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Dana Rickman Media Forum

New year, new education opportunities…and responsibilities

By Guest Columnist DANA RICKMAN, policy and research director for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education

On Dec. 10, 2015, President Barak Obama signed into law the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA).

This law reauthorizes the “Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965,” which has been more recently known as “No Child Left Behind.” This important legislation has provided Georgia an opportunity to set its own direction and determine the best way to support schools and districts.

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New park helps small city’s residents discover ‘greene’ space and forgotten son of the New South

This week guest contributor BRIAN BRODRICK, city councilman in Watkinsville and Georgia Humanities board member, calls for the memory of Atticus Haygood to be pulled from the shadow of New South spokesman Henry Grady and brought out to our public space.

The name — Atticus Greene Haygood — conjures images of To Kill a Mockingbird and old Georgia, which are both appropriate.

Georgia’s university system noted for cost-cutting efforts, but budget requested from Legislature still rising

A New York credit rating agency has named Georgia as the state to watch for its efforts to control the spiraling cost of higher education.

Moody’s Investors Service highlighted Georgia’s consolidation of universities as an example of a state’s attempt to improve the fiscal efficiency of its university system. Georgia was the only state singled out. Moody’s report stands in contrast to the current debate over post-secondary education in Georgia’s gubernatorial campaign.

Black employment gains a sign of continuing economic recovery, Ga. Tech professor says

Georgia Tech Professor Thomas “Danny” Boston said the jobs report issued Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department contains several signs the economy continues to improve.

The jobs report indicates the nation’s unemployment rate should dip into the 5 percent range when the July report is released, Boston wrote in a column posted on Georgia Tech’s website. That report is to be released Aug. 1.

The unemployment rate among blacks continues to decline, which Boston wrote is a particularly positive indicator because unemployment among blacks is, “particularly intractable.”

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Atlanta’s Makers and the Next Industrial Revolution

In metro Atlanta and across the country, a revolution appears to be underway in libraries, recreation centers and workspaces. Amid the mass marketng from big box stores and online retailers and other forces that tell us what we need and how to order it, some people with skills are assembling for change.

They are techno-geeks, artists and craftspeople. They wield computers, 3D printers, laser cutters, transistors, glue guns, canvasses, acrylic paints, embroidery hoops and a wide range of other tools. They can be hobbyists, inventors or entrepreneurs.

The revolution is called the “Makers Movement,” a growing grass roots do-it-ourselves culture seeking to reinvent their pockets of consumer society, and the third annual Atlanta Mini Maker Faire featuring workshops and exhibits on robotics, electric vehicles, computing, 3D printing, green technology, among other topics, is scheduled Oct. 26 at Georgia Tech.

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Lee Katz’s Grant Field Moment selling peanuts as a teenager taught him lasting lessons in deal making

For most budding professionals trying to make their mark in any given industry, the word “peanuts” represents the measly amount of money they make when they begin working their first entry-level job. For Lee Katz, however, peanuts represent far more than a starting salary. They represent the Moment that ignited his interest in deal making and the Moment he began learning valuable skills that he carries into his current role as the chairman of GGG Partners, one of the leading turnaround firms in the country. Just like all of us, he had to start with peanuts (in his case literally) to get to where he is today.

In 1964, when Lee was 13 years old, he began selling peanuts to sports fans at Georgia Tech’s Grant Field. For every bag he sold for ten cents, he earned a penny in commission. As an added incentive, the seller who sold the most bags during the day received a $20 bonus. Watch our accompanying HD Moments video.

West End and southwest Atlanta: Tweaking Northside Drive could spur growth in areas skipped by last boom

The Georgia Tech study of Northside Drive offers some interesting prospects for the next chapter of Atlanta’s West End and other neighborhoods south of I-20.

The study offers a solution that it contends is a relatively easy way to reconnect West End with downtown Atlanta via Northside Drive. The solution resolves the impasse created by I-20.

The proposal is significant because, if implemented, it could prime southwest Atlanta for the next wave of intown redevelopment. Fort McPherson’s planned conversion to civilian uses could benefit from the improved access, as well.

Transportation Camp attracts usual suspects to explore transit advances

Technology is disrupting nearly every aspect of the transportation industry — whether its state-of-the-art robotics revamping the automobile assembly line to a computerized conductor system navigating the railroad tracks or a mobile application providing real-time train and bus locations.

Nearly 250 technologists, planning students, professional experts and other transportation enthusiasts gathered at Georgia Tech for TransportationCamp South, an “unconference” organized by New York City-based Open Plans — a transportation technology and planning startup. Previous launch cities include San Francisco, New York City, Montreal and Washington, DC.