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School Board race highlights debate

Dougherty County School Board at-large challenger Lane Price, left, addresses the audience while incumbent Anita Williams-Brown listens as the two debated in a candidates forum conducted by the Student Govenment Association and ASU iVote2012 Monday evening at Albany State University. The two women will square off in the July 31 Democratic primary.

Dougherty County School Board at-large challenger Lane Price, left, addresses the audience while incumbent Anita Williams-Brown listens as the two debated in a candidates forum conducted by the Student Govenment Association and ASU iVote2012 Monday evening at Albany State University. The two women will square off in the July 31 Democratic primary.

ALBANY -- Eight local candidates gathered for debates Monday night at Albany State University's ACAD Auditorium, with the encounter between Dougherty County School Board at-large incumbent Anita Williams-Brown and challenger Lane Price drawing the most attention.

The event, sponsored by the the ASU Student Government Association and the ASU iVOTE2012 committee, also featured State Court judge candidates Victoria Darrisaw and Christoper Warren; incumbent Coroner Emma Quimbly and challenger Michael Fowler, and County Commission District 3 candidates Clinton Johnson and Louise Primrose.

The at-large School Board candidates drew the most questions on index cards submitted from the audience, but that particular debate ran out of time just as it it was heating up.

When asked why she was running for a second term on the board, Williams-Brown answered that her focus was on at-risk kids and the job was unfinished.

"We are failing our at-risk children right now," Williams-Brown, a minister, said. "Many of these kids do not have ordinary lives and a lot of them are just roaming the streets. These are the kids we need to focus on. We have to change some mindsets around here, let them know were are there for them and help them to feel good about themselves.

"They then will learn."

Price, the medical director at Willson Hospice House answered, drawing on her medical background.

"When we moved here four years ago, one of the things I have paid close attention to is the school system," Price said. "I have noticed we have a 56 percent graduation rate. That means 44 percent of our children do not graduate from high school. If 44 percent of the people in this community were sick, then we'd say we have an epidemic on our hands.

"I've not seen solutions to this problem addressed. We cannot let poverty be our excuse."

One of the audience's most compelling questions of the evening was: "Do you think children in poverty learn differently? If so, how as a board member would you foster a positive out come?"

"The brain is the same. We need parents, civic clubs, fraternity and churches," Price answered. "Think about the power in all these groups and what a group can do. I would talk to every group I can find in Dougherty County and make a difference."

Williams-Brown disagreed.

"Students do learn differently," Williams-Brown said. "We have plenty of good programs in place. We have Title I, SIG (school improvement grant), we have Race To The Top. ... We don't need new programs. We need to make the ones we have work.

"We need parental involvement. It's increased for the past two years. When parents are involved students do better."

Comments

FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

" One of the audience's most compelling questions of the evening was: "Do you think children in poverty learn differently? If so, how as a board member would you foster a positive out come?" "

The answer to this question is simple: The first responsibility of the school board is to hire competent, experienced professionals capable of establishing appropriate educational services which are student focused. Anita Williams-Brown has obstructed the mission of the School Board by not disclosing her prior relationship with Joshua Murfree who was a officer in her private orgranization. She was complicit with other members of the school board in aborting the agreed upon procedure to select a school superintendent. She was a major force in selecting Joshua Murfree who was ranked 32nd in qualifications according to the board's rating process. Anita Williams-Brown ignored the tremendous need and importance of hiring an experienced competent executive and selected someone who wasn't minimally certified and had no idea about any element of secondary education. In fact, the fellow was on his way out the door at ASU. The black families and students who are the overwhelming major group being served by DCSS ought to be outraged. They know too well the sting of joblessness and lack of educational opportunity and this has been their chance. They have been provided leadership and services mired in self-serving arrogance, greed and power. Anita Williams-Brown does not deserve to be re-elected.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 9 months ago

All of the above stated by Williams-Brown are good things, but they are not reaching the students. When you are a poor child you go home to things many can only imagine. Parents on drugs, violent rages in the home, no food, sexual abuse as well as physical. These needs need to be addressed before a child can learn. Another distraction is ESP BD children in the same classroom as students who do want to learn. These children do not want to be taught and they DO NOT want other children to be taught. YOU spend most of your classroom 50 minutes trying to settle these children down and 10 minutes to teach an Algebra lesson to students who cannot do fractions. Children come to class with no pencils paper, books in lockers and misbehavin' on their minds.

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whodat 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm going to go to every computer I can find today so I can "like" this post more than once. China, you and I know what's up. Easily, half the students at my school could qualify for the alternative school. The remaining half, however, do want to learn; they are good students and struggle to get their education against the odds. I know plenty of students who come from abysmal home situations who, nonetheless, try to better themselves. If school officials try to contain the egregious behavior, they can be sure that the central office (and the Board) won't back them up, rhetoric to the contrary. Parents and community members who care are the only hope for the DCSS. It's up to them to act.

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bigbob 1 year, 9 months ago

I can already tell you the winner & I don't know either one of them.

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Progressive 1 year, 9 months ago

It is time to remove Anita Brown from this elected School Board position. This School Board is known for their corruption and many bad decisions. To bring about positive change, the ones who have contributed to the low opinions of this School Board must be replaced. MLK said judge a person by their character, not the color of their skin. In this case, AWB should not be voted on for the color of her skin, but the failed character in the decisions that have been made. Those who come out in support of Anita are only showing their foolish thinking and lack of concern for the children in this community.

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rock 1 year, 9 months ago

The one thing Brown said that made sense is with the brain! Rice says the brain is the same, and i agree, they all weigh basically the same, and are all structured the same, but as far as learning ability goes, every brain is different. If we were all the same intellectually we would all be Einsteins. WE all learn differently and for a so called medical professional to state otherwise is just putting her head in the sand. I learn visually, my brother learns by reading, my sister learns by repeatitive action. We all have the same genes, but 3 DIFFERENT ways to learn the same task. Rice, Get your head out of the sand and focus not on the community but the individual childs need. What can P&G possibly do to help a child learn fractions or algebra. If it was not for an outstanding tutor, i never would have gotten through collge algebra.

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DCSSTeacher 1 year, 9 months ago

You obviously didn't understand the question. The question stated, "Do you think children in poverty learn differently?" The answer is obviously, "NO!" Poverty and wealth do not determine your learning capacity! You have just as much ability to learn as the next person. Certainly your learning style is different and teachers must tailor their lessons accordingly, but the question was directly referring to an "east-side vs. west side" issue underneath the fancy rhetoric. For Anita Williams-Brown to assert that students learn differently depending on which side of town they live is racist and defeatist. I've taught on both sides of the river and had high passing rates on standardized tests regardless of the group of students in my room. Yes, I'm bragging because I'm proud of my work ethic. We DO need the community involved in our students' success! Our school system leaders need to be held accountable by the community leaders when they lead us incorrectly. That's why Murfree and the Gang get away with so much...everyone has given up on us.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Rock, did you read the article. You are supplying information that "Brown" did not offer and you are misstating "Rice" er, Price. Perhaps i'ts cerebral dysfunction. There are multiple ways to reach children in an educational milieu. That is not the point. The school board does not teach kids in the schools. The professional educators do. The board members' responsibility is to hire competent, experienced professionals to administer, direct, develop and implement the educational services/programs. Don't you see what they have done in hiring Joshua Murfree who is so incompetent he can't speak publicly where he has to use logic, reason and educational terms. Do you not recall his response ("what do you mean") to the email celebrating his unwillingness to speak with the public, "touche, my brother?" He was on a career ladder at ASU where he had to jump off. The students and families have been so totally abandoned by the current school board because the ruling incestuous cabal are a lot of self-serving charlatans.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

Once again it's about race. It's even in the article title.

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Happy 1 year, 9 months ago

Study Maslow's hierarchy of needs...well-being has to meet for true learning to occur. School board members make policy and hiring decisions. If they do not understand a simple principle such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs, then they do not need to be making policy decisions that affect all children including MY child.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

The school board has no business studying Abraham Maslow's hierarch of needs, a 70 year old psychology theory that focuses on five principles of interpersonal functioning not a simple principle. Hire competent, well trained, experienced professionals to establish and maintain the educational milieu. School boards have no business getting mired in psychological sophistry. Hire good people, provide stable oversight and certain accountabilty and get out of the way.

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Happy 1 year, 9 months ago

"In some tales, he is depicted as a physically fit man and a skilled swordsman and archer with a hot-headed temper. However, most commonly, Tuck is depicted as a fat, bald and jovial monk with a great love of ale, though the two are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes, the latter depiction of Tuck is the comic relief of the tale."

Keep drinking the boose Fryar Tuck!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey, creative one, good copying from a netsource. Is that where you came up with Maslow's theory of a single simple principle? And by the way, most teachers cover this 70 year old idea in education 101.

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