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3 under-achieving Richmond County high schools to receive federal improvement grants

Millions awarded for improvements

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Glenn Hills, Josey and Laney high schools have been awarded more than $1 million each in federal school improvement grants for the coming school year, Richmond County school officials announced Friday.

"These awards are for the first year of a three-year grant cycle," a school system news release said. "The awarding of funds for years two and three will be based on an annual renewal contingent on performance. Performance will be measured by student achievement results on state assessments."

The Title 1 and stimulus-funded grants are part of $19.5 million being issued statewide to 16 schools. Richmond County applied for the money in April and had the most schools statewide selected to receive money. Glenn Hills will receive $1,078,955; Josey, $1,021,867; and Laney, $1,159,759.

"That's great," school board member Helen Minchew said about the grants.

The grants are tied to reform plans for Laney, Glenn Hills and Josey. The money is to be used for professional development, student improvement and financial incentives to workers who meet certain expectations.

The three schools were chosen after being named among high schools that ranked in the lowest 5 percent statewide in student achievement in the past two years.

Officials have said Glenn Hills and Josey will take on a transformation model, which involves ongoing teacher evaluation. At Laney, which had a lower graduation rate, 50 percent of the staff will be replaced. Those not returning -- about 60 -- will be sent to other Richmond County schools. Laney has been on the Needs Improvement list for four years. Implementing the turnaround model sets its Needs Improvement status back to year one, thereby keeping it from becoming state-monitored next school year.

Officials have said that reform efforts in all three schools would have teachers focusing more on evaluating student work and emphasizing "higher order thinking," meaning more project-based, analytical work for students.

Officials have said a teacher meeting goals based on student performance could receive as much as $10,000 in a three-year period under the incentive package.

If student performance improves, the schools could qualify for total funding of more than $2 million over the three years. According to state Department of Education figures released Friday, the potential funding beyond the first year is: $885,296 for year two and $802,300 for year three at Glenn Hills; $784,224 for year two and $570,345 for year three at Josey; and $828,399 for year two and $773,173 for year three at Laney.

Final individual school improvement plans will be made available by July 9, Friday's release said.

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crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 06/25/10 - 09:48 am
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Wow, the new economy is
Unpublished

Wow, the new economy is shocking: the worse you are the more money you get. Shouldn't they be awarded the money AFTER they show improvement. I dunno, it makes too much sense.

corgimom
38717
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corgimom 06/25/10 - 09:48 am
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"The three schools were

"The three schools were chosen after being named among high schools that ranked in the lowest 5 percent statewide in student achievement in the past two years. "

Will a grant change the fact that 44% of Laney students missed over 3 weeks of school in 2008-2009? How do you teach kids that aren't present? How will replacing the teachers change that?

What a waste of money.

countyman
21682
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countyman 06/25/10 - 10:41 am
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All three schools have

All three schools have improved over the last few years. Check the test scores and graduation rates at each school. Glenn Hills graduation rate is now 70%. Laney around 58% and Josey around 63%...

Educating the youth of tomorrow is definitely not a waste of money. Laney's new AP academy will dramatically change the school. Anybody who lives in Richmond county can now attend Laney.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 06/25/10 - 11:41 am
0
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reward the schools that do

reward the schools that do the worst, and give nothing to the schools that do the best....yeah just "throw more money at the problem"...hey here's a thought expell all students who miss more than 5 days unless in a hospital or w/a severe medical condition. then close josey laney and glenn hills, if you get rid of all the dead weight-students that have no desire, motivation or willingness to learn then you will see immediate academic improvement without having to waste money on useless, wastefull and ineffective programs that are not cost effective..just build another football/basketball stadium or running track that will work

Jillian
2
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Jillian 06/25/10 - 01:08 pm
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I guess that will cover court

I guess that will cover court costs of the criminals working there. lol

mzgoofy
0
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mzgoofy 06/25/10 - 01:17 pm
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All I can say to this piece

All I can say to this piece of news is 'I am FLABBERGASTED!!!' ... oh... and 'WOW'.... followed by a sighhhhh.

crackerjack
153
Points
crackerjack 06/25/10 - 01:31 pm
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countyman......."All three

countyman......."All three schools have improved over the last few years, and now they are all the way up to the lower 5%. I hate to think what per cent they were before. But I've always admired your optimism.

crackerjack
153
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crackerjack 06/25/10 - 01:43 pm
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'Glenn Beck Today': is

'Glenn Beck Today': is Founders' Friday: His topic today......

"African-American Founders" comes on at 5:00 this evening.

I think even liberals will be surprised at how important they were in our country's History, and any mention of them in the new History Books has been removed.

OnlyinAgs
1
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OnlyinAgs 06/25/10 - 02:12 pm
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LOL you watch Beck and his

LOL you watch Beck and his craziness? African American Founders, hmmmm he picked the wrong month don't you think.

ohcanwesee
20
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ohcanwesee 06/25/10 - 02:21 pm
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SO if the federal is giving

SO if the federal is giving away money. Why do we have to suffer and cough up another $700,000?

Patty-P
3520
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Patty-P 06/25/10 - 03:49 pm
0
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I hope they don't let the

I hope they don't let the bookeeper handle the funds.

Nightwing
0
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Nightwing 06/25/10 - 05:24 pm
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From Columbia County,

From Columbia County, teachers Brook Allen Andrews, Ellen Carr Hickey and Kimberly A. Wahus have achieved the designation. Richmond County teacher Amy Spivey Mealing also received the certification.

Georgia’s Master Teacher Certification Program was championed by the governor in 2005 and is coordinated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, according to the release. The certification is achievable by public school teachers in Georgia who have at least three years of teaching experience and who “consistently demonstrate instructional excellence through student achievement,” the release states.

Shame that so few teachers are striving for this program. Better quality teachers and parental support is whats needed to turn schools into learning institutions.

dichotomy
37614
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dichotomy 06/25/10 - 05:27 pm
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"50 percent of the staff

"50 percent of the staff would be replaced. Those not returning would be sent to other schools." What is up with that? Sounds like 50 percent of the staff should be fired, not redistributed to screw up other schools and bring them down to Laney's level. This is a real crock throwing this much money at these failed schools. Tell you what. You fire some of these sorry teachers and start expelling or locking up some of the punk hood students and AFTER you clean house then you might justify pouring more good money after bad into those hell holes. When will our school boards, administrators, and unions quit protecting non-producing teachers and quit shuffling them around to hide their incompetence. Those schools should be bulldozed to the ground, the teachers fired, and the students bussed to YDC for classes given by corrections officers so they can become familiar with their future surroundings. Those schools are failures, the administrators are failures, the teachers are failures, and the students are destined to be lifelong failures because it is apparently cool to be stupid. But just for grins let's throw a $9 million more bucks of taxpayer money at them over the next few years while we hide and protect the incompetent teachers by forcing them onto other students that might actually have a chance.

chel
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chel 06/25/10 - 06:29 pm
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@onlyinAug---this is actually

@onlyinAug---this is actually one of several in a series that Glenn Beck has done...guess you are saying even this is part of his "craziness" as you worded it is not okay with you?
@Nightwing and Dichotomy...is it not ironic that the schools who perform and students who actually want to be somebody get no praise? Money won't help these schools; the parents have to care in order for the students to care.

crackerjack
153
Points
crackerjack 06/25/10 - 07:04 pm
0
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chel...... I thought

chel...... I thought onlyinAug was a little more open-minded than that. After watching that episode of Beck, it makes you realize that a President has the ability to not only change history, but also by omitting 25% of our founders from our history books, who happen to be black, he can take away a proud heritage that should be taught in History classes to our children and grandchildren, no matter their color.

crackerjack
153
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crackerjack 06/25/10 - 07:07 pm
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And I don't think he picked

And I don't think he picked the wrong month, year, decade or century.

Riverman1
94245
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Riverman1 06/25/10 - 07:39 pm
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"Anybody who lives in

"Anybody who lives in Richmond county can now attend Laney."

That's funny.

Riverman1
94245
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Riverman1 06/25/10 - 07:46 pm
0
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Actually, this money is a

Actually, this money is a good thing. Being the realist I am, as opposed to some, I realize these schools are light years away from the rest of the country. They need more money and nontraditonal, Pat Conroy, The Water is Wide type teaching.

The cause of the students poor performance is two hundred years of segregation and discrimination if we are all honest about it. It takes time for the socioeconomic factors to improve and be reflected in the schools. The students in those schools come from an isolated culture as if they were on an island. Let's hope the federal money helps.

corgimom
38717
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corgimom 06/25/10 - 08:27 pm
0
0
If the cause of poor

If the cause of poor performance is segregation and discrimination, why don't all black children fail?

Enyaw
13
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Enyaw 06/26/10 - 07:12 am
0
0
I can no longer sit back and

I can no longer sit back and let you slander the teachers at Laney High School. To reference them as sorry teachers and for the chronicle to continue to feed this by eluding to the same. I challenge any teacher to go to Laney and deal with the lack of parental involvement (percentage higher than other schools), attendance rate (44% of Laney students missed over 3 weeks of school), discipline issues ( "punk hood students", a.k.a .dichotomy), and lack of supplies on the part of the students and the RCBOE. Even the RCBOE and the state realizes this. Bring in your so called better teachers but keep the school the same as it is and let's see what a difference they can make. Many have had an opportunity to teach their however choose to not deal with the day to day grind. Would they come if the money was not an issue? The real question is where are you going to send the "punk hood low achievers chronic absentee students when you make the school an Advance Placement School and realize they can't cut it. Surely this problem didn't manifest at Laney. Do the feeder schools bare or share any of the blame? You can forget the after school and Saturday school enrichment because they don't come to the regular classroom you stated. (Maybe move them to other schools, watch them go down and apply for more money) To the teachers being affected, I apologize on behalf of all the ignorant writers who choose to judge without knowing you individually. I am sure there are some weak links but that's true no matter what school you attend. To the ignorant writers both within the chronicle and through the blogs, "needs improvement" starts at home. Haven't your parents ever told you to keep your negative comments to yourself! Let's shuffle all the teachers and administrators around every five years, then you won't be so critical of their issues and pretend that sending a highly qualified Laney teacher who has done the best with the hand they were dealt, won't do an even better job given the right environment in which to be successful.

tanbaby
1306
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tanbaby 06/26/10 - 07:34 am
0
0
you can't teach someone who
Unpublished

you can't teach someone who doesn't want to learn.....

csrareader
1288
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csrareader 06/26/10 - 09:13 am
0
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"The money is to be used for

"The money is to be used for professional development, student improvement and financial incentives to workers who meet certain expectations." Interpretation: Let's use the money for travel boondoggles and teacher bonuses.

"At Laney, which had a lower graduation rate, 50 percent of the staff will be replaced. Those not returning -- about 60 -- will be sent to other Richmond County schools." Interpretation: Let's take the poorest teachers at Laney and move them to other schools.

Riverman1
94245
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Riverman1 06/26/10 - 09:23 am
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Corgimom said, "If the cause

Corgimom said, "If the cause of poor performance is segregation and discrimination, why don't all black children fail?"

It's past segregation and discrimination, by the way. Of course it is a generalization that the inner city black kids do poorly. But I am flat out not politically correct either way on this matter. These kids are different. They don't have the educated nuturing families helping them. They are not motivated. To teach them the same as Columbia County kids are taught is missing the point.

Corgimom, by the way, I thought that was an excellent post just below yours taking up for the teachers at Laney.

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 06/26/10 - 10:56 am
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0
The money has been decided on

The money has been decided on and designated. The focus should be monitoring how it is spend. There are far too many GOOD teachers looking for jobs in Georgia, and they are the ones who can truly motivate the kids and give them the skills they need to achieve and succeed. The question is, WHICH teachers are truly doing their jobs. This is a good time to find out if some of the teachers even understand what they are teaching - if not, move them out and find the ones who do. I have reviewed work graded by teachers who do not even notice misspelled words much less correct format and content...then we expect the STUDENTS to pass state mandated tests?? Test the teachers...let the ones who deserve the jobs do their jobs.

corgimom
38717
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corgimom 06/26/10 - 03:50 pm
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That's what I meant by my

That's what I meant by my 10:48a post. With 44% of the student body absent 3 weeks or more, replacing 50% of the teachers is useless and a waste of time and money.

No child can ever learn when they don't attend school.

Riverman, on a related note- take a look at the graduation rate. Take a look at the class sizes. Take a look at the dropout rate.

There are large numbers of children unaccounted for. If 58% graduated, and 8.9% dropped out, what happened to the rest-especially when most of the dropping out occurred in 9th and 10th grade?

Why won't anyone talk about the huge discrepancy- or does no one in RCBOE want to admit the manipulation and underreporting of the dropout rate?

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 06/26/10 - 04:00 pm
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Corgimom wrote: Take a look

Corgimom wrote:

Take a look at the graduation rate . . . Take a look at the dropout rate.

Couldn't you just calculate dropout rate as 100 minus graduation rate?

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 06/26/10 - 04:03 pm
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Corgimom wrote: No child can

Corgimom wrote:

No child can ever learn when they don't attend school.

That is an absolutely false idea. You can learn at home; you can learn in the library, you can learn in the woods, in fields, and on the streets. You can learn in the workplace; you can learn in church. You don't have to attend school to learn.

godogs
0
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godogs 06/26/10 - 04:12 pm
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What I don't udnerstand is

What I don't udnerstand is Laney has a state of the art stadium and between the three schools very few parents volunteer or even care about their children's education or else they would be helping out at the schools and making sure their kids get a decent education. Someone look at the statistics of those kids whose parents are on welfare and don't work. Yet more of my tax dollars go to support these school whose parents live off of the system. I guess they are learning as early as school, live off of the federal government before you even get out of school. You can't buy an education, you have to want one and earn it!

corgimom
38717
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corgimom 06/27/10 - 11:09 pm
0
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Little Lamb, no, you don't

Little Lamb, no, you don't learn enough to obtain a high-school diploma, or pass CRCT's, or SAT's, in the woods, in the fields, and in the streets. They don't learn it in church or at home. They don't have a workplace, they are still in high school. If that were true, there would be no need for anyone to go to school, ever.

You were joking with what you said, right?

Avid Fan
0
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Avid Fan 06/30/10 - 02:15 am
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@corgimom: When a class

@corgimom: When a class enters ninth grade, it is@ 100%. That group is then watched for four years. 58% means that only that percentage of students made it to graduation in four years. It is true that some of those students may have dropped out, but some may just take longer to graduate, and some may have even moved to another school or out of the county. If a student moves to another school, he or she cannot be counted in that school's beginning number.

@ Everyone Else: High school teachers at these low performing schools have an arduous task. Many impoverished students enter high school at a disadvantage. In many cases, they are two to three grade levels behind in reading. If a student is reading below level, it filters into every area of learning. In spite of this, these teachers have to work with these students and deal with all of the other problems that they bring to the table. They have to prepare them for a plethora of tests. Most of the time, this burden is placed solely on the backs of the teachers. Many (not all) parents do not attend conferences or PTSA meetings. They do not encourage their children to study. I have been a teacher for over twenty-five years, and I have spent many evenings calling parents who were not the least interested in what I had to tell them about their children. So, while it may be easy for some to bash the teachers at Laney and other schools, you are on the outside looking in. Perhaps you need to take some time to visit some of these schools to see firsthand what is taking place. Maybe you could even offer your expertise.

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