Sunday, August 1, 2010

New State Board Ethics Policy


Many of you who are running for school board or who are already on school board participated in an online "webinar" recently regarding the state ethics policy currently in the process of being written. In 2008, the Commission for School Board Excellence was asked by the State Board of Education and State Superintendent to examine Georgia’s public school systems’ board governance. Among other recommendations, the Commission recommended that the State Board “convene a Task Force of education leaders and organizations to address the following three areas of school board focus:
board roles and responsibilities
 state-wide school performance standards
 comprehensive board member education and proficiency

There are some really strong statements in the resulting policy, called, Standards for Effective Governance of Georgia School Systems, which is still in draft form. Below are a few randomly selected paragraphs from the draft.

“Schools are major public institutions in our democracy. They serve the public and are a key link between democracy and education. School board members are critical to the principle of public accountability. Public schools are the ultimate in grass roots democracy.”   
– The Commission for School Board Excellence (2008)

An effective governance model familiar to corporate and public sector leaders is the Board Governance model. The board model of oversight for public education permits public scrutiny and lies at the heart of the school board of governance. Citizen “ownership” is fundamentally different from traditional management. . . . 
School board governance is based upon the trusteeship ideology that the board works as one body representing the entire community. Imbedded in the concept of board action on behalf of a larger group of citizen owners, is a shared focus on results, a good faith and honest effort to fulfill the oversight role. Governance of a school board acts for the owners to ensure that the current executive officer fulfills the mission of the organization and ensures its future sustainability. This understanding of a legal and logical entity held accountable is at the core of the American business model. The entity is run by executives, and those executives are accountable to the shareholders through a board of directors.  . . . 
To quote John Carver, “board governance represents ownership one level down, not management one level up.” School boards, as with corporate boards, must ensure that the school system fulfills its mission while ensuring confidence in the process of governance. Boards, individually and collectively, must model leadership integrity and instill confidence in the governance team. Effective boards ensure good stewardship of funds, demonstrate ethical behavior, plan for and support system-wide student achievement of accepted standards. Along with mission alignment, it is common on most for-profit and non-profit boards that certain behaviors are expected: professional courtesy, open and enlightening discussion about future plans and requirements for results from current outcomes and operations.  . . . 
In order to reinforce the notion of partnership and address the vague and often confusing language that currently exists in this area, the standards employ the term governance leadership team to identify the leadership group composed of the board and superintendent. This group is distinguished from the management leadership team, which is usually composed of the superintendent and senior school system administrators.  . . . 
A final principle associated with the standards is the evolution from a compliance-based model to a performance-based model. Simply stated, the Task Force amended the process that is often used to develop standards for job performance. The traditional process typically examines the roles and responsibilities of persons in the role and describes the desirable behavior associated with these roles and responsibilities. The Task Force, recognizing that a new level of performance is needed from school board members, took the approach of considering how the role of the school board member should evolve to meet the demands of the current social, political, and economic context, and developed prescriptive language for the standards. In other words, the Task Force moved from simply describing what is, to prescribing what should be.  . . . 
===

Interesting. I am encouraged by the vision this task force seems to have for the future of school board governance. It seems that the main takeaway is that we need to move our boards away from the management process of being reactive to being proactive.  We need leaders who can visualize the future and hold school administrators accountable to defined goals. We need school systems that focus on students and their needs and achievements, not on administrative tasks, construction management or specialty programs.  We need a new plan—this has become an emergency.

69 comments:

Cerebration said...

Change is in - check out the new DeKalb schools homepage -

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

Anonymous said...

No link to test scores from the new front page. Do you suppose that when they revamp all the pages of the website, they'll drop some of the material on the test scores page (currently goes back to 2005, with some docs giving scores back to 2003?) Do you suppose the planning and demographic data will ever return?

At least it isn't Premier.

Anon said...

You don't need DeKalb to post the demographic data. The state has it for you.

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.entry_form

On this website, going back to October, 1994, is the data for each and every school in DeKalb by demographic groups.

Anonymous said...

I heard we were getting a new logo! Long overdue, if you ask me-- from a graphic design standpoint, the old "Premier DeKalb"-shooting-star-on-top-of-a-column thing was unattractive and amateur. I'm relieved. The new webpage looks great and the new logo is a vast improvement. Need I even mention that it no longer says "Premier DeKalb"? Yay!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to see the old logo go. I also hope the premier term vanishes as well. The old logo is still on some of the other pages of the web site.

Cerebration said...

They have only released the new home page - they stated that it will take most of the rest of the year to finish up all of the pages on the website.

At any rate - it sure looks better and hopefully will provide much more transparency (although I don't see a link to the check register yet!)

We need to continue to push for this level of transparency in spending --

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

Anonymous said...

DCSS is blazing a trail right over a cliff, unless the cabinet of our former Clew resigns. Folks do not be fooled by these frauds at the Central Office. They might have a new look and a new slogan but it's the same old crooks, liars and internet doctorates that sit in those $2000 chairs at the Stn. Mtn Industrial Palace.

I laughed when I saw the word ethics and DCSS. Ethics is not something we have seen around DCSS for years. I am happy to see someone is trying, but until the swamp at the Palace is drained of the current leadership don't expect much change. They'll claim they're changing but that's because the majority (5) on the BOE are up for re-election.

Perception is one thing, action is another and that's what I would like to see.

Teacher said...

Thank you Cerebration for that thoughtful post. The biggest potential pitfall I see is that, with no leadership whatsoever among school administrators, the Board is at risk for becoming more and more "management one level up" rather than "ownership one level down."

With no one to make critical day-by-day decisions about curriculum, staffing, and discipline, someone will have to take charge. Ms. Tyson doesn't want to, by her own statement, and lacks the expertise to supervise such a large organization. Surely the public that the Board serves doesn't want more teacher firings, poor test scores, and huge classes--but so far, those have been the Board's main accomplishments. Will better ethics solve this dilemma? Stay tuned...

Anon said...

There is a national level discussion about local school boards, their role in school improvement and whether they are an asset or a liability.

It is certainly hard for me to think that they an asset in many places. Just yesterday, a City of Atlanta school board member apologized to his constituents for misusing his P-card. He said he didn't understand the rules and thought it was ok to use it, as long as you pay it right back.

Come on, does the guy not follow what is happening in DeKalb? Give me a break.

You can read more about it here:

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2010/07/31/school-board-member-confesses-to-misuse-of-credit-card/

The City of Atlanta School Board has been strangely silent on the whole cheating problem, which will come to a head tomorrow.

In Gwinnett, the school board does exactly what the superintendent tells them to, and the case may be made in Cobb for the same behavior.

But electing local school superintendents comes with huge risks as well, so if you want some accountability, someone has to be elected.

Perhaps the whole model of how we deliver public education is broken. It isn't just a DeKalb problem, it is a national one.

Anonymous said...

Website looks good, here is the link for test scores...

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/instruction/testing/testscores.html

Anonymous said...

Try to talk to Zepora Roberts and Sarah Copelin-Wood about a no nepostism policy for DCSS that includes BOE members, and you just may be cursed out. I was.

Anonymous said...

Change is in alright... I hear through the grapevine that the new Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning is making teachers do tons more paperwork this year. With less pay, bigger classes, and more paperwork, bring on the Valium!!!

Anonymous said...

As a former teacher this does not surprise me. We really need a superintendent to take over and straighten the system out. Heads need to roll and anyone with a Lewis connection needs to go.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous your comments regarding the Premier DeKalb logo are ridiculous!!!! And, no one asked YOU. The premier logo was new, innovative, very attractive and classy. Sounds like you have zero knowledge of graphic style. While DeKalb may need a new image, the new logo is no comparison to the bold, fresh statement of the Premier logo. Where is your vision? A star sitting on a column represented "Premier" and looked classy NOT amateur. If you knew the DeKalb employee who created the Premier logo, you would retract your comments. Unattractive and amateur cannot be associated with that designer.

Did your parents teach you that if you can't say something positive, then, don't say anything?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:22 What you are saying is simply your opinion, which is what the other people who do not like DeKalb calling itself Premier are doing. You may think it's artistic. I and others would disagree. I frankly don't care who created it. I don't like it. It's like when I go to any art museum. There are paintings that I like and paintings that make me scratch my head and say to myself really, this is art?

Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 7:22

Okay, Crawford Lewis you must have bought a new computer, since Ms. Keyes has your old one.

The "Premier" moniker has been a joke since it appeared. I can't tell you how many folks outside DeKalb has asked me about that silly slogan.

Now it's even sillier since there is so much about DCSS that is NOT "Premier".

Fraud, lawlessness, nepotism and cronyism are words that are more apt to describe DCSS not Premier.

Crawford or whoever 7:22 Anon is can have their opinion. However, their post shows that they are on the "Premier" payroll of Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Ramsey, any Edwards family member or Guilroy still employed by DCSS.

Whether the logo looked great or not, the word Premier associated with DCSS is an absolute joke!

DCSS, in its' current form, is far from Premier.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:22 PM

I don't believe anyone asked YOU, either.

Ha! The pot calling the kettle black!

Didn't your parents teach you that if you can't say something positive, then, don't say anything?

Anonymous said...

My goodness, Dunwoody Mom! You are certainly touchier and more prickly than usual tonight.

Is the truth hitting a little too close to home?

Cerebration said...

Ok. Allow me to settle this. I feel qualified, as I have a degree in this. The old logo was terrible. Period.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:28 PM

The new Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning -- would this be the vaunted and untouchable Morcease Beasley?

When there was an objection to his sudden hiring for a job that was never posted and a call for a copy of his transcript, the names of his undergraduate and graduate schools, and a copy of his thesis and his dissertation, people on this blog reacted as though he had been asked to stand naked before us.

Beasley did just as he was advised to do -- say nothing and proceed as if there were no objections. After all, he was told that parents, teachers and, yes, contributors to this blog are all just background noise.

Beasley is NOT qualified and he is unable or unwilling to provide copies of his transcripts, his thesis and his dissertation. Most people who successfully complete a real graduate school program are proud of what they produced.

Anonymous said...

The new ethics and conflicts by the state board are going to be a great thing.

They are not going to be liked by some of our current school board members. The domains are spelled out very specific.

However, the problem appears to be who is going to regulate the make sure the policies are followed as they will become law. I do not see a current board regulating itself. This is one of the problems with the ethic policies as it is currently written and the state board needs to hear ideas of how it could be enforced.

Teacher said...

A little note about the (now-former) logo. In one of Dr. Lewis's NewsFlashes about the wonderful new design the he so loved, a big color image appeared of the column with the stuff erupting through the top, and the label "Premiere DeKalb!" After a lot of people phoned in to tell his office that it's "Premier", they changed it quickly and put the new, correct flyer up on Newsflash.

DCSS is not Premier--it's Premiere! And the fact that CLewless's office couldn't spell it right, says all we need to know to resolve whether the district is, in fact, premier.

Anonymous said...

At one point they also had Premier DeKalb spelled out in ancient Greek!

Anonymous said...

What does it take to get excellence in school boards? I think it probably takes a well functioning school system, where student performance and parental satisfaction is high.

It is the proverbial question-- what came first, the chicken or the egg?

In dysfunctional school systems, the school boards are mostly busy putting out fires and trying to keep new ones from being started. There are these huge problems that need to be addressed long term, but the constant crisis and parental dissatisfaction makes it difficult to move forward.

Lynn

Teaching @ a DCSS High School said...

@ Anon Aug. 1, 11:01pm

Aside from the fact that he has not publicly made known his educational background, what are the SPECIFIC reasons that he is not qualified?

After listening to him last week at a "think tank" for math teachers, I'd prefer him over Gloria Talley. He seems to actually want to see legitimate gains in the educational proficiency of our children, with everyone working HARDER to achieve this goal. I don't think status quo teachers will applaud this, but those who welcome accountability will be pleased.

Of course this will also mean a bigger mountain of paperwork to produce physical evidence that we are making an honest attempt at changing the way we do things in the classroom. I don't think this will be another year of stagnation, but I do see many challenges this year (aside from the central office chaos and board politics).

BRING IT ON !!! WOOHOOO !!!

Anonymous said...

Was never a big fan of Talley, but I am curious if this guy has a solid, well thought out and funded plan for remediation at the middle and high school level for math?

Anonymous said...

He was a math teacher for 3 1/2 years so if he knows any subject it will math. He's not a certified teacher in Georgia (certificate in administration). Looking at his background, I don't think he ever got his teaching certificate - I think he went straight into an admin program. However, certification does not make a great teacher. I've known many a great teacher that came "off the street". Solid content knowledge and a love for teaching is more important. I am concerned about extra paperwork. He needs to look at reducing paperwork for teachers. That doesn't make great teachers either.

Anonymous said...

I am not an English major nor a PR authority but I always considered the use of premier in Premier DeKalb awkward. It did not fit into the cultural literacy understanding of the term. The public connotation of the word is most often associated with a movie opening, for me the term brings to mind the leaders of the Soviet Union.
It's use for a motto never would have passed muster by a top notch PR firm.
As for the design yes it was weak, I think a lot people thought it was done by a student.

Anonymous said...

I thought I would share this

storyhttp://brooklynbadboy.dailykos.com/

Since there seems to be a strong parallel to the DCSS leadership.

Be True to Your School said...

An Article Everyone Should Read!

Here is an article that everyone should read. Even if you read only the first paragraph -- it gives HOPE that more of the sleaze bags now running DCSS and on the BOE will be caught, tried and punished for STEALING from children.

Here is the URL: http://www.eduwonk.com/2010/08

Teaching @ a DCSS High School said...

@ Be True.. 1:30

Unless I misread the article,I believe its focus was not so much on the evils of those who ran the system years ago, but on the gains the system has made in the years since. That's where our HOPE should be - on student achievement. Yes, of course, we want to see justice done on behalf of our children. Yet, when the bells ring once again on Aug. 9, my co-laborers and I can't be overly concerned about what HAS happened , but rather what WILL happen.

Our PAST is not yet behind us, but our FUTURE has now become our PRESENT.

Anonymous said...

Cere:

Do you think that you could post something equivalent to last year's "Need to Know" Back to School Information for this Year? If possible could you also include the principals merry-go-round of changes so that we could have an idea of who our schoolhouse leaders are.

Cerebration said...

I would, but I don't know much to report. I know that Dunwoody will be getting a new principal, and I assume that Miller Grove will also - Cross Keys students will be elated to be welcomed into a nice, clean, modernized facility but many classes districtwide may have more students in them. Chamblee and Lakeside will have no construction action as had been expected. Lakeside's was postponed and Chamblee's tabled. We apparenly have a few satellite facilities for AYP transfers. Other than that, there has been no news from the central office. It's showing that they released the entire PR department.

The last press release is dated June 4 and is about the summer library program. The last issue of Kaleidoscope News was dated May/June.

You can visit this website for registration info:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/newsroom/newcomer/

If anyone is aware of news, please share.

Anonymous said...

Clayton County schools issued a press release that was published by the AJC listing all of the new principal assignments. We have to depend on rumors or inside info.

I have heard, from Clayton residents with very little interest in the schools there, that Clayton is beginning to shed its past and is becoming a well-run school system. They seem to have hired a good superintendent.

I bet it's better run than Dekalb now.

Anonymous said...

It shoud be illegal to list the word "ethics" in any article or post that also list the names Gene Walker, Zepora Roberts and/or Sarah Copelin-Wood.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:08

"Clayton County schools issued a press release that was published by the AJC listing all of the new principal assignments. We have to depend on rumors or inside info."

Have you emailed Ramona Tyson to ask her to send you the new principal assignments or to publish them on the Internet? It might be as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:48

That shouldn't be necessary. Principal assignments should be publicly announced. Think of the stakeholders that would value that info. I don't personally want to have to email the Interim Supt for that info. The public should know.

Your post also seems to imply that the central admin is responsive to little old public "me." My past experience has all been to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:02 pm

Well, how will you know unless you ask? It should take less than a minute to email the superintendent.

Anonymous said...

The PR dept. always released a list of new principal assignments and gave background info on them. Since the entire dept. was let go, doubt we'll be seeing anything like that this year.

Anonymous said...

The AJC is reporting that Clarkston High School and Redan Middle now need new principals.

I am guessing that the situation at Clarkston is because of the Federal money they are receiving to restructure.

Anonymous said...

7:22 is just pulling our legs ... ha ha ha ... I thought for a moment you were serious! You almost had me!

You said:
"A star sitting on a column represented "Premier" and looked classy NOT amateur. If you knew the DeKalb employee who created the Premier logo, you would retract your comments. Unattractive and amateur cannot be associated with that designer."

ANYONE who would associate DCSS and the past/current leaders with the word "premier" and a "star" ... well, it's just quite frankly embarrassing.

ha ha ha haaaaa ... I'm rolling on the floor now .... this is too funny .... whew, I can't catch my breath ....

Anonymous said...

Crossroads newspaper had a listing with pictures and bios on some of the new principals. It was published about two weeks ago. You should be able to read the newspaper online. In fact, there is a link on the homepage of this website.

Anonymous said...

http://crossroadsnews.com/view/full_story/8860647/article-11-first-time-principals-to-head-schools-in-South-DeKalb--Atlanta?

Anonymous said...

"If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job". ~ Donald D. Quinn

Cerebration said...

Thanks for sharing the link to the Crossroads article. Looks like we have a pretty good crop of new principals. Here's to a great start - and the beginning of putting the Lewis/Pope era behind us. Hopefully, the new superintendent will continue to clean house of anyone associated with those two. We have some wonderful principals and teachers in DeKalb - they should not have to wear the badge of shame brought to the system by our former 'leaders'. Carry on!

Anonymous said...

@ Teaching at a DCSS High School, August 1, 7:45 PM

I am not so sure you really are a teacher. Maybe an instructional coach? I don't know any teachers who welcome more paperwork. There is already plenty, thank you. I also don't know any teachers who aren't already working their hardest for their students, with precious little real support from DCSS.

Excessive paperwork is the refuge of the inept manager.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-schools-chief-conflict-583516.html

What the blankety blank??? Ramona Tyson just now says there is a pattern of conflicts of interest with book sales, possibly four instances?? You were the head of business and administration for the system. Either you knew and did nothing about it, or you didn't know and clearly should have.

Tyson has asked the state to investigate??!! Why, when we have an Office of Internal Affairs!! What DOES Ron Ramsey do?

Tom Bowen now says there should have been an ethics policy in place...What??? How long have you been on the board??? You have just now come up
with this?

And with up to 13 new principals, please tell me that the 13 previous principals like Thedford have had their salaries reduced accordingly. What the heck is going on here with this Central Office??? One step forward, five steps back.

Anonymous said...

The state is the agency that can pull certificates. If Ramsey investigates, would you trust the results? I wouldn't and Tyson knows this.

Since there was no DeKalb policy in place, the best way for there to be consequences is for the state to look into it.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Speaking of "ethics" or lack-thereof - did anyone watch the BOE meeting last night? Did you see the fancy new digs and throne, err, podium, for BOE? Talk about extravagant, while some of our children will be sitting in old, out of date, overcrowded classrooms. Every member of that BOE should have been embarassed a the opulence of that new facility.

Anonymous said...

Teacher said above:
"A little note about the (now-former) logo. In one of Dr. Lewis's NewsFlashes about the wonderful new design the he so loved, a big color image appeared of the column with the stuff erupting through the top..."

A very reputable source confirmed that C. Lewis' daughter (at the PR firm where she worked) came up with the logo and the word "premier" ... and I doubt she did it for free.

How can we find out how much was paid to the PR firm for this bad logo and bad idea?

Anonymous said...

As I watched the show in front of my TV last night, my favorite part of the school board meeting was when Mr. Womack made sure he let everyone know we had the jewel of a superintendent here with Ms. Tyson. I also think she has done a good job. However, what else could he mean by this statement? Does he want her permanently?

I also loved how he cut down teacher's writing skills when he is known not to have the best writing skills himself. I agree teachers need to have good writing skills but I thought this to be very interesting coming from him.

Cerebration said...

Yeah, and not too long ago, Womack was singing the praises of Dr. Lewis and pushing to give him a raise. He's always right -- except when he's wrong. We definitely need a superintendent from far, far away in a land where the students are the focus and good management skills with a firm hand are the order of the day. Someone, who unlike Tyson, has no relationship with anyone in the system and therefore has no loyalties.

Anonymous said...

In Ms. Tyson's defense, she may have known about the conflicts all along and not been able to do anything about it in the system of corruption that we've had for the past x number of years (decades?) maybe she can now start cleaning it up? (Things start at the top and this is a good start).

Mr. Womack is a politician,
through and through.

Dunwoody Mom said...

People will tell you that Crawford Lewis ruled by fear and retaliation. I'm sure a lot of people kept quiet in fear for their jobs. While this continued discovery of lawlessness and deceit within DCSS is embarassing, maybe, in the end, things will get "cleaned up".

Disclaimer: This comes from a person who sees the glass half full.

Anonymous said...

RE: In Mrs. Tyson's defense ...

There is no defense for Ramona Tyson.

Of course she knew about Simpson's book sales. How could she not know? Just like she (and everyone else, including the BOE) knows about Ron Ramsey being paid by DCSS and by the Georgia General Assembly for the same 40 days the legislature is in session.

Remember, Tyson is also the one who grew the MIS/IT department to such bloated proportions with inept staff -- while they did nothing of any consequence for the teachers and staff.

Remember, Tyson is the one who hired Morcease Beasley, who has no classroom experience and was never certified as a teacher, to be deputy superintendent supervising "Teaching and Learning". His first act is to add more paperwork to already over-burdened teachers so they can "prove" they are doing everything they can and "working harder" to raise student achievement.

Tyson is also the one who has not released Beasley's transcript and dissertation. Tyson has advised Beasley to just sit tight and say nothing until the background noise fades.

Remember, Tyson is aware of and has protected the "friends and family" policy of hiring overpaid and undertalented administrators simply on the basis of their connections.

Tyson had the opportunity to reduce the size of the central office and keep the teachers and para-pros who were doing the real work. She did not. Instead she got rid of para-pros and enlarged class sizes.

Tyson is a loser.

Anonymous said...

Background noise ceases! See folks these bozos running OUR school system are just waiting for the noise to go silent.

Folks, we must continue the noise, fill the email boxes of these losers and tell them exactly how you feel. We have rights to know exactly who this Beasley guy is. What is it with these public officials who think they can hide their past?

I can't believe we have hired someone to be in charge of teaching who does not have a certificate to teach. I hope this guy is NOT under contract. If he is, once we do have a REAL superintendent, if we ever have a REAL superintendent, then once again we'll have to pay this friend of Ramona the remaining. Geez, these people are unreal!

When will it stop! Ms. Tyson you talked about trust at the DCPC this spring. Ramona you will never have mine. Once our BOE has the guts to fire, yep I used to say ask for resignations, well it's time we fire the idiots that are running this insane asylum on Stn. Mtn. Industrial.

Tyson, Turk, Mooooosely, Mitchell, Thompson, Ramsey, Beasley and any Edwards or Guilroy family member will you please leave our kids alone and get out of OUR system! We DO NOT want you around any longer. Our system is a disaster and is not getting any better. Wait until the background noise ceases? You have to be kidding me. There will be background noise until you morons, who have blazed a trail right off a cliff, resign or get fired.

Good grief! What is it with these people?

Anonymous said...

Ron Ramsey being paid by DCSS and by the Georgia General Assembly for the same 40 days the legislature is in session.

WHAT??? Someone has to stop this insanity. Maybe we should all call the State. Is it even legal for him to be paid double, when he can only do one job at a time?

This is like a bad dream.

Cerebration said...

As far as I know, it's legal. Most state reps have jobs. I think you just can't have two elected jobs. I am very disappointed that we have Ramsey in such a key, high-level job with DCSS. We need someone there who can put all of their focus and attention on serving the school system. His job is absolutely key and I wonder if someone else had been there, perhaps Lewis and Pope's activities would have been discovered much, much sooner.

Anonymous said...

When you are employed by DCSS and go to jury duty, you are not "on the job" in DCSS and collect pay for jury duty. You have to turn your jury duty pay over to DCSS in order to receive your DCSS salary for that day. Perhaps this is what Ron Ramsey does. Turns his legislative pay over to DCSS like all the DCSS employees do with their jury duty pay. Has anyone ever bothered to call of email the state of Georgia to see if that is the case? That would solve the questions that continue to come up here regarding Mr. Ramsey?

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration
"As far as I know, it's legal ..."

It may be legal, but it definitely does not pass the smell test and it smacks of unethical, at the least.

This is especially true since Ramsey's official bio for the Georgia General Assembly lists him as an attorney -- even though he was elected as state senator after he began working at DCSS. Why is he hiding the fact that he works full-time for DCSS?

I believe that most, if not all, Georgia General Assembly members either work for a private business (not taxpayer-funded) or they have their own business (i.e., an attorney in private practice; a family-owned business, etc). In either case, whatever they work out with their private employer is their business.

Not so with Ramsey who is paid twice from taxpayer dollars for those 40 days. Check www.opengeorgia.gov to confirm that Ramsey is being paid twice for the same 40 days. I seriously doubt that Ramsey is giving back any money, but still paying tax on that money.

Cerebration said...

Of course, when all is said and done, this board is the board that fought Kevin Levitas' proposed ethics bill for the state. Levitas' bill included a long list of activities deemed unethical for employees of school systems.

Tom - I guess you've forgotten!

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/04/levitas-bill-looked-at-employees-new.html

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/12/schools-transparency-bill-offered-after.html

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:47

According to www.open.georgia.gov, Mr. Ramsey was paid $17,341.68 in 2009, exactly the same as every Georgia legislator is paid - no more, no less.

In all probability, he turns his legislator's pay back over to DCSS. If you want to verify this, just email your BOE member. I don't think they're trying to keep anything secret when it comes to Mr. Ramsey. Rather than speculate on this blog, why don't you ask your BOE member?

Anonymous said...

I think anon 1:44 is a BOE/DCSS plant. "Why don't you ask...?" As if none of us have asked before and gotten no response, or vague, non-responsive, or misleading response. Several posts have been made with this script "Why don't you ask...?" Nothing personal, but it sounds like BS and doublespeak to me coming from a trained parrot. It's clear to me that nothing has changed with Tyson, and if anything, DCSS is murkier, and not at all transparent.

Anonymous said...

"I think anon 1:44 is a BOE/DCSS plant."

LOL. I'm not a plant. I thought it would be interesting to see the email response back from some BOE members. There have been a lot of complaints on this blog about Mr. Ramsey's two positions, but you haven't done the research to back up your statements. You are indulging in speculation. Citing your sources gives your post more credibility. Quoting your source is equally effective. Even if your BOE member says "I won't tell you that" - that's cool - post what he/she says so we all can see what he/she thinks about transparency for tax payers. Let the other posters and potential voters judge for themselves how responsive or non-responsive our respective BOE members are. BOE members should be forthcoming with information that involves tax payer dollars. If some of them are, great - give them credit on this blog. If some of them are not, then that's good information in an election year. Which specific BOE members did you pose this question to and what exactly did he/she say in his/her email?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:44 PM

Yes, Ramsey might well turn his legislative pay over to DCSS. However, there is little point to asking a BOE member because:
(1) They won't know. They don't know anything that goes on in DCSS.
(2) They won't answer.
(3) This has come up multiple times on this blog over the past several months. The BOE doesn't even have the gumption to be transparent and proactive about responding to a general concern.

Who does Ramsey's job when he is gone for 40 days straight? My money is on Robert Tucker -- a retiree hired back by DCSS. He was worthless when he was a full-time employee; he is not any better as a retiree.

Anonymous said...

Good advice. Employees are afraid to email their BOE rep. for obvious reasons. These people retaliate, seriously retaliate.

So, PARENTS out there ... please email your BOE rep and ask specifically about Ronald Ramsey and please post the BOE rep's answer.

We would all be curious to see the response (if you even get one).

Anonymous said...

RE: Ramsey's Double-Dipping

Yes. By all means, spend some time this evening e-mailing your board member.

The question is -- would you trust their answers? They don't even know the answer to the big stuff -- like huge construction overruns and why SPLOST funds were used to build and furnish the DCSS Palace, instead of taking care of critical school facility needs.

If they even provide an answer, it needs to be with proof-positive documentation. Otherwise, it is as worthless as they are.

Cerebration said...

The official report on the logo - from the AJC

DeKalb schools get new logo

By Megan Matteucci
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5:49 p.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2010
DeKalb County schools are no longer touting the district as “premier.”

The state's third largest district unveiled a new logo and website Monday. The school system’s old logo – which was initiated by former superintendent Crawford Lewis – called the district “premier.”

The logo now just says DeKalb County school system. Interim superintendent Ramona Tyson decided it was time to get rid of "premier," but she did not say why.

The school system paid $1,200 for the new logo and $4,495 for the newly designed website, district chief of staff Alice Thompson said.

The new website is designed to have a more engaging look and help stakeholders find information easier, Thompson said. Thompson said the redesigned website is a work in progress and additional upgrades will be made throughout the school year.


Find this article at:
http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-schools-get-new-583920.html

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Ramsey had been at DCSS investigating himself and friends of the family plan then perhaps maybe Pat Pope and Lewis would not have gotten so greedy for money. Ramsey works for the system in getting rid of people without any facts. It has been reported that once you meet with him, his mind has been made up by administrators and other key officials about what sentence you will receive. Now, maybe Mr.Double Dipper will find the time to investigate why he is double dipping and walking around smiling after doing his dirty deeds to people.