Atlanta’s Faith Community to recognize Atlanta Public School employees

August 3, 2014

The Atlanta Public Schools issued the following news release shown in its entirety:

Atlanta Public Schools and Faith Community Join To Support New School Year

ATLANTA – This Sunday, as many Atlanta Public Schools students and staff prepare to start the 2014-2015 school year, they will receive an extra offering of support from Atlanta’s faith community.  Faith leaders have been asked to acknowledge worshipers who are a part of the district and recognize their efforts as educators.

This week, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen wrote in a letter to several Atlanta faith leaders, “Many of you hold annual special recognitions or services to offer comfort for our students, staff and administrators.  I also ask that you spread the word about the importance of the first day of school and its relation to student and school success,” said Dr. Carstarphen.

Monday August 4, is the first day of school for nearly 50,000 students of Atlanta Public Schools.  Last year, about 5,000 of those students were not in school on the first day.  The district has made a concerted effort to address several issues that contributed to this issue.

In its Day One: Be There. grassroots awareness campaign, APS partnered with several community organizations, local non-profits and medical providers to launch a large information and access campaign targeted at getting students to attend school on the first day and every day. With the help of partners including 11Alive News, The Buckhead Church, Chick-fil-A and Zeist Foundation, the district used a combination of its communications channels, school events, community events, and local media to increase awareness about school readiness for August 4.  This included creating a mobile student registration process, sharing updated information about immunization requirements and expanded community canvassing.

“We have to break the myth that missing the first day, or only a few days of school, is normal and doesn’t matter much,” said Dr. Carstarphen.  “We want our families to know that August 4 is not only the first day of school, but it’s the first day of instruction.”

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us

 

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Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2014

On July 4, 1776 56 courageous individuals stood for freedom and approved a remarkable document – the Declaration of Independence. Three of the signors were from Georgia. Today we celebrate their courage and determination as they set the stage for building this great country we live in today.

Do you know what the Declaration says? Just as importantly, do your children understand the significance of what was written 237 years ago?

Below is an excerpt, but – as they say – read the whole thing.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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A beautiful essay by a Garden Hills parent in Atlanta Magazine.com

April 14, 2014

AtlantaMagazine.com just published a piece titled “Essay: I’m glad my kids go to Atlanta Public Schools – The lessons I learned while my twins attended Garden Hills Elementary” by Ann Hardie. It is a great reflection on why her children attend Garden Hills and how the entire family has been enriched by the experience.

Providing some limited excerpts would not give it the justice it deserves – read the whole thing here.

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SEACS comes out in strong opposition to GA SB167

March 6, 2014

Richard M. Quartarone, the President of Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools (SEACS) sent out this stament regarding GA Senate Bill 167 which is currently under consideration. Quartarone makes a strong case that the bill should not be passed. Please read the whole thing and, if you agree, contact your State representatives.

Dear Representative Coleman and Ms. Hames:

Please accept this correspondence in opposition to Senate Bill 167 on behalf of the SEACS Board of Directors. Southeast Atlanta Communities for School (SEACS – pronounced “seeks”). SEACS is a non-profit volunteer organization founded in 2010 currently with almost 1000 active members that advocate for traditional and charter public schools in Atlanta.

SEACS and its membership are very concerned over the language of SB 167 which would allow and in some cases directly prohibits the adoption of nationally accredited and recognized testing standards. By Governor Deal’s May 15, 2013 Executive Order, the personal information of Georgia students and parents shall be protected from national reporting – a concern among many parents in this State. However, the Governor also has routinely championed local school districts as the decision makers on curriculum. In fact in June of 2013 in a statement before the West Cobb Business Association, Governor Deal stated that if the State of Georgia were to abandon Common Core after the time and money spent on its implementation, “We leave our children in the lurch.”  In that same statement in June of 2013, Governor Deal stated the factual premise of SB 167 were “just factually incorrect.”

SB 167 is a perilous leap from protecting personal information and alleged local autonomy to enforcement of the author’s dogma against the Common Core standards and simply substituting one unforgiving master for another. The membership of SEACS is well aware of the enormous amounts of budgetary resources local school systems have already diverted from other programs in to Common Core compliance. SB 167 will make those investments meaningless and provides no funding for replacement curriculum. As such, many local school districts will be left with piecemeal curriculum and a State level mandate not to purchase or implement further Common Core standards. We agree with Governor Deal that an unfunded mandate to abandon Common Core at this point would “leave our children in the lurch.”

Finally, SB 167 will not dissuade the U.S. Department of Education from implementing Common Core. However, SB167 will give Georgia students a decided disadvantage in their ability to compete nationally for college admission and local schools to compete for federal funds. For instance, a broad (and entirely plausible reading) of SB 167 would not allow schools to alter their current curriculum to address changes in national collegiate admissions tests like the SAT or ACT.

SEACS and its membership implore Governor Deal and the members of the House Education Committee to again table SB 167 to allow further analysis and public involvement before a vote. Should a vote proceed and SB 167 pass the House of Representatives, we respectfully as Governor Deal stand by his convictions voiced in 2013 and put the school children of this State above election year politics.

SEACS is made up of parents, teachers, and residents of southeast Atlanta who are committed to improving the educational opportunities for children who attend both traditional and charter schools in the Maynard Jackson High School Cluster of the Atlanta Public School system. There are 10 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and 2 high schools in what is referred to as the Jackson Cluster. The geographical area of the Jackson Cluster includes neighborhoods such as Grant Park, Edgewood, Ormewood Park, Kirkwood, East Lake, Summerhill and others. The students, families and residents of the Jackson Cluster comprise one of the most demographically and educationally diverse communities in Atlanta. Jackson Cluster Schools include ANCS, Benteen Elementary, Burgess-Peterson Academy, Coan Middle, DH Stanton Elementary, Drew Academy, Dunbar Elementary, King Middle, Maynard Jackson High, Parkside Elementary, Toomer Elementary, Wesley International Academy, and Whitefoord Elementary. The Jackson Cluster is home to more Charter Schools than any other APS cluster.

Respectfully,

Richard M. Quartarone

President, Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools (SEACS)

rmquartarone@gmail.com | 404-860-7838

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]


Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2013

For unto us a child is born

May it be a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones.


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2013

We have much to be thankful for in this great nation. May your day be blessed with the gift of family, friends and the abundance that we are surrounded with.


Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2013

On July 4, 1776 56 courageous individuals stood for freedom and signed approved a remarkable document – the Declaration of Independence. Three of the signors were from Georgia. Today we celebrate their courage and determination as they set the stage for building this great country we live in today.

Do you know what the Declaration says? Just as importantly, do your children understand the significance of what was written 237 years ago?

Below is an excerpt, but – as they say – read the whole thing.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


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