Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Surprise, surprise, surprise

Yesterday's AJC tells us, "DeKalb County schools learned from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the district has a “more widespread” problem of district employees financially benefiting from sales to the district, officials said Monday."

OMG! You're kidding! What a surprise! I'm floored! How can this be?

Does Ms. Tyson and the board not read this blog?

Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson asked the board Monday night to pass an ethics policy barring employees from selling goods or services to the school system. Tyson said she is developing the policy and hopes to have it to the board by next month.

The district learned about the additional problems after questions from the AJC, board Chairman Tom Bowen said.


Thank goodness the new reporters on the DCSS beat at the AJC are asking questions. The board members would never believe a bunch of uninformed bloggers.

Sigh!

Also, the AJC is reporting that once again, enrollment is dropping in DeKalb schools. Enrollment is dropping, dropping, dropping, yet our board still cannot muster the guts to consolidate and redistrict.

Here's another interesting quote from the second article -

The district is now scrambling to fill 44 teacher vacancies and two principal vacancies. The principal openings are at Clarkston High and Redan Middle Schools.

“We anticipate reducing that to less than 20 teachers by the start of school,” said Robert Moseley, deputy chief superintendent of operations.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

#1- I'm assuming that even with the enrollment drop, we are still going to be hearing about a raise in the tax rate next year rather than any sort of reductions of administrators/schools.

#2- It's like they all got together and said, "Well, we don't have the money to run the schools without cutting our jobs or cutting students...and we can't fire students. I know, let's just scare them all away with our incompetence!"

#3- It would be interesting to see, and it is something the AJC NEVER does, what the control group is. For example, is enrollment dropping along with the number of school age children in the county (b/c of moves, birth patterns, etc.) or is enrollment dropping while the number of school aged children in the county is staying steady or rising. That would tell us MUCH more about what might be behind the 1.5% drop in enrollment.

Anonymous said...

They have a perfectly wonderful principal sitting in a room day in and day out waiting to be told "where to report" ... the old Dunwoody principal. He met every benchmark and the school met AYP for the first time in a couple of years. He was turning things around that was left over from when he got there, but then suddenly he was "reassigned" ... problem is he hasn't been reassigned anywhere.

Why not use the good people you have just sitting there waiting to be reassigned? He already knows the job. He's competent. He's been through the learning curve.

Guess he asked the wrong questions to the wrong people. They'll get you for that.

Anonymous said...

I'm so mad I am typing my keyboard into my desk. Now we have more teacher positions to fill? Mr. Moseley please resign, Ms. Tyson, please resign, you bozos have no idea how to run a system.

We just hired a guy, Beasley, to be in charge of teaching and he doesn't have a certificate to teach!? Now we find out we need more teachers after firing a bunch? Tyson told us to trust us and now she's telling her new hires to keep quiet until the noise fades?

We must get louder and louder as these morons who sit in OUR $2000 chairs at the "palace" on Stn Mtn. Industrial and our kids sit in filth and classrooms that ;eak and are full of mold and mildew.

It's time we get some lysol cleaner and clean up our Central Office, totally!

Our BOE is Clew-less, Tyson and her cabinet are even more clueless and we sit here and these idiots seemed surprised by the things this blog has been reporting for months!

The school my kids attend is bursting at the seams, 600+ enrolled and the school is designed for 475. Registration is certain to be a zoo. It's obvious OUR BOE is not aware of the economy right now. More and more are leaving private schools since they can't afford it any longer.

I think the 1.5% drop in enrollment is the idiocy of Moseley and his little black notebook. I honestly believe this guy is unable to add up the numbers properly. I know Turk can't figure out the budget numbers, what would make me think that Moseley can count?

How much you want to bet that enrollment has actually increased?

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that DCSS families have been hit hard by foreclosures and are leaving DeKalb for their next home.

That accounts for some of the change.

The other impact is that we have two commission charter schools opening this August. Because they are commission schools, those students won't be DeKalb students (students at traditional start up charter schools like Path and ICS are considered DeKalb students). Peachtree Hope had 1000 DeKalb students at their lottery and will enroll 540 and Museum School will have about 200.

I would hazard a guess that nearly all of P'tree Hope's students come from DCSS schools. I don't think that will be true of the Museum School.

Cerebration said...

Exactly true, Anon 10:43 AM. The constant opening of charters, themes, magnets, what have you is only pulling students from our neighborhood schools. This is mostly happening in the south area of the county. Much to Sarah Wood's dismay, very few students in her district are boarding buses at 5:30 am to ride to a "good" school in the north - no - instead, hundreds of students are riding to the very same charters in south DeKalb she herself voted to approve. She does this - and then plays the "north/south" card to get votes.

Read our report on the subject here:

North vs Central vs South - what's the deal?

==

Also - for clarification, a blogger on another post theorized that Tyson told Beaseley to stay quiet - we have no actual proof this occurred.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymlous 10:37

"We just hired a guy, Beasley, to be in charge of teaching and he doesn't have a certificate to teach!? "

Dr. Beasley has a certificate - it's just that it's in administration, not a teaching certificate. In other words, he cannot teach students in Georgia as a certified teacher. However, he can be an administrator. He is certified in administration in Georgia. This has been approved by the PSC and he is not teaching students - he is overseeing teachers. That's what his Educational doctorate is in. As long as he oversees teachers and doesn't teach students, there should be no certificate problems.

Anon said...

Teachers quit constantly and there are always teaching positions to fill before school begins and after as well. Some brand new teachers won't make it a month.

Enrollment won't increase. Rumor is that at least one high school in S. DeKalb will open with 100-200 students less than last year because parents loss their homes. It is really quite tragic when you think about it.

Growth patterns are not the same in DeKalb. What you are experiencing in your community isn't going to be the same in other places....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying about Beasley staying quiet. However, is this guy really the right guy for that job? I hope you're right about staying quiet. I know these guys have a hard battle to get our system right but as long as these current folks are running it, I have no faith anything is going to change.

Too many friends and family and not enough folks to do the real work that is needed.

Cerebration, you're right our so called leaders at DCSS need to read this blog. Last nights meeting was a joke, my wife made me stop watching it, she said my face was flushed with anger. How could you watch that and not get angry. They act so clueless yet we know what the problems are.... THEM!

Anonymous said...

As I understood it, most of the teachers that were let go were let go because of qualifications or teaching ability issues. We probably don't want those teachers.

Cobb laid off 100s and is now able to hire most of them back plus some. Some DCSS teachers will jump at those Cobb jobs leaving openings here.

Anonymous said...

RE: Dr. Beasley has a certificate - it's just that it's in administration, not a teaching certificate.

How can someone be in charge of teaching and teachers if that person has never been certified as a teacher and has never been inside a classroom as a teacher?

Then, the first thing out of his mouth is to increase paperwork so teachers can "prove" they are doing the job.

If Beasley was a stand-up guy, he would provide a copy of his transcript and his dissertation (which should give a lot of insight into his administration theory and plans). Instead, he is not responding at all -- waiting on the background noise to cease. Transparency in DCSS? I don't think so!

For more information on Beasley -- and an opportunity to buy his book! -- go to: http://www.apassionforleadership.com/DrBeasley.htm

Also, go to:
http://spiritoffaithministries.org/ (Morcease Beasley is the pastor of this church.)

Beasley calls himself an educator, but he has never been on the front lines inside a classroom. He will be supervising teachers who have real degrees and many, many years of experience, yet he won't provide histranscript, his dissertation and he has never been on the front lines inside a classroom.

What is it about any of this that makes it desirable -- or even just okay -- for Beasley to be DCSS's deputy superintendent for teaching and learning?

It looks like just another "friends and family" hiring. How is that working for you so far?

Anonymous said...

The problem with our schools is not that the county needs more money. Instead it is the fact that those in charge do not know how to run the school with what they have.

Schools boundaries need to change, so that over crowding is not happening because of attendance area issues. After the boundaries are redrawn, then we need to close schools in areas where there are too many empty seats for the number of children in the area.

The number of people in administration needs to be thoroughly examined by a total outsider. Are people qualified for their jobs? Is there salary on target for their skill set and job requirements? Do we have too many administrators for the size system that we have? The answers to these questions need to be made right. If people need to be removed from a position, let them go. If their salary is too high lower it. If we have too many administrators (which we know that we do) right size the system, let people go or offer them teaching jobs for vacant positions.

Raising taxes next year without looking at the true problems within our system is not going to fly with the population of DeKalb. We know that money is misspent and not handled in a way that makes a positive effect on the education of our children, but rather keeps people employed.

DCSS is not an employment agency and thus should not be looked at as one. I do not like to see people get let go, but I even more so do not like seeing the quality of education that our children receive constantly worsen. Our children deserve better.

Watching the school board meetings is not good for my health. My blood pressure goes up and I yell at the tv because I cannot believe those in power act the way that they do.

I hope that change comes to DCSS with a new superintendent, but I am doubtful that those in charge of hiring have the ability to make a good decision.

Anonymous said...

How can Mr. Beasley be a pastor at a church and also the head of curriculum and development (I believe this is his title). He gets paid so much not just for his "expertise" but also because he is expected to work long hours.

With young children, two full time jobs, and a wife when does this man sleep and eat? Which job is his first priority? How much time is he spending on his job at DCSS?

Administrators at any level should not be able to moonlight at other jobs, as this takes away time that they should be devoting to their DCSS job which they are very highly paid.

Anonymous said...

I have never found myself in the position to defend a DCSS administrator before, but Beasley did teach high school math for 3.5 years at the beginning of his career. His EdD is from Samford.

Frankly, in a school system overrun with leaders whose "degrees" come from online diploma mills, I'm just impressed that he went to an actual school-- one with walls and dry-erase markers and such.

Now, the man may be a fool and he may be a liability. However, he won't be the biggest fool at the Mountain Industrial Complex.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:06

According to his online bio, Dr. Beasley taught math for 3 1/2 years until he moved into an admin position. It looks like he spent his time getting an administration degree rather than a teaching degree during those 3 1/2 years. His original degree was in math, not in education. He is not certified as a math teacher in Georgia. He is certified as an administrator.

I personally have no problem with his teaching math with a math degree. One of my son's best teachers at CMS was a former chemist who came "off the street" so to speak. Nor do I have a problem with his being the pastor of a church as long as he isn't doing church work on school time which I don't think he is or will.

He is light on teaching experience, and he has had many different jobs in a short amount of time.
http://apassionforleadership.com/Vita.doc
It's also disappointing that America's Choice and Springboard, expensive million dollar scripted learning programs with not a shred of Return on Investment data and no teacher support, have been continued this year.

Dr. Beasely's credentials seem to be better than many of the Central Office administrators. As one blogger pointed out, he did get his degree from a brick and mortar school that has a decent reputation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to re-post, but:

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...

In addition to online leadership consultation, Beasley offers ten, yes ten, different workshops for educators. It is mind blowing that a dude without a teaching certificate has the gall to be a self-proclaimed expert. But this part is the most important: How can he market himself like this and put in all the hours he needs to as head of curriculum for the 27th largest school system in America??

The only person at DCSS busier than the supt. is the person in charge of academics. His first and only responsibility is to the students & parents & teachers of DCSS, not to those who want him as a spaker and consultant.

And Morcease, don't even think about using your DCSS computer, phone, supplies, etc. for your consulting business. Do it on your own time at home and not one second while on your DCSS workday.

Same goes to you Ronnie Ramsey: No DCSS computer, phone or supplies for your state senate stuff. You better not be spending one second of your DCSS workday on state senate stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wait a second, Beasley is the big dog in charge of curriculum for DCSS, plus he has a consulting/speaker business, plus he is the pastor of a church (http://spiritoffaithministries.org/our_founders), and has a wife and kids at home?

Really laser-focused on DCSS, isn't he?

Anonymous said...

I guess I just don't understand the "reassigning" situation. If the Dunwoody principal was meeting, why was he moved? And why hasn't the Avondale principal met the same fate since that school hasn't made AYP for years? I just don't understand how this can happen.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:08

I am not a Tyson fan. I am gravely concerned that some members (Womack in particular) are becoming to comfortable with her sitting in that seat, but DCSS spends millions a year and there is no way that Tyson would have known about these book sales, most of which were probably small.

The AJC got the information from sources, which is fabulous, but why didn't these employees tell someone at the central office. Maybe they did and got nowhere? I don't know, but to think that one person can possible know everything is unrealistic.

Many of the principals who are being replaced actually retired.

I think the questions asked about Beasley's side businesses are good. Why doesn't someone ask him?

Anonymous said...

"It is mind blowing that a dude without a teaching certificate has the gall to be a self-proclaimed expert. "

He does have an professional certificate in Educational Leadership from the state of Georgia. Even that may not even be required for this job. I don't remember what PATS said was required, but whoever his supervisor is wrote up the PATS description so I'm sure his qualifications fit the posting on PATS. The only thing he can't do is teach students as a certified teacher since he doesn't have a professional certificate for a content area or a grade level.

It might be of interest that Ms. Talley only holds a Georgia Professional Certificate for Educational Leadership as well. According to her bio online she was a teacher. I guess just not in this state.

Apparently, this is not unusual. I looked up the other counties to compare. Fulton County's Deputy Superintendent for Instruction holds an Educational Leadership and an expired Special Education certificate. Atlanta Public Schools' holds an Educational Leadership certificate. Gwinnett's has an Educational Leadership and a working science and gifted teaching certificate.

Here is the certification website:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Cerebration said...

I don't think it's such a "busy" job, actually. I will go out on a limb and say that perhaps we could have gone with the head of curriculum and instruction position unfilled. We have directors of math, Language Arts, Science, etc... and heads of learning for high schools, middle and ES. We have a whole bunch of "leaders" - they probably could have managed to get the job done until we put a new (outside) superintendent in place who could build and place their own team.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

"I am not a Tyson fan. I am gravely concerned that some members (Womack in particular) are becoming to comfortable with her sitting in that seat, but DCSS spends millions a year and there is no way that Tyson would have known about these book sales, most of which were probably small."

But this BOE has always been very comfortable with Ms. Tyson. Why would they hire her as the superintendent if they didn't feel comfortable with her? They have been comfortable with the entire DCSS administration. I think they've always had good relations with the DCSS administration. They seem to think very highly of them.

Really, the BOE members are at fault as they should have had a clear ethics policy in place and insisted on the Internal Auditor position being filled. In retrospect, filling the Internal Auditor position seems to have been more important to DCSS students than a Curriculum and Instruction head in light of the mismanagement of student dollars and our Return on Investment for students.

The BOE members are supposed to be the stewards of the students and taxpayer dollars. They don't want to take any responsibility for any of this mess, but we'll see what the voters say come November. I just made a donation to a BOE candidate (not an incumbent) and have offered to work hard on the campaign. I hope a lot of the bloggers here are doing the same thing. Turnout and name recognition is the key. I'm anxious to see the challenging candidates' campaigns gear up.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 5:53 pm

I think that's a good thought. However, if the position goes unfilled for too long, people start to think it wasn't necessary in the first place. Much of this is probably about preserving the status quo in terms of personnel structure and jobs.

Anonymous said...

Seems like there are many angry people on this site based on the comments regarding whether a former deputy superintendent of curriculum, instruction and school leadership in Port Arthur, TX is qualified for a similar job in DeKalb. It is similar to when people question the compensation of some officials while also wanting to be available 24/7 for anything related to the job.

It should be noted that Michelle Rhee, the superintendent of DC schools and the darling of many only taught for 3 years, 92-95. You can see her resume at:

http://www.dcpswatch.com/mayor/070312b.htm

Cobb County had a former superintendent that was a retired general. As mentioned, Ms. Talley did not have a doctorate degree despite serving as the head of instruction for several years. I'm sure if you looked at the education credentials for education leaders throughout the country, it would be similar to those obtained by DeKalb staff members.

Why so much anger at Dr. Beasley?

Along the same lines, who has the expectation that predicting the number of students (which impacts the number of teachers needed) is an exact science? I would think that estimates close to 96% or higher is pretty good considering nothing qualifies school officials on predicting the impacting of the housing crisis on resident mobility. Cobb County hired back about 2/3 of the 800 teachers they let go at the end of the school year. Other neighboring school districts have done the same. Things happen beyond anyone's control that you cannot forecast.

Why so much anger at Ms. Tyson, Mr. Moseley, and the planning department on this?

Anonymous said...

Why so much anger at Ms. Tyson, Mr. Moseley, and the planning department on this?

Oh, it's certainly not JUST this. People are angry in general at the way the school system has been and is being run. Our children are the victims. Of course, people are angry. Are you seeing ANYTHING any different since CLEW and POPE left the scene? If yes, please share.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that Dr. Beasley took over and taught a math class for a few weeks during this past school year. If he was not a certified teacher, is that an issue? I was told that he talked about his experiences being in the classroom again during a faculty meeting at Columbia.

Anonymous said...

Why is Clarkston still without a principal? This vacancy was known in early June.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the memo from MS. Tyson on employees selling goods and services to the district. I suspect staff will be required to list any personal and outside businesses they have. I wonder if working at or running a church will be asked about.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:49

Here is the certification website:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Here is Dr. Beasley's resume:
http://apassionforleadership.com/Vita.doc

He was probably a very good math teacher. But teachers don't follow a "career path". He no doubt made a choice, and I'm not knocking him for his choice. I just worry that we don't value our teachers enough to realize that they are the ONLY employees that we cannot function without. We are making it extremely unattractive to be a teacher and extremely attractive to be an admin or support employee. Where do we think these admin and support people came from? Many were attracted to those positions, few are attracted to teaching. That's why we're going to India to try to get teachers. Have we ever considered that teachers are the most important employees in the system, and as such we need to make every effort to attract and retain the best teachers.

What do great teachers want DCSS to do in order for them to come to DCSS and stay here to teach our kids? Do you think Ms. Tyson and her administration (including Dr. Beasely) or our BOE could answer that question? They need to answer it. If they don't, no scripted learning program or highly paid administrator is going to increase the academic progress of our students. That's done one classroom at a time.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:14

"It should be noted that Michelle Rhee, the superintendent of DC schools and the darling of many only taught for 3 years, 92-95."

....And her family worried that she would have a nervous breakdown she worked so hard (around the clock as a teacher). Is this really a practical answer to the shortage of good teachers? Talk about burnout! BTW - Washington DC students have not made significant academic progress despite Ms. Rhee's good intentions. On the other hand, she has incurred the wrath of an overstaffed and entrenched Central office as she has tried to pare them down. She has tangled with the BOE as they have not been willing to cut the bloated Central Office. I would not consider her a success because despite her good intentions, she has not accomplished her goals. They would be better off with a new BOE than Ms. Rhee (a good lesson for DeKalb voters).

"Cobb County had a former superintendent that was a retired general. As mentioned, Ms. Talley did not have a doctorate degree despite serving as the head of instruction for several years."

I'm not a fan of doctorates either, but how did these choices of personnel work out for students? I don't know much about Cobb County except I advised my son not to teach science there - they are second only to DCSS in terms of administrative bloat (the only other metro system to spend 90% of their budget on personnel while not decreasing class sizes or paying teachers more = too much spent on admin and support personnel). Please consider that academic achievement DECREASED under Ms. Talley. If you want to look at Made AYP figures or CRCT or SAT scores over time during Ms. Talley's tenure, please go to the state of Georgia DOE website to verify the decrease in DCSS scores:

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=103&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2010

DCSS has major problems with student achievement. That's the only important issue, not jobs or who has them. This BOE and administration has not been effective, and please don't tell me our students and parents are the ones that are at fault. They are the ones we serve. They are the only reason DCSS exists.

If we spent less money on expensive programs and admin and support personnel and provided EVERY child with:
1. A clean and safe environment
2. A competent teacher in a reasonably sized classroom
3. Access to cutting edge science and technology equipment

...then we will set the stage for success for ALL children. And good teachers would flock to DeKalb.

Unfortunately, the DCSS "jobs machine" cannot have the above ideal classroom and still afford the vast number of overpaid and overstaffed numbers of admin and support (see 2004 Ernst and Young audit saying we have 2,500 overpaid non-teaching staff to the tune of $15,000,000 a year = $90,000,000 total since 2004 until 2010).

The anger you see is the intuitive understanding of what needs to be done, but little understanding of how to accomplish it.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 6:14 Really, I mean Really?
Why so much anger toward Mr Moseley and Ms Tyson and the planning department ? Why so much anger at the business as usual " I am a big shot " BOE members ?

I am mad as hell at the mess that DCSS has become and I am probably in a better school than many. I am mad as hell at the smirky smiles that have permeated the meetings for the past years. And let's talk about the deaf ears that these concerns have fallen on and then let us talk about the dismal scores.

I can only hope that there is enough anger in November to begin some real changes in this system. Otherwise, I ( and many others ) better start saving my dollars for a private education.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous 7:02 PM

The certification website and Beasley's person website (with the opportunity to buy his book) have been published on this blog before.

Here is the website for Beasley's church where he is the full-time pastor: http://spiritoffaithministries.org/

Anonymous said...

Ummmm... you guys... Beasley's church's website is kind of skinny on major details, such as where this church is exactly (other than "Covington") or how many members are in its congregation. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even imply that a congregation exists.

Don't worry. I think Beasley has plenty of time to focus on DCSS.

Anonymous said...

To deny online education as legitimate in the "age of technology" is quite unrealistic. The state department of education, offers a virtual K-12 school. DeKalb offers DOLA. Do we assume that these students are receiving an inferior educational experience? Today, we carry out many meaningful and important activities including, banking, dating, and working online. Why not school? Certainly, there may be individuals that have not "earned" their doctorate, but to assume that everyone that participates in online education, is a "sham", is unfair. For the record, the title of Doctor is earned when one is deemed to be an expert in a particular area. Expertise is gained from conducting defensible research. Having recently completed the process, I am shocked at the lack of regard for the work that goes into earning a doctorate degree. I don't know what anyone else experienced, but my degree was earned through three years of blood, sweat, and tears. The end result was a 185 page dissertation, 60 additional pounds and a head full of gray hairs. I would be proud to post my work online, for all to see. Yes, I attended a school believed to be a "diploma mill." Ironically, the online courses were far more rigorous than, blended or face to face courses. You need only to have taken an online course to know that the work load is often double or even triple traditional or blended courses. I am curious. Have the critics of online education actually experienced it or are assumptions and generalizations being made based on experiences with particular individuals?

Anonymous said...

@ Ummmm ... 9:24 PM

You need to read further into Beasley's Spirit of Faith Ministries website.

First, I have a real problem with Beasley's e-mail address: cloingeorgia@aol.com
Chief Learning Officer in Georgia? Helloooo??? Is he kidding?

Maybe not. Take a look at the "Vision" section of Beasley's church website. He plans to establish Christian Schools of Excellence. How different is that from Frankie Calloway's school at New Birth?

Ask any pastor. Being a pastor is not a part-time job. Especially not if you are building a church, which Beasley clearly is.

So, it seems as though he is using DCSS to provide and income and benefits while he builds a church.

In addition to Beasley's plans to start a church (and all that entails) I still have a problem with:
(1) Beasley's refusal to provide a copy of his transcript.
(2) Beasley's refusal to provide a copy of his dissertation. He should be proud of it and willing to share it. Plus, it will give all of us an idea of his vision and interests in education.
(3)Using cloingeorgia@aol.com as his e-mail address.
And especially ...
(4) Falling back on the refuge of the inept and inexperienced by piling even more paperwork on DCSS's already over-burdened teachers so they can "prove" they are doing their jobs. Puh-leeeze.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Anon 10:24, I've taught online classes at the college level and I'm critical of many of the online universities. Shouldn't we, as educators, recognize that something is sacred (and necessary!) about the classroom experience? If an online degree is "just as good" or even better, as you imply, why are we wasting our time leading/teaching in these silly, outdated brick-and-mortar schools?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:48, while I agree that the best type of learning environment is traditional face to face, classroom instruction, I must also acknowledge that we are witnessing a change in the methods of delivery. Like myself, you probably remember having your gas pumped by an attendant (while checking your oil and cleaning your windshield), having a bag boy take care of your groceries from the line to your vehicle and customer service agents all over the airport to help make sure you got to the right place. Labor costs such as these have been eliminated and the public is accustomed to a self service environment. We know the key driver behind this, to keep costs to the consumer down.

As higher education continues to see cuts, we will see distance learning offerings increase, as a means of holding the line on costs. We will determine if this will succeed, as we did with self serve gas stations, bagging your own groceries, or printing your boarding pass at home before catching a flight. It should be noted that most businesses are moving to distance learning as a means of cutting costs for travel and living expenses.

I believe a blended approach of distance learning along with instructor led classes in a traditional setting is here to stay and what we will see more of in the future.

Anonymous said...

"#3- It would be interesting to see, and it is something the AJC NEVER does, what the control group is. For example, is enrollment dropping along with the number of school age children in the county (b/c of moves, birth patterns, etc.) or is enrollment dropping while the number of school aged children in the county is staying steady or rising. That would tell us MUCH more about what might be behind the 1.5% drop in enrollment.
August 3, 2010 9:46 AM"

You make a very valid point. I don't know what the true numbers are, but we took our kids out of DCSS and are sending them to private schools this school year.

Anonymous said...

As a 2nd career teacher with my Leadership credentials in place, I've finally left DeKalb County.

I spent 25 years in corporate America, rising to the level of VP of a mid-sized business, only to be told by DeKalb HR that I didn't exhibit the leadership qualities needed to enter an administrative role.

Maybe it's because I'm 50+, maybe it's because I don't know the right people. But an honest appraisal of my background and accomplishments would leave anyone wondering why they wouldn't jump at the chance to get someone like me on board. Exactly what they're looking for is a mystery to me.

DCSS has an HR process that perpetuates a cookie cutter approach to hiring only those who fit the educational mold, with upper-level connections. There is no fairness that I can see in the selection process... only the need to not hire anyone that might stand out and actually expose/fix things.

What might be the outcome if DeKalb actually hired some principals who had real world experience running a business? How might things improve if we let those individuals shake up the old-boy network and actually get things done that needed to be done.

jachin said...

Well i hear that some of Popes cronies at the Sam A Moss Ctr.are planning to outsource the building of the bookcases and the cabinets for the schools.Iwonder what kind of quality they will be?pressboard? also this board once again knows nothing of this deal.Iwonder if anyones getting a kick back,and who going to pay for them.Seems to me that its business as usual at the Sam a moss ctr.only the faces have changed.This was looked at in the past.but they could be built cheaper than bought.Its your tax dollars...

jachin said...

The two principal positions DCSS needs can be found at the Sam A. Moss ctr. they have quite a few over there,im told.By the way why arent they in schools doing what they were hired for?Did they get in trouble for something at the schools?just wondering.Its your tax money at work.

Anonymous said...

Redan Middle was promoted to Miller Grove.

Clarkson received this huge federal grant that basically requires replacing the principal.

Anonymous said...

Do we honestly think anything is going to change while the current leadership stays in place? I'm not talking about the spineless, inept BOE, I'm talking about Tyson, Turk, Mooooseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Ramsey, Beasley, Guilroys, and any of the Edwards clan.

Until these people are shown the door it will be business as usual at the palace on Stn. Mtn. Industrial.

There are a couple of other posters that feel the same way. I have sent emails to Redovian and Speaks. No replies yet, however I honestly think they are nervous if anyone is fired or forced to resign we'll be seeing more lawsuits against DCSS and the taxpayer will be on the hook for the defense and the prosecution. Just like the Lewis/Pope case. Isn't government fun?

How's that DCSS Hope and Change working out for us? We're blazing a trail right off a cliff, to quote a former poster.

Anonymous said...

Re certification -
A teaching certificate does not "make" a good teacher. There are plenty of teachers in DCSS who are hired without certificates and get them along the way. This hiring mechanism is especially important for recruiting high school math and science teachers, with expertise in subject material. The "elite" Atlanta private schools are filled with top-notch teachers without certificates. We need to put less emphasis on certificate and more on whether the teacher his/her stuff and can teach it effectively to the students.

Anonymous said...

In some situation teachers who have not went through education classes and student taught can become excellent teachers with the right professional development and mentoring. It is just not that simple according to data.

Many teachers without the correct background find that teaching is much more than they thought it was. It is not just providing information to students. It is not just lecturing anymore. Teachers do not lecture anymore as data shows students do not learn material this way. Pedagogy learned in colleges has been shown to be much more useful than you make it out to be. You need to check the data a little closer. These teachers have to have a great deal of support in order to be successful. They cannot just be put into classes. It is not that simple.

Cerebration said...

Correction -

Anyone upset enough about Friends and Family you want to speak on-camera to Media? Call 404-486-5926 or go to the Friday Aug 6th Board meeting… meet there at 9:30am.

NOTICE OF DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION CALLED MEETING:

The DeKalb Board of Education will hold a called meeting at 10:00am, Friday, August 6, 2010, in the Board Room at the DeKalb County School System's Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

Agenda:



D. DISCUSSION ITEMS

1. SACS Inquiry
Presented by: Ms. Ramona Tyson, Interim Superintendent

2. Superintendent’s Search
Presented by: Mr. Thomas Bowen, Chair

E. ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. First Day of School ~ Monday, August 9, 2010

2. DeKalb Board of Education Business Meeting, 6:00pm, Monday, August 9, 2010, AIC Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've seen very many emails from BOE members shared on this blog. Their responses to many of the issues discussed on posts would be very interesting and enlightening.

Anonymous said...

I repeat the quote (found in the AJC about a month ago)of former State Senator Steen Miles in an article entitled "The Downward Spiral" as published in the Champion:

"If things aren't reversed in DeKalb, in less than a decade, this county will be a bankrupt, crime-ridden wasteland with a plethora of poorly performing schools, churning out a bumper crop for the state's prison system."

I think that it can be done in only 5-7 years.

Anonymous said...

It is about time DCSS put in place a policy on selling items. Yvonne Butler sure used DCSS to sell cookbooks to her teachers when she should have been supervising and managing the school. Teachers were basically forced to purchase the boss' cookbook or she would treat you very unkindly I am told. Plus she has a company called Envvoy which is a result of her profits from her cookbook sales. Did you know that this former principal had another quick rich scheme going a few years ago too. She used her school to promote an Arts Gala. Each teacher was mandated to purchase a $25.00 ad or more and sell tickets to attend the function which was held on a Saturday night. Teachers had assignments such as coming in and cooking and etc. The point is; Butler never shared with her staff how much money the Arts gala made and where the proceeds went to. This is a shame because Crawford lewis or no one from the county did a check and balance on this lady. She has traveled through various states promoting her cookbooks on DCSS school time appearing on Tom Joyner, Tavis Smiley and even Jackson State using her teachers lesson plans that she forced them to write on nutrition and required them to list the name of the website. Plus, she would have her own make up artist to come out during instructional time and apply her lashes and make-up before these interviews at her school would take place. Keep in mind, all of this is going on during which she is being paid on DCSS time and of course, when she should have been assisting students and teachers. Now, she is sitting in the new DCSS building pretending to be a wellness director with no certificate in this field. Only a few books which amounts to nothing. At one time DCSS wanted everyone to list their job description. Please help everyone to understand how this lady can be paid $112,000 a year on her certicates that are listed. She had no degree in medicine which should stop her from trying to tell people about how much sugar in take is needed and etc. Until, DCSS investigates this lady, she is going to continue to use the system to get over. She has really used the students in promoting her cookbooks and using the proceeds to increase her finanically. Now, do you really think she is worth $112,000 year as a motivational speaker with no degrees in health. Butler is a embarrassment to the county !

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:06 pm

"At one time DCSS wanted everyone to list their job description. "

DCSS had everyone list their job description in 2004 as part of the Compensation and Classification Audit that showed $15,000,000 a year overpayment to DCSS non-teaching employees (per summary by Jim Landry, independent Ernst and Young auditor). Dr. Lewis disputed the auditors' findings. This audit should be made public for DCSS taxpayers. After all, we paid $315,000 to Ernst and Young for this audit.

Anonymous said...

I sure would like to make $112,000 a year without a degree in that area and call myself a sugar-free motivational speaker for DCSS. We did get a good laugh at Butler with her interview on the Martha Stewart show lying about the school district. It is hard to believe that Crawford Lewis allowed this lady to speak on behalf of DCSS without really checking out her facts and visiting her school to see why and how she had so much traveling time to give interviews when she was being paid to work for DCSS. OMG!!!
Someone should be asking; "Where is the Money"?

Anonymous said...

OMG. I read the information on how Butler's appointed job came about and was just floored! I guess if Crawford is the King Pin of Corruption then Butler must be crowned the Queen of Selling Cookbooks.Simpson and Theford's actions are a piece of cake compared to how Butler forced teachers to purchase her books.It would be interesting to take a look at the bookkeeper's record keeping on Butler's affairs at her former school. Under what title did Butler's secretary or bookkeeper use to disguise the how the selling of books were coded. Did teachers pay with checks or cash? Interesting!
It would be interesting to see how much she made using DCSS as a decoy for her book deals. Plus, how is her company (Ennvoy)benefitting from her sales?
How much did she pay her makeup artist who applied makeup and false eyelashes on Butler during instructional time?
Teachers paid the trainer that came to Butler's school to work. So, how did Butler code this money?
Did Butler donate any of her book sales (money) to her former school?
There are so many questions for DCSS to investigate on Butler.
And last, we can truly see that Butler's boss (area director) was not on his task of monitoring Butler's school or her coming and going. Her school ran itself I'm told. What a waste of our taxpayers money!

Anonymous said...

OMG. I read the information on how Butler's appointed job came about and was just floored! I guess if Crawford is the King Pin of Corruption then Butler must be crowned the Queen of Selling Cookbooks.Simpson and Theford's actions are a piece of cake compared to how Butler forced teachers to purchase her books.It would be interesting to take a look at the bookkeeper's record keeping on Butler's affairs at her former school. Under what title did Butler's secretary or bookkeeper use to disguise the how the selling of books were coded. Did teachers pay with checks or cash? Interesting!
It would be interesting to see how much she made using DCSS as a decoy for her book deals. Plus, how is her company (Ennvoy)benefitting from her sales?
How much did she pay her makeup artist who applied makeup and false eyelashes on Butler during instructional time?
Teachers paid the trainer that came to Butler's school to work. So, how did Butler code this money?
Did Butler donate any of her book sales (money) to her former school?
There are so many questions for DCSS to investigate on Butler.
And last, we can truly see that Butler's boss (area director) was not on his task of monitoring Butler's school or her coming and going. Her school ran itself I'm told. What a waste of our taxpayers money!

Anonymous said...

We can only hope the IRS has their eyes on this blog. No matter who the books are sold to, it's income and is subject to reporting to both the state and federal government.

One has to wonder with the blatant ethical lapse(s) continually on display, are they as careless and casual in reporting this income.

The IRS got Al Capone!

Anonymous said...

You are correct. Time will time what DCSS will investigate with Butler. She is very cunning and charming as you can see on her book covers. And yet, stupid Lewis allowed someone to convince him that this Butler's motivational speaking while on our taxpayers time instead of working in her school as a paid administrator should do (ethically correct) this woman was touring and making a name for building her company "Ennvoy" and using our children of DCSS as scapegoats. Any intelligent person knows that Butler didnot conduct a valid study prior to promoting her sugar-free campaign. And besides, not one person asked from the county office to view this before she went off speaking about sugar-free. This lady has not one degree in health education. (Family and Friends Plan) So, all you have to do is list yourself as a motivational speaker, call different magazine publishers, CNN, Martha Stewart, Up-scale, Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner and you can get promoted and big pay raise of $112,000 a year and report to no one at the district since she is funded through Kaiser's Grant we're told. Oh, as part-time and retired. NOT TRUE Taxpayer!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Interesting from the AJC article in this morning's paper. It certainly points to the fact these people knew what they were doing was wrong:

"..Officials who wrote books listed corporations they had set up as the seller, instead of using their own names. For example, Sanders-Butler's corporation was Ennovy - her name spelled backwards.

Cerebration said...

Good point Dunwoody Mom - if these people truly believed that what they were doing was above board, then why create 'corporations' with no name recognition in it? I was floored by Ms. Sanders-Butler's ego. Floored that she completely thinks she was within her rights to personally order $11,494 worth of her own books - using school system money. On top of that, her sister, principal at Rainbow ES, ordered $14,184 worth of Butler's books. The sister, Annette Roberts feels she is being "unfairly targeted" due to the fact that she is Butler's sister! If that isn't circular thinking... (refer to the post, "The Parrot is Dead"). Wow!

Once more thing - once again here comes Marcus Turk, questioning the expense waaaay back in 2007, yet in the end, paying the bills and moving on. Does he EVER tell ANYONE 'no'? Did Dr. Lewis hold so much power over Turk that he simply bowed down to Lewis' demands? I can imagine Lewis endorsing these purchases - no problem - he is the king of entitlement to public money for his friends and family (and mistresses).

We can't hire an auditor soon enough.

Anonymous said...

What about John O'Connor's book? Has someone checked into purchases of that book as well as his research on the children in DeKalb?

Cerebration said...

BTW - this thought has been commented on throughout the blog - who would write someone's dissertation? Believe me, this is BIG business -- PhDs can definitely be 'purchased' these days.

Morcease Beasley himself offers the service at one of his many self-promoting websites -

http://www.apassionforleadership.com/DrBeasley.htm

Dr. Morcease J. Beasley offers services in Improving Instruction, Leadership Development, Program Evaluation and Research, Instructional Management Audits, Dissertation Writing, Dissertation Editing, and Statistical Analysis for Dissertations. Please request services using the link provided below.

There are literally hundreds of others offering help with dissertation writing - some of which have spammed this blog - just google it.