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Squawk of the Day - June 29, 2012

School board Velvet Riggins recruits local business leaders to support a new career academy. These people gave one year of their valuable time to help develop a program to raise graduation rates. Then, she votes against the program she initiated.

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Comments

Happy 2 years, 2 months ago

And what a smart decision she made!

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tocar 2 years, 2 months ago

We need to work on the existing high schools before we move on to an academy. The existing high schools are suppose to prepare students for college or technical careers. We do not need to pour monies into an academy until we can get it right in the other high schools. Students need to show an interest in staying in school and graduating rather than walking the streets and having babies. Existing schools are not day care facilities. Parents should take a huge part in seeing that their teens are in school and in encouraging them to learn. We have got to change the mentality of the students and we cannot do this without the willingness of the parents to begin at home instilling values and desires for an education.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 2 months ago

We need to work on public perception of the school system. Do your part with positive commenting.

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VietVet1 2 years, 2 months ago

The positive. Velvet Riggins is a real peace of work.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

We already have Vo-Tech and other institutions. The students have to take developmental studies to even get in there. Yes they all have a test for admission. If the high schools cannot achieve that, then someone needs to answer for it. We do not need to change until we get our house in order.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

If you haven't noticed, the existing High Schools are failing the majority of the students. No matter what the problem is, be it Teachers, Parents, Doctrine, Mandates or a failure of Administrators to correctly address the problems. The problem needs to be addressed and solved. Want to make people force school attendance? Then come up with some way of penalizing all the parents, not just those that can afford to pay the fine. Afterall, those with enough cash aren't the majority of the problem. How do you hold individuals accountable for the success or failure of their children when they themselves are failures in Society's eyes? Whatever is done will have to be backed by some harsh consequences to enforce it. Then there better be some meaningful jobs for those students that do succeed.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 2 months ago

Sounds good coming from the outside, get involved and stop talking. Put some volunteer time in.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

I did put in some time. Volunteering isn't the answer. The answer needs to come with the teeth to enforce it. Then the Jobs need to stay here instead of being sent overseas. Most other countries penalize companies for sending jobs overseas. I can remember when a certain Tooth Brush manufacturer had to close a Plant. The American Plant was far more economical, but it got closed because the German Plant had rules that said if the plant were closed, the Company doing the closing would have to continue to pay the displaced workers up until they decided to get another equal job, or they died. Just think how much employment we would still have here if that had been the case with Plants in America. Problem is our regulators and politicians from both sides are bought and paid for. They don't dare do anything that might offend the paymaster.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 2 months ago

Okay, but old news.

Let's talk new business!

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bigbob 2 years, 2 months ago

The worst part is she shouldn't have even been able to vote after being indicted. The only way you can lower the graduation standards anymore is to just hand out diplomas to any kid that shows up for graduation. A bussiness owner would have to be competely stupid to move to Albany.

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erudite 2 years, 2 months ago

Are 'high schools failing' because elementary and middle schools are? If kids are not prepared for gaining knowledge--not just passing tests--by the fourth grade, the chance to be an A/B student is questionable. And what's wrong with being average? When did a C become thought of as an F?

Of course, some students have broken away from under-preparedness and have succeeded; this is not the case with the majority.

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agonized 2 years, 2 months ago

This is a very good point. If a child doesn't do well, but has just been passed along until 5th grade, then begins middle school and can't do the work, he/she fails the 6th grade. That really affects his/her self-esteem. Kids like this begin to hate school because they look older than the other kids in 6th grade. They occupy a seat enough days so that the official in charge of truancy doesn't report them, then drop out of school.I saw this first-hand several times while working in a middle school (not in Dougherty County). You are absolutely right that the ship has pretty much sailed by fourth grade as to being an A/B student because the work just gets harder.

And a grade of C is fine. In fact, the mentality of "everyone must make all As and Bs" only cheapens those grades, until they mean nothing. It used to be that a high school diploma meant something; now it's just a piece of paper since everyone now MUST get a college diploma. Even a four-year college degree doesn't mean very much now.

It takes a very motivated and determined student to rise above these circumstances.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Sounds to me she is a flip flopper. This shows how incompetent she is, she doesn't know what to do. I think she is just grasping at straws."Should I...Should I not...Should I...."

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Chamberman 2 years, 2 months ago

At no point and time did the Chamber of Commerce or EDC have any input in the makeup of this Charter. The Steering Committee that was given the task of creating the ACCA consisted of an extremely diverse group of people. People that truly care about the future of these students and this community. Not only are we disappointed with this decision to close the book on over a year's worth of work, but we are also disappointed for those individuals that spent a year of their life working on this while asking for nothing in return only to have tire treads left on their backs while they walked away. If trust is one of or the only issue as a few DCSS and community members suggested, then we as an organization must work to build or rebuild that trust though I don't understand what exactly is not trustworthy. Is it that we as an organization have 1 simple mission that we fight to protect every day for over 100 years. "The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce mission is to promote and stimulate the economic well being of our membership and community through proactive and progressive programs, services and strategic alliances, while representing our members commercial, industrial, and professional interests in major issues of economic and public policy". If trust is in fact an issue, regardless of if that issue is one sided, then we as an organization must work harder to build or re-build that trust in order to move forward. That begins now putting aside past differences and only focusing on what is in front of us.

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Happy 2 years, 2 months ago

A charter school takes all of the decision making away from the school board and gives it to a group of people who are not accountable to the taxpayer. This issue should have been resolved when the group met for over a year. What does the chamber do to support education? Is it enough? There are many things that the chamber could do without spending money.

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bigbob 2 years, 2 months ago

One of the biggest problems I see with education in Albany is that most kids have already been trained by the time they get in school to just live off the system.

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erudite 2 years, 2 months ago

Ok, if a toddler 3-5 can "be trained" how to play the system then that system must be very easy to play. These then are the smart kids; they learned something. Is that not the sign of intelligence, to figure out the rules, etc. to surviving? They are surviving!!!

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

People everyday learn to bend the rules and how to get things and get things for free. If everything in the world was free, The world would come to an end.

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erudite 2 years, 2 months ago

Is it about getting things for free? Is that what has people so angry? Even though many of those who receive assistance still live in squalor, there is something to be jealous of?

Most times we congratulate each other on getting a bargain; if we get it for free, the ultimate bargain, people go nuts?

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Chamberman 2 years, 2 months ago

The Board would be accountable to the DCSS board who is accountable to the taxpayer at all times. The Board would be more of an advisory committee then a Board of Directors. Regardless, perhaps you are right that there could have been better communication during the process to avoid this at the end. You are right that the Chamber can do many good things without spending money though we were not spending money. Again, the Chamber had no input as an organization into the Charter. The Chamber was only involved with the creation of the Charter by association only. Several Chamber volunteers also served on the steering committee, nothing more than that. It was the Steering Committee who recommended that the Chamber and EDC have representatives serve on the Board as we are organizations who have a vested interest in the well being of our public education system. To answer your question, no the Chamber does not do enough to support education and we must address that as an organization and we will.

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Happy 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe if every member of the chamber volunteered to substitute for an entire week in these failing schools a. They might have insight into the problems, and b. the school board members and the black community would take them more seriously. If all the chamber does is point out problems and they are not willing to assist by actually going on the front lines.

I have heard some people say, "I send my children to private school or a different county so it is not my problem.". The fact is if the children are not in school, it is a problem for all of us. It hurts our economy and if they are not in school, they are robbing us while we are at work. It is time for the chamber to adopt an attitude of self-less service!

Thank you for acknowledging that the chamber does not do enough to support education.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Happy, you do realize that the word "help" in Albanese is best translated "give us your money" and does NOT mean "with your money, require us to be responsible, accountable for results, or accepting of any oversight or direction from you."

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Outtahere 2 years, 2 months ago

She's only being herself - No big suprise here!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

What's in it for the black preachers in all these so-called "issues"?

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revolutionnow 2 years, 2 months ago

I see more and more kids leaving public schools and going to private and charter schools. They have parents that are involved with their childrens education and want more than public schools are currently offering. They are tired of waiting to see how long it will take for the problems caused by children raised by dysfunctional families to be resolved. Expecting the chamber members to volunteer time to prove their intentions is absurd. You have to correctly diagnose a problem before it can be fixed. The problem and the solution is in the home of every childs family.

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