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Education secretary OKs lower math standards

U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings lowered the bar Tuesday for Georgia schools concerning state math tests and the needed passing percentage a school must have to make adequate yearly progress.

For this year and next year, 59.5 percent of a school's pupils in third through eighth grades must pass the math portion of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests to make adequate yearly progress. Previously, the needed figure for this school year was set at 66.7 percent.

The announcement will not change the status of pupils who failed state-mandated exams. Georgia schools are projected to see 40 percent of their eighth-graders fail state math tests this year.

Dr. Spellings gave State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox the OK to lower the threshold Tuesday.

There was concern that the sharp decline in test performance would trigger a decline in schools making adequate yearly progress. Ms. Cox alerted school superintendents shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday of Dr. Spellings' decision. She will hold a telephone conference to discuss the changes and CRCT retests with superintendents Friday.

Family Fun Fair will have play, activities

The annual Family Fun Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday at Augusta State University's performing arts theater.

The event, for children accompanied by adults, will have free, fun learning activities. The fair also will feature performances of Aesop's Fables by the Patchwork Players at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Call (706) 733-7043 to make play reservations.

The event is sponsored by the Augusta State University Literacy Center and The Augusta Chronicle's Newspaper in Education Program.

Environmental group loses director

The Central Savannah River Land Trust is losing its executive director.

"I am sad to say that I am leaving but very excited about pursuing a longtime goal in the private sector," said Derek Vanover, a former Augusta Trees & Landscaping assistant director who joined the land trust in 2006.

Founded in 2001 by members of the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, the trust is a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving environmentally sensitive natural areas, mostly along the Savannah River and stream basins. The trust works to acquire and preserve important areas through permanent easements that offer landowners tax credits, or by using grants and other sources to buy important lands. Since its inception, the trust has preserved thousands of acres.

Mr. Vanover said in an e-mail that he will be working in landscape architecture. He is the second permanent director, succeeding Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

Program Manager Hazel Langrall will be the primary point of contact until a new executive director is chosen, Mr. Vanover said.

Traffic Brief

- Georgia Department of Transportation officials will close several portions of Interstate 20 this week.

A single lane on eastbound I-20 between Wheeler Road and Bobby Jones Expressway will be closed from 9 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Thursday, a news release states. The road will close again at 10 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday. Also this week, the I-20 eastbound off-ramp to the southbound lanes of Bobby Jones Expressway will be closed from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, according to the release.

RICHMOND COUNTY

Police seek man in mailbox check theft

Authorities are looking for a man accused of stealing a check from Augusta Commissioner Joseph Jackson's home mailbox.

Jerome Garrett, 46, of the 2000 block of Grand Boulevard, is wanted on one count of forgery in the first degree, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Shane McDaniel.

Mr. Garrett is thought to have taken the check, altered it, then presented it at Regions Bank at 2507 Peach Orchard Road for $749, Investigator McDaniel said. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

Videotaped robbery leads to man's arrest

Investigators arrested a man Tuesday who they say was shown in surveillance video robbing a coin-operated laundry.

Shelban Steele, of the 500 block of Tubman Road, is charged with five counts of second-degree criminal damage to property, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Aaron Hannsz.

Police are still searching for Shelia Patterson, of the same address, who they say was also shown in the video. The two were shown breaking into change machines and washers at Sunshine Laundromat at 920 Heckle St., Investigator Hannsz said. The incidents have occurred six times since April 30. Anyone with information on Ms. Patterson is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

AIKEN COUNTY

Man sought in robbery of ice cream parlor

A Tuesday afternoon robbery at the Pink Dipper in North Augusta had law enforcement looking for a suspect, according to North Augusta Public Safety spokesman Tim Pearson.

A white male in his early 30s entered the ice cream parlor, at 501 Georgia Ave., just before noon and ordered orange sherbet on a cone. As a clerk handed him the cone, the man tapped his waist as if he had a weapon, Lt. Pearson said. The clerk handed him money and he ran into an alley behind the shop. He was wearing a yellow, blue and white Tommy Hilfiger shirt, khaki ball cap and sunglasses.

Bloodhounds found the cone and a napkin on the ground behind businesses along Georgia Avenue. Anyone with information can call North Augusta Public Safety at (803) 279-2121.

State Supreme Court reprimands ex-judge

The South Carolina Supreme Court has reprimanded a former Aiken County magistrate judge and banned him from holding a judicial position in the state without the court's permission.

Charles Carter was arrested last year on charges that he knew an employee had committed sexual misconduct with an inmate but didn't report it. He subsequently resigned. He has since pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, stemming from charges that he committed fraud while a judge.

On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld a recommendation for a public reprimand, and further ordered that he not seek or accept a judicial position in the state without the court's written permission.

Comments (27) Add comment
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ONLY THE TRUTH
2
Points
ONLY THE TRUTH 06/04/08 - 02:02 am
0
0
There is no SOUTHbound lanes

There is no SOUTHbound lanes on Bobby Jones. God help us if the DOT doesn't even know this.

patriciathomas
43
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patriciathomas 06/04/08 - 04:25 am
0
0
Once again the Dept. of

Once again the Dept. of Education steps up to lower the standards in our schools. Thanks again Jimmy Carter.

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 06/04/08 - 04:54 am
0
0
I don't get it, they create a

I don't get it, they create a virtual public school called Georgia Virtual Academy, and yet don't use it to the fullest potential. How come they are not using it for those who are falling behind????? It is our tax dollars at work and this is a GREAT time to start using it for those who need the extra help in those areas of math and social studies or science.

nightraider
0
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nightraider 06/04/08 - 05:54 am
0
0
Pt, the "dumbing" down

Pt, the "dumbing" down continues!

christian134
1
Points
christian134 06/04/08 - 05:57 am
0
0
Wow is it any wonder boys and

Wow is it any wonder boys and girls the rest of the nation considers Southerns as lazy ignorant offspring of lazy ignorant parents...Keep lowering the scale and it will be fact....

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 06/04/08 - 07:13 am
0
0
mindless thoughtless

mindless thoughtless consumers to spend everything they make and then their stimuli check on crapola that has no value and will be in a dump in a year. the socialist breed them then they ride them for power the rest of their dumb lives. they only know dependence. its ok you're stupid, we fixed it, we lowered the score requirements. you now have an a. it is a perverted form of slavery by the do-gooders.

giwi
118
Points
giwi 06/04/08 - 07:41 am
0
0
Have the Richmond County CRCT

Have the Richmond County CRCT status been posted? Now that the EIP program will be affected due to budget woes, it is going to be very interesting next year. It looks as if RC is following in the state department's ruling, lowering the standards. What happened to raising the standards of our students/

bone
24
Points
bone 06/04/08 - 07:51 am
0
0
i'm so embarrassed to be a

i'm so embarrassed to be a teacher when i read about decisions like the one to lower the percentage of students passing math to under 60 in order to make AYP. there is no way the public can view this move as anything but CYA by the DOE.

klsm
0
Points
klsm 06/04/08 - 08:12 am
0
0
All test have been "dumbed"

All test have been "dumbed" down. Whether you are taking a elementary, middle, or high school test, or a State Board to obtain a license to practice in whatever area. Let's just keep lowering our standards of education and a "crackhead" will be able to practice medicine because the standards were lowered to meet the needs of each and every crybaby idiot who is too lazy to study. Economic status does not determine your ability to learn ... however, laziness does!!!

jaschild
10
Points
jaschild 06/04/08 - 08:14 am
0
0
sad, the band-aid remedy for

sad, the band-aid remedy for DOE which doesn't stop the disease that is running rampant through our schools.

i know
0
Points
i know 06/04/08 - 08:19 am
0
0
If I-20 runs East and West

If I-20 runs East and West and it intersects Bobby Jones at 90 degrees, what direction does Bobby Jones run? I believe it would be North and South. God help us if ONLY THE TRUTH doesn't know that.

justthefacts
29078
Points
justthefacts 06/04/08 - 08:33 am
0
0
Hey clue, go find the sign

Hey clue, go find the sign that says "Bobby Jones North" next exit. Let us know when you find it.

mgr
0
Points
mgr 06/04/08 - 08:37 am
0
0
This is simple. Even numbered

This is simple. Even numbered interstates run East & West. Odd numbered run North & South.

JohnnyYuma
0
Points
JohnnyYuma 06/04/08 - 08:55 am
0
0
Thanks again Jimmy Carter? Is

Thanks again Jimmy Carter? Is he still President???

deekster
24
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deekster 06/04/08 - 09:16 am
0
0
In the Soviet Union, their

In the Soviet Union, their "butchers moonlighted in the operating rooms performing surgery". They tried to clean up a nuclear plant meltdown in "paper suits and dust masks". We want that "new society". We need that "new society". We want "bread lines" and "toilet paper lines" and lines for everything. We want "equality of nothing". Hey, I think our welfare system is already one of "government lines for handouts". Oh, and the "steak line". I love that one. Three steaks for a thousand shoppers. LOL

deekster
24
Points
deekster 06/04/08 - 09:18 am
0
0
Did anyone find the name of

Did anyone find the name of the "commune" near Americus GA from the thirties? Jimmuh loved those people and their harmonious lifestyle. He would probably have loved the Manson Family.

csrareader
1288
Points
csrareader 06/04/08 - 09:32 am
0
0
Until we regain our sanity

Until we regain our sanity with the public education system, and let teachers simply teach the subject matter instead of worrying about standardized testing, we will not recover from this debacle. Somehow, someway, we need to find the escape route from No Child Left Behind, Annual Yearly Progress and CRCT exams dictating student promotion policy. The federal and state "education experts" have tied the hands of teachers with this standardized testing crap. Let the teachers teach -- and the problem will cure itself!

deekster
24
Points
deekster 06/04/08 - 09:32 am
0
0
Found it. Jimmuh Cotah's

Found it. Jimmuh Cotah's socialist beginning and maybe the birthplace of "Black Liberation Theology". KOINONIA, an interracial Christian community in Sumter County, Ga., and its founder Clarence Jordan became the target of the local white community’s hatred and violence because of beliefs in racial equality. Koinonia would endure years of bombings, shootings and economic boycotts – including attacks by the Ku Klux Klan – to become the birthplace of the worldwide movement of Habitat for Humanity.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/04/08 - 10:19 am
0
0
For goodness sake leave

For goodness sake leave Carter alone. You should have some respect for our ex President. I don't see how some of you live with such hate.

galaxygrl
1411
Points
galaxygrl 06/04/08 - 11:47 am
0
0
Rose, I had to comment about

Rose, I had to comment about hate. Jimmy Carter hates America, loves socialism and promotes his own dogma around the world. Have you seen some of his hateful comments?

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/04/08 - 12:22 pm
0
0
galaxygrl Carter does not

galaxygrl Carter does not hate America. Sorry, but you are talking out of a paper [filtered word]

JohnnyYuma
0
Points
JohnnyYuma 06/04/08 - 01:09 pm
0
0
An ex-President and

An ex-President and ex-Govenor who won the peace prize and hates America. Wow, he must be a genius to have fooled so many people, for so long. It was part of an evil genius's plan to take over the Untied States and make it like Russia. A land where volinteers build houses for the poor. Everyboby knows the rich cannot get richer that way.

bone
24
Points
bone 06/04/08 - 01:22 pm
0
0
carter just wants peace and

carter just wants peace and he's confident that appeasement (including the coddling of terrorist up to and including the removal of all jews from the middle east) is the right course. if you agree with him, feadroan, then by all means keep shouting his praises. i know that he has meant well and his early involvement with habitat gave the organization great credibility; carter's tendency to criticize u.s. policy in recent years, though, has created more animosity towards america & its allies than it has resolved issues. whether or not you like u.s policies, a former u.s. president who is inciting other countries to abandon us in favor of terrorist regimes is poor judgment at least and treasonous at most.

JohnnyYuma
0
Points
JohnnyYuma 06/04/08 - 03:09 pm
0
0
You are right, if he has

You are right, if he has committed treason, as you say, then he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Then we can take his peace prize and award it to our current great leader Mr. Bush a man that has not created animosity towards America and its allies and caused more counties to join us in favor of terrroist regimes because they have so many resoures and materials that we need.

sanders20
0
Points
sanders20 06/04/08 - 03:21 pm
0
0
40%....more like 90%

40%....more like 90%

justthefacts
29078
Points
justthefacts 06/04/08 - 03:35 pm
0
0
Fead...ah, what? Might try a

Fead...ah, what? Might try a comma or something in there. Just sayin.

bone
24
Points
bone 06/04/08 - 04:17 pm
0
0
no way to prove he divulged

no way to prove he divulged state secrets (although you have to wonder how exactly he arrived at the number of nukes in israel that he disclosed), jonny, but i appreciate your extreme sarcasm. i'll have to say bush doesn't get any props from me for his foreign policy, but he didn't give away a canal, either.

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