Over the past several months I have observed signs on the lawns throughout this part of our county stating support for a charter school as a method of improving the academic performance in a school system currently unable to graduate 60 percent of the students entering high school. In four years, nearly half of the members of a given freshman class will drop out without attaining a high school diploma. Sad, but true.
Charter schools are supposed to be the answer as promoted by some. Longer school days, more science and math concentration will be the methodology, as proposed by that same some. Charter schools should be able to compete favorably with those top-quality private schools. Sounds good, but its too good to be true. Heres why.
Cost: A good private school will set a family pocketbook back close to $10,000 per student per year.
Transportation: A few schools offer custom transportation (at additional cost), but mostly its on the parents to provide transportation. Will charter schools demand a separate school bus delivery system to accommodate the extended schedule?
Instructors: Will classroom instructors volunteer their time to the extended school day that is currently required at regular schools? If not, who pays? I find it disturbing that home-schooled students excel even though their teacher may not possess credentials. In other words, teachers are rewarded for the degrees attained and not the success of their teaching.
Facilities: Where will the charter school set up operations? It could be as easy as the elementary school without walls that my daughter attended nearly 50 years ago. Maybe some empty strip malls could suffice. If new facilities are required, who pays?
-- Ken Brown
Up in smoke
First, Georgia is not legalizing medical marijuana, just one small part of it for use in a very limited study that is now not operating.
This study hasnt been staffed or used in over 20 years. If they allow cannabidiol to be included in this study, it would mean almost nothing.
We all know this would take a very long time, more than likely years. Then the restrictions to get into the study would be very strict and difficult. That would mean a very small number of people who need the help could get it.
But the biggest problem is that only one grower in Colorado extracts the cannabidiol oil and cannot ship or sell outside the state of Colorado. That means that all of this hubbub is just some politician making a name for himself.
-- Shane Walker
Well worth your time
I have been a mentor for the Macon Mentor Project for the past year. As a retired social worker who worked with at risk children for over 30 years, I have seen the power of trusting relationships and positive support that inspires struggling teens.
With the right encouragement, students will develop a can do attitude, hopefully graduate from high school and become contributing members of society. I am dismayed with the low graduation rates in Bibb County. Our schools cannot do it all. With more adults mentoring a teen, I believe the dropout rate would improve.
I hope to follow my wonderful teen protege through the next three years of high school. She is inquisitive, willing to try new things and has a winning smile. She also laughs at my silly jokes. Being a mentor is as positive an experience for me as I hope my influence is on her.
The Macon Mentors Program has been successful for the past 15 years due to the unlimited energy of the director, June ONeal. I am certain she would wholeheartedly agree a few hours a month can mean so much to each teen waiting for a mentor of his or her very own.
-- Linda Bridges
Get out of the way?
A delayed thank you to our Macon-Bibb County government for their actions in preparing for last months snow and ice storm. News of school and office closings were given in a timely manner while people were alerted to stay off of unsafe roads. We knew of the storm by way of The Telegraph, TV news stations and the radio.
Unfortunately for Atlanta, the protections and safety of its citizens were not taken seriously and the inaction of Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed placed citizens and children in jeopardy. The inaction of these government representatives costs to businesses and taxpayers is estimated at over $10 million.
Sloan Oliver wrote that he and President Ronald Reagan believe that government should just get out of the way. I guess you could say that government in Atlanta was so far out of the way, it didnt even exist. For some reason Oliver believes we need more of this. Oddly, he seemed to be very much enamored of a woman in Atlanta setting up the Snowed Out in Atlanta Facebook page.
Due to the absence of government, she became a real hero and provided a great service by using communication that was made possible by way of legislation that was funded by our much-vilified big government. You may more commonly know it as the Internet.
The people are the government. When it is said that government should just get out of the way, they are talking about us.
-- Pat Fair
Across America 3 million kids drop out of high school every year and 28 percent drop out of college because of academic qualifications. And every year a third of Georgias students walk out of their high schools, never to return.
A financial structure and standards forcing herd teaching by federal bureaucrats allow them to control every facet of the educational system. Furthermore, its design caters to the brightest and frustrates the rest of us. Intellectual attributes run the full gamut, meaning a lot of us are academically challenged. We find some subjects intimidating, others incomprehensible and material requiring abstract thought confusing. When intellectually overwhelmed we feel stupid, become discouraged and humiliated, and thats when we walk out of the classroom to never return.
The broken hearts and tears of teachers, parents and administrators as they watch children walk away from their schools, leaving friends, dreams and their pride at the door along with the governments Common Core education program are proof that federal bureaucrats are dictators and not educators. A nation overflowing with educated engineers are useless without educated workers.
-- Travis L. Middleton
Snowball hate crime
It must have been a full moon on Jan. 29 because some really strange things began to happen. Middle Georgia rarely receives a sufficient amount of snowfall to go sledding. However, snow was on the ground and some individuals decided it would be nice to go where it would be safe to show the kids the fun of sledding. But, there were a group of about 30 at the location throwing snowballs. A lady stayed in the vehicle with a baby and when some of the group of 30 begins to throw snowballs at the vehicle, she exited it and asked them to stop. That is when the group of 30 turned their attention to her and begin to pelt her with snowballs and some hit the baby. When members of her party came to her defense, they attacked them. One received a concussion and one had two ribs damaged.
I was not present, but it sounded like how a pack of dogs would act when they have a small kitten cornered. Oh, did I mention the group of 30 were black and the group of five were white. Where were the two major race baiters Revs. Jackson and Sharpton? Or, even our president, because surely an attack of this magnitude would be classified as a hate crime.
-- Aaron Hufstetler
Pvrayer for today
Heavenly Father, thank you for your perfect peace which keeps my mind on you. I trust you, father, for I know you are my everlasting strength. Because Im trusting you, I will not be anxious or nervous about anything. Instead, in everything by prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, I will let my requests be made known unto you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
-- Grady Sneed
Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to Prayer, The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.