I suggest that education coverage in the local paper should extend to what is going on in Atlanta. There are things being readied for legislation that will affect both our local school district and the graduate teacher education programs at Columbus State University.
Apparently the Governor's Education Reform Committee has decided to re-work the QBE formula for financing education. Deal and Company have unearthed a report from the right-leaning Heritage Foundation (from 2000), that purports to prove that student outcomes are not positively affected by either the length of classroom experience or the higher level educational attainments of the teacher. This conveniently allows the state to ignore these factors when paying teachers, ensuring a younger, less stable, less experienced, and less educated teacher force whose reasons for long-term commitment to teaching do not exist. Advanced degrees (all of which teachers pay personally to attain) will no longer be necessary, which will adversely affect every university and college in this state, both public and private.
This type of teacher payment system was passed in North Carolina last year, and the state lost 14 percent of its teachers. I am willing to bet that the ones who left are the educated and experienced ones who would have served their students well.
We need to know what is happening in Atlanta, especially since it affects one of the largest employers in our city.
Myth and hysteria
The actions of one madman have sparked an uproar over the Confederate battle flag. The hysteria hasn't stopped with just the flag; it has spread to other issues such as changing military base and school names; a syndicated television show's reruns discontinued; some toys and video games have even been yanked from stores and websites. These knee-jerk reactions are silly.
Let me dispel some myths about the battle flag, also known (incorrectly) as the "stars and bars":
There were three versions of the official flag of the Confederacy, but the battle flag wasn't one of them. It was, however, carried into battle by the armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee. From 1863-1865, it was used as a union jack on many Southern ships (a union jack was usually the flag of the nation from which the ship originated) -- this may have started the mistaken association of it as the "official" Confederate flag.
Starting in the 1950s and 1960s, certain hate groups and segregationists hijacked the battle flag. The hate groups were just reprehensible racists, while segregationists were opposed to the federal government's implementation of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision ending public school segregation. Georgia incorporated the battle flag into the state flag as a protest against integration. In 1961 the flag was raised over the South Carolina's state capitol to mark the Civil War Centennial; in 1962 the vote was cast to leave it there as a protest against the civil rights movement.
These groups and government bodies irrevocably stained that flag with their hate and twisted ideology.
The men who died fighting under that flag stained it with their blood.
Jeffrey A. Nix
Each year, thousands of teams participate in Little League Baseball. In addition to the fun the players have competing against one another, they all have the desire to prove that they can compete with any team in the world. Recently, Northern Little League had six teams win the District 8 tournament and advance to the state tournament. Three of five of those teams have captured state championships and will travel to play in the regional championships.
Along with honor and opportunity comes a great financial obligation. Our teams have been fundraising for a couple of weeks through various activities, including camping out at various stores and restaurants. We want to thank the community for their generousity to date. Columbus and the surrounding areas have always been supportive of youth programs, and this again gives our region an opportunity to shine. Because Northern Little League is a 501(c) charitable organization, any donation you may is tax deductible. Any donation you make is greatly appreciated. Our league would like to thank you in advance for your continued support of youth sports excellence.
President, Northern Little League
In the moment
Some things are black or white, right or wrong. But others are rightish and wrongish. If you really want any friends, you just have to be slip-slidey enough in your spoken opinions to find some topic you can agree upon. Or you just walk away muttering especially if it's over politics and religion.
But baseball and football, not so much. In keyed-up sport moments it is just pure delight when you can find a flicker of agreement from another human being (or a golf ball).
Danged-est thing I ever saw. Even with all the yabbering, yelling, and grandiose thoughts of saving the world, a sane individual knows he can never really have much influence in politics, religion, or sports. The difference is being able to have a beer at a game and to really let go what you think, whereas in church or a political rally there is too much "seriousness" going on. At a game with beer in hand it's about letting the right/wrong dogs out until the game is over or the buzz is gone.
And then, when you start to miss those "friends" you love to hate, you rush back to the moment by moment struggle at the stadium.
Roar, Lions, Roar. Gooooo Lions!