Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That's all from me folks... it's now the dawn of a new era.


I started this blog because I used to post a lot at GoDekalb and it got to the point that every thread became an education issue.  This is because education is at the core of every issue. Without a proper education - or more importantly, a proper ability to debate and to see differing perspectives - then we are nothing more than an aimless, ignorant crowd.  We become lemmings following each other off the cliff of the next new trend, new thought, new iGizmo or new math. Anyway, bloggers at GoDekalb teased those of us who brought education issues to the fore and encouraged us to start our own blog on the topic.  One of them even taught me how to start a blog and so I did.  Since then, we have brought many issues to debate and many discoveries have been made and teams of caring parents have been formed.  For that, I'm proud and happy.

However, I didn't expect the level of racial issues to bubble to the surface as they have.  It seems that this county, in my opinion, is a racial battleground first and foremost, and that educating our children has become a years long shell game of bussing, M to M's, Magnets, AYP transfers, Administrative Transfers, Choice, and a general nomadic movement of students from building to building, with little thought or investigation as to whether or not this movement is making a difference in the education of these nearly 100,000 children in our care.

I have (boldly at times) pointed out the posturing and racial divide and history between our new Board members as well as brought out the facts regarding the imbalance of SPLOST spending according to who plays politics the best with our superintendent.  And oddly, now, as often happens, it has become time to "shoot the messenger".   I have been told that Board members are saying that they know who I am and that I am "bi-polar" (which, by the way, to use that term as a dismissive put-down is disrespectful to the many students and parents who actually battle that very real disease.)  I have also become the receiver of comments inferring that I am somehow a racist, for pointing out the racial imbalances I see. ("There is just something tacky and ugly and low class about playing the "race card" - from both angles.")

As many of you know, I am not a Southerner.  I'm from a very small place in the Midwest - where I was raised in a farming community. Which is to say, I don't really understand and don't carry wounds of the southern racial experience.  So I often don't have the necessary paradigm to understand some of our local issues.  I just see what I see in it's current form and call attention to it;  today - now - with our current available tax dollars.

All of that said, I have decided - it just ain't worth the fight.  I'm going to delete my posts on this blog and go back to my basically wonderful life!  I am happily without children in DeKalb County schools and have decided it's just not my battle to fight anymore.  I need to be grateful for what we do have as a family as well as the excellent future my children are prepared for - due to basically good parenting, a fine community and a lot of faith in my children for simply being the good people they are.

I don't want to fight about DeKalb schools until I fall into a trap of becoming nothing more than an argument - a symbol of rebellion and a radical proponent of equal spending.  That's really not who I am, nor is it the kind of karma I care to bring to my life anymore.  I wish you all the best - and I hope you continue fighting for your schools and your children. I wish the new Board well too - they have a very tough job ahead. I've just decided that it's time for me to move on and enjoy more of the pleasures of my life beyond DeKalb County Public Schools.  It's been a fun ride here at DCSW. I've enjoyed our conversations and I truly hope that somehow, some positive differences were made by our having shared this bit of cyber-space for one brief, shining moment in time.

-- "Cere"
--------------------------
Please note - the blog will remain active - but will become a consortium of posts by a variety of authors. I believe this will make the blog stronger in the long run and create a forum for teamwork to be incubated.  We will have more strength and power in numbers and we will be able to generate better and more creative ideas for improving our schools.

27 comments:

Dunwoody Mom said...

I wrote this:

("There is just something tacky and ugly and low class about playing the "race card" - from both angles

I was in no way referring to you. I am so, so sorry that you feel I was. I was referring to "Anonymous" and to Zephora.

What you have done with this blog is so important and necessary and I am devastated if somehow my words caused you to give up on this cause.

Please, please, rethink your decision to leave this blog. Don't let "them" win.

Cerebration said...

Please don't feel bad Dunwoody Mom - your comment was just an example. I really don't want to have racial battles - it's not my place. This was really starting to become one.

I'd happily turn this blog over to anyone interested -- just send me an email
reparteeforfun@gmail.com

It's just time for me to change my focus. Or as Jerry Farber used to say, "I think my Karma ran over my Dogma"...

No worries my friend...

Anonymous said...

Cerebration,
Thanks for your work and leadership. I do wish you would reconsider - I found your words to be enlightening and encouraging of the open format of information that we desperately need in the Dekalb County School System..... Why is everything such a secret? I think that they count on people to not take the time or not have the time to track down the details of what they do. We need you and even if they do not know it, Dekalb County School System needs you. I am hopeful that you have led by example and someone will pick up the flag - I will definitely go along. Thanks Again Cere

Anonymous said...

I only recently have followed your blog due to John Heneghan's blog mention. I HATE to see someone who so obviously has our childrens' best interest at heart beaten down. I REALLY appreciate all your work and the information you've put out there. I completely understand your position but I do hope someone with a servant heart like yours will take up the flag. THANK YOU!!

John Heneghan said...

Cere,

I respect your decision and thank you for the dedication that you have shown our children.

To the readers and commenter’s of DeKalb County School Watch, it is imperative that this blog needs to continue. What needs to happen is that the heavy commenter’s and daily readers need to be able to step up and publish items of interest.

Cere has already offered to do this for anyone who is interested; all that you need to do is send her an e-mail to reparteeforfun@gmail.com from a gmail account that you may already have or that can be especially created for this endeavor.

I am available to advise and train anyone who is interested in doing this (while keeping your identity anonymous) and I will assist with the blog though my time is limited and this subject is not my forte.

That being said as the father of soon to be three DeKalb County School Children, anything I can do to keep this blog alive, I am willing to do.

Please contact me if I can offer assistance, John@JKHeneghan.com

jodynroy said...

Wow, I finally heard about your blog and came to log on and it's just a short time after you deleted the whole blog, apparently. Is there any chance that the past posts will be available to those of us who haven't followed this blog?
Any chance of convincing you to continue this blog? thanks for what you've done. I'm sorry it was so hard for you - and I wish I'd found this sooner!

John Heneghan said...

I hadn't noticed that Cere, removed all of the previous posts and without them the blog would be hard to continue. Hopefully she puts them back if she is able.

Until that happens, here is my archive of DCSW.

Blog Posts

http://www.jkheneghan.com/schools/pdf/DeKalb_County_School_Watch.pdf

Last 200 Blog Comments

http://www.jkheneghan.com/schools/pdf/DeKalb_County_School-Watch_Comments.pdf

Dekalbparent said...

Cere -

Thank you so much for putting this together. It is sorely needed. Could you possibly re-post the archives - I am guilty of deciding to "go back and get that link later" and now it's gone.

We are on the verge of some really important stuff in dissecting the spending in DCSS, and it's going to take a team.

Do you think you could sort of be a conduit like Greenhill at GoDeKalb - others write the posts - you just post 'em. It's hard for me to see how anyone could make a judgement on your motives or mental status if no statements are attributable to you...

Dekalbparent said...

The spending is what really matters - we all want the kids to get all that they can, and a key to that is going lean on the non-schoolhouse spending. Less for overhead = more for the kids.

This is the most important task at the moment, to me. It is also vital that we keep each other up on what we get from various meetings and correspondence with politicians. It seems that some of our delegation is finally taking an active interest in what's going on in DCSS. Now we bring the BOC on board.

Anonymous said...

If this is indeed the end, thank you for the informative blog. I stopped reading like 5 other DeKalb related sites and just followed this one for a while.

One little tidbit: You had "its" versus "it's" wrong a few times Cerebration. They're probably probably just typos made in haste but there were so many I thought I'd clarify "its" is possessive, such as "in its current form." Hope I don't offend, I'm just an apostrophe nut here. I'm sure I have a typo myself somewhere!

Again, thanks for the DeKalb school news and active discussions!

Pattie Baker said...

Cere: I totally understand your feeling. Just a thought--would you consider taking a break--a good long one, a month--and then reevaluating your involvement? There is an old Chinese saying that inspires me more often than I care to admit: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”

Dekalbparent said...

Anon - Why???

Pattie Baker - great proverb. i will be adopting it myself.

Cere - Please think about it.

;)

Cerebration said...

Thanks for the support, everyone. We do have ONE volunteer who would like to take on front page writing privileges. If anyone else would like to share writing posts to this blog - send me an email and I'll add you. I think more voices will make it better.

Let's start from scratch with new authors. If you'd like to write, let me know.
reparteeforfun@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

There's a scene in Batman Begins where the idealistic assistant DA Rachel explains the collapse of Gotham City (and complete disintegration of the community) to young Bruce Wayne by saying:

"This is what happens when good people do nothing."

Cerebration said...

I've republished Kim's article for you to begin a new conversation if you choose. Hopefully other volunteers will add more posts and the lively chatter can rev back up - as a group effort.... thanks!

Cerebration said...

ps - Although we are not all Batman's - we are ALL good people here - just trying to do something and I appreciate the fact that several of you have volunteered to write posts -- this really requires a group effort - I feel the weight lifting already!

Not Buying It said...

To the Anonymous who posted at 12:01 a.m.:

It's absolutely insane that you're blathering about proper use of apostrophes when much bigger issues are at stake.

There, did I use "it's" in a gramatically correct fashion?

pscexb said...

Say it ain't so, Cerebration.... :( You have done a TREMENDOUS job in starting this valuable blog. Without question, it had HIGH visibility in DCSS and DeKalb County at large. There are enough of us in the community that can help so you don't feel as though you are carrying the load yourself.

Count me among those that will volunteer to post topics from time to time. If not here, maybe Kim @ Community Radar has thoughts about leveraging this community on that site.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Thanks, cere, for re-opening this blog. I will be glad to post articles as well.

Open+Transparent said...

Cere, I am crushed. You have truly started an important, crucial public service. People are talking about the school system more than ever before, asking tough questions, backed up by information and web links posted here and only here.

If you are getting flack, it's because you hit a nerve. DCSS administrators and BOE members are not used to being closely scrutinized. Because of this blog, county taxpayers like myself are not going to stop until the DCSS Central Office is right-sized.

I'll help contrbute to the site. But please, please, please post the archives. There is important info. on there that needs to be accessed by the average person.

Thanks for everything you've done. Any criticism you've received only validates your work and its far reaching ramifications.

THANKS CERE!!!!

P.S. If Lakeside High finally gets renovated or torn down and built anew, it's because of what started here on DCSW.

Bluto Blutarski said...

"Over"?

Did you say "over"?

Nothing's over until we decide it is!

Was it over when the Germans
bombed Pearl Harbor?

Hell, no!

-Germans?
-Forget it, he's rolling.

And it ain't over now.

'Cause when the going gets tough...

(Patriotic instrumental music)

the tough get going! Who's with me?

Let's go! Come on!

(Bluto screaming)

(Tense instrumental music)

What happened to the DCSW I used to know?

Where's the spirit?

Where's the guts?

This could be the greatest night
of our lives...

but you're gonna let it be the worst.

"We're afraid to go with you, Bluto. We might get in trouble."

Not me! I won't take this!

Bluto's right.

Psychotic...

but absolutely right.

We got to take these bastards.

Let's do it.

Let's do it!

(All shouting)

Go! Go! Go!

Cerebration said...

thanks Bluto! I'll see if I can't gather some of the more relevant posts and repost them - from my original file - meantime, Heneghan has some available at his link above. they aren't part of this blog anymore - I really think we need a fresh start... I'm happy to see a team!

Cerebration said...

ps - anyone who would like to post has to send me their email address (you can create a generic one for this blog if you like) - so that I can send you an "Invitation" from this site.

Just send an email to:
reparteeforfun@gmail.com
and ask to become an author...

No Duh said...

Wow, I take a few days to finish reading the "Twilight" series, so I can be hip and cool :) and Lord have mercy things have changed!

Cere, I really don't know your "Clark Kent" identity -- I don't know if you're male or female. But, your Superman/woman identity has done a courageous thing. With your children out of the system, you've been willing to stand up and take a few bullets for those of us too scared to call it like it is. It can't be easy being "bullet proof," and I know you gave it your best shot (no pun intended). Thanks!

The sad thing is none of the Board members would join the discussion with us. I've been one of the more passionate bloggers about inequalities in the system. And yes, without any other explanation coming from BOE members for the allocations made for our tax dollars, racism is alive and well in DCSS. If not, why don't they all stand up when they see the pictures of LHS, Chamblee, Druid Hills, Cross Keys etc. and scream about inequality!!? It would have been great to have some of the rumors, inaccuracies, and tall tales cleared up by BOE members and administrators on this site.

I so wish that our school system (federal, state and local)would stop insisting on accounting for our students in racial categories and income levels. If the task is to educate children, what difference does it make if a child is black or white or "other"?

Will you at least consider replacing the February threads?

Thanks again Cere.

Cerebration said...

I'll repost some of the more important issues we should be discussing...

Kim->CommunityRadar.com said...

@Cere:

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence." - Henri Frederic Amiel

Keep blogging here or somewhere after you cool down.

Cerebration said...

It's ok, Kim - I'm cool(er) now. I have been able to garner a group and now I feel much stronger with a team at my side! I just posted a new article by Shayna Steinfeld and I'm grateful to her for coming forward to support what we are trying to do here.

I treasure people like you, Kim, and Shayna, and PSC, and theMommy, and Dunwoody Mom (who - if you will send me an email, I will add you to the list of front page authors), JodynRoy, O&T and so many others. YOU are what will give this blog strength and longevity. YOU will make certain the blog lives on! Thanks to everyone who chooses to participate - I surely can't do it alone.