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Richmond County to apply for more federal school reform funds

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The Richmond County School System is applying for another $40 million in federal funds to continue school reform that began in 2010 with its share of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top grant.

This next round of money would pay to create Personalized Learning Environments for students, which is instruction aimed at each child’s needs and problem areas rather than teaching every child the same way.

Virginia Bradshaw, the district’s executive director of middle schools, said that environment would be mostly technology-based.

“This would be a way to continue some of the work that we started under this Race to the Top grant,” Bradshaw said. “The potential for funding is more than twice what we have received.”

The Richmond County Board of Education on Tuesday gave staff permission to apply for the grant, which will be awarded to successful districts in December.

The Department of Education announced the $4 billion Race to the Top grant in 2009 and awarded states money to fund teacher support and data analysis efforts in persistently low performing schools. Georgia received about $400 million to aid struggling schools in 2010, of which Richmond County received $16 million to use over four years.

With that round of money set to run out in 2014, Bradshaw said this award would be a way to continue reform efforts that have started to make changes in struggling schools.

However, this 2012 grant is aimed to be more classroom-based than the teacher training and data analysis that was pushed with the 2010 money.

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prov227
3157
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prov227 08/21/12 - 10:13 pm
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Are the schools struggling ...

Or are the students struggling? More money won't fix the problem.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 08/21/12 - 10:52 pm
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Got a problem?

Just throw wads of money at it.

Obama will just crank up the ole printing press and "make" more money. There is plenty to go around.

Stop funding schools and start funding education.

avidreader
3259
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avidreader 08/22/12 - 06:24 am
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Hoops!

I can't believe what I'm reading. A cash-starved county once again indulging in money from a bankrupt federal government. Race to the Top is a mess, and the BOE (and the lowly teachers) will continue to jump through hoops like circus dogs. The feds need to shut down their Dept. of Education and leave the states alone. On its own, a state will rise to the occasion or wallow in mediocrity. Where education prospers, industry follows. Competition at its best.

I am sick and tired of the feds dictating their views of progressive education. The paperwork alone is a nightmare, not to mention that effective teachers are forced to instuct via strictly focused curriculum. The feds and local BOEs are more interested in numbers than inquisitive minds.

The real answer lies within each school system -- hire extremely motivated educators and administrators and allow them to take charge, even if this means using a heavy hand when dealing with miscreant students. Education is business, and yet our federal government and local school board look upon it as a social experiment. Whatever new Guru comes to town, we follow like sheep. We should be training most of these kids to be carpenters and electricians. Why the complex math and intense language logistics for all students? Lets return to the days of tracking students -- some move into college-ready academics while the rest move on to Vocational studies. We should have more Augusta Techs than UGAs. As my father always said, "Son, we've got things bass-akwards here."

Amen!

cnoelg
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cnoelg 08/22/12 - 06:35 am
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Avidreader, I'm all for

Avidreader, I'm all for hiring these motivated teachers you speak of, but the fact is you've got to pay them and as they say, you get what you pay for.
I also agree that some students are more cut out to pursue vocational careers...everyone can't be a rocket scientist. However, if we don't up the ante on teaching our young people math and science skills, America is going to be left behind. (No pun intended, No Child Left Behind is a joke-no argument from me there).
I work in the tech sector, and I can tell you that there is no lack of jobs-there is a lack of highly qualified persons to do those jobs. Mainly because they don't have the math and science skills needed to perform those jobs.

Tullie
2930
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Tullie 08/22/12 - 07:11 am
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Federal Funds for Schools

If people do not start taking responsibility for their children and supporting the teachers, no amount of added technology in the classroom will help.

Things have gotten totally out of hand all the way around. There is waste in the school system, the government needs to get out of the education business, and schools need to get back to teaching..not parenting, feeding, and babysitting.

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 08/22/12 - 07:35 am
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no more "programs"

Parents need to be more involved on many levels, but RCBOE also needs to quit being given money to fund the ongoing improvement projects which have repeatedly failed. PLEASE use the money to hire more teachers to create smaller classrooms where teaching can take place.

corgimom
33162
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corgimom 08/22/12 - 09:48 am
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A "Personalized Learning

A "Personalized Learning Environment"?

Of all the dumb ideas that have come down the pike, this is the worst.

You can throw all the money you want to at these kids, but as long as students- children- are allowed to do whatever they want to do (you can't discipline them, you're picking on them and damaging their self esteem, or they are Special Ed and so they're golden) they aren't going to learn.

A child needs to be in control to be able to learn. It starts from there, and if that isn't present, no learning is going to take place. It can't.

That money would be far better spent on small self-contained classrooms and hiring special ed teachers. Get the mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, and the drug babies out of the classroom, then learning can take place by the others. Face facts and stop the "mainstreaming" nonsense.

That's all the Personalized Learning Environments that are needed.

Although maybe some of that $40 million can be spent teaching math, the RCBOE test scores are a disaster. How hard is it to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions to elementary and middle school students?

Tullie
2930
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Tullie 08/22/12 - 10:38 am
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Money

The money received for grants and federally funded programs cannot be used for anything other than what they were intended.

When folks do that, they get in trouble.

Little Lamb
46405
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Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 10:48 am
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Apple

From the story:

This next round of money would pay to create Personalized Learning Environments for students, which is instruction aimed at each child’s needs and problem areas rather than teaching every child the same way. Virginia Bradshaw, the district’s executive director of middle schools, said that environment would be mostly technology-based.

This just means they'll purchase a bunch of iPads and other gadgets for the students to play with all day. Actual thinking is not required. In fact, it is discouraged.

corgimom
33162
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corgimom 08/22/12 - 10:53 am
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LL, absolutely. And by the

LL, absolutely. And by the end of the year, at least 50% of those Ipads will either be stolen or broken.

corgimom
33162
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corgimom 08/22/12 - 10:55 am
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And then if you hand those

And then if you hand those same students a piece of paper and a pencil, they won't be able to perform, they won't know how.

dichotomy
33532
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dichotomy 08/22/12 - 09:55 pm
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You can get all of the money

You can get all of the money in the world for "programs" and nothing will change. As long as you have no discipline, and poor teachers you will never get any improvement. More money is the last thing you need. You need two big sticks. One for the students and the other for the teachers. Oh yeh, and someone with the courage to swing those sticks.....which you ain't got.

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