Friday, February 26, 2010

Lewis Takes Leave

WSB 750 AM is reporting that the BOE is in emergency session again today to name an interim Superintendent as Dr. Lewis has taken a leave of absence or sabbatical of some type. Report is that he will continue to be paid and the BOE will cover any legal fees that result from the current investigation. Seems they are standing by their man.

112 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow... a paid vacation and all his legal fees paid by the tax payers. I think I'm going to cry.

Kim Gokce said...

As I told my wife this morning, someone is going to jail ... whether it is those being investigated or those doing the investigating. The slow, rotting mess can't come to closure soon enough for me.

I hope the lesson for school officials is that our public system is a sacred trust and even an appearance of unethical behavior must be avoided. The media is to be feared if you cross that line and not so much if you don't.

The voting public also needs to learn that the school system is their business, too. Not only is a washtub of their money at risk, so is the future of our community.

Any time I hear someone complain about how much DeKalb Co Govt spends, wastes, or whatever, I ask them if they know what DCSS' combined budget is ... invariably, they don't.

If this ongoing scandal isn't a wake-up call, DeKalb is ruined for a generation of kids and parents. The good news is our teachers are still educating in the classrooms, our coaches are developing our youth, and our counselors are guiding our children.

When will they get the broader community support and leadership they deserve?

Anonymous said...

Hypothetical:
If a teacher were suspended for allegedly stealing from the supply cabinet, would he/she continue to get paid and have his/her legal fees paid by tax payers?

Kim Gokce said...

I didn't notice this had already started as a comment thread for yesterday's "News of the Day" - sorry about that - joining the other conversation. Just a quick side note, posted items tend to syndicate more widely than comments, so I'm leaving this post up for now so the fact of the leave of absence circulates more widely. Electronic systems like CommunityRadar.com pick up the "New Posts" from this blog but not necessarily all comments ... pardon my technie moment.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Anonymous, no one has accused or charged Lewis with any crime as of yet. If he is, then, I would think, or hope the BOE, reverses their decision to pay his legal bills.

Anonymous said...

But what kind of legal bills will he incur if he isn't charged?! None! Only if he is facing prosecution will he incur legal bills, which my board of education has forced me to pay. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, across this blog and on the AJC, you are consistently warning everyone not to try Dr. Lewis before he is charged. I think we're all quite aware that this is early days still . . . but we're also understandably concerned about and angry with his lack of leadership.

A blog is, by nature, a forum for discussion - including emotive outbursts. This blog in particular is valuable for the opportunity to vent in ways we never get to engage in directly with DCSS and the School Board. Like any sidewalk chat, we get some facts, some gossip, some mutual support, and even some misinformation. But most of us are intelligent enough to read backward and forward to filter postings and get the information we need.

Let us speak our minds, thank you.

Kim Gokce said...

"legal bills" ... anyone who has their home searched by the DA for any reason what so ever would be wise to retain counsel. I am presuming that this is the nature of his anticipated legal bills as Superintendent. Yes, there are scenarios where these bills may be appropriately the subject of recovery by DCSS.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Why are you putting words in my mouth? I never said you could not "speak your mind". Just be factual, truthful and respectful - gossip is dangerous business and I find that part of this blog uncomfortable. So, please, allow me to speak my mind as well.

Anonymous said...

Well, in the sense of "speaking my mind", the School Board should have asked for the Superintendent's resignation.
Nothing to do with the current state of affairs, just the many years of poor leadership.
It really appears there is no respect among Dekalb employees for the leadership and parents are certainly tired of the way the Board has handled or mishandled everything.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is the board within the last few months, in the middle of all these problems, renewed his contract.

Anonymous said...

I am concerned about the confiscated computers from the district offices and the impact this may have in preparing/restructuring of the system in lieu of the needed budget cuts. Further I wonder if this will delay the processing of teacher contracts.

Does anyone know, factually, if the finance and HR people have access to the needed data to get the job done?

Anonymous said...

Testy blogging today. Guess we're all feeling shell-shocked.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:03, all the pertinent budget info. should be stored on server files, not individual hard drives. Should be no problem with having all the needed budget info., especially considering we pay for $24 for DCSS Info. Systems a year.


Kim Gokce PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE run for Board of Ed!! We need you!! If not, maybe county commissioner!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, we pay $24 million a year from DCSS MIS. And MIS has an EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, not just a plain ole director.

Cerebration said...

Finance and HR was raided too. And yes, all of this legal distraction is certainly going to jeopardize any work that was being done to get the budget in line.

I agree with posters who are disappointed that the board simply won't take action against Dr. Lewis - or Pat Pope. I really can't comprehend it - I guess I've worked in the business world too long - anyone in my world would have been axed long ago.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Cerebration. The Board is obviously following legal advice not to fire the guy AND his legion of overpaid bureaucrats without just cause . . . yet what's wrong with firing him for incompetence, lack of leadership, poor fiduciary performance, and failure to elevate academic achievement across the district?

Oh, guess those aren't sufficient grounds.

Anonymous said...

The City of Atlanta is finally getting grants and support from corporations. Going to be a long time before any corporation or foundation will want to work with DCSS, unfortunately.

Cerebration said...

CBA Reporter Jocelyn Connell seems a little taken aback at the end of her report also where she states that the school board will pay Lewis' salary and legal fees.

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/22665500/index.html

Anonymous said...

Most teachers join professional organizations such as PAGE or GAE so that they will have insurance coverage for legal fees. (Teachers know better than to assume that the BOE will help them if they are charged with/investigated about a crime.) PAGE gives all its members $1,000,000 insurance. Why does Crawford Lewis not have such coverage to cover his own legal fees?

Anonymous said...

@ Kim Glocke and Anonymous 9:40 am on News of the Day strand:
"Take a look at this link:
http://www.wsbtv.com/video/22673600/index.html
Video of Pat Popes Attorney. Presents some interesting arguments. How come this is not playing on the TV for all to see??"

I asked teachers in schools with new construction to look at the video and see if Pat Pope's attorney is telling the truth about construction in the schools they teach in:

Here are their responses on yesterday's News of the Day strand. I'm posting them again (I'll do two posts since they are so long):

From Anonymous 6:45
"I teach at the MIC. Didn't Pope's hubby do that? The walls are already cracking. The ceiling in my room is uneven. I don't know who did the electrical work but they did it wrong and had to return last week to redo it. BTW, if immigration came by they would have a field day with all the undocumented workers. How do I know they are undocumented? A fellow teacher I work with has a brother in law that worked construction there and he is undocumented."

Anonymous 8:09 pm
"I teach at a school built under the Pope Reign:
no windows open (it is cheaper)
strong sewer smell in building
cracked walls
teacher sent to hospital after she turned on classroom lights (electrical shock)
cracked walls
heating and air is a joke
beautiful but non-functional ampitheatre
major asphalt cracks
leaks with every rain
doors that open in wrong direction
no ventilation
handicap access and egress very poor
blind areas where fire alarms are constantly pulled by student pranks
dead areas for wifi....."

Anonymous 8:51 pm
"New addition to DCSS school - three of six downspouts drain directly onto slanted ground and then onto sidewalk used by students all day.

Changing classes involves walking outside with no cover.

Vent hood in Chemistry lab not wired into power - cannot turn on. Will need to open up wall to fix this.

One of the two doors from addition opens onto a chain link fence - there are no other entrances to the building on that side, so door is not used. This means one door is used by all students exiting and entering the building.

Large opening (approx. 3 inches wide) floor to ceiling where addition attaches to older part of building. Will be fixed "when they tell us what color caulk to use".

Crack in wall that appeared within one week of opening of building."

Anonymous said...

More from teachers who had Pope construction done in their schools:

Anonymous 9:36 pm
"At Columbia High School, the last part of the renovation that was "under budget and on time" has not been completed from what I have been told. Parents tell me the athletic fields that were torn up to provide a staging area for the construction are still not anywhere near ready. Work has not started on the baseball field (they probably won't play any home games this year on a field that should have been finished months ago). The new track that was promised apparently isn't coming and the quality of sod laid down on the soccer field (I think football also uses it) is very poor. As far as I can tell, no work has been done (ex. fertilizing) on the awful sod that was put down. I've been told that some sports teams are being bussed off-site to practice because none of the fields are playable. I know that the county is in trouble and there are greater concerns than athletic fields, but this is a job that was supposedly "on time and under budget" . . .and it still isn't done!"
……the addition described and all renovation to existing building were to be finished by 8/09. Current estimated finish date: 6/10. So much for "on time"."

Anonymous 10:53 pm
@: Video of Pat Popes Attorney
"The lawyer says near the end of the interview, "find something wrong with the project or the work that was done...it doesn't exist".
It does exist! There are numerous problems at Arabia Mountain that should be under warranty, things that should have been caught while building it, however, the contractors that built the building cannot be reached to fix them so DCSS employees have to fix it.
This guy doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to construction! Things may look pretty on the outside, but start looking at the details and it looks pretty messy."

……the addition described and all renovation to existing building were to be finished by 8/09. Current estimated finish date: 6/10. So much for "on time"."

Anonymous said...

The BOE gets together for an emergency meeting and rush into a decision in choosing an interim. Why not wait 48 hours so you can make a sound decision? What if the DA search expanded? The BOE better make damn sure Ramona is not implicated in any any of this. Everything they do just keeps you wondering what really is going on?

How can C Lew come back from this? He is to blame for this mess, he hired Pat Pope, he asked the DA to investigate her, then had an Emily Latella moment, “Never Mind”! Gasgate, Paygate, nepotism gate, and on and on. He has lost the trust of the majority of parents in the district. Come on BOE, how much are we in for since you re-negotiated his contract? Folks thank God for the teachers that will teach in a system that is absolutely scary!

Parents speak up, hit their emails, ask tough questions! Someone is singing or let’s hope someone will begin to sing. How is this helping our kids? We should be looking back at the CLew days, it’s time to move forward. The economy is not getting any better and tough decisions lie ahead for DCSS. We’re not so Premier today are we?

Anonymous said...

I worked for many years in DCSS, and saw more than my share of lawsuits (never me, thank god).

Sometimes DCSS paid for lawyers and sometimes it didn't. The cut seemed to be if the school system feels it may be liable as well as the teacher/administrator in the lawsuit.

I can certainly see why DCSS is paying for his attorney. The BOE knows they must protect the school system (our tax dollars) against any lawsuits that may occur as a result of the investigation.

I'm very sorry to see per pupil money spent for legal bills. Lord knows many of our kids and teachers are in terrible learning environments and every dollar is valuable.

DCSS's Central Office is a train wreck. I hope Ms. Tyson cleans house and that means cutting huge numbers of admin and support personnel and plowing the money back into the schoolhouse and classrooms.

I don't think this will happen though because Ms. Tyson is the ultimate insider. She lobbied time time again for MIS to increase in size - how do you think we got to $24,000,000 a year in salaries and benefits for this department? (source: state Salary and Travel Audit + 25% for benefits)

The MIS department she ran for 5 years is notorious for poor service. Please, please ask any DCSS teacher you know about the level of service they receive from the computer department. You'll get an earful I promise.

I think in the end a new BOE is the only solution. However inept they have been though, they are doing the right thing to make sure DCSS is protected against lawsuits in this legal investigation of the superintendent. All we need is more student money to go down the drain.

Anonymous said...

As someone new to the school system, has it always been like this? So much drama. So much focus and spending on the administration. I'm thinking Catholic school or even paying tuition at Decatur public schools for my little ones.

Anonymous said...

The paying of Dr. Lewis' legal fees is indefensible. However, we need to remember that this is the same BOE that just renewed his contract and gave him a pay raise when DCSS was already in the midst of controversy. If the potential legal action (i.e. typically civil) were related to the exercise of his official functions, that would be one thing. However, this is a criminal investigation--criminal liability in almost all cases is personal to the individual. In such cases, the individual, and not the taxpayers, should be responsible for his own expenses.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:19 pm
"As someone new to the school system, has it always been like this? So much drama. So much focus and spending on the administration. I'm thinking Catholic school or even paying tuition at Decatur public schools for my little ones."

No. It's not always been like this.

At one time DeKalb County was truly the premier county in metro Atlanta. That's what makes it so sad for people like me who have been here 30 to 40 years.

The admin and support growth came in the mid 1990s with a new administration system the superintendent (Dr. Freeman) tried as he sought to mimic how businesses were run. He established 16 regional power centers with a regional head and concomitant educational coordinators (6 or 8 per region). When that system was abandoned several years later, the additional personnel stayed on at the Central Office; they just had different titles.

The MIS department came into power in the late 80's/early 90s as every school got an Apple IIe lab and later a support person to go with it. In the mid-90s MIS had gained more power because the AS400 had been purchased as a main frame to keep student records. With the advent of the network reaching all schools in the year 2000, all technology centralized and coalesced in the Bryant Center, a stand alone facility in mid DeKalb. As all technical decisions were centralized, network personnel proliferated. Ms. Tyson ran MIS for the last 5 years.

Meanwhile, NCLB enacted in 2002 required tremendous amounts of data collection and analysis. This added no only to the power of MIS,; it also encouraged the Central Office administration to swell to even greater numbers.

At the same time our aging infrastructure (we're an older school system - used to be the largest in Georgia) and the need to build new schools in South DeKalb which was growing by leaps and bounds led to more and more service personnel. Instead of contracting out service, we just added personnel and kept growing the service area.

A confluence of events has brought us to the point where teachers are almost outnumbered by admin and support. This is unsustainable in a school system since its reason for existence revolves around the teacher and his/her students i.e. the classroom. This deep recession has hit DeKalb County so hard that the cracks in the system became chasms. Whether we can find BOE members to repair the system is still up in the air.

We moved to DeKalb in the early 80s specifically so our daughter would get a top notch education, and my husband and I worked in midtown so it was a very convenient commute.

My husband and I are retired now, and we're looking at moving out of DeKalb since we don't have to wory about a commute anymore. We love our house, but we're concerned the school system troubles will eventually affect property values, so we're thinking now is a good time to move. Most retirees don't realize how much good schools contribute to the value of their home.

There are still a few good schools in DeKalb. I don't know where you live, but you might want to visit your neighborhood school, talk with your neighbors, and by all means try to talk with the teachers (not just the principal). To me nothing was more important that my daughter's education. I considered Catholic and private schools too, but I truly believe a public school offers a broader perspective on life. She went to the local school near our house, and we were pleased with it. Of course, it has to be a good public school. That's a given.

Anonymous said...

Folks new to the school system need to be concerned. Right now the errors of the past are catching up to the current county leadership. I suspect that if there was not the huge deficits things would be continuing just as before. However, eventually the problems would have come to light due to gross favoritism, lack of leadership, oversight, and forward thinking from the Board and Superintendent, questionable decisions, and the list goes on and on.
You need to check out the schools your child would attend. Many will provide them a great education, but it is not uniform throughout the county.
You have to be careful.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Pope and Dr. Lewis are in the same position -- put out to pasture due to the DA's investigation.

Why is it that one (Pope) needs to come in to work every day to earn her money, and the other (Lewis) gets to vacation?

I anticipate the next headline "Pope sues DeKalb Schools for sex discrimination". It seems she'd have a pretty good case.

Anonymous said...

Crawford should be put to work as the Cross Keys gym teacher.

Anonymous said...

It's sad the BOE thought Ramona Tyson was the best pick to be interim sup. She was head of MIS during its bloated and massive buildup. MIS gave poor customer service to teachers then, and it is the same way now. She only taught for a few years, and has a an "administrators first" mentality.

It would have been a great time for the BOE to buck the administration and go with one of its top principals.

SongCue said...

This construction mess is terrible! But in addition to the mess at the school system level is this question: if there are all of these problems with new construction, who were the DeKalb County government inspectors who approved the work? How did it pass inspection?

Anonymous said...

Citizens of DeKalb should be very worried about this situation. We are a laughing stock in the community. Our children's education is truly suffering.

At my school, we are finally getting around to RTI (response to intervention), something schools up North and in other parts of the country have been doing for at least 6 years. Little to no training in RTI is being given.

Helping students with learning disabilities can be done, so that they can make it in a regular ed classroom. As a dyslexic, I am so glad that I did not attend a school like those that I have worked in in DCSS. Students with learning disabilities are not helped, they are simply given modifications with lower expectations. They do not receive the services that I did at an early age to help me overcome my problems. The special ed teachers I have seen do not know how to help these kids, which is another problem all together.

Our local schools are so poorly run, as teachers are not being trained properly. The train the trainer who trains a few teachers, with those teachers training a school does not work. I have worked for school systems much larger than DeKalb and received the training that I needed and that the children have deserved.

Many teachers are leaving DeKalb this year. Most retiring and good teachers are looking to get out before things get much worse. Do you think that quality teachers are going to want to come to DeKalb? We've made national news with this latest story, so even going outside of Georgia people are going to know.

The system needs a total overhaul. We need a strong outsider, who is not afraid to ruffle feathers. We need a new school board, who are able to demonstrate that they care more about the children, than the adults that work in all aspects of the schools.

We are at a turning point in DCSS. We can use the incidences that have taken place over the last few months and years and turn things around or we can continue the same old, same old.

Closing 4 schools is one step in the right direction, but I am not sure if that is enough. Cutting 149 jobs in the central office, is another step, and I know that is not nearly enough. I do not want anyone to lose their job, but the bottom line is that we cannot pay for all of the people working for the county. Hopefully the focus will be back on the children and the state of their education, instead of adults who are poor excuses of leaders and showing of honesty and integrity. The old saying stands: Actions speak louder than words. Lewis' actions have spoken loud and clear. Now the county waits for the dust to settle and the DA to make charges.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that when Dr. Lewis requested a leave of absence, he did not also provide direction to the Board as to the person to fill in??

No Duh said...

"If a teacher were suspended for allegedly stealing from the supply cabinet, would he/she continue to get paid and have his/her legal fees paid by tax payers?"

I know of a teacher who got caught stealing from the cafeteria. She was merely transferred to another school.

The BOE should use this opportunity to completely reorganize the administrative functions of DCSS. We should eliminate area superintendents in favor of superintendents for elementary, middle and high schools. Perhaps divide the county into quarters for elementary schools (NE, SE, SW, NW) with superindentents for each section. Divide the middle and high schools down the center of DeKalb (East and West) with superintendents for each side. Curriculum decisions are made by these superintendents based on their expert knowledge of the age students they are responsible for. (i.e. if the east and west side high school superintendents don't what to use America's Choice they don't use it and tell DCSS not to buy it.)

Just free-form thinking in an open-minded, flexible fantasy world...

Anonymous said...

To add to Anon 4:05 -- Why isn't the board picking up Ms. Pope's legal fees? If one is innocent until proven guilty and they've agreed to pick up the sup's fees, shouldn't they also pick up the COO's for the very same reason? How can they justify this?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lewis makes $287,991. If Dr. Lewis retired tomorrow, he would make over $190,000 a year in retirement pay the rest of his life (33 years x 2% a year x$287,991)with a 3% annual increase every year.

When Johnny Brown was superintendent, he made $240,850 a year. They hired Crawford Lewis for considerably less. At last Dr. Lewis caught up to Brown.

Look at this comparison between 2004 salaries and 2008 salaries of DCSS administrators (just a few). 2 of them are instructional supervisors (i.e. coordinators). Now you can see why the coordinators would not want to go back to a classroom. I know Dr. Callaway has retired, but I used her because I wasn't sure if her position had/was being filled.

Here is a 5 year comparison between 2004 salaries and 2009 salaries (just a few):

2004 salary 2009 salary
LEWIS,CRAWFORD $112,074 $287,991.63
REID (Pope),PATRICIA A $100,010 $197,592.50
CALLAWAY,FRANKIE B $106,698 $165,035.69
MOSELEY,ROBERT G $106,698 $165,035.69
TALLEY,GLORIA S no data available $165,035.69
TURK,MARCUS T $75,558 $165,035.69
TYSON,RAMONA H $99,960 $165,035.69
WILSON,JAMIE L $85,502 $165,035.69
MITCHELL,FELICIA M $96,354 $125,284.87
FREEMAN,TIMOTHY W $106,598 $124,049.27
GILLIARD,WANDA S $102,594 $124,049.27
THOMPSON,ALICE A $99,960 $124,049.27
NORRIS-BOUIE,WENDOLYN $100,060 $122,345.84
DUNSON,HORACE C $90,606 $122,195.84
SEGOVIS,TERRY M $93,888 $122,195.84
SIMPSON,RALPH L $95,826 $122,195.84
WHITE,DEBRA A $90,426 $122,195.84
EITEL,ANTHONY W $87,665 $119,225.59
HENDERSON,CHARLIE J $102,594 $118,220.12
HECKMAN,ELIZABETH W $99,960 $117,729.49
LUCEAR,VIRGINIA $66,635 $116,581.42
BERRY,AUDRIA M $84,750 $116,314.76
DANIEL,PHYLLIS E $95,548 $116,314.76

(source: state Salary and Travel audits)

Anonymous said...

As usual, what starts out as an intelligent discussion disintegrates into childish rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

@ No Duh 5:08 pm

Good idea of dividing DeKalb into regions but.......

The regional superintendent concept has been tried before in DeKalb and with disastrous consequences.

In the mid 1990s, DeKalb was set up into small regions, (I don't remember the number - I believe it was 16 regions ).

Each region was supposed to be it's own "business center" with its own executive superintendent (a regional superintendent by a different name). The success of the schools in that region was to rest on the shoulders of that regional superintendent. This is a sound business model the BOE was told.

A bureaucratic nightmare ensued. Each regional superintendent hired his/her own fulltime content coordinators (what power!). Each "team" had a social studies, math, language arts, and science coordinators, an assistant superintendent, and a few others.
Within a year, Dekalb had close to 100 very highly administrators on the "teams".

The coordinators were drawn from classroom teachers. Many were very good teachers.

Meanwhile, everything at the teacher and classroom level went on as before. Most teachers were not aware of these changes as all this went on above their heads and didn't impact the classroom as far as they could see. Mainly the teams met and planned and met and planned. Of course, there was a rather substantial impact on the budget.

The business model didn’t work as planned. Regional superintendents kept changing so no one was ever in place long enough to take responsibility for his/her area. Also, the area boundaries began to change. Some areas were collapsed into other areas and others were eliminated. Political infighting ensued among the regional superintendents as to who would be left standing and who had the power. A "clash of the Titans" began in the Central Office. Who has the power continues today.

The "team" members began to be shuffled between teams or put into Central Office positions created for them so they wouldn't have to go back into the classrooms (huge decrease in pay). The "team" members were very nervous during this time, fearful that they would lose their admin positions and their pay increases.

But in the end everything worked out for the team members - Central Office positions were created for them as the "team" concept was slowly phased out. Most of the original team members are gone due to the Brown and Lewis buyouts. The regional superintendents who made the highest bucks were absorbed back into the system, and jobs were created with titles commensurate with their pay when they were regional superintendents.

That "team" business center concept of the mid 90s was the beginning of rise of the Central office administrators. The Central Office came to be filled with numerous highly paid instructional supervisors and coordinators. Power centers and alliances were established. Those “team” positions morphed into different positions to match the alliances and power centers we have today.

Many people in the Central Office today may not realize they owe their jobs to the legacy of the "team" concept

Before the "team" concept of the mid 90s, Dekalb functioned with very few coordinators.

For example, the Language Arts coordinator Ginny Mickish handled all of Language Arts as well as ESOL so teachers knew exactly who to go to - and by the way, Ginny didn't mind if any teacher came directly to her with any concerns or problems. Her door was always open.
.

The idea of regional superintendents was tried 15 years ago. The results Dekalb saw:
1. They were not really independent
2. They promoted some terrible infighting and "turf" wars
2. They gave rise to a horrific bureaucracy that we are still trying to tame today
3. The regional boundaries and superintendents were shifted so frequently no one was ultimately responsible for anything

We are trying to shrink our admin and support staff. Based on past experience, this would add to it.

Ella Smith said...

Annoy. that is a great question. There is some guideline somewhere at sometime in Dekalb that reads if charges are brought against you while working then you will receive legal representation. However, this must be only if you are the super.

I have always suspected that Ms. Pope unset someone on the school board or Dr. Lewis or both and they were out to mob her or to make her miserable until she left. However, they dug themselve into a hole and got themself caught in the mouse trap that was intended for Ms. Pope.

When you accuse someone you better have your slate clean also. I suspect the DA is going after school board information in general also that the school board refused to turn over.

I am fearful we might all be in Clayton's shadow before long. I hope not.

I want the best.

However, listening to Pope attorney he indicated what comes around goes around, so maybe Pope has turned over the information she has and is cooperating with the DA now and has turned the situation around on Mr. Lewis. Ms. Pope is very smart and very beautiful. I am sure she is not a smart blonde who might get the last laugh here as Dr. Lewis approved everything she did.

Anonymous said...

At least they didn't choose one of those abject losers from the Office of School Improvement, you know, like Audria Berry. School Improvement! Just being the head of that indicates that she should be canned. How are the schools improved? They become more and more miserable each and every day.

Rid the County of worthless hangers-on. Flush the Office of School Improvement, Crawford's "gift" to his "friend", Audria Berry.

Hmmmm. "Friend"? How "friendly" were they?

Nonni said...

I, too, believe that Crawford Lewis directed the Board of Education to appoint Ramona Tyson as interim Superintendent. And I do mean "directed." The board has not been in charge for quite a while.

Crawford knows that he can manipulate Ramona and still maintain control of DCSS behind the scenes. Maintaining control and influence over his cronies is essential to him if he is going to have any hope to avoid criminal charges.

Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed with all of this. I don't want to be embarassed to say that I'm a Dekalb Co. teacher, but with all of this, I'm inclined to feel this way.

Annie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I try day in and day out to instill a stong work ethic, self-control, and the importance of personal responsibility in my students along with their academics. They won't learn if they don't have the other three. This whole situation with the "leaders" of DCSS disgusts me and I am sick to death of all of them. They are of the "do what I say, not what I do" group and I don't know if the damage they have done can be repaired. I have given my all to DCSS for twenty plus years and feel like I've been kicked in the teeth. They should (but won't be) ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think the pay scales from 2004 to 2009 are very valid. Ms. Tyson has been promoted to the point where she makes 65% more in salary than 5 years ago. Look at the rest of these administrators. Their salaries took off under Dr. Lewis (he came in in 2004). Before that, their salaries increases were in line with teachers. I think they owe a great deal to him. I think they have aligned their ideas to his or maybe they were picked because they hold the same ideas.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else hear rumors of off shore accounts?

Anonymous said...

Aren't meteoric rises with meteoric raises very common place in America?

Ever listen to the Gospel of Wealth propagated by that megachurch...?

If you work hard, and God blesses you because you are chosen, then you should have a 65% pay raise over 5 years....What's wrong with that?

No Duh said...

Thanks anon 5:35. there has to be better way.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:51 is right: The entire Office of School Improvement needs to be eliminated.

Anon 8:56 PM, it's an adult world, not a fairytale land. If you look at the list with those who had huge increases in pay over five years, they are all master politicians. Our policemen, firefighters, nurses, etc work their tails off, but dont increase their pay 65% over five years. Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long are charlatans.

Kim Gokce said...

I don't know if this has ever been attempted but why can't we put all the executive power and money (kinda the same thing) in the hands of each principal/school house and have each school manage its own business.

In my naive world, each principal and school leadership would get a baseline amount of capital for maintenance and enhancements every year. This allocation would be based on the age of the structure, the square footage of the structure, and size of the acreage actively managed.

Subsequently, instructional and operating expenses would be allocated on a per pupil basis similar to Title I allocations.

Then, the school administration would have the option to buy services from the Central Office in terms of instructional programs & support, transportation, security, landscape and building maintenance, etc. If a school felt it could more efficiently spend its money for these services elsewhere, then so be it as long as student achievement does not suffer and the community is happy with the school's maintenance, etc.

The Superintendent's primary role would be to actually run the Central Office operations as a business. The idea of running school houses like a business don't make as much sense to me as isolating and managing the central services as a business.

In this scenario, Central Office admin and services would grow or shrink with demand. They would be motivated to provide high quality and economical services or they'd be out of a job because there'd be no money at Central unless it was earned from the individual schools.

The BOE, then, would focus on decisions about long term capital needs and arbitrate disputes between a school house and the Central Service.

Does anyone know a model anywhere in country for a public system like this? What am I missing?

I get that it would be a painful transition but I have to believe it would lead to better overall school management in very short order.

Anonymous said...

65% increase in pay is a sign that one is chosen by God.

Teachers are obviously not worthy of such raises.

On the other hand, such raises reveal a high sense of motivation and desire for increased responsibilities.

Who am I fooling? It probably reflects some amount of brown nosing with the powers that are..

Anonymous said...

Why is no one defending this man at his hour of need?

Talking to teachers of all walks and hues, they almost unanimously that the events of yesterday were deserved...

The ill-feelings were not as much because of the possible misdeeds but for the sheer amount of useless paperwork, useless bullying, and constant accusations of incompetence that Premier Dekalb cast upon teachers.

Anonymous said...

Lewis and pope need to be gone. We need to start over with a new super and a new board and stop the waste. Do you all know how much money that has been wasted. And now we have to pay his legal bill.

For every day this is going own our children are the ones who suffer. At one time dekalb had the best education system in ga. Look at us today. shame on you dekalb board for leting this happen.

andi said...

The comments on poor quality of construction makes we worried about Cross Keys.

Anonymous 2:19 - DeKalb Catholic schools are getting far more applicants than they have openings.

Cerebration said...

Hmm. The Central Office/Sam Moss as a profit center. Interesting idea Kim!

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the Office of School Improvement manage the Federal Title One program? This is the program that provides federal assistance to disadvantaged schools determined by their free and reduced lunch population. I'm not sure a program like this could be eliminated.

Ella Smith said...

My baby actually asked about going to private school the other day. He has asked several times in the last two years since being at Lakeside. He actually is a good student. However, many teachers at Lakeside are less than understanding and their standards are placed on students in high level classes like these students are in Doctorial programs. I used to teach at Lakeside. I am not saying it is not a good school. I am saying that the demands are unbelieveable on the students sometimes with no humanistic standpoints to go with the standards.

I think he made it through this problem. I have not heard a word in the last few days.

However, this is the problem in itself. Different expectations at different schools. Some schools give grades in Dekalb according to the paper while other schools are so rigid that it is almost unbelieable to even other teachers.

Standards need to be set the same throughout the county. An honors course standards should be the same. It should not be unbearable for a smart student in one school and a easy ride for another smart student at another school. The standards need to be the same. Each student in Dekalb needs to be exposed to the same rigid. It should not be too easy and it should be challenging. However, it should not drive students away from schools either.

Again, my baby does make good grades and he is in very high level classes. However, I know he could go to another school and not struggle at all and this bothers me. Which school is right? Why are our school board members and our school super not making sure every child in Dekalb has the same quality of education? Why are some teachers maybe allowed to be too rigid and other allowed to give grades?

We need these things put in check by a school board and a school super for our children. Our children should come first and all this other stuff needs to be last. I sincerely hope this does not affect our standards with SACs.

Ella Smith said...

The only ones getting rich off the school systems are the attorneys. It is a joke in the legal community.

Many school board attorneys cannot believe all the money spent on the last school board council and all the money spend on attorneys.

What is the school system doing or maybe more appropriate what is the school system not doing to have these types of bills?

Money is being taken away from the students of Dekalb to pay attorney fees for school board members, supers, and for other administrators in many cases who did not follow the law to start with.

On the other side in many situations the school system could settle for pennies on the dollar. But instead they spend millions of our dollars fighting the situation in court to prove that they did nothing wrong when in many situation someone did do something wrong or the school system would not be in court. The only ones who lose are the taxpayers of Dekalb and our children.

We really do need someone to clean house. I meet with Dr. Brown years ago when he was the super. I did not agree with all his ideas. However, the one ideas I did agree with was that he was going to clean house and turn this system into a clean mean running machine. He was going to clean up the good old boys networks and stop all of this kind of stuff. However, the school board could not micro-manage him and so there was a fight to get rid of him so Dr. Lewis could take over.

I have always respected Dr. Lewis and as far as I am concerned he is innocent until proven guilty. However, there are too many problem right now and something does need to be done to clean up the act of the Dekalb County School System. I wish all the School Board members all the luck in the world and also Dr. Lewis. I sincerely hope that this is a wild goose chase and for our school system and Dr. Lewis nothing is found. I wish no one bad luck.

Annie said...

Having thought about all the circumstances surrounding the "raid" on Crawford Lewis's house and offices, I am convinced that it was a big show put on by the DA's office. And the AJC - desperate to prove that it is a real and relevant news organization - was an accomplice to the show.

Even closely monitoring the police scanner, it is highly unlikely that the AJC - stretched as thin as they are - could have a photographer in place to record police officers walking toward Crawford Lewis's house. Further, Burell Ellis stopped by and I think a parent from South DeKalb was there to watch. How would they have known?

Perhaps more damning was Gwen Keyes Fleming's statement about reaching an "appropriate" conclusion. Would that be "appropriate" as in ignoring Crawford Lewis's illegal use of the DCSS-issued P-card for personal expenses? Or, "appropriate" as in buying Crawford Lewis's outlandish lie about pumping the "wrong" grade of gas and then siphoning it out?

DeKalb County taxpayers are about to be snookered again!

Anonymous said...

Ella is so right. We spend an inordinate mount on attorneys. And DCSS can't even do an internal investigation without spending half a million dollars (Judget Thelma Moore).

When Womack looked for a more affordable law firm, Zepora Roberts and Sarah Copelin-Wood, along with Zepora's friend John Evans, the former county commissioner and convicted felon, all freaked out and played the race card. They didn't care one iota about how much a law firm would cost, it just had to be an African-American firm.

Anonymous said...

Annie, Burrell lives right by Lewis, and would have seen the commotion. As far as the AJC goes, they were obviously tipped off. But their coverage has been much on scale with the size of the story. The local TV station have covered the story with much urgency. It's unfair to single out the AJC. Yes, the AJC is getting tips and/or inside information, but they covered the Clayton Co. situation even more than this.

Cerebration said...

How would you expect a newspaper to cover any story without tips? I'm glad we still have some investigative reporting in the world - I'm sure that some of the facts may be incorrect because no one is perfect - but I'd rather have good old American reporting than the propaganda and press release reporting that goes on in other countries.

That story broke on WSB very early in the morning. Many curious people just drove right on over there to check things out. These are the people quoted in the news.

Anonymous said...

@ Ella Smith 8:00 am

"Again, my baby does make good grades and he is in very high level classes. However, I know he could go to another school and not struggle at all and this bothers me. Which school is right?"

My son went to Chamblee HS in the magnet program. I often asked the same question. However, he had a great SAT score, went to Georgia, majored in science, and found calculus and other "hard" classes were easier for him than other students because he had been subjected to such rigorous teachers.

One of his friends went to Princeton. He had been in the most accelerated math class at Chamblee, which had maybe 15 students. He found his background in math was superior to many of not most of the other students at Princeton. He's now getting a PhD in computer science at Carnegie Mellon. He’s very grateful to his CHS math teacher Dr. Hunt. He still considers her to be one of the smartest teachers he ever had.

I could name many of my son's friends that had the same experience whether they went to Harvard, UGA, Emory, etc.

Many parents in DeKalb pressure teachers regarding grades (I know you would never do this because you’re a teacher too ) and the rigor of the class.

My son had a 10th grade Language Arts teacher at CHS who used to grade every one of his essays with a "heavy" red pen (writing is his weakest point). When he complained, I told him he was so very lucky to get a writing teacher who would do that - sit at home and spend hours going through each essay and critiquing it. Very few of us are gifted writers without running into a teacher who will critique our writing in such detail. Her students left her class knowing how to write a decent essay.

This same teacher had been in another DeKalb high school that had low writing scores, but she applied the same rigor there. Her students in the low scoring school improved tremendously because she put the same efforts into them as her high scoring students at CHS. And she loved teaching in that low scoring school. However, parental pressure on her was enormous. So she finally gave up and moved to CHS where she didn't have the parental pressure. Those parents who put such pressure on her deprived the students in that school of the opportunity to have that one teacher that almost everyone needs to be a good writer.

From personal experience, I would say your child is lucky to have such rigor. It’s an investment that will pay off in college and in life.

Dekalbparent said...

Ella,

My child is in high-achieving, highly-demanding classes as well, and we have had a few freak-outs. However, her teachers, in addition to demanding much, are also very supportive, and this is what makes the difference. Demanding a lot from a kid is OK if the teacher also takes the time to work with the student, explain the "heavy red marks", and coach the student toward improvement.

I'll bet this is the way you teach, Ella, you are dedicated to your students' achieving all they can.

It sounds like Anon 10:28's student had a similar experience at CHHS.

Kids in HS are not as sure of themselves as they want us to think, and the opinions of teachers mean a lot to the kids in accelerated classes. Teachers who just demand and don't give back (or are to stretched to do so) just demoralize, whether they intend to or not. This is another thing we in DCSS need to ensure - that teachers have the ability to support their students - and this means they have to have the time and latitude to do so. (here i go on NCLB, again...)

Anonymous said...

@ Dekalbparent 11:18 am

Your remarks go to the heart of the superintendent's plan to balance the budget:
1. Increasing the pupil teacher ratio so they need less teachers
2. Moving select schools from block to 50 minute periods so they can pack more kids into classes and eliminate teachers

Teachers will have less time than ever to help students with math or writing, very labor intensive subjects.

Anonymous said...

Moving select schools from block to 50 minute periods so they can pack more kids into classes and eliminate teachers

Which school are those?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:59 am

The superintendents plan powerpoint says 4 schools, but doesn't name them. Maybe someone else posting knows.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems that seems prevalent in DCSS (but is probably pretty common in all large bureaucracies) is putting people in positions that are "over their head." The previous school board did that with Dr. Lewis.

I think he has consistently done the same with inappropriate promotions and hirings.

Anonymous said...

The Dekalb DA's office would have stupid to prosecute for alledged fraudulent P-cards purchases and screw-up the prosecution for the alledged construction contract frauds.

There might be a few more Dekalb high level actors in the acbinet and on the past or present board under suspicion and watch by the DA's office.

It takes more than 2 people to commit fraud (if fraud is).

The US Attorney's office is probably in the shadows waiting to take a second bite at the apple if
the Dekalb DA stumbles.

All the more reasons to set "modest" salaries for key people at County administration levels so that only people with moderate need for money and competence coupled with a sense of duty apply.

Schools are not a BUSINESS. We don't a BUSINESSMAN/WOMAN. We need an EDUCATOR with a sense of mission.

Ella Smith said...

Dekalb Parent you are correct. I taught at Lakeside where my son goes now for years. I know what he is experiencing. There are some very supportive teachers. However there are some which are not. However, my issue is rigid and support at the same level throughout the school system. I do not think this is happening now.

The students throughout the county should have the same level of expectations. However there should be support to meet these expectations also. I do not think this is happening.

I am a push over in a sense. I will do anything to help my students succeed. I am there for my students. It is about my students. It is not about me. It is about my students meeting the standards.

Anonymous said...

The DCSS web site needs to be updated with an announcement of some kind. And remove the current article, for goodness' sake.

M G said...

They'll probably update the website sometime next week. The official notice to employees in First Class didn't happen until 5:18 pm Friday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

DCSS contracts out it's website so I guess there's a time lag. They do have a full time webmaster though to interface with the company they contract it out to. It's probably something they haven't even thought of.

Anonymous said...

Given that there 2 major errors,

1. the State of Michigan and Mississippi have an higher unemployment rate than the State of Georgia on the latest released data.

2. Fulton and Gwinnett counties have more foreclosures also.

we should ask for references.


The situation is bad, terrible,you name it, but let's tell the truth so this budget can be based on facts.

Anonymous said...

From the DCSS website:
"DeKalb County had the highest rate of foreclosures in metro Atlanta this past year. Georgia leads the nation in unemployment at a rate of 10.3%"

Michigan has an unemployment rate of 14.6% in December, 2009.

I agree. The DCSS website should be factual.

Anonymous said...

Really? You're concerned about 14% unemployment rate vs 10% unemployment rate? They are both bad, very bad. You're just picking to be picking - no crediblity here.

Anonymous said...

"DCSS contracts out it's website so I guess there's a time lag. They do have a full time webmaster though to interface with the company they contract it out to. It's probably something they haven't even thought of."

No one at the County Office can make a move without being 2nd guessed IF Dr. Lewis can return upon exhoneration. The big machine is stopped. Now, the Board could horsetrade to retire for paying for his defense.

Otherwise, my dear friend, chaos!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:53:

"Did I fill-up my car 2 times or 3 times with the P-card? You are picking, Mdame DA, just to be picking!"

The mistatement was not about 10% or 14%, it was about saying "Georgia leads the nation..."

Anonymous said...

Dekalb County manipulates facts and data to paint whatever picture it desires.

That is one of the ways the DCSS bullies teachers and fools the citizens of Dekalb County.

The graduation rate improvements that Dekalb speaks of has more to do with the graduation rate under a maximum of 6 courses per year (24 courses over 4 years) and a maximum of 8 courses per year (32 courses over 4 years)

Ditto with class size as they include the small class size of severally handicapped students in the overall class size school average.

The track and field records for distance would certainly be shuttered if the actual length of the miles was reduced.

Cerebration said...

Teachers, if a student submitted a report with wrong data and errors in supporting numbers, I wonder if you would mark the paper down or simply decide not to be so "picky".

Anonymous said...

This is not just incorrect or wrong data in a paper, this is a case of a respected lawyer going to the jury with untrue data to decide a favorable outcome.

Anonymous said...

A word on Ramona Tyson. An interesting choice but consider that as IT director she could have all the dope on all those involved including board members since she if anyone would have been able to read, hide and eliminate emails, video from security camera footage and even phone conversations. Rumor has it she's involved in cronyism as much as the others in this mess. I think the board may be afraid of what she can divulge. Just a theory.....

Anonymous said...

Good theory....Or that the other higher ups did not want the AJC zeroing on them.

If cronyism and nepotism are as rampant as the Dekalb insiders say they are, there are several more shoes to fall as more people (the smarter ones) on the DCSS Titanic will inevitably reach out for the DA's lifevest....

Anonymous said...

Food for thought....

If you eliminated all the family members and possibly friends of former superintendents, Board members, and employees from the school district, how many employees would you have left?

fedupindcss said...

There are two organization charts for DCSS: one is the chart on the website (which you are not allowed to access) that is a straightforward pyramid list of administrators. The other one is a web-like maze of interconnections based on family ties, ex-family ties, church membership, LDK, former school chums, and relationship to Board members. I don't think you can get it in Powerpoint.

Anonymous said...

The system would be able to hire people who have the skills and the knowledge to do there jobs. Maybe they could get this system back on track. They have a staff of people who know nothing about this jobs they are given. The system is about who you know not how much you know. Lewis has created a top heavy staff of people that have made a mess and it's time to get back to the education of the children in dekalb.


I know a young lady who has tried to get a job with the system for years. She finish at the top of her class and has her master and is working on her doctor's. But she knows no one and can't get pass HR. I am not saying they should give her a job i am just saying this happens to a very large numbers well educated and people with good skills. Going on pats is a joke, 99% of the time they have already given the job to a relative or a friend.

Ella Smith said...

It was interesting how the DA went after the personnel files. What were they looking for there?

Where they looking for?

The School Sytem is going to end up losing the Michell case at the end of this mess also and that will even be more costly if we are not careful.

It is a sad day in Dekalb. I hope that this is a wild goose chase and the goose is not caught.

Anonymous said...

Here is an idea that Arne Duncan might actually like.

Fire every one in Building A & B, and have re-apply for their jobs.

Those with real a resume of real skills and demonstrated competence would be extended contracts.

First task, let's remove Premier from the logo and do away with PDS24.

Vox

Anonymous said...

@Anonomyous 7:51 pm

I don't think Ramona Tyson would as you put it "read, hide and eliminate emails, video from security camera footage and even phone conversations." That's illegal, and I don't think she would do anything illegal.

However, I don't think she has any qualifications to run DCSS.
1. She has little educational experience.
2. She has little business experience
3. She did an extremely poor job of overseeing technology dollars while encouraging an enormous growth in personnel when she was over MIS

Anonymous said...

"First task, let's remove Premier from the logo and do away with PDS24. "

Vox, you will probably get a LOT of takers for removing Premier from the logo. Why would you want to remove PDS 24? Citizens asked for greater transparency with Board meetings and this was provided so that they could see business being handled without having to physically go to the meeting. It probably should be expanded to include committee meetings as that is where a lot of business is handled.

andi said...

I agree with Anonymous 5:19am. The only way I'm able to see the board meetings is PDS 24. I don't know what kind of budget they have but it should have to have cut backs just like any other department. They can start with the $300,000 lights.

Anonymous said...

Georgia Gang (Fox 5) is discussing Dr. Lewis' "troubles."

Anonymous said...

Today's AJC says that Ernest Brown supports Lewis. If this is true, I'd like to know something about Mr. Brown's reasoning.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Aren't meteoric rises with meteoric raises very common place in America?

Ever listen to the Gospel of Wealth propagated by that megachurch...?

If you work hard, and God blesses you because you are chosen, then you should have a 65% pay raise over 5 years....What's wrong with that?

February 26, 2010 8:56 PM


There's much more here, I think than meets the eye -- there are lots and lots of connections to this Church in our lovely County.

Kim: your idea for mini-businesses within the school was done, I think successfuly in either Fulton or APS and is a great idea but leaves the higher ups with not enough power.

Anonymous said...

OK---Do we need to pay someone $120 000 to run PDS24?

I'll settle for board meetings by PDS24 and that's it.

All the propaganda that is put on there showing DSA....needs to stop.

You can contract out for a camera crew for Board meetings.

Dekalbparent said...

Anon 10:40 -

What you said!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't high school kids run the cameras for the board meetings? This would give them real world experience running a video camera. I am sure that there are kids out there that would love this experience.

The other fluff on Channel 24 is not needed and cannot be afforded at this time. I'd like to see the board of ed meeting stay, as they are important to our community.

Cerebration said...

The high school kids in the Comm Tech program at Dunwoody run the equipment for the meetings when they're held there. Betcha can't even tell the difference! (Maybe it's a little better?!!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me know. They do a great job. I wish they would do it every time. It would remind the board who they are really working for!

Anonymous said...

Some of the Mass Comm students from various programs have actually even gone to the Central Office on occasion to film the meetings. It is a great thing and it ought to be the norm not the exception. For the seniors in these programs, this is not that hard of a job.

Kim Gokce said...

"Kim: your idea for mini-businesses within the school was done, I think successful[l]y in either Fulton or APS and is a great idea but leaves the higher ups with not enough power."

The higher ups must be reminded that we are just above them in the top margin of their org chart. If we don't, then we'll continue to get what we have.

We must focus on structural and organizational changes, not changes to the name plates outside particular offices. The string of scandals and failures in DCSS-land could have been avoided with proper oversight by internal audit and ethics organizations.

For too long, DCSS seems to have focused on what is legal rather than what is ethical. That legal standard is too low for this public trust.

Anonymous said...

I willing to be the reason the BOE is paying for Lewis' legal fees is because they need to cover their backs as well! The "older" members know what Pope was doing and who she was hiring (who won bids) for construction projects. In fact, it used to be a running "joke" at the work sessions when she would present the results of bids and give her recommendation for award. One of the ex BOE members would ask every time "so Ms. Pope, are there any close friends or family members on this project?" Lewis & the BOE had the final say on whether or not they wanted to accept her recommendation for award.

Anonymous said...

The only two older members on the board are Ms. Roberts and Ms. Copeland-Woods

On the board, everyone else has served less than 4 years. Tom Bowen is in his year 4 as he assumed Simone Manning Moon's seat. he has been reelected once (he had only a two year term)

Jay Cunningham, Jim Redovian, Pam Speakes, Paul Womack, Don McChesney and Gene Walker are all in their first terms.

The former board members are as culpable as anyone in both the the promotion of Dr. Lewis and Pat Pope as anyone out there.

GreenField said...

This is the proverbial tip of the ice berg, there is MUCH MORE to come with this one. This is the good-ol-boy south working its magic and they got caught - red handed. Serves them right.

Bad news for us - this is a temporarily effect since Lewis and Pope and the rest of the troop will get jobs somewhere else.

The real bad news - our children only have one shot at a good education. They are the ones who will be negatively impacted here. These overpayed clowns need to go, they only have themselves in mind when stuff like this happens. They could care less about your children.

Question: Is there a clause in the district charter that permits the county tax payers the ability to have a mid-term re-vote based on material events? This is such a material event. As tax payers, we elect these people, we should also be able to remove and replace them with effective non-partisan, non-racially driven professionals. We should be able to take this opportunity to bring in new fresh - UNBIASED - views on how to clean up this mess.

Blue Sky said...

Tell all the real estate agents that the days of parroting the phrase "these are the best schools in the state" are gone...LONG GONE. The Lewis Clan cat is out of the bag and your investment is getting less valuable by the day.

Until you stop drinking the Lewis Clan water, the schools system will be broken for some time to come. That is until you stand up and take it back.

Anonymous said...

The question to me is "are we really about educating the kids" or have we really been about "how much money can we direct into pockets somewhere?" -- if the later, who is really calling the shots?

Anonymous said...

I willing to be the reason the BOE is paying for Lewis' legal fees is because they need to cover their backs as well!

Wrong - educate yourself before you speak.

Under the superintendent’s contract, the district pays for Lewis’ legal expenses unless he is arrested or indicted, board Chairman Tom Bowen told the AJC Friday. If that happens, the board likely would seek reimbursement of those expenses,

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/what-happens-to-crawford-337343.html

Anonymous said...

That's all well and good what Tom Bowen told the AJC. But what I'm saying is that the BOE KNEW everything that was being approved for construction and who was involved (ie. friends, family members etc.) So if/when that becomes an issue what are the Dekalb County taxpayers going to do?

Anonymous said...

Yes and it was Bowen who appointed David Moody to the Citizens Advisory Committee. Then someone made Cointa Moody the secretary of the CAC.

Anonymous said...

Zepora--
"Our Superintendent has done nothing wrong."

How does she know?
(Unless he has confided everything about his life to her).

It's really a stupid (more than likely caught up in emotion) thing to say, because the downside risk isn't worth the little she would gain from it if she's correct.

I read into this comment that she knows about the abuses that the justice system has had on her "community"--especially pwer in DeKalb. However, she equates that aweful non-recorded record with taking Lewis' computers?

Please tell me what one has to do with another--unless she views Lewis as an "activist" one community that has been disparaged.

That is not what a superintendent is supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

Zepora is example No. 1 of why why need BOE term limits.