There was a recent article in the Daily Tribune newspaper that discussed the case that the Bartow County school system brought against the State of Georgia. I have had people ask me throughout this process why we would use public money to defend one persons right to run for school board. I have been quiet on this topic for a while but felt compelled to address this issue one more time.
- Click HERE for my comments back in January 2010 on HB 251
- Click HERE for my comments on SB84
Now that the background stuff is out of the way here are a few thoughts & bullets that were left out of the recent story:
- We got the name wrong…The board should have insisted that it carry a group name not Lamar Grizzle’s (Bartow County School Board vs. Etc…)
- This was not about Lamar…It was about people’s right to serve and local control.
- The Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) should have taken the lead on this action but left their membership out to dry.
- Dozens of school board members around the State of Georgia were allowed to run for office as a result of this injunction. (way bigger than one person & the real victory in this effort)
- The Legislature started this over a personal issue in a south Georgia county. (Only to adopt rules to exempt this system later)
- No other locally elected offices have to deal with this intrusion.
- Under SB84 school systems under 2800 students can be exempted from this law (political payoff?….Wouldn’t these be the most likely Nepotism candidates?)
- Although I am Republican…..The General Assembly is just wrong on education in Georgia. (Vouchers are not THE answer)
- School Board elections should be Non-Partisan statewide.
- These kind of issues are pushing me away from the GOP & more towards an independent Conservative political affiliation.
The State of Georgia and the Georgia School Boards Association forced the hand of our school board to get involved with this issue. It is inappropriate for the Legislature to try and impose its will so completely that local control has no more meaning. Republicans cannot carry the banner of “local control” only to ignore it for personal grudges and political expediency. There is always a cost to intervention but I supported then and support now the action that we took against this assault on the right of local communities to determine representation.
RNR5NAT9468N was Father’s Day and we attended services at Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, Ga. Paul Richardson spoke and did a great job addressing the PEACE that comes through a right relationship with God. To often we believe that God cannot come into our life because we are imperfect messed up people. Paul used the story of creation to illustrate how God steps into the chaos and makes something wonderful. He can do the same thing for us if we will just take that first step towards Jesus.
Here are a few additional thoughts:
- God takes confusion and creates order and beauty.
- Mans sin led to disorder and Chaos.
- Satan wants to rob us of peace and disrupt our relationship with God.
- Even when an Angel appeared to Gideon he had doubts.
- Gideon asked where is God on my situation?
- When Gideon’s relationship with God was right…No army could defeat him.
- God’s PEACE is bigger than your Chaos.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your well-being like the waves of the sea.
In communities all over this country we are seeing parents increasingly choose to educate their children in alternative private educational programs. For most of these families they are having to pay the additional expense required for the instruction as well as the local taxes that fund public education. What would drive these parents to take on this additional financial burden? What is driving this “flight” from traditional community schools? In some cases I do believe that it truly is a devout religious decision between parents and children and I applaud families making that personal choice. It is my belief that most families place their children in private Christian schools because of their feeling that they have no other suitable public or private option.
Teaching quality is not what is driving parents to private school…Its’s customization & innovation at the school & class level. Private schools and homeschooling are growing because they are centers of innovation & discovery. These schools are free from the regulations that burden public schools and have the opportunity to teach to the needs of the individual student. Public schools have suffered because of politicians & school officials constantly redefining what success looks like. For schools and teachers to succeed there must be consistent expectations with a system of measurable accountability. If we want to see “No Child Left Behind” we have to turn our public school teachers loose and free them to innovate. The small/private school model can work in every school with a leadership team at the school and central office level committed to real productive change.
My Republican friends are pushing Charter schools and Voucher programs as the solution. The problem is that Charter Schools & Vouchers are still “public education”. In fact these programs may make things worse by shifting resources and impacting diversity within our schools. These programs pick schools that will succeed and fail by addressing the symptoms without fixing the problem. Politicians like vouchers & charter schools because they are easier fixes & make for better speeches! The problem that we have in education is not teachers and money….It the speed at which we innovate and address problems. We have to start innovating again and focusing on the right solution!
Here are a few ideas:
- Increased technology to get real time results for immediate differentiation of instruction.
- Pre/Post students every nine weeks….Skip what they know & Teach what they don’t.
- Textbooks need to go….iPads/tablets may be they solution here. (possibly cheaper too in the long run)
- END high pressure testing (CRCT here in GA)
- Replace high pressure tests with 9 week exams that cover the common core YTD. (final 9 week exam would be cumulative)
- These exams would be diagnostic rather that punitive
- Every class should be different & in a different place
- We need leaders in public school…Not just people who managed to get “leadership degrees” Find and promote REAL leaders! (it’s to easy to be declared a leader)
Implementing these approaches would close the gap between public and private schools and better prepare our students for the world that they are going to be stepping into. We can make public education work but sound bites, demagoguing, and political intrusion will not get it done. Our kids need Innovation not Privatization…Politicians are you listening?
As we begin to enter this highly charged political season I find myself looking at the GOP choices with an eyebrow raised. This field is a little uninspired at this point and I keep asking myself… “Where have all the leaders gone? This election scares me because its is starting to look like 1996 all over again and this country cannot absorb four more years of the Obama administration. Next week these candidates will engage in the first “real” debate of the year in New Hampshire and I hope that we start to see come real leadership emerge from this field.
Personally, I am hoping that the rise of Herman Cain continues and that he emerges as the common sense voice that this party so desperately needs. Cain provides a perspective that comes across as informed and authentic. He may be the one candidate that can actually unite the Tea Party and Traditional wings of the Republican party. This election is to important to simply crown some media personality based on TV polls. This time in our history calls for a real leader…..I am hoping we see one emerge soon.
Some troops on orders recently had to pay over $2800 in bags fees on Delta Airlines. After some inflight rants on Youtube that took the airline to task for the fees for military passengers the policy was reversed. Just another example of Social Media and it’s impact on business and our culture.
The most difficult task in the life of any emerging leader is how to manage his or her time effectively. The demands placed on those who have ultimate responsibility for the success of the organization often take precedence over family, health and other important areas of life. The best leaders understand how to compartmentalize all of these areas so that no one facet of their life goes unattended. The problem in today’s world is that we are so pressed for time that we over schedule and over stress ourselves so much that the product we generate is far below what we are capable of. We have been convinced that success is less about the quality of the time that we have available to us and more about filling every available second with perfunctory tasks that may not even be essential. This in my view represents one the true failures of this country especially as compared to our friends in Europe. They make sure to take time out to enjoy life and really live a MARGIN filled life.
In his book Margin, Richard Swenson says that living a life full of margin is the opposite of living an overloaded life. The problem with this is that many people according to Swenson do not know when they cross from margin to overload. Swenson goes on to make the point that we would all function better if we had a “flashing 100% meter” that warned us when we were getting to close to overload. Instead we lives at 120% of our capacity and then we “wonder why the burden feels so heavy”. The key to living a life of margin is to preschedule yourself in such a way that you live a life at 80% of your capacity. This allows us to be able to react when life throws problems so that we can adapt to them and work through the situation with energy left in the tank.
Finding a way to manage life’s responsibilities in light of this is key to any leader’s ultimate success especially in the increasingly unhealthy situation presented to us in America today. Living a life of Margin and more importantly LEADING a life of margin will foster good will and higher productivity among employees. This will also build a more unified and cohesive organization whose principles are truly founded on values that really matter the most.
I just wanted to congratulate Dr. Ben Desper on his recent selection as the sole finalist for the Pickens County Superintendent position. In my time on the Bartow County school board Dr. Desper was great to work with and cared deeply about the students of our community.
We are beginning to see some transition within the school system and it is my hope that the direction and mission of system remain unchanged. A lot of progress was made during the tenure of Dr. Desper and his contributions to Bartow County & Dr. Harper will be missed!
The candidacy of Newt Gingrich has created an interesting problem for Christian conservatives across the country. Many are asking themselves if they can support Gingrich because of his past marital issues. Let me be the first to say that I believe God intended for marriage to be between men and women and that we were only supposed to do it once.
The problem for conservatives is that America has a divorce rate of nearly 60% and the rate of new marriages is at an all time low. As a result of this new marital dynamic it is going to become increasingly difficult to find people untouched by common social problems. Many in the electorate are experiencing the same hypocrisy that exists in churches all over this country. People see the church and the Christian political establishment as intolerant and unforgiving. We can’t be a faith of love on Sunday and judgment the rest of the week.
Mitch Daniels another possible candidate has received some push-back because he divorced and later remarried his wife. This couple seems to have repaired their relationship and it is unfortunate that they are being attacked for being human. While I believe it is crucial to have absolute moral standards we should acknowledge that only Jesus was 100% successful.
The goal of Christianity is to meet people where they are and explain the saving grace given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Gingrich and Daniels are not perfect men but they are qualified to serve this country. We should make our judgments based on the ideas they have and the people that they have become today. Very few of us on the right could live up to the standard that we impose on our religious and political leaders.