Perhaps getting out of town would be a good idea

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Investigators looking into cheating on standardized tests in the Atlanta Public Schools delivered a voluminous report Thursday to Gov. Nathan Deal — the same day that Superintendent Beverly Hall concluded her 12-year tenure.

Deal is expected to make the report public as early as Tuesday, after his staff briefs members of the Atlanta school board, lawmakers and Mayor Kasim Reed, said Brian Robinson, the governor’s spokesman. “There are people who must hear about it before it’s released to the media.”

Alleged criminal acts detailed in the report are likely to be referred to district attorneys for possible prosecution in at least three counties: Fulton, DeKalb and Douglas.

Hall, 64, made no public appearances in her final days as superintendent and has not announced her plans.

I never liked Ozzie and Harriet, anyway

From The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – For the first time, more than half of the children under age 2 in the U.S. are minorities, part of a sweeping race change and a growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and fast-growing younger ethnic populations that could reshape government policies.

Preliminary census estimates also show the share of African-American households headed by women — mostly single mothers — now exceeds African-American households with married couples, reflecting the trend of declining U.S. marriages overall.

The findings, based on the latest government data, offer a preview of final 2010 census results being released this summer that provide detailed breakdowns by age, race and household relationships.

Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order, one in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by midcentury.

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A Chain Gang moment: Woman arrested for possesion of video camera

After receiving national attention, Rochester authorities drop charges against citizen who took video of traffic stop. While there are two sides to the story, police are gong to have to get used to the fact that they’re not the only ones who can collect evidence or document crimes and arrests.  It’s also been reported that police responded to a protest rally by pulling out rulers and writing tickets for cars parked more than 12 inches from the curb. Way to build community support, guys.  I see “How to respond properly when being YouTubed” training sessions in the future for the Rochester Police Deparment.

To see the video in question, click here.

From DemocratandChronicle.com:

At the start of court Monday, City Court Judge Jack Elliott announced that the television show Inside Edition had asked to film the criminal proceedings against Emily Good. Elliott denied the request, but the interest from the cable show was typical of the national interest in the case against a local activist arrested while videotaping a May 12 police stop in front of her home.

The court session Monday was brief, however, as the District Attorney’s Office asked for the charge against Good to be dismissed. There was not evidence to support the particular criminal charge of obstructing governmental administration, First Assistant District Attorney Sandra Doorley said. For Good and her supporters, the dismissal of the criminal charge was proof that she had been wronged when she was arrested by Rochester police.

“I’m feeling very good, vindicated,” Good, 28, said after court. “It wasn’t a crime.” The video of Good’s arrest has gone viral, attracting nationwide news coverage, i ncluding a live interview with Good on CNN. Though the criminal charge against Good was a lone misdemeanor count, her arrest became the centerpiece of a debate over the police response. Good supporters maintain that the Rochester officer was peeved at Good’s videotaping and arrested her without legal cause. Others claimed the arrest was justified, the proper answer to a meddling woman who could have put the officers’ and others’ lives at risk.

Supreme Court rules states can’t police video game content

Not even close, with Clarence Thomas (?) on short end of a 7-2 vote. Parents will have to keep up with what’s going on in their homes.  Or not.

From The Associated Presss:

WASHINGTON — States cannot ban the sale or rental of ultraviolent video games to children, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rejecting such limits as a violation of young people’s First Amendment rights and leaving it up to parents and the multibillion-dollar gaming industry to decide what kids can buy.

The high court, on a 7-2 vote, threw out California’s 2005 law covering games sold or rented to those under 18, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free-speech rights. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia, said, “Even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply.”

Scalia, who pointed out the violence in a number of children’s fairy tales, said that while states have legitimate power to protect children from harm, “that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”

Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7629090.html#ixzz1QVrnsRXz

Ex-official: Atlanta school chief ordered test evidence destroyed

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Superintendent Beverly Hall ordered the destruction of investigative documents that detailed “systematic” cheating on standardized tests in the Atlanta Public Schools, according to a former high-ranking district official.

Hall also instructed subordinates to omit “adverse findings” from a new version of the report and then publicly cited the revised document in an aggressive rebuttal of the cheating allegations, the former official says.

When she protested, the former official says, her supervisor said the district had the right to “sanitize” the investigation and that “the matter was closed” because Hall “had directed that all other documents be destroyed.”

Destroying or altering government records is a felony in Georgia, carrying a prison sentence of as much as 10 years.

In a statement Tuesday, district officials broadly denied the former official’s allegations.

The accusations appear in a letter to the superintendent from a lawyer representing Colinda Howard, who from 2005 to 2010 headed the district’s internal investigations office. The lawyer was seeking a monetary settlement for Howard, who resigned under pressure after she was accused of making lewd comments to male employees. The lawyer alleged the district investigated Howard as retaliation for her vocal opposition to “illegal and unethical actions she was directed to undertake by her superiors.” The district later cleared Howard and paid her a small settlement.

Lawyers for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained a copy of the letter and related documents, which came to light in a criminal investigation of cheating by teachers and school administrators on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. A team of special investigators, appointed last August when state officials found the district’s own inquiry inadequate, is expected to report its findings to Gov. Nathan Deal this month, which could result in prosecutions of district officials. The investigators declined to comment Tuesday.

The inquiry’s conclusion coincides with Hall’s departure after 12 years as superintendent. Amid the cheating scandal, she announced last fall she would not seek an extension of her contract past its June 30 expiration.

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