A site for Bibb County faculty, students, parents, and concerned citizens who desire to share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns regarding our current state of education in Bibb County in an uncensored, and unedited forum without fear of retaliation or retribution.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Honey Badger's Question of the day

The Plan for the Plan!!
What do you think about "The Plan"?
How can the school board members possibly vote for something for which they do not even have a cost analysis?

45 comments:

  1. The Chinese is fine but could we try to teach them to speak proper English first?

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    1. Thanks for the blog. I do have to disagree with you on the Chinese. It could be an elective, that would be O.K. My child will NOT be MADE to learn a COMMUNIST language, PERIOD!!!!!!!

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  2. Learning Mandarin will help with English. I know it isn't intuitive, but it has to do with how language is structured in the growing brain and how neurological connections are being built in children.

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    1. It doesn't help when your child is being bullies, can't listen in class cause of disruptions and administrators are helpless to remove the criminal element. Everyone knows the value of a second language (introduced at as early an age as possible), but Bibb has GOT to get BACK to BASICS first and teach foundations in a safe environment. Its just not the time to EXPAND horizons we have to invoke discipline FIRST.

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    2. You are so correct----- Our board should address the issue of the inability to listen in class because of disruptions and administrators who are helpless to remove the criminal element. Solve these issues before this system lets problem students choose a school they want and then disrupt another school.

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  3. So here's my conspiracy theory: he must know that there is no way this entire plan will be approved. It is way too cumbersome and cost prohibitive (even though we don't know exactly what that cost is). I would think/hope that even the board members he has in his back pocket would balk at some of the craziness.

    So then, they will propose and approve a toned-down version of the plan that will contain exactly the things he really wants like Chinese, Efficacy Training for all staff, year-round calendar, and school choice.

    And then he'll be gone before any of these things really take shape, or have time to fail. He'll move on to the next system, probably get a bigger salary, and then wreak his havoc there for a couple of years.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. Make it so outlandish, that the toned down version will pass without a fuss.

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    2. Look at what was happening at the system he came from ----http://sites.google.com/site/campaignofnoconfidence535/Home/oursixpoints

      Below is a list from that site with Rochester's concerns about Dallemand.
      -Inexcusable leadership tactics that have polarized and ostracized the district staff from
      administration
      -Repeated failure to meet the expectations of the nation, state, and district itself
      -Numerous misrepresentations of data
      -Misleading comments to the public
      -A lack of transparency not only with the community but the School Board as well
      -A lack of awareness of the needs specific to our community
      -Careless spending of funds in short supply on unproven programs
      -Questionable ability of the cabinet to do the jobs assigned
      -Capricious comments made public through unprofessional forums by cabinet members
      -Behavior unbecoming of a representative of the Rochester School District by cabinet members
      -Questionable method of layoffs
      -And a general ineptitude and inability to effectively lead our district

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    3. Oh my, deja vu... the Board truly bears the bulk of the responsibility for putting their trust in this man's pipe dreams.

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  4. I think he has lost what little brain he had. Only English should be mandatory, any others should be an elective. If you listen to these children speak, you will quickly realize that they cannot even speak English. What if all the children want to go to the same school????? What about transportation? No child should be thrown out of school for misbehaving?? We must find out why they are misbehaving???? Mostly because the parents do not train up the child in the way he should go. Parents feel rules do not belong to them. If you do not believe it, go through a carpool line sometime, go and see how they react when called to the school because their child is having problems. Not the child's fault, must be the school's problem. Most of them support the child, not the teacher.

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  5. This is a conversation that happened today on facebook. I thought the people on this blog might appreciate reading it.

    AN - After reading the article about the strategic plan presented by our school superintendent, and all of the comments following and by my friends of FB, I've been doing some thinking (scary, I know). I understand that people are upset and think this plan is "insane". And I'm NOT saying that this is the plan Bibb County should go with. But by the same token, I can understand the superintendent's impulse to completely re-work the system. What we have isn't working. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I also believe that you don't effectively attack a problem or an issue by criticism alone. You need to offer solutions to effect change. To that end, I wonder what ideas my FB family and friends do have to create positive change in our school system? And please don't read sarcasm into my post. None is intended. I genuinely want to know what my friends' ideas are.

    BH - First and foremost, there needs to be a plan to address discipline issues on every level. There are schools around the country with problems similar to ours that have successfully instilled some sense of pride and a desire to contribute in their young people. This needs to be researched. Nothing will change until we deal with the entitlement mentality. Then we need to find a way to go back to basics. I don't mean that we don't need to teach our students to use technology and maybe even speak a foreign language (but please, give families a choice), but our students need to know how to read and communicate effectively in English. Also, we need to meet the needs of our individual students. Not all students should take AP classes. We should offer "innovative" courses that will help all students find a career in which they can feel fulfilled and contribute something to the world at the same time. College is not for everyone, and to push students toward that goal when it is not what they want or need sets them up for failure. I have other thoughts that I dare not share. I want to keep my job.

    JA - I don't understand how cutting 300 teachers will help fix a problem. That is around 6000 students that will be put in 12 less schools that are already at or over capacity. These kids shouldn't be mainstreamed. they all have things that they need. I'm not trying to single out anyone but doesn't it seem like there should be a place for the students that need some sort of special education to go? I don't think it is fair to those students or any other students for them to be in a class room where they can't function. I’ll be taking a half day off work Friday for this. That's just one thing that needs to be worked on. We are middle class people who WORK for a living. How is giving computers and internet to low income / poverty families going to help? We don't have cable or internet at our house because we can't afford it. Not saying it’s a bad idea but a lot these people are in poverty because they refuse to get off their butt and work. It’s much easier to run the streets and poor mouth to get a hand out. how about adding some buses back at the magnet schools. I send my kids to a magnet school because it is the best elementary school in our area. It has been a huge sacrifice to keep them there but the BOE found it necessary to give Patterson a huge amount of money to leave and the kids suffered yet again. It just ticks me off.

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    JD - Instead of having the school system provide computers/internet, why not partner with the public libraries to expand hours and customer service and convert them into 21st century information centers? My kids love the library but can't go to the new one by my house because it's not open after 6 or on the weekend. Also someone needs to realize that this isn't just a school system problem but a community problem. There are certain chains that need to be broken - kids having kids having kids, lack of parental involvement, etc.

    JA - and why Chinese? Why not English and then maybe Spanish? We can't even communicate with some of the students that we have because of language barriers. Shouldn't they focus on the languages that are most commonly spoken in our schools?

    AN - As parents and community members we all recognize the problems. Discipline issues, lack of parental involvement, abuse and neglect issues at home, poverty, lack of community involvement. A big barrier is when leadership refuses to acknowledge the problems for fear of looking inadequate as a leader. We need to offer solutions, not just identify the problems. Jonathan, your idea about the libraries would help with the technology issues and the issue of community involvement. What are some other ideas for solutions to the problems we have identified? And JA, you are onto something as well. I was not at the school board meeting, but it seems Dr. Dallemand could do a better job of explaining the "why". People are generally resistant to change, but it is easier to get people to embrace change when you explain the rationale behind it. Perhaps that will be explained next Friday?

    JA - one could hope. It's baffling to me that he could utilize the people that we have that speak a foreign language such as Spanish but would go to a country clear across the world to hire teachers for a language that most of us have never heard. I mean really when will you ever use that? At the China buffet?

    JD - I see where he's coming from with Chinese since china is predicted to be the world’s largest economy within a few decades, but 15 years ago, we were losing jobs to Mexico after NAFTA. Ten years ago it was India. You just can't hit a moving target. Give the kids the choice of which language instead. Every presidential candidate has a plan to level the playing field with China do who knows where we will be in 5 years. AN, we graduated from the best high school Bibb had at the time. How many of our classmates do you know who need to know Chinese for their jobs? Anyone who plays on the global field likely has the drive and intellect to learn the language skills on their own.

    AN - You graduated from Central, which was the best at that time. I actually started out at Central and graduated from Southeast, which was far from the best at that time. I actually figured out the Chinese angle too, but most of the general public won't get that connection. Really, he needs to explain his rationale on everything. Why make middle school 4th-7th? High school 8th-12th? Why cut teacher positions, which will increase class size, why typically hinders student performance? Is he basing all of these decisions on research? On what other successful school systems have done? If so, it would help to provide a list of resources so that the rest of us can look at what he is looking at and make informed judgments. I fear that none of this is based on research and other successful systems, but rather on him trying to make a name for himself. I hope I am wrong.

    cont...

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    1. Thre is NO research that shows this plan will work. None at all.

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  7. cont...

    JA - I get the thing with the Chinese. But what I'm saying is, how do you think you can teach kids Chinese when you can't communicate with them in a language that they understand?

    JD - Sorry, didn't realize you left and went to Southeast. I hated high school and rarely went when I was a senior. I agree with you though. There are many good points in his plan (although many are common sense steps). But the few that are making headlines are simply going to divide the community further, which we don't need. Take the re-imagined grade levels. What happens to sports? Our schools won't match surrounding counties. School choice? That will lead back to segregation. Just look at the area churches for proof of that. Also, you can't eliminate the dropout rate and close schools/fire teachers. If you retain 100% of students, you will need more schools/teachers, not less. Perhaps he would have been more successful to announce/implement changes in baby steps, proving himself and his ideas along the way.

    KH - I say that he doesn't expand the school day by 2 hours... I would start taking personal days. I do like the idea of year round schooling though, because I would get 2 weeks off at a time after only 9 weeks.

    PJ - The very first step is making sure the Board does not approve this plan. Write to or call Tommy Barnes, Susan Middleton, whoever you have a connection to. Then we DO need to be more proactive in helping with a plan that can work. I agree: sitting around in shock and criticizing the current plan is not going to help our children.

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    JM - While I applaud the effort to think big and think outside the box, this all seems really scatterbrained. Seems like the plan reaches for a lot of "big bang" ideas, stuff that looks flashy (like the home computers and internet and restructuring grade levels) but is only surface-level and doesn't reach to the root of problems. And a lot of these ideas I think would actually do the exact opposite of what the plan expects them to do.
    Cutting teachers and closing schools may save money to be used elsewhere, but I think that's the exact opposite of what needs to be done. Overcrowded schools and wonky teacher-student ratios is only going to make things worse. Try out smaller class sizes (especially in elementary schools) so that teachers can pay more attention to actually teaching their students.
    Also, where are the Mandarin teachers going to come from if you're reducing the number of teachers over all? Bringing teachers in from overseas when there are so many unemployed teachers over here is just stupid. And why Mandarin, anyway? I imagine it's because of strict numbers - SO MANY people in the world speak it. But despite the numbers, most blue-collar people will NEVER need to speak Mandarin. If you're going to have a single required foreign language, why not Spanish? Much more real-world useful if you're not a Fortune500 CEO. I agree with BH on going back to basics - why worry about numbers of people in AP classes or introducing new foreign languages? Maybe it's time to look at basic literacy rates, math computation skills, and critical thinking. Schools should not exist in order to teach kids "things". They should exist to teach kids how to learn, how to teach themselves. Handing over a computer and internet connection doesn't do anything unless the underlying skills are there (give a man a fish...).
    Better parent communication would help with parent involvement - here is where technology might actually help. I don't know what's going on at my son's school except what information I can squeeze out of him in the afternoons (which is generally not much). The occasional letter from the school about special events isn't enough. I want weekly updates on what's going on in my son's class. My mom taught elementary school for years and years, and I know it's not that much effort to put together a quick weekly update - "here's what we're doing in class this week". Maybe monthly about what's going on in his school and what's going on in the district. Granted, I don't make a lot of effort to talk with his teacher, but honestly I shouldn't have to just to get basic information. What about other parents that work well beyond school hours and don't have the time to actually go into the school and have a conversation with the teacher or the principal?
    JD's idea about libraries is genius. I pretty much gave up on libraries after high school (except my college library and the one good library in Decatur) because honestly, they just didn't keep up with the times. Reworking public libraries into actual usable resources would be great!
    What scares me the most about all this is the push to get it approved so quickly with very little review and very little explanation. Approve it before knowing how it works (or doesn't) or even how much it would cost? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Obviously no one taught any of these people how to think for themselves, either.

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    JM - Other scary things: abolishing the Gifted program? 8th graders in high school? 4th graders in middle school? Insanely long school days? Ugh no no no.
    Everyone who can afford it will be putting their kids in private schools or moving out of Bibb altogether, which will make things EVEN WORSE for those who are still stuck in the system.
    There do seem to be some okay things in there. Making sure teachers actually understand the technology they are supposed to be teaching? Probably not a bad idea. Year-round school calendar? Maybe not a terrible idea.
    I must say, though, that it's the big, far-flung, crazy ideas like these that will spur change. Not necessarily the proposed changes, but it's obvious that the plan is getting everyone's gears turning, creating discussion in the community and getting people involved. And that's a good thing. Whew! Sorry, stepping off the soapbox. And going to read that blog.

    AN - Don't be sorry. It is that kind of well-thought-out response that is needed. I think too often the concerns of the community are dismissed because people respond with their emotions instead of their brain. Our emotional response is "wtf", but that is not going get us taken seriously ;-)

    KH - I completely agree. I would want to be homeschool if all of this just goes into effect right away. Dallemand said he's hiring re mandarin teachers from china. I didn’t know that they plan to abolish the gifted program... He says he wants kids to reach their full potential and that won't happen if they take out advance classes.

    JA - that blog is off the chain. been reading it for over an hour. I strongly suggest everyone read

    JM - Yes it is, JA. The fear emanating from school system employees is palpable - that alone should be a huge warning!

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    KS - Wow. There is a lot going on in this thread. I have read a lot of research about this kind of stuff and I can tell by his plan that he has too. His plan is by no means perfect; in fact it is greatly flawed in some ways already mentioned above. But I do think the language is a great idea. Learning two languages early on helps with all kinds of things. It will help with the acquisition of the primary language and critical thinking skills. My concern with the language is that he may do some half-measures thing and people will rally against the idea. Immersion is the absolute best way to learn a language, so we need to be teaching children in a language that they cannot completely understand BUT we do not need to be teaching them subject other than that language in a language they cannot understand, because, obviously, they will fall behind in other subjects. I hope he gives the language the funding and structure it needs to succeed. Start as soon as possible and have teachers in class with full immersion and do not try to teach subjects other than Mandarin in Mandarin.
    You would be surprised how many of the limitations we see in kids are put there by adult perception. To say college is not for this one probably means that people have convinced this kid that they are too stupid so they will set the bar low for themselves. They will believe they are not capable and so they will not be capable. (This is why our girls' math scores drop around puberty) Now, I agree that college is not for everyone and a small percentage of these kids won’t be suited for it, but we should try and prepare them to make that choice instead of deciding for them and withholding the education. To argue that the kids who don't go on to college now are just not suited for it doesn't make sense unless you want to claim that GA is just categorically stupider than 48 other states. I think it is a wonderful thing to raise the bar and it is long overdue.
    It is incredibly difficult to be poor. Anyone who says people are poor because they are lazy does not understand poverty. Begging on the street is HARD HARD work. Most of the families that will get computers and internet are single parent homes, often with a parent who works two or more jobs that will not cover the bills. There has been a ton of research about the damage done to these kids by not being raised in a home that has computer access. When you hit a certain level of poverty, statistically those lower level families have been poor for generations, meaning that they can't even go to grandparents or aunts/uncles houses to learn how to use computers. I worry about theft. I worry about computers being sent home and other people using it all the time, not letting the child do with it what was intended. I don't know how to address those issues, but I also don't believe that we should say, "maybe you won’t get to use them, so we will not give them to you, guarantying that you don't get to use them. I think this is another good part of his plan.
    I am totally against closing the schools and letting the teachers go. We need more teachers more classrooms (probably more schools) and the teachers need to be paid more. The issue is funding. I get that. The problem is that we cannot tax the poor and middle class any more. The gap between the middle class and rich is growing. Trickle-down economics is not working. We need more money-taxes seem to be the best bet-they will have to come from the rich-the rich tend to make the policy and their kids go to privet school. This puts the superintendent in a really impossible position. Your system is failing because it is underfunded, no one will fund you until you show improvements, you can't show improvements unless you have the funding... looks like some schools are getting closed and teachers let go. I hate it. It is not sustainable, but I hope good things come from his new plans and people quickly realize how much more funding we need for schools.

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    KS - Also I am against the grade restructuring. I think we should just do away with middle school. Not sure how to divide them, but studies show that kids performance drops when they change schools. Middle school was intended to ease the transitions, but it has instead added more problems. Get rid of it. I say.

    AN - I am loving the thoughtful responses here. JM was right about this sparking much-needed conversation, if nothing else.

    JM - None of us is arguing that requiring a foreign language is bad. It's not - it's great! Learning foreign languages has all sorts of benefits. However, if you're not going to give a choice as to which language to learn and you're going to make a single language "the" mandatory language, at least make it a relevant one. Mandarin would be completely useless for the vast majority of Bibb students.
    Saying college is not for everyone is not the same as telling students they "can't" or are too stupid to go. It's more like leaving the option open, but not forcing it on everyone. Just because everyone has the option of opening their own business doesn't mean everyone should be pushed into doing so. Interest should be encouraged depending on the student instead of putting overarching expectations on everyone.
    I also don't believe that technology is unhelpful, that providing access to it would be a bad thing. It's the "quick fix miracle cure" mentality that I don't like. Handing someone a computer and assuming it will be used properly, by the right people for the right reasons, is not rational. Technology is not a stand-alone solution. There needs to be more thought put into how to better integrate it into other avenues of reform.
    Taxes - yes! I don't know enough about economics to really get into the nitty-gritty of it, but it seems to me that higher taxes equals better educational funding equals better community equals better economy equals more money.... etc. etc.
    If 8th grade does get pushed into high school, I will most definitely not be here to put my 13-year-old daughter in a school with 19-year-old thugs.
    If this plan gets passed, I can easily see all of Bibb county's structure turning into a (figuratively of course) Chernobyl-sized meltdown resulting in a massive Bibb-sized ghetto wasteland.

    cont...

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    KS - Mandarin is very useful for anyone going into business. It is more valuable for people getting higher paying jobs. My guess is that he wants to open those doors for them, but I agree that Spanish would be better. It is just more feasible and there is a lot of strain on this new plan as is, so maybe start with Spanish for everyone. Learning Spanish will make it easier for them to learn Mandarin if they want later and he could add that as an option after things get settled. Plus, as someone mentioned already I believe, we have Spanish speakers available already.
    Saying college isn't for everyone and then letting immature kids opt out of harder classes is setting them up for failure. If they choose not to go college prep that door is already shutting for them. I say prepare all students for all possibilities. There is a lot of data behind what I am saying.
    Technology: As I said I have the same concern, but I do not believe it is enough of a reason to not give them the computers.
    8th Grade: I tend to agree there too. I say move them all down. That is how it used to be.
    I think this is a big step away from the ghetto wasteland, but we need more, and more teachers, schools, funding to make it happen. I think we need to treat our educators with the respect they deserve and pay them what they are worth, which is more than my banker or lawyer are worth.

    JM - Mandarin is very useful if you are going into "global" business. But how many local (or even national) businesses do you know that do their work in Mandarin? I think having Mandarin as an option is very smart, but not as the single required language. College Prep classes are great - forcing students into AP classes? Not so much. They are "advanced" placement for a reason, because most students do not need the more demanding curriculum, even if they are planning on going to college, which many will not do whether or not they are forced to take harder classes.
    I was of course being facetious about the ghetto wasteland. Just trying to make a point that changes like this to the school system have very far-flung effects on every other system of government, economy, etc.

    ... aaaaaand done.

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  13. From The Plan:
    Focus on Parents and Community Goal 2; Strategy 1; Action Step 3: Provide mandatory weekend and evening instruction for students, in collaboration with community organizations, as an alternative to suspension.

    Who is going to be responsible for supervising these students during this instruction?
    What are the consequences for not participating in this? How can something in the evening or on weekends be enforced?

    So many questions... and this is just one point.
     

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  14. Wish this was in the plan: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/phys-ed-brains-and-brawn/

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  15. We really need to get Bibb School's and Dallemand's plan as a news story somewhere besides central Georgia. If Bibb was in Metro Atlanta, this would be all over the state news. Has anyone contacted Maureen Downey of the AJC. She regularly covers education topics, and would at least get this story out to more people.

    mdowney@ajc.com

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  16. Really, really concerned about this so-called anti racism training and walkthroughs.... Seems like it is going to lead to a lot of racist mess instead of help anything.

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    1. It's these smaller, seemingly less harmful and less controversial parts of the plan that worry me more than the mandatory Chinese. I think there's a lot of smokescreens being put up to take focus off the more insidious elements like Efficacy Training. Everything I've read about Glenn Singleton and Efficacy Training suggests it is more of a problem than a solution.

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  17. Yes, I am really surprised to hear no one speaking out about this particular part of the plan. I've looked at Mr. Singleton's training materials and they are chilling. A couple of slides on his PPT and Doc files are blatantly anti-Caucasian and incendiary.

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    1. Bibb Co. BOE employees got a taste of the anti-Caucasian agenda at the previous Strategic Planning sessions, thanks to Dr. Dallemand's invited and I'm sure, well paid, speaker. After bristling at the incendiary comments, I realized that he didn't even realize that his message didn't hit the mark he was aiming for because he ended up saying that the reason that he was successful was because he had a mother who pushed and supported him and set him up for success rather than failure. He began with, and wanted to blame caucasians for the fact that the friends in his circle ended up dead or incarcerated. The fact of the matter was he had a mother who spurred him to excellence, when his friends didn't have that support. Therein lies the biggest problem Bibb County has, too much parent apathy and lack of involvement. We have to many parents who don't value education, or appreciate the persons trying to give that to their children. Is it any wonder the students don't value it?

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  18. There is much to fear. Dr D. calls a book called Leading Change his bible. The book is outdated ('90s), especially regarding communication, and of course technology. One of the steps is to have an initial success, and that was last Spring's reading extravaganza. Thus it makes sense that part of his personal strategy may be to have over-inflated what he wants with some over-the-top crazy strategies so he can keep others.

    I also think that everyone seems to have excused that man from being responsible as an employer. Yes, students are the focus, but "If you don't feed the teachers, they will eat the children" (that is the title of a book).

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    1. Are you referring to the books that were given out to the students for summer reading last spring as the Reading extravaganza? If so, I'm not sure that could be considered a success. The students were given the books with the assignment to read them, and be prepared to test on them when school resumed in the fall. We took that assignment to heart, read the books, reviewed them with our student. Nothing ever happened regarding the testing. Months after school resumed, the Reading coach at our school said something to the effect that the tests were never prepared, or never available to the students. What ever the plan was, it never happened. My guess is that a large majority of those books were never opened.

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  19. Change for the sake of change is useless. Any proposed solution needs to address the problems we have, and he is blatantly ignoring the number one problem--discipline. Instead of addressing this issue, he's setting up a scenario where discipline will likely worsen.
    As far as making sure students are college ready, the state has already eliminated the option to choose college or vocational prep, so all graduates are getting the same college prep diploma. I'm not really comfortable with emphasizing college ready over career ready though because they are equally important to society, and he is downplaying the importance of those who go into a trade or the military.
    With respect to his wanting to teach mandarin, it would be much more beneficial to teach students a second language that used the same alphabet and a similar grammatical rules. Students who are struggling with English will only become more frustrated with this complex of a language and act out or fall behind in school. Additionally, most speakers of mandarin that our students are likely to encounter in the business world will already speak English as English has long been part of the Chinese school curriculum, so it would be better to teach them a language that they'd be more likely to use.

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  20. I've just spent some time 'Googling' Dallemand's experience in Rochester, Minnesota... it sure sounds familiar and makes me wonder how carefully he was 'vetted' before being chosen here.

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  21. Westside High School was one of 2 high schools in the state that received the Blended Learning Grant. All students have been given netbooks which has introduced technology into their every day lives. I am completely for this. I have seen how well most of the students and teachers use this technology as a new way to teach/learn. They also have their problems. Someone from downtown who works in technology has to come to the school to work on repairing damaged netbooks. Also, there are a lot of reports of netbooks being stolen,some of which are true reports or either the students lost them or sold them. When a student withdraws, they must turn in their netbook, case and charger. Now, the reason I am saying all of this is because Westside has roughly about 1100-1150 students....can you imagine all of this on a much larger scale? We're talking 20,000+ students that may have computers. Has he thought about who will be doing the repairs? or who will go collect the netbooks when students won't turn them in? Westside has done an excellent job with this grant, so please do not misunderstand my comments about their problems. Let me close by saying this, students these days "expect" these types of things to be given to them. It's that sense of entitlement that students and parents have these days that makes this idea about handing over a very expensive piece of equipment hard to digest. I promise you that he has not thought out all of the nitty gritty details that will go along with this idea.

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  22. I believe that schools should be set up as Pre-K and Kindrgarten, 1st through 7th grade, 8th and 9th grade and 10th through 12th grade. It certainly worked when I was in school in Bibb County. As for foreign language, teach Spanish first like I was in school in first, third, fifth and seventh grades, when in Jr High, 2 required foreign language classes, per say French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German, Chinese and maybe Russian and High School require 3 foreign language classes.
    Giving computers and free Internet access to low income families, should be available for everyone no matter of social economic class. I believe discipline should be a top priority.

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    1. Are people not aware of the recently enacted Federal program designed to give students on free/reduced lunch home coputers and internet access? Families whose students are on free/reduced lunch can apply for a home computer for only $150.00, and receive internet access for (I think) $10.00 a month (which is less than what some of my students on free/reduced lunch pay for their phones). Why is suddenly so important that we provide this service to the poor in our county for gratis, when it's already available? By all means, encourage people to apply for this Federal program, and spend the money in our budget on other things (like maintaining/updating the technology in our schools).

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  23. This Plan is an experiment. Any of the points could be valid if supported and documented, but none of it is. From a cost perspective alone, the board is foolish to approve such nonsense without specifics. Supposedly Dr. Dallemand would only use research-based strategies. Where is DOCUMENTATION that learning Chinese has ANY value. Bibb Count Schools cannot afford an experiment that fails.

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  24. This plan includes things such as "mental health" services, which is illegal under the Georgia constitution. It includes turning shuttered schools into dorms for students, longer days and year round schools. Who is going to pay for all this? Do we not believe, that our best educators will leave the system when they have to work 60 plus hours per week on a year round basis?

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  25. Much of the plan calls for identification, development, and resource mobilization (including unidentified community entities) of unspecified nature. This appears to be a plan to plan.

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    1. Is not that the fuzziest language in there ever??? I totally agree!!

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  26. I suggest that you Google Glen Singleton and specifically "Hartman vs. Pena"

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  27. I am a middle school ELA teacher in another district and have ties to children in Bibb County schools. What this idiot is suggesting is ridiculous, to say the least! Anyone with half a brain knows that overcrowding classrooms is only going to make things worse! Elementary students need the smaller class sizes so they may start out with a better chance of the one-on-one instruction that they need. Middle school, which starts at SIXTH grade, is a place where students are going through hormonal hell. They don't know from one day to the next if they want to be little kids or teenagers. They still need more attention and guidance than many people, especially some parents, realize. As they deal with everything going on inside their heads, tensions rise and battles begin. Overcrowding classrooms will only increase the tension and number of altercations.

    The problems faced by Bibb County schools, teachers, students, and parents are not exclusive to your district. We have a federal government that puts more and more demands on educators while supplying less money with which to do it, a state government that has done more of the same, causing some districts to get creative with school calendars that wind up hurting the kids more than anything, and local board members that just like seeing their names in the paper! The common element is that many of these people are so far removed from the classroom and have been for years! They have no idea about teachers trying to teach at the same time they have to try to protect students from bullies for which there is no means of real discipline. These bullies are the ones whose parents fear them, yet with whom the teachers and their classmates have to deal on a daily basis.

    There are no easy solutions; that's for sure! It's going to take everyone working together to fix the problems we're all facing! I still dream of the day when the kids that go through the doors of all schools will be priority again. I remember those days. My school days were what made this poor small town girl work hard and do what it took to become a teacher! I just want my students and grandchildren to be able to realize their dreams as well, regardless of what district they attend.

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  28. The BOE is a huge FAILED enterprise. It spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year. End results so far are disastrous. This is NOT Dr. Dallemand’s fault. Bold new proposals deserve review. His “Macon Miracle” purports to be conceptually advanced enough to merit an up or down vote within one week. Let us now shine the light of reason on what, sadly, should instead be titled his “Bull in a China Shop” plan. The emperor has no clothes. First, how can any strategic plan pass muster with no attached financial projection? Imagine how the Board of any large business would react. Just for offering up such a critical plan after a full year of supposed hard work, the CEO, the CFO, and any staff deputies who parrot them would be fired. Let me take a rough stab at filling the numbers gap. K thru 12 spans 13 age groups. Start by giving ten jobs to the Chinese to teach the youngest group. Each year thru 2024, award ten more jobs to the Chinese. The first wave of Chinese teachers keep teaching K, the next ten come in at 1st grade to teach the original group, the third ten come in at 2nd grade to teach the original group a third year, and so on. By graduation day in 2025, the seniors will have been taught Mandarin for 13 years. Juniors will have been taught for 12 years, and so on. By then, we will have awarded 130 teacher slots to China covering 910 contract years. Shockingly, more than 10% of our current teacher base will have shifted to Chinese nationals. By then the BOE will have cumulatively spent $68 million on the Mandarin folly, considering loaded salary cost for the Chinese plus managerial support cost. This assumes the BOE will not bear ANY cost for associated permits, employment agencies, travel, relocation, housing, utilities, food, auto leases, or BOE drivers. It also assumes zero inflation for teacher salaries and benefits. The true cost is therefore badly understated. No other BOE in the USA supports such a scheme, so our 2025 seniors can likely find jobs to exploit their rare language skill. And where would they go? They would leave us, and perhaps leave America. We Bibb taxpayers would give away 130 of our coveted teaching jobs to Chinese nationals, gaining only the right to stimulate some other economy with students we train. Even if “Bull in a China Shop” goes smoothly, does such an end result make any sense at all? Do you think, maybe, this could be why no other BOE in the USA is intrigued? Let us look at this further. Fast forward to May of 2018. Kids in the 5th grade have been taught Mandarin for six years. 5th grade teachers all thru the system are unable to cope with class disruptions. The students gleefully converse with each other in Mandarin. Teachers and administrators who are not Chinese nationals have a tough time figuring out what is going on, or how to restore order. Parents are having the same issues with students in the home. Many students use Mandarin to thwart parental control. Parents cannot help much with Chinese class work, not even for students who show ideal behavior. Students who show the worst behavior are destined to use Mandarin to advance criminal agendas in the schools, in the street, in targeted businesses, and while held in YDC and police custody. “Authorities” will not be in the criminal language loop, nor will resident victims. Future thugs who speak Mandarin openly will have no fear of being understood by random adult strangers. These serious new threats to Bibb citizens would not be nearly as bad for a language such as Spanish, which many Bibb residents speak passably. Fluency in Spanish would be far more useful to graduating students in local employment venues. Spanish teachers can be found among Bibb residents. Please pass these stark facts along to your BOE Board members who are facing enormous pressure to vote without thinking. Thanks!

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    1. That is a lot to think about, and just like many of the other 169 points in this plan, people have no idea what exactly we are in for...
      The only question I have about the above is: I wonder whether any of the children will ever be fluent in this difficult language, based on how little many of them are able to grasp the other school concepts/subjects under the current system :(

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  29. We need more time

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  30. Just an FYI, I contacted Maureen Downey at the AJC and she emailed me back quickly and said she was looking at the Macon Miracle plans. I'm not sure what that means but it appears something might show up in the AJC Get Schooled blog if nowhere else.

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  31. Did you know that students are being written up, expelled for "x" number of days, and then downtown over-rides the expelled part and brings them back in school. One can just look at the total number of entries in the discipline portion of Infinite Campus and see a trend, the numbers are very enlightening compared to last year. Students with 5, 10, 20 write-ups in previous years, have NONE this year. Amazing how they all behave now. Almost like Super Nanny has arrived. Sound like the State needs to look at that data real close. In fact, I'll make a call after I hit send on this.

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