Saturday, November 16, 2013

Common Core: One Student's Statement



The Blaze

Speaking at a local school board meeting earlier this month, a Tennessee high school senior issued a brief and incredibly insightful address on the problems with Common Core standards.

Ethan Young, a student at Farragut High School in Knox County, Tenn., made his case as to why he believes the school district should drop the new national education standards, a set of guidelines that were never voted on by Congress, the Department of Education nor by local or state governments.

“The president essentially bribed states into implementation via ‘Race to the Top,’ offering $4.35 billion taxpayer dollars to participating states, $500 million of which went to Tennessee,” Young said. “And much like No Child Left Behind, the program promises national testing and a one-size-fits-all education, because hey, it worked so well the first time.”

“If nothing else, these standards are a glowing conflict of interest and they lack the research they allegedly received,” he added.
Young also argued that Common Core standards display a “mistrust of teachers,” a line that prompted applause from the audience

“I stand before you because I care about education, but also because I want to support my teachers,” he said. “And just as they fought for my academic achievement, so I want to fight for their ability to teach. This relationship is at the heart of instruction, yet there will never be a system by which it is accurately measured.”

The high school senior went on to argue that “standards-based education is ruining the way we teach and learn.” He also revealed that legislators and administrators have told him “that’s just the way things work.”


“I stand before you because I care about education, but also because I want to support my teachers,” he said. “And just as they fought for my academic achievement, so I want to fight for their ability to teach. This relationship is at the heart of instruction, yet there will never be a system by which it is accurately measured.”

The high school senior went on to argue that “standards-based education is ruining the way we teach and learn.” He also revealed that legislators and administrators have told him “that’s just the way things work.”








Friday, November 15, 2013

Help the Dunwoody High School Marching Band

Do you like music?  Do you believe in the power of music to influence intellectual growth, creativity, and self-expression?  Then support the Dunwoody High School Marching Band by participating in our online auction!

http://auctions.readysetauction.com/dhsband/home
Our award-winning band continues to experience growing pains. Your participation in our 2nd annual auction will help provide support to a wonderfully enriching organization for the kids! Check out our HEROES in action:


In addition to the ongoing cost of managing the band (band camp, game day meals, scholarships, etc.), we are hoping to replace a number of aging instruments — some as old as 1972!
Thanks to so many incredible donations from around the Dunwoody community, we have been blessed with a wide variety of exciting auction items — over 150 items with a value over $13,000 !!. Please wander through everything! Then make a bid. Remember, all proceeds directly benefit the Dunwoody High School Band, so don’t hold back!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chesnut Elementary Students Teach Adults a Lesson at Dunwoody Council

At Tuesday night's city council meeting the usual fireworks were ignited for all to see.  Any time the Red Shirts show up you know they'll be some action.  The council room was packed, the 3rd largest recorded crowd ever.  The biggest crowd ever was the botched launch of the Greenway Trail/Powerline Walkway Through Backyards project.  The 2nd biggest crowd ever was the Great Chicken Run (don't place a shiny object near a chicken's beak).  The Greenway trail was kicked to the curb and chickens were outlawed.  No votes tonight on the dog park move but residents of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Atlanta, Roswell,and even Dunwoody showed up tonight to protest the moving of the dog park. Our DunwoodyTalk reporter arrived at 7 PM and the parking lot at city hall resembled Black Friday at Wal-Mart.  A quick glance of car tags showed about 1 of 3 cars were wearing Fulton tags.

Things got off to a rocky start when a rude Red Shirter shouted to keep the dog park and get rid of the mayor.  Not a good representative for the group.  The people near him were truly embarrassed and the man left the meeting, most likely regretting his shout-out.

Thirty minutes of public comment, nearly all speakers saying they wanted to keep the dog park and criticizing city council and staff decisions.  Not a lot of respect shown in the room.  The dog posse is passionate about their dogs.  I think the city should either get rid of the dog park or keep it where it is now, temporarily.  Let's push DeKalb CEO on settling the $$$ lawsuit, redo the Parks Master Plan (the current Brook Run Master Plan is mostly garbage) and work on some active recreation at Brook Run.   

The best speakers of the night were students from Chesnut Elementary School, 5th graders I think.  These kids were polite, on point, made an excellent case, then went home.  Perfect.  The kids spoke in favor of tornado/storm sirens.  They cited the five synagogues and mentioned that visitors to these building turn off electronic appliances and would not receive Code Red alerts but would hear sirens (if located nearby).  They then mentioned that many seniors reside in senior living facilities in Dunwoody and these seniors most likely would not have phones that would receive a Code Red alert.  Mr. Shortal smiled widely as these young residents spoke about the sirens.  Maybe we can put these Chesnut kids in charge of the dog park issue.

Council comment was quite interesting as well.  Go watch the video.  Hey council, let's try to keep council comments positive or eliminate the entire section.  Is council comment a requirement set forth in our charter?  Most of us are not interested in the personal issues/travel plans/ and favorite places to eat of our council members.  Council members have all night to talk about city business.  The personal issues of city council members is not really stuff most of us want to hear.  The people tuned in to city happenings already know what you support and don't support.  Let's not waste time on council comment.  Can I get a 2nd?

Council discussed another park, this time the 5 acre park across the road from the PVC park.  Side Note:  Eventually we'll need a name for this park so people like me quit calling it the PVC Farm Park.  Naming the park will be an awesome event.  I nominate the following:



1.  Sweetheart Deal Park
2.  Sweet-Tart Park
3.  Unclean Sweep Park
4.  Not the Dog Park Park
5.  Smart City Park (but open to people not so smart as well)
6.  Vandy Runs on Dunkin' Park
7.  No Sports Fields Allowed Park, and You Kids Keep The Noise Down Park
8.  Spruill Chesnut Donaldson Bannister Park
9.  Red Shirt Park
10. Dunwoody Village Parkway Trees Mulched Here Park


The problem with this park is, like the other park, there is nothing really to attract a lot of people, except the amphitheater.  How many picnic tables do we need in Georgetown?  Sorry, this design is five acres of nothing.  Where are the soccer fields, the lacrosse fields?  I hope people with kids show up and lobby to stop this plan.  This is barely an improvement.  If we are wanting to build a park, let's build a park, not a picnic center.

The meeting also had a segment on spending more money on the city web site.  In short, the city has spent a lot of money already on a web site.  The scrolling menu atop the page is not user-friendly, and it is too hard to get to live video of the meetings.  Silverlight by Microsoft is a total joke in the IT world.  I think the folks who built our city's web site also built the healthcare.gov web site. 


Dunwoody Braves?

Cobb County?  That's not in the sweet spot of ticket holders!  Come on, Braves.  Move a bit to the east of Cobb to Dunwoody, Georgia.  We have a 40 acre site at GA 400 and I-285.  A mall and nice hotels already nearby.  Plenty of room for parking and new amenities.  And no matter if we like it or not, we have MARTA.  Our neighbor to the west (Sandy Springs) has been snagging some big-time deals and we'd really like to show them a thing or two.  And although we are part of DeKalb (can someone under the Gold Dome pencil us in for that revival of Milton County) our current county CEO (interim) and our current county School Superintendent are not under investigation for any wrongdoing (at last nothing we know about).  

Drop us an email Atlanta Dunwoody Braves and let's talk.  We have a 40 acre project in the pipeline called High Street.  Many of us are not too excited about it and we think the Braves would like this spot.

Here in Dunwoody we host Georgia's largest Independence Day Parade.  We have a farmhouse.  We have a mall.  Dunwoody has a MARTA stop (please don't tell those street vendors or ticket scalpers once you build here).  We don't have the big bucks like Cobb County, but we don't think they really have it either.  Maybe we can work something out.  Oh, and you can use the "Atlanta" mailing address here as well.

Proposed High Street Project






Monday, November 11, 2013

New Sprouts Grocery Store Coming to Dunwoody at Ace Hardware Site?

Originally posted Sept 18, 2013

Sprouts, a Farmers Market grocery store may be opening soon in Dunwoody.  The location is across from Kroger at Dunwoody Club Drive near Mt. Vernon (former home to an Ace Hardware).

The Dunwoody location would be the first Sprouts in Georgia, and perhaps the first east of the Mississippi for the Arizona-based chain.

Here's a story from the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2012/10/19/sprouts-may-take-root-in-atlanta.html?page=all


A call to their corporate HQ could not confirm, but one of DunwoodyTalk's cub reports questioned a worker recently at the site.

Sprouts is like a Whole Foods and would draw shoppers from the coveted Dunwoody foodie market.  I still miss the Harry's In A Hurry that was on Dunwoody Parkway.