Wednesday, June 24, 2009
What is Dr. Lewis thinking?
As we've been discussing on the CRCT cheating thread, Dr. Lewis has responded to criminal and unethical acts by two of his administrators by encouraging ALL of DCSS employees to send them a letter of support. The post below was sent to us anonymously.
The release of this memo to the DCSS staff and faculty is a clear sign that his loyalty is to the employees and not to the students of DCSS. It is yet another example of very poor judgment. The students whose grades were inflated are the real losers in this. In all likelihood, they did not receive the special services they would have been entitled to as Level 1 math students when they entered middle school. In fact, parents were not even given the heads up that their child might need to repeat the 5th grade.
I am certain that Dr. Lewis didn’t want criminal charges pressed against the two administrators and I have to admit that I wonder how, when DeKalb has such huge crime issues, Ms. Fleming found the time to rush this through. Additionally, the AJC has certainly has focused most of their attention on DeKalb because this is the only system that has taken action. In fairness, the AJC ought to have on the front page, each and every day, an update from Fulton, Atlanta and Glynn counties until it is resolved. Regardless, though, it is in very poor taste that Dr. Lewis is so publicly advocating for the administrators.
This attitude is an example of why public education can’t get any better. Second, third and forth chances for each and every educator are the norm. Dr. Lewis (and many others like him) have no ability to hold adults accountable.
Here is the memo:
To: All DeKalb Employees
From: Dr. Crawford Lewis, Superintendent
Subject: Message From the Superintendent
Date: 24 June 2009
As you know by now, Atherton Elementary School was recently implicated in the CRCT cheating scandal that has been a source of much publicity by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC).
As Superintendent, I was both concerned and surprised that this investigation was elevated to the front page of Sunday?s AJC newspaper and warranted a probe by the District Attorney?s office. Dr. James Berry and Mrs. Doretha Alexander are good people who made a grave mistake. They both acknowledged their involvement and accepted their consequences. They have served the DeKalb School System with distinction for many years. It is important that you know that the school district was not consulted nor played any role in their recent arrests. While we do not condone their actions in any way, they should be allowed to move on with their lives.
DeKalb County School System is a family, and during difficult times family should come together. As a family, I am asking the entire system to reach out to Dr. Berry and Mrs. Alexander and show your support. An e-mail, card or phone call will go a long way towards showing Dr. Berry and Mrs. Alexander that we still care about them. The DeKalb County School System is a great school district working together to ensure that all of our students are successful and prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.