Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Racketeering: The Crime that Keeps on Giving ...


We have often complained loudly about and marveled at the amount of money DCSS spends in legal cases. Now that the indictments are in (will there be more?), at least we taxpayers can rest easy that our tax dollars will be safe from lawyer fees defending Lewis and Pope/Reid, right? Not so fast ...


Unfortunately, even though the criminal charges do leave the targets of the indictments to fend for themselves in terms of paying for defense fees, the prosecution itself doesn't come free! I am afraid we need to brace ourselves for a very expensive and drawn out case. And who will pay? Why the same taxpayers that were paying to protect the suspects during the investigation.

To add to the drama of this case, how is this for a turn-your-stomach twist: after suspects grab millions in tax dollars for themselves, and after the tax payers pay bags of money to defend the offenders, and after paying even bigger bags of money prosecuting the offenders, there is an acquittal.

I'm not predicting this outcome I'm just sharing my worst nightmare as a taxpayer inspired by this reading on CommunityRadar.com today:

Lawyers in GA School Racketeering Case Reflect High Stakes

Talk about delayed gratification, not only may we have to wait a long, long time to have a chance at justice. We have to spend a lot of money through the DA's office to get this case brought to closure.

If this drags out as long as it very likely could, how will this affect the current interim administration and the recruitment efforts for a new superintendent? Oh! If only we could see swift justice this time around. I'm planning on the opposite and you should, too. The cloud of this thing is going to hang around for awhile ...

Going forward, how  much am I willing to pay for prevention of future such schemes? Looking at the downside risk we're seeing now, there are a whole lot of zeros behind the number I would support for proper oversight, control, and audit of DCSS.

111 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your nightmare is the nightmare of all of DeKalb County tax payers. We are all going to have the privilege of being screwed twice by Clew, Reid (Pope) and Company. Plenty of folks knew what was going on. If DCSS was not filled with all of the tight knit group of friends and social groups, all of this criminal activity would have ended long ago. It is hard to fathom that honest people would stand by for so long and allow this corruption to go on.

Kim Gokce said...

So how do we restructure governance in DeKalb so this never, ever happens again?

What tangible organizational, policy, and governance changes should be demanding from BoE candidates?

"Throwing the bums out" is not a solution.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the DCSS auditors suppose to catch this kind of thing? Isn't that their job? Who audits the auditors?

Anonymous said...

More to the point, will the auditors themselves be investigated, starting with the auditor supervisor? Wouldn't he/she be NOT doing his/her job if he/she didn't catch this corruption long ago, or did he/she too look the other way?

If he/she simply didn't notice it, then he/she should be the FIRST to be replaced because that would make him/her incompetent.

Cerebration said...

What auditors? Do we even have auditors? I know there's been an ad at PATS for a job opening for an auditor, but I don't think we actually have one. Marcus Turk is the CFO - not an auditor. And, as far as I know, we haven't paid for an outside audit in quite some time..... Please, tell me I'm wrong!

So here's our taxpayer tally:

DeKalb County taxpayers - District Attorney's investigation of school officials, Pat Pope, Dr. Lewis, etc. PLUS - costs for school system to respond to inquiries. (Taxpayers paying for both sides.)

DeKalb County taxpayers (DCSS) - Defense costs for charges against for Lewis, (at least $100,000) etc. As well as Lewis' exit package (severance) when fired. Plus the cost of keeping Pat Pope under contract ($200,000 salary) during the investigation to keep her from talking to the Heery Mitchell attorneys ...

Which brings us to the most $$$ of the attorney costs - the Heery Mitchell trial. Pat Pope fired them as construction managers - we now have to wonder why. HM filed suit for $500,000 in unpaid invoices. Lewis spent $3.6 million to Neilsen-Wurster/Marsh for a "study" to determine how much to countersue for (the decision: countersue for between $85-100 million). King & Spalding's bill so far -- it's anyone's guess (guesses range from $12-21 million and counting with no trial date as of yet).

Anonymous said...

It maples one wonder where SACS was in all this. Isn't SACS supposed to guarantee that a school system is really focused on the education on children. I think DCSS parents and taxpayers should be emailing and calling SACS. Don't our tax dollars go to them to fund their " review" of our system?

Anonymous said...

Here is my post again about the auditor that was suppose to be hired quite some time ago:
According to the DCSS organizational chart posted on the DCSS website Marcus Turk reported directly to Ms. Tyson, but indirectly to Dr. Lewis.

The only direct report the BOE has on the chart is the Superintendent, however the BOE does have the Internal Auditor reporting to them indirectly. The problem is DCSS has no Internal Auditor.

According to BOE minutes, the Evergreen Solutions LLC independent audit was tabled (BOE minutes 7-14-08):

"Ms. Andrews made a substitute motion, to table this item and move it to the Friday, July 18, 2008 called meeting agenda. The substitute motion was seconded by Ms. Roberts, and with a unanimous vote the motion passed."

There is no record it was ever brought up again in BOE minutes on July 18, 2008.

A year later in May, 2009 in BOE meeting notes, they discuss getting an Internal Auditor (around $100,000) a year. They even posted this position of Internal Auditor (a friend of mine saw it on PATS and applied for it). It was never filled.

I still think they need a clean sweep of the BOE and superintendent and an independent audit similar to the one that was done in 2004 under Brown and squashed by Lewis and the BOE. However, this person could have saved us untold amounts of money if they had been hired and then been allowed to do their job correctly.

There may be a lack of trust of the current administration and BOE to have an internal employee to audit this mess.

Now the Director of Internal Audit and Compliance is back on PATS. Of all the hundreds of millions in non-teaching positions that have been created, why did they not fill the position of Internal Auditor indirectly reporting to the BOE?

Here is the listing on PATS:
"The DeKalb County School System is seeking a highly qualified individual to serve as Director of Internal Audit and Compliance. This individual will report to the Superintendent. The eligible candidate will perform internal audits for the District including, operational, financial, compliance, and risk assessment activities across the District.

QUALIFICATIONS:
The incumbent must be able to satisfactorily perform each essential function of the position. Essential functions (other professional duties may be assigned): Direct auditors in the performance of financial, information systems, compliance and risk assessment audits throughout the school system. Direct and manage internal audit function. Direct auditors in the performance of annual examinations of each school/department's financial records. Administer the local school/department audit program. Perform other related duties as assigned by the Superintendent.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
Knowledge of accounting principals and practices, internal auditing standards, and techniques required for performing audits is required. Knowledge of governmental accounting and reporting standards is required. Strong interpersonal and communication skills, verbal and written skills are required and strong computer/technical skills are required. The ability to communicate effectively and work well with individuals at all levels of the organization is required. The Director of Internal Audits and Compliance performs professional performance, financial, information systems, compliance and risk assessment audits, conducts preliminary surveys, analyzes records of School System functions and departments to determine the accuracy of departmental financial accounts, adequacy of internal controls, and maintains the integrity of information systems applications to evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, and associated risk in program operations."

Anonymous said...

I think that a good auditor would be in the best interest of the school system. The BOE should hire an outside firm to do the audit and that firm should report directly to the BOE. Using an internal auditor sets us up for the kind of situation we are currently dealing with.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed how CFO Marcus Turk and then head of Business & Administration Ramona Tyson aren't being held accountable for the (alledged) fraud committed by C Lew, Pat & Vince Pope, and Cointa Moody.

We are talking about millions of dollars. Turk and Tyson have shown that they are not only incompetent, they don't even care that millions of dollars were misspent when DCSS is facing its worst ever budget crisis. They should have both resigned by now, but they have no shame.

Forensic Audit is the term that we need to remind our BOE, present and future, of over and over and over again.

Kim Gokce said...

"This individual will report to the Superintendent."

Isn't that a problem? I think we need persons with audit authority reporting outside the chain of command. Auditing everyone under the superintendent level is great but I want a truly independent audit capability that is not subject to pressure from the Superintendent's office or the BoE.

Is there no State mechanism or is that just SACS? Very disheartened by our inability to self-police ...

Anonymous said...

Lets see ,have times changed or is it still the same. Hogan Construction Group and GUDE management are partners(joint-venture) and share in the profits of a city of Atlanta police station in 2009.
In 2010 Gude Managment is part of the design and Construction team for DCSS.(Gude has many employees working as pm'S for DCSS. Hogan Constuction bids work at Clarkston High school and is not low bidder,but somehow is awarded the project. Now if Pope was still COO this blog would be outraged, Question did Hogan disclose that they were partners with Sam Gude when they bid the project?This is required in the RFP. The project that i am speaking( the joint venture) of is located on Hollowell parkway(bankhead hwy)It is registared as a leed project, this should help with anyone wanting to research and check my facts. SO did the $$$ relationship between Hogan/Gude help Hogan get the job at clarkston at almost 200,000 more than the low bidder. This sounds like the same old same old.

Anonymous said...

To Cerebration at 5:51 PM:

DCSS does have auditors who audit the schools each year and who manage the P-Card bills and payments.

I called a friend who used to work in Finance and he told me the names of two auditors there, Chardra Gordon and Ceimone Henderson Strickland. There is another male auditor whose name he could not recall.

And there was a 4th auditor, Ingrid Austen, who left DCSS and now works for Decatur City Schools, who was at DCSS when all of this corruption was going on ... a great person to talk to because she is no longer working for DCSS and has nothing to fear by talking.

The auditor's supervisor is Carla Smith. He was not sure to whom she reports.

Another very interesting fact: Auditor Chardra Gordon's best friend is Cointa Moody (Pat Pope's indicted secretary), according to Sam Moss Service Center source!!

He didn't know if these auditors are also responsible for auditing the Central Office ... that is the departments that were in Building A and Building B.

If they are responsible for Central Office audits, as they are for the school audits, then they surely should have noticed that all was not above board. Somewhere along the way they would have gotten a clue that things were amiss!

These auditors at the very least should be on the HOT SEAT for D.A. questions. Their PRIMARY JOB would be to discover wrongdoing and report it.

If anyone has any more information on how the auditing piece works, please share.

Cerebration said...

Fascinating, 9:48 PM - I have never heard of these auditors. Gee, I wonder why they didn't raise an eyebrow when Lewis' Pcard bill showed the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation, the multiple gas purchases and another hotel in the Bahamas... or hopefully - maybe they did.

It's all so disheartening to say the least.

Passionate... said...

Taxpayers seem to never win...not in DeKalb...not in Georgia...not in USA. We need a new BOE...do we have excellent candidates running against each one that needs to be ousted? Is Zepora Roberts not running because her second term is up? Why hasn't SACS stepped in to guide us? We keep spinning our wheels.

Anonymous said...

To Cerebration and Anonymous 9:48 PM:

Carla Smith reported to Gail Sewell who is now retired, I think, but would have been at DCSS when all the corruption was going on.

Gail Sewell reported to Susan Hurst, Director of Budget. I think Susan Hurst reports to Larry Hammell, Director of Finance.

Kim Gokce said...

These audit resources seem to be for auditing each school's books, not the system.

Anonymous said...

@ cerebration 10:11

But you have heard of Charlie Henderson - right?

Kim's probably right in that Chardra Gordon and Ceimon Henderson Strickland only audit schools. Maybe no one audits the superintendent. There is no one in the Internal Auditor position that reports directly to the superintendent and indirectly to the BOE as you saw from a previous post.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Henderson has at least 3 family members working for DCSS - none in a teaching position.

Anonymous said...

To Kim at 11:19:
So do you know who audits the Central Office? They would have to have annual audits, just like the schools, to track expenses from state funding ... wouldn't they?

Does anyone know IF the central office departments get audited? If yes, then that auditor(s) is the one(s) to which to start asking hard questions. That's where the unraveling will begin ...

Dunwoody Mom said...

It shall be the duty of the Department of Audits and Accounts thoroughly to audit and check the books and accounts of the county superintendents of schools and treasurers of local school systems, of municipal systems, of the several units of the University System of Georgia, and of all other schools receiving state aid and making regular and annual reports to the State School Superintendent, showing the amount received, for what purpose received, and for what purposes expended.

http://web.lexis-nexis.com/research/retrieve?_m=e357f896a5c39fbeaee63a3d61e5b6f4&csvc=lt&cform=byCitation&_fmtstr=FULL&docnum=1&_startdoc=1&wchp=dGLbVtz-zSkAB&_md5=dd870fe555fb49fee962ac9280c3a0c6

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Central Office does have Internal Audits with a company ( not sure of the name). The company comes every year and audits each department.

Marcus Turk and other's are being question by the D.A. as we speak.

Carla Smith is the Assistant Director of Audit and Compliance. Her staff names are Charda Gordon, William Smith, Mario Phillips, Ceimone Strickland and Chris Smith.
Her department has someone who audits the p-card statements. What happen around that time that D.Lewis used the card is very cloudy and questionable too. Did they see it and just swept it under the rug?? Who would know other than the p-card Auditor, Carla Smith and Marcus Turk. Right!!

Someone wasn't sure on who reports to who. Gail Sewell is retired. Carla Smith(assist Dir. of Audit and Compliance) reports to Larry Hammel(Director of Finance)both people reports to Marcus Turk.

Anonymous said...

The State of Georgia comes in every year and audits DeKalb Schools. They sit in what was Bldg. B conference room for weeks and audit everything. Makes me think that these items were covered up before the State saw them.

Cerebration said...

For the state audit in total -

http://www.audits.ga.gov/

www.audits.ga.gov/rsaAudits/download/10387

And here's the list of Local Gov't Reports -- DCSS appears to be missing from 2009 - but you can do a search and download 2006, 07 and 08.

http://www.audits.ga.gov/rsaAudits/viewDivisionCate.aud?divisionCate=divisionCategoryId&filterDivisionValue=2

The cover letter states, "These financial statements are the responsibility of the DeKalb County Board of Education's management. Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements based on our audit." ...

Anonymous said...

Susan Hurst is the Director of Budget and she reports to Marcus Turk. It was said in one of D.Lewis meeting in the past that they couldn't do anything without Susan. I wonder why??

Susan Hurst is very bold,rude,mean and act like she's untouchable.

Cerebration said...

I found this interesting. Seems whoever submitted this report admitted quite a long time ago that not all of Vince Pope's work was bid - and the state ok'd it.

"Note 15: Related Party Transaction"

The school district employed the services of Vincent Pope and Associates, Inc for various construction projects. This company is owned and operated by Vincent Pope, the husband of Patricia Pope, who is currently Chief Operations Officer (COO) for the DeKalb County Board of Education. While some of these services were secured by a bid procedure, all were not. Additionally, the contracts were signed prior to Ms. Pope becoming the School District's COO. Current year expenditures to Vincent Pope and Associates totaled $528,361.37."

This state audit of the finances dating to June 2008 was finished in Sept 2009. The school system made a statement regarding the services of Vincent Pope. I'm assuming this statement is truthful, since this is a legal document. I'm also going to assume that the entire board read the report and no one followed up to ensure that Pope had finished his contracts and was no longer "on the job".

Dunwoody Mom said...

Cere, wanna bet on how many BOE members actually read that audit?

Cerebration said...

Well, at least bloggers are reading the audits!

ps - on the legal costs - let's not forget the coll half-million Lewis paid Judge Thelma Moore to investigate bullying in the Herrera case (she found "no evidence" of bullying!)

And - whatever on earth it's costing at the local and state levels to investigate cheating on the CRCT.

Cerebration said...

Speaking of the CRCT testing - the AJC has an update on the latest test results from the schools suspected of cheating...

CRCT failures rise at schools suspected of cheating

Other metro districts with schools labeled as severe cheating risks also saw drops in scores and pass rates for some subjects.

In DeKalb’s six severe schools, the failure rate rose roughly 14 percentage points overall in math, 5 percentage points in English and 7 percentage points in reading. . . .

DeKalb issued a statement Wednesday saying it had submitted a report on its investigations into the schools in question — which included interviews with 280 school employees — to the achievement office. The district is still following up on some of those interviews, the statement said, and will be “vigilant and forthright” in probing potential wrongdoing.

Cerebration said...

“vigilant and forthright” -- unusual words to describe DeKalb's school system these days.

Anonymous said...

Kim at 5:19...

"Throw the bums out" is not a complete solution, but it is an absolutely necessary condition for improved governance. I don't think the election is going to do it...we need a state take-over and appointment of an interim board.

Anonymous said...

This came from an AJC article by Mae Gentry 12-30-04. Interesting about SACS and their "investigation" of DCSS dying down after Brown left and Lewis came in.

From the AJC:
"The district's leadership also spent months under outside scrutiny from its accrediting agency.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools investigated a complaint from the DeKalb NAACP alleging board members were interfering with Brown's administration. He was the majority-black school district's first black superintendent.

As the investigation neared an end, the board forced Brown to resign.

Brown and the board agreed to buyout terms: The district will continue to pay the former superintendent's $225,000 salary as a consultant through the end of his contract, which expires in June. Then he will receive a $250,000 lump sum payment.

He was replaced by Crawford Lewis, a longtime administrator in the 100,000-student district. On the day Lewis' contract was signed, officials announced SACS had determined no sanctions were necessary. The agency's report noted an "unhealthy lack of trust" between Brown and the board."

Anonymous said...

Y'all are just seeing the tip of the iceberg....so much inapproprite use of tax money and federal funds!
One of my former principals (who is now an area director) took our teacher of the year, serveral staff members and his family to Lake Lanier Islands for a summer retreat.
This stuff has been gong on for years.

Insider said...

In 21 days, a certain former COO will officially be off the payroll!

Anonymous said...

In 2010 Gude Managment is part of the design and Construction team for DCSS.(Gude has many employees working as pm'S for DCSS. Hogan Constuction bids work at Clarkston High school and is not low bidder,but somehow is awarded the project. Now if Pope was still COO this blog would be outraged, Question did Hogan disclose that they were partners with Sam Gude when they bid the project?

---

It is unbelievable that Sam Gude and Gude Management still are working with DCSS despite admitting he provided Pat Pope and Crawford "Booty Call" Lewis with $30,000+ in free tickets.

Wimp Tom Bowen should have immediately canceled all contracts with the firms that briber Pope and Lewis.

Kim Gokce said...

"It shall be the duty of the Department of Audits and Accounts ..."

I'm sorry to be dense but is the the State of Georgia or SACS or ???

Kim Gokce said...

Nevermind. State of Georgia. Sorry - I'll blame anesthesia.

Anonymous said...

Breaking News......Subpoena's have been handed to Marcus Turk (Chief Financial Officer), Jamie Wislon (HR Director), Roanld Ramsey (we all know he wears 2 hats and collects two checks). Things are beginning to get a little heated in the new DCSS offices.....

Anonymous said...

What is your source for this breaking news, Anon 6:57?

Anonymous said...

A few comments on corporate governance since I advise Boards. The closest analogy would be a not for profit company.

All entities that deal with large sums of money and government contracts (i.e. Title 1) should have an internal audit department. Typically the internal audit department is located within the financial department and reports to the CFO. The internal auditors conduct random reviews of financial transactions including, contract compliance, P-card usage, vendor contracts, etc. Entities who receive significant state or federal monies usually also internally audit compliance with government programs. This can be done by internal auditors or by compliance officers. Compliance officers are also typically responsible for investigating whistleblower allegations of misconduct. I guess this is what Ramsey is supposed to do. Compliance officers typically report to both the CEO and the Board of Directors. If the alleged misconduct involves the CEO, they would report directly to the Board.

State and federal agencies who grant or dispense funds will also conduct audits to ensure that the funds are being used correctly. These are external auditors like those from the state.

When there has been an allegation of fraud involving substantial money, entities may hire an outside forensic auditor to investigate the allegations. These outside forensic investigations can be very expensive.

As I understand it, some years ago the Board hired consultants to conduct a managment/salary study. This is not really an audit. It seems that given the ridiculously high salaries, redundant departments and top heavy management that a new compensation/organizational study is in line. The Board is the entity who should commission the study and receive the findings. Georgia State school of management recently did one for DeKalb county government. They would be much, much less expensive than E&Y.

Of course, it is a waste of money if the Board does not have the votes or the initiative to act on the recommendations.

Cerebration said...

All a subpoena is is a demand to testify as to what you know... it certainly doesn't imply wrongdoing whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

More on audits.

As a veteran of many internal investigations, true fraud is rarely caught by internal auditors. This is because it is well hidden with phony documents.

However, internal auditors often discover vendor fraud and employee fraud involving purchase cards and expense accounts. Again, they only have the time to conduct random checks so they do not review every charge or purchase order. But having an internal audit department can have a deterrent effect.

Anonymous said...

Cere 8:04...We know what a subpoena is...the fact that there is information that we all know these persons withheld is an issue. Especially when you are sworn to tell the truth....when the DCSS Cabinent and BOE ooh and the COO and the Superintendent all have lied repeatedly without ceasing. This is why I feel the issue of a subpoena is a huge deal...We all to start telling the truth and this blog has exposed a lot of rumors that have turned out to actually be factual...hmmmm..go figure.

Anonymous said...

This blog has also posted rumors that turned out to be false or inflammatory. That is why it is important to share the source of information to readers can determine if it is credible.

Cerebration said...

There will certainly be a whole lot of people subpoenaed in this case. The DA has a lot of fact-finding to do to prepare for a trial and I'm sure they'll look under every rock. We'll all just have to wait and see what they uncover.

In the meantime, we need to push our current board to cut the fat at the top - do another employment and compensation audit - and get looking for a new superintendent.

That said...

Before we get a new superintendent, we need a new interim. Someone has got to clean house and I don't think Ms. Tyson will do it, do any of you?

Anonymous said...

Did anybody see the report on wsbtv today about Jay cunningham? They reported that he was not to do business with the county after he was elected. But it turn out that his wife is doing business with her pizza business. Maybe this is why he turn his head on reid and lewis. He can't be trusted.

I know that the car pope was driving had a decal on it from his brother's business.

Anonymous said...

where was this report

Anonymous said...

@ 8:04 pm. You seem to know what you're talking about. Take a look at the Rubino et al forensic audit. I think this is the one that set it all off. They just didn't have the votes...

Anonymous said...

There is nothing per se wrong with a Board member or his spouse having some business with the school system, so long as the business arrangement is fair, reasonable and fully disclosed. However, it is the "appearance of impropriety" that is the problem. Do our Board members file an annual disclosure form? If not, they should.

Also not sure what the SACS guidelines say on this issue. I understand that they have some specific guidelines for Board members.

Anonymous said...

I also saw the Channel 2 report about Cunningham. This story was originally investigated a dew years ago when Cassandra Little-John's (Former BOE member)husband was the vender for cheerleader uniforms for one of the DCSS schools. All of this was discussed then and thought to have been corrected by the current/former BOE. However like so many other things, we see that the once again turned their heads and looked the other way at an illegal act by one of their own.
Darn...who can we trust....This is ridiculous...and I'm fed up with all of this so-called transparency...or the lack there-of.
How much more before SACS or someone save DCSS from themselves....We need to send out an SOS (Save Our Schools) Picket/Boycott something...this mkind of behavior must stop. And I know this is only small in stature but ir is the principle of how arrogant this BOE/COO/Superintendent has become. There are far too many educated parents/taxpayers to continue to allow this type of behavior to continue. School will be back in session soon and this mess will still be plaguing the poor Teachers and students. We need to expedite this to get a fresh school year going.
My prayer is that SACS will remove the current BOE before July 1, 2010 and take over this eyesore. Give the taxpayers/Students/Teachers a fresh start. We all deserve it. Enough is enough.
Kim/Cere/ please weigh in....we need your thoughts and opinions

Anonymous said...

Did i read all of this correctly?
1. Board member Cunningham still doing business with the school system.

2.Gude Management still doing business with DCSS after admitting to supplying bribes to DCSS employees(Pope and Lewis)

3. Gude is partners for profit with Hogan Construction at another project in the City of Atlanta and is now Gude is going to be Hogans "boss" on projects at DCSS?

Does anything ever change?
I wonder if the DA has this information.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that I'm using one of my furlough days to attend the trial.

Anonymous said...

I two plan to attend every day now that i no longer have a job. I was one of the people that lost my job due to the lay-offs.

The sad thing about this is the school system will never get that money back. But I must say watching them go to jail will make me sleep a little better.

Lewis and pope have let scars on the system that will take a long time to heal.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is going to change until CLew-less' entire cabinet is asked to resign by the BOE!

As soon as the TV cameras disappear it will be business as usual for these frauds, "It's all about the kids!" They could care less about our kids. It's all about lining their pockets with our taxpayer dollars.

Redovian running for re-election is a joke. I still go back to his quote, "We didn't know any of this!" How come Mr. Redovian? It's your business to know, but you know you couldn't say anything, if you did, the renovation for Dunwoody High could have been in jeopardy. Pope and Clew-less controlled you.

Clew-less and Pope played the BOE like puppets. Now it's Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Guilroys, Edwards, Ramsey and others still doing it.

These people do not get it! Hey BOE, get some guts and do the right thing, insist on resignations, NOW!

Cerebration said...

Now, attend these meetings and watch as our board tries to raise our taxes to pay for this mess --

The DeKalb Board of Education will hold the following hearings and meetings on Monday, June 14, 2010:

12:00pm
1st Public Millage Rate Hearing
William Bradley Bryant Center for Technology
2652 Lawrenceville Highway
Decatur, GA 30033

4:30pm
Called Meeting to adjourn executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters
William Bradley Bryant Center for Technology
2652 Lawrenceville Highway
Decatur, GA 30033

6:00pm
2nd Public Millage Rate Hearing
William Bradley Bryant Center for Technology
2652 Lawrenceville Highway
Decatur, GA 30033

6:00pm
Business Meeting
William Bradley Bryant Center for Technology
2652 Lawrenceville Highway
Decatur, GA 30033

Cerebration said...

Plus -

NOTICE OF DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION PERSONNEL HEARING:

A personnel hearing before a tribunal of educators appointed by the DeKalb County Board of Education will be held at 9:30am, Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at the DeKalb County School System's Administrative and Instructional Complex, Training Room #2, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, GA 30083.

Anonymous said...

I heard that there was a proposal for 15 furlough days next year starting with the first full week of July...shouldn't that decision already be made? It is not right to treat employees this way!

Anonymous said...

Why would there be a proposal for further furlough days? The 2011 budget has already been approved.

Dunwoody Mom said...

From the BOE meeting agenda for 6/14:

The recommended amendment to the calendar reduces the academic year by one day to make the school year 179 days rather than 180 days. The reduction of the school year is possible due to recent revisions to the State Board of Education rule 160-5-1-.01. The proposed amendment to the calendar includes seven (7) furlough days for teachers and all 10-month staff; ten (10) furlough days for 11-month staff; and fifteen (15) furlough days for 12-month staff. One of the seven furlough days, September 3, 2010, will be an instructional day. The district solicited input through a survey. The top choices were included in final decision. The amended calendar does alter some dates previously approved for the original version of the 2010 – 2011 school calendar as a result of these modifications. Included are changes to the first day of the second semester and to the last day of school.

Dunwoody Mom said...

And, I don't know about you all, but this is the first I have heard about reducing the school-year by one day. Where have I been?

Anonymous said...

The proposed days that were shown to the staff before school ends, provides for no planning day between first and second semester. It also provides for no planning day at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.
There are 12 month staff members such as custodians, school based secretaries and individuals at Plant Services that make around 30,000 dollars a year. These people would lose 6.25 percent of their salary.
The teachers and paras lose about 4 percent. One para who lives in the far southern end of the school system, has been displaced and in order to keep a job she will now be at a school that is in the very far north end of the DCSS. She is very worried about an increased cost of gas along with a reduction of salary.
I do not want to even think about the staff at the low end of the salary, who lost their jobs.
There is going to be tremendous stress on the schools.They will be expected to do more with less.
This is not to criticize any one personally, but many of the people that are giving directions to the schools have never been principals or assistant principals.
Planning days at the end of a semester and the end of the school year are very critical.
The 11th month AP's and the Head Counselors, and Registrars, will return to school on the same day as the teachers.
Up unitl this year, they came back a few days before. Even some of the 10 month counselors would come in earlier to get things done. If you are furloughed on a certain day, you are not able to do any work related to school.
Your principal cannot even call you to ask you a school realted question and you cannot call him or her. You cannot use eSIS, First Class or do school related function.
I have always come back early to check my students schedules, look at summer school grades and contact parents.
This year I will not be able to do that.
No one seems to listen to the school based people.
Sometimes it seems that people on this blog feel that every one with experience should leave. Well you may get your wish. I will just say be careful of the ramifications of that.
I do not want anyone to respond and say,"Be grateful you have a job." I am very grateful, but I still have an opinion and I am still concerned.
Good school based people always put in more hours than is reflected in their pay.
Everyone does not have an on line degree.
Every school is not dirty.
Every principal is not lazy and just sits in their office.
My principal wants and expects us to keep in touch with parents, dress professionally, challenge our students, show compansion and maintain high expectations.
This person is not in the "in crowd'. Our principal will probably leave due to the lack of respect and support this individual has gotten from those that should be a support.
I hope that this blog will be careful in making broad comments about certain classes of staff members.
Yes, the crimes do keep on giving. There are many staff members that feel betrayed and ashamed. We have to work extra hard to rebuild the trust and confidence that we want our parents, students and community to have in us and the system.

Anonymous said...

June 10, 6:57 PM -- it's about time! so the arrogant finger pointers are being investigated and questioned! let's see how they try to worm themselves out of this one ... it's interesting to watch "what goes around comes around" in action.

A lot of us are watching ... and waiting.

Just hopefully in the end everyone will get exactly what they deserve ... and if they didn't do anything wrong (or look the other way when certain people were doing things very very wrong), then they have nothing to fear.

Truth doesn't always win out in the beginning, but it comes out eventually. There are many of us out here that look forward to that day.

I'll bet many in the Central Office (you know who you are) are squirming if you have something to hide. Keep looking over your shoulder ... it'll be your turn next.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. I am Anony 12:48. I met to write:

Before school ended
and compassion.

I am working today at home and watching kids at the same time. I am taking classes this summer.

I was so happy to have a few moments . I did not proof.

I can spell. I just cannot type well.
The blog is wonderful. I do not mean to sound negative. I will work all of this out of my system and be ready to great, teach, honor and respect every child.

Please pray for us.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time to let the board know that it is unacceptable to lose only one student day next year. Simply click on the email links on the front page and encourage the board not to approve this amended calendar, rather they need to demand that the staff present a new calender that protects some planning and professional development time.

(For points of reference, refer to the report of CRCT scores, particularly math, online at the AJC.)

DCSS students can afford to have 3 fewer days of school. The world won't end.

We should all be sharing in this budget crisis, not just the teachers.

Lynn Deutsch

Anonymous said...

A new super is what we need someone who knows how to run a system and his or her background shows that they have been able to run a system correctly.

We need a new board, We need people who know what the students need are. No board member should be able to get a job for any family members and the super. This is one of the downfalls of the system friends and family. We have too many family members who were given jobs because of who they know not what they know. This has been one of the biggest problems that the system has been doing for many, many years. I worked with a board member sister she came in every day before doing any work she had to get her coffee and make her rounds for her morning visit. When she went to her desk finally.
She would lose paper work and not know where it was, her voice mail was never cleaned out and many other things. But if you said anything to her about it she would get smart with you. When things were not going her way she would just move to another dept. with no problems. She never went through pat's. She was a air head. She made more money than a large number of us, and we had been with the system more years than her.

These are some of the things that are happening all over the county. The central office is made of friends and family. I would love to see just how many friends and family work for the system.I would bet you it would be a very large amount and a large amount of the salaries also. The sad thing is the people that lost there jobs were low paid people and i bet no friends and family were in the lay-offs.

Anonymous said...

So where can we start to obtain this information?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Dr. Audria Berry, commander of the Zombie IC Army, is related to Dr. Berry, former principal of Atherton "Eraser" Elementary? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

I know that Audria Berry has a daughter ....

Anonymous said...

Reducing the school year is NOT even an option per the GaDOE. Superintendent Kathy Cox made it very clear that schools may manipulate the length of their days or hours as they wish, but in the end those hours must be the equivalent to 180 days. She has said emphatically that NO waivers will be given to ANY school system for a reduction of instructional days. Both she and the state Board of Education believe it imperative that students receive instruction for 180 or what would be the equivalent of 180 days.

P.S. Mrs. Cox said they (GaDOE) have already received and rejected waiver requests for a reduction in instructional days from school systems across the state and I just don't forsee an exception being made for DeKalb County Schools...
( some one is not doing their research)

Dan M. said...

Good luck Dunwoody High!
http://mid.nn.marietta.new.adqic.com/detail/160320.html

--

The unabashed gall and utter cluelessness of Zepora Roberts is both mind-numbing and tragic. We have the only school superintendent in America indicted under the RICO act, have lost millions from the state in reimbursements, have no internal controls, have an incredibly bloated Central Office administration where your sorority/fraternity affiliation means more than your competence,
have a huge lawsuit with Heery Mitchell, oh yeah, and a $100 mil deficit, and Zepora Roberts is running on her "record".

The ignorance is astounding.


http://mid.nn.marietta.new.adqic.com/detail/160319.html?content_source=&category_id=1,2,6,8,9&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=&page=
Middle, north DeKalb school board members to seek re-election

All mid and north DeKalb County school board members up for election this year say they will seek new terms, though at least one will face a challenger.

Jim Redovian of District 1, Vice Chairwoman Zepora Roberts of District 7 and Eugene Walker of District 9 said they plan to seek re-election to the board. Qualifying for the nonpartisan race is set for June 28 through July 2.

Ms. Roberts had little to say other than, “Why shouldn’t I run?”

“My record speaks for itself,” she said.

Walker will seek election to a four-year term after winning a 2008 election to fill the unexpired term of the late Elizabeth Andrews. He said he wanted to “continue what I’ve started” to make DeKalb “one of the top school systems in the country.”

“I plan to run and let the voters decide what kind of job I’ve done,” he said.

Redovian laughed, and said he was not seeking re-election because “of all the good publicity” — a reference to everything from criminal charges against its former superintendent to recent lawsuits.

“I think we’ve got some things going in the right direction,” he said.

“I’m just not done yet,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot going on in the next two or three years, and I think it’s important that the board keep as much of its experience as it can.”

He cited the search for a new superintendent and lawsuits involving construction projects and charter schools, among others, as areas needing the attention of experienced board members.

Redovian likely will face opposition from Chamblee resident Nancy Jester, who has filed a declaration of intention with the state Ethics Commission to run for the District 1 seat.

Ms. Jester said she planned to emphasize her support for focusing limited resources on the classroom — not new offices or salaries for administrators.

She said she would work to provide more accountability, transparency and accessibility than has been the practice in recent years.

“I think sunshine is very antiseptic for government, and I want to really focus that light on what’s going on at the school district,” she said.

Anonymous said...

Dan M.. SCW, Zephora, Dr(of what?) Walker and Mr Cunningham are a lock for re-election. They fit the desires and wishes of their constituents. A little fraud and theft? No problem. "It ain't my money. They took 'the man'".

SCW, Zephora and Walker are still stuck in the civil rights and LBJ Great Society payback eras. Cunningham seems a bit more up to date.

Under new State law SACS can act to remove the BOE if the system is about to lose its accreditation. So...the above four will make sure that DCSS will stay above this level so that things can go along as usual. Lots of vested interests. It's the children you know.

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em Lynn Deutsch!! You rock!!
http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/06/09/parent-tells-dekalb-board-the-system-has-no-credibility/



More DeKalb bad news. Do we have any ethical leaders and administrators here??
http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2010/06/03/dekalb-housing-chief-quits-as-feds-continue-probe/

Anonymous said...

Here's the full article

http://mid.nn.marietta.new.adqic.com/detail/160320.html

Work begins on $21 million Dunwoody High School renovation project
By Gloria Love
glove@neighbornewspapers.com

Workers began the planned three-stage renovation of Dunwoody High School after classes ended May 21 and are striving to finish phase one by early August.

According to Page Olson, parent representative for the Dunwoody High School design team, $21 million has been allocated to the school from the most recent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST III.

“We’re getting a new HVAC [heating and air-conditioning system]. It’s monumental for us. There will also be additional classroom space and a 500-seat auditorium,” said Ms. Olson.

The heating and air conditioning system is included in the first phase for the construction firm, Doster Construction Co.

Sonny Jester, outgoing school council chair, said this is one of the most anticipated improvements to the 38-year-old building.

“During the salutatorian’s speech at graduation, he said one of the things he learned at Dunwoody High was to dress in layers,” he said, in reference to temperatures inside the building in the cold season.

Other updates are being made in such areas as the communications lab and special education facilities at the school, which opened in 1972. Bathrooms will be renovated and landscaping work and painting will be done, Ms. Olson said.

“We’re getting ourselves up to par,” she said.

There was initially concern the construction project would infringe on local noise ordinances.

“The Dunwoody ordinance [7 a.m.] is later than construction workers like to start,” said Jester.

However, “[The workers] agreed to do low noise things at problematic times,” he added.

Ms. Olson added, “We’re extremely sensitive to [the noise ordinance], and the community is aware of the scope of what has to be done.”

Planning for the project began before the end of SPLOST II in 2007.

“Several projects crossed over from SPLOST II, and we made it into the top 15 priorities for SPLOST III. To date, they’ve held very true to the allocation. It’s been an extremely positive experience,” Ms. Olson said.

After Dunwoody High School was allotted a portion of the $645 million the 1 percent sales tax is expected to accrue over a five-year period, a design team was assembled of which Ms. Olson is a part.

“We met and brainstormed what we could have based on the budget. There was a lot of input from faculty. Our job is to make sure we’re communicating with our neighbors. We’re watching the details,” she said.

The next phase of the construction work, the additional classrooms, is slated to begin with the new school year.

“As big a mess as this [the construction] is, it’s exciting to see it happening,” said Jester.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the DOE board has approved at least one change in school year for Whitfield County. More are coming.

This rule establishes definitions and requirements for school year for certified staff. The rule establishes the school year for certified staff at a minimum 190 days of which 10 days are required for planning. The LEA on the attached list is requesting approval to establish the school year for certified staff at 180 days of which 5 of the days will be used for planning. The LEA on the attached list will have a school year of 175 instructional days for students.

From the May meeting:

The state board granted waivers this month to: Whitfield County


* SBOE Rule 160-5-1-.01 SCHOOL YEAR to Whitfield County

Kathy Cox had a PR problem when one of her staff people came out earlier this year saying that school systems couldn't afford 180 student days. She freaked because of her upcoming campaign (no longer an issue) and said some things about 180 students days were still possible. Yeah, if teachers have no planning or professional development.

We know that both Cobb and Clayton plan to ask for 175 day school years.

Lynn Deutsch

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 9:21, your comments regarding South Dekalb residents is extemely offensive, not to mention, incorrect.

I am very concerned about the events surrounding the crisis in DCSS. Not only have I followed the media coverage extensively, but also, I have attended BOE meetings. If you think that everyone in the southern end of the county is ignorant, unaware, or simply stupid, perhaps you need to rethink your position.

I consider myself extremely well educated. My undergraduate degree is from Stanford University. In addition, I have an M.B.A. from a top tier school. My closest friend, who is also a resident of South Dekalb, has a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Georgia Tech. In the spring, he received his J.D from Mercer University.

Because I am a teacher, I cannot run for a position on the BOE.

In the future, please refrain from making sweeping generalizations about South Dekalb residents. Remember, all of us are residents of Dekalb County. As such, we need to demonstrate a sense of unity rather that to perpetuate a culture of divisiveness. We need to stop with the petty comments and start working together.

Be assured that I would like to see the entire Board recalled. I wish all of the members were up for re-election.


(Note: Please excuse any typos. I'm not wearing my glasses.)

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:09 am. Great post! I live in the central part of the county and have a lot of friends all over. However, it astounds me that, as educated as we all are, many of us are guilty of not paying attention to what the school board is doing and how their decisions affect not only the school system, but the county as a whole. I have a well connected friend who lives in the McNair High School area and so, is represented by Sarah Copelin-Wood on the BOE. This friend, who attends every school board meeting and sees all of the members in action STILL supports SCW! And this is also the case with another friend who is represented by Zepora Roberts! How can this BE?! And in my own area, I am represented by Don McChesney who, although well prepared for school board meetings, was elected on promises made to the Sagamore ES community that he would roll all of the school attendance zone into Lakeside HS instead of the Druid Hills/Lakeside split that occurs now. Good grief! And don't get me started on Dr. Walker---who ran against the wonderful, highly qualified Ernest Brown.

And so, here are my biggest concerns:
1) HOW in the world will we get thoughtful, well educated people on the BOE? How do we get voters to support candidates who--we hope--will turn this ship around?

2) WHY do the county government and school system not work together? Why is it still the norm in DeKalb County for the two largest entities to STILL not communicate and cooperate with each other?

After serving on youth-serving organizations for the past several years, I think it would astound voters to know how much is unknown between these two county government and the school system! Unbelievable and very discouraging!

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, not only will I receive almost 4% less in salary next year, I also will have to miss our family vacation the last week of July so I can get my preplanning in before the furlough the week before school (we are not allowed in the school building during furlough days). Teachers are taking a huge hit this year and the low morale will most certainly, for some, have an effect on performance in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

Teacher, Missing your family vacation is your choice, and not a choice that I, a fellow teacher, would make. When teachers miss family vacations and other important events then become bitter about their job and are not able to do the best job.

A better solution would be for teachers to sign releases stating that they understand that attending school during furlough days will not allow them any compensation. Or better yet, meetings limited to an hour with teachers having the remainder of time to work in their classrooms and prepare lessons.

Doing things that allow the teachers in the classroom to get work done will be appreciated by the teachers and is a free way to raise morale.

Anonymous said...

Anony @9:21
I disagree with your comments, but
you have a right to make them.
Of course you think in the Southside we don't know about corruption and DCSS contracts for the relatives in the North side.

Before this is over, it will extend North to Cobb, Milton, etc. county relatives.

Look into the contracts for
computers, technology, A/C, roofing, etc. Many direct relationships exists between these companies and several White American higher ups in DCSS.
Who really got paid for eSIS and
Americas Choice?

Crawford Lewis knows this and is not telling it.

Let's look. Who has relatives in North Ga. areas like Kennesaw, Rome, and White, Ga?

Just for fun, I'll give you one.
eBryit a company owned by the husband of a DCSS employee and buried in paper with elderly relative names as owners.

This company is owned and operated by the husband of Debbie Sandford, DCSS Coordinator over all Media Specialists.

EBryit handles all Dell repairs above the skill of a CTS. Ebryit changed its name to BMC but, you have the same workers and Bryant family.

DCSS runs a computer program named BMC. Is that a company or a DCSS application? Or is it both?

Anonymous said...

From: Middle School Teacher,

I am trying to plan around the
furloughs. When will we be able to
prepare the classrooms, etc.

I am calling veteran teachers later
this month to get ideas.

I am going on a second vacation next week. I need it. The upcoming year will require a renewed spirit in all of us.

As my military dad says, we all
need a little R&R.

Dekalbparent said...

Anon 9:09 -

Well said. We all need to band together to make ALL DCSS schools ones we can be proud of.

I have a question, particularly for anyone on this blog who is represented by Ms. Roberts, Ms. Copland-Woods or Dr. Walker: why do you (or your neighbors if you don't) support these Board members? There has been a lot of speculation about this, but as you point out, it's done by people who don't live in their districts.

(As far as the observation that these BOE members are on the board to get stuff for their local schools, I think this is true of every BOE member, they just may not be as obvious about it.)

Should we go to the approach other places use, where all voters vote on the full slate, and the members are only assigned areas AFTER they are elected?

Anonymous said...

Your actions say "do it to me one more time...and often with whip!!"


"As a teacher, not only will I receive almost 4% less in salary next year, I also will have to miss our family vacation the last week of July so I can get my preplanning in before the furlough the week before school"

Anonymous said...

Dear Teacher,
There is no release that can be signed that will allow you to use the building on a furlough day. I am not sure of the reasons, but I feel that there is are legal reasons.
Regardless of your feelings about board members, people do not come out and vote. Each year I work at polling site. Sometimes there are less than 200 people coming to vote.
My niece who works at a very large polling district in the Stone Mountain area had only 25 people coome into her polling place.
Check with some of the former DCSS Board of Education Members or people that did not get elected. You will be shocked at how few people vote.
Our school system is in a serious crisis. It is not just the fault of the school board.
When hard economic times are coming, you make prudent and cost saving moves. We did not do that. In the midst of harsh economic times our former superintendent requested a raise. There were additional administrative jobs created. Perhaps we should have waited on some purchases. Had fewer transportation hubs. Gone to a four day work week in the summer to conserve fuel. Looked at on line summer school for high school students before this summer. Done the paper work necessary to get the state funds. I am sure that there are many other things that we could have done, but we did not think about those things. We loss our direction. We loss our compass.
We lost good experienced people. I feel that others were not encouraged to speak up and offer suggestions. Everything gets pushed on the schools and blamed on the individuals in the school. It does not seem that every school is valued.
No one realizes how difficult it can be to get supplies for your building. Or, how much it cost to get a bulb replaced in an Activ Board. Or the numerous meetings and paper work that principals are required to do. I am not sure there is a real reasons for this other than it seems to be the way that the people in higher postions can keep control. Justify their jobs. I am sorry. I do not mean to sound cruel.
It is not about the north end or the south end of the county. When people hear about the issues occuring in our school system, it hurts the entire county.
How are we going to attract business or individuals with children? Things must change. People have to be willing to work together. The other night I was very impressed by Lynn D who spoke at the board meeting. Her concern was about all students. We need more of that.

Anonymous said...

I am a parent in South Dekalb, the Lithonia area.

I starting volunteering this past school year. I believe J. Cunningham is our rep. I hear good and bad things about his decisions but nothing criminal. I've heard his family has a restaurant. People support the restaurant because the food is good. They cater small events like group dinners, etc. Nothing big.

Most of the parents have lost jobs and benefits, it has sort of taken the energy out of them.

I know I care about education but I can only attend on days off. I try to save a few vacation days for my children's sick days, etc. I attend PTA meetings but only 5 to 10 parents attend. Our teachers help the most.

I think the Lithonia area has been hit hard, people care, but you have to choose where to put your energy.

Anonymous said...

Is everyone aware that Corey Wilson, Oakview PTA president and involved DCSS father, is running against Ms. Copin-Wood?

If you want to know more about Mr. Wilson, read his bio - look on the home page of this blog under Pages on the right hand side. There is a link to the prospective candidates.

I found Nancy Jester there. I'll be going door to door encouraging people to vote for her. I'm retired so I'm going to make the case of property values to retirees. I'll make the case of too few teachers and too many admin and support to the parents with kids in the system.

It's really a question of getting out the vote.

Cerebration said...

Thanks for pointing out the page links on the right hand side of the blog, Anon. We also try to maintain an updated page listing the meetings being held regarding DCSS. Try to attend as many of these as possible. If you can't attend the regular monthly board meeting, tune in to view them live on COMCAST 24 - or try to catch a rerun.

Also - we've been updating (refreshing) the look of the blog - hopefully making it easier to read and navigate. Weigh in on what you think...

Dekalbparent said...

Cere - Like the new look. A lot!

Anonymous said...

The new format is so beautiful I can't stop crying.

C?Y! :)

Anonymous said...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. ... DeKalb School Watch is often identified by the lime green color, so I'd leave that the same at least. Didn't really notice the other changes. Sorry ....

Cerebration said...

I like the green too -- better? Other than that, we just wanted the text more readable - it was getting a bit "crushed" in the smaller format. This one is easier to read, IMO... trying to simplify - you wouldn't believe the number of files on this site!

Deborah said...

Old design was very nice looking but this is even better. Much easier to read. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Here's the reality - if teachers work on furlough days, they are working without compensation. If teachers don't work on furlough days, or other day(s) unpaid, the kids WILL pay the price. Add in the increase in number of kids in the classroom, and teachers can't take much more.

Anonymous said...

I am a DCSS high school teacher. I have always gone the extra mile to provide the best education possible for my students. I have spent thousands of dollars out of my pocket for supplies, taken professional development courses above and beyond the required (and on my own dime), spent evenings communicating with parents and grading papers, and always with a smile on my face. But I have to say, teachers really can't take much more, Furloughs, retirement cuts, pay cuts, reduction in professional development, increased paperwork, and general lack of respect.

Cerebration said...

Off topic, but not really. We all need to be seriously concerned about this BP oil fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico. This is what greed, ego and entitlement can result in. This thing could be Biblical in proportion. It's imperative that everyone on this earth treat it and each other with respect. There's a new attitude that needs to blossom - a new attitude that "we are our brother's keepers". If you are only thinking of yourself, you are asking for trouble - in just about any situation.

Anonymous said...

So what's with the closed door meeting today with the BOE....we can't afford these BOE members to settle anything or talk amongst themselves and get anything solved......any leaks yet

Anonymous said...

Very often, the closed meetings are to talk about personnel and student appeals related to disciplinary actions. For example, teacher dismissals or student explusions. The path to appeal leads to the BoE.

However, there is no doubt that this Board and many other previous Boards of Eds make plenty of back room deals. There is not nearly enough discussion "in the light of day" to make me believe that they aren't making decisions and discussing votes on key issues before the board meetings.

Lynn Deutsch

Anonymous said...

Board Meeting is on right now. Tom Bowen must be out of town, so Zepora Roberts will run the meeting. Oh, goody!

Everyone watch!

Anonymous said...

They all knew, Frankie Freeman Marcus Turk secretary who makes over 65,000 a year covered it up too.

Val Head who was a secretary without a degree who now makes over 80,000 a year. DCSS changed her title to fit her salary.

Ronald Ramsey who is DCSS attorney and terminates when someone questions the wrong doings of DCSS.

Robert Tucker who was retired and has never left the system are all close buddies of Patti Pope Reed and Crawford Lewis.

When Patti Pope Reed was employed we did not have a salary schedule that would fit the salary she was to be paid. Crawford made us create a salary schedule for her. She started at $189,000.

When Crawford Lewis took on his role, in DCSS salaries increased over 30,000 each.

There is so much corruption at DCSS, everyone is afraid to speak about it because they could terminated.

They all should be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Frankie freeman was a school bus driver and she married robin freeman who's father was the super. She went to the top ater that. Friends and family

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:39

That's true. Entire salary schedules were invented just to place employees on those schedules.

Anonymous said...

The BOE members approved all those salary schedules. No questions asked - maybe because so many of their friends and family members were placed on those salary schedules.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe I'm reading this. I can't believe this is happening. It's really scary to know this degree of human depravity exist right in our midst. And our children are/will be so negatively impacted.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:16 pm

To the "upper management" it's just business. They truly don't see anything wrong with it. It's just a way to make money and gain power. Ms. Tyson established "career paths" for her MIS employees. This is not unusual. They really think of DCSS this way.

Anonymous said...

"SMALL IS THE NUMBER OF THEM THAT SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES AND FEEL WITH THEIR OWN HEARTS."
Albert Einstein

Anonymous said...

Why do DCSS secretaries make more than teachers? I have never seen this in any other school system that I have worked in.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice this at the end of the AJC story about the Pat Pope/Lewis case?

"In addition to the criminal investigation into bid tampering, bribery and theft, the grand jury is now conducting a civil investigation into school board operations, Geary said.

The civil investigation cannot result in charges."

I wonder if he really meant "school board operations" or meant school system?

Cerebration said...

Today's legal news focuses on DeKalb School's Heery Mitchell lawsuit - the front page article is about the effect of the Lewis and Pope prosecutions on the Heery/Mitchell civil suit.

From "The Daily Report" (requires an online subscription to view) -

http://www.dailyreportonline.com/

According to Mark E. Grantham, a partner at DLA Piper which is representing Heery and Mitchell, "The criminal investigation's critical importance to this lawsuit cannot be denied when Heery/Mitchell's termination for alleged breach of contract may have been part of a larger [school administration] scheme to engage in criminal conduct." W. Ray Persons, the King and Spalding partner leading the school system's civil case, counters, "It's a whole different kettle of fish. Heery/Mitchell may want the focus to be on Pat [Reid] Pope and Crawford Lewis to divert attention from what they did. . . . It was an abysmal job of managing a $1 billion program."

The article reports that the civil suit had been scheduled to go to trial this month, but the criminal prosecution delayed it.

Interestingly, some of the projects Heery/Mitchell were accused of mismanaging are now part of the criminal case: McNair Cluster Elementary School, the Mountain Industrial Complex, and the Miller Grove project.

Be True to Your School said...

It's hard to believe that W. Ray Persons of King & Spalding can say this (with regard to Heery-Mitchell) with a straight face: "It was an abysmal job of managing a $1 billion program."

I have no definitive knowledge of the Heery-Mitchell case and accordingly, do not express an opinion on the merits of that case. However, it seems to me that Persons' quote is a matter of the pot calling the kettle black.

It would be funny if these clowns and their hourly billing charges were not taking the money needed to educate our children.

Anonymous said...

It's true about Ronald Ramsey. He is only for saving the school system. In order for this man to remain on pay roll, there must be a connection somewhere. Every year, employees are asked to watch the video on ethical behavior. When we watch the video this August, hopefully everyone will protest seeing these same people who are responsible for allowing our school system to fall into a line of lies and corruption under Ronald Ramsey's eyes. let us pray that our next leader will be a person with no greek connections, or church affliations with no one in the county office. Then maybe we can restructure our school system back. This greek, church, family and friends didnot get out of hands until Lewis came to power. Yes, it did exist, but nothing like this mess.

A Mother said...

Can someone help me understand why Dr Crawford Lewis has not been referred to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. How can all of this NOT be a violation of ethics and professional standards for educatiors in Georgia? I see suspensions and revocations for far less. Is the "Family and Friends Plan" still working for him?


When I go to https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

to check his certificate, there it is, a clean as a whistle, no indication that he has EVER done anything inethical.

I would like to hear from the board why this case has not been referred to the Ga PSC.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe he can teach while in jail. he will have certification. this county needs to make every high level official at the county office and in the school transfer out of DCSS. There are too many cousins, as Erica Baudo would say in this system. Therefore, crime is going to continue if we hire the next leader from within. Look outside of the USA for a leader. The family and friends plans have lots of connections and will lead us deeper into crime and reacketeering. Let' us hire Nelson Mandella.