Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Georgia Schools On My Mind

With schools next to last in SAT scores and first in the nation in dropouts, Georgia schools don't need another blow to their reputation. But federal prosecutors presented evidence today to tie former state school superintendent, Linda Schrenko, and two co-defendants Stephen Botes and Peter Steyn of funneling $614,000 in federal education funds through a company called Computer Consulting Service Corporation run by Botes (President/CEO) and Steyn (COO). The evidence presented today is meant to show that Schrenko knew about the illegal contributions to her failed gubernatorial campaign in 2002.

Also, Georgia lawmakers have overwhelmingly authorized Bible classes in public school making it the first state in the nation to do so. At least Georgia students will be in good company with the rest of the nation where 53% of American adults believe God created humans in present form. Tim Callahan, the spokesman of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators says this just is another battle in the cultural wars. Georgia has been on the frontlines of the war since Cobb County schools proposed the requirement of a disclaimer in biology books in 2002 that read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." The evolution stickers was ruled unconstitutional in 2005 by a federal judge in Atlanta.

Sometimes its the little things that can do the most harm, such as a rendition of the "On Top of Ol' Smokey" which included lyrics about shooting a teacher in Suwanee, GA. Beth Ann Cox, a junior at Peachtree Ridge High School admitted to humming the song, but denied singing it loudly or directy the lyrics at her German teacher Phil Carroll. The lyrics included: "On top of Ol' Smokey, all covered with blood, I shot my poor teacher with a .44 slug." Carroll says she started singing the song out loud while they were discussing a grade on an assignment. Cox was suspended for five days.

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