Tuesday, October 28, 2008

DeKalb County Ballot, Lines at Brook Run & Doraville Annexation


Click here to download a copy of the DeKalb County sample ballot for the 2008 General Election. I also found this website, called The Voter Guide which will direct you through each item on ballot, and will tailor the choices based on where you live.

As far as the amendments, I know I'm voting in favor of the DeKalb County Commission change allowing the Commissioners to set the agenda. The charter schools (and my children) in Dunwoody already have uniforms in the public schools, so I'll vote for that non-binding referendum. As far as the others, I need to do more research before I vote. Suggestions, please give an explanation.

Has anyone voted at Brook Run, I heard there were lines on Monday?

To my loyal Doraville readers, be sure that you get an annexation ballot if you live in the affected area. My buddy Joseph over at Dorablog is reporting that there are a number of problems with the vote.

21 comments:

DunwoodyParent said...

John, I hope you consider a change on being in favor of the school uniforms. With Obama becoming president next Tuesday the last thing we need to do is speed up the socialist movement in our country. Requiring uniforms makes the kids conformist sheep.

School uniforms do not make kids safer, and they do not make kids 'equal'.

Sonja said...

I disagree. Uniforms take focus away from who is wearing what designer or brand and places it (hopefully) back into the books where it belongs.

Ilovemykids said...

I agree with Sonja. Kids can cruel these days (gee, wonder where they get it from!) and often times make fun of those who do not carry the latest fashionable purse, shoes, etc.

So, Dunwoody Parent, do you think private schools are "socialists" because they require uniforms?

paul said...

I recommend voting FOR Amendment 1. It protects Georgia forests with a new Conservation tax rating. It is a lower tax for property promised to hold in conservation for a minimum of 15 years. The lower tax helps protect the owner from having to sell undeveloped forest (eg to a developer) because of a high tax bill.

Here is a site with details of our upcoming 3 amendments.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Georgia_2008_ballot_measures

DunwoodyParent said...

ilovemykids,

Who would have guessed you disagree with me on something? The ballot question is for public schools, not the private schools.

American private school uniforms are tradition passed on from the British public schools (the Bluecoat schools and such) and are totally different than the public school.

I have a problem with the government mandating a uniform for school children. What's next, making the kids stand and take an oath every day? Oops, they already require that!

I realize that school uniforms are the great status equalizer. My question is simple; why should the schools require uniforms? Is it the school's role in society to make the children 'equal' fashionably? Is the school/government taking over the job of good parenting regarding what can and should be worn to school? If you the parent cannot control your elementary-aged child in regards to what is/isn't appropriate to wear to school (when no uniform policy is in place) then you the parent need to take control and become a better parent.

I know kids can be cruel to each other. I've seen it first hand as a middle school teacher. I remember kids making fun of other kids because of clothes, shoes, hair, teeth, odor, acne, you name it and it's fair game for some kids. But requiring uniforms for K-5 is not going to change this bad behavior. If the kids all have the same clothes the focus simply moves to accessories, shoes, eyeglasses, winter coats, pencil sharpeners. Then what? Collect all the kid's personal school supplies (pencils, pens, folders, etc) on the first day of school, then redistribute them as needed throughout the year? Oops, that already happens in many schools.

Pattie Baker said...

First of all, John, thank you for the links, and the information.

Seoncd, just a quick comment re: uniforms. I'm a fan of decency standards and then allowing kids to have creative expression. They get so little of it today with all the testing requirements :( If you have children who are the least bit artistic, you know how much they enjoy this daily expression.

Also, my kids' grandmother makes a lot of clothes for/with them, none of which would be usable with a uniform policy.

Just pointing out that being able to wear different things is not all about "status."

Helen said...

I have a problem with uniforms in the public schools for a couple of reasons.

If it's not a charter school (in which case you can remove a child for non-compliance), what do you do when a child (or the parent) decides not to comply? Is it really worth it to try and force compliance? The last time uniforms were introduced in Dekalb, parents were allowed to opt-out by filling out a form and meeting with the principal.

Secondly, many students in our county are not wealthy. Why should we force them to purchase a new wardrobe for school? For the average Dunwoody family, who can afford to clothe their children in non-uniform clothing when they are not in school, it will definitely not save the family any money.

Finally, if the uniforms are anything like at Peachtree, there's still a problem with status. Some kids have polo shirts from Wal Mart, while others wear polos from Hollister.

What problem are we trying to solve by forcing the kids to wear uniforms?

themommy said...

I think there is some thought that "the clothes make the man." While much of America has moved to business casual, there are still some very successful corporations that refuse to.

In South DeKalb,we know that the highest performing elementary schools by far have uniforms. We know that this is a community full of at risk children (though certainly not all children are at risk.) When looking at the data, it is apparent that something is working at these schools.

Uniforms are just part of it, frankly probably a small part of it, but the contribute to an atmosphere that is far more orderly than neighboring schools.

So, if Dr. Lewis can get buy in on uniforms, then perhaps he can get buy in on other things.

We are blessed with involved parents in Dunwoody that make sure things work the way we want them to. However, much of DCSS isn't. We are all beginning to suffer because of the weakest links in DeKalb. Strengthening those will benefit all school.

Bob Fiscella said...

I know kids can be cruel, but do I really want the government telling me how to dress my children (it already does to some extent)? How about this - I'll dress my kids - allowing the school system to concentrate on educating them!

Ilovemykids said...

Yes, I remember the reaction at Dunwoody HS - again not Dunwoody parents most shining moment. I'm just curious as to why some are so vehemently opposed to uniforms? Maybe because parents see a reflection of themselves in how their chidren dress? Would uniforms make you look like less of a parent? Just curious.

Thaddeus Osbourne Dabell said...

Parents probably should be responsible for clothing their children, but that is a slippery slope isn't it? Next society will expect parents to feed their children and parents might even be held accountable for socially unacceptable acts committed by their children. Where will it stop? Before you know it parents might actually be held responsible for educating their children as well! Then what will we have? Will parents come to view the public school system as merely one option to meet their responsibility? Ultimately that would bring an end to the world's largest entitlement system and we cannot let that happen. We have to save our public schools.

Ilovemykids said...

My husband and I have always believed our children's education is a "partnership". A partnership between ourselves and the schools our children attend. The teachers and administrators have responsibilities to our children. I have had no problem in "holding their feet to the fire" when I don't think the school is upholding their end. However, I also feel as strongly that my husband and I are responsible in supporting the school in assisting them to educate my children.

I see two groups of parents emerging. Those who believe that school is just an 8 hour babysitting service for their children and the parents have no role. The other group of parents seem to believe that they are somehow entitled to "run" the schools according to their agendas, rather than being a support tool for the administration/teachers.

Luckly, there are still those parents somewhere in the middle.

DunwoodyParent said...

ilovemykids,

you should home-school your kids. In the time it takes you to read then post here on John's web site you could be teaching math to your kids. With a good program in place, in two hours of one-on-one instruction you can easily exceed the instruction your kids receive at the public school from 8 AM to 2:30 PM. Want me to send you some info on it?

Thaddeus Osbourne Dabell said...

DunwoodyParent: hear, hear!

We started home-school well over 10 years ago and since then general support and curriculum offerings have improved. It's no longer just 'Beka' or roll-your-own with E.D. Hirsch, Usborne and Saxon---there are now some comprehensive assets available.

You will need to be careful about the end-game. Georgia public colleges and universities require a high-school lab course to be accepted as a freshman or joint enrolled. Or, at least that was true 6-7 years ago.

Ilovemykids said...

I have no need to homeschool - nor do I feel I am qualified. Plus, children also need the interaction with their friends that get at school. Thanks for your suggestion, but my kids get a very good math education at their public schools. In fact their ITBS scores rank among the top in the nation. I prefer ITBS scores because the scores are compared against the entire student population in the U.S, not just Georgia. They both participate in the Duke TIP program as well. Maybe if you were a little more supportive of education as a whole and not what you can get out of it, you might be happier, because, well, you seem to be a bitter and angry person.

DunwoodyParent said...

The Duke program is a good one. Glad to hear your kids have participated in it. I'm sure you are qualified to teach your own children, and your kids could probably teach themselves at this point. The home-schoolers always get knocked on that 'interaction' issue. It is important to keep kids active socially. But keep in mind that many great people were raised in rural environments (farms) without play-dates and without the peer (negative and positive)influences present today. With all the 'interaction' taking place at public school that home-schooled kids miss out on how much time is placed on education?

Next year's ballot should ask if parents would like to see a dress code for DeKalb teachers.

themommy said...

Dunwoody parent,

I almost never agree with you -- but love your last comment. HEAR HEAR

Bob Fiscella said...

ilovemykids - I'm not vehemently opposed to uniforms, I just feel uniforms don't help educate. It's something that teachers and administrators shouldn't be bothered with. Their focus is educating the children, not dressing them. Parents need to be responsible for that. Should we have a hair code as well? I simply don't see the need for uniforms.

jm said...

Lets get back to the original question...how are the lines at the polls? I'm planning on voting in Tucker tomorrow (I live near Northlake).

Helen said...

TheMommy.....you said, "In South DeKalb,we know that the highest performing elementary schools by far have uniforms."

To which schools are you referring?

DunwoodyParent said...

If school uniforms were an easy fix to to failing/suffering schools I am sure you'd see them everywhere. The government uniforms are just one step closer to the Nanny State. OThe main thing to improve student success is parent involvement. Too many parents think it is 100% the school's job to educate their children. If you rely 100% on the school and do nothing at home then your kid will not be educated enough to do much more than a minimum wage job (unskilled labor).