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Old 10-24-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,461 posts, read 4,113,545 times
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My mother had an equally rotten experience growing up with integration. We Georgians, southerners, and Americans it seems, have a special penchant for being so totally rotten to each other.

This pettiness is practically ingrained into our DNA. Every time an advancement takes place, there always have to a be bunghole bullcrap attempt to counterbalance that enlightened action with an equally regressive action. It's as if some people just can't stand to see the world change for the better.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: There will never be true education reform here in Georgia. The collective cultural consciousness of the citizens are not capable of it. Ignorance coupled with belligerence is an art form here.

Time after time, Georgia continually proves why it's sword of Damocles, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, will always hang over it as a necessity. The feds will always have a significant role to play in the south more than anywhere else. The majority will always have a desire to bully the minority and will do it.

So you know what? I will bend a little bit. Compromise is a time-honored American tradition, I'd say.

Let there be a State Charter Commission. But it has to be an elected agency. That's my only condition.

If we Georgians are going to once again vote to cut off our own noses to spite our own faces, let us at least have the ability to elect the weasels to do it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RoslynHolcomb View Post
I guess my view toward disruptive and bullying behavior is somewhat skewed due to time and place. I started elementary school in the 1970s. Desegregation was occurring and for whatever reason I, the youngest of six was sent to the white elementary school. I made friends there, then when I was in third grade they closed the black schools and all the black kids to the formerly white schools. Instantly, all the white friends I'd made were pulled out and sent to the newly formed seg academies. Today, if such a traumatic change occurred, there would be school counselors and other measures taken to smooth the situation. But this was Alabama in 1973 and that was so not happening.

The anger and resentment was palpable. The teachers were hostile, the kids responded to the hostility by acting out. Suffice it to say that I, socially awkward, tall for my age and bewildered, was on the firing line. The bullying was constant, it was impossible for me to interact or really even to get an education. I must say I contemplated suicide on a daily basis for most of my school years.

My own experience means that I won't tolerate my kid being bullied. If I have to pull my kid out. I'll do it. If I have to sell a kidney. I'll do it, but I'll be goddamned to hell and back before I'll allow my kid to be tortured the way I was.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Dunwoody)
2,047 posts, read 3,873,868 times
Reputation: 957
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
My mother had an equally rotten experience growing up with integration. We Georgians, southerners, and Americans it seems, have a special penchant for being so totally rotten to each other.

This pettiness is practically ingrained into our DNA. Every time an advancement takes place, there always have to a be bunghole bullcrap attempt to counterbalance that enlightened action with an equally regressive action. It's as if some people just can't stand to see the world change for the better.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: There will never be true education reform here in Georgia. The collective cultural consciousness of the citizens are not capable of it. Ignorance coupled with belligerence is an art form here.

Time after time, Georgia continually proves why it's sword of Damocles, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, will always hang over it as a necessity. The feds will always have a significant role to play in the south more than anywhere else. The majority will always have a desire to bully the minority and will do it.

So you know what? I will bend a little bit. Compromise is a time-honored American tradition, I'd say.

Let there be a State Charter Commission. But it has to be an elected agency. That's my only condition.

If we Georgians are going to once again vote to cut off our own noses to spite our own faces, let us at least have the ability to elect the weasels to do it.
I came to the same conclusion regarding tax reform in Alabama for the exact same reason. This reform of a draconian, regressive tax code was initiated by a conservative Republican governor who said the tax code was un-Christian. Folks still voted against it, especially poor people who would have benefitted. The hatred and resentment and distrust is so deeply ingrained as to be immutable. I'm still opposed to the charter schools, but I do think the new cities should be able to form school systems.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
The level and type of disruption that kids may or may not dole out is in the eye of the beholder, I'd say. When I was going through the DCSS K-12 system, I dealt with a lot of kids who were into the bullying thing. I simple fought back or took my licks like a young man. The bullies typically get their just desserts in the end; some sooner, and some later. But it does happens.

Then I learned the fine art of getting into my peer group who provided a "buffer" as it were, against the other kids. Some people may call that a "gang", but to me they were simply my friends who had my back when the chips were down. Those were some pretty good memories.

Times must have really changed from when I was a 80s kid to a 90s teenager. I didn't realize that nowadays, the way I grew up is considered "despicable" to you and some folks. To me, it was simply the school of hard knocks...a "prep school" as it were.

It was the type of social education that mentally girded me and men like myself...for the utter harshness that a black man in America will inevitably face in one way or another as an adult...be it unfair employment practices, racial profiling by police officers, being stereotyped in the media & by common laypersons, and often being given deficient services in restaurants, hotels, and other private establishments that given the same circumstances, would not be doled out to someone who is of a "fairer" disposition.

But in a way, what you have written has given me a greater understanding why so many people who are not of the African American persuasion have this irrational fear of me. They have never known the pleasure of growing up with men like me. They don't know my tics, quirks, my innermost desires, my greatest fears, and my greatest hopes. Most have never even tried to know.

How tragic is that?





If it is considered a social experiment and an act of foolishness to live next door to a person like me, to go to school with a person like me, to even be a friend to a person like me...then I truly fear for the future of America and for this world.

Humanity may have a dark future indeed, if that is indeed the attitude that you and many others like you may have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
You made a lot of good points and even cleared up some misconceptions that I have had about vouchers. But that being said, I'm still not convinced that giving the state unelected power to simply yank money from local school districts is the way to go.

Georgia has been a very bad partner in recent times to local governments, especially those ITP. I don't trust the governor's office and the state legislature to do anything except continue their good ol' boy politics, where you have to be in the "in crowd" to get any sort of satisfactory results.

A lot of your answers to my questions involves your own personal anecdotal experience, and it's pretty obvious that you are solidly middle class and in a great position to support your children attending charter school. But I simply don't see your situation being easily translatable to a lot of other children who have to attend public schools.

That's my opinion on this subject. Thank you for the response, though.
But the state would not have the power. The parents would. That is the point. I don't see how telling all people in this state that they have the option of sending their kids to whatever school they want to send them to, no matter the county/district/locale is going to make the "good ole boys" network any bigger.

Also, I am middle class but I live in the ghetto. I grew up around a lot of different people and I am also black. I LOVE black people and I agree with a lot of the things you said in your inital post after mine in regards to young black men.

My nephew is poor. His mom is a slob and very "into" herself. My brother, his dad, has a lot of issues that were his own doing, he loves his kids but isn't responsible for them and neither of them look out for their children's best interest. In a lot of ways, my own mom I don't think went out of her way to provide me with the many opportunities I could have taken advantage of being a little black, nappy headed, highly intelligent girl. Teachers/administrators in my average schools in the inner city where I am from did recognize my intelligence and made my mom aware and I was in the TAG program from K-12 and did AP classes and all that jazz. But I know that I could have achieved more and done more if I had been provided more academically. I don't regret any of my choices, and like I said, I am solidly middle class in income right now, but there is always room for improvement. I also grew up in the 80s and was a teen in the 90s. I want more for my kids than what I had. I can admit (which is hard for us people who were TAG kids as I have a few friends still from my TAG days and I keep up with them) that my son is not gifted like I was. But that doesn't mean that he should not have to put up with a bunch of mess from administrators or that he should have to sit in a class where teachers teach to "the middle" and don't challenge him academically.

As a black man, you should know our black boys are failing. They are failing in situations that you went through. More failed back then than they do now. Most of the black men, former childhood friends and cousins of mine when I was a child did not turn out all that great. Many of them quit school. There was a criminal element in one side of my family and most of my male cousins and uncles on that side are in jail. One of my brothers recently got out of jail a couple years ago after spending 6 years there for drug trafficking. I know what "the school of hard knocks" is. My dad used to tell me that he went to the "University of Street Life" lol. So I know all about that. My dad is a high school drop out. My older brother (my dad's oldest son, we don't have the same mom) was a middle school drop out, he grew up in the 80s/90s as well. My 2nd oldest brother did graduate (we have the same mom) but he dropped out of college and works in factories and spends most of his time getting high on weed and drinking. He isn't a deep drug addict, but he is enough of one that it has thrown his life off course. He also is always talking about "being tough" similar to what it seems you spoke of about your hard knocks. He wants the best for his kids but thinks that his own life style is good enough for them, he has very highly intelligent children. Both his boys are much smarter than what I was as a TAG child. They have many more opportunities available to them due to school choice. My poor 14 year old nephew was sought after by the school he goes to. He gets excellent grades and is very involved in school. His dad, my brother who smokes weed and drinks a lot, also wanted to go to the same school when we were teens before he got off track. Our family could not afford to send him so he went to our neighborhood high school. I am certain that if he had gone to that school he would be better off today as he was also very smart as a child and talented and he still is but doesn't think he can do anything more now that he is in his 30s, he thinks his time has passed. Times change and change is for the better. Why should we continue to let our boys suffer so that their dad's can claim some sort of macho attitude about how tough their son's are. That is failing our kids. They can do better if we demand that they do better and if we do better as their parents and if we demand that the teachers/administrators and the state that takes our money via taxes provides us with the opportunity to send our bright kids to great schools.

As someone who grew up in the ghetto and who still lives in the ghetto, I can say from experience that most of the kids I grew up with and who I know now, who are little black boys and girls are VERY bright. Most of them have good parents who just happen to be poor. It seems here on this forum poor neighborhoods get a bad rap but from my experience, poor people work way harder for way less money than middle or upper income people. Most of the people in my neighborhood who work, have much tougher jobs and put up with way more crap than I have to deal with in my career. They may be ignorant in regards to what is out there for their kids, but most want their kids to do better than them and they want them to have the best. Even my mom wanted me to have the best and she did the best she could with what she knew, but she was ignorant in regards to other programs and opportunities I could have had as a child. My counselors didn't give me info on things that I found out later, I could have benefitted from like full ride scholarships to boarding/prep schools as many top prep schools in the nation will give any kid accepted a free ride if they are in a certain percentile. I was in the 99th percentileSchool choice provides parents with info and takes them out of their ignorance in these situations. They can see that kid is just as capable as another as long as their kid does the work required.

I don't think anything about your high school experience or rearing was "despicable." I grew up probably the same way. I also had a lot of hard knocks experiences that I won't get into that I had to navigate as a child mostly in regards to the criminal side of my family. But I am just a positive person, I always look at life optimistically and I always am looking at "getting better" and not staying the same. I have some nostalgic feelings about my high school, the people I knew then, the things we did, how much fun we had, but my experience is mine and I don't want it for my kids or other people's kids. We need to do everything we can to give our kids a better opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onthemove2014 View Post
1. Not sure how you managed to bring race into it but I'm black to.

2.School isn't about forming gangs and fighting bullies, nor is it about obnoxious kids ruining the classroom experience.

I also agree with the above. This was not a racially charged thread until you made those comments.

Also, we actually had street gangs in my school in high school, there were gang fights and we even had a riot once where swat teams came in and they shut down the school and arrested about 50 people involved in a fight. We had some obnoxious kids in the classroom. Every class room has obnoxious kids.

The culture I am speaking of that needs to be addressed in many traditional schools is one of "getting by" or teaching to the middle. We need to address the needs of ALL children and with all the technology and research we have on learning styles and teaching methods and statistical markers for kids who may drop out of school - there is just no reason why we should not use the information we have to either 1- better our traditional schools or 2-create new schools and let the families decide where to send their kids. I honestly do think school choice could work in GA. But I think that people are too pessimistic about it and have a defeatist attitude. There are those also with an elitist attitude in that they don't want certain kids from certain demographics or income classes to come to their school because "they paid" to get into that neighborhood to go to that school.

We can even get back to Grady where someone earlier in this thread said that it was unfair for people out of the district to come in when they had no part in making the school great. To me that is laughable since it well known that Atlanta is more of a transient city and so I would bet the large majority of the students at Grady are from families who have no history with that school and moved to the neighborhood to take advantage of the school. They have the money to do so. Yet, you have children who have roots in Atlanta going back generations who are black or poor who you don't want to go there. It is really strange and interesting to me. Maybe it is a Georgia or southern thing. I find it odd that GA is a republican state and that republicans usually are for school choice, yet there isn't much school choice in many southern states at all.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,052 posts, read 1,307,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onthemove2014 View Post
1. Not sure how you managed to bring race into it but I'm black to.

2.School isn't about forming gangs and fighting bullies, nor is it about obnoxious kids ruining the classroom experience.
Thank You!
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,461 posts, read 4,113,545 times
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"Racially-charged" and "race-card" are meaningless morally-compromised terms that have been commonly utilized by conservative-minded people in the last 20 or 30 years. And it usually symbolizes that those types don't want to face up to their own demons, & by large the demons that still exist in this nation's psyche.

So I could give two turds of a rat's behind what a person says when they throw out those terms. It simply means they don't want a serious and honest conversation. And also that they want to shout others down and prevent them from doing the same.

And I won't back off from my opinions.

Believe it.



*Note: Please don't take what I say as an attack on you. My apologies if I have given you that impression. I just won't tolerate this conservative tactic that employs loaded-language simply for the purpose of delegitimizing a person and his/her opinions. I will make it my special mission to shut that tactic down very quickly.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
I also agree with the above. This was not a racially charged thread until you made those comments.

Last edited by AcidSnake; 10-25-2012 at 04:21 PM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:52 PM
 
12,888 posts, read 20,969,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
"Racially-charged" and "race-card" are meaningless morally-compromised terms that have been commonly utilized by conservative-minded people in the last 20 or 30 years. And it usually symbolizes that those types don't want to face up to their own demons, & by large the demons that still exist in this nation's psyche.

So I could give two turds of a rat's behind what a person says when they throw out those terms. It simply means they don't want a serious and honest conversation. And also that they want to shout others down and prevent them from doing the same.

And I won't back off from my opinions.

Believe it.



*Note: Please don't take what I say as an attack on you. My apologies if I have given you that impression. I just won't tolerate this conservative tactic that employs loaded-language simply for the purpose of delegitimizing a person and his/her opinions. I will make it my special mission to shut that tactic down very quickly.*
Well said and true--all of it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
668 posts, read 786,281 times
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I realize this thread has gone in a decidedly different direction from the original question, but since there was a town hall meeting for the Grady Cluster with Erroll Davis tonight where out-of-zone students was a much-discussed topic, I thought I'd post what was said. Ultimately, it is not known how many students are remaining that do not live in the cluster - or at least they aren't saying. He broke them down into three categories: a) those that grandfathered in, mostly from the "transitioning" magnet program, b) those that are children of APS employees that work there, and c) those that are attending based on false pretenses.

There is a suspicion among parents, and apparently shared to some degree by APS, that there is a high number of students in category c), and APS has stepped up efforts to crack down on the number of students attending fraudulently (I won't say illegally - it is a public school after all). This suspicion was bolstered by the fact that the 2012 incoming freshman class contained 150 more students than graduated from Inman Middle School, now the only feeder school in the cluster. However, from what I understand these increased efforts only weeded out a small number of students.

One thing Mr. Davis said that I thought was very interesting was that part of the challenge in forecasting enrollment is that APS serves a highly transient population, with as many as 30% of the student body changing residences every year. Now that's system-wide, and he didn't say whether the Grady cluster was more or less than that, but it illustrates how easily it could be for a family to establish residency in one zone, and then continue to attend school in there even if they move to a different address.

But, to your original question of how many students were grandfathered in after the elimination of the magnet program, I would guess less than 15%. This is based on numbers APS released last year that showed that about 20% of students at Grady were from outside the zone (although the cluster as defined now is different due to last spring's redistricting), and assuming that 1/4th of those students graduated last year.

As to what impact this would have on the diversity, I would say little to none. Of course, diversity is a very relative term, so I don't know your criteria for what you do and do not consider diverse.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:20 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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As a response to the thread being taken in a different direction all I can say is this:

1. Many conservative-minded parents often wish that children who bus to their schools from other neighborhoods would stay in their neighborhoods and fix them themselves. I actually agree with them(the conservative-minded parents) on this one. School-bussing in my opinion actually avoids the issue of failed schools.

2. I don't mind compromising on the State Charter Commission issue provided that this potentially new agency is an elected agency.

Given my willingness to compromise in these areas I would've expect many people to say, "golly gee willikers AcidSnake, you are actually a reasonable person". One would think, anyways.

But for whatever reason, people will find cause to jump on me anyways...simply because I don't say things the way they want me to say things. What can I say?

I simply bring out the "fighter" in folks!
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
668 posts, read 786,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
As a response to the thread being taken in a different direction all I can say is this:

1. Many conservative-minded parents often wish that children who bus to their schools from other neighborhoods would stay in their neighborhoods and fix them themselves. I actually agree with them(the conservative-minded parents) on this one. School-bussing in my opinion actually avoids the issue of failed schools.

2. I don't mind compromising on the State Charter Commission issue provided that this potentially new agency is an elected agency.

Given my willingness to compromise in these areas I would've expect many people to say, "golly gee willikers AcidSnake, you are actually a reasonable person". One would think, anyways.

But for whatever reason, people will find cause to jump on me anyways...simply because I don't say things the way they want me to say things. What can I say?

I simply bring out the "fighter" in folks!
I didn't make that statement as a judgment, just an observation so that I couldn't be blamed for derailing the topic when I was answering the OP.

Plus I thought your posts were reasonable.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:13 PM
 
14,375 posts, read 7,085,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
As a response to the thread being taken in a different direction all I can say is this:

1. Many conservative-minded parents often wish that children who bus to their schools from other neighborhoods would stay in their neighborhoods and fix them themselves. I actually agree with them(the conservative-minded parents) on this one. School-bussing in my opinion actually avoids the issue of failed schools.

2. I don't mind compromising on the State Charter Commission issue provided that this potentially new agency is an elected agency.

Given my willingness to compromise in these areas I would've expect many people to say, "golly gee willikers AcidSnake, you are actually a reasonable person". One would think, anyways.

But for whatever reason, people will find cause to jump on me anyways...simply because I don't say things the way they want me to say things. What can I say?

I simply bring out the "fighter" in folks!

I said what I said in regards to you bringing up race in this thread because no one had actually brought it up and you did indeed do that, it was not some sort of conservative attack on you, which actually makes me giggle a bit. Just stating a factual observation.

Also I think most people are reasonable and I also understand your concerns in regards to the issues that minority children face in the public school system, which is one of the reasons why I am an advocate of school choice. I will admit that in many ways I side with conservatives and on the issue of school choice I side with them.

It is an observation of mine, that many in this state and other southern states in general talk a good game when it comes to having limited government control over things such as schools and talk a good talk about giving families choices - to me a lot of those choices are based on prejudice - people don't mind having school choice but don't like it when a poor or black or latino/spanish speaking child comes to their school because they feel it will ruin the quality of "their" school.

Also want to point out that many of the people in this state who are against school choice are either 1) people like the above who talk a good talk but don't want any outsiders in their school and 2) Black people who for some reason let other black politicians or democrats persuade them that school choice is only for the wealthy and will not benefit them in any way, which is very much untrue, school choice evens the playing field in a lot of ways for poor children and black children and other minority children. Also, many of the black people have a nostalgic feeling for their neighborhood schools that they went to. People around here LOVE Washington High school for instance, they seem to think it is the best school ever made for some reason even though compared nationally in many statistical categories, it is probably on the low end. Nostalgia is not what is going to make our kids more educated. If more of the talented kids in this neighborhood had a way to leave it and go to other schools in the area, then that would force Washington to revamp and get better. If they offered better programs, more of the better families in the area would want to send their kids to that school.

Why is it that there was a meeting held at Grady anyway to discuss people coming into the school who "aren't suppose to be there?" Those students in "category C." Are those students poor performers? Are those students bringing down the reputation of the school? I highly doubt it since Grady is considered the best public high school in APS regardless of those children being there. That is the case for me - the elitist attitude, acting as if something, like a school, which as was stated above has a large transient population, as belonging specifically to the general area surrounding it. Schools are vehicles for education IMO, nothing more and since they are public institutions, there is no reason to exclusion.

Why do those who have an issue with the out of zone kids being there have an issue with it is the question?

Fixing bad schools if you want is all good but if someone doesn't want to go to that school, you are okay with forcing them to go to a sub par school? Or making that decision for them, like people like myself and a few people I know who live in the Washington district, that we will have to move out of the zone or out of the city or even out of the state in order to give our kids a decent education? Honestly, I feel not having school choice is going to hurt the area. Not everyone can afford to live in specific neighborhoods that already have decent high schools. And most parents are like me and don't want to have to work to bring up the quality of a school as soon as they move in an area - the kid needs a good quality school right now, not in 2-4 years when my kid is ready to graduate. Regardless of what many of you believe, it is not something that can happen overnight. If you are fine with your kid getting subpar education right now then that is great, but I know a lot of people who are planning on moving out of the city - good people in neighborhoods that need good people - because their choices are limited in regards to the education of their children.
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