HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LORRA LYNCH-JONES..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
BIBB COUNTY'S NEW SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND STARTS NEXT WEEK.
HE SAYS HE'LL MAKE CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAPS A PRIORITY..
THAT'S SOMETHING HE ALSO FOCUSED ON AT HIS LAST JOB IN ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA..
INSIDE ONE EIGHTH GRADE CLASSROOM AT HOWARD MIDDLE SCHOOL... A MATH TEACHER USES ANALOGIES TO GET CONCEPTS ACROSS.
MOST STUDENTS IN BIBB'S CLASSROOMS ARE ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED... AND MOST ARE BLACK.
DATA SHOWS A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS IN THOSE GROUPS FAIL STATE READING AND MATH TESTS.
Nats Carlyle delivers announcements
PRINCIPAL ERIC CARLYLE SAYS HE TRIES TO IDENTIFY WHAT CAUSES GAPS... THEN HELP TEACHERS INTERVENE.
Eric Carlyle 2547: the district as a whole is getting principals, educators on all levels to begin to look at the role that they're playing
Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Studies show slow and inconsistent progress in closing achievement gaps across the country. Even when more students score higher, gaps don't always narrow."
Steve Dolinger, 1241: "Why are our students not progressing as quickly as they could?
STEVE DOLINGER LEADS THE NON-PROFIT GEORGIA PARTNERSHIP FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION... WHICH CALLS THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP A TOP 5 "ISSUE TO WATCH" THIS YEAR.
Steve Dolinger 11:58: "Georgia's doing pretty well, but even though we're doing better we still have gaps."
BIBB'S MADE THE BIGGEST GAINS IN CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN THE PERCENTAGE OF BLACK AND WHITE 8TH GRADERS WHO DON'T MEET C-R-C-T READING STANDARDS.
IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS... THE GAP NARROWED BY 13 PERCENTAGE POINTS.
MORE STUDENTS IN BOTH GROUPS MET STANDARDS... AND BLACK STUDENTS SAW A 20 POINT DROP IN THE PERCENTAGE WHO FAIL.
IF THE TREND CONTINUES... BIBB WOULD CLOSE THE GAP IN ABOUT TWO YEARS.
5TH GRADE C-R-C-T TEST DATA IN MATH SHOWS SLOWER PROGRESS OVER SIX YEARS.
THE GAP BETWEEN LOW INCOME STUDENTS AND THOSE WHO AREN'T NARROWED BY ONLY ONE PERCENTAGE POINT....EVEN THOUGH FEWER STUDENTS IN BOTH GROUPS FAILED.
AT THAT RATE... IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN 100 YEARS TO CLOSE THIS GAP.
BIBB SCORES ON THE GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION TEST SHOW SOME GAPS ARE GETTING BIGGER.
DATA SHOWS A 15 PERCENTAGE POINT JUMP IN THE NUMBER OF BLACK AND POORER STUDENTS WHO FAILED ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND MATH SINCE 2003.
THE PERCENTAGE OF WHITE AND NOT ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS WHO FAILED INCREASED TOO... BUT MORE SLOWLY.
THAT MEANS BOTH GAPS GOT WIDER... BY TEN POINTS... IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS.
INTERIM-SUPERINTENDENT SYLVIA MCGEE STARTED IN BIBB MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS AGO... AND SAYS SHE'S SEEN THE MINDSET SHIFT IN THE PAST DECADE.
Sylvia McGee: probably even ten years ago, everyone looked at is as I'm just teaching this one child
MCGEE SAYS THE DISTRICT'S CHANGED HOW IT TALKS ABOUT INSTRUCTION.
Sylvia McGee: "It's not just I'm just teaching a first grade student, it's that I'm teaching skills for a student who will progress and I am as responsible for that student in terms of his graduation as the senior teacher or senior high school is."
MCGEE SAYS MORE SCHOOLS WORK TOGETHER... BUT SOMETIMES WHEN ONE GROUP IMPROVES IN ONE SUBJECT... OTHERS DROP.
Sylvia McGee: "We all want to see change come rapidly and this is the kind of change that does not come rapidly."
Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "She says bibb schools face two main challenges. At some schools... as many as one out of three students move and transfer during the year. And about three out of four students get free or reduced price lunch."
Eric Carlyle 12:26 "To address those things we often try to forge partnerships with our parents, with the community"
CARLYLE SAYS USING MORE WAYS TO MEASURE STUDENTS PROGRESS.....AND CHANGING WHAT HAPPENS OUTSIDE CLASSROOM WALLS MAY BE WAYS TO CLOSE GAPS... BUT HE SAYS ULTIMATELY... IT'S HOW STUDENTS DO ON STATE TESTS... THAT COUNTS.
EDUCATORS CONSIDER LITERACY BY THIRD GRADE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BENCHMARKS FOR A STUDENT TO REACH... AFTER THAT... THEY SAY DIFFICULTY READING LEADS TO OTHER LEARNING PROBLEMS.
SYLVIA MCGEE SAYS MORE PRE-KINDERGARTEN LEARNING... AND SMALLER CLASSES COULD HELP TEACHERS FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS.
AND STEVE DOLINGER SUGGESTS DISTRICTS SHARE IDEAS FOR CLOSING GAPS ... AND DECIDE AS A COMMUNITY HOW TO SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS.
TWO GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME BOARD MEMBERS SAY THEY'RE NOT SURE WHERE TO GO AFTER A VOTE AGAINST KEEPING THE MUSEUM IN MACON.
ROBERT HIGHSMITH... THE HEAD OF THE EVALUATION COMMITTEE SAYS HE DOES NOT EXPECT THE BOARD TO RE-OPEN THE BIDDING FROM MORE CITIES.
HE SAYS THEY WILL WAIT FOR DIRECTION FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE.
AFTER THEY RANKED FOUR CITIES PROPOSALS.... MACON HAD THE HIGHEST SCORE....
BUT THE BOARD VOTED SIX TO THREE NOT TO ACCEPT MACON.
LOCAL BOARD MEMBER STEPHEN SIMPSON.... SAYS THE STATE ASKED THEM TO MAKE A DECISION ON THE MUSEUMS FUTURE .... AND HE IS UNHAPPY THAT THEY DECIDED NOT TO DECIDE.
Stephen Simpson, GA Music Hall of Fame Authority: "There appear to be significant biases against awarding it to Macon even though Maocn was the only presenter to meet the all the criteria set forth in the the rfp.
MACON WAS RANKED HIGHEST BY FOUR OF THE NINE BOARD MEMBERS... BUT ONLY THE THREE BOARD MEMBERS FROM MACON VOTED TO APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATION.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE SAYS HE'S FILED TWO HIGH-PROFILE BILLS WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE TODAY.
HE'S JOINING US NOW BY PHONE TO TALK ABOUT THEM.
WE'LL FOLLOW BOTH OF THOSE BILLS AS THEY MOVE THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE. TODAY WAS THE SIXTH DAY OF THE GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S 40-DAY SESSION.
THOSE LOOKING TO LAND A JOB WITH THE MACON-BIBB E911 CENTER... NOW NEED TO GO THROUGH A POLYGRAPH TEST.
IT RECENTLY BECAME PART OF THEIR PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING... JUST LIKE THE MACON POLICE OFFICER APPLICATION PROCESS.
BOFTA YIMAM EXPLAINS WHY THEY'VE ADDED POLYGRAPHS TO THE JOB SCREENING... AND GIVES US AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE TEST.
MACON POLICE SERGEANT NATHAN SPRAGUE CLIMBS ABOUT A DOZEN STEPS....IN SEARCH OF HONEST ANSWERS.
NATS Sgt. Sprague "I am an impartial seeker of the truth and that's one of the things that drives me to do this"
SPRAGUE ALONG WITH THREE OTHER POLICEMEN... ARE TRAINED POLGRAPH EXAMINERS.
NATS "that's an indicator light that says were giving an exam"
HIS TEAM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING UP WITH THE SKILLS... AND PROPER LANGUAGE--
Sprague: "We don't use the word shock, or zap or zing"
THAT'S BECAUSE WELL... ITS FALSE. HE LEARNED THE TRUE TERMS... LAST YEAR... AFTER HIS FOUR-MAN UNIT EACH COMPLETED 400 HOURS OF POLYGRAPH TRAINING TO GET CERTIFIED. HE SAYS THAT MOVE ALLOWED MACON POLICE TO SET UP THEIR OWN FACILITY.. INSTEAD OF RELYING ON NEIGHBORING AGENCIES TO TEST POLICE APPLICANTS.
"so we can get more people accomplished in a shorter amount of time."
IN SEPTEMBER... THE SERGEANT SAYS THEY BEGAN USING THESE TOOLS TO ADMINISTER POLYGRAHS ON MACON -BIBB E911 CENTER APPLICANTS. THE INSTRUMENTS.. SEEN AS SQUIGGLY LINES... INDICATE MOVEMENT AND PHYSIOLOGICAL READINGS.
THE POLYGRAPHER SAYS THE APPLICANTS ARE TOLD THE QUESTIONS BEFORE THE TEST. SPRAGUE BUT SAYS THEY ASK ALL APPLICANTS TEN QUESTIONS BASED ON SPECIFIC ISSUES. ...BUT HE WOULDN'T REVEAL ANY.
"honesty and integrity and some background"
Sgt. Sprague says the E911 Center wanted to add the polygraph test to their pre-employment screening to help get the best pool of qualified applicants but he says legally, the test can't be used as the basis to hire or fire someone."
SINCE LAST MARCH... SPRAGUE SAYS THEY'VE COMPLETED POLYGRAPHS FOR 58 POLICE APPLICANTS... AND NINE CRIMINAL SUSPECTS. SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER... TWELVE E-911 APPLICANTS. IN TOTAL... 13 FAILED THE TEST... MOST WERE APPLICANTS.
NATS "there is a 10% error rate"
THE POLYGRAPHER ADMITS... SOME APPLICANTS DO TRY TO ALTER THE RESULTS... BUT SAYS HIS TEAM IS CONFIDENT THE TRUTH.. ONE WAY OR ANOTHER... EVENTUALLY... COMES OUT.
BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
SPRAGUE SAYS THEY AVERAGE ABOUT THREE POLYGRAPHS A WEEK... BUT SAYS IT VARIES BASED ON THE NUMBER OF APPLICANTS.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT TAKING A POLYGRAPH TEST FOR A JOB?
SO FAR... 65 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU WOULD BE COMFORTABLE WITH IT.
35 PERCENT SAY YOU WOULD BE UNCOMFORTABLE.
TO VOTE NOW... VISIT OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
WE HAVE SOME BREAKING NEWS FOR YOU.
BIBB COUNTY INVESTIGATORS HAVE FILED CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST THREE OFFICIALS OF THE AMERICAN SHINGLE COMPANY.
THE THREE ARE EACH CHARGED WITH 30 COUNTS OF THEFT BY CONVERSION.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO CAPTAIN MIKE SMALLWOOD.
WE TOLD YOU LAST YEAR HOW 30 PEOPLE IN BIBB COUNTY. REPORTED PAYING FOR ROOFING WORK THAT WAS NEVER COMPLETED. THEY LOST MORE THAN 200 THOUSAND IN ALL.
THEN THE COMPANY FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN WILL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.