14 SEP 10: Seconds and Thirds
The countdown to Election Day reaches seven weeks today. And so far, only one candidate for Muscogee County School Board has made a splash in the news. At least Mark Cantrell hasn't suggested setting up Action Buildings outside crowded schools.
Everything seemed to be business as usual Monday evening, as the Muscogee County School Board held its monthly work session. And crowded conditions came up, in a couple of different ways. Some students will have to deal with extra bodies. But that's OK, because some school principals may have to share a desk as well....
Muscogee County education officials say several schools need more Assistant Principals. They're recommended at four grade schools, where almost all the students live in poverty -- and where the parents with money had the wisdom to move their children to private academies.
But here's the thing: Superintendent Susan Andrews recommends only HALF an Assistant Principal at the four grade schools. I'm not quite sure how this works. Either two schools will share an Assistant Principal - or the assistants will have evening jobs at Wal-Mart.
It surprised me to see most Muscogee County grade schools have half-time or full-time assistant principals. When I was young, my elementary school didn't have any. And when the principal's name came up at all, it usually involved a "board of education" related to spanking.
That statistical document also reveals North Columbus has the highest enrollment of any Muscogee County elementary school right now, at 687 students. This is what happens when your part of town has successful Little League baseball teams....
The fourth-highest enrollment belongs to Martin Luther King Elementary -- and Superintendent Susan Andrews says third-grade classes there have reached their maximum number of students. She apparently stopped short of saying enrollment at Martin Luther King has "been to the mountain top."
The Muscogee County School Board is being asked to approve a "class size waiver" at M.L.K. Elementary. Trouble is, WTVM incorrectly spelled the word "waver" in one of its Monday newscasts. I hope the teacher who was fired from M.L.K. a couple of years ago isn't an advisor in television news now.
If Muscogee County and Georgia state boards approve, the M.L.K. maximum for third-grade classes would be increased by one to four students. That may not sound like much - but children near the end of the alphabet will have to wait even longer to announce they're "present."
Muscogee County school officials want to delay any redrawing of school zones until next school year, to allow for upcoming increases from base realignment. Apparently M.L.K. Elementary already is seeing a little of that growth -- and if more military families are moving into Elizabeth Canty Homes, the gun violence might finally stop.
Meanwhile, a report released Monday showed the average Scholastic Aptitude Test score for Georgia high school students dropped by seven points last year. And there's even worse news to top that - as most Georgians are more concerned about dropping a football game to South Carolina by 11 points.
Experts say the average Georgia SAT score dropped to 1,453 in part because more high school seniors took the test. When more seniors take the test, history indicates the average score is likely to go down. So if you don't think you're bright enough to enter college, do the state Education Department a favor -- skip the coming tests, and use the savings in fees to shop at the mall.
-> Our recent poker tournaments have made us smile often. Read about them at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-
BLOG UPDATE: Columbus Police announced a third arrest Monday in the "Rec-Gate" case. William Fox of East Marietta Basketball Inc. is charged with felony conspiracy to defraud - and if he picks up a second technical foul, he could be out of the game completely.
Let's travel through a little more Monday news....
+ The four candidates for Columbus Mayor held yet another forum. This time, the theme at the Springer Opera House was the arts community. I didn't attend this -- but obviously Wayne Anthony and Zeph Baker want more gospel concerts. And Teresa Tomlinson can teach art classes at recreation centers, since her latest ad suggests she once decorated school gyms.
(And when it comes to Paul Olson and the arts - well, the Columbus Museum might want to start the last-ditch fund-raising drive now.)
+ Soul singer Usher announced Atlanta's Philips Arena will be a December stop on his "OMG" tour. I'm going to presume those initials do NOT stand for "Obama Must Go...."
+ WRBL pushed the rain-delayed U.S. Open Tennis finals to digital 3.2, so it could keep showing reruns of "Two-and-a-Half Men." Apparently the managers decided more viewers want to see "love games" by Charlie Sheen than Rafael Nadal.
+ WTVM's high school football "play of the week" was an attempted tackle by a Chattahoochee County defender, which left the station's chief photographer with a concussion and fractured ribs. We wish Paul Therrien well as he recovers - and we wonder how many anti-news media sickos voted for this play online.
+ Instant Message to Senator Johnny Isakson: I'm a little confused by your latest campaign commercial. If you're really "standing up for conservative values," why do you admit flying home to Georgia "almost every weekend?" Doesn't all that travel sound like something a free-spending liberal would do?
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