The Future of Public Education in Georgia

I have just posted the following remarks on AJC columnist Maureen Downey’s educational blog, entitled, “Get Schooled”: (Link: https://www.myajc.com/blog/get-schooled/georgia-gop-leader-not-neglecting-schools-teachers/477v2mQVo3yD1WxxX0CJXL/

I heard Gov. Deal speak this past week on a public education radio station in Atlanta with an interviewer in a repeat of an interview he had had with her several months back. He was addressing his goal of helping Georgia’s incarcerated to become productive citizens of society again, and part of that included prison educational reform to give these inmates new hope and a new chance to be productive citizens. I applaud Gov. Deal’s commitment to, and effort in, this direction for I have known for over 40 years, as an educator and now as a retired teacher, that when Georgia’s public school students do not meet their individual potential, these students will likely become incarcerated one day, if their skills are too weak to survive in the job markets. These two phenomena are directly related.

As AJC columnist Jay Bookman has written, Gov. Deal has been an overall good governor of Georgia and I agree with Bookman on that assessment. Gov. Deal’s parents were educators and his lovely wife is a retired educator, herself, who has been instrumental in helping to improve education in Georgia, especially for Georgia’s young students, as our First Lady.

Unfortunately, too many Republicans have not believed in public education as fervertly as I do or as Thomas Jefferson did. Jefferson believed that public education should be paid for by public taxes on everyone because students, all students, should acquire enough of an education to see through the machinations of the wealthy elite who might use the underclasses to their advantage for profit. Jefferson wanted every citizen to be a part of his own self-government and that would require a solid public education for every citizen.

Now is the time to heal the divisions of the Republican and Democratic agendas in education in the state of Georgia. Public education is a mainstay for all of our children and helps in establishing a literate and egalitarian society. Charter schools can also exist, but should not be the educational mainstay, but as an alternative for the learning styles of some children. Let us heal, together, now, and support public education, its teachers, administrators, and its students with our voices and with our financial resources.

Public education can be innovative and its teachers can seek reform of unsuccessful approaches in reaching all students in public education. As a long-standing educator and reading specialist in Georgia, allow me to close this post with a repeat of what I had written regarding Mastery Learning in the last thread, as an example of a successful public educational reform. I had spent my 35 year educational career in trying to implement the following educational concepts personally, as a classroom teacher, as well as schoolwide, as an instructional leader for the two schools in which I had worked, for grades 1 – 7 and grades 8 – 12, in DeKalb County during the last third of the 20th century:

“Mastery learning requires that each student be taught on his or her precise instructional level, whatever his or her grade level. It also requires that each student be advanced through the curriculum continuum at a RATE commensurate with his or her ability to actually master each concept within that continuum. . .

Moreover, every student in Georgia’s public schools should be educated to the highest level of his or her potential from elementary school through post graduate college degrees.”

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The Greek Tragedy Caused by Donald Trump

Below are my thoughts regarding Donald Trump after I read the following article by AJC columnist and blogger, Jay Bookman (Link: https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-yes-truth-exists/v7wRVfN8AD4m7XDA8hdGZN/ ):

“The idea behind it all is to establish a norm whereby a particular society can choose its own truth or reality. I saw it first occur in Jim Crow when white Southerners denied that blacks were being mistreated. We see it in churches, easily now, where the sexual molestation of children has been denied as truth. The media indulged In lies as truth when FOX News was given credibility under the guise of presenting conservative ideas, not the propaganda lies that have become its trademark.

Donald Trump has known for decades that he is a fake, but he has believed that the American public is so weak-minded that they can be manipulated by lies which they crave to hear as truth as in Jim Crow and in the Dark-underbelly of the church.

Trump knows he is guilty, but he dismisses the law for a public relations war in our nation in which lies can be sold as truth and he can beat the law and cause a Constitutional Crisis in America. He has sold his soul to the Devil, imho, and we are seeing good vs. evil being played out on the American stage as if the unfolding were a Greek tragedy.”

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“God Has Already Embraced Us.”

Below are my comments in reaction to the article posted by Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist and blogger, Jay Bookman: (Link:
https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-the-time-choosing-near/DmjfopjcAHWXnD7Zi4wQHM/
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“Two points based on your words this morning, Jay Bookman:

(1) Bookman: ‘And who knows, maybe they’re right. It is not given us to know the mind of God, and maybe that mind is indeed that mischievous to the point of maliciousness.’

I do not know where that perception comes from, Jay, except from the depths of your own mind and experiences. This is an ongoing unfolding, and we are only in the middle of it, not the end. In the meantime, I appeal to you, as well as to all of your readers, to remember what Jesus said of his Father, God: ‘God is love.’ There is no way that love can be equated with ‘mischievous to the point of maliciousness.’ I think that, in your bitterness, you are lashing out at our Creator. Look within. He is love.

(2) Bookman: ‘If instead a blue wave washes over the country, that parade will take on a much different tone, as will Washington itself in the months and years ahead. We get to choose, and the time of that choosing is almost upon us.’

As I wrote above, this is an ongoing process in America’s spiritual and chronological history. It does not start with a ‘Blue Wave’ in November. It started with the appointment of Bush I into the presidency by the Supreme Court in the year 2000. It further unfolded with the election of Barack Obama as a reaction to the policies of George W. Bush. The American people had a critical choice to make in November of 2016, and they did not choose well when they elected Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. I had warned on your blog that that would be a perilous decision. You are correct that this particular ‘choosing is almost upon us,’ but it is only an ongoing segment in the spiritual unfolding of what America will become. That choice is ours, and it is our spiritual consciousness, not the Mind of God, that will determine our fate. God will forever be love. It is up to us to decide when we will fully embrace God. He has already embraced us.”

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The Emerging New World Under Trump

I posted the following on Jay Bookman’s blog on June 13, 2018. Link: https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-rip-gop/5GwjiXo4fXJSbXHqtcBJFL/

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The (cult) fever will break, in time. This phenomena is a result of the South going with the Republican Party instead of the Dixiecrat Democrats when racism shifted to the Republican Party from the Democratic Party in the 1960s under LBJ.

Racism has always been a part of the United States of America from the time we were still colonies, and it was hidden under dark rocks until recently when its ugly underbelly has been showing up to the light because of the blatant racism (and sexism, by the way) expressed by Donald Trump. I think it is better to be out in the open than festering under those dark rocks. This way, it has a chance of joining in with the Light of enlightenment of others instead of remaining in the stealthy Darkness.

Here is something else I have been pondering, lately. I think that racists (and sexists)have little imagination for a new world invented through our better angels. Usually, as I have observed, they only see the present and what is temporarily before there eyes. In other words, the dreamer, as epitomized in the states of consciousness of Jefferson, Kennedy, Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr., can see well into the world’s evolutionary process to a better America, and a better world, based on spiritually understood egalitarianism. The pragmatists of our nation, including Alexander Hamilton (who was the opposite of a racist), Lincoln (who was both pragmatist and idealist), FDR (who was both), James Baldwin, and LBJ (who was both) are more attuned to the here and now than the future, at least in terms of the long-ranged philosophical future of our nation and world.

Perhaps, dark as he is, America needs both the mind of Trump and the mind of Obama and their differing followers at this time in our history to put the American Experiment together for all people, here and throughout the world. We are not simply all Light or all Darkness. We are not simply all Enlightenment nor all Pragmatism. We do not live in Heaven now; we exist on Earth, and America has always been a leader in forging through the Darkness into the Light. God does work in mysterious ways, even through Donald Trump, as long as Barack Obama’s vision for our nation and world remains more substantial than Trump’s, just as Jefferson’s vision has stood the test of time to remain more substantial to America than the gifts of Alexander Hamilton were to America, important as they were in matters of the pragmatism of the world, of the limited present.”

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Doing Away with Pre-existing Protection in Medical Insurance

I posted the following on Jay Bookman’s blog on June 14, 2018. Link: https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-the-war-health-insurance/TRZIeR6MfX2Qrmbv4tsDZJ/
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“If pre-existing protection is removed from Obamacare, that pre-existing protection will disappear from the private insurance market, altogether, very quickly. My son-in-law has battled a serious pre-existing condition since he was 16 years of age. He is now 43. That decision would probably kill him as well as my daughter because of the stress associated with a deterioration of his health, as a result of such weak medical insurance which would ensue. That would mean I would no longer have any immediate family.

Most conservative Republicans have long held that they are Christians and liberal Democrats are not. I do not see it. Stop testifying that you are a Christian with your words and your Bible verses if you support this degree of inhumanity to mankind. We, as Christians, must never be so cynical as to declare that every person must look out for number one, alone. Donald Trump has done that all of his life. He is no Christian in my book and neither are his followers, whatever they choose to label themselves.

Thank you very much for this column, Jay Bookman.”

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Where is America Heading?

MaryElizabethSings (as I posted on Jay Bookman’s blog on June 7, 2018, Link: https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-checks-balances/daxruXdXP8t6GW7NRaigSI/):

“As I see it and have voiced before, Trump’s blatant anti-Americanism, in combination with Obama’s previous “leading from behind” political philosophy of creating a more egalitarian world whereby one nation, such as the U.S., will no longer dominate, are together going to produce a new order in the world in which all nations will come to realize that “all are created equal” on Earth, an egalitarian concept upon which America was built.

In the 21st century and beyond, viewing others in terms of hierarchical power is going to be counter-productive for the continued existence of humankind. We will all work together as equals on this planet to solve our common problems, or we will die together as fools (of a hierarchical perception of reality). Last sentence: paraphrasing of a spiritual and philosophical vision voiced by MLK, Jr.”

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Another Poster to Mary Elizabeth:

Cue Lennon’s “Imagine.”

And pass the bong.

Where has this happened anywhere in the history of planet earth?

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Mary Elizabeth’s response to that poster’s comment, above:

“John Lennon wrote that when he was in kindergarten, he realized that he was different. He realized that he saw the world “in a hallucinatory way” that others did not. I understand much of the mind/spirit of John Lennon, and I have always felt myself to have seen the world in an abstract way as many others have not, from my childhood even until the present day.

That does not mean that what I see, and what Lennon saw (separately, of course), will not have validity, in time.”
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Also, the below:

Mary Elizabeth Sings:

“From The NYTimes this evening at 6:41 pm:

‘. . . But rarely — if ever — has there been the kind of visceral and unanimous outrage at an American president among the nation’s most important allies, who for decades have seen the closest of relationships with the leader of the free world as a paramount foreign policy priority.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly poked his counterparts in the eye — ignoring their pleas to remain a part of the Paris climate treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and the Iran nuclear deal, and more recently by branding their steel and aluminum industries threats to national security, and therefore subject to tariffs. . . . ‘ ”

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The same poster above, asks this question of Mary Elizabeth:

“Why would you want to continue the Obama ‘Make America a Doormat’ initiative?”
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Mary Elizabeth answers that poster’s question with the following comments:

“I don’t see Obama’s vision for our future world interactions to mean that he wants to make America a ‘doormat’ to other nations. I believe that Obama’s vision for America and the world would make America a moral leader of the world through the humility of ‘leading from behind.’

In the beginning of our nation’s formation, Gen. George Washington gave human beings throughput the world the model for the servant leader that Obama tried to establish. Washington, unlike every other military leader who had won a glorious military victory, did not declare himself to be ruler of America. Instead Washington resigned from power (through his democratic vision for America) and returned to his home at Mt. Vernon to become again a private citizen, and thereby won the respect of leaders throughout the world. That, too, took genuine humility.

Donald Trump is the spiritual opposite of both Obama and Washington, and he is gathering no moral authority for America throughout the world.”

In fact, Donald Trump is creating disrespect for America throughout the world.”

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God vs. Science

Here are my thoughts on the existence of God and the belief in science, as they interconnect:

The tenets of science have always been in existence and so has belief in God. It is man’s understanding of the nature of God, and of our Universe, that has been, and always will be, limited.

Who our Creator is is forever evolving in enlightened minds, just as the discoveries of science are being ever revealed.

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