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Doctor declares Roberson ready to resume full-time superintendent duties

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 4:48 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 1:12 AM
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Richmond County School Superintendent Frank Roberson is now well enough to fulfill all responsibilities of his position after undergoing emergency surgery for a brain condition 19 months ago, according to Roberson’s physician.

Roberson  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Roberson

His doctor provided a right to work letter, which was presented to the Richmond County Board of Education at a called meeting Tuesday.

The board voted to schedule a meeting within the next two weeks to review Roberson’s last evaluation and establish priorities and goals for the superintendent.

“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,” Roberson said after the vote. “This is a very exciting moment for me to be able to get back and continue to carry out the work that needs to be done.”

Roberson said his main priority is student achievement. At the board’s last retreat, Roberson said the district needs to focus on teacher training and 15-day assessments to monitor student progress.

The school district dealt with a long, uncertain period before his physician gave Roberson full clearance to return.

He underwent emergency brain surgery in February 2011 for an arteriovenous malformation, an abnormal clustering of blood vessels on the brain often present since birth but undetected until later in life.

Roberson’s then-deputy, James Whitson, worked as acting superintendent until he retired June 30, and had to take over balancing a cash-strapped budget and several state funding changes to the pre-Kindergarten program among other issues.

Roberson returned to work in December on a part-time basis. The board voted to place him on an eight-week trial period this summer, where Roberson gradually increased his workload until he was working a full-time schedule.

Board member Jimmy Atkins said he is excited to have Roberson back full time so the district can move forward with improvement.

“We’ve got a long way to go, and we need to start turning these schools around,” he said.

Board member Marion Barnes said the main goals he would like to discuss with Roberson in the evaluation meeting are graduation rates, test scores and finding more math teachers.

Barnes said he’d also like to reexamine ways to cut back the furlough days and get class sizes back to normal.

“We’re cutting our students short,” Barnes said. “They’re missing four to five days, and we’ve go to find a way to fix it.”

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dichotomy
31689
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dichotomy 09/11/12 - 07:10 pm
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Mr. Barnes.....and

Mr. Barnes.....and Superintendent Roberson....four of five furlough days is not the cause of the problems in this school system. This system was bottom of the barrel before the furloughs ever started. DO NOT use furloughs as an excuse for what has been an obvious deterioration for many many years. As long as the superintendent and the school board want to blame the shortcomings in our school system on economics instead of addressing the real problems, no progress will ever be made.

For starters you might look at the lack of discipline, lots of really bad teachers, racism, terrible morale among teachers who actually try to do their jobs, and promotions and assignments based on race for starters.

Riverman1
81437
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Riverman1 09/11/12 - 08:09 pm
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I saw a Chicago teacher on

I saw a Chicago teacher on the news discussing their strike and she made a comment I have to agree with and it applies in Richmond County, too. She said the teachers were unduly criticized because standardized test scores were emphasized too much when the real problem was the socioeconomic condition where their kids lived.

When you are taking kids from poor, one parent homes with little nuturing and other substandard factors it is a tougher job to educate them. Schools are not going to correct all the other factors that contribute to well behaved and motivated students. The truth is it's much easier to be a teacher in a Columbia County school than in Richmond County. The Richmond Cty Superintendent and teachers are not given enough credit and catch way too much blame.

Riverman1
81437
Points
Riverman1 09/11/12 - 08:24 pm
0
0
County Military Magnet School

Charleston County has tried a concept for about the past 15 years that Richmond County may want to consider. It's a military magnet school and it has tremendous success. It has 97% minority students with 85% on reduced lunches.
http://militarymagnet.ccsdschools.com/

KSL
124900
Points
KSL 09/11/12 - 08:46 pm
1
2
Children being what they are,

Children being what they are, that is, children, need encouragement from parents to make the most of school. If you have a class of parents who are getting by with assistance and who are taking advantage of the system, where is the motivation to instill values and motivation in your children?

class1
299
Points
class1 09/11/12 - 09:19 pm
3
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Discipline

Fix the discipline in the schools and the test scores will improved. Allow principals to suspense without any fear! Instead of putting all the blame on the teachers, start with moving some of that blame on some sorry parents.

pbl
4
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pbl 09/12/12 - 01:41 am
2
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Dr.Roberson

So happy Dr.Roberson is well and able to work. He is a wonderful administrator and a good man.
Riverman1 is so very correct.I have worked with many terrific,dedicated teachers who are constantly and unfairly blamed for not performing miracles due to circumstances over which they have no control. They can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Tullie
2930
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Tullie 09/12/12 - 06:05 am
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1
Riverman

We have Youth Challenge Academy. So, are you thinking we need another one based in Richmond County?

Little Lamb
44905
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Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 07:47 am
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Cannon Fodder?

I have no details about what makes Charleston's Military Magnet School different from the other schools in the Charleston County School System. Is the focus on behavior and skills particularly suited for military service? Is the emphasis on following orders? Resourcefulness? Teamwork?

my.voice
4702
Points
my.voice 09/12/12 - 08:20 am
2
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People have a huge

People have a huge misunderstanding on these military academies. The sucess rate for said insititutions is less than 10 percent. Sending one's child away for a "fix" is a lot easier said than done. These schools also arent necessarily run on a model of by the book military discipline. Many of them are rogue institutions lead by wannabe military folks who are, for all intense and purposes, bullies who couldnt make it in the military or in life. These expereince can actually make behavior worse in the long run.

Youth Challenge, however, is a proven method of turning "at risk" youth. These kids may not have been in trouble, alto the majority have been. Many of them are from homes who just kick them out for no reason. My son is a result of this structured environment. He went from failing in every aspect of his life to success in ways none of us ever dreamed about. That said, this was his CHOICE to make a change, to apply himself, and get the work done.

Over 320 candidates were enrolled at his Youth Challenge experience and less than 75 graduated. What sends many of the kids to YC also sends them home.

The Youth Challenge program is based on proven military discplline, the best teaching methods (academics) and attention to detail in every corner of the candidates life. I can say that my son has a better foundation and a better future than if he had been valedictorian in a traditiional school setting.

Youth Challenge is also more than a residential program. Its also an intensive community program with mentors assigned to each cadet (was candidate). Youth Challenge also offers further academic, job placement, and even military placement assistance to these kids. Its a well done program, and I cant begin to thank those who make it happen enough for their own sacrifices.

If you know of a young man or woman at risk, look into Youth Challenge. Both GA and SC have programs. I can vouch that it can work, and I am grateful it exists. They literally saved my son from certain doom in life.

There is no magic bullet for our youth. It all comes down to choice, and while parents do play a role in that, the child has to beleive that he can succeed. Seeing past "today" is the battle of any youth in society. They cant see past their (perhaps) poor surroundings, and gravitate towards unacceptable behavior, friends, etc.

Our schools (all counties) are complete crap for the most part. Overcrowded, uncontrolled, and out of touch with the real world. They teach to meet the standards set by those who have no idea what it means to learn. They mandidate 180 days of school, but MY kids are watching videos the last 2 or 3 weeks of school. (Hint: quality vs quantity)

Save our youth, they are tomorrow.

Little Lamb
44905
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Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 08:27 am
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Excellent post, my.voice.

I know a high school teacher who lets the students watch movies the last few weeks of school. The rationale is that the students have taken their SAT tests, their end-of-course tests, and their graduation tests weeks before school is out. The game is over, but the clock is still running down.

Little Lamb
44905
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Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 08:32 am
0
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Sports

Hey, here's an idea — create a sports magnet school in Richmond County. Select the best athletes from across the county. Hire the best trainers. Have the best training equipment. The lunchroom would serve the most nutritious food, and no skimping on the calories.

We could be state champion in football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and track & field every year!

Little Lamb
44905
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Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 08:38 am
0
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Barnes needs to go

From the story:

Board member Marion Barnes said . . . he’d also like to reexamine ways to cut back the furlough days and get class sizes back to normal. “We’re cutting our students short,” Barnes said. “They’re missing four to five days, and we’ve go to find a way to fix it.”

Dichotomy's post (first one above) is right on target. Furlough days are not the root cause of the school system's poor performance.

Marion Barnes is up for re-election in November. He has been on the board entirely too long. He needs to go.

Little Lamb
44905
Points
Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 08:47 am
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What a web site!

I visited the web site of the Military Magnet Academy of Charleston County. Their info was a bit skimpy. I guess web technology is taught at a different magnet school.

About Us

Little Lamb
44905
Points
Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 09:21 am
0
1
Context

You cannot understand this story without having the background. Here it is:

Pitiful Performance

Riverman1
81437
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Riverman1 09/12/12 - 05:08 pm
1
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I'm a little late getting

I'm a little late getting back here, but I was commenting on the R and R's about the same subject. Remember this is a public school, not a private miitary academy. We all recognize the problem is the socioeconomic class of the families and the values the kids are taught, but all we do is repeat those facts without trying SOMETHING.

Remember when Ross Perrot ran for president and he came up with an idea about a sort of head start program in neighborhoods for very youngs kids as a way to break the cycle of poor school performance? He was willing to put an idea out there. That's what I'm doing.

Let's look at other ways to improve the RC schools. Let them find camaraderie and pride in accomplishing military like tasks which would blend well with academics and good behavior. It could be that would break the hold of the poor, crime ridden neighborhoods.

It shouldn't cost that much more because the students are being shifted around. I'll listen to any concrete ideas anyone wants to bring up.

rebellious
20514
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rebellious 09/12/12 - 10:20 pm
1
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Riverman

Crosscreek High School currently experiences a 100% graduate rate from the students in their ROTC program which has roughly 400 students each year. They are ranked as the 8th largest in the U.S currently. In SPLOST IV there are $2,000,000 allocated for ROTC renovations to house a larger number of students interested in pursuing this avenue, In addition, our current school board is investing $4,000,000 at Hephzibah to rebuild and grow the ROTC wing to include an indoor rifle shooting range.

The current board recognizes the impact of Military discipline, and continues to support this. MY School Board member is firmly involved and supportive of this, as this is happening in his district. Hs name is Jimmy Atkins.

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