Monday, September 27, 2010

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

CBS Channel 46 is doing a report tonight at 11 called "Kids In Need" -- highlighting the needs now caused by the budget cuts in all school systems. It seems that Dresden is certainly not alone in the need for TP, soap and other basic supplies. Teachers from all metro areas have been going to "Kids in Need" (a division of Atlanta Food Bank) to get supplies.

Hanna Daniels is doing the the report at 11 tonight and needs parents to interview - she already has teachers who have spoken on camera from Atlanta schools and others. So PTA people - parents - concerned people who would like the taxpayers to hear your voice - please call Hannah ASAP and let her know the story of how the current budget cuts from the state of Georgia have effected the basics in your schoolhouse. 

Please don't think "someone else" will call her - YOU need to call her. She will only use a 10-15 second clip of what you have to say - now's your chance!!  Let our state leaders know how their cuts to education funding have hurt our  schools!

Call Hannah - at (404) 617-9277 ASAP!

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify--"Kids in need" provides school supplies for teachers in Title I schools and had been there for many years. Its existence has nothing to do with budget cuts but more the fact that Title I kids (sorry to generalize) often come to school without pencils, paper, and other basics.

Anonymous said...

This is true, Kids in Need is providing a service to Title I schools, teachers at my school go there to get school supplies for students.

I think not having soap and paper supplies in our restrooms this is a public health issue. If you don't have soap to wash your hands, you start spreading all kinds of illnesses. I certainly hope that the school system isn't rationing these supplies.

Anonymous said...

This program was highlighted on several news programs prior late summer prior to teachers returning to school.

Anonymous said...

DUNWOODY HS, we should have gotten in on this! Lockers (old ones, many damaged by the construction of the renovation) have just NOW been assigned to the students. Up until now, the students have been having to carry their bookbags to class with all the items they brought to school with them all day, every day. There have been many many requests, following proper procedures, submitted to the Central Office, begging, pleading for relief. No response since the requests began in JUNE! Always an excuse. Even now, after assignments, there are students who cannot have a locker yet because 300 at least are broken STILL ... why oh why with such an extensive renovation at Dunwoody was new lockers NOT part of the renovation? Saving a buck now that will cost more later is typical of decisions made at DCSS. Parents are complaining that their students are having back issues .... we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop. DCSS, why oh why do you make the decisions that you do? Or rather don't make the decisions and just let something broken continue to be broken, and then spend all your time trying to fix things that aren't broken?

Anonymous said...

Oh, please, knock off the drama. This was all explained to the parents even before school started that lockers would not be available while the locks on all of the lockers were being replaced. Students now have their lockers and everyone is fine. In fact the Attendance Office indicated that fewer students were tardy to class since they had no time to linger at their lockers.

Stick to important issues. This was not.

Anonymous said...

Now is not a time to worry about lockers, when all of DCSS students do not have books or even for that matter desks to sit in. I do understand most of the overcrowded classes have been balanced but there are still a couple of classes at another High School where kids have to sit in a chair with no desk. Not a huge deal but it's been difficult for a few students to take a quiz or work a math problem on his or her lap.

Let's worry about the academics and a good environment to learn them.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Anonymous 6:34 - is there a reason you are coming in late to the game with this info, since Dunwoody parents and students were informed before school started there would be lockers? And on top of that posting factually incorrect information? I truly don't understand people that deliberately post bad information.

Cerebration said...

I didn't catch if Hannah was able to get her report (the storm knocked out our power for several hours). I think the point was that this charity has seen a huge rise in requests for help. The state has seriously tied the hands of many of our school systems with their year after year cuts to education. The repercussions will show up in about 10-12 years. Mainly in our jails. Are you all aware that the US incarcerates more people per capita than any other country? And in the US, Georgia leads the way! We lock up just about everyone! Ironically, we are also consistently at the bottom in education results.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 6:34 re dunwoody. As a taxpayer I do not understand why my DHS student does not have the BASICS such as a LOCKER and a SPANISH TEXTBOOK. We are nearly TWO MONTHS into the school year. How hard is this? True, dunmom, we were informed lockers would not be assigned for the first month, but why do some students STILL not have them? And what about the SPANISH BOOKs? How long should my child be without that??? The whole semester? On the block schedule that means a whole years worth of Spanish with nobook??? How is this ok? It posses me off to read in the paper about DCSS spending money buying hundreds of copies of some administrator's self published memoirs while the STUDENTS go without basics!!!

Anonymous said...

All students have lockers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8;34, please provide proof. My student was assigned a locker that DOES NOT open. My undrstanding is that many others were as well. I do not consider that a locker since my student is UNABLE TO PUT ANYTHING IN IT. It sounds like you are one of the dhs parents whose child was lucky enough to get an ACTUAL LOCKER WITH FUNCTIONING DOOR. I am happy for you. But please stop implying that it is ok for other students to have ti do without.

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear from the 3 oeopke loiking for my vote (jim redovian, nancy jester, and bobbie gillis) as to what specific steps they propose to take to address the missing basics at our schools. Basics like spanish tsxtbooks and lockers at dunwoody and toilet paper at dresden. If any of you three could post with your specific proposals that eould really help me make a decision as to who to vote for. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Why do people come on here and make stuff up. How on earth can anon@8:44 possibly know whether every student has a locker. Did you personally assign them and make certain they work?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22 am

Go the Edukalb forum at 6:30 PM tonight to hear from the candidates.

It is at Dunwoody City Hall.

Even when students get lockers on registration day, they don't all work perfectly.

The Dunwoody students are going to have a fabulous addition and renovated classrooms when this is done.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't your child's locker open? Did your child not remember the combination to his lock?

Anonymous said...

All of the lockers at Dunwoody had the old, original combination locks built into the locker. After almost 40 years, many of the locks would not work and the lockers would not open. All of those were removed and fitted with locks that require a separate lock.

If your child is still having issues with their locker they need to report the problem to the Attendance Office.

Dunwoody Mom said...

To Anonymous at 8:35, I'm not sure who your child's Spanish teacher is, but at the DHS Open House, my child's teacher was upfront that she was not assigning textbooks. They are out of date and she prefers to create her own curriculum anyway.

I don't know why people keep harping on this locker issue. The school was upfront from the beginning about what was going on. As someone said earlier, the old locks had to be removed and replaced. This week all students should have their lockers. Actually, the students I have spoken with were glad to be able to carry their bookbags to class - it cut down on the amount of time they had to spend going to their locker between classes.

Nancy Jester said...

Anon 922am,

I agree that it is unconscionable for our schools to have so many supply shortages – toilet paper, textbooks, functioning copiers, etc. This problem is particularly unpalatable because we are aware of the spending abuses that have taken place. We see resources being spent on facilities, materials and employees that do not benefit or educate our children. I was the only District 1 candidate to attend the first eduKALB forum last Thursday. At that forum I discussed the need to change our budgeting processes. I advocate for a “bottom-up” budget development process. The consolidated budget for FY 2011 (page 11) is in excess of $1.4 billion. Just for perspective, let’s assume we have 98,000 students in DeKalb. If we divide 98,000 by a class size of 30 (I know there are many classes with more – this is just an assumption for illustration purposes) we get approximately 3,266 “classroom units”. I’ll round that to 3,300. So dividing the budget by the number of classroom units we have equates to over $424,000. I realize that the consolidated budget is made up of many pieces that cannot be easily apportioned on a per classroom basis. I think this is a useful exercise to see the amount of money that is spent within our system as it relates to classroom numbers. You can move the assumptions up or down; take out pieces of the budget - but the bottom line is that we have financial resources but they are not focused on the school house.

If we were to fund our schools with a bottom-up budget we could first meet the needs at the schools and the remainder may be utilized for administration. In addition to this budgeting shift, I would advocate for a zero-based budget process as well. This forces each program to justify its existence on a regular basis. We shouldn’t continue programs simply because of longevity or history. No administrator will argue that their department or program is unnecessary, redundant or superfluous. The BOE must show leadership here. The BOE must bring in a strong, outside, reform-minded superintendent that can and will reevaluate and trim our bureaucracy pursuant to newly established BOE goals.

I also advocate for the on-line check register so that taxpayers can see how their money is being spent. You can read about my LASSO plan at the blog on my website (www.nancyjester.com – read the 9/14 blog entry.) I have been holding public meetings that I call “Coffee Talk with Nancy” since June. If elected, I will continue this type of accessibility so that parents, voters and taxpayers all know that I am available to hear their concerns in person. This comment is just a part of what I’ll advocate for as a member of the BOE. If you have further question or would like to talk with me, please email me at nancyjester@gmail.com or call me at 678.360.1148.
Thanks!
--Nancy

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:10
The ones with the locks removed are still not opening. At least many of them are not. Which is ironic since the reason they had to wait so long to get them is so that they could all be "fixed". What exactly have they been doing to them fo
r the past 8 weeks that they still dont work?

Dunmom: at curriculum night my childs spanish teacher said she was hoping to receive the textbooks soon so se could distribute them. That was over a month ago.

My question is WHY do they not have adequate textbooks for our students and WHY do so many people think this is fine? Why do i read in BOE minutes about thousands of dollars being spent on Band uniforms but there is no money for spanish textbooks? Why do i read in the paper that tax money is spent on buying the self published autobiography of dcss central office folks while the kids are making do with horribly out of date and/or nonexistent textbooks??? Am i the only one who thinks this is not ok??

Dunwoody Mom said...

To be honest, and this is just my personal preference, I find that the best teachers are the ones who teach "outside the textbook".

Anonymous said...

I look forward to meeting Nancy tonight at Dunwoody City Hall. Her ideas are fresh and they are also what a lot of other successful systems are already doing.

She has a tough battle to get elected and then her real issues will begin as she tries to fulfill her promises made to her constituents.

I hope we can get her 5 new board members who have her vision for a bottom up budget process. It's time to clean out the Palace!

I'm wondering if the new BOE members would be willing to make their new plush offices at the Palace into Tutoring centers for those students who need extra time to complete their work and understand the curriculum? I'm just saying...

Anonymous said...

Anon@10:05

the lock is a separate unit from the locker. We bought the lock(it is a padlock) at registration. It works fine. However, in order to use the locker one needz to be able to open the locker door. The locker door is not locked as it has no lock. Just a hole to stick the lock in. The hole works fine too. But since the door will not open one cannot put books in there so there really is no point in locking it.

Sandy Spruill said...

@ Nancy Jester, 10:15 AM

I love how you are always so on top of issues! You keep up with this blog and are quick to respond with thoughtful, well-conceived answers and proposals. In fact, you responded to concerns expressed by Anonymous 9:22 AM within the hour.

Further, you are accessible! Via e-mail, telephone or your Coffee Talk meetings, you embody the qualities of a true public servant.

I am through with trying to get a genuine, pro-active, honest, timely, respectful, non-whiny response from Jim Redovian and other DCSS board members. BOE members are elected by a specific district, yes, but they are charged with responsibility for the well-being of the school system as a whole. The current DCSS BOE are non-responsive and deeply responsible for the "thug" culture of malfeasance and intimidation in DCSS.

I did not know you until you decided to run for the DCSS BOE. We have no mutual friends. There was absolutely no connection between us.

What I now know about you is that you are committed to doing the right thing for the children in DCSS. You are committed to accessibility. You are committed to honesty. You are committed to doing the hard work.

Nancy Jester -- you have my vote on Tuesday, November 2!

Anonymous said...

Dunmom at 10:38
thanks for sharing your view of what makes "the best teachers". What about those kids that dont happen to have "the best teacher" for spanish this year? You know, the ones with the teacher who has been doing her best to teach a subject to an overcrowded trailer or classroom with no textbooks but who could do a lot better job if given the basics such as a textbook? do you just say tough luck kid, too bad you couldnt get one of the "best teachers" because they dont need textbooks?

Why should these teachers have to teach without textbooks? Why should our students have to learn without them? textbooks are basic. Band uniforms: not basic. 300 copies of a vanity published autobiography: not basic. Fancy lighting for boe meetings: not basic. Why do people on this blog defend kids going without basics while these extras get funded?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:22. I agree that the kids will have a nice addition when construction is complete. My question is will they have textbooks? Will they have lockers? I think textbooks and lockers should be funded before auditoriums and stage lighting. Clearly, there is not enough $ for both the basics and the extras. Can we plaase please please focus on the basics?

Anonymous said...

-30 Million for a Palace that houses administrators and not one student.

-$35,000 for a lighting system that still does not look great on PDS-24.

-$15,000 raise for a former BOE members son, who does not show up for new job for 6 months until parents expose him.

-Principals writing books and then buying them with our own tax dollars.

-BOE members threatening members of the press!

-DCSS Price;ess

Dunwoody Mom said...

I simply made the statement my child's teacher prefers to write her own curriculum - she is not tied into a textbook. I'm not sure how that got turned around that I defend children going without the basics.

Why do people just twist around what other people post?

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody mom are you saying you agree that it is wrong for the teachers to not be given access to adequate world language textbooks?

Dunwoody Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dunwoody Mom said...

Teachers should be given access to whatever materials they feel they need to teach their students.

Anonymous said...

So if youre not saying it is wrong to deprive them of adequate textbooks how is it that you say you are not defending children going without basics? Unless maybe you dont think textbooms are basic?

Anonymous said...

Wait...now you deleted the post saying it is not wrong? so now you do agree? why be so cryptic? It makes it hard to have a meaningful dialog.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I deleted the post because I misread your question. I thought you asked me if I agree teachers should not be given access to adequate textbooks, though I would submit that you are the one with whom a meaningful dialogue is not possible.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Even in "my day" in the "dark ages", teachers never relied only on textbooks to teach their students. If a teacher feels they need a textbook in order to fully teach the class, then yes, by all means, they should have an up-to-date textbook. However, I know many teachers that use the textbook as a reference point only in their daily lessons. In otherwords, their teaching is not all bound up within a textbook.

Anonymous said...

I have now submitted a question to the World Languages coordinator for the school system. Actually, I hope there is still a WL coordinator, now that I think about it, didn't they get rid of most of the coordinators?

Anyway, I hope that I get back an answer about textbooks. I will share it if/when I do.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Is the WL coordinator still Rhonda Wells?

Anonymous said...

Just so I can have accurate information, should anyone reply to me, are there class sets or new books in the classrooms or is there nothing?

Anonymous said...

Just so I can have accurate information, should anyone reply to me, are there class sets or new books in the classrooms or is there nothing?

Anonymous said...

No class sets. No new books. At least that is how it is at dunwoody.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I don't believe there are any new WL books at all.

Dunwoody Mom said...

The funds were approved what, last March or April for new WL textbooks? It should not take 6 months to get those textbooks ordered and delivered to the schools.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line.. Students should have access to up to date textbooks! It's nice when my child comes home and has reading homework out of a text book. We access ours online, so my child can ride his bike to school without having to carry a 29 pound book bag. That's right, we weighed his book bag with 4 textbooks and his binder two weeks ago and it weighed 28.8 lbs. I was shocked! He also carries a clarinet. Thank God we can access 3 of his 4 text books online.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have Dunwoody. Anyone else want to id their schools and the FL textbook situation before I send a follow up?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1200. That is nice. It sounds like your child has a locker or other place to store their books at school. My dunwoody student does not and therefore must carry all books to and from school and during the day. Yes it is heavy. Not as heavy as it would be if my student had been issued a WL book, mind you, but still pretty heavy.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Yesterday, Monday was the first day lockers were assigned. It's possible not all students have received their locker assignments yet. If you child has not, I would contact the attendance office.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:52 am

"Actually, I hope there is still a WL coordinator, now that I think about it, didn't they get rid of most of the coordinators?"

No. Almost all of the coordinators are still employed by DCSS (I looked all 60 representing over $7,000,000 in salary and benefits of them up on Community Net, and only a few are not still there.)

DCSS got rid of many paraprofessionals who worked directly with students, and a number of CTSSs who were based in the schoolhouse. Almost all of the personnel cuts can from lower paid schoolhouse employees. Add to that the teacher positions (275 in 2009-10 school year and around 100 in the 1020-11 school year).

World Language Coordinator:
Rhonda L. Wells
World Languages Coordinator
Division of Instruction, Bldg. B
3770 North Decatur Road
Decatur, Ga. 30032
Rhonda_L_Wells@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
(678) 676-0227 Office

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

Anonymous said...

"Rationing the supplies"?
Holy Moly--with all that we know about money mismanagement and misdirection, etc--a public health issue is precisely what is needed to get serious attention on an audit.

Basically the same issue and approach as Kim (and public) action at Cross Keyes.

Anonymous said...

sightersighteAnon at 2:15:

why not? Do you think that people who go to a church that houses a private school should have no voice as to how tax dollars are spent? Do you think the church is going to bar other interested persons from attending this forum? Jeesh ~ this church is just allowing a citizens group to use their facility to host a voter education forum and people complain that they have a private school onsite?? Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

sightersighteAnon at 2:15:

why not? Do you think that people who go to a church that houses a private school should have no voice as to how tax dollars are spent? Do you think the church is going to bar other interested persons from attending this forum? Jeesh ~ this church is just allowing a citizens group to use their facility to host a voter education forum and people complain that they have a private school onsite?? Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Weren't the lockers at DHS supposed to be fitted with remote opening locks like used in my MB 350e? Plus a selection of music.

Just kidding.

I went to a grammar school where the lavatory was a one story garage like structure across the school yard. You got the TP from the teacher in advance if you had to make a visit for that purpose. The fifth and sixth graders would climb up on the roof and ur***te on the younger kids as they entered. Oh the sheer inhumanity and degradation!!
The school principal said: (1)it would teach the kids to be nimble and (2) to always be on the lookout. Good lessons learned. A little hardship is good to put things in perspective.

Many lawyers, doctors and other professionals from my class in that school. We all survived and those of us remaining laugh about it to this day.

Bottom line... quit the complaining and make a school system devoted to education and not just providing overpaid jobs.

Anonymous said...

You can't have these forums at schools because the people putting on the forums would have to pay for liability insurance. We tried to use public school facilities for our neighborhood association only to be told that we would have to have a huge liability policy to use the cafeteria.

Unless of course you were the 100 Black Men of DeKalb and you have unlimited use of McNair High School. Seen their website and where they are located? Google it and you see McNair High School. I always wondered how Clew could allow this yet other non-profits would not be allowed to use school properties.

Ask your BOE Rep about this one!

Cerebration said...

Anon, September 28, 2010 11:26 AM

"Can we plaase please please focus on the basics?"

Yes! But we are talking apples and oranges. There are two piles of money - one for school operations (within that is Title 1 money that can only be spent in certain ways) and one for construction, which the taxpayers voted for as a one penny sales tax "SPLOST" to be used strictly for construction and renovation of our school buildings.

You are correct though - both piles of money have mis-directed funds (Title 1 coaches, supervisors, and the construction of the board of ed's new glamorous offices come to mind). And the board DID approve over $7 million for textbooks back in March which just don't seem to be showing up anywhere!

(BTW, Dunwoody mom - how old are you?!! JK -- I too went to school a loooong time ago - but we did have textbooks - in every class! - and usable restrooms with soap AND toilet "tissue".)

Dunwoody Mom said...

Certainly we had books in the "dark ages", and teachers should have them now. My point was that many teachers utilize other resources beside the textbooks for their lessons.

Anonymous said...

How much confirmation Do we have on the soap and toilet paper "issue.". I asked the plant engineer at my school about a shortage and he said they were directed to just call and place an order. If your school needed to be replenished. There is a delivery schedule for every school- if you run out prior to your delivery date, you have to place an order to get additional supplies. But he did not mention a shortage or outage.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb County did get rid of the lowest paid personnel that consists of CTSSs. I feel sorry for our new CTSS who was given our big school in addition to the school he had last year. He is really busting his butt to make sure our and his other school is covered. He is a very smart and sharp man and I don't think he's going to be with us too much longer. It will be Dekalb's lost but I definitely wouldn't fault him for leaving considering the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

This blog is great! it sure has made a huge difference for Dresden. It's sort of like that story of the guy throwing back starfish because he made a difference to that one. This blog has provided our kids with tp and paper towels - or at least with enough attention from the county to help with the tp and paper towel situation! now, keep up the pressure to improve the academics for all children! they all deserve it!

Anonymous said...

All of the lockers at Dunwoody had the old, original combination locks built into the locker. After almost 40 years, many of the locks would not work and the lockers would not open. All of those were removed and fitted with locks that require a separate lock.

If your child is still having issues with their locker they need to report the problem to the Attendance Office.

THERE HAS BEEN NO NO NO NO RENOVATION TO THE LOCKERS AT DUNWOODY EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN REQUESTED TIME AND TIME AGAIN. FURTHER DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE TO THE LOCKERS DUE TO THE CONSTRUCTION AND IT IS TRUE THAT 300 OR SO DO NOT WORK PROPERLY. STUDENTS ARE HAVING TO BUY SCHOOL LOCKS ... THE LOCKS HAVE NOT BE "REFITTED" ... IN A RENOVATION THE SIZE OF DUNWOODY'S ALL THE LOCKERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPLACED. HOW MUCH EXTRA COULD IT HAVE COST? WALK DOWN THE HALLS OF DUNWOODY AND LOOK AT THE LOCKERS AND THE DIRTY CONDITIONS AND THEN TAKE A DRIVE OVER TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE PALACE AND SEE THAT NO EXPENSE WAS SPARED THERE. AGAIN, IT'S ABOUT THE STUDENTS ... NOT THE ADULTS. AND, WE'RE NOT WHINING ABOUT DUNWOODY ... THERE ARE MANY SCHOOLS WITH SIMILAR ISSUES. BUT IT APPEARS NO CARE AT THE TOP TO GET IT FIXED.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Jester -- you have my vote on Tuesday, November 2!

Just the fact that you RESPOND and do what you say you are going to do, with no thought to personal interests being met, means you get my vote.

Anonymous said...

Okay with the lockers, already!!!! Let's talk about teacher morale especially at seeing the pay cut that I have just witnessed on my upcoming check. I am truly disheartened!!!! Let's talk about not really having a 4% (3.7%) pay cut but a 9% pay cut which includes the 5% nonexistent TRS contribution (which is not accounting for the theft by taking the county enacted from teacher's TRS) last year!!!!! I am frustrated for my own family. I am the breadwinner but there is less to feed my children. My frustration is NOT with my students. I love my students and give them 110% of my dedication. However, I face food off my table (in true terms, decrease in funds to pay for my child's college tuition) and frustration at all of the money that is squandered!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. The locker issue, at this point, is a non-starter. Let us focus on truly important things. They just gave students lockers yesterday.

Give it a few days before you recommence you complaints.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Anonymous 0823, you have no clue as to what you are talking about.

The old, attached combination locks were "disengaged". The lockers are now opened with the locks purchased at registration.

And you're serious about asking how much it would cost to replace 1500 lockers? Really? Would you rather have new, up to date science rooms or lockers? Would you rather have new Math classrooms and labs or lockers?

Go yell about something important.

There was only so much SPLOST funds applied to the renovations at Dunwoody. New lockers were not part of that money.

Anonymous said...

"WALK DOWN THE HALLS OF DUNWOODY AND LOOK AT THE LOCKERS AND THE DIRTY CONDITIONS AND THEN TAKE A DRIVE OVER TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE PALACE AND SEE THAT NO EXPENSE WAS SPARED THERE."

Please take a picture of the lockers at Dunwoody and send it to Cerebration at Reparteeforfun@gmail.com. She can post the pictures if she wants to.

Dunwoody Mom said...

LOL - taking pictures of lockers.

I've heard it all now.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to keep a school clean during construction. It is hard to keep a house clean during renovations.

Please stop whoever you are.

Anonymous said...

@ Dunwoody Mom 8:49

Wouldn't you believe a picture? I found those Eddie Long "muscle shirt pics" pretty shocking. LOL

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson/education-indoctrination_b_739768.html

How about a real discussion of serious education issues.

Please read the above article.

Sign the petition if it grabs you.
Lets talk about it either way.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, the only way out of the financial mess we are in is for me to take a second job! Unfortunately, DCSS has us so tightly scheduled that taking that second job is a near impossibility, even if I found someone who would hire me.

Dekalbparent said...

I agree that the lack of toilet paper, soap and towels is really significant, and it needs to be addressed, but the teachers who have posted have it right - pay attention to what is happening in the classrooms!

Whether it is the teachers' real loss of income, the lack of textbooks (teachers, is this an issue for you in your teaching?), teaching in crowded trailers, class sizes, having to be "floating" and having no classroom of their own... ALL of these things are ISSUES.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody mom 827pm,

SOME of the locks were disengaged. Others were not. So SOME people have working lockers. Others do not.

I think the point the student poster was trying to make, and it is a good one, is WHY isn't there enough splost funds to replace or repair the dhs lockers so that all students will have one? Maybe it is ok with you that so much splost money has been used on non-schools leaving inadequate facilities for students. But it is not ok with all taxpayers in the county and they have a right to their opinions as well. Do you really have to LOL at others just be use you disagree with them?

When you look at the unnecessary expenditures that the dcss administration has made I think this is a legitimate question. These students need lockers. Starting Monday they will not be allowed to even carry backpacks to class! It is unreasonable to not provide EACH student with a locker.

Based on your post it sounds like your daughter was one of the lucky ones who got an actual functioning locker. There are other parents who just want their kids to get lockers too (or alternatively to be exempt from the no-book bags-starting-Monday rule).

Dunwoody Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Gokce said...

"Why don't we have enough money for lockers?"

Because we have budgeted about 25% on average of what each school site truly requires. What that means is that when each project is detailed out, the school community often has to choose between a roof that doesn't leak, proper air handling systems, energy efficient windows or ... perhaps lockers. Lockers loose every time! They did at Cross Keys and they have at Dunwoody.

A more interesting question for me is how the kids at Tucker deserve a completely new school, inside and out, while those of Dunwoody, Chamblee, Lakeside, and Cross Keys do not. A more interesting question to me is why every high school in DeKalb is slated to receive an auditorium but Cross Keys is not. These are just a few examples of what I consider questions more interesting than why we don't get new lockers.

Kim Gokce said...

Re: Nancy Jester for Board of Education

Nancy, your outburst of reasoned thinking and informed opinions in response to voter concerns is very troubling to me. Please try to focus more on the emotional angle of public education issues!

Kim Gokce said...

"A more interesting question for me is how the kids at Tucker deserve a completely new school,..."

upon reading my words, it sounds like I don't think Tucker HS kids deserve what they have - of course, they do! As do all the others mentioned ...

Anonymous said...

Kim at 1029,

I disagree. The fact that we under budget at each school is not the reason there is not enough $ for lockers. Rather, the reason we don't have enough $ for lockers is that too much is spent on unnecessary items that do not relate to pupil instruction. Examples of this spending include, but are not limited to, tv lighting for board of Ed meetings, multiple copies of vanity published memoirs of dcss higher ups, gyms for schools that were closed shortly after construction, chairs at central office, dais for board meeting, busing students hither and yon to various magnet programs, unnecessary legal expenses, renting trailers because we don't efficiently draw school district boundaries, heating and cooling such trailers, trips to Hollywood, and on and on. The under budgeting for capital projects you refer to is the RESULT of wasteful spending, not the cause of it.

Kim Gokce said...

Well, as much as I sympathize with your disdain for the wasteful decisions in DCSS, the fact remains that we do not have the level of capital funding necessary for our schools. We need more money or fewer schools - it is really that simple if we want a higher standard in school facilities county-wide.

Anonymous said...

The capital funding was there, but it was spent on the Palace. The problem with most schools systems in America-not just DCSS- is that there is too much waste. DCSS lost out on getting money for capital improvement because they dropped the ball and didn't fill out paper work.

The board of education has made poor decisions with the expenses for the Palace, the new expenses with the movement of equipment and updates to the Bryant Center or whatever the building on Lawrenceville Highway is called. The lighting, so that the board members look good, and so many other things.

Often times, we pay for Cadillac services and receive Yugo quality, because we use someones friend or family member or a company with a known poor track record. The newer roofs on many of the buildings that now leak and were never done properly to begin with, come to mind.

The current board doesn't understand budgeting and needs versus wants. They want, so they buy, and our needs are disregarded.

Anonymous said...

DCSS lost out on getting money for capital improvement because they dropped the ball and didn't fill out paper work.

The current board doesn't understand budgeting and needs versus wants. They want, so they buy, and our needs are disregarded.

FOR THIS ALONE, THEY SHOULD ALL BE GONE. NOTHING ELSE EVEN HAS TO BE CONSIDERED. LOSING FREE GOVERNMENT MONEY BECAUSE OF PAPERWORK .... NO EXCUSE. LAZY. DUMB ... AND THE LEADER OF THE PACK BOWEN IS A CPA AND AN ATTORNEY!! MAKES NO SENSE. PLEASE BRING SOME SMART PEOPLE, SOME CONSCIENTIOUS PEOPLE ON BOARD ON NOVEMBER 2ND.

Anonymous said...

Actually, DCSS didn't "drop the ball." I am fairly certain that Pope did this on purpose. She didn't want the state digging in her, opps I mean DeKalb's, business. She didn't go to a board meeting and announce, hey I am not filing for state matching funds. She didn't present a bevvy of change orders that would have made it easy to pick up on what she was doing, rather she just changed things. Dr. Lewis probably knew what was going on, but because of his bad personal behavior he had to be quiet.
It wasn't until Lewis and Pope were gone that this was discovered.

I know this is surprising but most people thought Lewis was simply a pleasant incompetent or a misguided soul at the worst and while many were frustrated with the unmet capital needs in DeKalb, most didn't get the sense that corruption was the problem.

In fact, I know many who still don't think Dr. Lewis is guilty of anything because he wasn't smart enough to pull off the crimes he is accused of.

Anonymous said...

Also, the state funds are still there, Millar intervened. He also has asked the state BoE to establish new rules and processes so that if something like this happens with any school system in GA, the state employees notify someone that can intervene.

Anonymous said...

Kim you may be right that larger schools are more efficient. But I believe that dcss has adequate funds currently to fund basic items such as textbooks, lockers and tp. The money is there it is just not being spent properly. Adding more money to the pot will only result in more poor spending decisions.

Cerebration said...

The unused state funds is a very serious issue. Read more about it here

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/23828923/detail.html

For more reading: We have a collection of links to articles about DCSS on the right side panel at the link called "News articles about DCSS" under PAGES.

Anonymous said...

Kim Gokce said,

Nancy, your outburst of reasoned thinking and informed opinions in response to voter concerns is very troubling to me. Please try to focus more on the emotional angle of public education issues!


Kim, I just met Nancy in person. We talked for an hour, in my front yard. I can tell you she is very emotionally focused on public education issues. She is also an actuary, which our BOE desperately needs right now.

I really hope the folks that might be sitting on the fence on who to vote for in November, emails or calls Nancy with your concerns and questions. She is very informed and will certainly represent District 1, very well!

Check out her answers on edukalb's website. She is very informed and knowledgeable on how a BOE should work and I just ask to question her with boldness. I think you'll be impressed listening to her answers.

Anonymous said...

I think Kim was being sarcastic

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:13

I believe Kim was being facetious. I took his comment to mean that she was focusing on the serious business of the school system rather than just trying to get power by appealing to voters' emotions.

Anonymous said...

I know Kim was being sarcastic!

It was great talking to Ms. Jester. She gave me an hour of her time and we talked about budgets, academics, waste at DCSS, getting funds to the school level etc.. It was refreshing to hear someone with reasoned responses and very smart.

We talked about two other candidates that she liked, Edler and Nooks. Folks, we need to bring about change at DCSS and the first place where WE can make a difference is on the BOE! No more business as usual. It's time we weed out the bad eggs and keep the fresh ones!

Too much as gone on far too long for us to keep the status quo. The leadership at DCSS has not listened to the true stakeholders, US! It's time we vote in BOE members that will make them understand we do not like what is going on with OUR tax dollars.

I ask everyone to find the candidates, question them with boldness and listen to their answers then make YOUR choice on November 2nd.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to see a pattern with the many, many posts that include "make stuff up"...as in "why do you guys..." The posts are all generally woozy, incorrect, or rely on faulty syllogisms. And they just cropped up in the last couple of weeks. Somebody is being paid to be a full time apologist. And a bad one. Probably that PR guy from NB.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:37. I know for a fact there are DCSS staffers who look at the blogs everyday. They report to their bosses what's being said.

I also know that Jeff Dickerson, who has been contracted to be DCSS spokesperson, is also very aware of the blogs and what is said.

Can't say much about New Birth staff watching blogs, but the revelation that Mr. Long is violent and hit his pregnant wife, according to court records, is not going to play well with some in his congregation.

My exit questions for Mr. Long and congregation. Who runs New Birth? The congregation of Mr. Long? Most churches have elders or vestry members who are voted by the members to deal with the business of running the church. When is Mr. Long asked to take a leave of absence or asked to resign?

Kim Gokce said...

For the record, of course I was being sarcastic about Nancy's comments. I have talked at length with Nancy and would never question her commitment to the cause of public education in DeKalb.

She has walked the walk as far as I'm concerned and does an enormous amount of homework on the challenges we face. We need more leaders with her willingness to confront issues directly and openly. Few can match her analytical abilities and commitment to equity in the system.

The fact that she became a lifetime member of the Cross Keys Foundation before it was fashionable is confirmation of her excellent judgment! :)

Sandy Spruill said...

Hear! Hear, Kim!!

I don't know you personally, but given your obvious, serious commitment to public education I felt sure you were being facetious!

Actually, I would love to meet you sometime.

Nancy Jester is the best choice for the DCSS BOE, District 1. She has educated herself on the issues, she is very accessible and she is committed to the meaning, spirit and reality of public education.

I am a 20+ year volunteer for DCSS and I think I have seen it all. There are serious problems in DCSS and we need serious people to address them and resolve them. For District 1, Nancy Jester is that person.

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