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Date: 2009-07-09, 12:58PM PDT
 
Sirdeaner Walker found her 11-year-old son Carl Joseph in his room, dead, hanging from an electrical cord. Driven to suicide, it's believed, because he was being "bullied relentless" in school. He was being pushed around, told he acted "gay," and branded a "faggot." And when she told the school, administrators told her "it would work itself out," she says. Ms. Walker has relived this nightmare a number of times publicly, for which we thank her, since she has to relive it everyday for the rest of her life. Here, she tells Congress about the reality of bullying: It doesn't have to be this way for our kids. "This has got to stop. School bullying is a national crisis. … I know that bullying is not a gay issue, or a straight issue. It's a safety issue."

 

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Check your school district and blog about your findings. Here are some helpful links:  GDOE 2008-2009 AYP Results , www.atlanta.k12.ga.us   www.cobb.k12.ga.us  www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us   www.henry.k12.ga.us www.dekalb.k12.ga.us)

After reading, include discussion on the affect(s) on you, if any.

One hundred thirteen metro Atlanta schools did not make Adequate Yearly Progress(AYP) according data released by the Georgia Department of Education today. The following is a list of metro school who did not make AYP, organized by district.

Atlanta Public Schools

APS-Forrest Hills Academey , Continental Colony Elementary School, Crim High School, Douglass High School, Harper-Archer Middle School, Hillside Conant School, Hutchinson Elementary School, Imagine Wesley International Academy Charter Facility, King Middle School, Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. High School, Neighborhood Charter School, North Atlanta High School, Parkside Elementary School, School of Health Sciences and Research at Carver, School of Technology at Carver, Slater Elementary School, South Atlanta Law and Social Justice School, South Atlanta School of Computer Animation and Design, Tech High School, Therrell School of Health and Science, Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy, Washington High School, Williams Elementary School

Cherokee County

Canton Elementary, Cherokee High School, Polaris Evening School, William G. Hasty, Sr. Elementary School
 

Clayton County

Babb Middle School, Forest Park High School, Fountain Elementary School, Haynie Elementary School, Jonesboro High School, Lake Ridge Elementary School, Lovejoy High School, Lovejoy Middle School, Mount Zion High School, Mundy's Mill High School, North Clayton High School, Pointe South Middle School, Riverdale High School, Riverdale Middle School, Suder Elementary School, Swint Elementary School
 

Cobb County

Campbell High School, Campbell Middle School, Compton Elementary School, Devereux Ackerman Academy, Fair Oaks Elementary School, Imagine International Academy of Mableton, Lindley Middle School, Oakwood High School, Osborne High School, Pebblebrook High School, Powder Springs Elementary School, Smitha Middle School,
 

Decatur City

Renfroe Middle School
 

DeKalb County

Avondale High School, Avondale Middle School, Cedar Grove High School, Chapel Hill Middle School, Columbia Elementary School, Columbia High School, Columbia Middle School, Cross Keys High School, DeKalb/Rockdale PsychoEducation Center, Dunaire Elementary School, Dunwoody High School, Fairington Elementary School, Flat Rock Elementary School,Freedom Middle School, Heritage Educational Center, Indian Creek Elementary School, International Student Center, Knollwood Elementary School, Lithonia High School, Lithonia Middle School, Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, McNair High School, McNair Middle School, Midway Elementary School, Miller Grove Middle School, Open Campus High School, Panola Way Elementary School, Peachtree Middle School, Redan High School, Redan Middle School, Ronald E McNair Discover Learning Academy Elementary School, Salem Middle School,Shamrock Middle School, Sky Haven Elementary School, Southwest DeKalb High School, Stephenson High School,Stone Mill Elementary School,Stone Mountain High School, Toney Elementary School, Towers High School, Tucker High School, UHS of Laurel Heights
 

Fulton County

Creekside High School, Elkins Pointe Middle School, Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary, Heritage Elementary School, McClarin Alternative School, McNair Middle School, Nolan Elementary School, North Springs High School ,Paul D. West Middle School, Renaissance Middle School, Tri-Cities High School
 

Gwinnett County

Berkmar High School, Central Gwinnett High School, Phoenix High School
 

Marietta City

Marietta Middle School

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http://www.balancedreading.com/teacherquality.html  (Click on link for full article)

Download full article pdf file

There can be no doubt that teacher quality is critically important for academic success of at-risk students, especially when it comes to teaching literacy skills.  However, since No Child Left Behind increased the focus on teacher quality, we really have not been able to agree on a definition of what teacher quality is.  Education Trust has focused much energy and study on the topic of teacher quality, but they have not been very clear on how they determine teacher quality.

I would argue that much confusion has come from the conflation of the terms “highly qualified” and “high quality.”  Legislation passed since 2001 has called for more “highly qualified” teachers, and the focus has shifted away from “high quality” teachers.  The term “highly qualified” does have a clear definition – highly qualified teachers are teachers with degrees and certification in the areas in which they teach.  Thus, high school math teachers should have degrees in math (or at least substantial college credit hours in math), history teachers should have a clear and documented background in history.  But what about elementary school reading teachers?  There is no degree in elementary school reading at most universities.

...

“Highly qualified” teachers are those with degrees and certifications in the areas in which they teach.  “High quality” teachers, however, are those with talent, knowledge, and skill.  Alas, when it comes to reading instruction, there is very little evidence that the two are related.  In other words, recruiting and retaining “highly qualified” teachers is no guarantee of “high quality.”

While we define “highly qualified” teachers by the degrees and certificates they hold, I think it is important for us to think more broadly about “high quality” teachers.  Over the years, I have observed hundreds of teachers teaching students to read.  When I walk into a class and watch a teacher, I have little knowledge of the certificates or degrees that teacher has earned.  However, I can tell very quickly whether that teacher is a “high quality” reading teacher.

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Full text article Strong American Schools?   A question of quality schools

Too many graduates are unprepared for college, careers, and life.

Not ready for college: More than one in three college students (34%) must take remedial math or
English courses to catch up on skills they should have learned in high school. In community colleges,
the remediation rate climbs to 43%.3

Not ready for careers: Nearly half of recent high school graduates who enter the workforce (46%) say
they are not prepared for the jobs they hope to get in the future. Employers agree, estimating that 45%
of recent high school graduates are not prepared with skills to advance beyond entry level jobs.4

Not ready for life: American students have a hard time solving real-life problems that call for practical
decision making and troubleshooting. Among 29 developed countries, the U.S. had the fourth-
highest
percentage of very weak problem-solvers and the sixth-lowest percentage of strong problem-solvers.5

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Note:  Article points out low reading and math standards in GA and compares 16 southern states included in Southern Regional Education Board report

For Full text article, click here

A new Southern Regional Education Board report focuses on problems with middle schools and suggests that while Texas' standards for middle school math are "about right," its middle school reading standards are too low.

You'll find a summary of the report in the press release below:

Too Many of Region's Students Unprepared for High School; Achievement Not Rising Quickly Enough, New Report Finds

ATLANTA -- Modest gains in reading and mathematics achievement on state assessments and low academic standards are signs that too many middle grades students are not well-prepared for high school courses, a major new report by the nonprofit Southern Regional Education Board shows.
...

Six SREB states appear to have set standards at about the right levels in reading: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Mississippi. South Carolina's standards appear too high. Nine SREB states' reading standards appeared too low: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

In eighth-grade math, eight states appear to have set standards about right: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Texas. South Carolina's appeared too high. Seven SREB states' math standards appear too low: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

 

 

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