Thursday, January 30, 2020

Flames But Not Fired

DeKalb County Schools are taking a back seat when it comes to addressing the medical issues of a Redan student set on fire by a DeKalb teacher in a Dekalb chemistry class on a Dekalb school campus. Basically they've told the student's family that the system will pay nothing until the family's insurance is exhausted and then only for life-preserving procedures. All the surgeries required as a result of the absolutely idiotic actions of a DeKalb teacher acting on behalf of the DeKalb system are all on the family. They won't even get a property tax abatement.

This is just one more oddity in a very odd story and it is not just the school system covering its own ass. Giggle Redan student burned and look at all the mainstream media coverage of this event. Notice anything missing from  journalism's Sacred Quadrangle of Who-What-When-Where? You got it. The teacher's name is notably absent. Seems a bit odd coming from outlets proclaiming themselves as "investigative" and purveyors of "real news."

The first mention of the teacher by name, Bridgette Blowe, will likely be in The Champion, a local, second tier outlet. Nonetheless, their coverage is far better than major outlets making those look as if they are somehow obfuscating key details. Then it gets really interesting from both a personnel and procedural point of view.

Who is Bridgette Blowe? Well her LinkedIn profile lists her as a chemistry graduate from Georgia Southern with a Master of Public Health from Walden University acquired while a teacher in DeKalb Schools (2007-2013) at which point she left DeKalb for a series of short term jobs (9, 11 & 20 months) returning to DeKalb in Fall 2016. During her break from DeKalb her certification in Science Education expired in January 2014. And yet, there she was and there she is with her page at Redan showing a two-prep, three class load for Fall of 2019. Presumably she is still employed but not setting the classroom world on fire.

The Champion article which mentioned her name was covering the release of the DCSD Incident Report and not just the incident itself and that report is quite revealing. Apparently the Superintendent (Dr. Green) recommended Blowe's dismissal but this was over-ridden by the principal at Redan. Just what is the relationship between that principal, Janice Boger and Blowe? Well there is the obvious workplace boss-subordinate, but is that not the relationship between Green and Bloger? What can possibly justify retaining a part-time teacher whose demonstrated actions (acquiring a Master of Public Health) indicate perhaps less-than-full dedication to the classroom? What the hell is going on here?

Then there is the "demonstration" itself. Ostensibly this demonstrates vapor pressure differences between alcohol and water with the secondary demonstration of linen/paper absorption of water more so than the alcohol. Hence the alcohol burns off the bill and the water, absorbed in the bill prevents it from burning-a Jackson Flambé. Critical knowledge for any high school student, right? This demonstration is well described on the inter-web beginning with a strict warning that caution must be taken lest things go horribly wrong. Isopropyl alcohol is explicitly called out as a necessary ingredient, not ethanol. Who knew there could be a difference? One would hope an "educator" with a chemistry degree might. Should Georgia Southern be asking for their degree back? And why the ethanol? As the story goes it was because Blowe tried and failed with the standard procedure and the kiddies couldn't see the flames. But isn't that what the salt is for-to make the flames visible?

So what can we learn from this demonstration? Lots. Chain of command in DCSD is non-existent and routinely over-ridden. Domain competence and knowledge is not part of the teaching paradigm. Entertainment is more important than learning, perhaps more important than anything. Most importantly there is no responsibility at the head of the class, in the leadership at the school or at The Palace.

We're screwed and we're paying for that demonstration. We're just not paying the injured student.

Monday, January 27, 2020

You Were Misinformed...

Once again, with another sky-is-falling school redistricting, we are confronted with the assaults and insults of otherwise intelligent folk who claim "they moved here for the schools." No. Really. That is exactly what they are saying. Well, except for a few malcontents who think their kids should be moved to the new Austin primarily because, well, it IS new. Others are just PO-ed that their kids remain in a school with trailers and they somehow posit that it is sane and reasonable that a brand spanking new school, designed to be higher capacity than the others, should start, right out of the gate with trailers. They seem to adore the idiocy of celebrating poor planning. But it all goes back to the insanity, the absolute ignorance surrounding the idea that someone moved to this little corner of what is certainly the worst school district in the metro area for the schools!

If that's why you came here, to Dunwoody, then you're a bit like Rick in Casablanca.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Just OK...

...Is Still Not OK.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Bad, Bad, Leroy Z

In an AJC article on Starbucks ministering to the poor by opening stores in "latte deserts," they end with the musings of Leroy Z, one of the Walkin' Woke. While glad they offer him an alternative to Mickey D's Koffee Klatch, Bad Bad Leroy Z remains skeptical: "They wouldn't be here if they didn't think they could make money."

Wow. Let's unpack that.

Leroy seems to think that Starbucks should be serving up his daily dose at a loss as if they are somehow obligated to provide this as some form of humanitarian aid to his community. Almost as if he sees his domain as a third world enclave in America. Or maybe there really is an entitlement segment of our modern times that is not only asking for handouts but has been conditioned to view "something for nothing" as a basic right. Restricted to their community.

But for the great bleached un-woke-able there is an upside. When you pay the un-woke premium for your daily dose you will be helping Starbucks keep serving the nearby needy who cannot figure out a Mr. Coffee.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

We'll Have What She's Having

What is it with this City and booze? Yeah, yeah, Shopsin said it first: the profit is in the liquids and certainly were one to follow the money the booze would just be liquid gold flowing freely down at City Hall. But fer crissakes, can't they give it break?

First it was a City hell bent on converting Cycle Bar to "Open Bar" and now it is converting the village to "Open Container." Their idea is that you'll be able to leave one of the licensed (or "don't ask don't tell") establishments in daVille with your current/next drink in a plastic cup (ferget the whales and carbon footprints) and stagger to...where, exactly? That would be your car now wouldn't it, because there really isn't anywhere else to go. And it won't be changed by folks staggering around like frat boys during rush week.

The public story (propaganda?) squizzing out of City Hall always leads to Canton Street. How we don't have one. But the City cannot seem to figure out just where they want this faux-southern-charm farce located. Is it around Project Renaissance? Well that hasn't panned out, so now is it daVille? Just imagine the lost opportunity when they missed converting the old Glaze's Hardware into a mini-Krog Street with "chef-driven" cuisine-du-jour offerings. Then you could have plastic-cupped your G&T up Winters Chapel and visited folks put under the sod by a little "harmless" drink driving. It is harmless isn't it? After all the City is promoting it so it cannot be bad. Just ask anyone at City Hall.

Since it is so good, please, make it double.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Picking Winners

The wheels on the bus go round and round...

So the City imposed a moratorium on doing bidness in the Village, shutting down new retail, to apply financial pressure until the City gets what it wants, whatever that might be. This is a tactic Trump would be proud of.

Then the City, through its Development Authority, hands out $2.8 million in corporate welfare for a developer to pave over an urban lake for...wait for it...more retail. In a Tourette of pure bullshit, the head of the Authority uncontrollably blurted:
"[That's] the really big question on all these tax abatements when we do them: if we don't do them are they going to get done anyway?"
The answer from Buckhead is an emphatic YES! And don't we all want to be Buckhead? Aren't we? If not, have you shared the secret with the Convention and Visitors Bureau? Thought not.

But consider this: shouldn't the head of any development authority be able to clearly and completely answer that very question!?!? So why do we get a ponderification instead? Is it because we're being "managed" or because he simply doesn't know the answer? In either case he should be fired. Immediately and with cause.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Managing Measurements

An old bromide states that "you cannot manage what you do not measure" but it is a palatable veneer over a deeper truth: "you willingly claim to manage that which you refuse to even attempt to measure." Yet the AJC's frenetic supporter of failed education wants to manage perceptions, daring to use the word "focus" in an opinion piece on education when every educator's first approach in dealing with a parent's concerns about their child's performance is obfuscation and deflection. But Mizz Downey has the answer, and yes, it involves deflection. Her plan is to stop obsessing with all that academic folderol and focus on family. Yep. Forget about that "learning" crap and think about family. This coming from the kind of folk who drone on and on about "it takes a village."

But the fact is (by any objective measure) your DeKalb County, Governor's Honors student is getting his ass handed to him by the rest of the developed world and much of the third world. And yet, we're told it is family income that makes the dream work, though we dare not discuss that an intact family might somehow have higher income than the average single parent family. Just. Don't. Go. There. But that's not your student, not your school. They're the best, right?

Well, let's go there.

Gather up some Dunwoody Cluster DCSD high school students and ask them to solve for a in the following: $$ -a = \frac{b}{c} $$ and make sure they first explain their thinking and then show the steps. Most, if not all, will explain that you must multiply both sides by minus one. Good on them. Then, in a frightening number of cases they will offer this solution: $$ -1 \times a = \frac{-1}{-1}\times \frac{b}{c} $$ et voila, everything gets a -1. Upon further simplification this yields: $$ a = \frac{b}{c} $$ which is pretty astounding, isn't it? You DO know this is not the right answer, don't you? DO know how to do this correctly, right? Well, don't trust TOD, ask any college professor if they see these failures, and dozens more like them, in freshman Calc I.

Then, when you're thoroughly pissed, you cannot even consider going to a DCSD school because they're going to obfuscate, deflect and blame it on you. And they're right because you, as a parent and taxpayer have not demanded that they, the teachers and administrators, focus on education, develop meaningful metrics and manage towards a steady, deliberate return to competency in our schools. Bad on you.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Power Play

The City has imposed a six month freeze on any new business activity in the village with one dissenter suggesting this hurts business and hinders progress. But isn't that really the point? Isn't this just siege warfare on the business front? It seems that this City is using this freeze to put the squeeze on business and property "owners" until they line up, vocally, for the changes the non-business elitists at City Hall have in store for the village. Interested in what this will look like? Then take a ride down Peachtree-Dunwoody and start paying attention round-about Hammond. Looks like a faux-reclaimed-industrial gulag, doesn't it? That what the great minds at City Hall have in mind for daVille. Just wait for it.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Real, Stupid News

The AJC doth protest too much.

Credible? Compelling? Complete? Really?

Credible? More like incredible. Compelling? Well, incessant, embedded editorializing only goes so far. Complete? Really? More like completely contradictory:

Which is it? 41? Or 44?
By the numbers? Wow! In just a couple square inches of ink the AJC has undermined all the credibility they claim. If they cannot get these simple facts straight how can any thinking creature believe that the editorial screeds masquerading as "real news" in any way resemble informed opinions? Hold this up against their current rants about real news and journalism alongside their forced admission of engaging in a media frenzy that destroyed Richard Jewell's reputation. For the AJC, facts have always been elusive.