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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who’s Who in Black Atlanta honors AKA Soror Michelle Elliott DeShields

Atlanta’s black elite will gather on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, GA, too celebrate being featured. A reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the program to follow at 7:30 p.m.More information is at http://www.whoswhopublishing.com/.

Michelle Elliott DeShields, Educator, Educational Consultant, Entrepreneur founded Consult With ME! Educational Consulting in 2008, with over 14 years of experience in the field of education. Her experiences includes being a classroom teacher, school counselor, education project manager, and private tutor in the entertainment industry. As an Education Project Manager with Georgia Public Broadcasting, she worked closely with the Georgia Department of Education traveling throughout the state providing training for educators on effectively integrating technology into the classroom curriculum.

Michelle is naturally an advocate for children and education. She donates her time in the community and professionally through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Delino DeShields Annual Baseball Academy, Atlanta Business League, Ladies Who Launch, The Baseball Wives Foundation, American School Counseling Association, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Michelle received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Alabama A&M University and University of West Georgia awarded her a Master’s of Education in Guidance and Counseling.
Michelle is the wife of former MLB player Delino DeShields, currently coaching in the Reds’ organization and the proud mother of three year old, Delaney.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Georgia Govenor Sends Letter To Teachers

ATLANTA — Governor Sonny Perdue sent a letter to teachers today after outlining his proposal to change the way teachers get paid in Georgia. Perdue wants pay for teachers based on performance and not on their advanced degrees.

Teacher's could get paid based on performance rather than level of education (photo courtesy Judy Baxter) Here's the letter Perdue sent out:Dear Georgia Educators,First, I would like to thank you for your commitment to your profession. The past 18 months have been a challenging time for all of us, and your hard work and dedication through adversity shows your deep commitment to Georgia’s students.When I recently asked for feedback from our dedicated teachers and school leaders to help us form our state’s Race to the Top plan, over 20,000 of you responded. Race to the Top, as most of you know, is an unprecedented competitive federal grant opportunity for states who wish to improve student achievement by implementing plans in four specific areas--the most important of which is developing, compensating and retaining great teachers and leaders. Building on the responses we received to this survey, I will propose legislation this year that truly rewards excellence in education.I strongly believe that Georgia needs a compensation system that identifies, motivates, rewards and retains effective teachers and principals, and those of you that responded to the survey agree. In fact, 81% of respondents believe that a common, statewide teacher evaluation tool will ensure that teachers across school districts have clear expectations regarding performance. I couldn’t agree with you more. I am proposing legislation that will require the State Board of Education to adopt a common evaluation tool to be used in school districts across the state. This will ensure that teachers across Georgia are evaluated in a fair, comparable manner.Of the 20,000 teachers and leaders from which we heard, 80% believe that teachers should be evaluated on both observation of planning and instruction and the degree to which they help students grow academically. You spoke, and we listened. Our legislation will calculate the effectiveness of teachers based on both quantitative and qualitative measures. Compensation will then be based upon a teacher’s overall effectiveness with 50% of that being the academic progress of an individual teacher’s students.Many of you said increases in salary should be driven by teacher effectiveness. This legislation will enhance the current salary structure in Georgia by adding a performance-based compensation system for all new teachers and any existing teachers who choose this option. The existing salary schedule will remain in place for those teachers who would prefer it.These enhancements to the statewide compensation system will not take effect until 2014. In the meantime, the 22 school systems partnering with the state in the Race to the Top application will help to develop and vet a reliable compensation system focused on student learning. This period will allow ample time to receive even more educator input from those of you working hard in Georgia schools every day. Your contribution will be invaluable to us as we move forward.Attached to this email you will find additional information that will hopefully answer your initial questions. Teachers have been heavily involved in developing Georgia’s Race to the Top plan, and I look forward to your participation as we continue to improve student achievement and prepare our students to take on the challenges of the 21st Century.

Sincerely,Governor Sonny Perdue

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Georgia CRCT - What is the CRCT?

Georgia CRCT

Criterion Referenced Competency Test

What is the CRCT?

  • State-wide test
  • Administered to students in grades 1-8
  • Measures how well your child learned and can apply the Georgia Performance Standards taught at his/her grade level

When is the CRCT ?

April 16-April 23 is the testing window

What subject areas are on the test?

  • Reading
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

What are the minimum achievement standards for each subject area?
  • Reading 800
  • Language Arts 800
  • Mathematics 800
  • Social Studies 800
  • Science 800

  • What does the number 800 mean?
  • The score from 800-849 indicates that the student MEETSstandard
  • A score above 849 indicates that the student EXCEEDSstandard
  • A score 799 and below indicates that the studentAPPROACHES standard

* To assist your child with Study Skills and Test-Taking Tips for the Georgia CRCT please contact Consult With ME! Educational Consulting @ www.consultingwithme.com or call us @ 877.294.8463

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fulton County Schools Teachers Lose Jobs

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The severe cash shortage affecting every child in every public school in Georgia hits Fulton County Thursday night.
The school board plans to vote on deep cuts to teachers and programs that are dear to students and parents.
But some of the cuts to the 2010-2011 school year budget may not be as deep as first feared.
As of Wednesday, the projected budget deficit was about $114 million. That's down from what it was about two weeks ago when it was projected to be $140 million. Then, a week ago, it was projected to be about $120 million.
"It's a moving target," and subject to changing again, said Fulton County Schools Spokeswoman Allison Toller.
Which means that, as of now, the school board is no longer planning to cut about 1,000 positions -- half of them teacher positions -- but something just under that number.
"Positions, not jobs," said Toller, since not all of those positions are currently filled; and with retirements and resignations, she said, the board's budget will figure on more of those positions being vacant in the next several weeks, which could reduce the number of people who will have to be laid off.
"We're estimating that there may be about 450 actual job losses" prior to the new school year, Toller said. She did not know how many of those would be teachers.
Also because of the smaller projected deficit, Toller said there will not be a 50 percent cut to the ranks of school psychologists, social workers and instructional support personnel. The cut, she said, would be around 25 percent.
And Toller said there are no longer any plans to eliminate one resource officer (police officer) at each school.
But still on the chopping block is the popular, $4 million band and orchestra program at the elementary schools that serves more than 8,000 students.
Students set up a Facebook group, "Save the Fulton County Music Program.
There were more than 2,500 members Wednesday. They have an on-line petition with more than 4,100 signatures, so far.
And there are comments about the cuts, like, "This is madness, insanity." And "Music is power."
But there are other comments, like -- save the basic core curriculum first.
School Board Member Ashley Widener is one of the members who wants to save band and orchestra, but doesn't know how.
"It has been proven to affect math and science scores. It has been proven to keep kids out of trouble," Widener said at last week's school board meeting.
But elementary school principals unanimously agreed with Superintendent Cindy Loe to back her recommendation to cut band and orchestra in order to save other programs that they place higher on their priority lists.
Loe is proposing an extra-curricular band and orchestra program, instead, that parents would pay extra to have their children attend, "An after-school band and orchestra program to be available at every school, where it can be self-supporting."
The cuts that the school board is likely to make to personnel Thursday night will total about $65 million.
That would get the shortfall down to about $49 million.
In the next few weeks the school board may consider a property tax hike of perhaps one mil, to raise about $26 million to $28 million.
The board is then likely to make non-personnel cuts to such areas as technology, infrastructure and supplies to make up the rest of the shortfall.
The Fulton County School Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, but not at school board headquarters. The meeting will be at Dunwoody Springs Charter Elementary School, 8100 Roberts Drive, Sandy Springs