Thursday, September 27, 2012

Georgia School Charter Amendment 2012



By Nancy Jester

Let’s set the record straight about who controls education in Georgia.   Superintendents and their administrators do.  Local boards of education do hire the Superintendent but once in place, these educrats are in the driver’s seat.  The legal framework in our state reinforces the supremacy of the superintendent’s position relative to a board.

School system administrations choose who works in the system and what they do.  We often hear that the board and administration are a “governance team”.   Sadly, “the team” is dominated by board members with “Stockholm Syndrome” or they are accomplices in the abduction of local control.  All of this power comes with a hefty contract that insulates superintendents and gives them a golden parachute at taxpayer’s expense even if their tenure is marked by failure.  Make no mistake about it.  Local control is superintendent control.  If you agree with the superintendent and they are making good decisions for your particular community, you’re probably content.  But, if they are not, you are in a constant struggle with little to no redress.

The charter school amendment is perceived as an existential threat to the gravy train for educrats throughout the state.  That is what the fight is about.  The “local control” that is hailed by the current purveyors of the fine educational products in Georgia, is “educrat control”.  They push the buttons and pull the levers and try to make you believe that “stakeholders” have a say in it all.  Despite state legislation on school councils, parents don’t get a seat at the table when selecting a principal for their school.  In the struggle for power and control, the educrats have failed you and your children; all the while collecting fat paychecks and doling out six-figure jobs and lucrative contracts to more educrats. 

If you realize that your voice as a citizen is so diminished within the current power structure of education, you will know that voting for the charter amendment is one of the solutions.

Parents deserve more choices.  Communities deserve more input into how their schoolhouses are run. 

Charter schools are innovation incubators and are governed by a volunteer group of parents, teachers and community members.  That’s local control.  They get to choose the companies that provide services to their school.  If they do a bad job, they will lose their charter and parents will leave their school for a better product.  If they are responsible and create a valuable product for their community they will thrive and our children will get the education they deserve.  This responsiveness is completely missing in education today.  In fact, in DeKalb we have some schools that have been labeled “failing” for as long as a decade, yet remain open with no replacement of staff. All of the “turn around” plans, accountability measures and excuses brought to us courtesy of the “local control” we have today do nothing to rid our system of failure or make it more efficient, helpful and valuable for the students and community. 

Please join me in supporting real local control.  Please join me in advocating for kids and taxpayers in DeKalb County and throughout our state.  Please join me by voting YES on the charter school amendment.

http://whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com/2012/09/26/the-myth-of-local-control/

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Farm Burger Now Open in Dunwoody

So I get the call that Farm Burger is having a soft opening and I'm invited over to try a burger and milkshake.  If you are rushed for time, I'll say now the food and service was awesome.  Now you can go do something else or stick around for a couple of paragraphs and look at a few photos.
This may be a new, hip place for celebrity sightings.  Last night I saw Councilman Heneghan here.


Three of us arrived around 7:30 to a packed house.  Like many Americans, we first went over to the dessert area and grabbed an ice cream cone and a milkshake.  Two thumbs up.  The milk shake was served in a glass mason jar type thing and the cone was, well, it was a cone.  All good.
No.6 (top bun removed for photo)


For burgers, I had the #6.  Burger with bacon, sunny side up egg, pepper jack cheese, and salsa verde. It was a great burger.  My kid had a regular burger (100% grassfed beef) and the young red-head with us had a burger as well.  I don't recall what type she ordered, but I do know she ate it and said it was awesome.  The fries were good.  They offer regular Farm Burger fries and also spicy garlic & Parmesan fries.  Very tasty.

The drinks we downed were Jarritos lime and Jarritos orange.  They have six local drafts on tap, but the red-head had a few already so I was designated driver.  I'll try the draft on my next visit when someone else is behind the wheel.

Like any time a quality restaurant opens expect some crowds for the first few weeks.  Looking at the prices, Farm Burger offers a quality product for a fair price.  The lunch combo is $8.50, on par with other local offerings.
the lady who took this photo for me apparently had some issues handling an i-phone.  The guy with the beard seemed to be in charge.  Very nice guy.

Farm Burger is in the Georgetown area, a five minute car ride from Dunwoody Village.  It's in the same shopping center as the new and improved Kroger.  That shopping center looks nice.

Here in Dunwoody there are many great places to eat. There are many great lunch options in Dunwoody including Village Burger, Marlow's (both in Dunwoody Village), My Friend's Place and Wright's Gourmet, in the Village area as well. I put Farm Burger up there with Newk's in Brookhaven as 'somewhere different' to have lunch. Farm Burger is a nice addition to the mix.  They have a nice bar, some unique drinks and dishes, and decent music playing on the sound system.

Farm Burger in Dunwoody will appeal to the foodies interested in the grassfed beef option, and also to anyone interested in a chicken sandwich or veggie burger.  A young lady named Kiphanie took care of us.  She was very pleasant, as was everyone else we mingled with. I suggest a No. 6 and a milk shake. Stop by Farm Burger in Georgetown soon and have a nice meal. Rated A+ for families, couples, singles, and anyone not in one of those groups.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Time to Recycle, Dunwoody. DeKalb Sanitation

Now is a great time to sign up for recycling in DeKalb County, Georgia.  The $30 set-up fee is now waived.  Sign up now for a free blue tub and 100 bags.

Since becoming a city we have taken over some things from the DeKalb County.  Trash and recycling pickup has remained with DeKalb and I hope it will stay with DeKalb.

When we started recycling at home a few years ago I was surprised at the reduction in landfill waste we dragged to the curb.  I'm not your tree-hugger, ride a bike, eat granola type.  But I do believe it is a better choice to recycle certain items instead of burying these items in a landfill.

So how do you get the free tub and 100 bags?  The most efficient way will be to email sanitation@co.dekalb.ga.us .  You can also call 404-294-2900.    Once you begin to recycle try to follow the guideline to keep costs down.  There are certain things to recycle, and things not to put in the tub or bags.

It's been three years since I wrote my post on the DeKalb Recycling program.  Take a look HERE.