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So just for clarity Abytaxpayer, in your statement "Not all whites grew up as bigots some opinions are formed by life lessons" are you admitting the bigotry of whites but just pointing out that many whites didn't "grow up that way" and further excusing their bigoted opinions since it came as a result of later "life's lessons"? Help me here. Not being facetious. Just want to truly understand your point because it appears from your statement that you're justifying a group or individual having admittedly bigoted or racist attitudes based upon some amorphous notion of "life lessons".
Equally, on the other side let's stop the attacks on Darton's teacher education program. The two programs must and should coexist in service to our community. It appears fairly obvious that we have more than enough problems in the DCSS and enough educational needs in SWGA overall for both institutions (ASU and Darton) to serve towards the betterment of the educational profile and student achievement outcomes emanating from our local school systems.
Lastly, and again not unlike many of the communities throughout our state and nation today, our community and our educational system will improve through a shifting of our paradigm from a place of rigid racial and political sectarianism to a place of interdependence and communal solidarity. That is, an Albany, Georgia that reflects a genuine appreciation for the notion that our collective success depends directly upon our insistent willingness to uncover the shared conditions amongst us and embrace and exploit our varied differences in the overall effort towards actualizing a more beloved community.
I do apologize for the EXCEPTIONALLY long post but I've been watching this unfold and reading and observing from afar over the past five years or so and to date have never weighed in with my thoughts. Obviously, I had a lot to say. God bless you all.
-- -A young (under 40) African-American male concerned about the state of a people and community he has grown to love.
Correspondingly, it is precisely because of these kinds of archaic, ungodly, unbecoming, backward and asinine “blame game” actions that we find our school system in this most shameful and disparaging position. But as was mentioned the “blame game” is fruitless counterproductive folly, so let’s STOP playing it.
Now, on to some SOLUTIONS! As has been mentioned time and time again by CURRENT teachers in the DCSS, former educators and former executive level administrators from the DCSS, and from numerous educational leaders throughout the state (and ironically by the State Superintendent during his visit to Albany Tech this past Fall) TEACHER TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT is ESSENTIAL in ANY progressive 21st century public school system!! SURPRISE!! (And despite teachers in DCSS practically begging for HELP!!!) There is ESSENTIALLY NO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM in the DCSS!!!! TEACHING is a PROFESSION! It is a highly methodical skill that requires constant and consistent updating and refinement with regard to specific pedagogical methods and strategies and DCSS teachers receive scarcely a pittance if anything in terms of professional and instructional development towards improving their teaching effectiveness in achieving better student outcomes. So please, in the name of communal solidarity and achieving SOLUTIONS for OUR COMMUNITY let's cease with the "fire all teachers that are ASU graduates" and "disassociate ASU from every DCSS program" rhetoric.
To erroneously assign the failure of a SYSTEM (absent an objective even anecdotal analysis) on teachers who are graduates of one particular school is disingenuous and is another nefarious act of racial aspersion devoted to an unseemly attempt to perpetuate a racially discriminatory agenda which again is counterproductive to our community. Teachers in the DCSS who are graduates of ASU (like all teachers in the state of Georgia) are either fully certified or provisionally certified/certification-eligible (as is lawfully permitted by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission) to teach. In other words those teachers have been assessed and designated by PSC and our state as COMPETENT and QUALIFIED. Now, what many of those teachers who are ASU graduates, UGA, graduates, Darton graduates, Valdosta State graduates, Georgia Southwestern State graduates, etc. ARE NOT is EXPERIENCED. And even for those teachers who may indeed have been teachers for a number of years, in DCSS, they are receiving virtually NOTHING in the way of exposure to new, innovative teaching methods and strategies, classroom management skills, updated approaches to differentiated learning style techniques, etc.
Additionally, there very well may be some credence to the notion of a lack of motivation and accountability from teachers but that is more a function of a lack of quality executive administrative leadership and oversight and less a byproduct of teacher competency.
A FAIR and FORTHRIGHT analysis of the problems in the DCSS indicates that no singular PERSON or GROUP is solely responsible for this present state of affairs. No, this is the result of the faults, fallacies, and failings of a COMMUNITY (both black and white) who for the most part have been more concerned with perpetuating racial allegiances, casting racial aspersions and playing the "gotcha game" in a continuing saga of "one upsmanship" amongst each other, all at the expense of the students and children in our community. Case in point, was the hiring of Dr. Murfree a colossal blunder and in large part a politically and racially motivated move by members of the DCSS Board? Yes. No doubt about it. Did it have a negative impact on the system and reflect poorly on the community with regard to the standard for educational leadership in our community? Assuredly yes.
But before you commence with the "#34" name calling and jump on the campaign to end the alleged (and perhaps apt) cronyism of the former "DCSS Board 4" let's recall some equally pertinent FACTS. Ironically, Dr. Whatley was GIFTED the DCSS Superintendency in 2001 by the then DCSS Board (alleged to be politically directed and racially motivated) absent ANY FORMAL SEARCH PROCESS (which at least appears at minimum to be equally as questionable to the admittedly faulty process in the Dr. Murfree saga, but here again at least there was some semblance of a process however faulty with Dr. Murfree). Cronyism anyone?
Dr. Whatley then served as the HEAD of the DCSS for almost a DECADE (2001-2010) and prior to that was the DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT for six years (1995-2001) whose primary charge in that was OVERSIGHT and IMPLEMENTATION of SYSTEM-WIDE CURRICULUM and INSTRUCTION. As such, the FACTS indicate that if we were to engage in the fruitless folly of comparative blame Dr. Whatley MUST certainly and UNMISTAKABLY shoulder her fair share as would the members of the DCSS Board predating the present and immediate past Board. Accordingly, let’s stop the BLAME GAME BATTLE!!! (which again just so happens to incidentally always falls upon racial lines).
Wow! Where to start. Hmmm. Let me say from the outset (and simply for the benefit of particular parties on this message board who seek to validate or invalidate viewpoints based upon where a particular individual earned their higher education degree(s) that I am an UNABASHEDLY PROUD graduate of Albany State University and an EQUALLY PROUD graduate and holder of a professional doctorate degree from The University of Georgia (which it appears is most often viewed as the litmus test and primary reference for academic superiority and instructional supremacy by a great majority of folks on this board). So hopefully, again, for those who seek to disqualify or discredit viewpoints based on such designations I pray that I have sufficiently covered all of the proverbial bases (from both sides of the competing spectrums) in that regard.
Now, it goes without saying that the information contained in the Herald article from the DOE concerning the quality of math programs at Dougherty and Monroe high schools is both SADDENING and HORRIFIC! Even more, it (along with the numerous other missteps by the DCSS Board and former administrators over the past almost 15 years) reflects terribly upon our community and its prospects (or lack thereof) towards sustaining growth, economic development, and a continuing high quality of life for Dougherty County citizens. Truly, and irrespective of your skin pigmentation the shambled and horrid state of the DCSS is an uncontroverted FACT that serves as an unflattering blight on our community.
However, the SOLUTIONS which so often seem to befuddle both sides of the racially charged and putrid political atmosphere in Albany will NEVER be divulged by playing a blame game most often fought upon racial lines (e.g., Darton v. ASU, Whatley v. Murfree, White Board Members v. Black Board Members, Deerfield/Sherwood v. DCSS, East Albany v. North West Albany, etc.).
Are you serious? Any objective observer can see that ASU has regressed tremendously under Freeman. For one, the Presidential scholars program which spawned a large number of accomplished and high achieving graduates is now non existent due to Freeman's inability to fundraise to support the program. The former presidential leadership established meaningful and fiscally productive partnerships with local and national corporate entities as well as prominent philanthropists to fund the program to the tune of millions in scholarship dollars which subsequently resulted in a large influx of academically accomplished students who made ASU their choice for a higher education. I know one of those scholarship recipients who along with others from Albany area and metro Atlanta area high schools graduated from ASU and have since earned graduate and professional degrees not only from our state's flagship university's (UGA, GT, MCG, Emory, etc.) but great academic institutions throughout the nation (UPenn, IU, FSU, Johns Hopkins, and Wisconsin.)
In sum, this initiative and numerous others had begun to shift the competitive profile of the university and under the current leadership that all important mission for ASU has not just stalled but reversed dramatically. Not to mention the consistently low morale amongst alumni, faculty and staff as well as a record of disenchantment from student leadership during the current administration. Or how about the continued promulgation of Darton and its academic programs and now impending four year status because of a continued inefficiency and lack of collegial, respectful and productive leadership that empowers all constituencies of the university to serve and participate at an optimum level for the overall betterment of the university?
Generally speaking, the success of University Presidents are in large part measured by a combination of their ability and effectiveness in leading efforts towards 1.) increasing enrollment (with integrity), 2.) enhancing the academic profile of the institution and 3.) Fundraising. At every turn, the current administration has simply not met the mark. Enrollment numbers have been embarrassingly inflated with unqualified students, the once proud retention rate (which ranked third in the entire USG system behind GT and UGA in 2004) has plummeted towards the teens at last count and fundraising has been abysmal as the new student center was built on the backs of a student fee increase and the Ray Charles Fine Arts Center isn't anywhere close to being funded because of a lack of any strategic effective state legislative lobbying plan. And again, no robust academic student scholarship program (SAT's of at least 1000+ and GPA's of 3.3+)
It's really not a personal affront to Freeman as much as it is a purely objective indictment of his inability to build upon a foundation that was ripe for ASU to move to the next level.
Last login: Saturday, May 18, 2013