Saturday, June 19, 2010

Well, this is not good...the board has not even begun the search for a new superintendent

According to today's AJC, "The DeKalb County school board fired its superintendent two months ago, but the troubled district has taken few steps to find a new leader."

The article goes on to inform us that little has been done to even begin a search for a new superintendent. Since the search for a superintendent takes 12-18 months, it looks like Ms. Tyson will end up serving as interim for quite some time. This interim leader is in addition to our newly appointed interim of curriculum (teaching and learning) and our interim COO and head of construction.

One reason the board has not begun the search is that the board can't really tell if they are allowed to meet behind closed doors on the subject.

Board attorney Joshua Mayes, of Sutherland firm in Atlanta, said the Georgia Open Meetings law allows the board to discuss “employment and personnel issues” in closed session.

But the Georgia First Amendment Foundation maintains the board should be meeting publicly to discuss the search process. Once the board has candidates, it can meet behind closed doors, said Hollie Manheimer, the foundation’s executive director.

“The personnel exemption is very narrow and allows the public to be barred only in very limited instances,” she said.

Now SACS has announced that they will be watching the process very carefully.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits DeKalb and most schools in the Southeast, will also be watching the superintendent search.

Mark A. Elgart, SACS’ president and executive director, said DeKalb will have a tough time finding a qualified candidate because of its size.

“There are a very limited number of superintendents who have the background and skills to run a system that size,” Elgart told the AJC. “It will take a long search because larger systems are more complex. It will be a challenge because of the size of the district and the dynamics.”

SACS is conducting a preliminary probe following the indictments. In the next six weeks, SACS officials will send the DeKalb school board a list of questions to answer in response to the indictments and other recent incidents.

“Based on their responses, we will determine our next steps,” Elgart said. “We’re looking at all of the information we’ve gathered over the past year. A full-scale investigation is within the realm of possibilities.”

Oh boy.

116 comments:

Cerebration said...

Something is totally out of whack here.

We have some schools doing very, very well - in spite of the shenanigans of our leadership. SACS will hopefully take this into consideration during it's investigation. Schools should not have to suffer any kind of set backs due to the unscrupulous behavior of a few of the administrators.

For example - why give the schools that made the Newsweek list of Best Schools in America any kind of grief over Crawford Lewis and Pat Pope's bad behavior?

Newsweek's list of nation's top high schools includes dozens from metro area

DeKalb: DeKalb School of the Arts, Chamblee Charter, Lakeside, Dunwoody and Tucker

This is in addition to Redan recently being named a Best High School by U.S. News & World Report.

http://www.dekalbkaleidoscope.com/?p=2151

Whatever actions SACS takes as a result of their investigation had better not create a burden on schools, students or taxpayers. That would be insult to injury.

Anonymous said...

Elgart it has more to do with dealing with the sitting BOE than the size of DCSS that's hindering the hiring of a new Super....Anyone applying for that job must face the fact that those members neglected their responsibilities and how would anything get done if things continue the same "business as usual....keep friend and family members on the DCSS payroll" kind of way...just saying. They have access to the same internet stories and behind the scenes "this blog" as the rest of us. And don't think this doesn't cast a lot of doubt in the mids of those considering the new Super. job with DCSS.

Be True to Your School said...

crinsiWould you really want this DCSS BOE to select the new superintendent?

Isn't Mor-of-the-same-will-this-never-cease Beasley the new "Interim" superintendent?

Quite frankly, I am disgusted with SACS, too. Based on their complete lack of interest in providing any oversight, in spite of the fact that they admittedly have huge files of complaints against DCSS, I don't think SACS "accreditation" is worth any more than the paper it is printed on, if that.

DCSS pays a lot of money to SACS every year for that accreditation. Apparently it is meaningless. I fail to see how not using Roberts Rules of Order (the reason given for SACS removing Warren County's (GA) accreditation) could have as negative effect on children's education as all of the obvious and clearly criminal wrongdoing in DCSS.

It's time for a significant class action court case to challenge the SACS monopoly and the collaboration of colleges and universities in maintaining that monopoly of meaningless "accreditation."

Anonymous said...

If there is going to be an honest search, it will take time. Hopefully, there will be a complete background check done on the individual. Remember the situation with the HR administrator that was hired, without a background check.
The problems in our system have reached media as far away as Washington, D C. My opinion is that any candidate for superintendent would also want to take time to consider DeKalb very carefully.
We have various beliefs about the people involved in the charges that have been made, but none of us know all the details or ramifications. Our economic picture also is not very bright.
Anyone from the outside taking this job would want to be prudent.
I know that it is important that we find the right person. It is also important that we work together for the good of our entire school system. The month of June is almost over. It about six weeks a new school year will begin. The entire DCSS will be closed for a week in July.
Our students and school based staff members do not have much time left to get mentally and physically prepared.
Please pray that the right decisions are made.

Anonymous said...

I lost respect for SACS when I experienced the elaborate "wining and dining' that is expected when the review committee comes to your school. They don't just eview your school, they must also be entertained.

Teacher said...

I don't agree that it needs to take 12-18 months to identify a suitable Superintendent for DCSS, simply because there can't be too many people who: have experience leading a large school district; are willing to relocate to Atlanta from wherever they are; have no history of scandal; are savvy about curriculum and educational technology; have led a diverse school system, and; are willing to take a salary low enough to not offend DCSS taxpayers. Remember how we went through the roof at Dr. Lewis's raise to--how much was that again? Seems like a long time ago when that issue made the front pages...But it will be necessary to pay a competitive salary to recruit a quality person to lead us out of this mess.

There isn't a large pool of people with all the above qualities and experience in large, majority-minority school districts. I hope the Board doesn't stall around on this, because we won't get a permanent curriculum director until the Superintendent is in place, and after Gloria Talley, we need a visionary curriculum director.

Vetting candidates for superintendent is an opportunity for the Board to win back some of the community's trust. But it seems like they want to keep the selection process opaque and exclude parents and teachers from having input. This approach won't benefit our school system.

Be True to Your School said...

Could you really trust the quality of a superintendent chosen by this BOE?

Anonymous said...

Be True

Beasley is the new interim Gloria Talley (Assoc. Super of teaching and learning maybe? not the new interim super.

This BOE isn't going to change much come Jan. 2011 unless we can come up with a plan to oust them all. There are 5 up for reelection but so far candidates aren't dropping from the sky to challenge them. And, as has been demonstrated multiple times in the last decade, DeKalb voters often make choices that are no better than, and occasssionally worse, than who was already there. Two years ago, we had a real opportunity to reshape the BOE and it failed miserably.

Anonymous said...

superintendents don't have much to do with a kid's success in school. Neither do trailers, neither does your school board rep. What matters is what the kid does OUTSIDE the classroom. with no support (homework, teaching, role modeling) at home, kids will fail. It's sad, but many parents think it is 100% the school system's responsibility to educate their kids(s). The truth is, poor kids in single parent homes (much of DeKalb) are much more likely to fail than kids with two parents at home, making middle class income.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the across the board deterioration in the quality of principals in DeKalb has much to do with the superintendent. We need strong leadership at the top so we can have strong leaders in our schools.

Strong schools can certainly not erase all the social ills that students struggle with. But good schools can make a difference for more kids than are being helped right now in DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

Substantial parts of south Dekalb have had a middle class profile. The schools have been failing nonetheless. Look at MLK and Stephenosn.

Anonymous said...

A big part of the problem in DCSS is interference in the day to day running of a school by "Upper Management." Many hands are tied.

Anonymous said...

READ THIS IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER! Many problems and some solutions have been stated. While DCSS is definitely riddled with an enormous amount of issues, they will not be resolved as expeditiously as we would like. As many parents and taxpayers believe in the power of prayer, I propose that those who believe in the power of prayer,pray as a group,and pray unceasingly. Sometimes God allows things to be torn down before they can be built up. It is truly my firm belief that absolutely no one who isn't acting in the best interest of the children, can continue to thrive. We must trust God and lean not to our own understanding about the current affairs of things in the world and specifically in this school system. As believers in prayer, we know that God's time is not our time, so we must consistently pray, be patient, but proactive. Read and read and read Psalms 37. From personal and professional perspectives, I KNOW what prayer can do!

Be True to Your School said...

Thank you, Dr. Beasley, but we really need to see a certified copy of your transcript and a copy of your dissertation, as previously requested.

Trust, but verify.

Anonymous said...

Look at Prince Georges county in Maryland. Stable, middle class community with a high percentage of federal employees. Failing schools. In Montgomery county next door, public education is flourishing. South Dekalb is similar to Prince Georges county in this respect. The big difference is that the present economic downturn has destroyed much of the middle class wealth in south Dekalb, which will not come back. Intown areas in Atlanta will continue to gentrify. Displaced people will go to places like south Dekalb. A vicious cycle has begun. The only bright spot is possibly Arabia. No wonder that it is trying to control who gets and stays in. Arabia will probably take the magnet program from Southwest and thus become the one functioning high school in the south.

Anonymous said...

@ Be True to Your School

Reading Dr. Beasley's bio and looking on the Georgia Certification site, it seems that Dr. Beasley got his Bachelor's in Math, and then taught math for 3 1/2 years at J.H. Phillips High School in Birmingham. There's no record that he taught as a certified teacher because there's no Math teacher certification for him on the Georgia site. The Georgia Certification site shows his Educational Doctorate Leadership certificate, so the PSC must have been satisfied with his degree.

On his bio it states he was a Math major with no mention of an educational degree. Perhaps he went straight for an Masters, Specialist and Doctorate in Education while bypassing the certified teacher route.

They probably needed a Math teacher, and perhaps he was a Math major but with no teaching certificate. We do that often in Georgia through the TAPP (Teacher Alternative Preparation Program). However, the teacher then has a certificate in whatever subject they taught. Math and Science teachers are hard to find. They were no doubt glad to find a math major.

His bio says while getting his Masters, Specialist and Educational doctorate, he:
1. Taught for 3 1/2 years
2. Became an AP
3. Became an Acting Principal,
4. Became an Associate Principal, Principal (under Johnny Brown in Birmingham
5. Became a Principal under Johnny Brown in DCSS)
6. Became a Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and School Leadership (under Johnny Brown in Port Authur, Texas)
7. Became a principal again this year at Columbia HS in DCSS.

According to his bio, he first graduated from college 13 years ago.

Dr. Beasley's bio:
http://www.apassionforleadership.com/DrBeasley.htm

Georgia Professional Standards Commission webpage and enter his name:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Anonymous said...

Well said 1:07 I two beleave in the power of prayer. I once worked for the system and without prayer i could not have made it. God has open so many doors for me. Even with what i endured as a employee i have never wanted anything to happen to any of the people that did me wrong.

We must all pray for the children and the teachers in the system. As you said god does not work on a time table.

BE BLESSED

Anonymous said...

Why are you demanding to see Dr. Beasley's dissertation and not demanding the same for other educators "at the top"? He is not obligated to share that with you. He was obligated to share his information with the State Certification folk who obviously deemed his credentials satisfactory enough. While I have no problem with anonymity (I post anonymously), I do have a problem with whoever it is demanding all this "proof" from Dr. Beasley hiding behind an anonymous moniker. You want truth, then show some.

It seems patently unfair what some of you are writing about him. I have worked as a teacher at a school where Dr. Beasley was principal. He did an excellent job. While I do not agree with all of his ideas and while I certainly do not agree with all of his personnel choices, I can honestly state that he actively tried to have the school run well for the best interests of the students. No one is perfect; however, I bet that, if you give Dr. Beasley an honest chance to prove himself, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Cerebration said...

True enough, Be True. I think we've more than determined that Beasley is plenty qualified as a principal. He has been named "interim" curriculum super. Let's hope that during the time he serves in this capacity, he implements some better teaching methods in our schools other than these expensive, scripted lessons that Lewis and Talley were so enamored of and have not worked. Hopefully, Beasley will insist that the Title 1 funds go back into the schoolhouse for extra reading and math support like it used to. Direct instruction and extra time on task has proven to increase learning for those who struggle. Repeating and repeating a scripted lesson does not work.

Give the guy a chance. He is actually taking a risk, as the new superintendent will most likely replace this key position with someone of his own choosing.

Cerebration said...

Excuse me, "his or HER" own choosing!

Anonymous said...

I think that all high level employees should have their vitas posted. This will allow the people of DeKalb to understand how PhDs in education are not all equal and that many in power have their degrees from the same universities.

The public has the right to know about who is in power and running the schools. So far, these people do not have a good track record. We are paying these people big bucks and our children are not receiving the quality of education that we are paying for. When it cost approx. $11,000 to educate each child in DeKalb, and many schools are failing something is wrong.

The public has had enough and we want to see where these people are educated, what their dissertations are on and be able to read them. This should not be difficult for these highly paid people to produce this information. It should be done with a smile.

Teacher from 2:44, I was a teacher and am tax payer in DeKalb. I saw enough in my 3 years of employment in the county to know that too many times thing did not pass the sniff test. This doesn't pass the sniff test to many tax payers and we want answers.

Anon. 2:44 you may be right about Mr. Beasley, but we want to see that he is not just another friend and family member making extra money from our tax dollars who really doesn't deserve that position or that salary.

When you work in a public position, the public has a right to know who is getting our money and if they are qualified or not for the position and salary that they are receiving. Too many people are getting paid more money than they really deserve, our children are getting a less than stellar education, a great sum of money is paid for each child's education, and we've had enough.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:44 pm

Actually, every educator's credentials have been deemed to be important and accessible to all Georgia citizens. That's why every citizen in Georgia can look up the certification status of any Georgian educator online. This is the policy of the Professional Standards Commission, the body that certifies all Georgia educators.

I looked up Dr. Beasley's certificate and found like Anonymous 2:41 pm pointed out - he has satisfied the Professional Standards Commission and does indeed have a doctorate in educational leadership.

According to his bio, he performed a similar job function in Port Arthur, Texas.

I think anyone who was hired into this position would have gotten the same scrutiny because the prior administration did not produce the progress for students that they promised and then took no responsibility for their poor decisions. This position was/is a key position that drove/drives curriculum delivery.

Except for the resignation of Lewis and Reid, there has been no real change in DCSS "upper management" personnel so trust is at an all time low.

It's heartening to hear that former teachers have good things to say about Dr. Beasley. That speaks more for him than all the certificates and degrees ever could.

Cerebration said...

Anon, I was just about to add to my comment - that regardless of what is going on at the moment with "interim" positions, I think a long-range goal should be to publish credentials of high-level administrators. Teachers certainly do this - you can always find a teacher's credentials. But oddly, we never could actually find out what Dr. Lewis' PhD was in.

I have an issue with this new "educational leadership" degree. I'd really feel more comfortable with a leader who has a PhD in something like physics or English or microbiology or some actual academic study. In fact, if there's also an MBA in their vitae, that would be even better. I'm not sure exactly how one majors in "Leadership". I'd really rather have a good thinker at the helm.

Anonymous said...

Cere,

We don't know what a new superintendent will do, or when we will get a new superintendent. The tax payers of DeKalb cannot be careful enough when people are put into these positions. Mr. Beasley could have this job for 6 months, a year, or for 5 years. We do not know. We need to make sure that he is qualified. I have no confidence in the board's decisions.

Seeing his dissertation and learning more about his qualifications should not be a big deal if one has nothing to hide.

For every principal, I can tell you that there are teachers that like them and teachers that don't. I am a teacher, I want to see the data and have a better idea of why he left Texas, how he got his job in DeKalb, and if he was successful at his job in Texas.

Tax Payer have a right to know as much as we can about the people running our schools. We pay their salary. What we are paying for and what we are getting isn't adding up.

Cerebration said...

Well, that does make sense, Anon. It's a pretty key job, and the public has lost almost all trust in our school leadership. I am glad to hear from many people who have positive things to say about him, but I think a new policy publishing professional vitae on all administrators would be a smart move in a new direction.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting story about a suit brought by teachers regarding xcessive paperwork for teachers in Port Arthur. Read some quotes by Dr. Brown and Dr. Beasley:
http://panews.com/local/x681438869/PAISD-board-declines-teacher-grievance

Anonymous said...

You can download and review Dr. Beasley's Curriculum Vitae at this web address:
apassionforleadership.com/Vita.doc

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:18 "Tax Payer have a right to know as much as we can about the people running our schools. We pay their salary. What we are paying for and what we are getting isn't adding up."

We may have a right to know, but the Administrative powers that be control the information and tell us (and the BOE) only what they want us to hear. DeKalb County Govt also is run that way.

DCSS needs a kick butt, take no prisoners Superintendent to clean out the snake nest of administrators. Like the Asian lady in Washington DC or maybe a retired general. But, knowing DCSS, SCW probably will be appointed head of the selection committee.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:59

I have read his web site and after reading it made the decision that everyone in DeKalb needs to know more about Mr. Beasley. I know that too many educational PhDs are not worth the paper that they are printed on. They do not have the rigor of a PhD in another field, where genuine research and sound statistical methods are used.

I also read the article that Anon 3:39 provided. My feelings are even stronger. As a teacher, I spent too much time on paper work that had little to no use and this time would have been better spent preparing lessons or working with students. His comments sound like a typical administrator to me.

If one is qualified for the job that they are hired for, providing more information to the public should not be a problem.

The public would not question decisions if the board had made budget decisions that would have better met the needs of the children and not kept expensive friends and family in positions that they are not always qualified for or that are really necessary in running a school district facing such monetary losses.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4:00pm

"But, knowing DCSS, SCW probably will be appointed head of the selection committee. "

So get out and campaign for Corey Wilson, President of the Oakview PTA, who is running against SCW. He sounds young and dynamic and has kids in DCSS. Talk to all your friends and neighbors and church members. Volunteer to make phone calls for him. Bring your friends to help campaign. The contact info I found is this:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Group-to-elect-Corey-E-Wilson-as-School-Bd-Member-for-Dekalb-Co-Dist-3/134943674932

Click on the BOE Candidate Profiles (right hand side of the DeKalb Watch home page)

Anonymous said...

I was reading the Facebook Page Group to Elect Corey Wilson (SCW's competition for BOE).

Corey founded the Father's Being Involved (FBI) at Oak View Elementary.

Look at this post:
Good Day to all, Just wanted to give you the latest news about my group FBI/MBI (Fathers/Males being involved). A small group of us went to Oak View and gave the teachers an extra hour away from the classroom. Yes, the men took over the 2nd grade class for a full hour, by ourselves. Next FBI/MBI meeting Jan 12,2010..."

How nice of them!

Here he's asked District 3 voters their concerns:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Group-to-elect-Corey-E-Wilson-as-School-Bd-Member-for-Dekalb-Co-Dist-3/134943674932#!/topic.php?uid=134943674932&topic=11739

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 2:04 PM

Why are you demanding to see Dr. Beasley's dissertation and not demanding the same for other educators "at the top"? He is not obligated to share that with you.

Actually, Anonymous, he most certainly is obligated to share his dissertation with me. I am a taxpayer and I pay his salary -- whether as principal or as interim superintendent. If everything is in order with his transcript (it must be a certified transcript, of course)and with his dissertation, then there should be no problem.

Quite frankly, Beasley should be reading this blog and should have responded right away. But, I e-mailed him, also. Actually, I have documentation and know that my request via e-mail was delivered to his Blackberry. Yet he continues to stonewall. Why?

I have done a lot of reading and research on Beasley. He may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I have yet to see it. In fact, I have serious concerns. He sounds like yet another Friends-and-Family "motivational speaker" who can talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk. Well, talk is cheap.

I have an issue with his apparently self-assigned fancy title (Chief Learning Officer) because there is nothing I can find -- no significant, quantifiable achievement -- to back that up. I have an issue with him trading on that self-assigned title -- i.e., cloingeorgia@aol.com.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

Oh, and to answer your question about why Beasley and no other educators "at the top": I haven't gotten around to it yet.

BTW -- the next time you choose to call out someone for posting under a pseudonym, you should be prepared to sign your own name. I am a private citizen; my income depends on my using a pseudonym in this setting. Beasley is NOT a private citizen. He is paid by my taxes and he should respond -- for all to see -- to a reasonable request for his certified transcript and his dissertation. That he chooses not to certainly raises a red flag.

Anonymous said...

I think selecting someone internally for Talley's position was the only choice. We need a superintendent to bring in a winning team and not be tied to some employee that was brought here recently.

I know several internal folks from DCSS that didn't want to take the chance at getting this position and then having it taken away because of the new Super. They like living in Atlanta. It is clear that Beasley is willing to move around.

What we need is a new interim, one who can do the housecleaning that is so desperately needed.

We need this person now. We don't need to wait 12-18 months for this process to start. Then when the new superintendent is appointed, they can fill the positions with the most highly qualified folks.

Be True to Your School said...

Is Beasley the new Interim Superintendent? Or is he the new Interim Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning (or Curriculum and Instruction -- whatever it is titled this week)?

Anonymous said...

He is the new interim Gloria Talley (whatever her title is). Ms. Tyson is still the interim superintendent.

Be True to Your School said...

OMG! Tyson and Beasley! This is truly distressing.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Beasley is actively promoting himself as a consultant in seven different areas.

Hard to be soliciting business for yourself personally while also being head of curriculum of the 27th largest school system in America.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Beasley is just another administrator/hack who thinks more paperwork for teachers equals better student performance. What a joke.

http://panews.com/local/x681438869/PAISD-board-declines-teacher-grievance

PORT ARTHUR — In a split vote Tuesday, Port Arthur Independent School Board trustees declined a formal request to eliminate what a teachers group described as “paperwork so excessive that it prevented them from teaching students.”

The complaint very likely will now be brought before the Texas Education Agency to decide, said Rebecca Veazey, grievance chairperson for the Port Arthur Teachers Association.

The board voted 5-2 to uphold a November decision by Superintendent Johnny Brown to not remove paperwork required for EXCEL PAISD — a comprehensive literacy, numeracy and science initiative that was implemented in August.

“Teachers need to teach. I know that sounds simple and elementary, but that is why we are here,” said Joey Moore, attorney for the Texas State Teachers Association, who represented the Port Arthur Teachers Association.

Moore said the teachers were not asking that the program be stopped, but rather that excessive paperwork the district requires as documentation for the program be eliminated.

The teacher group complained that components of the program violated the Texas Education laws, which prohibit school districts from requiring teachers to prepare an excessive amount of paperwork.

Moore said teachers spend way too much time compiling teacher and student portfolios, extensive lesson plans, and logs detailing how many books children read, or those detailing science projects, among other required paperwork.

To prove her point, Moore presented one teacher’s portfolio for one semester. The portfolio was contained in five separate binders.

“How does this portfolio teach Johnny or Susie how to read or add, or get along in the world?” she said.

Moore said state law identifies only 10 types of paperwork a district can require teachers to fill out. The EXCEL documentation required by the district is not among those types, she said.

If the district does require what is deemed excessive paperwork, then it is the district’s job to delegate the work to non-instructional individuals, Moore said.

Morcease Beasley, deputy superintendent for curriculum, instruction and school leadership implemented the EXCEL program and defended its merits at the grievance meeting Tuesday.

“I can assure you Excel is not extra paperwork,” he said.

EXCEL, he said, is a set of strategies that provide parameters requiring all teachers to provide high expectations to their students.

Beasley said since the program was started in August, students’ performance had increased.

Port Arthur ISD students TAKS scores and the number of students graduating lagged behind other districts. It was the districts’ goal to turn those numbers around, even if it meant that teachers had to spend more time on paperwork, Beasley said.

“Clearly, implementing this year’s initiative is challenging,” he said.
Doyle, who is an attorney practicing in Port Arthur, said he believed the teachers had proved their case, and that the district appeared to be in violation of the requiring too much paperwork.

“I am convinced that they are being required to provide redundant paperwork. We are encroaching upon our teachers time outside the school and clearly encroaching on their time spent teaching in the classroom,” Doyle said. “I think the teachers have made this case; the evidence has been presented.”

Board President Willie Mae Elmore said she was heartsick to see that a resolution had not been reached before the disagreement came to the board.

Though board members declined to grant the teachers’ grievance, they did opt to direct school administrators to take a second look at the required paperwork to determine if it could be streamlined.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:07 pm

That was in January, 2008.

Eight months later Dr. Beasley was in DCSS. He sure has been in a lot of jobs in a short amount of time.

Does he stick around anywhere to see if what he implemented truly improved student performance?

Anonymous said...

To all that are in support of Beasley, think on this, as his job interviewer...I know.. but in this current environment, we must think like this....

Ok, Beasley has met the minimum education requirements for the job. What about experiences, skills, and achievements?

Beasley or whoever, must have enough experience to show he can make long term postive change. He doesn't look bad on paper but you just think it must be someone out there with more experience.

Beasley moves around following Johnnie Brown, which is not really bad or good. Interviewers think less than 2 years here and there under the same person and ..... well Beasley begins to look like a quitter (looking for protection) rather than a problem solver. If he had less experience under Johnnie B and more years under others, then that looks better. It would show more success under different styles of leadership and challenges. Most people moving around every 2 years is a low performer or money chaser, any Exec will tell you that.

What problems did Beasley actually SOLVE in Texas or Ga's Columbia HS?

Did he improve attendance and test scores, increase graduation percentage, reduce student drop-out rates, increase parent volunteers, remove redundant processes for teachers, etc?
It looks like he caused a lawsuit in Texas.

In this case, the bloggers seemed surprised as well as the BOE. HR should have told Ms. Tyson, Beasley needs over 10 years solid supervisory experience (with measureable successes). You all seem to think he was on his way at Columbia. I know DCSS is in a panic, but don't but the developing future leaders in the hot seat too soon.

I learned more in the valleys and breaking new ground than I ever did on the mountain top.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought. Here's Dr. Beasley's salary and benefits as Deputy Superintendent of Instruction in Port Arthur, Texas:
http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/data/Port_Arthur_Independent_School_District_salary_database.html?appSession=577159819818110&RecordID=83&PageID=3&PrevPageID=2&cpipage=1&CPIsortType=&CPIorderBy=

He moved to DCSS under Crawford Lewis last fall, 2009 less than a year ago. Per the Georgia Salary and Travel audit, only 2 principals make more than Dr. Beasley's salary in Port Arthur, and he went from a Deputy Superintendent to be a principal in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Previous post was incorrect. Dr. Beasley's salary is listed on the site below (benefits need to be added). It was much, much more than any principal in DCSS makes:
http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/data/Port_Arthur_Independent_School_District_salary_database.html?appSession=577159819818110&RecordID=83&PageID=3&PrevPageID=2&cpipage=1&CPIsortType=&CPIorderBy=

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that Dr. Beasley may have been the best candidate from the interview pool? Considering that he has served as a Deputy Superintendent of Instruction for another school system should qualify him over candidates that have not served in this position before. Given some of the current issues with our school system and also knowing the Board is looking for a superintendent, what kind of candidates do you think would apply for a job that did not offer some type of security when that person is hired?

What qualifications did Ms. Talley bring to the table? She did not have a doctorate degree. Isn't this one area that you want the position to have a doctorate degree?

Why do some feel they need to see more qualifications that what is provided on the PSC website? Could you imagine the chaos if citizens began demanding to see additional paperwork for other employees paid with tax payer dollars? What kind of environment would that create if you had parents constantly questioning teachers to see their degrees and other qualifications? They are the closest ones to our children. Some of these questions sound more like a witch hunt than anything else.

Be True to Your School said...

The question is, Dr. Beasley, why won't you willingly provide a certified copy of your transcript and a copy of your dissertation? If everything is in order, there should be no problem.

Anonymous said...

@BeTrue...

You really come off as someone with an axe to grind against Dr. Beasley. Just because you claim your right to demand these things of Dr. Beasley because of your status as "taxpayer" hardly justifies your claim. It is madness to believe that anyone would have the right to demand that any educator with an EDD or a PHD should have to make it available on demand. The State of Georgia has developed a mechanism by which educators's credentials are verified. That has occurred. Dr. Beasley's degree has been confirmed. Why can't you let it go? To date, Dr. Beasley has done nothing to warrant your demands that he "prove" his educational pedigree. Once he assumes his new position on July 1, then hold him accountable for what he does and says. While I am not a big fan of DeKalb's hiring (and firing) process, he was vetted and did have competition for the spot. It is an "INTERIM" spot, so he knows that he will of necessity have to endeavor to do an excellent job. While I worked for him at Columbia this past year, I can attest that there was NO increase in unneeded paperwork. He did increase the amount of time spent attending meetings, but that was part and parcel of the school system's mandates from on high. He did require teachers to explain certain data-related questions he might have about grades and tests; however, other principals have required the same. Really, my only complaint about Dr. Beasley was a particular personnel decision that he made and stuck with in the face of outrageous actions by that particular staff member. I am not, however, prepared to discount Dr. Beasley for that one error in judgment. I truly think that he means well and has the best intentions for the students in mind.

Also, it seems that some are forgetting that Dr. Beasley spent quite a few years as principal at Stephenson HS prior to departing for Port Arthur. It is my understanding that he returned to Georgia to be with his family.

Give Dr. Beasley a chance. If he screws up, then vilify him. Right now it just seems that you're trying to get even for some past affront.

Anonymous said...

More on Dr. Beasley and his "other" job: http://spiritoffaithministries.org/home

Particularly look at the Vision section.

I also have a real problem with Dr. Beasley using his "cloingeorgia@aol.com" (chief learning officer in georgia) e-mail address on his church website as well as on his sales page: http://www.apassionforleadership.com/

Enough already!

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 11:13 PM

I don't have an axe to grind against Beasley. I don't know him.

But, DCSS doesn't have time to screw around and find out -- too late -- that there are issues with Beasley that appear to be flagged by his vita, his websites and his lack of responsiveness.

I think DCSS has already been damaged badly by incompetence (Lewis, Pope and cronies; now Tyson); by people who work for themselves on DCSS time (Ramsey, Butler); and by church, sorority and fraternity cliques.

No one gets a pass anymore. Not now. Not ever.

Anonymous said...

@BeTrue

There appears to be the same type of venom in your request as the birthers requesting to see President Obama's birth certificate. Despite the fact that the PSC certified his qualifications, you still want to see more. Should we ask every school system employee to include their employment history along with their certifications and copies of their degrees on their websites? I'm not even sure that would satisfy you. You seem to request a standard greater than required for most employees, just because you asked for it.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher in DCSS, I have been asked by parents my qualifications for being a teacher. I was a new teacher, white, in an African American school. I was not offended and showed them my vita with pride. Did I have to do this? No, but I did it because I had nothing to hide and am proud of my accomplishments outside of Georgia and DCSS.

Asking for his background, to see his vita, and finding out more information about him, in the light of all that is happening in DCSS right now because of poor decisions, no questions being raised, and the green light going forward on all projects, is what I would expect from a community that cares about the quality of their children's education, the values of their homes, and the way the tax payer dollars that they give DCSS are spent.

Having been around the East Coast traveling visiting family and friends. People in education know about DCSS and what they know is not positive. They know about the upcoming criminal cases against our Lewis and others.

If you think that this information won't effect next year's Newsweek polls and others on school rankings, think again. If you think our poor schools will not affect your home values, think again. If you think that educated parents who care deeply about their children receiving a quality education will send their children to a DCSS school, think again.

People have had enough. As a teacher, I have had enough of incompetence. I have had enough of the meaningless paper work, principals who have taught in the middle and high schools running an elementary school, a math curriculum that does not require the children to learn their basic facts enough to understand the algebraic principals that we are teaching in first grade and beyond, a system where the standards are the end all be all and we are not to go beyond, and a system where I would not want my child to be educated even though I am a teacher.

Asking for all of the facts, with the given hiding of information is what this board and any DCSS head administrator should expect. I sat through Tyson's after my work day speech about transparency, and this the transparency that I expect as an educator, tax payer, and parent.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Beasley stinks of Crawford Lewis and I have had enough of people having ties to that man. We have seen that he is not honest or has the best interest of our children at heart. We have a right to know what we are paying for.

Is Beasley part of the friends and family package that continues from the Lewis regime? What was he promised, if he is not wanted by a new superintendent? We have a right to full disclosure.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:04,

In this case, Dr. Beasley's vita is available at apassionforleadership.com/Vita.doc.

BeTrue is not satisfied with that and wants to see more. How would you feel if the same parent that requested to see your qualifications asked to see a 'certified copy of your transcript'? Would you be as willing to provide that over and above your vita or might you question their reasons for wanting to see this?

Along the same lines, would you be wiling to provide a parent a urine sample so they can have it tested to prove that you are not on drugs? Where do you draw the line?

Be True to Your School said...

Oh, please, Anonymous, 8:24 AM!

Asking for a certified copy of a transcript and for a copy of a dissertation is in no way even remotely similar to asking for a urine sample.

Most people who hold a doctorate are proud of the dissertation they published. It is -- or should be -- the result of extensive research in an area that has not previously been researched. It is the result of extensive conferences with the doctoral candidate's advisor and dissertation committee.

Quite frankly, Beasley's vita raises some concerns. Plus, I am even more concerned about his other jobs and moneymaking ventures. I think it is inappropriate for his e-mail address to be "cloingeorgia" -- and even more inappropriate that he uses that e-mail address on his non-DCSS websites.

As I said in an earlier post:
"I don't have an axe to grind against Beasley. I don't know him.

"But, DCSS doesn't have time to screw around and find out -- too late -- that there are issues with Beasley that appear to be flagged by his vita, his websites and his lack of responsiveness.

"I think DCSS has already been damaged badly by incompetence (Lewis, Pope and cronies; now Tyson); by people who work for themselves on DCSS time (Ramsey, Butler); and by church, sorority and fraternity cliques.

"No one gets a pass anymore. Not now. Not ever."

Anonymous said...

@BeTrue, it does seem strange that you are discounting the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Below is from their website,

Title 20 creates the Professional Standards Commission (PSC) and assigns it responsibility for providing a regulatory system for "certifying and classifying" professional employees in public schools. Title 20 also requires the professional employees of all Georgia public elementary and secondary schools to hold state certification.

Certification regulations and procedures are established to evaluate the credentials of prospective teachers as well as other professional employees in the schools, to ensure they meet specified preparation standards and requirements. State certification provides a standardized base-level of professional knowledge and skills for the educators working in public schools. Like many other states, Georgia has adopted a combination of individualized requirements and some commonly used standards developed by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The Georgia Professional Standards Commission outlines the state certification system in Rules and Procedures for the Certification of Education Personnel.


Add to that, he has history in DCSS from his previous stint at Stephenson High School and served as Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and School Leadership in Port Arthur. This is an interim position in a school system would probably would have a hard time finding qualified candidates yet one exists in the school system. Despite all of this, you want to see a certified copy of his transcript. We really need to get out house in order as quickly as possible. Did you apply and not get the position?

I guess that make you a certifier instead of a birther....

Anonymous said...

@BeTrue, you also said this,

Actually, Anonymous, he most certainly is obligated to share his dissertation with me. I am a taxpayer and I pay his salary -- whether as principal or as interim superintendent.

Doesn't this attitude sound similar to that of birthers? By the way, you tax dollars also pay for the PSC, their employees, and the website made available for citizens. You say that is not enough, that he is 'obligated' to share more.

You are a certifier!

Anonymous said...

I have an axe to grind with every single employee in the Central Office. Our hiring standards have to be raised! As long as the current, non-elected, leadership stays in place, do not expect any changes.

The folks who were on CLew-less' cabinet will hang on as long as they can, taking advantage of the DeKalb taxpayers.

Folks, our "Premier" system is the laughing stock in this state, region and the US. The only way to change it is to ask for resignations of every single person who served or was hired under our former Super Clew-less.

Please folks, Dr. Beasley will only provide us with more of the same. It's time the BOE asks for resignations of every friend, family, frat and sorority member.

It's time our state to take over the system for the will of the people. Our property values are at stake. Our community is at stake. What will it take for our BOE to understand this?

People say if everyone resigned at once it would create a power vacuum. It can't be much worse than it is right now. Governor Purdue if you had guts you would insist on taking over our system until we hire an entire new management staff.

How about the info on Action News yesterday that Pat Popes Attorney has been indicted for contacting four people on the Grand Jury? Like Tyson said it was going to get worse before it got better.

I have said it before, we must DEMAND the resignations of Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Mitchell-Mayfield, Thompson, Ramsey, any sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, church members and any Guilroy and especially any Edwards family members. Until we take our school system back it will only be more of the same.

I am so angry that we have not started a Super search. I guarantee you nothing will be done until after the elections. The spineless BOE will make sure no decisions will be made until after they are re-elected.

I say ENOUGH! It's time for change at the DCSS, NOW! What is taking so long?

Anonymous said...

Well worth reading ... in today's New York Times:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/the-anosognosics-dilemma-1/?hp

It explains a lot about DCSS and the DCSS BOE.

Anonymous said...

The superintendent search comes down to this, do we want the current 9 BOE members to select this person, or do we want to wait until after the election for this process to begin? It may be best to appoint a temporary superintendent with a contract period for no more than 18 months so that we can move forward. Give that person the authority to make the tough decisions and if they do well, give them the opportunity to interview for the permanent position. Otherwise, you can cut bait and mover on with someone new.

Anonymous said...

ever dealth with Central Office people?

"When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”

Anonymous said...

The majority of the board will still be the same after the election. Four members will remain (Bowen, Womack, McChesney and Speaks). I think Gene Walker is unbeatable, he has a long history of being a belowed S. DeKalb politician. Remember he voted against renewing Dr. Lewis' contract.

Even if the other 4 lose (and right now that looks doubtful that they will all lose), the majority stays the same.

At times, I wonder if it would be best that SACs would come in and threaten our accreditation just enough that the state can act. Replacing the entire board is our best hope. Without that happening, nothing much changes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:39,

I think the best interim would be one that understands that the job is just temporary and doesn't aspire to it.

This person could make the tough decisions, take the heat and then leave a clean slate for the new person.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we require that our school board members have evidence of higher education? At the very least, shouldn't a college degree be a requirement?

Anonymous said...

I am a new "Anonymous" and have not commented on the threads about Morcease Beasley. However, I have looked at his websites and read an article he published in 2006 as part of his Spirit of Faith Ministries. You can find it at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5765242/Prophetic-Times-Article-for--the-Week-of-February

I have two problems with Beasley. First, our school population is incredibly diverse with thousands of non-Christian students. We have students who are practicing Muslims, Jews, Hindis and just about every other religion and those that practice no religion. He is obviously a very devout man and after reading his writings, I question whether he can separate his relgious beliefs from his government job.

Second and more important, I have a huge problem with high level DCSS employees who have second or third jobs. The Interim Director of Curriculum position is a FULL TIME job. It is more than 40 hours a week. It should be six days a week, 60 hours a week and that is why the salary is so high. Many of our schools are scraping the bottom in academic achievement and our parents, teachers and students deserve someone who devotes 100% of their time to improving the academic and learning environment in our schools.

Beasley and his wife are ministers, they have built churches, he promotes himself as a motivational speaker, he self publishes and sells books and also holds himself out as a consultant for dissertation research and writing.

I want someome who is laser focused on solid academic achievement every day, all day, 365 days a year with a proven track record of success based on solid, verifiable data.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Beasley's writings are fine for a full-time minister, but if he really someone you want being in charge of curriculum for 100,000 students?/

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5765242/Prophetic-Times-Article-for--the-Week-of-February


And as Anon 2:01 said, the Director of Curriculum needs to be focused with laser-like intensity on the school system. Pretty hard to do the same when you're also a minister of a church, a motivational speaker, an author and a paid consultant offering seven different services. Don't know anyone who could work 50 hours a week as Curriculum Director and also run a church, be a motivational speaker, write books and be a consultant with seven different service offerings.

Anonymous said...

"Why don't we require that our school board members have evidence of higher education? At the very least, shouldn't a college degree be a requirement?"

Because if we did, BOE members like Sarah Copelin-Wood and Zepora Roberts woldn't be able to earn a five figure salary, plus thousands more in mileage and travel, and more importantly for them, get their firneds and family hired and promoted over others who are more qualified. We would no longer be able to ask: Where in the World is Jamal Edwards??

Anonymous said...

I would be happy to share my dissertation from a research university with anyone who wants to pay to have a copy made. Or you could go to dissertation abstracts and order a copy of almost anyone's dissertation.

If you want Beasley's dissertation then try dissertation abstracts or contact the Stamford LIbrary through interlibrary loan and get a copy for a fee. You could also read Beasley's book. Beasley may or may not be OK but leave the hiring to the HR people and the board. If you don't like the board go vote and make a hefty contribution to the candidate of your chosing.

As for the board I don't know about college as a requirement but perhaps if they could all take and pass the high school graduation test before they run? As far as for religion, it's not for me, but that's an individual choice in this country. I think any candidate for superintendent who read this blog would be a fool to take this job. Too much negativity and not much emphasis on the students and teachers. You all seem to have the board and school system you deserve,

Anonymous said...

"Too much negativity and not much emphasis on the students and teachers. You all seem to have the board and school system you deserve,"


Whatever, Anon 3:11. Unlike in the past, parents and taxpayers are now asking questions of the Central Office. Are administrators being hired by their qualifications and a national search, or is it the same old, same old hiring practices that was the trademark of the Crawford Lewis administration.

The Curriculum Director is arguably the 2nd or 3rd most important position in the DCSS Administration. Clearly a national search was not done, but a former insider was hired yet again. With Beasley's duties as a minister, motivational speaker, author and consultant, it's more than fair to ask if he'll be able to provide the time and effort needed for a system of 96,000 children.

Anonymous said...

Stick to your guns, Be True! There is nothing wrong with asking for paperwork verifying credentials and with what DCSS has been through regarding corruption and people getting jobs ONLY because of who they know, Dr. Beasley should be the first to understand this and be more than willing to ease our fears.

The fact that he is not responding in any way AT ALL, especially if you have proof that he did indeed get the request, does not speak to his willingness to be forthright.

Naturally, that would cause most of us out here who have been scammed by DCSS to be very very wary. How could anyone not understand this?

"Give someone a chance" is not something DCSS taxpayers feel comfortable doing right now, and understandably so.

DR. BEASLEY, PLEASE RESPOND and put our fears to rest. Write a letter to us, like the BOE Chairman did, so we can get a feel for you and your reasons for not complying with this request, or so we can get a feel for you period.

We want to believe that good people are being brought on board in high positions. People telling us "wait and see" and "12 to 18 months down the road, we'll get around to get a good superintendent" is just plain weird with the current climate of things being what they are.

Anonymous said...

ever dealth with Central Office people?

"When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”

OR THEY GET RID OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ON TO THEM.

Anonymous said...

AMEN. AMEN. AMEN. This bears repeating ....

Anonymous said...
Anon 10:39,

I think the best interim would be one that understands that the job is just temporary and doesn't aspire to it.

This person could make the tough decisions, take the heat and then leave a clean slate for the new person.

June 21, 2010 10:43 AM

Anonymous said...

Anon, 3:11 ... you said:
"Beasley may or may not be OK but leave the hiring to the HR people and the board."

Give me one good reason why we would want to do that? Just one.

Anonymous said...

ANON 10:12,
Very well said.

You ask: I say ENOUGH! It's time for change at the DCSS, NOW! What is taking so long?

APATHY. It will continue. People want to blog and complain and espouse profound things, but they won't take the time to start a riot. DCSS NEEDS PEOPLE (US) TO BE SO FED UP THAT WE TURN OUT IN DROVES WITH THE NEWS REPORTERS ON OUR HEELS.

We'll see that won't happen. Apathy will keep the current BOE fat and happy, hiring people who won't rock the boat. They are counting on our apathy. Somehow they must think they are justified to continue on as usual ... ignorance? pride? what?

This whole situation is appalling. Tyson is certainly correct on one point (of course, she knows because she is unfortunately "one of them"): it will get much much worse before it gets better.

Anonymous said...

I looked up Samford University, and it seems to be a very good university based on the average SAT and ACT scores. That's a pretty good indication of any college IMO. The entrance scores are definitely above average - not quite as good as University of Georgia, but considerably better than Georgia State, and on par with Mercer University. So I would imagine that a doctorate there should be quite respected.

I'm concerned about the fact that teaching seemed to be only a stepping stone to a very "fast track" career, and disturbed that he was hired by Lewis. For a person who obviously has so much ambition to leave a position that paid him more money and carried so much more prestige implies to me that he may have been hired all along to replace Ms. Talley. He had an almost identical position in Texas. Lewis always had someone to blame and let go when test scores declined.

As far as academic prowess is concerned, the university Dr. Beasley got his doctorate from has solid credentials, and the Georgia PSC had no problem accepting his degree. Samford is a brick and mortar school with bright students attending. I think it's okay to ask for his dissertation, but this seems to be a non-issue.

Anonymous said...

One should not pay attention to the trees and lose sight of the forest.

Mr. Beasley, whatever may be his qualifications or alleged deficiencies, is making many of you lose sight of the real problem. This is the bloated and inefficient administration.

An incident that occurred at the last meeting shows that change is not possible unless the state takes over. The incident was that the administration presented to the BOE a list of 4000 (or 7000) salaries that were to be approved. Mr. Redovian, to his credit, stated how can I vote for this unless I know more of the details? Several members of the Board chastised him by stating that we must have confidence in the administration and not micro-manage. It was also stated that the BOE really could not look into normal decisions made by the administration.

Perhaps the 4000 (or 7000) positions and salaries presented by the administration included all of the administrators who are incompetent, inefficient, unnecessary and/or overpaid. Since these could not be investigated or challenged by the Board, the status quo is preserved has the administration desires.

The administration controls the information presented to the Board and makes decisions, including personnel, that the Board cannot challenge or investigate. The only remedy is for an outsider, such as the state, to come in and take charge and weed out the inefficient, unnecessary and incompetent. A new strong independent supervisor who can control the administrators also might be able to accomplish this.

It seems pretty obvious that at least four of the BOE members do not want to see either of the above to happen. They will make some changes around the edges of the system to make it look like they are doing something constructive.

Often times, change is slow in coming. The seismic change needed in DCSS cannot happen under the current setup.

Anonymous said...

In some schools, administrators from the top office of DCSS are allowing people of the family and friends plan to serve in the capacity of administrators. For example,
a person is a given a job because he or she cannot pass the Gace Test, then that person may be given a job as a counselor or preventive specialist.So, why not allow everyone else to make money in another area until we can pass the GACE Test. How can you lead teachers when you cannot pass the GACE in your field. Not one that was given to you because you are on the friends and family plan in DCSS.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 3:11 PM

Beasley may or may not be OK but leave the hiring to the HR people and the board.

Leaving the hiring to the likes of Jamie Wilson, the HR staff and the BOE (they don't hire; they just rubberstamp) has gotten DCSS into the situation we currently are.

Your apathy and judgmental tone are appalling! If you are a parent in DCSS, then you are a large part part of the problem.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous, 9:11 AM

Trust but verify.

In the interests of full disclosure, I did NOT apply for the job Beasley was given.

Here is the delivery receipt to Morcease Beasley from Friday, June 18:
from morcease_j_beasley@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
reply-to morcease_j_beasley@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
to S S
date Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 10:33 PM
subject Delivered: Request for Information
mailed-by srs.bis.na.blackberry.com
Jun 18 (3 days ago)
Your message was delivered to the recipient.

And another delivery receipt from June 20 hecotortmorcease_j_beasley@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
reply-to morcease_j_beasley@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
to
date Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM
subject Delivered: Request for Information
mailed-by srs.bis.na.blackberry.com
Jun 20 (2 days ago)
Your message was delivered to the recipient.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous, 11:13 PM, June 20

I do not have a lot of faith in the Professional Standards Commission. I have seen them make errors that were glaring.

All that aside, Beasley did not spend "quite a few years" at Stephenson. He spent 4 years at Stephenson. They made AYP while he was there, but then promptly fell off the cliff when he left. Stephenson High School is probably a good candidate to look at for cheating on the tests students are given for AYP.

Beasley's time at Columbia has not been stellar, either.

DCSS got along just fine without Gloria Taley's position when we were a larger school system. Have you seen any improvement since she has been here? So, maybe the thing to do in this time of austerity, is to leave Talley's position unfilled and send Beasley scuttling back to Columbia.

Anonymous said...

Someone is desperate for attention.

Anonymous said...

"DCSS got along just fine without Gloria Taley's position when we were a larger school system. Have you seen any improvement since she has been here? "

I thought it was common knowledge that Gloria Talley was hired because she could get DCSS through SACS review. That was really important to Dr. Lewis and no doubt the BOE felt that worth the $206,000 in salary and benefits we paid her.

Be True to Your School said...

It is NOT the job of the public schools to teach morals. That is the parents' job in the home.

Further, I do not care which religion someone is -- I just should not know which religion they practice unless they are close friends.

DCSS is a very diverse school system with many different religions. I don't believe that Beasley can set aside his desire to proselytize in order to work in a public school setting.

Here's a quote from a former student (found on RateMySchool): "I'm glad I'm graduated and gone; it's a high school, not a church, Mr. Beasley. I hope you see this (report)."

Anonymous said...

I was very annoyed last week listening to the sugar expert on the Tom Joyner Radio Show. Then I clicked on the link to the Martha Stewart.com and found Butler another waste of our money from DCSS and nearly passed out from the stories that this lady presented as truth. Does anyone know if her position was cut or did they shower her with a pink slip. ? What exactly is a wellness director? We know she did a poor job as a former principal and still was promoted.

Anonymous said...

So...we are now down to ONE white cabinet level administrator in DCSS...and yet another black "minister" is in! Anyone else out there feeling a bit uncomfortable with this? DCSS is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

An inside source said that Y. Butler is retiring (turned her papers in a few months ago). However, she is still listed in FirstClass (DCSS email system), so maybe her retirement is not yet in effect.

Shannon Williams' resignation is not in effect until June 30th.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:44pm
"Anyone else out there feeling a bit uncomfortable with this? DCSS is a disgrace."

PR Department casualties:
3 white
1 black

just saying....

Anonymous said...

I am Anon Grandma,

I think Anon is a little too angry with Be True comments. Well, let's look at this with the focus of
"DCSS is a mess". Change only happens when the people stop accepting business as usual.
Someone spoke about Tyson promising more transparency.
I don't think this hiring was transparent. Even some of the BOE complained.

Really, it is not this young man named Beasley. The bloggers are right to ask questions of any new hires as of May 2010 and should question everything. The young man from HR needs to read this blog.

I believe in prayer too. So let me quote, faith without works is dead. Time to go to work and seek the truth by asking questions. We already tried blind trust in DCSS and look where it got us. I don't think it is right to get angry at anyone if they are seeking justice for every child.

If any Anon blogger on here is a friend of Beasley, tell him we need a reply and a promise to focus all of his time to DCSS. Thirty years ago educating your child was easier because the family followed the teachers plan of instruction at school, homework, and parent involvement. The teachers came to your home and offered help if anything seemed to interfere with the health and growth of your child.

Now something has negatively impacted the health and growth of our teachers, we need to go to bat for them. God bless the teachers.

Anonymous said...

correction:

My blog reference name is
Anon Grandma.

Anonymous said...

To all of you, please keep up your passion. They have thrived on our apathy, misplaced trust and if you are an employee, fear, for too long. I am usually so busy during the school year as a teacher to look at this site but I have been able to catch a few school board meetings on T.V. and have screamed at the TV in disgust. In my observation and experience over the past school year, I have gained respect for two of the board members, Redovian and Walker. Zepora and Woods must go and yes I am an African American parent, teacher, and taxpayer and you can't play the race card with me and how you are looking out for the interest of South Dekalb schools and how much your presence is needed because right is right and wrong is wrong and the decicions you have made and bylaw changes you have argued against have been criminal. For instance, I can't believe one of those ladies refused to take a small stipend cut because they said they can't afford it when they've thought nothing of cutting teacher pay. What happened to showing solidarity? Do you know what that would mean for the morale of the employess? Oh, I forgot you don't care. You just want to wear a flower on your lapel and get paid for guest appearances and enjoy your title. Please get these ladies out. I can't take it anymore. Thank you for this forum sometimes, I think I am the only one that sees these things and by the way in the light of what is going on in the system, we have a right to ask for detailed qualifications and credentials of anyone that has a position. Have you tried to be an employee of this system and speak to the board, you will feel like you've entered the den of the Mafia and the godfather cronies want to know what you want to bother the godfather for. This is how Crawford and company (which have been named by others in this blog and are still there) are able to get their agendas passed by the board and the board doesn't know of the objections because they are filtered at the door.

Anonymous said...

ANON, 7:53 ... yes, WE ALL are desperate for attention. The BOE and Crawford & Company have caused this paranoia. We are desperate for things to return to the way they should be ... which they haven't been for a long time. There is NO trust.

And, from the blog right before this, DITTO. If you have ever been in a position to get the truth out, if you have ever been in a position to "be investigated" and are innocent, if you have ever tried to follow the procedures and get a hearing before this regime with no success ... you, too, would be desperate. There is NO ONE to listen to the innocent. Their minds are already made up ... before you even say the first word. I know this first hand. It's a place to be desperate ... there is no fairness. There is no justice.

There are many similar stories like mine. We need MAJOR change. The people in power (BOE??) know this deep inside their being. They MUST know by now the depth of the corruption that occurred right before their very closed eyes, that is still occurring.

Anonymous said...

Will the final contestants for the position reflect our multicultural status as a county? Will it be gender neutral? Will there be white, black, Asian, Hispanic, male and female candidates?

Will there be a chance for educators and parents to submit questions to the candidates?

Will the contract offered be kept a secret?

Be True to Your School said...

The DCSS BOE and insiders like Mor-of-the-same-will-this-never-Cease Beasley ignore taxpayers and stakeholders because they can. They know that they are basically beyond the reach of the law and that the rest of us are powerless to do anything about it.

They know -- as most of us are just learning -- that, legally, the hands of the governor, the State Superintendent of Schools and the State Board of Education are tied. By law, there is nothing that Governor Perdue, Kathy Cox / Brad Bryant and/or the State BOE can do.

The one agency that could do something is SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) -- and they are sitting on their hands.

That the law needs to be changed goes without saying.

SACS has the authority and they have done nothing. SACS could have acted before the criminal investigations began. They did nothing. SACS continues to do nothing.

It is frightening to realize that the inmates run the asylum as far as Georgia education is concerned.

Why is Georgia education at the bottom of the heap? You need look no further than the hot mess of racketeering, criminal activities, "me-first" board members and central office administrators and the Friends and Family Hiring Plan continuing unabated within DCSS.

To those parents, taxpayers and other stakeholders who care: we MUST forcibly take our schools back and large turnouts at BOE meetings won't do it.

Mary Kay said...

Anon 10:16

Couldn't agree with you more. It explains a lot... about a lot of things going on recently.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/the-anosognosics-dilemma-1/?hp

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mary Kay! This article is well worth reading! http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/the-anosognosics-dilemma-1/?hp

For those wondering how to correctly pronounce "anosognosics" -- as I certainly was -- go to:

http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=anosognosia

Anonymous said...

"One reason the board has not begun the search is that the board can't really tell if they are allowed to meet behind closed doors on the subject."

Why does the BOE need to meet behind closed doors? Too many decisions have been made "behind closed doors." If any decision ever needed to be open for public viewing, the choosing a our next superintendent should be totally transparent.

Anonymous said...

"Beasley may or may not be OK but leave the hiring to the HR people and the board."

Give me one good reason why we would want to do that? Just one.


Because that is the way is supposed to work. If you don't like the way it really works your only legal input is the school board. SACS would never accredit a school system that abdicates hiring to the mob.

Anonymous said...

Check out Nancy Jester's website. She's running for District 1 BOE rep against Redovian.

http://www.nancyjester.com/

Anonymous said...

"Beasley may or may not be OK but leave the hiring to the HR people and the board."
-------------------------
Give me one good reason why we would want to do that? Just one.
-------------------------

Because that is the way is supposed to work. If you don't like the way it really works your only legal input is the school board. SACS would never accredit a school system that abdicates hiring to the mob.
--------------------------

legal schmegle. Using the word "legal" and "this school board" in the same sentence is laughable. And "Supposed to work" is the key phrase. With the BOE and leadership that we have, leaving any BIG decisions to them is why this blog became necessary in the first place. SACS should get involved immediately and do something.

It is what it is. Which is why we don't want this BOE putting their stamp of approval on any important position so we can have "more of the same."

We all welcome any suggestions that you think would benefit our students. It's obvious we need some viable answers and soon. How exactly would you handle it, ANON 2:44?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:44, you are ABSOLUTELY correct! It seems that the *certifier* (AKA BeTrue) is advocating this mob mentality that can really get our school district in trouble. BeTrue is looking for SACs to do what the voters of DeKalb won't do, make sure quality Board members are in place. If SACs won't do it, then BeTrue wants to do it.

Like most people, I have issues with some of our current board members. I recognize that most of the problems in our school system did not begin with the current 9. This country is facing economic challenges because of laws passed that made it easy to provide home loans to people who could not afford them. A lot of people made money off of this however a lot of people are paying for this with underwater loans and foreclosures. Less money is coming in from property taxes resulting in less money for our school system. This is impacting most school districts around the country. Our board members are dealing with a reality that is beyond their control, there is not as much income as prevous years and tough decisions must be made.

This 'Friends and Family' began back in the days of Jim Cherry. It's just that then, we did not have the internet to share information about the goings on in the school system. Some of the current group are doing things they have seen over time. That does not make it right but it does not mean all referrals were bad hires. This happens in most government and school districts around the country.

In most businesses, employees can get a one time bonus for a successful referral. This is because it saves the organization money by not having to use a head hunter. Does anyone know if this is the case with school systems?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:01, the economy has very, very little to do with the issues DCSS is facing right now. They have a billion dollar budget, and through poor decisions, poor hiring, poor spending, etc., we have a school system where the top 2 officials are indicted under the RICO ACt. There is more than enough money at DCSS< but millions and millions have been wasted, and the spending priorities are everywhere but the classroom.

And the current board has members that are a major part of the problem, with Sarah Copelin-Wood and Zepora Roberts leading the way. They've enabled the worst mess of any school system in the country right now. Yes, it's that bad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:29 said Anon 4:01, the economy has very, very little to do with the issues DCSS is facing right now.

You can't be serious in saying that? Yes, our former top two officials are facing RICO charges but that centers around SPLOST dollars not the general budget. Yes there has been poor decisions with eductional programs, hiring and other things but haven't we had many of our children succeed in spite of that?

During the good times, board members probably should have rolled back the millage rate but they did not. That would have helped to hold the line on some expenses. How much has gas, food, and other expenses needed for running a school district gone up over time? Cutting 1/8 of an 800 million dollar general budget will impact the classroom. Are you saying the state of the economy has nothing to do with larger class sizes, delaying book purchases, and no salary increases for teachers? When you add in their retirement has not been funded for two years, what impact do you think that will have on some teachers?

This state of our economy is not limited to school districts but businesses around the country. Have you been on P'tree Industrial inside the Perimeter of Lawrenceville Hwy where are the car dealerships once were located? Have you seen foreclosure signs throughout DeKalb?

We have serious problems with our school system. The state of the economy has made some of them more apparent.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was a science teacher for DCSS (just left the system thank god). When all this hot mess started in 2008, she asked if teachers would be let go or teaching positions reduced? I actually laughed and said - Don't give it another thought - there is so much fat in the Central Office and other areas that they'll be forced to trim them before they ever touch the classroom.

I was terribly wrong. One of the problems is that teachers are very isolated from the other professional employees in DCSS since most of their day is spent teaching students. Other employees that are professionals within DCSS have the time to be involved in office politics. They can form alliances, go to lunch and "bond", etc. - exactly like a large corporation. Thus when it came time to make the cuts, teacher positions were the easy way out.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 3:09 PM and Anonymous 4:01 PM and others of your ilk:

Your lack of information and -- most of all -- your condescending, unpleasant attitude -- are not appreciated, nor helpful.

We have serious problems in DCSS and almost no means of successfully resolving them short of a complete takeover by the state which has to be instigated by SACS, as I understand it. SACS is still sitting on their hands.

I am not advocating mob action by any means. But, I am saying that it is time for parents, taxpayers and other stakeholders to take back our schools -- forcibly, if necessary.

There are many ways to use force. Elections are one way. Another way is to set up conversion charter schools and charter clusters all over DeKalb County. That will go a long way toward eliminating bloat in the DCSS central office.

One thing is for sure: as parents, taxpayers and stakeholders, we must -- beginning now -- stand shoulder to shoulder with our teachers and other schoolhouse personnel. We -- parents, taxpayers and stakeholders -- must be the Maginot Line between our teachers and the vindictive Central Office personnel and the poorly qualified principals who are their puppets.

County-wide, the leadership of PTAs and other parent groups should be doing two things right now:
1. Arranging for every teacher to have a parent volunteer to get the classrooms set up before the first day of school and assist with clerical and organization needs to free teachers for essential pre-planning.
2. Arranging for parent or community volunteers to be in every school daily. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere: Front office, media center, clinic, attendance office, cafeteria, hallway monitors, etc.

Volunteers will get real insight into the quality -- or lack, thereof -- of central office and local school administrators.

We have serious problems that threaten to take down all of DeKalb County -- not just the school system -- and we need serious people willing to think outside the box to solve these problems. Clearly, not you. So step aside -- your fifteen minutes are up!

Anonymous said...

And "BeTrue" and your numerous Anonymous postings, I say to you that you are hijacking this blog with your continuous daily, hourly rantings, name-calling, vicious retorts, in an obvious attempt to destroy the credibility of this blog.

Anonymous said...

@ "Be True" 6:36 pm

All good suggestions. More parent volunteers and more charter schools.

Why is it that South DeKalb has all the charter schools?

Be True to Your School said...

@Anonymous 5:41 PM

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt. (A. Lincoln)

First, Peachtree Industrial inside I-285 is now known as Peachtree Boulevard. (Read much?) Second, neither Peachtree Boulevard (inside I-285) nor Peachtree Industrial (outside I-285) goes anywhere near Lawrenceville. (Get out much?) Peachtree Boulevard is in Chamblee.

Clew-less and Pope/Reid are just the tip of the iceberg as far as DCSS fraud is concerned. The gangsta and cronyism/nepotism culture in DCSS has not only encouraged fraud, it has enabled cover-ups and made honest people afraid for their jobs if they spoke out. Fraud convictions will go far beyond SPLOST and reach into federal funds (Title 1) and state funds (per-pupil).

DCSS employees who have stolen from our children and participated in fraud (that includes auditors, finance and upper management who were and are in a position to know about fraudulent activities) -- you know who you are -- should seriously consider stepping forward, confessing and providing evidence. Otherwise, it is going to go that much harder on you. Not that you don't deserve jail time. But, it might not be all that much fun. I'm just sayin' ...

Back to the budget -- Tyson had an opportunity to do the right thing. But, it has been so long since she has done the right thing, she couldn't find it with two hands and a flashlight. Tyson could have and should have cut the central office budget to the bone. She could have and should have gotten rid of America's Choice and the like -- returning those Title I funds to teach DCSS's Title I students where they would have the greatest effect. She could have and should have protected the classroom, the teachers and the students first. Instead, Tyson chose to protect her bloated and mostly ineffective IT and central office staff. Tyson is so far out of her league, she can't see it from where she is.

We have the money in DCSS to educate our children and educate them well -- but not when we pi$$ it away. The economy has nothing to do with the problems of fraud, malfeasance, cronyism and nepotism sucking the life -- and the money -- out of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

How many screen names are you going to come up with? How much longer are you going to keep this up? Until everyone gets bored with your nonsense and leaves this blog?

Be True to Your School said...

More volunteers and more charter schools.

Not just "more volunteers", but a plan to engage every parent -- moms and dads (grandparents and neighbors, too) -- to volunteer in an area where they have skills or interests. This should not fall to only stay-at-home moms, either. Encourage parents to check with their employers and see if they provide time off to volunteer in schools -- many do. But, you won't know if you don't ask. Encourage parents to sign up for one or two specific days of vacation to volunteer. Develop a parent-to-parent mentoring culture in schools to encourage and assist those parents who don't volunteer because of transportation problems, shyness, discomfort with schools, etc.

I have never really looked at where charter schools are located in DCSS. But, if you look at the successful charter schools in North DeKalb, you will see that they are, for the most part, conversion charter schools. Conversion charter schools are the easiest to start -- and the easiest to keep going. They make the most sense financially, too. Google "How to start a conversion charter school in Georgia." What's stopping you?

The 10 most powerful 2-letter words in the English language:
If it is to be, it is up to me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:44 PM said...

How many screen names are you going to come up with? Just the one.

How much longer are you going to keep this up? Geez -- I don't know.

Until everyone gets bored with your nonsense and leaves this blog? I'll be satisfied if you just leave.

Anonymous said...

@ "Be True"

My daughter went to Chamblee HS. It was changed to a conversion charter high school while she was still there, and that was one of the schools I supported as a trainer for DCSS. Quite frankly, I didn't see any difference in a "conversion charter school" and just regular schools in DCSS. CHS seemed just as embroiled in DCSS politics as any other high school. Teachers were just as mired in the dictates of the Central Office as the regular schools, etc.

I supported teachers at every conversion school in DCSS including Chesnut, Kingsley, Smoke Rise, Peachtree Charter Middle School as well as CHS (i.e. all of the conversion charter schools in DCSS). These schools like the regular schools seemed to be stepping stones for career advancement. For example, Ms. Alexander, principal of Chestnut ($80,000 in 2004), is now in the Central Office ($108,000) - 35% increase in pay or 7% annually for the last 5 years (BTW - she was an excellent principal at Chestnut - I am not singling her out - she's very bright and hard working).

It seems that the conversion charter schools were primarily to get additional funds - not to serve students in a new and novel way. Please note that all the conversion charter schools are in the northern part of the county.

Do you know of any true (not conversion) charter schools that in the northern part of the county?

Dunwoody Mom said...

It's Chesnut, not Chestnut. And yes, Mrs. Alexander was a marvelous, well loved, much respected prinicpal. She is missed in the schoolhouse.

It seems that the conversion charter schools were primarily to get additional funds - not to serve students in a new and novel way

Untrue statement.

Anonymous said...

Conversion Charter Schools are a Crock

Conversion Charter Schools are ways for schools to get money for things like Smart Boards, school wide training, and other things not available via the school budget. Conversion Charter Schools get a sum of money between $200,000 and $800,000 for this conversion. Conversion Charter schools keep the same basic curriculum, have the same benchmarks, and follow other DCSS guidelines (no zeros, multiple times to complete work, etc). Teachers are required to put in more time and energy to fulfill the charter. Parents get the benefit of saying that their child attends a charter school.

The state and federal government should not be spending money on conversion charter schools. Instead this money should be used to fresh ideas, and proven methods of quality instruction. Right now conversion charter schools, provide funding for school systems that should be funding these schools on their own.

I would love to start a true charter school in the North End of the county. I don't know anyone to help make that happen. I hope that the Museum School gives the county schools in that attendance area, a run for their money, so that they have to step things up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
How many screen names are you going to come up with? How much longer are you going to keep this up? Until everyone gets bored with your nonsense and leaves this blog?
June 22, 2010 7:44 PM
------------------------------------
I also go by Anonymous, and I am not Be True.

But I respect the opinions of Be True AND THE OPINIONS OF ANYONE BLOGGING HERE. The idea is to share and try to come up with reasons this happened and solutions. If you start to read a blog and you don't like it, just skip over it and go to the next one. There is no reason to be critical and hurtful.

Hopefully you realize we are all in this together ... unless you are part of the corruption that has become DCSS.

SO, My response: You are very rude. There are many opinions presented here. Also many facts that we wouldn't have otherwise if not for this blog. I believe it will actually HELP the new leadership when they finally get on board.

Be True has made very very good points, and btw has held many very important positions in DCSS. Be True has SINGLEHANDEDLY done many wonderful things for this school system, and is ONE person who has indeed made a difference.

Therefore, understandably, Be True feels deeply about what's happened to our system because Be True has given countless hours of time over the years trying to make it the best it could be.

Furthermore, I think you owe us all an apology for putting someone down for their contribution. If we bicker among ourselves, we can't possibly make things good again.

Shame on you.

Cerebration said...

Well said, Anon of many Anons! We all need to try our best to have a respectable conversation here. Please refrain from personally criticizing others on this blog. Brainstorming discussion is a process - criticizing someone along the way only stops them from contributing more and that next thing may have been the thing that inspired someone else to find an answer. That's how it works - and it won't work at all if there is not mutual respect. In fact, our critics relish in our bickering. So be kind - these are real people chatting here.

Anonymous said...

@ Dunwoody Mom

Sorry about the misspelling for Chesnut. I actually do know how to spell it.

You say my statement is untrue.

Please tell me how Chesnut differed from regular schools. Chesnut was converted to a Technology Charter.

In 2000 I was told Chesnut teachers voted to have closed circuit TVs versus more computers in the classroom so they could view videos on demand. This is how they spent their extra "charter" funds. At the time they had no lab and 8 computers in the media center. A number of years later, they had technical problems with their TVs, but had no money to maintain this system. As of 2008, the teachers had only a couple of computers in the classroom, a computer lab that had many, many technical problems (this lab came from SPLOST I funds), and many teachers that were not trained in technology integration and did not want to use technology in the classroom.

Please remember, Chesnut was a Technology Charter.

Chesnut had some very good and dedicated teachers (technology is not a prerequisite for good teaching), a wonderful and diverse student population (great kids - and great parents), and excellent administrators. However, their Technology Charter was technology in name only. Please give me some examples of the technology integration that was novel to this school. I worked in and out of this school for years and never saw it.

Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with Anon @8:50 pm. I have worked at one of the converted Charter Schools in N. Dekalb and it operates the same as any other elementary school in the county. The charter schools should be able to instruct children in a different manner than a regular school but it appears they are held to the same instructional methods as the other schools in the county. I just don't get it!

Anonymous said...

Anon June 23, 2010. All schools must abide by the state curricula standards. However, a conversion charter school can use different teaching methods and grading standards so long as the teachers are teaching the GPS standards. The schools' charter sets out the ways in which a conversion charter will operate that may differ from the other schools in the system. The charter will also set forth the regulations that the charter school is exempt from.

In my experience, the problem is that the principals and assistant principals at the charter schools do not undertand or respect the charter. Many parents and teachers have never taken the time to read the charter. And finally, the governing councils for these schools have changed over time and they do not understand or enforce the charter provisions. So some absolutely GREAT conversion charter schools no longer can be distinguished from non-charters. This is sad and parents and teachers need to speak up and speak loudly. I understand that the state BOE will take notice.

Anonymous said...

OK, you guys - I'm looking into setting up a vuvuzela concession in the parking lot of the MIC on BoE meeting days - think I'll make a mint!

Then, when lots of people have one, I'll conduct the vuvuzela orchestra in the parking lot for the enjoyment of all!