan

The plan to stop OSB centers on early voting and educating voters about voting the total ballot.  President Obama recently said at Howard University’s graduation that he would have had a different congress if voters who voted for him would have voted for congress and other ballot items. We must get the word out and it needs to come from trusted members of the community…like me.  They need to put that money on the street…old school style, Maze and Motown playing at rallies, family reunion style.  Oh, I would put a Trojan horse with OSB on him on 3,000 t-shirts in one month.

Citizens should consider their use of time in support of the communities’ youth.  So, you can sit in a high school football game for three hours to support the players, cheerleaders and band but you won’t take 10 minutes to early vote for good candidates and against junk like OSB.  You use your smartphone to play Angry Birds but won’t get angry about conservative politicians trying to quietly take over our schools; we are talking about the same conservatives who constantly called for the end of the state and federal departments of education.  As projectlogicaga.com’s Best Interest Initiative states, everyone has an agenda.

My agenda is to use social media to mobilize and energize every voter this year.

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Would someone explain the charter school concept to me? Are these schools publicly funded private schools? I am one moderate who would support a school voucher program with certain provisions so I am not hating on charter schools. My concerns have always been with cherry-picking the best students and families out of the failing school systems. Shoot, I could teach those good kids but if you want to be really impressive reach those “Stand By Me” students. The cute part about vouchers is that difficult kids’ parents would not have the remaining amount of the tuition so they would not sully those precious private corridors.

People make money in the city and drive into the suburban communities with their tax dollars everyday yet wonder what is wrong with the urban areas. When Marion Berry was mayor in D.C., he considered taxing them on the bridges.  What was he smoking? 

We must fix the inner cities and failing school systems but good kids shouldn’t be penalized in the meantime.  In rural Georgia, teaching has always been an important path into the middle class but teaching unions can’t justify these horrible results.  Something has got to give. 

Are charter schools required to take a certain percentage of difficult learners?  Retired military veterans (Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Black Ops) should start charter schools for the worst of the worst and when the weak parents comes to complain drop them for 50 pushups.  

On the whole separation of church and state thing, the History Channel is tripping me out with all of the information about the Founding Fathers efforts to support this concept.  Can charter schools function like Christian, Jewish or Muslim schools?  We take this P.C. stuff to far at times.  The local high school cheerleaders have always done the standard cheer, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, all the Rams are going to heaven…when we get there, they will say..the other team went the other way.”  Can they say that or is the ACLU in route.

http://www.albanyherald.com/home/headlines/79278487.html

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The editor of the Albany (Georgia) Herald newspaper made some good points yesterday on the silliness of twisting President Obama’s speech to students into an effort to indoctrinated the youth.  Then, Thomas L. Friedman, my favorite economist, did the same thing on Meet the Press.  To be fair, Obama Green Jobs guy was equally silly for siding in the past with those who thought President Bush knew about the 911 attacks in advance.

Speaking of 911, where was President Bush when he actually learned about those horrible events?  He was sitting on a stage in a Florida elementary school reading the book “My Pet Goat” to kids.  This silly season stuff is starting to get my goat. 

Elected officials, bureaucrats and congressional staff should make themselves more available to speak to kids about the function and limited role of government because governmental decisions will affect their futures. 

I have a friend who teaches high school government/history and he is always asking me when am I coming to “drop knowledge” on his students.  I politely defer to the current congressional staffers who have that covered like a blanket but if I work in that capacity in the future, I would roll up my sleeves, loosen my tie and let them know that respectfully questioning and monitoring the government is vital and patriotic.  If talking with the public about the federal government was the only thing I did for the rest of my life that would be a full life.

For example, some young cats in my community once asked why the congressmen and senators were always talking about agriculture when nobody cares about that around here.  I told them that the only people who should care about agriculture were those people who want to eat safe food, drink clean water and breathe fresh air.  The local school system is funded in large part by the taxes on farmland and farmers and their workers are a big part of who spends money shopping and dining in the larger regional hub city.

We are “involved” in the Middle East because we have become dependent on foreign oil but the ag industry is making advancements on renewable energy sources that can be grown here—our cousins can come back from the dangerous war zone because the farmers and producers are on their games. 

On the other hand, speakers in schools must regulate what they really want/need to say: don’t have children before you can afford them and expect the government to provide for them—that simple is not right.  Also, don’t lust for material things so much that you will commit crimes to get those unimportant things.  Yes, those talks should come from home and church first.

As Thomas Friedman wrote his classic book “The World Is Flat,” school kids are fully focused and hungry for opportunity around the world while some American students are becoming weaker, softer, and more complacent.  Somebody needs to talk with them other than MTV and BET because if they are reached early enough and wisdom sinks into their heads, we could save billions currently spent on nonsense.   

I am still waiting for the Black moderate to conservative who will serve in congress and have no problems “getting on” the community about what we need to do to function better.  Any sitting American president should make those “real talk” speeches without reservations.  

 

Meet the Press segment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRzOAJPvlGI

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