Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"The Macon Miracle"
a presentation at the
Macon Coliseum
Friday, February 10, 2012

On Friday Morning, February 10th I published an entry here about the comments I heard at the previous evening's school board meeting.  That post was entitled "Macon Miracle," A School Board Meeting to Remember.

On Friday Afternoon I attended "The Macon Miracle" presentation at the Coliseum.  I arrived early and I was rewarded with the opportunity to sit in a second row seat on stage left of the platform.  In other words I was able to hear and see everything without any distractions.

In short the presentation was a pep rally for the Macon Miracle program developed by Dr. Romain Dallemand and the Staff of the Bibb County School System. 

The presentation opened with a series of images showing some of the deplorable housing situations in Bibb County.  Then a Dr. Muhammad addressed the assembly by a remote phone/pre-recorded message.  The sum of his message from my point of view was "Get on the Bus and move it in a different direction!!!"  The presentation continued with various civic leaders informing us that the Bibb Education System needs fixing for the sake of the Children.  The Vineville Academy for the Arts Principal stated that the Macon Miracle would be phased in over a three to five year period.  Dr. Dallemand reminded us that he also had a stake in the success of the Macon Miracle.  He has two children in the Bibb System.

Now, to be totally open and honest with my readers here, I have read the Plan.  I would like to quote the following for everyone's information:

"Only 24 of the District's 41 schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for 2010-2011.  Discipline data also raises concern for the future of Bibb County, Macon, Georgia.  In 2010-2011, almost 8000 students were suspended for a total of 48,000 days of missed instruction.  Nearly 500 students were expelled, 703 students dropped out of school completely, and the District's 9th grade cohort graduation rate was 44.6%"

From my own point of view, as but one concerned and also caring citizen of Bibb County these numbers should cause everyone of us to be concerned and also ready to implement change.  I would ask :   How have the past policies worked to improve the education situation in Bibb County?  How are the past policies working to improve the education of our future citizens and leaders?

In short:  "How are they working?"

I have read and also viewed the print and electronic media which covered the Friday presentation of the Macon Miracle.  Some are concerned that the plan is to be implemented too fast.  Others have stated that there is no need for any foreign language instruction when our current scholars are having difficulty learning English.  I would submit as others have also stated that "Mandarin Chinese" is a great tool to assist in the development of the human brain.  Certainly a goal that every educator and also every concerned parent should embrace.  I can certainly state that I have personal knowledge that the ability to master the  Mandarin Chinese language has a dynamic impact on the development of the human brain.

Dr. Dallemand concluded his speech to those assembled with a powerful story of his own life and how he wanted the same opportunity for every Scholar in Bibb County to be able  to excell for their own benefit as we all want our graduates to be ready to survive in a diverse global economy.  The goal of the program is to provide the tools where out students will appreciate the Freedoms our Country is known for.  He challenged everyone in attendance with this closing statement:  "Are We Prepared to Dream Today/Together?"

Dr. Dallemand also informed us that in the days of the immediate future there will be a process established to allow feedback to improve the plan. 

The program was concluded with a program performed by the students from China's University of International Business and Economics.

Yes, it was a long program, but I would submit that it was also a worthwhile event in that it promoted the "The Macon Miracle" and the many Goals/Strategies/Action Steps to achieve educational excellence in Bibb County, Georgia U. S. A.

Yes, it was a pep rally, but from my point of view, a pep rally that was long overdue to improve the Bibb County Education System.  Our Scholars certainly deserve more than what we are currently providing.  The entire student body deserves a better opportunity to excell.  Yes, I know that great education commences in the home.  The plan has steps to assist in this endeavor.

Yes, this is Alan Thiese, a former Bibb school board candidate who was pictured and quoted in the Saturday issue of "The Telegraph."  "This is the stuff."  I could certainly continue that statement:  "This is the stuff that we the people of Bibb County must embrace/implement to provide the opportunities that our current Scholars and future Scholars will need in their future."

Thus you can be certain that I support the Plan.  As I heard someone recently state:  We hired the new Superintendent to improve our education system.  We must trust him to do so. 

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