Chain Gang story of the day: Cuffing 6-year-old menace in Milledgeville

Hey, it happens—more often than we’d care to admit.

I ran across this item on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled blog The story comes out of Milledgeville, in Middle Georgia. A six-year-old kindergartner at Creekside Elementary School was handcuffed, arrested, taken to the police station, and charged with simple assault and criminal damage to property after acting out in class. Apparently, the cops were called after the child injured the principal. The child was reportedly handcuffed for her safety. I suppose she was booked for her safety, too. And she was kicked out of school for the rest of the year.

I guess the good news is that they don’t usually do this.

Macon’s WMAZ-TV has the story.

This is the second pre-pubescent perp walk piece I’ve posted in the past two weeks. Previously, I reported on the “baby booking” of the violent femmes of Morrell Park Elementary School in Baltimore.



Pulitzer surprises


Winner of non-Pulitzer Prize

There were some surprises when the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today.

This year’s awards herald a new era in journalism—and bring a stunning smackdown of the traditional publishing industry.

An online news organization won a Pulitzer Prize for the first time. The Huffington Post’s David Woods won the National Reporting Pulitzer for “Beyond the Battlefield,” his 10-part series on the aftermath of war for wounded veterans and their families. You can see Woods react to the prize and talk about his work here.

2013 Eligible!

While several major daily newspapers won reporting awards, there was no Pulitzer handed out for Opinion Writing. (See list of winners below.) The prize for editorial cartoons also went to an online practitioner, Politico’s Mark Wuerker.

Most interestingly, there was no Pulitzer awarded for fiction. Apparently, nothing the mainstream publishers turned out was prizeworthy this year.  The finalists were Train Dreams by Denis Johnson; Swamplandia! by Karen Russell; and The Pale King, by the late David Foster Wallace, a posthumously completed novel.

Maybe the Fiction judges will start looking elsewhere, too. Hey, we nontraditionalists can dream, can’t we?

2012 Pulitzer Prizes

(Click here to see Columbia University’s official announcement)



  • Fiction — No Award
  • Drama –Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes
  • History — Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by the late Manning Marable (Viking)
  • Biography — George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press)
  • Poetry — Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)
  • General Nonfiction — The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton and Company)


  • Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts, commisioned and premiered by the Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis on November 12, 2011


New York City: “elbows-out and wallets-open competition for top middle schools”

The competition for seats in New York City’s top middle schools has meant a boom for the testprep folks. Parents are shelling out hundreds, even thousands of dollars to train their fourth- and fifth-graders to score well on standardized tests so that they can merely qualify for the coveted slots.

The New York Times reports:

But competition for top middle schools has intensified as more families choose to remain in the city and others find themselves unable to afford private schools, and performance on fourth- and fifth-grade standardized tests is crucial to getting into one of those schools. So many parents — some wealthy, some not — are now shelling out hundreds and even thousands of dollars for tutors and for courses like the eight-week Saturday morning boot camp in TriBeCa. And that is on top of test preparation that almost all elementary schools now provide in class.

“This is just us wanting to kind of ease the pressure of the test,” said the father of a third grader enrolled in the TriBeCa program, run by Bright Kids NYC. The program costs about $550 for eight one-hour tutoring sessions. He asked to remain anonymous because he feared his decision to pay for tutoring would reflect poorly on his daughter’s school, the Lower Lab School on the Upper East Side, which like most schools makes its own efforts to prepare students for tests. “I think a lot of families are tutoring in some way,” he said. “Everybody we know does something.”

Ha, ha. The reporter just slammed the school on your behalf. Nice work, Anonymous Dad!

Read more.

(To see how they handl standardizec testing at Chain Gang Elementary, see this excerpt on the Standard Hightower Intellachievement Test.)




It’s testing time in Florida, and scores WILL go down

It’s testing season in Florida, and they’re sweating the details since they’ve changed the scoring system to guarantee lower scores. Good luck with that.  (To see how they handl standardizec testing at Chain Gang Elementary, see this excerpt on the Standard Hightower Intellachievement Test.)

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Florida’s testing season kicks into high gear Monday, marking a springtime tradition for 2.2 million students in public school.

But this year brings more changes, and more pressure, than usual.

Most significantly, the scoring system used this year for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test will be tougher — meaning marks are expected to drop.

The percentage of third-graders reading at grade level on FCAT, for example, could drop from 72 percent last year to 57 percent this year, the state estimated.

Such declines will have a ripple effect on students, schools and now teachers. FCAT scores are used to make class assignments, decide students’ promotion and graduation, and grade each school. And now under a new state law, the scores will help evaluate teachers.

But the first fallout is expected when scores come in, and some students see they’ve done worse than in the past. Schools are braced for parents’ questions.

“My student was reading at grade level … and then, all of a sudden, they’re not. What happened?” said Seminole County schools administrator Deborah Camilleri, anticipating parents’ reactions.

Read more.

I’m taking a stand in favor of motherhood; Mitt Romney isn’t

Breaking news update: Mitt Romney is on the record against motherhood (if the mothers are poor).  Ryan Grimm reports:

WASHINGTON — Poor women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and “have the dignity of work,” Mitt Romney said in January, undercutting the sense of extreme umbrage he showed when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen quipped last week that Ann Romney had not “worked a day in her life.”

Read more.

Not only must I condemn attacks on Ann Romney, I must also condemn her husband, hard as that is.

 Original post below:

Oh yes I did. As a stay-at-home parent and former Room Mom at my kids’ elementary school, I also condemn Hilary Rosen’s remarks about Ann Romney: “She’s never worked a day in her life.” As Stephen Colbert said, “I’ll tell you what has never worked a day in its life–attacking motherhood!”




A Novel by Jonathan Grant

ISBN 978-0-9834921-2-2
ISBN 978-0-9834921-3-9 (ebook)

Paperback suggested retail: $18.95
ebook suggested retail: $8.99

Down-and-out Atlanta writer Charlie Sherman has no idea what madness awaits him when a mysterious stranger convinces him to finish a dead man’s book about a horrific crime that’s gone unpunished for decades.

What Charlie inherits is an unwieldy manuscript about the mob-driven expulsion of more than 1,000 blacks from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. During the course of his work, Charlie uncovers a terrible secret involving a Forsyth County land grab. Due to its proximity to Atlanta, the stolen farm is now worth $20 million—and a sale is pending.

When he finds the land’s rightful owner, Charlie becomes convinced he’s been chosen by a Higher Power to wreak justice and vengeance on those who profit from evil.

And then things go horribly wrong.


Downlad a free sample (pdf).