Sunday, July 25, 2010

Best book deal in town

It's a great gig - write a book and as a "leader" in DeKalb schools, you have almost guaranteed yourself thousands of dollars in bonus income as your adoring 'fans' (employees) scarf up copies (no one seems to want to be caught without one!)

Read more at today's report in the AJC. Here's a snippet -

When DeKalb school official Ralph Simpson wrote a book about himself in 2007, he didn’t look far for a ready-made market to sell it.

He sold more than $12,560 worth of copies of the book — titled “From Remedial To Remarkable” — to five schools in the school district where he works, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. Two of the schools were under his direct supervision.

In the 70-page paperback, printed in large font generally reserved for children’s books, Simpson writes about his evolution from a high school student in remedial classes to an assistant superintendent with a doctorate degree.

Now Simpson and at least three other school officials are under investigation by the school district, which also is asking the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to review the matter. The commission has the power to investigate and discipline educators.

Simpson sold 605 copies of the book to the high school where he had recently served as principal.


===

What do you think? Conflict of interest or simply capturing memoirs and sharing insight?

216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
Famous FarmHouser said...

As DunwoodyTalk blog ( http://dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com/ )posted this morning,

"From Remedial to Remarkable to RipOff"

Cerebration said...

Personally, I'm happy to see black men like Ralph Simpson, Dale Bronner and Bishop Eddie Long doing all they can to make a positive impression on young black men and encouraging them to stay in school and do the right thing.

It appears that Ms Thedford, in an effort to impress her boss, may have misused federal funds. This is her own lack of integrity and really shouldn't reflect on Dr. Simpson and what he's trying to do.

A few copies for a classroom discussion (30?) would have done the trick. I personally donated a classroom set of "Night" by Elie Wiesel, recounting his survival of the Holocaust, to a Lakeside English teacher. (Of course, I did not use federal funds to do this and I would go so far as to say that Thedford, with her six-figure salary, could have afforded to personally donate a classroom set.)

Bottom line - Simpson has a valid point that young black men need to hear. Some of these issues are so important to discuss with teenagers - that is, if teachers are allowed to get off the test preps for a day or two.

Anonymous said...

Cere,

Thank you for not just looking for a way to be critical and not objective. I am not related to any of the individuals involved.
Dr. Simpson worked his way up through the school system. He has been in the system almost 20 years. There was no policy in place. It is strange that this happened three years ago and is now coming to light.
Is someone trying to divert attention from other issues that are pressing in the school system? If there are concerns about a purchase and it takes three years and a different superintendent to investigate it, I cringe to think how much money may have been misused. Again, it does not speak well of the former leadership. Ms Tyson really does have a huge task and a thankless job.
With this as with other issues, please let us not be so quick to rush to judge those involved.
This is not a P-Card purchase,but purchases made on those cards are questioned each month.
Why did it take almost three years to question this purchase.
Could someone have a personal agenda?
Signed,
Just Wondering

Anonymous said...

I think it took three years because of the way the purchases were disguised. Go back and watch the original report from Richard Belcher on the paper trail for the original purchase. The purchase was broken up into four parts, with the highest total being $4,800, just under the $5000 limit for a higher level of scrutiny of the purchase.

Anonymous said...

How many copies were bought by DCSS of Lonnie Edwards' book, Sanders-Butler's cookbook ?

Anonymous said...

This is a conflict of interest bordering on graft, in my opinion. He is selling a book (and a very poorly written one, if the AJC article is to be believed) in a direct conflict of interest. This is exactly what the DeKalb public schools do NOT need in their administrators.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Simpson is an area supervisor for DCSS, one of the highest ranking and most important jobs in the school sytem.

Somehow he got into college with a 480 SAT. That same college that let in a student with a 480 SAT also granted his masters degree. He received his doctorate from an online dimploma mill, Sarasota University, where other DCSS administrators have received their degrees. Heck, that's where Pam Speaks received her's. Yvonne Butler, the DCSS head of Corporate Wellness even though she has no background in it, received her's from Sarasota.

Would love for DCSS to require its administrators with Ph.D's to post their thesis' online. I'm guessing the quality of a Sarasota thesis is a little bit different from a GA State or UGA thesis.

And there is no Sarasota University!! It's from Argosy- Sarasota.
http://www.argosy.edu/locations/sarasota/default.aspx
Argosy = Diploma Mill

Anyway, Ralph wrote a 70 page book in large font that sells for $19.95??!! And many of the pages are quotes from others. What a beacon of educational leadership you are, Dr. Ralph.

But he is smart enough to form a company with his attorney, Rem 2 Rem LLC, so his name doesn't show up on any of the invoices.

Hey, here's an easy one for the investigation: Look at any and all e-mails on the DCSS e-mail system between Ralph Simpson and carol Thedford, Beverly Jackson, Susan Freeman, and the principals from the other schools that made purchases.

I'm not sure what's worse: The spending of tens of thousands of taxpayer money in an illegal manner, or how bad his book is, 70 pages of large font, written by an educator with a doctorate. Oh vey.

Anonymous said...

Over 25% of the book's content is quotes from famous people (19 of 70 pages).

Anonymous said...

Couldn't his message have gotten to the children better, by him coming into the classrooms and speaking with the children?

Also, this principal has been demoted, but her salary will most likely remain the same, as she had already signed a contract for the 2010-2011 school year. This demotion is only in name, not salary.

Dr. Simpson, knew what was going on and didn't speak up. He is just as much to blame. No school needs 605 copies of one book that will be used for a few class periods. If Dr. Simpson truly cared about the children of DeKalb, he could have donated 30 copies to each high school or even a few copies for the libraries. Making money off the district that you work for is not ethical to me and stinks.

Anonymous said...

Cerebration -- would yu express hope that white students at Lakeside could be inspired to "do the right thing" by a "minister" who preaches the gospel of wealth and an "educator" who scores 480 on the SAT and buys a "doctorate" on line?

Anonymous said...

We can argue the value of the book, but many of us haven't read it. I think that Dr. Simpson could have presented the information in this book to students in other ways. Publishing a book is a way to get greater dissemination of your ideas, but it is also a way to make money. Cere is correct. The school could have solicited donations to pay for a set of books. The local PTA or other community organizations could have done this.

I think that the problem was that DeKalb school administrators made a deliberate effort to get around the rules when purchasing these books. There are rules for spending school money and everyone is expected to follow them. DeKalb has a very specific process for purchasing items for its schools. In this case the oversight that should have stopped this purchase didn't work. Why?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:19

"Couldn't his message have gotten to the children better, by him coming into the classrooms and speaking with the children?"

Actually, Dr. Simpson has spoken at various school assemblies. I know specificaly of 2 middle schools where he spoke during an honors day program and a school assembly day program.

I have not read the book, but based on the report in the AJC and the comments on this blog, the message in his speaking engagements were basically the same as what is in his book. (By the way, the speaking engagements took place during the day while he was still principal at MGH.)

Anonymous said...

I work for DeKalb County schools and had a legitimate $60.00 purchase (picture books) questioned by the Title I office. If they had two orders to the same company the same day for $4800.00 they knew something was going on. And if they didn't know, they should have because that is the entire reason for the office.

The Title I coordinator should be invested as well.

Honestly, I think they should get rid of the office and put the Title I funds back into the hands of Title I school principals. If the county is worried the principals aren't smart enough to spend their own funds, how are they smart enough to be principal.

If they are worried the principal will misuse the funds, they can set up a website where all the invoices of Title I funds are published. I guarantee that someone will look through the purchases and the principals will know the information is out there- not hiding in the Title I office only to be discovered if there is a whistleblower.

Anonymous said...

I've read the book, and it's mediocre at best.

A few thoughts:
I expect the investigation to look at whether Simpson used DCSS computers to book his speaking engagements, do business related to his book, etc. Anytime he spent during the work day on his book and speaking engagement business is stealing.

I hope the investigation on Principal Thedford looks at all of her purchasing. it is highly unlikely that this is the one time she went right under the $5,000 threshold for purchases.

It was mentioned earlier, but if Ramona Tyson doesn't lower Thedford's pay to Asst. Principal level, then Tyson herself is part of the problem.

What is with Eddie Long alwasy being on the outskirts of many DCSS scandals?

If he has any personal ethics of his own, maybe Simpson will realize it's time to move onto another school system. No matter what the outcome of the investigation, his credibility in DeKalb is dinged.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:19 pm
"Also, this principal has been demoted, but her salary will most likely remain the same, as she had already signed a contract for the 2010-2011 school year. This demotion is only in name, not salary. "

When DCSS personnel sign a contract, it is stated in the contract that the salary is subject to change at any time. There should be no reason to deep anyone at a principal's salary when he/she is doing an AP's job. The superintendent could override the salary decrease and leave her the same, but there is no record or reason to believe that Ms. Tyson did this.

Be True to Your School said...

Is it possible that Simpson's book is really also his "doctoral" dissertation?

Someone said earlier that all teachers and administrators with a doctoral degree should make their dissertations available to read online. I wholeheartedly agree.

I would go further and say that masters theses should be made available online, too.

Teachers and administrators are paid extra for these degrees. We taxpayers should see what we are paying for.

What Next in DCSS ? said...

Conflict of interest? This was another DCSS insider ripping off the schools to line his pockets with cash! Fraud and Theft by any other name.

Charging the schools full price for the books. Faking signatures. Paying for the books with multiple transactions 'just under' $5,000.00.

This isn't an ethics issue. This is a law enforcement issue. These criminals should be arrested and thrown in jail.

Anonymous said...

In doing so, Thedford “may have failed to prevent the circumvention of a school district purchasing policy,” according to Tyson’s letter.

Who wrote that sentence?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

People in the north, where the schools still work, do not understand just how much we in the south suffer because of the corruption. Our schools do not educate, and too many of the people running them do not care.

Anonymous said...

The number and order of words make Thedford's action a technicality instead of a willful violation of a policy to avoid abuse or criminality.

Instead of “may have failed to prevent the circumvention of a school district purchasing policy,” it should have said "has circumvented school district purchasing policy,”.

QUESTION: Has this book sold anywhere else but in Dekalb Schools under the supervision of Dr. Simpson?

Anonymous said...

The biggest scandal is that someone with an SAT score of 480 has been promoted to a position of leadership. An SAT score of 480 is equivalent to an I.Q. of about 55.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:58 PM,
Principals and above are not paid extra for their degrees. Teachers are paid extra for degrees. The degree does not have to be in the area that they are teaching to be paid extra. There is even one school that offers a Master's Degree in Education. There does not have to be a special area of concentration. Many people now are doing all of their degrees on line.
Things have changed so much. If you can afford the fee, you can become "Dr.".
Not everyone goes that route. There are still individuals that really graduate from a real school.

Anonymous said...

As I live and breathe, what on earth will we find out next? This system is a piece of work.

Anonymous said...

I see from the BOE meeting notes of July 12th that DCSS will be paying almost a million more for eSis in August:
Quick Summary / Abstract
Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Executive Director, Management Information Systems

Details:
The application was approved by the Board of Education on January 14, 2008 and the approval (RFP 8-11) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual Board of Education approval. The payment scheduled was approved as follows:

Year 1: $ 800,000.00 (paid January 2008)
Year 2: $ 900,000.00 (paid August 2008)
Year 3: $ 850,000.00 (due August 2009)
Year 4: $ 850,000.00 (due August 2010)
Year 5: $ 662,779.00 (due August 2011)
Total: $4,062,779.00

Services which are included in the price include project management, database configuration, student data conversion and migration, application installation, implementation, testing, training and product support. The vendor also provides customized reporting tailored to the needs of state and federal requirements, district administrators, principals and registrars.

Anonymous said...

Please don't say someone who made 480 on the SAT has the IQ of 55.

The SAT is a very specific test that only measures things you have been taught. It doesn't measure your ability to learn.

If we tell students who do poorly on the SAT they can't learn. Then they probably won't.

Most people only start really having control over their lives and education when they are adults.

My guess is that he didn't have all the advantages of having educated parents and going to a school where the SAT was important.

He should get credit for trying to get an education.

The college he went to offered some type of Developmental Studies were he could be brought up to college level.

When I was in college the students who started in Developmental Studies often did better than those of us who scored high on the SAT. They almost always worked harder which in my opinion is more important than being smart in the first place.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 3:30 pm: Thank you for your comment. We need to be very careful on how we rate or think of people based on an SAT score. Please remember it's not how or where you start but how you finish.

I also were required to take developmental studies English and Math when I started at GA State back in 1983. It was the best thing that could have happened to me and my college career. Since that time, I have gone on and worked my up to an Executive Level position in State Government and I'm doing quite well for myself and my family.

Let's not get too narrow minded and start making assumptions about people based on SAT scores. Thank you again Anon 3:30 pm for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Eddie Long's name on this book tells me that something shady was going on and I suspect that one way or another his church made money from these sales.

Anonymous said...

I don't care how you spin it. The fact that this guy was admitted to a state college with a 480 on the SAT is incredible and shocking to this taxpayer. A student with a 480 on the SAT and probably very poor grades needs to take some remdial courses before going to college and then retake the SAT and ACT.

And we absolutely have to stop paying folks for these fake masters and doctorate degrees. It has cheapened the entire world of education.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 1:28pm "If the county is worried the principals aren't smart enough to spend their own funds, how are they smart enough to be principal."

Worth repeating! Our principals should be the highest paid employee of the system by policy. They should be recruited as such, empowered as such, retained as such, and held accountable as such. And, they should be welcome to stay at a school for life if they are so inclined and continue to perform.

Whatever redeeming qualities Simpson or Thedford may have, decision-making is their job and these purchasing decisions were terrible at best.

Crackerjack leadership in the school building on a daily basis is what is needed in our trouble schools-not the latest self-improvement book, not a new curriculum, not new mascots, not additional testing.

Combine first class, empowered principals with a consolidated infrastructure and removed 1 or 2 layers of hierarchy above them, and 90% + of DeKalb's problems will clear up in due course.

We spend way too much time talking about Central Office personnel because there are way too many of them making way too many decisions that should be made by teachers and principals.

Anonymous said...

I think it is somewhat arbitrary to classify all online education degrees as inferior. There are some well respected brick and mortar colleges and universities that offer them. The university where I earned my undergraduate degree offers an ALA (American Library Association) accredited MLS (Masters in Library Science) degree that can be completed entirely online. MLS programs are few and far between, so an online program makes is possible for someone from Georgia to earn a degree that isn't available at any college or university in the state.

There are many agencies that accredit schools. If a school can't qualify under one, there are others. Going back to my example, the gold standard for a library degree in this country is the MLS from an ALA accredited school. However, this is a difficult accreditation to get and it is expensive to maintain. So, colleges and universities in Georgia offer a master's or specialist degree for school librarians and these programs are accredited by other agencies.

Comparing schools accredited by different organizations is like comparing apples and oranges. They both may be good, but they are also different. State of Georgia accepts these online degrees for the purpose of granting teaching certificates. As long as the state accepts them, people will continue to use these programs to earn their advanced degrees.

Anonymous said...

According to the AJC, "While at the school district, Simpson earned a master’s degree from West Georgia despite being rejected admission into the program numerous times." Whether or not his low SAT scores are indicative of innate intelligence, apparently his college career wasn't particularly impressive either. His alma mater didn't feel that he was qualified to attend their own graduate program. It sounds to me that the man was grossly unqualified for both college and graduate school, but somehow rose to the top of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

I think what was done was very unethical and the people in the county office had to know what was going on.The book was written in large font and included pages and pages of quotes. Sounds to me like he wanted to write a book and sell it to DeKalb so he could make money. As for the online degrees-I am not so sure about them. I am a teacher that received her Masters from University of GA. At my school I saw teachers getting their online degrees and I know it was not the same as attending a university or college. In fact, one teacher wanted to borrow some activities I did in my classroom and send it in to her online college like she had done the work with her students. I think these online degrees are not the quality of attending classes.

Anonymous said...

To find out how badly educated most of the administration of DCSS are, just listen to them speak. They cannot even speak or write the English language properly. It's hard to have respect for those folks when they fail to show the intelligence their degree says they possess.

Anonymous said...

Whoa!

This guy "scored" a 480 on the SAT when everyone got 400 just for showing up (and 1600 was the max).

And now he's a "leader" in DCSS selling his vanity published "book" to the schools he supervises.

This school system is unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't someone checking the purchase orders? This is federal money. I agree with an earlier poster. Why now? Why 2 and a half years later?
Aren't audits performed every year?

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Ralph Simpson is more wrong than Thedford. He actually pocketed the federal funds.

Anonymous said...

All of this so far is only the tip of the iceberg. We need charter clusters and local control of funding. Look at the City of Decatur Schools as an example of how to do it right.

Anonymous said...

There should be a requirement that all DCSS employees provide a list of books that they have written and disclose that information. There are others including assistant principals and teachers who have had their books purchased using federal funds.

This should be include music CDs (rap songs about the CRCT)-that email went around everywhere, gift baskets, teacher gifts (t-shirts, etc), through their side businesses.

Cerebration said...

I will say, I'm interested in this phenomena that highly paid administrators in DCSS exhibit - finding ways to make even more money than they already do (Lewis and Pope taking the prize in this category).

I think we pay these folks plenty - yet we see people running total businesses on the side as "motivational speakers" or "ministers" or "curriculum and book publishers" or "college instructors" or "state senators".

Are you aware that our own head of human resources is a part-time instructor at Argosy? Surely, that's his choice, but as a taxpayer, how can I be certain that he is fully dedicated to the high-paying job he has with DCSS? How can I be certain he isn't secretly working on lesson plans while on school system time? Sorry - it just bugs me. $165,000 should be a decent amount of money for someone to survive on. Worse, why do we pay so much for our head of internal affairs, only to sacrifice his presence to the general assembly for 40 days/year?

Yes - and many of our teachers in our online academy (DOLA) also teach full time in a regular DCSS school. For many years, we've seen various teachers also working as a coach of some kind. I wonder if we paid teachers more, would they feel compelled to have to work additional jobs? Would they end up just as greedy as many of their managers and still seek ways to earn even more no matter what their base pay?

Nothing illegal here - I'm just wondering if we don't have a bunch of semi-dedicated "leaders" who are really gunning for a bigger personal bank account - students in DeKalb be damned. Egos and greed rule the roost.

===

BTW - an aside - it's too bad Pat Pope changed her name after her "divorce" from her first husband - Mr. Clark. If she hadn't - we'd be referring to "Lewis and Clark" in this fiasco.

;-)

Anonymous said...

Cerebration,

My mother always told me, "never behave like you come from nothing." Part of it really is a cultural thing. It is sad, because there are plenty of cultured, well educated folks out there who could do a lot for our children.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Eddie Long's name on this book tells me that something shady was going on and I suspect that one way or another his church made money from these sales.

I totally agree. Eddie Long's connection with DeKalb County Schools has proven nothing short of criminal. Cere -- I agree with your website and consistant scrutiny of the county, but I can't understand why you seem to target the "positive impression" that come from some people who've proven sketchy while putting down others that haven actually improved student performance (i.e. magnet programs).

Piled Higher said...

As a teacher with a PhD in the subject I teach--not a PhD from a school of education--I find the idea of anyone with the kind of academic background that Simpson has supervising me, insulting. Sorry, but with all these online degrees, it's now possible to obtain a PhD without ever visiting a library, or having had your advisor visit one, either. How can someone who has not had to put forth the effort needed for a genuine advanced degree--whether PhD or Masters--understand the level you need to strive for, to prepare students for the competitive world they'll enter?

I agree that our "leaders" should have to be open about where they got their PhDs, what their thesis topics were, what kind of research they did, and how their advanced studies influence the way they do their jobs. These people are leading a school system which, last time I looked, is an academic setting. The skills needed to get a PhD include critical thinking, objectivity, literacy, and an ability to use quantification to explore a question of interest. Are they capable of doing these things in forming and implementing policies? So far, the results don't suggest that they are.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
According to the AJC, "While at the school district, Simpson earned a master’s degree from West Georgia despite being rejected admission into the program numerous times." Whether or not his low SAT scores are indicative of innate intelligence, apparently his college career wasn't particularly impressive either. His alma mater didn't feel that he was qualified to attend their own graduate program. It sounds to me that the man was grossly unqualified for both college and graduate school, but somehow rose to the top of DCSS."

Really now, does this surprise you? However, they are pretty smart because they are getting away with it. SACS, GaDOE, the Governor, News Reporters, Police, our very own elected BOE ... they all look the other way. There's something really weird about that.

Cerebration said...

Sorry if you disagree with me Anon 10:11 PM, but somehow, I do believe that these men are trying in the best way they know to impress upon young people the benefit of an education. That said, I'm also sorry that you think I have ever put down anyone in a magnet program. I never meant to do that - I believe in our magnets (and have a child who benefited from one). I do, however, question the associated costs - when we are cutting back so deeply on regular classrooms. As it stands now, our system is highly inequitable. That's always my point. If I fail to make it clearly, I apologize.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Kim Gokce! You should run for the Board of Education. You are absolutely correct in the thrple layers of central office, highly paid micro-managers prevent principals from running their schools, hiring their faculty and staff and firing incompetent teachers. The layers of paper work and the internal conflicts at the central office level is hurting our children Mrs. Tyson is doing an excellent job under these circumstances. Let's get on boarrd and support her until a new Supt. is hired.She didn't ask for this, neither did she want it and I am sure she never envisioned it would last this long. WE appreciate the sacrifices Mrs. Tyson is making to serve our childrn

Anonymous said...

Re: Lonnie Edwards book

Several years ago, my principal gave us all copies of that book. I don't know anything about how the book was paid for; all I know is the entire faculty received copies.

Also, as far as master's thesis being on line, my M.ED program didn't require one, we created an on-line portfolio and tied it to teaching standards. That was at UGA. Specialists completed a thesis, Ph.D's a dissertation.

Anonymous said...

I did terrible on the SAT but still received advanced degrees from quality state universities and I have an above average IQ. A low SAT score does not equal a 55 IQ! I am very successful and nobody would ever guess that I had very low SAT scores so I think we need to not be so quick to judge.

While I do not agree with everything this man has done if he exerted influence on others to buy his book, I admire him for being a self starter and finding a niche in the business of overhyped books...Heck, I just go to work every day....There are some really resourceful people out there and he is one of them. He has gotten pretty far for 47!

Anonymous said...

I think that on the national level there is a general sense of desperation of how to reach the unreachable students. The ones who have no confidence that school and education matters, the ones who believe they have no future. It is where the often bashed no zero policy comes from, again found all over the country.

These principals may have believed that this book plays a role in addressing that challenge. That said, what we don't know and probably never will is whether the principals felt pressure from Simpson to buy the books or whether they just thought this was another tool in the arsenal to help students.

This happened three years ago. While we see our schools as cash strapped, individual Title 1 schools are almost never that way. Along with money for extra personnel, Title 1 schools get or use to get money for support materials and resources.

I know a principal who moved from a Title 1 school to a non-Title 1 school in another district. He cannot believe how much less he has to spend on extra resources.

Anonymous said...

12:33 Ms. Tyson held all teachers after their school day in a talk where she told us that she was going to be transparent. That the school system was going to be transparent. I am still waiting for that transparency. I do not think that Ms. Tyson is doing what she told teachers that she would do.

I for one feel that nothing new is being done under Tyson and that no praise is deserved.

Cerebration said...

I get an email every day with a practice SAT question. (I know - I'm a geek... You can click on the picture of the SAT logo on the right side panel to go to the website and answer practice questions too, if interested.) At any rate, every time you answer a question, you see a pie chart revealing the percentage of people who answered the question correctly. It's a bit unnerving as it's often 60% or less. Many questions are grammatical and/or vocabulary-related. If you have a low score, I'm convinced it has little to do with I.Q., and really simply reveals that you have not been taught this particular word or do not have the best grammatical ability. (Much of which comes from hearing correct English spoken in the home.) As far as the math goes - this definitely has to do with how well you have been taught.

I think you can very well learn the material covered on the S.A.T. at any point in your life.

Try a question of the day by copying and pasting this link -

http://sat.collegeboard.com/practice/sat-question-of-the-day

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a parent and substitute teacher, with regard to the question about reaching unreachable students...IMO…

Our current testing requirements are taking away from teachers’ ability to help students to LEARN. Throughout the school year, the focus seems to be making sure the students meet or exceed requirements on the CRCT/EOCT. Therefore, daily lessons become more of a repetitive drill covering the items that will probably be on the test. Topics are introduced that students cannot relate to. I have often heard students ask why they need to learn a particular topic, because they see no use for it. (So that you can pass the CRCT is not an acceptable or motivating answer.) Also, the requirement to cover certain standards before test time often does not allow some students to get a good grasp of one concept before moving to another. If it is a subject where one concept builds upon another, then the student becomes lost at the point where they have not grasped the topic and may never catch up. At some point, students become bored, tune out, and may become discipline problems.

While I agree that testing has its use in measuring performance, it should not be used to the degradation of developing the performance being tested. In other words, apprehension about testing and test results should not take away from a teacher’s ability to be flexible in reaching students or take away from a student’s opportunity to learn.

At the beginning of each school year, there are teachers who have students do a questionnaire (sometimes online) to determine their learning styles (visual, auditory, & kinesthetic) and sometimes get into trying to identify students’ multiple intelligences or strengths (verbal, logical, visual, bodily, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic). Yet, you don’t see much variety in the methods of classroom instruction to incorporate most of these styles/strengths. [Yes, I know that may be unrealistic; even more so given the growing class sizes and reduction in resources.]

School systems continue to use a cookie cutter approach to teaching and operate under the assumption that all students are planning to attend college. But we know that is not the case. Therefore, the academic needs of those students who have a goal of attending college are being addressed. What are the other students getting? How are we keeping them engaged? If school systems do not do a better job of reaching students with other (productive) interests and (legitimate) needs, there will always be a large number of students that cannot or will not be reached. I would think that administrators and teachers at individual schools should have a good idea of what these needs and interests are and should be able to put together programs that would create an environment that would motivate their students to be more engaged and to learn.

It seems that we keep pouring money into methods that are not working. Maybe we need to stop spending money on these expensive cookie cutters and let the community school administrators and parents determine how money would be more effective in educating their children.

Anonymous said...

Re. "learning styles (visual, auditory, & kinesthetic) and multiple intelligences or strengths (verbal, logical, visual, bodily, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic)"

The above is largely hogwash that disadvantages students who already have deficient cognitive skills and lack the ability to speak proper English, and to think critically.

The myth of a college preparatory curriculum for all should be abandoned and replaced with a tiered system that offers basic skills and vocational training to those students who are not going to college.

Of course, under such a system it would be virtually impossible for someone to make 115k a year without some tangible skills.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:03AM

"The above is largely hogwash that disadvantages students who already have deficient cognitive skills and lack the ability to speak proper English, and to think critically."

Does that mean that you don't think utilizing skills such as music, art, athletics, etc., is useful in developing a student's cognitive skills and teaching them to think critically?

I think incorporating these skills in some way have some impact. I'm sure students such as those at DSA have benefitted in some way.

Anonymous said...

In response to Kim Gokce July 25, 2010 4:49PM Kim you said, “Our principals should be the highest paid employee of the system by policy.” I disagree. Teachers should be the highest paid employees by policy. European school systems that consistently outperform American school systems do not even have principals, they have “lead teachers” or “head teachers” that make leadership decisions but still carry on the duties and responsibilities of teaching in the classroom. Maybe this is not the best example, but in professional athletics, the ones who are actually competing (the players) get paid more than the ones who do the organizing (the coaches). Why should it be so shocking that in a system that is supposedly dedicated to educating the young, the teachers (the ones doing the educating) would actually get paid more than the ones doing the coordinating?

Anonymous said...

Do you think that you can use large font to write your doctoral dissertation at the diploma mills?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 9:03

Surely, you are not an educator or if you are, then you do not believe in the recognized best teaching practices and philosophies. These practices advise that teachers address the specific needs of students, including their learing styles and multiple intelligences. We call it differentiated instruction, when implemented correctly.

However, the "hogwash" label may apply when teachers are mandated to make separate plans of differentiation, grade student work based on progress rather than competency, work harder than students, and manage a paper trail of so-called accountability, without the support or results to justify all the hype.

All this to satisfy those whose mantra for us on the frontline has always been "Do More With Less, and Get Them To Pass The Tests".

I don't believe it to be Hogwash until I hear it coming from a DCSS official who really doesn't care about the overloaded, overworked teacher - only the results of CRCT, EOCT, and GHSGT.

Pssst. Hey, Dr. Beasley. Get those instructional coaches off their keisters and put them back in the classroom, where they can REALLY HELP. The teachers don't really need these highly paid (by federal Title 1 dollars) GLORIFIED PARAPROFESSIONALS to instruct the teachers, tell them to help us ALL by going back into the classroom(even if it's only twice a week to give teachers opportunity to collaborate, observe, plan, or just take a break).

Anonymous said...

As a active parent and PTA member I am disturbed about status of the DCSS and quality of the folks teaching our children and managing the schools system.
Selling merchandise as a DCSS employee to DCSS is a conflict of interest for DCSS. The funds used to purchase the Dr. Simpson's book could have been used to purchase much needed school supplies for the students. Also, I want to mention that BOE Member Jay Cunningham is/was making money selling wings to the DCSS schools for special events. Let me mention that Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton getting arrested for writing bad checks and teaching business education in DCSS. Again, where is the moral obligation from the administration as well as the accountability from the BOE?

OK I'm on a roll...When will DCSS start promoting folks based on accomplishments, and legitimate and meaningful published materials and stop considering folks for jobs who are members of their "friendship clubs."

A requirement for my undergraduate degree, I wrote a 50 page paper in my major subject. Material I am sure was used in my professor's future dissertations and publications. After reading the work of these teachers/administrators with Dr. near or about their names makes we wonder about the quality of their credentials.

The controversy surrounding DCSS, the former superintendent, BOE members is truly disheartening and embarrassing to say the least. I moved to metro-Atlanta assuming it was progressive area to move my family. I will continue to work with the administrators, teachers and parents to help make change.

Anonymous said...

The AJC has reported about known purchases of the book through the school system. Not saying that this happened, but what is the possibility that individual students were "required" or asked to purchased these books. If that is the case, how many more books were sold in this way?

Cerebration said...

What actually became of the hundreds of books purchased with federal money? Were they distributed to teachers? I actually heard at one point that they are in someone's garage. Where are the books???

Anonymous said...

The book cover says that Ralph Simpson has an Ed.D. This means that he is not a PH.D. It is still a doctorate degree, but he did not write a dissertation.

Anonymous said...

I would not want to be judged by my SAT score, but on the accomplishments that I have made. What I realize now, is that there is truth that the SAT is kind of like a mind game. I remember being so nervous before taking it each time, I tossed my breakfast.

The problem isn't Simpson's SAT score. It's the diploma mill that he and many in power in DCSS have "earned" there degrees. When one cannot put together a grammatically correct sentence either verbally or written, there is a problem. When one wants to say he cares about the youth, but strongly promotes the no zero, having many times to complete work, and other poor educational decisions that DCSS currently has in place, there is a problem.

My husband's doctoral dissertation is a 2 3/4 inch thick bound book. It contains original research and many years of sweat and tears. The real problem is that many doctoral degrees in the field of education are simply money makers and show no true learning or higher level understanding of the material.

I am convinced that higher level degrees do not mean a thing in many cases in the field of education. Schools should be paying for the quality of teaching, not the number of degrees one can stack behind their name.

Dan Magee said...

This Simpson book mess is one more desperate reason why we need transparency in the system. Cere had earlier wrote about city, county and state governments posting all their purchases online:

http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Checkbook_register_online

http://www.peytonwolcott.com/CheckRegisters_Alaska_Louisiana.html


Questionable purchases like the Simpson books seem to take place at DCSS, i.e. the $2,000 chairs at the Mountain Industrial mega-complex.

When you have a school system that has the Superintendent and Cheif Operating Officer under indictment, having an online check register is a no-brainer.

Important Question: What does the DCSS Office of Internal Affairs do? Ron Ramsey isn't in session at the Gold Dome. What does he and his staff actually do? Why does the state have to be asked to come in and investigate the book situation? Why can't our Internal Affairs office ever handle investigations? Hoping the Internal Affairs office one day checks on residency too.

Anonymous said...

The state has the ability to pull teaching licenses/certificates. The system can only fire, but only if the firing can withstand a legal challenge.

There was no policy against doing this, so thus Simpson probably can't be fired.

The question about Ramsey is a great one. Though I think that most internal affairs investigations and the subsequent results of them are confidential, it would be nice to know that are doing something about well, anything.

Anonymous said...

There is one thing that anyone can do to have a well written thesis or dissertation. Hire a proofreader. If you want a humbling experience just look at what an editor does to a manuscript that you have submitted for publication. It doesn't matter how well you write, someone else will always try to improve it. I don't know if you can tell much about a person's writing ability by their dissertation. By the time it is published, it has been reviewed, analyzed and edited by several people.

Anonymous said...

I would simply like Simpson to be demoted. We don't have to fire him. I just think that he should have something done to him, as well as the principal who paid for so many copies of his book. I cannot believe that he did not know what was going on.

It appears to me that many in the administration think that they are above the law. DCSS needs transparency now, so that we do not continue to look like bumbling idiots.

Tyson promised transparency in the spring. Where is it? Why do our children have to wait?

Cerebration said...

How is this so different (worse?) than the "female subordinate" who accompanied Dr. Lewis on trysts to the Ritz and the Bahamas? This has been revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt and is evidence in Lewis' p-card abuse charge. Wouldn't this "subordinate" knowingly have crossed several ethical, if not legal lines? Why has this "female subordinate" not been fired? Demoted? Admonished? How do we know that this subordinate wasn't promoted simply due to her relationship with Lewis? Should she continue to be rewarded with a hefty salary? Tyson - come on - show some moxie and demand integrity from your "cabinet".

Anonymous said...

"My husband's doctoral dissertation is a 2 3/4 inch thick bound book. It contains original research and many years of sweat and tears. The real problem is that many doctoral degrees in the field of education are simply money makers and show no true learning or higher level understanding of the material. "

___________________

This is what I think of when I am thinking about a doctoral dissertation. If you attend a research university like UGA, Duke, or Emory, this is the work that is required to earn a Ph.D. I've seen some doctoral dissertations, written by educators, that are real, carefully planned and executed research projects. This is why we value degrees from some institutions over others. It matters where you earn your degree.

This is also why DCSS should be hiring employees from a variety of colleges and universities. The diversity in training makes for better decision-making and better instruction. As educators, we each bring our own unique experience to the classroom. This blog is proof that there is more than one way to approach the educational process. If we are going to hire someone with a Ph.D. and pay the associated salary, lets be sure that the person is well trained.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:46, I agree with you. However, I am unsure if the people making the hiring decisions are aware of the difference in quality of education degrees. I am also unsure if the people doing the hiring in DCSS are aware that all universities/colleges are not created equal. It's difficult for DCSS to make decisions on qualifications with so many in the system having bought their degrees.

Anonymous said...

Where is Ron Ramsey in all this? What exactly does he do?

Anonymous said...

Not sure why Ron Ramsey seems to work so few days of the year with little productivity at such a high salary. Good question: What does he actually do?

There are hundreds if not even a thousand or two of non-DeKalb residents attending out schools. We taxpayers pay approx. $10,000k per for each one. Some of our schools are over crowded, and this is a contributing factor, and I know it's an issue at Druid Hills and Lakeside.

Ramsey, Ramona Tyson and Marcus Turk turn the other way, just wanting to bring in more Title 1 funding.

The City of Decatur school system is very tough on residency, and surprisingly, so is the Fulton County school system.

Why does our BOE cry for more funding when we spend large sums of students who dn't even live here??!! What do you do Ron Ramsey???

Anonymous said...

If you looked closely, you will find that the way Ralph Simpson moved up the the ladder at DCCS is by being an outstanding member of Bishop Eddie Long's flock along with C. Lewis.. One question I would like to ask each person running for the school board, what church do you belong to. If the answer is New Birth, I would not vote for them.

Anonymous said...

For anyone that has met Ralph Simpson, you know that his ego is as big as the outdoors. I worked with him when he first started teaching. He is one of the biggest racist I have ever met. He once said to me concerning a student, "you wouldn't understand, it's a black thing". If I had said the same thing but substituted white thing, I would have been called to the county office. Ralph is not someone I would want my students to look up to. He also allowed a guest speaker to bash gays when he was principal at St. Mtn. HS. The speaker was also a member of the New Birth cult, I mean church. If someone looked really, really close they would find many of the people making the big bucks hired by Lewis, also are fellow NB members. That was the only qualification needed to be hired....

Anonymous said...

"For anyone that has met Ralph Simpson, you know that his ego is as big as the outdoors."
"f you looked closely, you will find that the way Ralph Simpson moved up the the ladder at DCCS is by being an outstanding member of Bishop Eddie Long's flock

I hate to admit it, but both of those statements are very, very accurate.

Anonymous said...

I love to see those who know little cut down the online schools. Actually I do not know any totally online school that you can attend and get a ED.D. It does not work that way. You cannot buy one to my knowledge anymore either. If you can buy a ED.D. at an accredited school, please tell let me know what school that is at, and I will check it out. I might buy one. I only have a ED.S. currently.

Library research is totally online now. Students do all their research from their dorm room. All doctorial student do a great deal of research from their home. However, the individuals I do know who are working on their ED.D. need to sneak away to be away from the family for the week-end to write more than anything else.

Penn State even offers classes online. Most colleges and universities do offer online courses. I have taken some online classes for certification from distance learning colleges and found the classes to be better than on campus classes. The professors could be emailed or called easily. Again times are changing and many schools offer online courses but I do not know any acredited school which offers totally online courses for a doctorial degree. If you find one please let me know. You talk the talk. Please give me real examples of real schools that you never have to go on campus to take classes to get a ED.D. degree in Education in the US.

Anonymous said...

“Only dumb people try to impress smart people”
-Chris Rock

Anonymous said...

The Professional Practice Commission will decide if this is a professional violation with the principal and area superintendent. If it is a ethical, or moral violations of the Teachers Code of Conduct then the Commission will discipline them. The commission could take their professional licenses. The commission could warn them. The school system could also punish them I believe. Of, course this is confidential.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Chris you crawled out from under your rock!!!!!! I am so happy!!! Instead of being as ________ as your rock.

Rock Chris

Anonymous said...

Of course the comments are spot on. High DCSS salaries + New Birth membership = lot of tithing. Doesn't matter is you are not qualified for the job in DCSS, it is all about who you know and where you attend church.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:15 pm

"Again times are changing and many schools offer online courses but I do not know any acredited school which offers totally online courses for a doctorial degree. If you find one please let me know. You talk the talk. Please give me real examples of real schools that you never have to go on campus to take classes to get a ED.D. degree in Education in the US. "

Well, University of Phoenix for one (Many DCSS employees attend this school):
http://www.phoenix.edu/programs.filter.html/f/program_area/education/f/program_level/doctoral/f/program_type/degree-program

This is what the webpage says:
"We offer online and on-campus degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level — each is a balanced combination of academic theory and practical application."

Another one is Argosy University (yet another favorite of DCSS personnel):
http://online.argosy.edu/college/education/edd_educational_leadership/index.aspx

Their page says:
"Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Online Program*

*

Those education professionals who want to develop the skills they need to pursue leadership roles within primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions should consider a doctorate degree in education from Argosy University Online Programs. Our Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership program could be the ideal solution for you. All doctorate in education coursework is taught within the context of leading within an educational institution."

Do you need more examples?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget what fraternity and sorority you belong to.... watch PDS 24 and when they profile one school... all the female teachers have on their sorority shirts.... very disturbing...

Anonymous said...

Hey, cut Senator/Director Ronald Ramsey some slack ... don't you all know he's trying his best to do TWO jobs. Being the head of Internal Affairs and an elected Senator can't be easy things to excel at during a 40 hour week. Haven't you been reading all the wonderful things people say about him? OK, have you read EVEN ONE good thing about him? Does anyone out there, anyone ... family, friends ... have anything good to say about how this man effectively handles TWO jobs? We're paying for his salary ... surely we are watching his job performance. Someone is watching, right? Anyone? Hello? He and Doc Tucker are a sight for sore eyes. I'll bet the FBI and/or CIA are looking to hire them next if they don't botch a lot of internal investigations, which I'm sure they won't. OK, now I'm even making myself sick.... I'll stop this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:53
Actually, quite disheartening. How sad for students that social networking has taken over academics.

Anonymous said...

We had a student teacher at my school this year, who earned her degree through an online university. No one from the school came to observe her one time, not once. She only had to teach for 2 of her 12 weeks and then she was done with her student teaching. When I student taught, I had someone come and observe me just about every week. I was given pointers on how to improve and also my cooperating teacher was consulted about my classroom teaching and professionalism.

I have taken on-line classes, too. They are great as they get to the point and I learned a great deal. DCSS has too many employees who have earned their degrees from on line paper mills. These people have difficulty speaking and writing proper English.

I don't have a problem with on-line classes when they are from reputable colleges and universities, however very few of our administrators have their degrees from those types of schools, especially the ones earning the biggest pay checks.

Anonymous said...

uly 26th 10:42

Wow Anon, so sorry you feel that instructional coaches are glorified paras. You need to talk to others about the job that some of our instructional coaches are doing. The job that the coaches at my school do would be impossible for a para. We must be lucky or an exception if this is not the case everywhere. Our coaches are valuable tools for analying data, modeling lessons and really working with teachers on how to use data to modify their lessons. They are valuable resources in the building and spend a lot of time in the classrooms working and modeling for teachers. I guess that is why we continue to make ayp.

Anonymous said...

July 26, 2010 12:23 PM

Just because he has an EDd and not a PHD does not mean he did not write a dissertation. How do you know he did not write a dissertation? I have an EdD and worked for a few years on an EdD. Many of our leaders have Masters and Specialists in leadership from great schools and a leadership degree is what's required to be an administrator. Many leaders may choose to get an EdD because of the raise in pay prior to the principalship. This is what many educators do. Please don't negate the work educators do prior to getting an EdD from a non traditional school. Getting a masters or specialist is lots of hard work and sacrifice for people who have familie, etc and are working hard to lead a school.

Anonymous said...

July 26, 2010 4:10 PM

Does anyone know the the new leadership academy charter school is associated with New Birth? I know the new principal is Dr. Frankie Calloway (our former #2 next to Dr. Lewis-who is now back). I heard this school only has 200 students thus far. Is this viable and cost effective? How many students are they expecting and will they close if they don't more students enrolled? What special considerations are they given if any if they are indeeed ""affiliated" with New Birth. Does anyone know the Calloways are members?

Anonymous said...

Argosy's online program offers some classe online, but you are required to attend classes in house. It is not a total online program. Just wanted to make that point, which is similar to other schools who allow some credits online. I traveled many summers and weekends down to Sarasota because of that requirement. So if you are looking for a total online EdD, Argosy is not the way to go.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:56 pm

I have only heard negatives about the Instructional Coaches from all of the teachers I know. It's nice to know that someone has a good Instructional Coach, especially since DCSS pays these 80 employees around $8,000,000 a year in salary and benefits (average of $100,000 per year in salary and benefits for each Instructional Coach).

Can you give us the name of your school. I would think that your teachers who teach every day in the classroom might have something to do with your school making AYP. Let's give them a little credit.

The 3 high schools that made AYP are not Title 1 and therefore do not have Instructional Coaches. On the other hand, the Instructional Coaches are in every high school that Failed to make AYP. Therefore, you surely must not be in a DCSS high school.

Maybe we should look at the fact that since the Instructional Coach program, Made AYP status for DCSS schools has fallen dramatically:

Consider the MADE AYP rate for DeKalb over time (source Georgia DOE):
2003 – 2004 86%
2004 – 2005 77%
2005 – 2006 71%
2006 – 2007 79%
2008 – 2009 71%
2008 – 2009 78%
2008 – 2010 56%

(Source: Georgia DOE site:
http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=103&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2010)

Anonymous said...

@ Anonylmous 7:17 pm
That's odd because I know employees in DCSS getting an online Argosy degree.

Here is what the Argosy website says:
"Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Online Program*

*

Those education professionals who want to develop the skills they need to pursue leadership roles within primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions should consider a doctorate degree in education from Argosy University Online Programs. Our Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership program could be the ideal solution for you. All doctorate in education coursework is taught within the context of leading within an educational institution.
*

Students pursuing one of Argosy University’s online doctoral degrees in education can benefit from the flexibility of online access to classes any time, day or night. Additionally, these online doctoral programs may be completed in three to four years. "

http://online.argosy.edu/college/education/edd_educational_leadership/index.aspx

Anonymous said...

@ anon 6:56

LOL. AUDRIA BERRY couldn't have made a better case for INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES. LOL.

What a crock!

AUDRIA BERRY's zombie army of INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES couldn't AYP their way out of a greasy KFC chicken box. If you actually think that anyone with a brain thinks that disaggregation of data and the scanning of multiple choice guessing on worthless benchmark tests gives rise to AYP, then you need to write a book in 24 point font and put your picture on the front of it and sell it to your colleagues! Or, better yet, get AUDRIA BERRY to dish out some of those Title I funds for it!

Two more weeks, folks, and the zombie army of INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES will be marching into the schools as if they were deplaning onto a palm-studded Caribbean isle. Oh, my bad, that's another affair! The zombified INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES didn't get that layover. Hmmmm. Was it their fantastic leader?

AUDRIA BERRY. Will you send a zombie to my room to put up my choice board? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the DCSS purchases how many other copies of this book have been sold?

But if DA Gwen Keyes Flemming wrote her life story would DCSS buy it in bulk? I'd buy a copy and give it to the school library, especially if it came out after she wins the current case she's working on.

Anonymous said...

My best friend is currently at Argosy and it is no walk in the park. The rigor of her classes and her comprehensive exam are no different from other schools.

Anonymous said...

And she spends an entire weekend, 2 8 hour days in a classroom over by Perimeter Mall.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, my children have had multiple teachers with online PhDs and EdDs and every last teacher was one of the worst teachers I ever encountered. They also felt some sort of ridiculous entitlement due to their online degree. I absolutely refuse to ever address these individuals as "Dr. Smith" or "Dr. Jones." I live and work with hundreds of individuals who have PhDs from schools like GTech, MIT, U of Va, etc. and none of these highly educated folks expect their peers, neighbors or friends to call them "Dr."

I have no problem with teachers getting an educational leadership degree just to get a pay hike but please don't take yourself seriously. IMO middle and high school teachers should not receive the pay hike unless their masters or doctorate is in their field.

And I don't think we need area superintendents at all. If Simpson really wanted to reach at risk black students he should be teaching 6 classes of 32 remedial students a day.

Anonymous said...

Yvonne Sanders Butler is lucky. She sold cookbooks at her school for a long time. Several principals purchased her books and even had her to speak at their schools. Was she paid? Plus, what did she do with the money from her cookbooks? If Simpson is being demoted, then she should also be demoted for selling cookbooks, cooking at the school on the weekends for her functions, leaving school to speak at her Alma Mater, Jackson State. Yes, she was paid while on DCSS money because she would leave the school unattended and travel the states boasting about her books and how much weight she lost. This lady is awful and surely doesnot need to be in charge of nothing.

Anonymous said...

It is funny to see most of your comments. However, thousands of dollars are spent on other books paying a certain author and it is ok. People in government make tons of money an no one says nothing.

His book is targeted towards children wanting to give up. People, say some of the positive things he has done for his schools. I know most of u making comments are none educators or teachers. You will never know what it is like to run a school or a big high school with a ton of issues.
If u have a problem work as a teacher or admin. on the southend. You should make a difference and stop complaining. That is the problem. People that run their mouth 9 times out of 10 don't work in education or mad at administration.

Anonymous said...

Richard Belcher needs to investigate why Yvonne Butler has been allowed to sell her cookbooks during instructional time and how many principals had their teachers to purchase Butler's cookbooks? Then, figure out, what happened to the funds? Did she put these funds into an account for her school or into her personal bank account. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

Richard Belcher needs to investigate Yvonne sanders Butler to see how many cookbooks she sold and sent to other schools to be sold. Once the principals sold her cookbooks, what did they do with the money? The point is, how can you sell cookbooks when they have nothing to do with instruction? Hopefully,the county will demote this lady . Plus, what expertise can she bring to the wellness center?

Anonymous said...

Dr.Butler has used the DCSS to boost her image on the Tom Joyner show, Martha Stewart and used magazines to publish stories of how the school test scores increased because of her no sugar policy. The lady says that she had the first sugar free school in the United States. Now, if she can prove that using research, someone please show us this in writing. Teachers were forced to buy her cookbooks which contained recipes from other cookbooks that didnot belong to her.Teachers were forced to write lesson plans using websites which Butler used in her speeches around the state and other schools in the Atlanta area.During instructional time, she would parade the children in the lunchroom to take pictures of them eating healthy for that one day we're told then head off to speak for a couple of thousands of dollars while suppose to be at work for the DCSS.Make up artists would make her up for her photo shots for upcoming magazine photos while she at work.Please view this lady on Martha Stewart.com chicken salad yvonne butler. It is hard to believe that C. Lewis promoted this lady on Shannon . I agree, Richard Belcher or someone from the county office should investigate this lady and give her the same courtesy as Simpson and Theford. Professional Standards needs to here from her with the others. What did Butler do with the money she collected from her cookbook sales that she sold during school time and PTA meetings? Another thief.

Anonymous said...

Anon, there is nothing wrong with Simpson writing a simple book about himself. However, he should have donated the books to the school if he wanted Dekalb County students to have them.

When he received the checks from DCSS he knew something was wrong but he cashed them nevertheless.

He is in a very high position of authority and he should have turned down the government money.

Molly said...

What is wrong is that the principal split the payment into two parts to avoid any scrutiny. Simpson, as her supervisor, knowingly accepted the split payment. As her supervisor, Simpson had a responsibility to insist that she follow appropriate procedure for purchasing. If it was worthwhile to purchase the book in that quantity, a single purchase order should have been submitted and the purchase should have been justified.

Anonymous said...

I taught at many, many schools on the south end of DCSS as well as the north end. I'm well aware of the challenges students face on the south end, but it's not the kids, it's the system. If you don't believe that those kids can succeed, then you are part of the problem.

If you think students on the south end are being well served then you are mistaken. Students all over DeKalb County have not gotten the education they deserve. The problem is that the the focus went off the children a long time ago and teachers know it. Now parents/taxpayers (you know - the people who pay everyone's salary) know it.

There are many teachers who post on this blog. There are thousands more who do not post on this blog, but are unhappy with the way students take a back seat to politics and greed in DCSS. Look at our immense teacher turnover. Look at our student scores. These are facts - not opinion.

People who want to get rich should go into the business world. I was also in the corporate world for a number of years, and it was all about the money for me. That's what the private sector is designed to do. Folks heading up DCSS don't understand that. They seem to think that the school system is there to enrich them like a private business. When you ask them to be accountable for the Return on Investment of Student Achievement, they start crying about how bad the students and parents are. They want the benefits of private industry without any of the risks. Maybe if they concentrated on pouring money into lowering class sizes and ensuring ALL children have access to a competent teacher in a safe, clean environment with access to cutting edge science and technology equipment, they would find better results all over the county.

Cerebration said...

Exactly, Anon 9:09 AM. Exactly.

Anonymous said...

Amen. And the bureaucracy -- from the AP level on up -- is staffed by many folks who could never make cmoparable salaries in a competetive environment. They have neither the education nor the innate intelligence and ability.
The north-south dynamic in this regard is downright perverse. Blacks mired in, at best, medicority, working to ensure that successive cohorts of black kids receive a substandard education that leaves them unprepared to function in society. But, then, if the black population were better educated the showboaters wouldn't last very long. Try to imagine these incompetents sticking around in a place like Fayette county, if the students there had the same problems with basic literacy and numeracy that the vast majority of the black kids in DCSS have.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, most of the people in Dekalb would probably fail to recognize that Simpson's "look" alone is that of a clown. Cheap suits, bow ties, etc. Appearances are hardly the most important thing. However, we are dealing with a black population cut off from the surrounding society. This is one of the reasons that it has fallen victim to charlatans.

Anonymous said...

The guiding principle for a school system must be academic and educational excellence. In that vein, our school board must be comprised of educated people. All school board members should be required to have a college education. Then again, in Georgia, one of our leading candidates for governor (Karen Handel) is not a college graduate. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb is presently "stealing" free labor. Teachers at my kids' elementary and high school are in school this week attending meetings and getting their classrooms ready right now BUT THEY CANNOT SET FOOT on campus THIS WEEKEND, MONDAY and TUESDAY because DCSS won't allow them to work on FURLOUGH DAYS---- I'd be glad to sue on the teachers' behalf if I were healthy.

Anonymous said...

To anon @ 9:54

News Flash !

Even without furlough days, many of those same teachers would spend and enormous amount of "extra" time getting prepared for the new year. During the year they also stay after hours and sometimes leave school campuses at night, without any pay increase or incentive. It happens every year, every school district, every state.


We are dedicated professionals. And though we have much to complain about (and, boy do we complain), we will still do what we do. Again, because we are dedicated to the job of educating our children.

I write this as I am about to leave my house on the way to (yeah, you guessed it) my school.

Anonymous said...

People in Dekalb County have finally figured out that Yvonne Butler is just as guilty as Simpson and Thedford. Several principals made their staff purchase her books to date noone knows who distributed the money to Butler for her books. I guess you can hire someone to publish your cookbook and then you receive a promotion as a wellness director over others who actually have degrees in that field. Butler has no degree in the area but was given the job due to her connections in the county. View her degrees online and you will see this. Plus everyone assisted writing her doctorate for her which makes her degree just as bogus. It is time someone revealed the truth about this lady who has used the DCSS to get over on with speaking engagements to Jackson State and schools in the Atlanta School System and others on sugar free. All of her time as a principal was spent outside of the building promoting her cookbooks while on DCSS time. She has really racked up some money selling cookbooks during classtime,pTA and using others to promote her cookbooks. Where are the invoices here? This lady is cunning and will use anyone to get ahead. Hopefully her new staff will not do her work but make her work for the $112,000 that the county is paying her.

Cerebration said...

Well, I hate to say this, but everyone works overtime for "free". I know I certainly do. I know of very few people who still 'punch a clock' and get paid for every minute they work. These days, a job with benefits is golden. I just want our teachers to have the freedom to do their job, unencumbered with paperwork, test prep and supervision. They are professionals and I have faith in them.

Anonymous said...

News flash-- Correct but I can't understand the charade, the dishonesty, and hypocrisy of the DCSS to LOCK-UP the schools on the furlough days BUT allowing (INVITING) teachers to come on other days!!? What is the difference between today (June 27) and Monday (August 2)? Teachers DO NOT get paid for EITHER days!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon @ 10:51 AM . I was about to do the same thing. If those bulletin boards don't go up this week, they won't be up when the kids arrive for the first day of school.

Parents and community members, please realize that most teachers don't put in a an 8 hour day. Many work 10 or more hours. They work nights and they work weekends. Unlike doctors who are paid by the procedure or lawyers who charge for their time in 6 minute segments, teachers work for a salary and they work very hard for the money they earn. There is no overtime pay.

Anonymous said...

Teachers are and always have been in and out of their respective schools on and off during the summer break. Many have always started getting their classrooms ready before the "official" day they are to report. This is really a silly rant.

Anonymous said...

Teachers Working on Non-Furlough-But-Still-Unpaid Days

Earlier in this blog there was a suggestion (more than once)that PTA presidents rally parents in their schools to volunteer to help teachers -- for one day or a half day -- to set up their classrooms, copy materials, help with book distribution, input needed documents into the computer, set up teachers' web pages, etc. Even most parents who work outside the home could take a half-day or a full day of vacation to help our beleaguered DCSS teachers. In the long run, it is the children who benefit.

To my knowledge that suggestion was never even commented on -- not even by Cerebration -- much less picked up and put into action.

If you are a PTA president or parent who did run with that suggestion, please let us know. You don't need to post your name, but please post your school(s).

As posters to this blog, constantly bemoaning larger class sizes and sorry administrators, you need to realize that, in terms of teacher support and morale, your actions speak far louder than your words.

Anonymous said...

As a former teacher, I get tired of hearing teachers whine. Every job has their busy times. Most people who work on a salary basis work more than 40 hours a week, that's the way that it is. Teachers need to stop griping about the little things and focus on what really matters, that you're teaching to a test and not providing the children with a solid foundation.

Anonymous said...

This is from the AJC blog. Can this be substantiated?


Frank Lucas
June 22nd, 2009
11:35 am
TO: Please Tell Me More
Ralph Simpson is a worthless administrator because he openly enganged in an extra-marital affair with one of his subordinates (Carol Therford), when he was the Principal of Miller Grove High School (2005 -2007). Carol Therford was Ralph Simpson’s Assistant Principal of Instruction during his tenure. This is a violation of the Professional Standards Commission Code of Ethics. Ralph Simpson’s womanizing behavior compelled his ex-wife to hire a private detective to document his reprehensible conduct with video and audio survellience. Dekalb County tax payers should be proud that Crawford Lewis promoted a person of such high moral characted (Ralph Simpson) to the position of Assistant Superintendant. Way to go Crawford Lewis and Ronald Ramsey. Ronald Ramsey is a former judge but he violates the law more than Derrick Yancey.

Cerebration said...

That certainly is a rumor.

Anon July 27, 2010 11:46 AM - I remember the conversation about helping teachers prep for school - and I remember many of us applauding that idea (myself included). However, it's simply an idea chatted about here, we have no way of implementing it. We simply hoped that PTAs and schools would step up. I am aware that the schools in my district definitely have parents who have stepped up and helped teachers prepare for schools. The parents also run most of the registration and open house activities.

I hope PTAs in all schools will take the time to formulate programs that help teachers.

Anonymous said...

I am July 26, at 5:15.

My last comment was please give me real examples of real schools that you never have to go on campus to take classes to get a ED.D. degree in Education in the US.

Again you could not possiblt get a ED.D degree without taking classes and practicums at Argosy and the University of Phoenix. I do have friends who have finished at both and I saw all the work they did. I saw the time they had to spend on campus. I do believe the University of Phoenix may be a little more online but it is not totally online either for a ED.D.

Again, these are incorrect facts you are putting out and it is sad. I do not know any school in the U.S. that offers ED.D. totally online.

There also is a misconception about what can be done online now. Modules online are fairly affective and can be reviewed over and over again. Students do have to be willing to do a great deal of reading and learning on their own. However, the whole process of education in the classroom in changing also. As teachers we no longer stand in front of a class and lecture. We do more colloborative learning and guided learning activities. The reseach shows that students maintain very little information from lectures.

Apparently you are not an educator and do not know current trends in education. Students who are self directed can do well in online classes. You do not need to sterotype and assume that students do not learn in online colleges and universities as they are here to stay and we are going to see more colleges and universities getting onboard to stay competitive.

Anonymous said...

I am familiar with good public schools as well as good private high schools in the Boston area, the Twin Cities, and Seattle. Standards here are very, very low. At none of the schools I am familiar with would the catch phrases "collaborative learning" and "guided learning" mean much more than the jargon they are. Instead, these schools all have strong, teacher-centered learning that engages the students and challenges them to think critically and independently. Nor would you find many people with bogus on-line degrees. Anyone who has been in a serious educational environment knows that people do not walk around calling themselves "doctor." And they have real degrees from real schools. DCSS is suffering from a culture of mediocrity, superficiality, bureaucratic bloat, and ineptitude. Any one from the outside would recognize the problems very easily. It was not this way in the 1970's and into the 1980's. The drastic decline is palpable. The worst thing is that the people suffering the most are the ones who can afford it the least: the descendants of those who endured generations of apartheid that denied opportunity. Today, it is the deficient education that denies opportunities.

Anonymous said...

In regards to diploma mills and online universities: These schools may be accredited but what schools systems are not doing is seeking the best candidates from the best schools. The attitude seems to be that one is as good as another. A person holding a PhD from Columbia, Emory, Howard, UGA or Argosy is treated the same. This is not the way educational background is approached in the corporate sector, higher education or the medical or legal professions.

Anonymous said...

Why did Ramona Tyson ask the state to investigate the Simpson/Thedford book situation when we have a school police department with two chiefs and nine detectives, plus Ron Ramsey and his Internal Affairs staff? I also agree that any purchases of Yvonne Bulter's cookbook with DCSS funds need to be investigated.

And what does our 190 person school police department do during the summer and holiday breaks?

What possibly can nine school detectives do during the summertime? What's that noise? Tax dollars circling down the drain...Nine detectives??

Anonymous said...

RIFd employee due to corruptness

July 27th, 2010
9:50 pm
I was RIFd because i am a person with a disability and accodmations were reluctantly made for me. when i returned from FML i was called into office and told i went to the wrong bathroom. DCSS is a corrupt organization, they hire and promote only family and friends. i have asked for my issue to be resolved, i have not received any acknowledgement. they placed a demoted person in my position, the same person that they used to say that i went to the wrong bathroom and my work wasnt up to par. the person in charge of accomodations told my boss, who had been trying to release me unjustly, to write me up 3 days after returning from FML. do they really think i will let this go. i will fight to the end to expose this mess they call a school system. the fight has only just begun. if i was family or a friend this would have never happened. DCSS department head used the reduction in force to rid 4 people in my department who had all been on FML. they said it was because we had been separated in service. when did FML mean seperation of service. WATCH THIS. and no i am not a member of NB

Anonymous said...

all of what i say is true, yes there is more to my story. i was in a central office. when i came my supervisor said she would protect me from the ill wills of the system. who i needed protection from was her and her style of management and of those whom she reports to. i was told that i was being laid off due to reduction in force, but they placed a displaced employee in my position who had already been working in my office while i was out on medical leave. she rotated seats, had no desk of her own. i was at home when my administrator called me to say when i get back he needed to have a meeting with me. within 3 days i was called into his office and told someone went to internal affairs and said my work wasnt good and i went to the wrong bathroom. i ended up have chest pains and anxiety and had to be rushed to the hospital. my dept head apolozied and said if i would ever be called into the admini office again he would accompany me. when it was time for my eval i asked if he would accompany me because i could not handle another repeat of previous false accusations (this was the 5th time being called into this admin office). the dept head said he had a meeting to attend. 2 months later i was RIFd and the person they used to accuse me (had only worked with her for a total of 4 hours, we were working a split shift) she was sitting in my seat. no experience, couldnt type, demoted with many write ups. i was told to have been the best (title here) DCSS had ever had. ever. another employee doesnt even have a high school ed. they also said i was chosen because i was the last hired. that was not the truth. another employee in the next office was hired after me. there were 2 vacant spots in that office, they could have placed the demoted employee there. they were also upset because i brought about change in the office. the work load wasnt balanced, two employees were coming to work waiting to retire, the other two of us were working our (bleep) off. when this was pointed out, reluctantlty the workload was divided evenly. all of what i say is true. i work in a central office. when i was out on medical leave, another demoted employee was sent to my office, when i returned, she was encouraged to secure my spot by going to internal affairs to complain that i went to the wrong bathroom, that my work was not good (i had only worked with her for 3 to 4 hours) we worked a split shift, she was my friend. there was no desk for her. she rotated between desks. after 3 days of being back, my admin called me into office to tell me he would have to write me up based upon her complaint. the complaint was made to the person obliged to grant accomodations. she was in cohoots with the admin who had tried to release me previously but never had a cause. he called me at home while on med leave to inform me when i get back i would have to meet with him. the result of that meeting caused me to have chest pains and an anxiety attack. i was rushed to the hospital, my blood pressure was on verge of stroke conditions. the dept head apologized and said he would accompany me to any further meetings. when it was time for my eval, i asked him to accompany me, he said he had another meeting and could not attend. i was afraid to go alone. i also asked the dept to reevaluate the work load, two employees were waiting to retire and it showed. the other two of us worked our tails off. one of the employees does not even have a high school diploma nor ged. i was told many times that my work was above outstanding, i have documents to prove this.

Anonymous said...

all of what i say is true, yes there is more to my story. i was in a central office. when i came my supervisor said she would protect me from the ill wills of the system. who i needed protection from was her and her style of management and of those whom she reports to. i was told that i was being laid off due to reduction in force, but they placed a displaced employee in my position who had already been working in my office while i was out on medical leave. she rotated seats, had no desk of her own. i was at home when my administrator called me to say when i get back he needed to have a meeting with me. within 3 days i was called into his office and told someone went to internal affairs and said my work wasnt good and i went to the wrong bathroom. i ended up have chest pains and anxiety and had to be rushed to the hospital. my dept head apolozied and said if i would ever be called into the admini office again he would accompany me. when it was time for my eval i asked if he would accompany me because i could not handle another repeat of previous false accusations (this was the 5th time being called into this admin office). the dept head said he had a meeting to attend. 2 months later i was RIFd and the person they used to accuse me (had only worked with her for a total of 4 hours, we were working a split shift) she was sitting in my seat. no experience, couldnt type, demoted with many write ups. i was told to have been the best (title here) DCSS had ever had. ever. another employee doesnt even have a high school ed. they also said i was chosen because i was the last hired. that was not the truth. another employee in the next office was hired after me. there were 2 vacant spots in that office, they could have placed the demoted employee there. they were also upset because i brought about change in the office. the work load wasnt balanced, two employees were coming to work waiting to retire, the other two of us were working our (bleep) off. when this was pointed out, reluctantlty the workload was divided evenly. all of what i say is true. i work in a central office. when i was out on medical leave, another demoted employee was sent to my office, when i returned, she was encouraged to secure my spot by going to internal affairs to complain that i went to the wrong bathroom, that my work was not good (i had only worked with her for 3 to 4 hours) we worked a split shift, she was my friend. there was no desk for her. she rotated between desks. after 3 days of being back, my admin called me into office to tell me he would have to write me up based upon her complaint. the complaint was made to the person obliged to grant accomodations. she was in cohoots with the admin who had tried to release me previously but never had a cause. he called me at home while on med leave to inform me when i get back i would have to meet with him. the result of that meeting caused me to have chest pains and an anxiety attack. i was rushed to the hospital, my blood pressure was on verge of stroke conditions. the dept head apologized and said he would accompany me to any further meetings. when it was time for my eval, i asked him to accompany me, he said he had another meeting and could not attend. i was afraid to go alone. i also asked the dept to reevaluate the work load, two employees were waiting to retire and it showed. the other two of us worked our tails off. one of the employees does not even have a high school diploma nor ged. i was told many times that my work was above outstanding, i have documents to prove this.

Anonymous said...

all of what i say is true, yes there is more to my story. i was in a central office. when i came my supervisor said she would protect me from the ill wills of the system. who i needed protection from was her and her style of management and of those whom she reports to. i was told that i was being laid off due to reduction in force, but they placed a displaced employee in my position who had already been working in my office while i was out on medical leave. she rotated seats, had no desk of her own. i was at home when my administrator called me to say when i get back he needed to have a meeting with me. within 3 days i was called into his office and told someone went to internal affairs and said my work wasnt good and i went to the wrong bathroom. i ended up have chest pains and anxiety and had to be rushed to the hospital. my dept head apolozied and said if i would ever be called into the admini office again he would accompany me. when it was time for my eval i asked if he would accompany me because i could not handle another repeat of previous false accusations (this was the 5th time being called into this admin office). the dept head said he had a meeting to attend. 2 months later i was RIFd and the person they used to accuse me (had only worked with her for a total of 4 hours, we were working a split shift) she was sitting in my seat. no experience, couldnt type, demoted with many write ups. i was told to have been the best (title here) DCSS had ever had. ever. another employee doesnt even have a high school ed. they also said i was chosen because i was the last hired. that was not the truth. another employee in the next office was hired after me. there were 2 vacant spots in that office, they could have placed the demoted employee there. they were also upset because i brought about change in the office. the work load wasnt balanced, two employees were coming to work waiting to retire, the other two of us were working our (bleep) off. when this was pointed out, reluctantlty the workload was divided evenly. all of what i say is true. i work in a central office. when i was out on medical leave, another demoted employee was sent to my office, when i returned, she was encouraged to secure my spot by going to internal affairs to complain that i went to the wrong bathroom, that my work was not good (i had only worked with her for 3 to 4 hours) we worked a split shift, she was my friend. there was no desk for her. she rotated between desks. after 3 days of being back, my admin called me into office to tell me he would have to write me up based upon her complaint. the complaint was made to the person obliged to grant accomodations. she was in cohoots with the admin who had tried to release me previously but never had a cause. he called me at home while on med leave to inform me when i get back i would have to meet with him. the result of that meeting caused me to have chest pains and an anxiety attack. i was rushed to the hospital, my blood pressure was on verge of stroke conditions. the dept head apologized and said he would accompany me to any further meetings. when it was time for my eval, i asked him to accompany me, he said he had another meeting and could not attend. i was afraid to go alone. i also asked the dept to reevaluate the work load, two employees were waiting to retire and it showed. the other two of us worked our tails off. one of the employees does not even have a high school diploma nor ged. i was told many times that my work was above outstanding, i have documents to prove this.

Anonymous said...

i was also told i was the last one hired, so i will be the one laid off. that is not true. there is an office with two vacant seats they could have placed the demoted employee in. in that office is another employee that came in after me. i do know that writing this blog will not be favorable for me in being called back if the budget improves, however, since they have another in my seat, i wouldnt get called back any way. i have contacted those in authority, i have notified the board of ed. no one has gave me an answer. I was called at home and told when i return from medical leave i would have to come into office for a meeting, that meeting consisted of a call from internal affairs reporting that i needed to be wroted up because another employee, whom i had worked with for 2 or 3 hours, complained i was not a good worker and went to the wrong bathroom. this was a demoted employee who had been placed in my office and rotated between desks. they used her. she was my friend. i started to have chest pains, blood pressure on verge of stroke, i was taken by ambulance to the hospital. that same employee they gave my job to and said i was rifd.
ok there it is. i need help, if anyone out there that has applied for promotions, transfers etc and has not received them, please contact me at 6787542917. i plan to bring a class action suit. the ability to move ahead within the DCSS is based mainly upon who you know and what you would do to get a position. during one interview which i was qualified, i was asked to show the interviewer how much i really wanted the job. i didnt know what to do. i thought my experience and documented qualifications were enough. i didnt get on my knees and beg. i didnt get the job. when a principal was reprimanded for cheating on the crt ? test, a letter was sent by the superin saying that the convicted was family and we should all stand behind him. when an employee wronged where is internal affairs. it was said that he isnt getting in that “mess.” the only recourse that i have is exposure. the mission of Internal Affairs is to employee and retain the most qualified employees. where is the justice. since the last layoff many positions became available, i applied for everyone which i was qualified, i have yet to receive a position. dept heads are using the lay off to rid of anyone who has a voice, customer service is my pet peeve, why couldnt they have considered the layoff based upon performance. at this point im mad, angry and want accountibility. i will get it. am mad about my job being taken away and given to someone less qualified. i am mad because i am an employee with a documented disability that was accomodated and it caused me my job. i am mad because 4 other employees who used FML were also rifd. i am mad because the money that was stolen was used as an excuse to cause me my job. i am mad because no one from the county has responded to my concerns. how will i pay my bills, put food on the table. when my boss thought the prosecuters office was going to raid his office he was there at 5 30 am. he usually doesnt come in till 8. i have seen the corruptness, the unfair terminations, the boastful walk about the halls, secure because they are part of the clique. i spoke with several secretaries that have applied for promotions only to have those positions given to family and friends. they know who they are going to hire before the job is even posted. in most cases they are already there before the postings. i am mad because of the dirt and downright ugly of the entire excuses for “professionals” that hold the key to change but only further their own motives.

how will i pay my bills, how will i eat, how can i sleep.

Anonymous said...

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN UNFAIRLY RIFD, DENIED PROMOTION OR TRANSFER, TREATED UNFAIRLY BY DCSS PLEASE CALL 678 754 2917 IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU QUESTION AND WOULD LIKE ACCOUNTIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY PLEASE CALL 678 754 2917. THIS SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL DO RIGHT. NOW WATCH THIS DCSS.

Anonymous said...

The very mission in which DCSS pledges to abide by is a JOKE. The internal affairs office is the biggest joke. The person in charge of disability accomodations has proven to be unworthy of her station. Any time you have an employee on disability return to work and after 3 days the IA office recommends to the admin, the one who called the employee at home to inform them to come to their office when returning from medical leave, and tells that admin to write up that employee based upon the 4 hour observation of a demoted employee, without any investigation from IA, and knowing the extent of the disabled and what harm that would cause that employee, she must have missed her own doctors appointment. ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE. CHANGE WILL COME. WATCH THIS.

Anonymous said...

I brought professionialism to that central office, I led by example. I taught the others to speak. I demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail. I spoke up when change needed to be implemented. Professionally. And this is what I get in return. My Dept head himself told me of the many compliments he had received of my work. Other staff readily recognized my contribution. But one thing I could not do is "suck up and kiss (bleep). I enjoyed my job with a passion. DCSS used the lay off as an opportunity to rid itself of someone who had a sense of intelligence and brought to the job new and fresh ideas that worked. How dare you DCSS to continue to promote, hire and retain family and friends over a premier qualified "outsider." To even give my job to someone that has been demoted and written up over 10 times, convince that person to act with such negligence as to cause harm to me so that you can relax in that so call environment you call a school system. Shame on you. Im embarrassed by your conduct. You will answer. Even the disabled have a voice. You will not discriminate. It is against the law. But, oh, you dont know that do you. IF ANYONE HAS BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST DUE TO A DISABILITY OR HAD ACCOMODATIONS MADE AND/OR DENIED EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PLEASE CALL 678 754 2917.

Anonymous said...

Cere----

This blog, to maintain the moral authority it has earned, must stand against all wrongs be they convenient or inconvenient! Failing to do so brings us the same moral level of the core DCSS we seek to reform....

Follow this "silly" reasoning:

Given that it is true that many teachers are usually willing to work for free in the summers, why can they NOT work next Monday and Tuesday?? Why is it a "legal" issue on these days and not on the other days??

Could it be because it is UNETHICAL/ILLEGAL to expect unpaid labor on ANY UNPAID days?? Is is that DCSS feels more vulnerable to a law suit on FURLOUGH days if it encourage/allow/lightly pressure teachers on these sacred furlough days as it does on all the other unpaid days??

Teachers are PAID for 190 days in DCSS and other GA public school districts...That 190-day salary is PRO-RATED over the other 70 non-working days.

Anonymous said...

Teachers,

Please do not be your worse advocate----do not chime in that teachers are whining for wanting the pay they deserve for the work they do.

When my conscience bothers me, I don't do free hernia operations at Emory Hospital and let Emory keeps its earnings for the operating room and hospital bed... I go to South America or Central Africa to do the free surgery so I can have a peaceful conscience.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good questions below that were posted earlier. Anyone have any possible answers to them??



Why did Ramona Tyson ask the state to investigate the Simpson/Thedford book situation when we have a school police department with two chiefs and nine detectives, plus Ron Ramsey and his Internal Affairs staff? I also agree that any purchases of Yvonne Bulter's cookbook with DCSS funds need to be investigated.
And what does our 190 person school police department do during the summer and holiday breaks?
What possibly can nine school detectives do during the summertime? What's that noise? Tax dollars circling down the drain...Nine detectives??

Dekalbparent said...

Speaking of inspirational books (smiley face), I am currently reading a book that is ACTUALLY inspiring - "A Game of Character" by Craig Robinson.

Robinson grew up on the south side of Chicago, went to Princeton, was named Ivy League player of the year in basketball, earned an MBA from U of Chicago, had a career in finance, then followed his dream and became basketball coach at Northwestern, head coach at Brown and head coach at Oregon State. He is also Michelle Obama's brother.

His book is full of his love and admiration for his parents and extended family. He attributes his success and that of his sister to his wise parents, and says that although he grew up in a one-bedroom apartment, sharing a room with his sister (a partition was installed), while his parents slept in the living room, he did not know they were poor until he went to college.

This is inspiring - I recommend it to all.

Anonymous said...

Someone pointed this out to me. Can anyone comment?
High ranking leaders in DCSS

All members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Dr. Alice Thompson
Dr. Felecia Mitchell
Vonzia Phillips, Director of Middle Schools
Stacey Stepney, Director of High Schools
Kelli Wright, Director of Elementary Schools
Dr. Frankie Calloway
Ms. Shenandra Price (newly appointed director? for professional learning
Dr. Sonja Alexander
Dr. Lewis secretary (not sure of her name)
Debra White (Area Asst Superintendent)

Would love to know if this list is even longer.
but isn't it interesting that so many of the highest positions are filled by the same historically african american sorority?

Anonymous said...

So our new super. isn't one?

Anonymous said...

oh forgot another important member of Alpha Kappa Alpha

Dr. Audria Berry, Title 1

Anonymous said...

Our interim superintendent, Ms. Tyson is a member of
Delta Sigma Theta

Anonymous said...

High ranking admin need to get a life. Loud colors, car tags, rings, and please when they come to a funeral it will turn your stomach. Grow up people. By the way is this a black thing?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad others in the DCSS are tired of grownups acting as though they just pledged. Who cares about the sororities or fraternies that you are members of.This is all that some people dote on belonging to the most popular organization because if you remove them from the organization, then who would they be? Yes, all of the top positions are held by members of the same sororities (AKA) which is so sad. Especially when you enter their office and the entire office looks like a greek shop. Just wait until next week when school starts, the whole foolishness of soror will ring in your ears all day long. Key chains wearers will compete who has the most greeks in the schools caring nothing about students learning. When will this maddness stop among people who still insist that his or her organization is the best one to be a member of? People who graduated from upscale colleges donot need to promote such foolishness as wearing a greek key chain, car tag, or tee shirt to prove a point. This was during college days when now, you are an adult and stop using organizations to get hired or be liked by your principal because he or she belongs to your organization. We are here to work with children. Greek organizations are well established and donot need teachers promoting them on students expense. Hopefully next week, teachers will concentrate on improving CRCT scores and not competing to see how many sorors are in the school or if the prinicpal one of your sorors.Tired of this stupid mess from grown ups!

Anonymous said...

I need to understand this. I know very little of the Greek system and I believe that in most sororities/fraternities, membership is determined at college.

Can you join the primarily African-American sororities and fraternities after college?

Anonymous said...

Yes...grown middle aged women join sororities!
In DCSS, it is more important to be a member of the right sorority than which college you attend!
And you haven't lived until you see old, fat people try to compete in a stp contest. GROW UP!

Anonymous said...

So if I join AKA I can get a job at the central office? Where do I apply. BTW I am a middle age white man is that a problem?

Anonymous said...

Yes.

Cerebration said...

In the book "Our Kind of People" Lawrence Otis Graham has chapters titled, "The Origins of the Black Upper Class", "Jack and Jill: Where Elite Black Kids are Separated From the Rest", "The Black Child Experience: The Right Cotillions, Camps and Private Schools", "Howard, Spellman and Morehouse: Three Colleges that Count", "The Right Fraternities and Sororities", "The Links and the Girl Friends: For Black Women Who Govern Society", "The Boule, The Guardsmen and other Groups for Elite Black Men", "Vacation Spots for the Black Elite", then "Black Elite in ____ "(City - he writes about several), and "Passing for White, When the "Brown Paper Bag Test Isn't Enough".

It all sounds just the same as white elite to me. Elite is elite. No difference.

Anonymous said...

Cerebration,

Surely you don't mean to suggest that the behaviorial norms of the DCSS administration are reflective of a black "elite"? If anything, they are a manifestation of just how cut off and out of step the South remains, especially its African-American segments. The real black "elite" -- in the sense of DuBois -- might send some of its children to Howard, but not to either Spelman or Morehouse, which are parochial southern schools. They certainly would not entrust them to most of the black-run schools in DCSS. There are suburbs in New Jersey, for example, that are much more reflective a successful, well-educated, cosmopolitan black "elite" than anything that Dekalb county has to offer.

Anonymous said...

We need more of our African American men to write books. The small print is sure to help those who don't like to read. Why are we acting like this is such a bad thing. Is it only because he is African American?? Is it only because there is a majority African American school board?? Let's look at the bigger picture. We have bigger issues to deal with!! Just because the media says it's bad does not mean it's bad.

Anonymous said...

Yes if you are black and a member of one of these groups you will get a job and a high paying positions. I know one who could not read, one who carry a purse (male), one who did not know how to open his garage door when the power was off,one who was still wearing his class ring at age 60.You must also drive a mercedes, most of them live in the southland,I went to the kappa party and i could not stop laughing the whole time i was there, they have the sweet heart dance and every one of them was all of sudden so in love with there wives (please). By the way you know our pass super gased up his county car three times in one day and he said that he put high test in the car and he had to remove it. Not to smart you think. If these educators put as much energy into our kids maybe we would not be in the mess we are in. Grow up people get a life.

Anonymous said...

At this point I want just 2 things:
1. Full prosecution under civil and/or criminal statutes of Simpson, Cunningham, the whole corrupt lot, followed or preceded by loss of office
2. My money back in the classroom
Al
I guess that's too much to ask though

Anonymous said...

It is time for vouchers!!!!

Anonymous said...

On a different note, there is an article/discussion in the AJC regarding the Math I, Math II, & Math III curriculum.

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/final-exams-show-teens-581382.html

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/07/29/georgia-math-students-stymied-by-accelerated-pace-and-complex-concepts-expected-in-high-school/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog

Students (and apparently some teachers) are struggling with this curriculum. Even some students who typically don't have problems with math classes are struggling.

Isn't this supposed to be a part of the GHSGT for the upcoming 11th graders. If only 52% of the students across the state passed the Math II EOCT this past school year, doesn't that foreshadow the results we will probably see on the GHSGT this year? Someone pointed out that you only had to pass about 40% of the test to pass it.

There will definitely be a need for more tutoring. And systems are going to need to let teachers have a little more flexibility in how they teach the classes -- catering more to the students' needs rather than strictly following the mandated curriculum.

August 31, 2010 said...

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 31, 2010.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/trial-set-for-ex-581663.html

Anonymous said...

I've been saying for months. Can we please ask for the resignations of everyone currently involved in our former CLew-less cabinet? Until this happens I shutter to think of the things that will happen over the next year,
Tyson, Mitchell, Thompson, Moseley, Turk and the rest! GET THE HECK OUT OF OUR SYSTEM! WE'RE MAD AS HECK AND WE CAN'T TAKE YOUR PREMIER C%$P ANYMORE!

Anonymous said...

Re:
"Tyson, Mitchell, Thompson, Moseley, Turk and the rest! GET THE HECK OUT OF OUR SYSTEM! WE'RE MAD AS HECK AND WE CAN'T TAKE YOUR PREMIER C%$P ANYMORE!"


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100723/ap_on_re_us/us_bell_salaries

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/103751/

Cerebration said...

Hmm - that article refers to "Predatory government" - interesting term.

Anonymous said...

Between the news that DeKalb County staffers got raises, while public safety employees and educators got fired and furloughed, I have incredible confidence in our county leadership! Isn't life great! More government and less business investment. Who is going to pay for all this?

We've seen it first hand here in DeKalb and now it's happening nationwide. How are these people getting elected?

Elections have consequences.

Anonymous said...

Except that "predatory government" tends to be more corrupt in segregated areas. Its consequences are unquestionably more dire for the people concerned. Booker T. penned these words in 1911. They still ring very true today. The Dekalb county government will probably never get a leader from the outside who comes from a different culture. DCSS, however, could get one.

"I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal: Ralph Simpson clearly knew his books were by purchased by his subordinates. He and his lawyer created a shell company to make it legal. It's not ethical, but it's legal.

But Ralph clearly knew what was going on. This is a man with no profesional ethics or integrity. I'll bet $1 million that he did work related to his book during his DCSS work day, and used his DCSS e-mail, computer and phone for book-related business. You'd think our Internal Affairs Dept. would have investigated this by now.

If Simpson is the type of administrator who Ramona Tyson, HR Director Jamie Wilson, Bob Moseley, and Infernal Affairs Director Ron Ramsey want as an Area Supervisor, then the DCSS administration is no better now than it was under Crawford "Booty Call/Gas My Car Three Times a Day" Lewis.


Also surprised Audria Berry still has her cushy, very high-paid position after the out of country trip to a carribean resort on DCSS p-card.

Nothing is going to change at the DCSS Central office unless the BOE steps up and hires a new supt. who will clear out everyone at the Central Office, as it's the only solution.

Anonymous said...

Right on. Give us a person with absolutely no ties to the existing system -- from a different race, a different region, and with a legitimate education. That Washington quote is dead on. Too bad that too few people here care about being exploited in this way.

Anonymous said...

I feel the need to point out that being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., a successful 22 year veteran teacher of Dekalb County and a parent of four Dekalb County students affords you no special treatment. I would just like someone at the County Castle to answer a phone.

Be True to Your School said...

The shame of it all is that it is African-Americans exploiting and cheating African-American children -- particularly poor African-American children whose only hope of a better life is getting a decent education. It is criminal!

The attitude of current DCSS "leaders" and board members is, "I got mine!"

It has been more than 56 years since segregation was declared unconstitutional (Brown vs. The Board of Education), more than 40 years since DCSS was ordered to desegregate and more than 14 years since the Supreme Court agreed that DCSS had done all it could to become a unitary system.

If you consider a school generation to be 12 years, it has been more than 4 generations since Brown vs. the Board of Education and more than 3 generations since DCSS was ordered to desegregate.

DCSS's desegregation efforts included a costly M-to-M program with free busing (Majority to Minority transfers)and balancing teachers by race and experience at every school (also costly as DCSS lost excellent teachers who rebelled at the inflexible lottery system of teacher transfers). The Court's refusal to allow re-districting and/or school construction as DeKalb County went through a period of incredible growth continues to be costly for DCSS in many ways, including construction and parent expectations with regard to redistricting.

So, in 3 - 4 generations of students, there has been no significant improvement in the academic achievements and school quality in the largely African-American south DeKalb County area. Regardless of race, that does not seem to be the case in north DeKalb County -- with the possible exception of students who do not live in this area and are transfers from schools that repeatedly cannot meet AYP.

Why? Is it a cultural thing in the south DeKalb community? Is it a cultural thing between well-off (ill-gotten gains or not) African-Americans and their poorer, less educated (I use that term advisedly considering the nearly faux degrees held by some of DCSS's "leaders" -- another term that really doesn't fit) brethren?

After 40 years, it is time for the blame game to stop -- and for African-Americans to take a good, hard look at the people who are really doing them in: first they need to look in the mirror and then they need to look at their fellow African-Americans (mostly) who are on the take.

Anonymous said...

"So, in 3 - 4 generations of students, there has been no significant improvement in the academic achievements and school quality in the largely African-American south DeKalb County area."

Half of what Be True says is true. There hasn't been much in the way of academic achievements in south Dekalb but there certainly have been many, many school improvements. South DeKalb has had more money spent on new schools, additions and renovations then anywhere else in the county. I guess the admin. figured they could dupe the parents into thinking if it's a shiny, new building with all the latest, greatest in learning equipment then everything will be ok. Well when it became obvious the shiny palaces still lagged behind parents put in for transfers to Lakeside and Chamblee. Both complete dumps without the necessary equipment to have proper science labs.

Anonymous said...

Actually, from a longitudinal perspective, things have gotten worse for African-American students, especially males, in areas like south Dekalb. Since 1964/65, enormous opportunities have opened for for young blacks who are educated and disciplined. Yet so many of the students who now come out of schools like the black-run schools in south Dekalb are unable to meet minimal requirements (herein lies one of the reasons for the ongoing popularity of HBCU's). As a result, social mobility is being lost. South Dekalb is a case study for this process.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 3:38 PM

You are exactly right. I should have been more specific about school quality. I wasn't really talking about the bright and shiny buildings, equipment, labs, etc. They are simply very effective distractions. I was talking about school quality in terms of DCSS central office and area administrators, as well as local school administration and faculty.

I know I am going to get dinged for mentioning faculty. But, the reality is that you have the facilities and, I think, everything else you need. So, after 3 or 4 generations of opportunity, why is academic achievement so elusive?

Maybe we also need to add parents and home environment to the above list?

So, I will ask again: is the challenge cultural? Are the parents in South DeKalb who are concerned about their children's education somehow getting them into north DeKalb schools, leaving the mass of south DeKalb to wallow around like 2nd or 3rd class citizens, satisfied with representation from Jay, Sarah, Zepora, Eugene, Pamela? Will these south DeKalb parents who are concerned about education now manage to get their children into the elitist Arabia Mountain High School?

For all parents, one more question: How many hours a week do you volunteer in your children's schools? Not because you should carry your share of the load (you should!), but because by volunteering your time, you are telling your children -- more loudly, clearly and forcefully than words alone can say -- that you value education and the schools and teachers who provide it.

Anonymous said...

Like the previous poster said, it takes PARENTS, TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS and STUDENTS to work together to make their schools better.

It takes a BOE with guts and no personal agenda to make the BOE whole again. It also takes a central office willing to make tough decisions based on FACT! Also it takes a central office not hell bent to defraud our "premier" system of our tax dollars and everything else.

CAN WE PLEASE LOSE PREMIER MONIKER? DCSS IS NOT PREMIER, NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE UNTIL THE LIKES OF TYSON, TURK, MITCHELL, THOMPSON, MOSELEY, RAMSEY, AUDRIA "PCARD" BERRY AND ANY EDWARDS FAMILY MEMBER RESIGN!

Excuse me for screaming but it will never get better.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb was a darned good school system well into the 1980's. Of course, no one would have thought about using the self-serving "premier" label back then.

Cerebration said...

Just saying it does not make it so. We actually published a post on the topic a while back --

A Premier Misrepresentation

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dr. Berry did not post the response concerning instructional coaches. I like how this blog assumes the person being criticized is the one to respond, but in this instance, she did not. The middle school is Tucker, a second year title 1 school and is doing well. Proud of everyone on the staff including our coaches.

Anonymous said...

To the 22 year veteran AKA educator who posted-
July 31, 2010 12:40 PM
Do you have your leadership degree? Have you applied for administrative positions? If so, I am sure it can be yours. Chances are your principal is an AKA too, so just have her call her sorority sister for you. The interview panels will surely have AKAs on them.

Anonymous said...

To respond to -July 31, 2010 5:42 PM

At the padministrators' summer leadership conference - our theme is "Blazing New Trails"-really never mentioned "premier" moniker.

Anonymous said...

Well actually, Dr. Simpson was not Dr. Thedford's supervisor while she was principal at Miller Grove. Her supervisor was Horace Dunson. When you submit your title 1 budget, it must have several signatures, including your area superintendent and Dr. Berry. This year, our many of our title 1 purchases were denied for a variety of reasons, but this shows that someone was looking at our purchase requests and not approving them, so what happened in Thedford's situation? Why wasn't a stop put on it before it happened? If we spent too much on a consultant, we were told no. We were told to buy class sets of books, not enough for an entire school. Each title 1 school is also assigned a title 1 coordinator by Dr. Berry, maybe this person wasn't doing their job as well. I agree, Dr. Thedford should not be the only one held accountable.

I would like to see how Dr. Simpson and Mr. Dunson spent their Title 1 funds while they were principals. Let's see what books were bought by them and other leaders when they were principals.

Anonymous said...

What's funny is that Dr. Simpson acutually used to work in the prison system. I think intake of new prisoners. Can anyone verify this?

Anonymous said...

DCSS, Blazing New Trails.. Right to prison!

How much did that slogan cost the taxpayers? Can we just the start school by saying welcome back?

Whether it's about perception or anything else, until this current BOE starts asking for resignations of the current Central Office higher ups, the only trail we're blazing is headed right off a cliff!

See you at the registrations this week! The trial will give parents some great topics of discussion in the car pool lines and other school events.

For the parents that tried so hard to expose these frauds for the last 4 years, judgment day is finally coming. Let's hope Ms. Keyes and her staff are ready, can you believe it? The DeKalb taxpayers are paying for the defense and the prosecution, what a great country!

Anonymous said...

It appears that right now the intent is to try them all together, since the paper indicated that the trials will begin on the same day.

I wouldn't get to excited yet, I would expect that at least one defendant's attorney will ask for at least a delay if not a separation of the trials from each other.

RICO is very complicated. I bet it takes a while to get to the good stuff (motions and all).

Cerebration said...

I will say that the parent councils in south DeKalb are all listed as "inactive". Parent councils such as Emory Lavista, Chamblee-Dunwoody-Cross Keys and Tucker have all been very strong voices for their schools and communities. Folks in these inactive areas might wish to get "active" and start a council. I'm certain the active councils would mentor you.

Avondale/Cedar Grove/McNair/Columbia Elementary
Clarkston/Stone Mountain/Stephenson/Redan (including Miller Grove and Lithonia clusters)

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/public/parentcouncils/

Be True to Your School said...

Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council

One thing I learned in college and have never forgotten is that if you don't protect your trademark you will lose it. With that in mind, I want to point out, once again, that it is the Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council.

I believe it was Marilyn Steele who, in typical DCSS fashion, arbitrarily renamed the Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council without regard to by-laws, etc.

The Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council and, I believe, the Emory-LaVista Parents Council were both started as grassroots ventures by concerned parents who sought a relatively small parent-run representative organization of schools in the same high school cluster(s)to oversee and improve these schools and their children's education, as well as speak with a united voice to DCSS.

These parent councils posed a big threat to business-as-usual in DCSS. Even as DCSS appeared on the surface to "support" these parent councils by providing speakers, etc on request they also looked for ways to render these parent councils impotent. Renaming, without regard to bylaws -- as if the Dunwoody-Chamblee Parent Council was part of and controlled by DCSS, was one such way.

I have a long history with DCSS and my recollection is that parent councils in south DeKalb were never grassroots parent ventures. Instead, they were set up in copy-cat fashion and controlled by DCSS which would explain why they fell flat and are inactive.

Dunwoody Mom said...

One thing I learned in college and have never forgotten is that if you don't protect your trademark you will lose it. With that in mind, I want to point out, once again, that it is the Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council.

I believe it was Marilyn Steele who, in typical DCSS fashion, arbitrarily renamed the Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council without regard to by-laws, etc.


Who cares?

Anonymous said...

@ Dunwoody Mom

I care. Although, to tell you the truth, I would be just as happy to jettison the whole "me-first" Dunwoody crowd with the entitlement attitude.

Dunwoody's selfishness in terms of (1)tearing down a workable middle school building and rebuilding with a smaller capacity, as well as (2)demanding a new elementary school building instead of being reasonable about re-districting -- without regard to the severe facility needs at Chamblee Charter High School -- is mind-boggling, greedy and disgusting.

And, quite frankly, it is reason enough to vote against Jim Redovian in November. As if his blind support of Crawford Lewis wasn't already enough to vote against him.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at PATS and noticed that the Internal Auditor position was no longer posted. This has happened before and the position was removed from PATS, but never filled.

In the organizational chart, the Internal Auditor (the one and only position never filled on the chart), this person reports directly to the Superintendent and indirectly to the BOE. I have a friend who actually applied for this position over a year ago (never even granted an interview). My friend is an auditor. He says he was surprised that an auditor would report to the superintendent. He says an Internal Auditor should report directly to the BOE and indirectly to the superintendent (just opposite the proposed structure is for a DCSS Internal Auditor). On PATS, it showed this person would report directly to the superintendent.

I agree with my friend in that an Internal Auditor should report directly to the BOE. Does anyone know if this position has been filled or has it been shelved once again? Interesting information for all BOE candidates.

Anonymous said...

The new elementary school was Chip Franzoni's idea. He sold every vote he had to get that through. The land swap was under way before Redovian was even elected. Peachtree Middle was started under Brad Bryant continued under Franzoni.

Chamblee has a new middle school that houses about 800 students, of which only about 400-450 are Chamblee residents, in and out the magnet program. This is probably 400 students under capacity.

When the discussion comes around to closing schools again, if it ever happens, how does the system justify keeping CMS while closing Avondale Middle which actually has more students from its attendance zone? I am not picking on AMS, it is just one of the smallest middle schools.

Just as we have to many elementary and high schools, we have to many middle schools.

All these things have happened because DCSS lacks a master facility plan that is analyzed and updated regularly.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is, that the position has been filled. Or at least interviews are happening, which would explain why the position is not up anymore.

Keep in mind, though, that sometimes for positions like this, DCSS gets through the interviews and the selected person attends a board meeting and then backs out. (Happened twice in the last couple of years, human resources and planning positions were both filled and then the people backed out.)

I don't know about the chain of command issue.

Anonymous said...

I think the "chain of command" issue is huge. I read the BOE minutes that originally established this position. This position was not lumped together with other positions. It was brand new. The current BOE members just needed to say they wanted this position to report to them, but they didn't. The BOE needs to ensure this position reports directly to all nine of them.

Anonymous said...

Re: Internal Auditor - I would be interested in who ends up with this position. I certainly hope it is not a "friends and family" member or a "friend of a friend". What are their qualifications and how is this person going to guard against abuse of student funds/tax dollars?

Anonymous said...

In Cobb County Schools the Director of Internal Audits reports to the BOE and the superintendent. The Board Attorney also reports to the BOE and the superintendent.

In Fulton County Schools the Director of Internal Audits reports to the BOe and the superintendent.

In Atlanta Public Schools the Director of Internal Audits reports directly to the BOE and indirectly to the superintendent.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Dunwoody's selfishness in terms of (1)tearing down a workable middle school building and rebuilding with a smaller capacity, as well as (2)demanding a new elementary school building instead of being reasonable about re-districting -- without regard to the severe facility needs at Chamblee Charter High School -- is mind-boggling, greedy and disgusting.

Could you be any more insulting and uninformed?

Oh, and don't be jealous that the Dunwoody community can fight for its schools and that the Chamblee community, for the most part, has abandoned their schools for the private schools.

Dunwoody Mom said...

And my comment about "who cares" dealt with the fact that Cross Keys was added the name.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:05 am

"Actually, Dr. Berry did not post the response concerning instructional coaches. I like how this blog assumes the person being criticized is the one to respond, but in this instance, she did not. The middle school is Tucker, a second year title 1 school and is doing well. Proud of everyone on the staff including our coaches. "

Well, according to the Georgia DOE website (which gets its information from DCSS), Tucker has not been a Title 1 school until this year so I'm assuming you guys got your Instructional coach(es)this year since they are paid for with Title 1 funds (maybe the posters on this blog are wrong, and our local taxpayer funds are paying for the Instructional coaches.)
http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=103&SchoolId=2834&T=1&FY=2010

Here are the scores for Tucker MS for the past 6 years:
Met or Exceeded Rate:

2004-05
Math CRCT: 73.3%
Reading CRCT: 84.9%

2005-06
Math CRCT: 71.4%
Reading: 71.4%

2006-07
Math CRCT: 74.8%
Reading CRCT: 88.4%

2007-08
Math CRCT: 67.6%
Reading CRCT: 90.5%

2008-09
Math CRCT: 77.3%
Reading CRCT: 90.4%

2009-10 - first year as a Title 1
Math CRCT: 75.9%
Reading CRCT: 92.9%

Anonymous said...

The parents in the Avondale, Towers, Southwest DeKalb, and Columbia are trying to form a parent council.

Anonymous said...

Before you talk about who this person report too. You need to fine out if this person is one of the friends and family. Most of the time when they post these jobs they already know who they are going to give the job to. This is why well educated and trained people from the outside never get in. That is a large problem in dekalb it is not what you know it is who you know. If it was possible to pull the friends and family team you would fine that 99%of the people in the central office have no business being in those positions. 99% of the people came in as teachers and then principal and the big jump county office with a large salary. If you want things to change we must get rid of the over-paid central office.

Anonymous said...

I live in Chamblee and the growth here is incredible and I'd like to add that if DCSS was run better there would be more students from our area in our schools.

The poster who thinks Chamblee Middle should be closed is ludicrous. The building is 5 years old and if the "fine folks" on the BOE had the guts they would redistrict and realign the zones so the schools could be filled close to capacity. Another reason CMS is not to capacity is that Kittredge at Nancy Creek has kept the sixth grade classes there. If those kids were to come to CMS it would increase the enrollment, plus allow more students to WIN the lottery for Kittredge Magnet.

I also agree that Dunwoody has alot of DCSS properties and the way the BOE and Clew-less tried to realign Dunwoody with a sharpee and had lines cutting right through neighborhoods instead of major streets, that process might not have ended as it did.

In the case of Redovian, he is a has been and should be voted off. I have had several meetings with him and his excuse continued to be, "his hands are tied". Well Jim my hands will not be tied in the voting booth this November. Until I see Redovian asking for the resignations of Lewis' ENTIRE cabinet, he will not have my vote.

It's time for change at DCSS and it SHOULD NOT include, Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Mitchell, Thompson, Ramsey, any Edwards or Guilroy. Once that happens I might actually have faith that more parents will begin to send their kids to the Chamblee schools. By the way, Montgomery Elementary will have over 600 kids attending next week. Huntley Hills is over 550 and Kittredge is around 325. Though some of these kids will go private for Middle and High Schools, as our economy continues to tank there will be fewer kids going private.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Another reason CMS is not to capacity is that Kittredge at Nancy Creek has kept the sixth grade classes there. If those kids were to come to CMS it would increase the enrollment, plus allow more students to WIN the lottery for Kittredge Magnet.

I have said in the past that Kittredge should be moved to the CMS campus. However, CMS believes they will be receiving about 100 NCLB transfers - we'll see.

The 2008-2009 school year - there were only 156 6th graders at CMS.

Dunwoody Mom said...

It's time for change at DCSS and it SHOULD NOT include, Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Mitchell, Thompson, Ramsey, any Edwards or Guilroy. Once that happens I might actually have faith that more parents will begin to send their kids to the Chamblee schools.

Those individuals are not the reason parents don't send their kids to Chamblee schools - that movement started a long time ago.

Cerebration said...

"The parents in the Avondale, Towers, Southwest DeKalb, and Columbia are trying to form a parent council."

Glad to hear it! Ask for guidance if you need it, I know the other council members would be happy to give advice. We all want you to succeed!

Regarding adding CKHS to the Dunwoody PC, so happy they have been added - if in thought only. I've been told over and over again that Page Olson (who is I believe, President of Chamblee-Dunwoody PC) has worked tirelessly to advocate for Cross Keys and was instrumental in getting their construction projects up and running. The place looks really super thanks to the hard work of so many advocates like Page and Kim.

Anonymous said...

"Until I see Redovian asking for the resignations of Lewis' ENTIRE cabinet, he will not have my vote."

And if he does that, SACs can pull the accreditation of the school system. The only employee of the board is the Superintendent. The board, can however, hire a new superintendent who brings their own top officials with them and thus, replaces those who are there. However, as Redovian has committed to do, the Board policy on seniority and reduction in force has to be changed.

Anonymous said...

@RIFd employee due to corruptness,

August 1st, 2010
12:13 am
Hello friends, I am over the anger now, now Im just feeling the hurt and disappointment of being so naive as to the crookedness, corruptness, and downright ugliness of the DCSS and its leaders. All the money they make, all the family and friends they hire, I feel sorry for the teachers and what they have to go through. Having to put up with the corruption and problems of the children too. I would be too overwhelmed with not having a functional, honest system behind me. Please dont give up the students need you.

Since I have gotten over the initial shock, I am ready to proceed forward. I have put the board, Jamie Wilson and his cohorts, interim Super, Ramona Tyson, on notice. JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL. I have been a fighter all my life. Nothing has been given to me. I love a challenge, especially when Im getting ready to take my concerns and issues to my Father. We always win. Always. The entire Board needs to be voted out of office (personally with the exception of Roberts and Copelin-Woods). When I and another intially made our complaints, those two were the only ones to respond. All the others couldn’t have cared the less. I hate the Devil. I hate his ways. The Devil must flee the school system. Im putting you on notice Devil. You are getting ready to get the hell out of our schools, our offices, our community. I am coming at you with full force. The Lord shall avenge me of you and your comfort. When I called Head of HR, Jamie Wilson, his assistant, Betty Guthrie, chuckled when I said I was waiting for a call from him to answer my concerns regarding the conditions which I was RIF’d. She laughed. That’s evil. When I spoke with him, I then realized that he did not support me in the least, he gave a standard “we followed policy and procedures.” We know their sense of following their own policies and procedures. Right. I will go to the community, I am taking this to the streets. We have 3 months to make the community more aware and the importance of electing in a new school board. I have nothing but time on my hands. So listen out community, and encourage your neighbors of Decalb County to vote in a new board in November, we will start there. Every citizen in Dekalb will know about the issues facing our school system and the proud, arrogant, rich and evil people behind the scenes.

Watch This.

Anonymous said...

Along with the downturn in the economy, the rather dramatic change in the demographics on Montgomery Elementary has led to a large increase in enrollment. It is hard to say whether this families will be there for public middle school, especially if their children don't get in the magnet program.

As to redrawing lines, that has been resisted for many years by Chamblee parents. I was at a meeting several years ago, where the Mayor of Chamblee, a woman whose name escapes me now, advocated for making sure that all the schools that were actually in Chamblee's city lines, were in the Chamblee district. Ironically, the strongest resistance at the time came from the Ashford Park parents who had just managed to have their school moved from CK to Chamblee.

I would imagine that not many in Chamblee would welcome much of the CK district, though they would be quieter and more subtle about it than Dunwoody was during their redistricting battle.

By the way, the location of the Dunwoody elementary school doesn't lend itself to attendance zone that makes sense. In order to really make one that works, families will have to move from schools they can walk to, to a school that they may or may not be able to walk to.

The location is another example of a dumb move by Dr. Lewis, but this was a move that he was pushed into by Chip Franzoni.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Yes, it always comes back to Chip Franzoni - who up and moved from DeKalb County (I think his children go to Westminister?)and left this mess. The old Shallowford ES site is across the street from some apartments.....

As far as the Dunwoody ES current site - much of the Village Mill neighborhood is closer to it than they are to Vanderlyn, which is where they are currently zoned. There is a sidewalk that runs down Womack to the school.

Anonymous said...

Village Mill isn't the issue, it is the neighborhoods between the two schools and between Austin and Vanderlyn and between Kingsley and Vanderlyn and between Chesnut and the new school.

It was a stupid decision for a location of a school, made by a spineless superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Roberts and Woods may have answer your e-mail but let me asure you they will do nothing to help you. They always answer the e-mails to make them look good. Don't be fool by this. Be very careful about who you talk too. You are along except for your faith. They all pull together. Hire you a lawyer and contact the eeco. I will pray for you and let me also ensure you that you are dealing with the devil.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Well, I think most people will agree it was a bad decision to put the ES at that location, but it's done and now the consequences have to be dealt with. I don't see how DCSS can continue to allow that building to continue to just house a 4-5 and 2 other schools terribly overcrowded.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, I respect your opinion in so many ways. I enjoy reading your comments. However, the Leadership at DCSS and the Central Office is one of many reasons that folks in my area, Chamblee, do not send their kids to Chamblee schools.

One parent at my kids school is taking her special needs kid out since they laid off the para pro who had a lot of success with her child. Her child is upset he will not see her this year and she has given up the fight. So please do not generalize about the folks in Chamblee.

We know you folks in Dunwoody enjoy using the YMCA, itp, Murphey Candler, itp, and other goods and services provided itp. However, we understand 285 is a wall when you consider the schools. I have lived in several major cities and this area is the only one I can recall where an interstate acts as a major boundary.

I know for a fact that several parents near Georgetown were willing to have the lines redrawn so their kids could attend Nancy Creek, before it closed. Nancy Creek was so much closer to them then the schools they attended in Dunwoody.

It is a fact that there is a huge disconnect between the schools in Dunwoody and Chamblee, even though they share a parents council.

Perception is one thing, however the truth really does suck sometimes.

We need change and a lot of it! One thing we need is for DCSS to sell the old CMS property on Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. then maybe we can get some para pros rehired with the money made on that very expensive piece of property.

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