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Old 07-08-2011, 12:09 PM
 
28,209 posts, read 24,815,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windu View Post
Yep, parental involvement is crucial because it is absolutely necessary to address the other major issues: qualifications of the teachers, lack of money/resources, and the politicized, bureaucratic, broken school administration. These can only be fixed by organized parents who refuse to take no for an answer. Unfortunately, most of Atlanta, and most of other cities that have the exact same problems with underperforming schools, don't have that.
I agree with your post but just wanted to touch on that one issue.

Money is not the problem with City of Atlanta schools. They are incredibly well funded. We spend more money per student than any system in the state, and more than big city systems like LA and Chicago. In the last 10 years alone, APS has spent over $1 billion on new and upgraded facilities, and it spends another $600 million in local funds every year on salaries and operations. That doesn't include millions more they receive in federal funds, free lunch and breakfast programs, state and lottery money, and grants from individuals and charitable organisations like the Gates, Blank and Ford Foundations.

And needless to say, we've spent a fortune on scores of highly paid administrators and a superintendent who makes around $500,000 a year including a private limo and a chauffeur who's paid $100,000 a year.

So lack of money or resources has not been the problem.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:09 PM
 
Location: ATLANTA
200 posts, read 380,458 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigers84 View Post
Making lots of money is often envied but is not illegal (yet?). What the teachers did was illegal (fraud) and should be treated as such. Just like fraud on Wall Street.
No arguments here...I didn't know there were groups of teachers doing that...
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:31 PM
 
28,209 posts, read 24,815,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigers84 View Post
I was under pressure to do "bad things" as a youth. Fortunately I (usually ) chose correctly.
If you were like me, you also had the good fortune of being in the "right" demographic. Perhaps that's not as big a deal nowadays, but 50 years ago it meant you were less likely to go to jail, unless you did something serious like burglary, stealing a car or shooting somebody

Which raises another point. Although the odds were we wouldn't get prison time, that doesn't mean there weren't consequences. You'd get plenty of heat from parents, teachers, coaches and other adults in the community. They would barbecue you and they had the ability to make life very unpleasant.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Comments from a student and her mother about the negative effect of being "helped."

Videos: News, Sports, Entertainment, Technology & More - USATODAY.com
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:28 PM
 
7,113 posts, read 8,146,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Every time I hear the word retort I think of Samuel L. Jackson.

I'm just giving Mathman a little grief because he's being too harsh on our good schools. As I said at the top of this thread, there's been a complete failure of leadership at the top of APS. It has clearly hurt many of our schools and our students, and no one could be more outraged about it than me.

However, it would be a mistake not to recognize that we do have a handful of truly superlative schools in APS. They were never under suspicion and have been cleared at every level of this investigation. That they not only managed to survive but to rank among the best in the state every year is a testament to the outstanding work of the students, teachers, principals and parents who make that happen.

I think I'm being fair in my assessment.

Your morning jolt: Cheating scandal will make APS accreditation harder, says SACS chief | Political Insider

I mean, APS doesn't have full accreditation and now this?

Quote:
The CEO who oversees the firm that will determine whether or not Atlanta Public Schools will regain full accreditation says the APS cheating scandal is the worst ever seen in the U.S. — and will make it harder for the system to redeem itself by September.
The best APS can hope for is for SACs to hold any decision on accreditation in abeyance until it sees Atlanta's response to this.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:39 PM
 
28,209 posts, read 24,815,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
I think I'm being fair in my assessment.
You're being fair in your assessment of the system in general. I share that and am utterly outraged.

However, you're not being fair in your assessment of outstanding schools like Mary Lin, Springdale Park and Sarah Smith I and II. They have been cleared of any suspicion at every step of the way. They're the product of many years of hard work by many committed teachers, students, parents and principals who insist on excellence and integrity.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:12 PM
 
3,947 posts, read 3,876,713 times
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Just a few things to add (again I'm not from ATL or even the south)

I'm not condoning what happened but if teachers are paid more for performance and the only thing to judge students on is a standardized test then there is going to eventually be an incentive to cheat.

Maybe testing should simply move up to the way how it is done with the GRE and other tests. It is computerized..no paper form to put in. You are video taped and allowed paper and earplugs if you want. Maybe allow an essay or two on on a number of subjects.

There are other issues with schools in general that have to be addressed. For example if a student fails a class what should be the recourse? Summer school or staying back a year for that subject?

I recently interned with an organization that helps students that have dropped out of high school and helps prevent it from occurring to start with. One of the major reasons why some drop out is if they fail the tests over and over again. If they must pass the test to graduate and cannot pass it then the only recourse is a GED.

I don't think there's anything wrong with testing. But it's the learning process that goes along with the application of data that is also important. Obviously a standardized test is easy to evaluate as we've had scantrons since Eisenhower has been in office. But it does not test writing, does not test speed and might not even test memory.

Higher spending on education might not also work either. The highest funded school system in Mass (Lawrence) is located in an area where 40% of the city dropped out of high school. 14K a year per student..quite a bit. Parental involvement has to occur because there is a drain during the summer and students spend more time at home than school.

I highly recommend Khan Academy...it is free and online. It has videos posted of K-12 material and can assist quite a number of people.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:28 PM
 
28,209 posts, read 24,815,988 times
Reputation: 9576
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdovell View Post
Higher spending on education might not also work either. The highest funded school system in Mass (Lawrence) is located in an area where 40% of the city dropped out of high school. 14K a year per student..quite a bit.
That's about what we spend in Atlanta. We don't skimp when it comes to our schools. Still, like you say, close to half the students don't stick around to finish the program.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,463 posts, read 4,128,707 times
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In this lynch party atmosphere where it seems that everyone and anyone wants to chime in how much Atlanta Public Schools sucks, it seems that there is another public school system in Georgia that was on the radar for cheating. Dougherty County Public School System it seems may have cheating going on at some of its schools.

Dougherty County cheating probe restarted *| ajc.com

According to the article, Guvna Deal was about lay off on going further into the allegations, but at last the moment, mysteriously changed his mind. I wonder why that is, eh?

I'm also wondering if the investigation into this system will be just as aggressive as the one that took place in Atlanta.

Stay tune for further episodes, my fellow city-data atlanta forum amigos!
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: ATLANTA
200 posts, read 380,458 times
Reputation: 105
Oh those Republicans and their grand educational programs they never had intentions of fully funding
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