Monday, November 30, 2020

Million Dollar Man

A few hundred thousand dollars here a half a mil there and pretty soon you're talking real money. The kind of money that can break a budget. It is a direct consequence of leadership failure that has persisted since this city was founded, it has run unabated and it has only gotten worse. Despite that the city has dodged more than a few bullets. They have been the poster child for DWB civil rights violations calling in neighboring jurisdiction's indicate-on-cue drug dogs in support of illegal detentions. Today BLM would cancel this city for far less. Undercover operations that were clear civil rights violations. Two police shootings have resulted in fatalities and thankfully both were white or Ferguson would be a footnote to Dunwoody. The rot has now turned inward with the kind sex hijinks that would leave Larry Flint shaking his head.

The city manager who is ultimately responsible for this goat rodeo has shown no interest in taking action. The seven dwarfs are, by the very structure of the city, all but powerless with only one lever to pull: firing the city manager and finding a replacement that will serve the residents rather than everyone but. And yet, they too have refused to address this train wreck in a meaningful way. 

Clearly strings are being pulled and not by anyone who gives a damn about the people who live here. There is no end in sight and apparently no cost too great.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Pig Lipstick

Part of the school super's job is spin control but it is a fine line between messaging and spinning out of control. The state audit reports are in and the distance between rhetoric and reality suggests things are spinning out of control. The super is pleased the audits were completed in a timely manner despite the fact the school system didn't meet the auditors requirements in a timely fashion or with anything resembling accuracy. And she hopes this audit will result in a positive credit rating from Moody's. 

Has she even read the report?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Goosestep In Spandex

There was some expectation that the election would begin the end of social media insanity. No such luck.

The pin that was pulled in the stupidity grenade was the SVA on Dunwoody Club complete with flips and flames but thankfully no fatality. You could hardly count to ten before stupidity shrapnel was shredding social media. 

While acknowledging the complexity of multiple jurisdictions some rather sane folks noted a need for enforcement, particularly with regards to speeding. Someone else pointed out, correctly, that Billy would be dismissive claiming that the average speed in the area is right at the speed limit. He's done it before and it was just as offensive then as now. But does he not run a Toll Troll operation on 285? Do they let folks zip by simply because, on average, they're holding it to the limit or do they pull over those exceeding the limit? Hmmm....

A couple of the dwarfs tuned in and piped up attempting to divert the conversation to a private forum but not before dropping some juicy comments. One, the self-proclaimed Bicycle Nutzi, boldly declared that "enforcement is a temporary band-aid" after having said that "speeding is a direct result of the street design." Yep. He farted in the tub AND bit the bubble.  

So here's a clue: speeding is a direct result of a driver's operation of his vehicle. Period. Which is exactly why enforcement actually works. He may be suggesting that our police department is only going to provide enforcement on a very limited, temporary basis, begging the question of why we even bother with a PD at all. Furthermore, let us hold this dwarf's feet to the fire next time an ordinance comes up for a vote. If enforcement is, in his mind, not to be bothered with, then why have an ordinance at all? 

But to understand the silliness dribbling from this dwarf you must understand we're talking a one-trick pony, or perhaps a mental unicyclist peddling a world of bikes. When you're goosestepping to "bicycles, bicycles uber alles" you see everything as an opportunity to advance your narrow singular agenda: it's all about bikes. Sadly he has the same vote as the other dwarfs but perhaps this is one situation where having the city run by anyone but the seven dwarfs, while not optimal, may curtail some of the stupid. 

It is discouraging to see elected officials working diligently to prove this is not a Smart City and is in fact quite the opposite.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

An Inconvenient Minority

SJW assaults on western, largely white "establishment" is nothing new but has been on steady increase over the last few decades to the point that inevitable missteps are unavoidably public. The rules of engagement are defined exclusively by the SJW community as well as the allegiances of the combatants and bystanders. What could possibly go wrong?

And then we have "the inconvenient minority": Asians, where Asian covers orientals and those from the Indian sub-continent and they have become a problem of late. For the SJW mercenaries that is. 

We've all heard about the Yale and Harvard dust-ups regarding their preference systems which discriminate against Asian Americans. In the courts Yale lost and Harvard won but we all know whose is the best law school. These will probably go to SCOTUS for final adjudication. 

In the meantime we have a Washington school district making a rather odd decision quite detached from reality when they issued a report declaring that Asians are actually White. Their irrational justification of the removal of Asians from the "persons of color" category seems to be based on achievement. It is if they are saying: "those who achieve, no matter their melanin level, will be stripped of PoC credentials and lumped together with Whites." 

The Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan could not have said it better. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Dunwoody And Deer

What is it with Dunwoody and deer? If you've been able to stomach the recursively negative political ads long enough you may have seen that Dunwoody has deer and someone has been taking them out. 

But the internet, fueled by rumors, has a particular twist on this story and if there is any relationship between these rumors and the truth then it may well be the city that is behind the deer cull. 

And it does start out very believable. 

It appears that a deer was struck by a truck delivering to a local business and as one would expect if one has ever seen these trucks speeding through the ironically named "no truck zone," there was significant damage to the truck. Word on the web has it that the affected business dropped a dime on a buddy at city hall (they ALL have a buddy at city hall) to get the city to address the deer problem. Some have suggested the business demanded the city reimburse for the cost of repairs but there is no word yet if the city sent a check or is just issuing P-cards to every business.

This is alleged to have spawned quite a few meetings involving various city employees dedicated to the happiness of businesses and developers. It was quite a crowd and it isn't clear if social distancing could be maintained. They were all there. The director of economic development. The manager of business retention. City manager. Sub-manager. Assistant to the sub-manager. Business development zoning coordinator. They even caught Billy between some of his many on-the-payroll extracurriculars. Someone sighted some of the seven dwarfs. 

The notion of a cull was pre-decided by the impacted business though the process itself was delegated to the business support employees at city hall. One suggested this become a police responsibility until someone else reminded everyone of the Christmas deer slaying and how poorly it was handled. Shots fired and the carcass left to rot in the street. You might have expected Billy to represent for his cops but when he found out that, even in season, ten-point bucks don't sport a woody he went back to dorking with the camera on his new iPhone and left the meeting mumbling something about "I thought this made things look bigger." 

This left them looking like a scene from Jaws, the one where the city decides to hire Captain Quint and the city's business support team decided to hire a professional. That there was no money funneled to a well-connected consultant to provide support for this decision is where credulity becomes a bit stretched. Apparently someone, a relatively recent transplant from up north, had been leaf peeking in the mountains and seen hand-crafted cardboard signs touting "deer processing." This individual stopped to offer a recommendation for a professional sign printer, one well-connected with the city, and took the opportunity to investigate just what "deer processing" means. This resulted in a list of names, including some in Dunwoody proper, who might assist in the culling operation. Deals were done, strictly on the Q-T as is the city's standard procedure and the deer cull began. 

And city hall once again plays the fool on local media.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hey Joules!

Work. What is work? Well there are some precise definitions but a good "working" definition is: force through a distance. There are some clear implications most important being that no work is done unless force is applied and that force moves that upon which it is applied. Forward ideally. 

This definition is more that just an abstraction, "concept" to educators, it is applicable in the real world, to educators themselves. 

Parents want their kids in school. They know that two forty five minute sessions, four days a week, falls far short of an "adequate education" as mandated in the State Constitution. Teachers, fearful of a return to the classroom, disagree claiming they are doing more work now than they did when in the schoolhouse

This is where the unbreakable laws of physics and the clear definition of work comes in handy. 

Teachers may well be putting in more hours. There may be actual brain strain as they learn that learning is hard and there is a lot for them to learn. But it is equally undeniable that less education is being delivered to our children measured by time, or sooner or later by results on nationally normed tests. 

So what is going on?

Well, teachers are NOT doing more work but they ARE expending more effort. One way to look at this by way of efficiency: more effort overwhelmed by less progress yielding less actual work. In the extreme it is like pushing against a wall--lots of effort and energy but the wall doesn't budge and no work takes place. A more disturbing perspective relates to what work, no matter how minimal, is being done. Is it the right work? Is the educational ball being moved in the right direction? Is it enough work or are our students, particularly given DeKalb's performance on its best day, falling further and further behind their peers throughout the state and the country? 

Maybe it is time to acknowledge this isn't working and no amount of effort is likely to change that. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Clean House. Really!

The bureaucrats at city hall are asking for citizens to step up and clean up the community. This does not mean you, and you know who you are, can gather up the trashy signs littering out community. 

It might be nice if the seven dwarfs stepped up with some leadership and cleaned up their own house. The obvious first step is removal, with cause, of police command that is costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Similarly the out of control management hell bent on doing anything but serve the residents of this community should be shown the door. And at a time when we all face a financial downturn maybe it is time for the dwarfs to consider offloading activities that rightly belong with a chamber of commerce onto, well, a chamber of commerce. 

Indeed, it would be nice. Just don't hold your breath. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

They're Coming To Take You Away...

Artificial Intelligence is powering many aspects of our daily lives. Many, perhaps most, are good things. Cars that drive, or at least assist the driver, or merely watch the driver alerting her of distractions. A world of information is literally available for the asking. IVR hell is no longer escaped by a series of touch-tones. Instead you talk your way out. AI is solving math problems. Very. Difficult. Math. 

What could possibly be next? Education comes to mind, but it isn't exactly new. And for every research article on the uses of AI in education there is an article suggesting that technology will never replace the classroom teacher. Most early uses of AI were indeed guide by the side of a sage on the stage providing automated grading and evaluation as well as tailored lesson planning. Perhaps the irreplaceability is based on the computer being impersonal and detached. But that may not tell the proper story and in any event it is changing. 

We now have a small company with a very interesting product. A robo-tutor. 

In the brave new world of pandemic non-school schools where your child's education is delivered to den why not have a robo-tutor? Why stare at some flat screen classmate mosaic mashup when you can have a real tutor delivering real lessons crafted by certified teachers? At some point the guides-by-the-sides will be AI powered personal education robots and sages-on-stages will be significantly better and not very thick on the ground. 

Of course, this will never work in DeKalb County public schools.

For obvious reasons.

Monday, November 2, 2020

You Got To Be Good Lookin'

'Cuz It's So Hard To See

Or maybe not. 

We've heard a lot lately about mis/dis/information on the interweb especially since that was elevated to the realm of "hacking." No. Really. Nowadays spreading incorrect information on the interweb is actual factual hacking. Who knew? 

But there is still a great wealth of high-value information available and searches are your friend. Not only do we have Giggle at our disposal almost every portal and website offers search within the contents therein. Seriously easy to suss things out. So let's suggest an exploration and get to sussing.

What is the accreditation status of the best public school system in the known universe, DeKalb County School District? Pulling this thread raises a lot of questions.

First of many is who would be accrediting this train wreck as anything but a dumpster fire? Well, back in the days of Gubernatorial interventions that was SACS, which later morphed into AdvancEd and has since joined forces with others in the education industry to become cognia. So do cognia accredit DCSD? Cruising over to and selecting the accreditation search link we find some interesting things. First the search is hosted at, but one can indeed do a search:

And right there on page two of the results you'll find DCSD staring up at you:

So...DCSD is indeed accredited. In fact in 2017 DCSD celebrated having accreditation extended through 2022 which basically means DCSD will do nothing to support further accreditation until 2023. 

The next question concerns pandemic inspired/required "distance learning" though it is worth noting that DCSD will never use that term preferring instead to call it "virtual learning." The likely reason for this is the fact that accrediting agencies have a precise meaning for "distance learning" because they provide accreditation for Distance Learning programs. Shall we search?

And what do we find? 

Notice anything missing? That's right! DCSD is NOT ACCREDITED FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Lots of other schools are but not a single one in DeKalb including the Flex Academy which may well be largely about "Credit Recovery" to boost graduation rates.

Does that change anything? Not really. DCSD will continue with "virtual learning" which is certainly virtual and probably no more or less learning that anything else they've ever done. 

But now we know that it may not be so hard to see.