HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... WE'RE CONTINUING THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE PROPOSED STRATEGIC PLAN FOR BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS....WHAT ROMAIN DALLEMAND CALLS HIS MACON MIRACLE.
TONIGHT... WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GRADE RESTRUCTURING...
DALLEMAND PROPOSES ENDING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN THIRD GRADE... MIDDLE SCHOOL WOULD HOUSE 4TH TO SEVENTH GRADES... AND HIGH SCHOOL WOULD START IN 8TH GRADE.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS BEEN LOOKING AT YOUR COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK... AND LOOKING FOR ANSWERS.
SUPERINTENDENT DALLEMAND SAYS THE GRADE REALIGNMENT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO CLOSE UP TO 12 SCHOOLS AND CUT AS MANY AS 300 TEACHER JOBS... AND HE SAYS THAT WOULD SAVE MORE THAN 23-MILLION-DOLLARS.
BUT THAT HAS MANY PARENTS CONCERNED.
ON FACEBOOK... FEBRUARY EMERY SAYS... I DON'T LIKE IT.
I FEAR MY DAUGHTER BEING WITH OLDER KIDS AND BEING UNCOMFORTABLE IN AN ENVIRONMENT LIKE THAT.
JESSICA DAILY MOSS SAYS... I WON'T ALLOW MY DAUGHTER TO BE VICTIMIZED BY MOVING HER TO MIDDLE SCHOOL IN THE 4TH GRADE WHEN SHE IS ONLY 9 YEARS OLD.
SHE IS STILL A LITTLE GIRL AND IS NOT READY FOR SUCH A BIG-KID SETTING IF YOU ASK ME... AND NOT TO MENTION TO BE AROUND BOYS THAT ARE POSSIBLY 13 YEARS OLD.
I SPOKE TO JOHN LOUNSBURY... FORMER DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AT GEORGIA COLLEGE AND STATE UNIVERSITY.
HE STARTED TEACHING MORE THAN 60 YEARS AGO... AND IN THE SIXTIES... HE CO-AUTHORED STUDIES THAT LAUNCHED THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CONCEPT... THE IDEA THAT STUDENTS AROUND 10 TO 15 YEARS OLD HAVE DIFFERENT DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS THAN OTHER AGE GROUPS.
HERE'S WHAT HE SAID ABOUT SAFETY AND PEER PRESSURE CONCERNS OVER MIXING GRADE LEVELS.
"Isn't it sad that we've got to separate kids by ages lest one damage the other. That really doesn't make sense. The world, life, families arenot like that so we shouldn't have to artificially separate them. and when you deal witht hem as children and young people in a school that is child-centered, then there is no problem with it, as amatter of fact one of the best things that can happen to 4th graders is to have a chance to work with a seventh grader. It's good for them and the 7th graders take on new meaning in their own lives as they see they can help kids, so using kids to work with other kids, that ought to be a part of it and in middle school, you intentionally have opportunities for kids of different grade levels to work together. And we have found in multi-grade units that looping situations where kids work together over aperiod of time how wonderful it is and that the fear of the terrible 8th graders with their vile language and their crude habits intefering with those poor innocent 6th graders, that's crazy. Those poor innocent 6th graders in today's society arenot that way any more.
What about 4th graders through?
4th graders again, same thing, same general principle applies. "
THE 4 TO 7 GRADE CONFIGURATION IS RARE.
THERE ARE 3 SUCH PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN GEORGIA... AND ONLY 30 IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
BUT LOUNSBURY SAYS THAT GROUPING COULD WORK IF BIBB COUNTY TAKES DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES INTO ACCOUNT.
HE SAYS HE WOULD SPLIT THOSE GRADES INTO 2 UNITS... GRADES 4 AND 5 WOULD HAVE A SELF-CONTAINED CLASSROOM WITH ONE OR TWO TEACHERS...
THE OLDER GRADES WOULD HAVE DIFFERENT CLASSROOMS FOR DIFFERENT SUBJECTS... BUT THEIR TEACHERS SHOULD USE A TEAM APPROACH.
"So you'd still have an English teacher, social studies, science, math teacher but they would work together and all would have the same kids, say 100 kids, 4 teachers 100 kids.they would meet together in common planning and plan their instruction in ways that would reduce the artificial separation of the world into departments. You see f you stop and think about it, the only place subjects exist as entities is in school. You don't solve any problem, deal with any problem in the world by looking at a department or pursuin a department. the world is integrated. School has artificially separated it."
LOUNSBURY SAYS HE UNDERSTANDS THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT MUST SAVE MONEY AND BE MORE EFFICIENT... BUT SAYS BIBB COUNTY CAN SAVE MONEY AND DO WHAT'S BEST FOR CHILDREN... AS LONG AS THE FOCUS IS ON FOSTERING A LOVE OF LEARNING... NOT ON TEST SCORES.
"We've forgetten children. We've been so intent on getting test scores that we've really violated childhood and education as it is intended. And it's such a losing cause, kids don't remember these facts, they forget them. what's important is the skills and dispositions and attitudes and self concepts they develop in education. They forgetthe information. It's amazing, people get all excitedabout the score on a test. That same kid takes the test a year later and he wouldn't do as well as he did. We've just lost sight.
YOU CAN FIND MORE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JOHN LOUNSBURY ON 13 WMAZ DOT COM.
THEN JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF THE POINTS LOUNSBURY MADE.
FRANK? LEAH? THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL HOST A PUBLIC FORUM TOMORROW NIGHT FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO COMMENT ON THE MACON MIRACLE STRATEGIC PLAN.
THE SCHOOL BOARD AND SUPERINTENDENT DALLEMAND ARE SCHEDULED TO BE THERE.
IT STARTS AT 6 P.M. AT SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL ON WILLIAMSON ROAD.
ANYONE CAN COMMENT, BUT THE DISTRICT SAYS YOU MUST FILL OUT A FORM BEFORE THE MEETING.. TO SPEAK.
WE PLAN TO HAVE A LIVE STREAM OF THE FORUM TOMORROW NIGHT ON OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
VIOLENT CRIME IN WARNER ROBINS HELD STEADY FROM 2010 TO 2011... WHILE THEFTS JUMPED 23 PERCENT.
THAT'S SIMILAR TO THE TREND MACON POLICE REPORTED IN THEIR ANNUAL CRIME STATISTICS LAST MONTH.
IT'S ALSO CONSISTENT WITH NATIONAL FBI NUMBERS.
POLICE CHIEF BRETT EVANS TOLD LORRA LYNCH JONES.... HOW THEY USE THOSE NUMBERS TO HELP PROTECT WARNER ROBINS.
POLICE CHEIF BRETT EVANS SAYS CRIME NUMBERS DON'T SHARE THE WHOLE STORY... BUT PROVIDE POLICE AND THE COMMUNITY WITH A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND THEM.
Brett Evans, WRPD Chief: (8:10) "If they pay attention to the crime statistics. They can say, hey, our crime is staying at a good level. So the money were spending is not going to waste."
FROM 2010 TO 2011... HOMICIDES STAYED THE SAME... WITH FIVE. SO DID CAR THEFTS.
RAPE.. ROBBERY.. AND SIMPLE ASSAULT INCREASED SLIGHTLY.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT... BURGLARY... AND ARSON CASES DECREASED.
THE BIG JUMP CAME IN THEFT... UP 583 CASES... TO 3172.
OF THOSE MORE THAN 700 WERE CAR BREAK-INS... 735... SHOPLIFTING CASES.
EVANS SAYS EXTRA ENFORCEMENT BOOSTED THE NUMBER OF REPORTS.
Brett Evans: (2:50) "A couple of the larger retail chains did a significant enforcment of shoplifting. The brought in people from other stores and did enforcement in one particular store. So, there were days when we processed 14 or 15 shoplifters from one retail store."
A FURTHER BREAK DOWN SHOWS POLICE WHERE TO PATROL IN THE FUTURE.
Lorra Lynch Jones, EWN: (18:25) "The majority of the shoplifting crime happened in the retail section of Watson Boulevard. They'll now send more officers here during the time of year and the time of day they saw those crimes happen."
Brett Evans: (5:38) "It's changed where we go on a daily basis."
HE SAYS PEOPLE CAN ALSO TRANSLATE THE NUMBERS INTO HOW BEST TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR PROPERTY.. ALONG WITH HELPING POLICE.
Evans: (9:00) "Any extra eyes on the street, that helps us to be where we can't always be, is always helpful.
>> MACON POLICE BLAMED THEIR SPIKE IN THEFTS ON METAL THEFT.
EVANS SAID HE BELIEVES THAT'S ONE FACTOR IN WARNER ROBINS... BUT HE 'S NOT SURE HOW MUCH.
THE LA'BERRY FROZEN YOGURT CAFÉ COMPANY SAYS CREDIT CARDS HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED FOR SOME CUSTOMERS AT ITS WARNER ROBINS STORE.
PRESIDENT JACK LARGENT TOLD 13WMAZ THAT AT LEAST THREE CUSTOMERS REPORTED UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASES ON THEIR CARDS.... AFTER THEY USED THOSE CARDS AT THE WARNER ROBINS STORE.
HE DOESN'T KNOW WHY OR HOW IT HAPPENED.
BUT HE SAYS THEY ARE TAKING "EXTRA" MEASURES TO PREVENT MORE THEFTS.
HE SAID THE BREACH APPARENTLY DID NOT AFFECT THEIR NORTH MACON STORE.
U.S. SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON BELIEVES ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE WILL SURVIVE IF ANOTHER ROUND OF BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURES COMES ABOUT.
THE COBB COUNTY REPUBLICAN MADE THE REMARKS AT A MEETING AT THE DOWNTOWN ROTARY CLUB IN MACON.
HE ALSO SPOKE ABOUT REDUCING FEDERAL SPENDING... OVERHAULING ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE AND LOWERING TAX RATES.
BUT ISAKSON SAYS SHRINKING THE OVERALL MILITARY MEANS MORE WORK FOR ROBINS.
Johnny Isakson, U.S. Senator: We're reducing the number of weapons systems we're buying. We're making our aircraft fly longer and our weapons systems work longer which means our logistic centers that repair and maintain our fleet whether it be ships or airplanes are more important in the 21st Century.
BECAUSE OF THAT AND ITS EXCELLENT WORKFORCE.. ISAKSON PREDICTED THAT ROBINS WOULD HAVE A LONG AND PROSPEROUS RESIDENCE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT'S MOTHER DIED THIS MORNING... SIX DAYS AFTER HER HUSBAND OF 75 YEARS PASSED AWAY..
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS ELIZABETH WALTON BOWEN REICHERT DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES.
HART'S MORTUARY OF MACON SAYS HER FUNERAL WILL BE HELD FRIDAY AT 11 A-M... AT VINEVILLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.
ALBERT REICHERT SENIOR... HER HUSBAND AND THE MAYOR'S FATHER... DIED LAST THURSDAY AND WAS BURIED YESTERDAY.
HE WAS A PROMINENT MACON ATTORNEY.
TODAY IS ASH WEDNESDAY....THE FIRST DAY OF THE LENTEN SEASON
WE WENT TO ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH IN MACON...TO CHECK OUT THEIR SERVICE.
MANY CATHOLICS AND SOME PROTESTANTS USE THIS AS A CHANCE TO GIVE UP THEIR BAD HABITS ...OR ADD SOMETHING TO THEIR LIFE TO GROW SPIRITUALLY.
DURING ASH WEDNESDAY... FATHER DAWID ((DAV-EED)) KWIATKOWSKI MARKS FOLKS FOREHEADS WITH ASHES.
AT THIS SERVICE THE PRIEST SAYS REMEMBER YOU ARE DUST AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.
LENT ENDS ON EASTER SUNDAY...WHICH THIS YEAR IS APRIL 8TH.
FOR GREEK ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND SOME OTHER CHURCHES... IT FALLS ON APRIL 15TH.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU OBSERVE LENT?
SO FAR 17 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU DO...
AND 83 PERCENT SAY NO... YOU DON'T.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.