Tag Archives: students

Videos: Lowndes County Board of Elections 2019-03-12

At a monthly meeting held during an election, the Lowndes County Board of Elections decided to re-open a polling station at a Valdosta State University (VSU) precinct, which hasn’t happened since 2009. The next step is for the VSU President to make a decision. Then, students, step up and staff it, and vote, please!

Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of Lowndes County Elections Supervisor Deb Cox, with Lowndes County Board of Elections Members Ray Corbett, Carla Jordan, and Jackie Goolsby.

Thomas Lynn, Valdosta Daily Times, 12 March 2019, UPDATE: ACLU to attend board of elections meeting,

VALDOSTA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia plans to attend the Lowndes County Board of Elections meeting Tuesday.

This comes after the ACLU sent Deb Cox, elections supervisor, a letter urging the election board to open a polling location at the Valdosta State University main campus.

Cox responded Continue reading

Distributing information to citizens —George Boston Rhynes

Received yesterday on Valdosta LMIG resurfacing and transparency. -jsq

Thanks you so much for keeping us informed and it is still a disgrace that our elected officials cannot publish their meetings to all citizens. When will our Mayor; Council and County Commissioners start informing all the citizens and not just a select few of conservatives?

When will it all end? The time has come for change to take place in Valdosta for the good of all citizens and visitors. We need and should demand television, radio, internet and other means of distributing information to citizens.

How sad in 2012?

George included a video of his thoughts on elections hereabouts and elsewhere: Words from our YOUTHS….and where are you? Indeed George Rhynes is out there reporting the truth as he sees it, this time along with two VSU students.


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

Occupy movement inspires Valdosta —VSU Spectator

The VSU Spectator posted the most detailed traditional news media report of Occupy Valdosta, along with an excellently edited video. Desiree Thompson wrote 20 October 2011, Occupy movement inspires Valdosta,
According to Occupy Valdosta’s mission statement, the group exercises their right to “peacefully assemble, to nonviolently occupy public space, to create an open process to address the problems they face, and to generate solutions accessible to everyone.”

In an attempt to raise revenue, Bank of America Corp. plans to charge customers at the beginning of next year with a $5 fee every month they use their debit cards outside of withdrawing from the Bank of America ATM.

Protestors demanded an answer from the bank downtown, but employees refused to comment.

Here’s the Spectator video:

Occupy movement inspires Valdosta —VSU Spectator
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.

Extensive quotes from students: Continue reading

Valdosta State Students defend their right of free speech

Campus authorities tried getting students to move away from the University Center where Governor Nathan Deal was having a luncheon. The students stood their ground.

Here’s the video.

Protesting Gov. Nathan Deal at Valdosta State University (VSU), 16 September 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

The students had been standing on the sidewalk in front of the Continue reading

What about Phil Kent? — Kathryn Grant to Gov. Deal @ VSU 16 Sep 2011

VSU student Kathryn Grant asked Gov. Nathan Deal about his Immigration Enforcement Review Board appointee Phil Kent. The governor responded at length.

Here’s the video:

What about Phil Kent? — Kathryn Grant to Gov. Deal @ VSU 16 Sep 2011
Student protesters,
Press Conference, Gov. Nathan Deal (VSU),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 16 September 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Lawsuit against school charter surrender

In Tennessee, supporters of education decided to fight a bogus consolidation attempt.

Lawrence Buser and Sherri Drake Silence wrote for the Memphis Commercial Appeal 12 February 2011, Shelby County Schools files suit over Memphis charter surrender: Complaint says city shirking duty to kids; rapid takeover ‘impossible’

Shelby County school leaders have taken their fight against consolidation to the courts, filing a federal lawsuit Friday alleging that the city school board’s “irrational” charter surrender deprives Memphis students of their constitutional rights.

In the lawsuit, suburban district leaders also blast the city of Memphis and the Memphis City Council for supporting “the (MCS) board’s unplanned and un-thoughtful effort to abandon its obligations to the children of Memphis.”

Hm, I wonder if there would be legal grounds for this around here?


Why is CUEE so interested? —Karen Noll

Received today on We’re here to save our schools. -jsq
To date CUEE has lead the discussion and they have no role in making the solutions happen if consolidation should go through. CUEE consists of folks very minimally involved in the city schools at this time. Why is this group so ‘interested in Valdosta City Schools’? Until this issue is clarified CUEE’s motives will forever be questioned.

At the same time, if this issue is on the ballot we (parents, teachers, BOEs…)must begin the true discussion of facts and become informed on the issue that we may be called to vote on in November. So, here we are.

CUEE has spent thousands (more than 100 grand) to get this Continue reading

Where are the students in this decision? —Karen Noll

This comment by Karen Noll came in last night on “I don’t see a separation”. -jsq
I completely agree with Alex Rowell. What is the purpose of consolidation/’unification’? Is the purpose to desegregate the two school districts? If so, how will the new school district deal with the issues that Leigh Touchton brings up with regard to education not serving black male students. How will a larger school district better meet the needs of a much more diverse student body? Furthermore, What do the parents in the county think about desegregation of their distict? (Because if they don’t want it, there is no doubt that ‘unification’ will be a disaster for ALL)

OR is the purpose to reduce cost by reducing administrators in the head office? If that is the purpose where are the students in this decision.

-Karen Noll

CUEE’s own study says unification wouldn’t save money and CUEE’s own expert consultant said:
“If you believe in the end that running one system is cheaper than running two school systems. If in the end you are going to cast a vote for a single system because you think it would save money, I wouldn’t cast my vote. I do not think it will save money.”
And, indeed, where are the students in this decision?


Karen Noll thanks biomass opponents who spoke at VBOE

Karen Noll sent this letter to the Valdosta Board of Education (VBOE) and asked that it be posted here:
Dear Valdosta City Board of Education,

I just wanted to thank you for responding to my concerns about the proposed biomass incinerator by seeking further information. I also want to thank Dr. Brad Bergstom and Dr. Gretchen Bielmyer for coming and speaking before the board. Their expertise in the area of ecology and toxicology provided valuable information to the discussion. At the same time, I greatly appreciate that these two professors’ comments were succinct and to the point.

I am deeply disappointed that the Industrial authority chose to consume the board’s time with a 45 minute presentation that never answered the question: Is this plant safe for our students? Never did Brad Lofton or Allen Pickett come close to discussing the air pollution emissions and their effects on the health of our children. Anecdotal information from hand-picked people in Cadillac, Michigan does not convince me as to the safety of this proposed plant for my children.

Meanwhile, the American Lung Association, a group that I trust, has spoken out against biomass and its emissions in regard to children’s health:


The American Heart Association collected many specialist to look at the relationship between Particulate matter and our health and their findings are frightening:


The American Cancer Society finds that extended exposure to air pollution increases risks of cancer:


Lastly, the world Health Organization presents air quality guidelines to prevent health risks, which pertain to most of the emissions from the plant:


I am appalled at the disrespectful tone that Brad Lofton took when addressing concerned citizens of this community. I am ashamed that the Industrial Authority would be so callous as to waste the Valdosta City Board of Education’s time with an endless sales pitch.

I truly appreciate the board’s effort to become informed about the issue and hope that we can get to the bottom of the paramount question: is the proposed biomass plant safe for our students?


Karen R. Noll