Category Archives: Nimrod

This is what democracy looks like at the Chamber @ Occupy Valdosta 14 October 2011

A gentle reminder to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce of what just happened at the polls yesterday.

Myrna Ballard:

I understand that you have something that you’d like to say?

Occupy Valdosta:

This is what democracy looks like!

Here’s the video:

This is what democracy looks like at the Chamber @ Occupy Valdosta 14 October 2011
We are the 99%,
Marching to Occupy Valdosta, Occupy Valdosta,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

That’s Sam Allen, president of FVCS holding the front Vote No sign; Vote No for the Children is holding another one. Greg Gullberg of WCTV is standing in front of Myrna Ballard, Jade Bulecza of WALB has a camera in the lower right, David Rodock of the VDT is standing behind Myrna Ballard in the video, Desiree Thompson of the VSU Spectator was there, Valdosta Today was there, George Boston Rhynes of K.V.C.I. and bostongbr on YouTube was there, and LAKE was there.


The grass roots effort, outspent by a 10 to 1 margin, defeat the CUEE effort by 4 to 1! —Jim Parker

Received today on School Consolidation Lost by a Landslide with 14 of 16 precincts reporting. -jsq
Hip! Hip! Hooray!

Absolutely amazing! The grass roots effort, outspent by a 10 to 1 margin, defeat the CUEE effort by 4 to 1! That’s what it’s all about! This is what democracy looks like!

Thanks to all the put in the time and effort and showed up at the polls. Now I hope we can have a serious discussion about the education of our children in Valdosta. Y’all in the county can, too.

-Jim Parker

Tracking can help all distributions of students —new research

It turns out tracking students can help all students if done properly. CUEE’s invited speaker Terry Jenkins co-authored a paper back in 1997 about Detracking Troup County: Providing an Exemplary Curriculum for All Students. He appeared to be saying de-tracking was an advantge of school consolidation. Back then tracking was apparently considered a bad thing. Recent research shows that actually tracking students can help all levels of students. So yet another supposed reason or benefit of consolidation turns out not to be true.

Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer wrote for American Economic Review, 101(5): 1739–74, DOI:10.1257/aer.101.5.1739, Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya

To the extent that students benefit from high-achieving peers, tracking will help strong students and hurt weak ones. However, all students may benefit if tracking allows teachers to better tailor their instruction level. Lower-achieving pupils are particularly likely to benefit from tracking when teachers have incentives to teach to the top of the distribution. We propose a simple model nesting these effects and test its implications in a randomized tracking experiment conducted with 121 primary schools in Kenya. While the direct effect of high-achieving peers is positive, tracking benefited lower-achieving pupils indirectly by allowing teachers to teach to their level. (JEL I21, J45, O15)
The first sentence is the standard “diversity” argument that CUEE keeps making. The authors state it so as to poing out that their study finds that it’s far from the whole story.

I find this part especially interesting: Continue reading

The local “unification” attack on public schools is part of a nationwide assault

The “unification” attack on the public schools in Valdosta and Lowndes County, Georgia is part of a nationwide assault on public schools, which has nothing to do with improving public education, and everything to do with private profit and private schools: disaster capitalism right here at home. And it’s not government causing our local disaster: it’s local business interests. What should we do about that?

Jeff Bryant wrote for Campaign for America’s Future 13 October 2011, Starving America’s Public Schools: How Budget Cuts and Policy Mandates Are Hurting Our Nation’s Students

Critics of America’s public schools always seem to start from the premise that the pre-kindergarten-through-12th-grade public education system in this country is failing or in crisis.

This crisis mentality is in stark contrast to years of survey research showing that Americans generally give high marks to their local schools. Phi Delta Kappa International and Gallup surveys have found that the populace holds their neighborhood schools in high regard; in fact, this year’s survey found that “Americans, and parents in particular, evaluate their community schools more positively than in any year since” the survey started.

The first factor: New austerity budgets passed by state legislatures are starting to have a huge influence on direct services to children, youth, and families.
Well, we don’t have that problem in Valdosta City and Lowndes Schools. For example, graduation rates in Valdosta schools have been improving year over year, and both school systems are solvent.

So what happened instead? Why, they made up a crisis instead!

A local business group convinced enough registered voters to sign a petition to get a referendum on the November 8th ballot to decide whether to abolish the Valdosta City School System, which would force the Lowndes County School System to take it over, and also would result in massively raised taxes, which still wouldn’t be enough, so services would have to be cut. Voila! Forced budget crisis! Fortunately, the two school systems have seen through it, and Continue reading

Count the Vote No Marchers

Some said 200, others 250, others 300, for how many marchers following this banner Friday:

Here is the entire march southbound crossing the tracks.

Here’s Video 1 of 3: Continue reading

CUEE turns shy?

Does CUEE have defectors?

On CUEE’s board web page there’s a link,

See a list of community supporters
which we cited back in August. It now gets 404 “No Such URL at This Domain”.

However, we know who they used to be, because that list got copied by Vote No for the Children to the two very interesting charts below, which show real estate and Valwood connections with CUEE.

So what’s going on? Did CUEE’s website get termites, and we should trust the public schools to a group that can’t keep track of its own supporters? Or have some of CUEE’s supporters defected Continue reading