Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What about academics?

So - moving on from the topic of the Bishop (that is going to be an on-going sideshow for a while) --

We really need to focus on the utter failure of our school system to get our schools into AYP passing zone. We are continuing to slip in the standings and continue to produce three times as many high schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (much less - substantial progress) as do, and we continue to only offer transfers to the few "passing schools" still available as a response to these school failures. To date, DeKalb County School System still has not met AYP as a system.

Check out this chart for 2009 available at DCSS's website entitled, DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOLS ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS 2003 - 2009. There, we see that the only high schools that made AYP through 2008 were Chamblee, Clarkston, DECA, DeKalb HS of Technology North, DSA, Druid Hills, Lakeside and Miller Grove. Since this report, the system consolidated the Tech North HS into Cross Keys and we added Arabia, which made AYP and Dunwoody and Tucker have returned to "passing" status. But sadly, Clarkston, Druid Hills and Miller Grove dropped off the list and did not make AYP last year according to the 2010 AYP report available by clicking here.

We are in a mess. Our math program is questionable, many of our schools have not made AYP, we have an interim superintendent, an interim head of SPLOST construction and an interim head of "teaching and learning". The board members continue to "make news", issue apologies and get scolded publicly. Our board cannot agree on an ethics policy for themselves. The Lewis and Pope trials are now scheduled for January, which will certainly bring about much more salacious gossip. Our legal fees are equal to the entire budgets of most school systems. The distractions are numerous and on-going.

I know this seems obvious to all of you but - although we need to be aware of the "outside issues", we need to focus on educating children. Please pressure your board rep to pressure Ms. Tyson to do so, even though her area of expertise is technology. She needs to take the bull by the horns and visit schools, talk with teachers and principals and roll up her sleeves working to improve performance. She needs to take a look at the virtual "army" of instructional leaders who are not working directly with students and place them into classroom or direct student support settings. She needs to toss every available resource into the schoolhouses so that our children do not suffer another year of "Inadequate" progress. If she does not possess the moxie to do this, then we need to push the board to find another interim who will.

395 comments:

1 – 200 of 395   Newer›   Newest»
Dekalbparent said...

Druid Hills did not make AYP for 2010, either. They got transfers for 10th and 12th grades this year anyway...

According to the recently published reports in the DCSS 2010-2011 SY Information,(http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/planning/), as of 9/15/10, DHHS has a capacity of 1150, a total enrollment of 1500, with 300 out of district students.

This certainly does not bode well for making AYP this year. DHHS is not alone in having the deck stacked this way - I'm sure others could cite similar situations at their schools. I despair for our schools. We need Superman.

Anonymous said...

Lakeside only made AYP due to an appeal. Chamblee only made AYP because of the Confidence Factor.

Looking at the schools required for next year - somehing like and 84.6% passing rate, my guess is that next year, it would not surprise me if DSA is the only high school to make AYP.


AYP is a joke and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

That should be looking scores required for next year...

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken, the critieria for making AYP under the new ESEA is quite different than what it is now. Of course, if it ever gets passed, that is.

Cerebration said...

Rearranging the large number of instructional support staff into the classroom would certainly go a long way toward helping children learn. They could roll up their sleeves and offer "double-doses" of math and English to cement that early learning.

Additionally, doing "something" about the teacher's low morale is vital. Teachers and most employees (and most bloggers) are keenly aware that a high-ranking "female subordinate" accompanied Dr. Lewis on trysts to the Ritz and the Bahamas. This has been revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt and is evidence in Lewis' p-card abuse charge. Wouldn't this "subordinate" knowingly have crossed several ethical, if not legal lines? Why has this "female subordinate" not been fired? Demoted? Admonished? How do we know that this subordinate wasn't promoted simply due to her relationship with Lewis? Should she continue to be rewarded with a hefty salary? Tyson - come on - show some moxie and demand integrity from your "cabinet". You have got to get behind your everyday teachers and staff! Quit protecting the "cabinet" and get some work done in the schools!

Anonymous said...

Interesting video from eduKalb:

http://www.youtube.com/user/edukalb?feature=mhum

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:45 Is the message from the EduKalb video that they're "rarin' to go" but need money? They need money to get started? Goodness....what's the point? Are they looking for money for candidate forums? Their web site is not very clear.

Cerebration said...

FWIW - this blog has NO money. We will never ask you for money, either. Info here is free-flowing and as correct as we can make it.

Anonymous said...

7 high schools made it in 2010.
Congratulations Tucker.


See
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/superintendent/nclb/files/D39F2128B88E4D8482A90620D8AAEC56.pdf

AYP will be harder each year. The schools that fail for the first time may not have done worse than the previous year, they just did not improve by 5%.

Anonymous said...

Edukalb will need funds to be effective. I don't think the Chamber has convinced very many people to give.

Edupac, in Atlanta, gives funds to the candidates its supports. I don't think Edukalb is there yet

Anonymous said...

I am a DCSS elementary teacher. I work at Dresden ES. We are a Title 1, high ESOL population school. We have a "reading support teacher" who does nothing all day but walk the halls. She has yet to set foot in my classroom to help with reading. I have a class that could use the help. The ESOL teachers and the Interrelated teachers work hard, but this lady (taught one year before moving into a quasi-supervisory position) does NOTHING but talk on the phone and walk in her high heels all day. I do not understand how our county hired her for the position. Rumor has it that she's in line for the next AP position at our school. On that day, I will either quit or lead an insurrection. I have purposely made a choice to stay in the classroom and know WAY more than she does about teaching. I doubt that she could be an effective instructional leader for me. Why does DCSS continue to make poor decisions about hiring people, and then compound the problems by keeping lazy and unmotivated people around?? Fire them!

Anonymous said...

It is important to keep in mind that the standard for making AYP goes up every year. It takes just one subgroup for the entire school to fail. The AYP status of an entire academic program may hang on the test scores of a small number of students. I'm not sure that this is a fair measure for any school. Especially schools that take on the neediest of students.

Students who transfer because their home school does not make AYP should be evaluated for academic skills. If they are behind, that student should be targeted for extra help. I know that this happens where I work. Does this happen at other DeKalb schools? It does no good to transfer students and fail to remediate the academic problems they have when they arrive at their new school.

Anonymous said...

Amen Anon Sept. 22, 4:52 pm!

The "SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES" individual at the high school where I work has ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE with regards to the core curriculum, yet she makes more than I do and does nothing useful. I researched her credentials on the GAPSC website and on OpenGeorgia.gov, only to find out that she has a teaching credential in Business Education (with 5 years classroom experience). But she already has her leadership credential. Real useful in the classroom...

Her position is listed as "Miscellaneous," but she was working in tandem with the literacy coach last year (who is certified in DRAMA). Not criticizing his knowledge of literature, BUT he had 5 years classroom experience, while I have 16 years experience.

Maybe your coach is the same lady that is at my school b/c she pretty much sashays about in a lovely suit, yet has NO face time with students.

Return these individuals to the classroom or let them seek employment elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

And with regards to morale...

Teachers are tired of change merely for the sake of change. Where is the research? Where is the analysis of all of this data we are required to accumulate annually? How is the data being used to improve instruction?

I have been in several DCSS school "war rooms," where all of these lovely graphs and charts are carefully pasted on the walls, yet NOTHING is ever done with the data!

I have posted my classroom profiles regarding learning styles (as demanded by Teaching and Learning Czar Beasely), but I have yet to see anything useful being done with the profiles!

We have posted our lesson plans in the Teaching and Learning folder only to watch it fill up in less than three weeks! Is someone out there actually reading the lesson plans of 6,000 teachers each week? WHAT ARE WE DOING??? WHY?!?!?

I honestly don't think I can do another year of this...

Is APS hiring?

Sagamore 7 said...

I am loving this blog today!

I would love to see the credentials for ALL of the instructional coaches on staff!

Where do I go first? What website?

This is fantastic information from the Anonymous teachers that are responding to this blog!

I will hold onto my opinions until I find hard / cold facts.

Please continue to report "Instructional Coach" abuse on this blog!
It will be investigated and brought to light!

Thank you for your information and your communication.

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

How about this for Instructional Coach abuse? The Dresden Reading Instructional Coach (52K a year + 2700 travel reimbursement in 2009) spent all Monday running off a handout that she had already given the faculty twice previously. 52K to run off copies...easier than McDonald's. I sure wish she'd come help in the classroom. I sure wish the principal cared.

Cerebration said...

The state DOE website has a very long list of approved vendors for tutoring and support services for schools approved to offer support and/or a transfer. How many schools are utilizing this option?

Click here for the list -

Tutoring Services / Supplemental Educational Services Providers

Anonymous said...

Good evening Sagamore 7!

You can search certification status for ALL teachers in Georgia on the GAPSC website. Click the button "Check Certification Status" on the home page. Then, enter the first and last name of the individual. Certifications that are lined-thru are expired or inactive.

If you are interested in the salaries of people employed by a school system, go to OPENGEORGIA.gov. I think you click on the green puzzle piece. Then click the "Terms of Use" button, then select "Local Education Board." Select a year (either 2008 or 2009) and type the last name of the individual you seek in the search field.

If the surname is common, you might have to scroll thru several pages until you find a particular person.

Interesting note...there is a chemistry teacher at Arabia Mountain that was earning in excess of $100k last year. Why is that?

Cerebration said...

Plus, please visit DeKalb's report at the state DOE website regarding AYP. There are many schools that failed that do not have a 'small group' - rather nearly the entire school is labeled 'economically disadvantaged'.

The school system did not meet AYP for graduation rates, nor for academic performance in categories labeled 'students with disabilities', English language learners' and 'economically disadvantaged'.

Overall, the system had an average 72% that meets and/or exceeds standards. That breaks out very unevenly though - Asians/83.5%, Black/67.6%, Hispanic/73.7%, White 93.6%, Multi-Racial 84.5%, SWD/41.3%, ELL 61.9% and Econ Disadvantaged 65.5%. The rates must be over 67.6% to be considered passing in these categories, according to the chart -

2009-10 Adequate Yearly Progress

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the coaches are being treated like quasi administrators, instead of teachers. In every other place that I have taught in-outside of DCSS and GA, Coaches earn the same as teachers. They are paid on the teacher scale not on a separate pay scale.

I have been a coach (not in DCSS) and I was inside the classrooms. I pulled children in small groups and one on one. I helped teachers have time to use the data to drive instruction (but we had data that was useful, unlike the data in DCSS).

Too many people from secretaries or administrative assistants to the maintenance staff to our top administrators are over paid. Too many decision makers have too little experience in the classroom. I have never seen such young principals with such little teaching experience. Usually principals and APs have at least 10 years of teaching experience if not more under their belt before they are even considered in the running to be in charge of a school where I have worked and lived before.

From my point of view of an educator, parent, and tax payer, we need to fire everyone and start from scratch. There are too many lurkers waiting in the wings and too many in charge without the knowledge and know how.

Anon. 4:52 Love your post and your spirit! I agree 100%

I remember in my new employee orientation that I had in 2007 that I had to sit through a 2 hour fashion show of what was and was not appropriate dress. Right then and there, as well as a few of Lewis's racial comments, I knew that I was not going to be happy. Too much emphasis on appearance and not enough on what really matters.

Anonymous said...

Remember that is your student chooses to transfer to a Receiving school, tutoring is not an option. I would think that most families would want to go the tutoring route versus just shipping their child to another school. Are our schools making this clear to the parents?

Gwinnett County quite blatantly makes this point to parents of students who qualify for AYP transfers. Maybe this is the reason GCSS has had so few AYP transfers.

Anonymous said...

Too much emphasis on appearance and not enough on what really matters.

September 22, 2010 5:42 PM

Amen! I love my school, students, and parents, and I want better for them. Too many of them (mostly Latino/a) are not comfortable speaking out about the problems they see at our school. We spend WAY too much time looking cute (data charts, focus walks and the resulting data charts) and not enough time teaching in the classrooms. Our ESOL teachers are pulled to DIBEL students that they don't serve. Is that good intructional use of their time? DCSS does NOT encourage excellence! And what a shame that individuals at schools have to do so without much support.

Anonymous said...

The pay structure must be changed in order to encourage effective teachers to remain in the classroom.

Instead of paying for a "leadership" certificate (and what IS that?) in order to earn a decent living, why not encourage teachers to remain in the classroom by offering economic incentives.

Some school systems offer salary points as an incentive to classroom teachers. Salary points are similar to Continuing Education courses that certain professions (like law) require. Teachers earn salary points when they take courses that are related to the subjects they teach. For example, a Language Arts teacher could take college level literature courses or creative writing courses and receive salary points. After so many points, the teacher would then move down a step on the salary table.

This would encourage educators to continue to improve upon their craft, while removing the pressure to attain a certification that is useless in the classroom.

Ultimately, the district would be staffed by truly highly qualified teachers who are regularly rewarded for continued learning and encouraged to remain in the classroom.

Who needs a bunch of individuals running around the schools with purchased doctorates, when we could have experienced teachers who are on the cutting edge and happy about teaching?

Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:42 - I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken the exact sentiments you express! So many of us feel the same way -- makes me wonder what we have to do to make the needed (necessary) changes?????

Anonymous said...

@ Sagamore 7

"would love to see the credentials for ALL of the instructional coaches on staff!

Where do I go first? What website?"

First find the list of Instructional coaches:
1. Go to:
http://www.open.georgia.gov/
2. Click on Salary and Travel Reimbursements
3. If you come to a letter from the Department of Audits and Accounts, scroll to the bottom of the page and click I understand.
4. Select 2009 from the drop down menu and then click on Organization
5. Chose Local Boards of Education and use the drop down menu next to Organization to choose DeKalb County Board of Education and click the Search button
6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click CSV next to Export Options.

Once you have this CVS Excel file exported, you can sort on Column B and then do a find for Staff Development Specialist. Most are listed here under this title, however a few are in the Miscellaneous category.

You can also sort for the Literacy Coaches and Graduation Coaches this way. They are listed as Literacy Coaches and Graduation Coaches.

You will be shocked at the pay of these non-teaching certified personnel (do an AutoSum). The Instructional Coaches (Staff Development Specialists) cost DCSS about $8,000,000 or $100,000 each in salary and benefits. Literacy Coaches and Graduation Coaches are somewhat less.

Any of these employees' certifications can be found online. It will also tell when they received their certificates. For example, if one of the Instructional Coaches received his/her certificate in 2004, then you will know that he/she didn't start teaching until 2004.
Go to the website below and enter his/her name:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Susan Curtis said...

What a BRILLIANT IDEA!

The pay structure must be changed in order to encourage effective teachers to remain in the classroom.

Instead of paying for a "leadership" certificate (and what IS that?) in order to earn a decent living, why not encourage teachers to remain in the classroom by offering economic incentives.

Wonder what we'd have to do to make it happen? Something with the legislature, no doubt...but wouldn't it be wonderful if DCSS piloted some sort of "Keep it in the Classroom" initiative? Maybe we should bring it up at a BOE meeting...that might be morale raising!

Anonymous said...

"I have been a coach (not in DCSS) and I was inside the classrooms. I pulled children in small groups and one on one. I helped teachers have time to use the data to drive instruction (but we had data that was useful, unlike the data in DCSS).
"

Audria Berry is the Director of School Improvement - over Instructional Coaches. Can someone tell me how she still has her job as schools have consistently NOT improved under her guidance?

Anonymous said...

With yet another study showing that pay for performance doesn't work, I am hoping that the next big focus on the national level will be how teachers are paid.

Our problem in DeKalb may not be as much with the coach concept as it is with the quality and quantity of them.

Anonymous said...

In PA and IL where I worked as a teacher the pay scale went something like this:

BA, BA +15 credits (not in every district), MA or BA +30, MA +15 or BA +45 credits, MA+30/PHD-this would run the top of the spreadsheet, with the number of years taught going down. There is usually a $400 or so amount between the different amounts of credits/degrees.

Teachers or coaches with an administrative degree were not paid on the administrative salary scale, so it's not an issue. You can get an administrative degree, but you're only going to get paid for the amount of education you have-not the degree type, because you are working in a classroom and don't have the extra responsibility of running a school.

Anonymous said...

I just think it is a shame that as hard as we all work that DCSS is not willing to face the truth and take responsibility for all of the non-essential personal (our Reading Coach) that are hired for our schools If they did, perhaps we would not be having any furlough days. Our students need all the help they can get and if that means pulling small groups of students EVERY day ALL day then that is what the Reading Coach needs, no, should do! And not just for focus walks.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the DCSS officials? Why aren't they listening to us about how low morale is at Dresden? Doesn't anyone care?

Anonymous said...

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) offered salary points. After ten years with LAUSD I was able to become certified in three (3) areas. Since I taught ESOL, I was able to teach sheltered Social Studies and Language Arts. I also taught Spanish. It was great because I like learning and I was rewarded for continuing my education.

I saw no reason to get another degree because I was able to benefit from taking classes that directly impacted my teaching. It was much better than the PLU sessions offered here. These were real university courses. I could have pursued an advanced degree, but I figured that it was better to accrue salary points than to incur additional education debt in the form of student loans. At my current salary, I would never be able to amortize the cost.

Unfortunately, the salary points were non-transferable to Georgia (though there was reciprocity w/re my certifications).

Do you all think this is a legislative issue or a local policy concern that could be decided by the BOE?

Anonymous said...

By the by...I want to express my gratitude to Cerebration for all of her hard work. Bless You!

And many thanks to everyone out there who contributes here. I no longer feel alone. You give me hope!

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

"I helped teachers have time to use the data to drive instruction (but we had data that was useful, unlike the data in DCSS). "

$11,000,000 for eSis ($4,000,000) and SchoolNet ($7,000,000) to get data that teachers can use (we are still paying for those systems and have been since 2007) and still no data. MIS needs to be held accountable for these systems not working the way they were pitched to the BOE.

See BOE notes May 7, 2007:
"Ms. Ramona Tyson, Associate Superintendent of Management Information Systems (MIS), stated that MIS has been working in partnership and collaboration with the Division of Instruction for over a year researching the education marketplace for a web-based instructional management solution that will allow the use of data to accelerate gains in district decision-making, teacher proficiency, individualized instruction, student achievement, and school reform. After researching demonstrable solutions around the nation with other school districts, conducting numerous vendor demonstrations, participating in workshops and conferences, and conferring with other public school districts comparable to DeKalb, the SchoolNet Program was determined to be the most comprehensive, web-based instructional management program that transforms data into a powerful tool to improve teaching and learning. It allows school systems to integrate, access, and analyze student demographic and performance data across the district, school, classroom, as well as the individual student. ...
...members of the SchoolNet team... presented a demonstration of how SchoolNet’s school performance management solutions empower district administrators, principals, and teachers to make real-time, data-based decisions, deploy programs and other curricular resources effectively, communicate with parents, and fulfill the promise of true individualized instruction based on students’ specific needs and learning levels.
......the site can be ready to roll out in January at the start of the second semester. This means that the three core modules (account, align and assess) will be completed, student information data populated, and at least one standardized test result file loaded by the end of the calendar year. This will allow for the next step which is certification training where SchoolNet representatives train fifteen to twenty employees who will become certified to do turnaround training of users. Ms. Andrews asked if additional staff would be needed to input the necessary data. Ms. Tyson explained that the SchoolNet product is a framework that will sit on top of the existing data warehouse and will feed all the data already available in the system into one program daily, so one only has to “point and click” to obtain the data analysis reports. It will draw from all the data that is currently being entered into the student data warehouse.

In closing, Ms. Tyson stated that the Board has made their expectations clear. She reconfirmed that this initiative is a collaboration and partnership on all levels within the school system and with SchoolNet staff, and there will need to be a methodology change systemwide. "

Anonymous said...

@ LA teacher about salary points - In order to address your problem, the GA teacher pay scale probably needs changing...and that's a state issue (LEAs just supplement)...but it might be a State Board of Ed issue...I'm not sure. Anybody know?

Anonymous said...

Where are all the DCSS officials? Why aren't they listening to us about how low morale is at Dresden? Doesn't anyone care?

Nope nobody cares! A few years ago half of the Dresden faculty left! Where were the DCSS officials then? Where are they when we do our PALs? You know things are really bad when one of our APs wants out! We need help at Dresden!

Anonymous said...

"I helped teachers have time to use the data to drive instruction (but we had data that was useful, unlike the data in DCSS). "

$11,000,000 for eSis ($4,000,000) and SchoolNet ($7,000,000) to get data that teachers can use (we are still paying for those systems and have been since 2007) and still no data. MIS needs to be held accountable for these systems not working the way they were pitched to the BOE.

See BOE notes May 7, 2007:
"Ms. Ramona Tyson, Associate Superintendent of Management Information Systems (MIS), stated that MIS has been working in partnership and collaboration with the Division of Instruction for over a year researching the education marketplace for a web-based instructional management solution that will allow the use of data to accelerate gains in district decision-making, teacher proficiency, individualized instruction, student achievement, and school reform. After researching demonstrable solutions around the nation ....the SchoolNet Program was determined to be the most comprehensive, web-based instructional management program that transforms data into a powerful tool to improve teaching and learning. It allows school systems to integrate, access, and analyze student demographic and performance data across the district, school, classroom, as well as the individual student.

....members of the SchoolNet team presented a demonstration of how SchoolNet’s school performance management solutions empower district administrators, principals, and teachers to make real-time, data-based decisions, deploy programs and other curricular resources effectively, communicate with parents, and fulfill the promise of true individualized instruction based on students’ specific needs and learning levels.....

...the site can be ready to roll out in January at the start of the second semester. This means that the three core modules (account, align and assess) will be completed, student information data populated, and at least one standardized test result file loaded by the end of the calendar year. This will allow for the next step which is certification training where SchoolNet representatives train fifteen to twenty employees who will become certified to do turnaround training of users....

....Ms. Tyson explained that the SchoolNet product is a framework that will sit on top of the existing data warehouse and will feed all the data already available in the system into one program daily, so one only has to “point and click” to obtain the data analysis reports. It will draw from all the data that is currently being entered into the student data warehouse....

...In closing, Ms. Tyson stated ..and there will need to be a methodology change systemwide. "

Please note that the Central Office Instructional personnel wanted this system, Ms. Tyson recommended it, and it's not given our teachers the easy access to student data Ms. Tyson and MIS promised. It's obvious who needs to be held accountable for this $11,000,000 expenditure.

Anonymous said...

I left teaching and DCSS this past May, because I was tired of speaking up about what we were doing incorrectly in educating our children in our school and being ignored and told that I was nothing but a trouble maker and had a terrible reputation of being a loud mouth. Yes, I would go and complain right to the head of the math department-Boden or whatever her name is, because what we were doing was plain wrong. I would get in trouble, but I didn't stop.

I remember calling up and asking questions about a coach position that was posted and was basically laughed at by the person answering the phone. She told me the information that she could give me was on the web site. I didn't understand the process of applying and wanted to better understand. Right then I knew it was time to leave.

When I was offered a contract renewal last winter, I crunched numbers and realized that we could make it if we skimped on my husband's salary. Now I stay at home and love every minute of being my children's mom. I miss not having extra money, and I realize that I am very lucky.

I love being a teacher. But I knew that I could not send my child to my neighborhood school and that I could not be a nice person and teach in DCSS anymore. I would go back in the classroom in a heart beat, if I could work for a school and district where educating the children was truly the first and foremost priority of the school and district. I have dreamed of starting a charter school in DCSS, but realize that you have to have connections and resources, which I do not have.

I believe that there are many teachers teaching now or who have left like myself. There are good, truly good teachers in DCSS, but many are giving up as they see the administration doesn't care and they are tired of beating their head against the wall.

Anonymous said...

Do you all think this is a legislative issue or a local policy concern that could be decided by the BOE?

I think it is a state policy. There has been some talk about changing how teachers are compensated as it relates to advanced degrees. Perdue advocated this at least a few times.

New leadership coming to the state, so it will be interesting to see their take on this.

Anonymous said...

I never believed that Dr. Lewis was concerned one bit with student achievement, except for meeting the goals set for him by the board.

He was so incredibly over his head that he simply couldn't do the job, if that was ever his intention.

The mess he left is inexcusable and more than anything we need a strong superintendent to make changes that directly and positively impact our schools, teachers and students.

We need someone who will bring in top notch central office administrators and principals. We need someone with a clear instructional vision that makes sense in a system that is as diverse as DeKalb.

Ms. Tyson is well intentioned, yet overwhelmed. I am certain she knows the teachers are stressed and I think that Beasley winding back some of his initiatives is a result of her. However, she can't do this job permanently, however she would be doing the new superintendent a favor if she would fire some of the problem personnel. It won't happen, but it should.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:02 pm.

I hear you and wish you well in your endeavors.

I am so sad at this point because I love this profession. I am a third generation teacher and I fear I will be the last in my family. My kids (one a DCSS student) have watched me suffer and as a result, have absolutely no desire to continue on in my footsteps. And, if they were to change their minds and ultimately decide to teach, I would urge them to avoid DCSS.

Enjoy your kids ANON 7:02 pm. Maybe I will gather enough courage to do as you have done.

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

@ I left teaching and DCSS this past May...

I too looked at quitting. Unluckily for me (but not for him) I have a child in an out of state private school, and can't quite afford to leave DCSS. Now that DCSS no longer pays for either the added retirement plan or for Social Security (I know the BOE said they would make it up to teacher when they could...NOW - or even a date - would be nice!), I will be looking harder for those few pen jobs in other counties. If jobs were plentiful, lots of DCSS teachers would be jumping counties. Lucky for DCSS that jobs are tight!

Anonymous said...

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, ANON 7:14 pm!!!

Looks like someone is benefitting from the slow economy!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:23 pm

"The Dresden Reading Instructional Coach (52K a year + 2700 travel reimbursement in 2009) spent all Monday running off a handout that she had already given the faculty twice previously."

I looked up the Dresden Reading First Coach's (is that who you are referring to?) certification and she was not certified in Reading until 2008 and by 2009 she was a Reading Coach.

How is she making $52,000 a year (per the state Salary and Travel audit) since her teaching certification only started in 2003, and she has a Masters degree (per Georgia certification site).

As a DCSS teacher that would place her in 2009 as a 6th year teacher if she started when she was certified. A teacher with a Masters and 6 years makes $43,774 a year. The non-teaching Dresden Reading Coach makes $52,220 (per state salary and travel audit). This is as much as a classroom teacher with a Masters degree and 12 years of experience.

No wonder our teachers have low morale! Don't they report to Audria Berry, the Director of School Improvement and ultimately to Morcease Beasley? Who sets their salary? Why are they never in the classroom?

Please check my figures:
1. Look for Dresden's Reading Coach:
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/dresden/faculty/spec.html
2. Look up her salary:
http://www.open.georgia.gov/
3. Look up her certification:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx
4. Look at the salary schedule for DCSS teachers:
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/administration/humanresources/salaryschedules.html

Dresden has many poor immigrant children - 97% are classified as Economically Disadvantaged. This must be one of the highest number of disadvantaged children in the county. I doubt these parents complain.

Anonymous said...

I heard that BOTH APs at Dresden want out! I know lots of teachers want the principal out.

Anonymous said...

I believe that many good teachers who want to teach and are tired with what is happening in DCSS will jump ship as soon as they can. They would be crazy to stay under the current conditions. I watched some of the best teachers leave for the past three years that I taught in DCSS. They either found a job in another county or retired and will look for work in another county when the teaching jobs open up.

What will DCSS be like with many new teachers in teaching positions and administrators with such little teaching experience themselves running the show? I shutter at the thought.

I pray that someone is hired with the bulldog instincts of Michelle Rhee, who is not afraid to fire those that need to go. She is not without controversy, but I feel that she makes every decision with the children's best interest and quality of education her top priorities.

Parents, taxpayers, I do not think that you really understand how bad things are in many of our schools. We have teachers fighting and struggling to teach the children with too many obstacles in their way. This might not be so in your neighborhood school or the school that your child attends, but it is happening in way too many schools.

How can we stop this madness? What can we do to make teachers feel appreciated? How can we stop this unjust overspending? How can we right size those working within our school system? How can we stop over crowding of some schools, while others sit half full? How can we improve the quality of education that our children are receiving, despite the state standards and national standards that GA has signed up? How can we do better for our children, as they deserve so much more than what they are getting? How can we stop having such a disparity of quality of schools within our system? How can we get our school system turned around before it is too late?

This blog is very useful for teachers to show parents what is going on. I believe that things would be far much worse if this blog were not in existence. At least with this blog, the underhanded things that happen can be brought out into the light and no longer remain under dark cover. Thank you, Cere!

Anonymous said...

A Title I audit should be done at Dresden. How is that principal spending her money? Is it going to paying the former Reading First coach?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 7:39

Her salary is low compared to other coaches making $70-80,000. Look up the coaches salary and years of experience and match it to the teacher scale and you will be shocked. Inflated salaries for coaches does not happen everywhere in America. It should not be happening here in GA. Coaches should be a districts' best teachers who are able to get to the children and help them to learn. They should be working with the children all day long and not strutting their stuff down the hall or hiding in an office. Coaching in DCSS has become a gift job-It's a gift to get this job because you don't do much and you get paid way more than teachers.

Sad, because a true educational coach should be one of the most respected, hard working, and helpful people in the school.

Anonymous said...

I hesitate to bring this up, but has anyone noticed the lack of parental supervision and support in many of the schools that do not make AYP? That is the elephant in the room and needs to be addressed openly (no PC, please) before this problem, or any other in education, can be solved. When parents don't parent and instill in their children the importance of doing well in school, we're doomed. As teachers, we can only do so much, yet we're expected to do it all. When the kids leave me each day, they are in someone else's care. In too many cases, I wish that someone cared as much as I do.

Anonymous said...

There has got to be at better way to evaluate schools. One student in a sub group can be absent and a school fails. A special education student with an IEP and not working towards a regular diploma still must take the graduation test. Before NCLB a parent of a special needs student, could waive certain testing. Removing students from one school and putting them in another is an awful solution. Instead of putting money into transportation to send kids to other schools, use that money to help schools in need. How about smaller class sizes or additional pay for experienced proven educators to work in these schools. Provide extra time for training and planning at these schools.
Assign some of those instructional coaches, professional learning coordinators, directors, assistant directors and specialist to an actual school. Have them work at those schools in the classroom with teachers and students.
Evaluation DeKalb or any school system on AYP results will never solve the many issues that our students and teachers have to face.
It is very hard to attend a training and have individuals who never step foot in your school to tell you what you should be doing.
If we are in this together then AIC people, come to the schools with solutions and help. Do not come to judge.

Anonymous said...

Why do I not have kids of my own yet?

I have 165 at school already!

by the time I am 30 I am going to be good at parenting.

Starts with the parents.

It scares me when parents ask me what I should do with their 15 year old kids when they get out of line.

Not a parent and I am good at this already.

Anonymous said...

I just want to comment--to Anon 5:54and others who have mentioned keeping teachers in the classroom. There is a salary "step" schedule which provides for a longevity increase for each year that a teacher remains in the classroom. So a teacher with 20 years' experience makes about 25K more than a new teacher. I think that's an equitable way to handle it and never resented the fact that my long-term colleagues were compensated for their continued contribution.

That was until DCSS stopped giving "step" increases a couple of years back. I think that's part of the reason that people want to be "coaches." It's the only way to get a raise!

Anonymous said...

It is true that we have many absent parents, but we also have schools and principals who do not welcome parents or support their efforts.

For example, we want parents to mean what they say and say what they mean. DCSS has teachers go over the code of conduct with students, test students on the code of conduct and return it signed by both parent and child. We go through all of this trouble, but how many times do students violate the code of conduct and little to no follow through is taken, as principals don't want too many discipline referrals for their schools?

We want kids to be responsible, but students do not have to turn work in on time. They get multiple chances to get work done correctly and we aren't able to give them a zero on any work. How is a child going to learn responsibility with these rules?

I believe that it is not just the parents fault that our schools are failing our children, but also the school system itself. You can't expect one who isn't highly motivated to want to work for A, when they know that they can't fail and are going to get a 70 no matter what.

Until parents demand better of our school system, our students will continue to go down a slippery slope, where they are coddled and taken care of. Is this what you want for your child? It surely isn't what I want for my children?

If you are going to blame the children, also blame the policies of the school system that lead to apathy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28, I do not think that any of the teachers are complaining about their salary (or for the past 2 years lack of salary) step increase.

However, in most other places, coaches would be on the same pay level/scale as a teacher, and there is my frustration and anger.

Coaching jobs really are teaching jobs and not administration.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 5:23--Just to clarify--the pay scale you are looking at for teachers is not being followed. A teacher with 12 years of experience would be compensated as if she had only 8 years because Dekalb froze all of us at our current position on the scale a few years back. In other words, the inequity is worse than it appears.

Anonymous said...

We can have better schools in Dekalb because we have had better schools in Dekalb County. We had two daughters and one son who spent their entire secondary school careers at Dekalb County Schools. One daughter is on the faculty of Wake Forest University, one daughter is on the faculty of Yale University, and our son is an ophthalmologist.

We need to do a number of things beginning at the top.

1. Vote out and remove the current school board. It would be hard to do worse than what we now have.

2. Bring in Michelle Rhee, currently Superintendent of the Washington, D.C. Schools. That lady is a leader who can set goals, measure performance, and surround herself with outstanding people. She would cut our bloated and mismanaged Administration, get out of her office and into the schools, and develop improvement programs that would focus on excellence in the classroom and get those who cannot be developed out. Our children are just too important - we only get one change to get their education right! We don't need another bureaucrat - we are beyond that! We need somebody who can be tough and show tough love.

3. Focus on the schools - forget about Crawford Lewis, Pat Pope and their criminal activity. Get that Charter School out of the New Birth Church and forget Eddie Long.

Anonymous said...

What's even scarier is when the parent says "I just don't know what to do with him(her)" and the child in question is 5 or 6.

We had curriculum night - 4 parents were there. Of course, it was 4 involved parents, the parents of the other 60 students were the ones we needed to be addressing.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:28
"That was until DCSS stopped giving "step" increases a couple of years back. I think that's part of the reason that people want to be "coaches." It's the only way to get a raise! "

Yes. I know that. The teachers' pay increment is being drained by the incredible administrative and support personnel numbers. Even Kitchen and HVAC mechanics (with a high school diploma or GED requirement) make more than teachers. And let's not forget Zepora Roberts daughters - one of them (no teaching certificate) has less than 5 years with the county as a Family Services coordinator and makes more than a teacher with a Masters and 12 years of s) experience. Vote this BOE out and vote a new one in who will right size this enormous (8,500 admin and support to 6,500 teacher group. The current administration are the ones who suggested all of these people to Dr. Lewis. You don't think he found thousands of people on his own do you?

(source: DCSS PATS job postings for Kitchen Mechanic and HVAC Mechanic)

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have heard that (if I understand you correctly) kids whose schools don't make AYP can attend their home schools and receive tutoring.

Why would any sane parent turn that down in favor of shipping the kid to an overcrowded school that doesn't have the advantage of extra Title I money to keep class sizes low?

Anonymous said...

"Teachers and most employees (and most bloggers) are keenly aware that a high-ranking "female subordinate" accompanied Dr. Lewis on trysts to the Ritz and the Bahamas. "

Won't that "female subordinate's" name be published during the trial? How can her subordinates or anyone in the system still have respect for someone who was allegedly "living it up" in the Bahamas with money that was supposed to educate DeKalb children? We have so many poor (economically disadvantaged) students? What kind of a person would do that?

Anonymous said...

8:36

Love your thinking! Hope that we are able to vote out all of those currently on the board. There are seats that I am not so sure about.

Change is difficult for most people, and when you've got the system working on your side, or feeling like it's working for you, why would you want better for everyone? Why would you want someone like Rhee, as it would probably mean that your family looses its cash cow?

I totally agree with you, but unless enough fed up voters turn out, change and improving DCSS will become even more difficult.

Anonymous said...

@8:54 What kind of people would let our children go to school and not get educated?

Anonymous said...

It isn't just about a cash cow. It is essential to remember that nearly 30 percent of DCSS students aren't attending their home schools. Some of those are special ed and alternative school students who probably have little say, but I am guessing that the vast majority are not.

I have heard multiple parents say that protecting their ability to choose is tantamount to winning their votes.

Anonymous said...

HELLO BOE. If any of you are following this blog hopefully you'll realize the teachers are hemorrhaging. Only you can do something about it. What's your immediate plan to stop the bleeding?

Anonymous said...

@8:57 Any parent who cares more about the grade than what their child learns doesn't really care about the quality of education their child receives. I have had too many 4th and 5th graders who have no grasp of their basic math facts, how can you let your 4th and 5th grader continue to add and subtract using their fingers and not have a clue about their multiplication facts, even though they were taught in 3rd grade.

Cerebration said...

This concerns me that no one seems aware that tutoring is available. Go to the GA DOE website link in the post and click on "by schools" or something like that. You can look at individual schools and where they did not make AYP. Then it lists if they must offer SES (Supplemental Education Services) or a transfer (Choice) or both.

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=111&PID=62&PTID=69&CountyId=644&T=0&FY=2010

Take Avondale for instance -- here's the report -

School Information
AYP StatusDeKalb County (644)
09, 10, 11, 12SCHOOL DID NOT MEET AYP

Avondale High School (1051) ParametersTitle I Status:Certification Status:Yes
Certified by Superintendent -
For All Schools in System

AYP under NCLB is more stringent than AYP under previous ESEA laws. AYP now requires schools to meet criteria in three areas: Test Participation (for both Mathematics and Reading/English Language Arts), Academic Performance (for both Mathematics and Reading/English Language Arts), and a Second Indicator.

This school met the AYP criteria for Test Participation.
This school did not meet the AYP criteria for Academic Performance.
This school did not meet the AYP criteria for Second Indicator.

Summary
Needs Improvement Status

Schools that do not meet AYP in the same subject for two or more consecutive years are placed in Needs Improvement status with escalating consequences for each successive year. Same subject is defined as two years of not making
Reading/English Language Arts (participation or academic performance) or two years of not making Mathematics (participation or academic performance) or two years of not making Second Indicator.

This school must offer both Public School Choice and Supplemental Education Services (Tutoring).

School is in Needs Improvement Year Five (NI-5) or Greater.

This school must offer both Public School Choice and Supplemental Education Services (Tutoring).

School is in Needs Improvement Year Five (NI-5) or Greater.

This school is in State-Directed Status.

Anonymous said...

Anonumous
There is an elementary school in Dekalb Co.(IC) where the English as a second language teachers haven't worked with students for two weeks. They are being pulled to do clerical duties, preparing for upcoming test. This school hasn't made AYP in two years, it was more ESOL students than English speaking students. If there is anyone in charge of this school they need to be let go, for making terrible decisions.

Anonymous said...

"Audria Berry is the Director of School Improvement - over Instructional Coaches. Can someone tell me how she still has her job as schools have consistently NOT improved under her guidance?"

She's too busy traveling out of the country...on county p-card...

Cerebration said...

September 22, 2010 9:15 PM -

I love school choice! I think it's a wonderful idea! DCSS should offer all kinds of very different types of schools in order to appeal to students who just need or want a different learning environment or focus. With all of their resources, they should be offering a high tech math/science magnet with research facilities, two or three career tech schools and a fantastic school of the arts as well as a variety of more traditional school options.

However, "CHOICE" in DeKalb schools has become synonymous with "ESCAPE" and it's wrong-thinking. Our leaders have for far too long, only served the squeaky wheels and parents in the know by offering transfers out of poor performing schools - expecting the regular schools to serve as their savior. Then, nothing is done to go head first into those struggling schools and pull out all the stops to improve learning. It's just a vicious cycle of mediocrity. It's wrong and it's wasteful.

Anonymous said...

Cere--I believe you. But I work in a school that hasn't made AYP in a while, and as a teacher I didn't know about the tutoring. If I don't know, how are the kids/parents going to find out?

There ought to be a statement that parents have to sign that states that they understand that the child has a right to tutoring support but that they prefer to send them to another school, with the understanding that no such support will be offered.

Cerebration said...

You are so right! I always assumed this was addressed in the letter the system is required to send to parents in schools that have not made AYP for so long as to have to offer services or transfers... Gee, I guess that's what happens when you 'assume'!

Anonymous said...

All high schools (and maybe middle) in DCSS offer free tutoring the first year the school is in needs improvement. It is the second year when school choice (transfers) are offered or more tutoring. I have heard that few students take advantage of the tutoring programs. Can some teachers/parents/administrators tell me why?

Since I pay a lot of$ for a math tutor for my high school student, I would jump at the chance to get free tutoring.

I wonder if we could require a student to do tutoring before opting for a transfer? The transfer students end up in non-Title One schools and since their Title one money does not move with them, the receiving school cannot offer these extra benefits.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I just read this thread. It thoroughly depressed us but more importantly it disgusted us!

With so many DCSS employees taking advantage of their cushy jobs, while the real work horses, our teachers, get crapped on by administration, it's time for change!

1-The 5 BOE members up for re-election need to go! These five need to come in together with a goal of getting rid of the current leadership and replacing them with outsiders, with no DCSS ties. They implement new programs like teaching! That would be a novelty.

2-The 5 BOE members need to let Dan Drake do his tough job of recalibrating the zones for maximum use but also smart use.

3-The only way to bring about real change is to shake things up. Morale would improve immediately when the friends and family hires of the past 5-15 years are given their pink slips. The money needs to return directly to the classrooms. One idea is to except the resignations of every coach and central Office person. Then re-hire them based on real needs. The Episcopal church does this when a new rector comes into a church. It cleans out the cob webs.

4-Celebrate success and punish mediocrity!

5-DCSS Leadership and the BOE needs to listen to the parents. They should not make decisions and then have public input sessions, when they know that the decision is already been made. That does no one any good! It wastes everyone's time.

6-Do everything in the sunlight! No hidden agendas, no hidden audits, no secret meetings. Sunshine is the best disinfectant for a system that is mired in mud and just stinks to high heaven.

7-Change Everything! Shake it all up! Leaders need to Lighten up on the powerpoint presentations and get out into the schools and watch and listen to the soldiers on the front lines of learning!

8-DCSS needs to be run like a corporation and the taxpayers are the stockholders and should be treated as such!

There are so many more but we must see total change! Tyson, Beasley, Moseley, Turk, Thompson, Berry, Mitchell-Mayfield, Ramsey, Hunter, the Guilroy's, any other Edward kids or other family members need be thanked for their service and shown the door. If this does not happen, how can we expect any change in the future of DCSS?

Kim Gokce said...

Does anyone know if there is a report from DCSS that approximates the format/data presented in this one from Cherokee?

A Citizen's Guide

There is a series of data about staffing starting on page 15 that are very easy to understand and I would love to see a similar representation of DCSS. I was very impressed by this report.

Anyone see anything like this from DCSS-land? It is actually intelligible, comprehensive, and logical. And here was a fascinating piece from page 20:

"In Cherokee County, the School District has made an effort to give schools more local control over their own budgets and to encourage parents to have a role in spending decisions through elected Local School Councils."

Parent have a role in local school budgets? I wonder if that is fluff or a real role ... we can dream!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:39
"
Why would any sane parent turn that down in favor of shipping the kid to an overcrowded school that doesn't have the advantage of extra Title I money to keep class sizes low? "

Title 1 funds are almost all taken up paying the salaries and benefits of non-teaching personnel and scripted learning programs:
Literacy Coaches: $1,000,000

Graduation Coaches: $3,500,000

Instructional Coaches: $8,000,000

Springboard: $1,400,000

America's Choice: $8,000,000

Office of School Improvement Central Office personnel (directors, coordinators,etc.: $$Millions?

Conferences: e.g. Hollywood conference is an example - $400,000 - mostly for non-teaching personnel to attend

DCSS gets $30,000,000+ in Title 1 funds. Add up the above plus some other Title 1 expenditures I've missed and you can see that little Title 1 funds are left for the classroom.

I don't think parents in these Title 1 schools even understand how much money goes for non-teaching personnel. After Lewis became superintendent, Title 1 funds control moved more and more into the Central Office. Dr. Audria Berry was the Title 1 director in the Central Office for a number of years until Dr. Lewis promoted her to be Executive Director of School Improvement. Title 1 is still under her though. The above expenditures listed come under this department.

Anonymous said...

Part 1 of Post

@ Anonymous 5:19 and Anonymous 5:42
..."Teachers are tired of change merely for the sake of change. Where is the research? Where is the analysis of all of this data we are required to accumulate annually? How is the data being used to improve instruction?"

and Anonymous 5:42
"I helped teachers have time to use the data to drive instruction (but we had data that was useful, unlike the data in DCSS). "

$11,000,000 for eSis ($4,000,000) and SchoolNet ($7,000,000) to get data that teachers can use (we are still paying for those systems and have been since 2007) and still no data. MIS needs to be held accountable for these systems not working the way they were pitched to the BOE.

See BOE notes May 7, 2007:
"Ms. Ramona Tyson, Associate Superintendent of Management Information Systems (MIS), stated that MIS has been working in partnership and collaboration with the Division of Instruction for over a year researching the education marketplace for a web-based instructional management solution that will allow the use of data to accelerate gains in district decision-making, teacher proficiency, individualized instruction, student achievement, and school reform. After researching demonstrable solutions around the nation ....the SchoolNet Program was determined to be the most comprehensive, web-based instructional management program that transforms data into a powerful tool to improve teaching and learning. It allows school systems to integrate, access, and analyze student demographic and performance data across the district, school, classroom, as well as the individual student.

....members of the SchoolNet team presented a demonstration of how SchoolNet’s school performance management solutions empower district administrators, principals, and teachers to make real-time, data-based decisions, deploy programs and other curricular resources effectively, communicate with parents, and fulfill the promise of true individualized instruction based on students’ specific needs and learning levels.....

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of Post:
From BOE notes contd.

"...the site can be ready to roll out in January at the start of the second semester. This means that the three core modules (account, align and assess) will be completed, student information data populated, and at least one standardized test result file loaded by the end of the calendar year. This will allow for the next step which is certification training where SchoolNet representatives train fifteen to twenty employees who will become certified to do turnaround training of users....

....Ms. Tyson explained that the SchoolNet product is a framework that will sit on top of the existing data warehouse and will feed all the data already available in the system into one program daily, so one only has to “point and click” to obtain the data analysis reports. It will draw from all the data that is currently being entered into the student data warehouse....

...In closing, Ms. Tyson stated ..and there will need to be a methodology change systemwide. "

Please note that the Central Office Instructional personnel wanted this system, Ms. Tyson recommended it, and it's not given our teachers the easy access to student data Ms. Tyson and MIS promised. It's obvious who needs to be held accountable for this $11,000,000 expenditure."

Anonymous said...

FAMILY & FRIENDS UPDATE

We've got sons, daughters, sons-in-law, dads, moms, uncles, aunts, cousins, lovers, and stepchildren. Now, with much hush-hush, the ILLEGITIMATE CHILD of a sitting Board member has been made an assistant principal.

Does DCSS really give a hoot about SACS?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:20

Again, the train the trainer, who trains the trainer, who trains a teacher, method is being used for this roll out. This type of training simply isn't effective, as the training the end user receives is only as good as the information that has been comprehended second and third hand.

For the kind of money that we are spending, all personal involved with this program should be receiving direct instruction from the company that has made it. Booklets of how to use it should be received by everyone, so that they have a how to guide, as well as the training for further questions.

Offer teachers real professional training and not watered down nonsense. We should be getting more for the money that we are spending.

Anonymous said...

We received a booklet in the mail outlining the tutoring choices available.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that tutoring is available but it is only "free" if the student also qualifies for free lunch.

That, aside from lack of awareness that the tutoring is available, may be a reason for the lack of parents/students taking advantage of this service.

On the other hand, most teachers set aside time after school to tutor students. Again, it is up to the students to take advantage of this. In many cases, it won't happen unless the parent steps in and makes the student go to tutorial. That would require the parent to be aware of what's going on with the student and their classes. Unfortunately, the further up in grade, the less involvement many parents tend to have.

Anonymous said...

This is the brochure that was mailed out to DCSS families.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/instruction/improvement/esea/ses/files/11C5BA1163734208B20CF8349F0DF2BA.pdf

Anonymous said...

This is the brochure that was mailed out to all DCSS families. We received ours a week or so ago.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/instruction/improvement/esea/ses/files/11C5BA1163734208B20CF8349F0DF2BA.pdf

Anonymous said...

So, if you are in a failing school and you do not qualify for free lunch, you don't get anything for your child? They are just stuck in a failing school with no additional resources? It's no wonder people transfer their children. What other options do they have for their child but to get them into a more effective environment?

Anonymous said...

It is not a matter of IF change will come to the Dekalb County School System - it is a matter of WHEN. Senator Steen Miles stated it so well recently when she said that, without change, Dekalb County will become a vast waste land in 10 years. My only question is will it last that long?

SACS is going to get the process underway on October 10 when it announces a full-scale investigation. In that case, our best hope is probation. If that occurs, I suspect that the new Governor, regardless of whether it is Barnes or Deal, will have few alternatives other than to remove the entire Board and appoint replacements. The Dekalb County School System will then be run by the State.

In whatever part of Dekalb County you live, we need to vote out the incumbent. At this point, the DCSS is so poorly managed, so wasteful, and so corrupt change is coming!!

Anonymous said...

One problem in DCSS schools is the scarcity of competent administrators. I know that two schools, subject of much discussion on this blog, are victims of absolutely terrible hires in the position of assistant principal of instruction or API. The API is, second only to principal, the most crucial administrator in the schoolhouse. Hire an incompetent one or a rookie, and you negatively impact the school's academics in a big way.

Unfortunately, I assume that Morcease Beasley is pulling the strings that make these APIs do their dance. Bombast does not improve incompetence, nor does it accelerate the learning curves for these questionable hires. So Dr. Bombast has only added to the problem by sending from on high ridiculous marching orders to the APIs. The few, good conscientious APIs shield the teachers from most of the bs. But the others simply channel this crap to the teachers.

DCSS must change its schoolhouse administrator hiring protocol. The professionalism (not exactly defined the way you and I know it) that DCSS tries to squeeze out of its teacher-slaves, should also be expected, at least at some minimal level, from its school-house administrators.

The way the central office (and, God forbid, perhaps some on the BOE) micro-manages is by placing obsequious, incompetent (but connected) administrators in the schools. The admins come to the schoolhouse with their strings attached. The powers that be start pulling the strings, and the school admins do their sad, destructive dance.

Anonymous said...

While I am not at all certain that SACs will investigate, remember the investigation has to come before the punishment. Part of the reason that Clayton and Warren Counties got in so much trouble was that their boards refused to make changes. Flat out refused. Additionally, in Clayton, they refused to censure each other's behavior and enforce ethics' policies. Most of the BoE has relished the opportunity to take on SCW and ZR.

In DCSS, we really only have ZR who isn't willing to change policies. Sometimes SCW doesn't quite get it, ok most of the time, but she generally has been voting to support the changes.

Even if they investigate, SACs will probably find that the DCSS Board of Ed is enacting policies that they need to. However, if SACs changes DCSS's accreditation status, then the Governor with the State Board of Ed can remove some or all of the local board and replace them.

Because I have no confidence in DeKalb voters, this is actually my preferred solution. Put together essentially the best people you can find and let them start to straighten out the mess. I guess it would be like a receivership.

Anonymous said...

Please read these two pieces:

http://crossroadsnews.com/view/full_story/9375078/article-Effective-programs-needed-to-combat-high-dropout-rate?instance=secondary_stories_left_column

and

http://crossroadsnews.com/view/full_story/9475007/article-Dropout-rates-reflect-failure-of-principles--not-programs?instance=secondary_stories_left_column

Anonymous teacher said...

So many of us teachers are glad that your blog continues to turn the focus back to student learning--what DCSS should be about, anyway. From my perspective, one of the best things you can do to support the mission of teaching is to listen to teachers about what we need to be effective in the classroom. Sometimes supporting teaching means monitoring teachers who aren't performing well and helping them get better. We are struggling with morale issues on a grand scale. Now it's the Power Standards! Another of The Crease's crusades--and all this from someone who won't be there this time next year.
A big source of our woes is MIS, Ms. Tyson's former stomping ground. Please help us get computers that work, get the Promethean boards moved to a location that doesn't take up all our space, and gain access to copiers that work and an adequate paper supply. These are just the basics--then there are: accurate, usable textbooks; adequate support services for our many troubled kids; and accountability requirements that we have input in designing. It is painful to sit in front of so many children each day and feel that you are failing them because of factors you can't control. Throw us a bone before we throw in the towel.

Sagamore 7 said...

ANON 7:02
Thank you for your input. We all want better working conditions for all of our teachers and better pay for those deserving.

Can you send an email to:
sagamore77@gmail.com and I will try and get your computer system working.
MIS is a big non-working problem and we will try and get this fixed. ASAP!


Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

Make a statement, people! Show DCSS who really runs the show. Go Vote Out all existing BOE members. Only then can we expect a better education for our children and real, positive change at the palace. If need be, offer neighbors a ride to the polls and even suggestions for honest, ethical candidates. It is up to us concerned taxpayers to affect change if we want our property values and education system improved.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Rhee is a joke.

Paying kids for making good grades is ridiculous.

She likes to scheme and scheme to get teachers to accept merit pay then get rid of them for anything they slip up on even if it is extracurriculars.

She would have a field day in Georgia without a teachers "union"

Anonymous said...

Maybe we need a field day. Good teachers need not fear.

Anonymous said...

no child is illegitimate although your comment is reprehensible-have you no shame?

Anonymous said...

Kim
Excellent Report from Cherokee County. Thanks for posting. I like the line on page 17 that states that only 3% of all Full-time employees are in central administrative roles. I'm not sure if DCSS has anyone capable of producing such an easy to read report as this. Seems like they always try to impress with big words and edubabble which only complicates things un-necessarily.

Employee classification on Salary Reports is not uniform either. Maybe this is done purposefully so a clear picture is difficult to obtain.

Anonymous said...

I would want to know how long Rhee was in a classroom before I go drink that kool aid. I know she was in some tough schools, but for how long and what were you teaching?

Looks like she taught Teach for America for less than 5 years and jumped right into administration...

Am I the only teacher in the world that has NO desire to be in administration?

Anonymous said...

http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2010/sep/22/sarah-copelin-wood/dekalb-official-says-shes-no-big-travel-spender/

Something Nice to Chew On.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:18 PM. The BOE is useless.
Theory: He who controls the information wins the war.

The administration controls the information presented to and withheld form the BOE. The administration slants the information presented to protect the administration job machine and chosen friends and relatives. The BOE does not have the will to break this chain and also does not have a majority that wants to change the status quo.

Anon 9:45 For free math help go to khanacademy.org
Bill gates uses it to teach his kids.

Cerebration said...

khanacademy.org - good suggestion, Anon

My sister in Ohio told me about this - everyone up there loves it!

Anonymous said...

According to the New York Times the effectiveness of merit pay has come into question after a study from Vanderbilt University's National Center on Performance Incentives showed that offering bonuses to teachers didn't improve test scores. The study, released earlier this week, is billed as the nation's first ever scientific look at merit pay for educators.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/23/us/AP-US-Teacher-Merit-Pay.html?scp=1&sq=teacher+incentives&st=nyt

The actual study and others like it can be found at


http://www.performanceincentives.org/news__events/detail.aspx?pageaction=viewsinglepublic&linkid=427&moduleid=24&newspid=1

Anonymous said...

Fedup here:
My question for those who are anti-teachers' unions is this: if the problem is that the unions keep bad teachers from being fired, then what is the excuse in GA (a right-to-work state with "unions" that don't collectively bargain). No one seems to be able to remove our bad teachers, either. Having been educated in public schools with teachers that are all union, all the time (and whose mother, a conservative Republican, belonged to one) I have to say that the level of teacher quality and education was way, way above GA. Their contracts included caps on class size, adequate planning time (yes, it is important) and appeals when your pissy principal who hates you tries to fire you.

I am curious--has a study been done to compare the educational quality in states with active teachers' unions vs. those without? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

The problems with the studies that show performance doesn't improve with increases in teacher pay are flawed from a labor demand, queuing and timing perspective. Some current teachers will improve as pay increases because they are incentivized. The real increase may occur years down the road with more labor entering the market for teaching jobs as the pay remains high relative to other jobs. It's about compensation relative to other jobs. This will make the labor pool for teaching more competitive and increase the quality of applicants. It takes time to see that effect as job seekers/college students have to become aware of the relative (new) pay and take steps to become a teacher. So the real increase in student achievement based on increased pay may come only after the labor market for teachers gets larger and more competitive over time.

Be True to Your School said...

There is another BIG problem with incentive pay or bonuses for teachers when student scores increase:

Student achievement also depends on parent interest and involvement.

This means that parents see that
(1) there is study time available (not in front of the TV);
(2) that students get enough sleep;
(3) that students have access to the library (for books and an Internet-connected computer when there is no computer and Internet connection in the home);
(4) that healthy food is available;
(5) that books are in the home and reading is encouraged by turning off the TV; and
(6) that there is regular, meaningful conversation.
To be effective all of the above must start before kindergarten.

In a nutshell: Real parenting must take place for teachers to succeed.

Most important: parents must demonstrate to their children that they value education; they must clearly expect their children to value education, as well.

As my dad, who grew up on a working farm, used to say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4:14 pm
"So the real increase in student achievement based on increased pay may come only after the labor market for teachers gets larger and more competitive over time. "

Are you a math, science, social studies, or Language arts teacher or do you teach a grade level in elementary?

What research do you have to to support this supposition?

Students are not widgets to be put on an assembly line nor are they "customers" in the business sense of the word.

This sounds like how you would like the world to work rather than how it really works.

To set the stage for the success we want, give every child:
1. A clean and safe environment
2. A competent teacher in a reasonably sized classroom
3. Abundant access to cutting edge science and technology equipment

None of these components are under the teachers' control. This is all up to admin and support. First and foremost, concentrate on the admin and support side to ensure teachers and students have these components.

No matter how competitive the teaching field is and no matter how much money you pay them, you will not have all students succeed with:
1. A dirty and unsafe environment
2. An incompetent teacher in overcrowded classrooms
3. No access to adequate or cutting edge science and technology equipment

Anonymous said...

The sad thing in all of this is that we teachers are partially to blame for how poorly we are treated.

As a group, we are some of the most highly educated people in the country. Yet we are extremely timid. It is our compassion and dedication that make us victims. When DCSS gives us lemons, not only do we make lemonade, but we also clean up the dishes when everyone has done drinking.

We have allowed society to guilt us into working harder with less. No one asks the garbage collectors to use their own trucks. No one expects the grocery cashier to bring her own cash register to the job. No one would think about requiring the cook at McDnald's to bring his own beef and spatula.

Yet I, as a teacher, must buy paper in order to do my job. I have textbooks that have mildew stains. Many of my books have no covers and are missing pages. I have brought my own DVD player to work because the VCRs don't work.

And do you know why nothing has changed in DCSS? Do you know why it WON'T change?

Because every committed teacher does as I do. We take from our own pockets to DO WHAT IS NEEDED, that's why. And as long as we continue to plug the dikes, the powers that be will continue to short us and our students.

We are afraid of retaliation. And our concern for our students prevents us from standing up for ourselves.

Wanna make a change? What would DCSS do if we STOPPED picking up the slack? What would DCSS do if we stopped cleaning up the messes that our administration creates? What would happen if 6,000 teachers just did NOT show up next Monday?

If we can just get over our fear and if we stand together with our dedicated parents and community members, we can change this horrible situation.

Dekalbparent said...

The reason I have always been given for not weeding out poor teachers here is that the amount of documentation required to prove their case and justify removal is huge and almost impossible to compile.

Teachers, weigh in - do you think this reason is legitimate? Could it be done more easily than they are telling us, or is it the truth?

Anonymous said...

@FedUp

The reason I have always heard for why poor teachers are not removed from the system is the documentation required. It is a very large amount and almost impossible to amass.

Teachers: Do you think this is the case? Would it be very difficult to collect the data needed to remove a poor teacher?

Anonymous said...

One reason that poor teachers are not removed is that there are poor administrators. Good administrators find ways to remove poor teachers. They might move them to another school where there is a poor administrator, but they aren't in the classroom in that good administrator's school.

Anonymous said...

In a unon state, yes it is extremely difficult to remove a teacher.

Here, it is easier because the school system need not offer a renewal contract. By the time the teacher could bring a case, the position would be filled.

We are all like "new hires" every year. The salary table is not concrete (loss of step increases), and the fine print in the contract says that all terms and conditions are subject to change.

It is difficult to terminate a teacher mid-contract.

In other words, none of us are safe because our employment is often contingent upon the whims of the local administrators. That is why we don't kick up a lot of dust because we know we might not be invited back for the next academic year.

Anonymous said...

In a unon state, yes it is extremely difficult to remove a teacher.

Here, it is easier because the school system need not offer a renewal contract. By the time the teacher could bring a case, the position would be filled.

We are all like "new hires" every year. The salary table is not concrete (loss of step increases), and the fine print in the contract says that all terms and conditions are subject to change.

It is difficult to terminate a teacher mid-contract.

In other words, none of us are safe because our employment is often contingent upon the whims of the local administrators. That is why we don't kick up a lot of dust because we know we might not be invited back for the next academic year.

Anonymous said...

@5:38 pm...

No doubt what you say is true! But I do doubt that we'll ever get enough teachers to work together to accomplish those goals.

As far as the paperwork for getting rid of a teacher - it's no more onerous than the paperwork to get a child into the RTI/SST process. If an administrator's job is to protect kids and provide them with a rich, safe learning environment, then administrators should get rid of teachers who shouldn't be in the classroom. Shame on them for not doing so!

However, DCSS's administrators are mostly new to the position (5 years or less on average, I believe). Chances are they are still learning how to do their jobs. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that 5 years is the average for DCSS principals (or should we look at the median?). The longest lasting principal for a school in DCSS last year was 8 years. What a sad commentary on our administrators.

Anonymous said...

"The reason I have always been given for not weeding out poor teachers here is that the amount of documentation required to prove their case and justify removal is huge and almost impossible to compile."

I totally disagree. In Georgia all a principal has to do is put together a negative evaluation. If the principal wants a teacher gone, that principal will make it happen. Sometimes a principal will write a negative evaluation to encourage a teacher to resign. If your contract is not renewed, you will have trouble getting another teaching job in this state.

Yes, sometimes unions protect a bad teacher, but they also protect the large majority of really good teachers. It was mentioned in another post that union contracts protect working conditions in schools. That is true. In a union state, DeKalb would not have been able to impose furlough days or fail to pay into retirement accounts after contracts were signed.

That said, please be cautious with your words. Teachers are compliant for a reason. Teachers in this state do not have the right to organize or form a union. It is a state law with real consequences, if you choose to violate it.

Anonymous said...

In a teachers union, you can be fired or let go during the first three to five years of your employment (specific number of years depends on the actual contract). After that time, a principal has to build up strong documentation to fire a teacher. It has to be for good reasons, and it has to be very well documented. It is difficult to get a teacher out of the system, but can be done, if the principal is willing to take a stand. It may upset the other teachers that it is being done, as it is a union after all, and mediocrity is okay.

Unions are not the end all be all for teachers or for quality of education. Having taught in them and without them, the difference that I see is that I could freely voice my opposition to decisions being made that effect the children without worrying about my job once I had tenure.

In DCSS, the problems that I see is that our administrators at all levels from AP to the superintendent do not have significant amount of teaching experience themselves. They are making decisions based on 2, 3, 5, 6 years of classroom experience. This simply isn't enough. Ask any good teacher and they will tell you that their first few years weren't the best of their career.

Another problem is the lack of decision making done on the local school level. Money is spent by the central office on the schools, without really knowing or understanding the teacher needs.

A third problem, is the train, the trainer, who trains the trainer, who trains the teacher model. This watered down training that teachers receive is not worth their time. The trainers training the teachers have to boil down days of training into may be a 45 minute time block. How does this make any sense? If we are willing to pay millions for programs, why not a little more for proper training of those who will be implementing the program.

Anonymous said...

Amen ANON 8:02 pm.

The reason so many posts here are ANONYMOUS is because we are fearful.

There are real consequences for not acquiesing (sp) to the power of DCSS.

I have personally been directed by a former school board member to adjust my grade weights so that a failing student could pass my class.

I have witnessed intimidation by assistant superintendents. Colleagues have been "persuaded" to resign by area superintendents. I have watched administrators protect their incompetent friends while shafting brilliant, dedicated teachers.

This is my last year. I cannot take this anymore.

Anonymous said...

Fear has been a big motivating factor in the retention of teachers in the Southeast. Until the economy tanked, most southern systems were facing true teacher shortages. Principal and administrators were faced with dilemma of whether you keep the one you have and know or take a chance with a replacement.

Anonymous said...

I am truly disgusted with how fearful Dekalb teachers are. I do my job and I do it well. Therefore, I have no problem speaking the truth to those in charge. Next week, I am expected to be at a discussion with Dr. Beasley (that ends well past the time I officially get off of work) with other schools that did not make AYP. If it truly is a discussion, I will be sure to share with him many of the frustrations I feel and why this contributes to our non-AYP status.

Anonymous said...

We might be fearful, but the ballot box is anonymous and it is powerful - each of us has the same right to vote and our vote counts as much as anybody else's. Your vote is as powerful as Eddie Long, as powerful as Zepora Roberts. It is up to you to use that right. If enough of us use that right in November, we can bring change to Dekalb County and quality to our Schools. We can clean out the corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement which we have now. Please do it!!

Anonymous said...

A Dekalb teacher of more than ten years, I am concerned that nothing-not this blog, not the media, not the SACS investigation-has resulted in the academic setting our students deserve. In good conscience, how can anyone choose to have or allow students to be warehoused in overcrowded classes when we employ so many people, including qualified teachers, who not only make no contributions to a students' success but also take away from the resources students should be entitled to?

Anonymous said...

There are folks taking the information posted by the teachers on the blog and trying very hard to make real change happen. Keep posting.

To those of you who have gone to the DA/US Attorney: you have been heard. You are making progress. Keep coming forward with hard information -- as everyone who knows something comes forward and tells Clay Nix what you know at the DA's office, he can piece his case together and perhaps we can make some real progress. (This goes for New Birth too -- BJ Bernstein is good, very good (she got a law changed to get Genarlow Wilson out of jail) -- you can go to her with what you know-- hard evidence not conjecture).

Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, we had administrators at schools with "tenure" (more than 7 or 8 years). They knew how to do their jobs. Well. Maybe they had detractors but they were successful. The county hosted monthly "train the new principal" and "principal wanabee" meetings on different aspects of running a school. Dr. Brown discontinued these. The system has not recovered. Especially with Dr. Lewis' penchant for "transfer the successful administrator" and "promote the friend and family" (especially before they are ready). These sessions need to come back....

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:32--It's not just that the administrators have few years of experience. I would love to know how many of our administrators are former PE teachers. I have worked with 12 APs, and 5 were PE teachers! Is this the norm? How are they qualified to supervise?

The most often-heard theory is that PE teachers have no papers to grade, so they have the time to do the work to get the "leadership" certificate.

Is this just an odd coincidence with the administrators I have known? I have seen some really odd decisions made that clearly reflect little actual classroom experience.

BTW I'm not suggesting that being a PE teacher makes you a bad person--we all choose based on our talents and passion.

Anonymous said...

I am a DeKalb County teacher. I can therefore, personally address the overall issue of morale; it is extremely low in my school, as well as being low in my previous school. We have been inundated with planning for success, and compiling data to support instructional decisions. So much time and energy is being spent on these tasks that actual teaching of students appears to be secondary. The school system has spent millions of dollars on curricula in both reading and math. Their choices and selections for the most part were inappropriate and ineffective. How did they address this dilemma? They now claim that these “million dollar babies” are to be used only as resources, if that is the case what was wrong with saving the millions and using the monies more effectively? Why waste valuable instructional time creating plans for instruction when millions have been spent for that purpose? The overall climate of intimidation, and the lack of teacher input into decision making has left teacher to realize that we are inconsequential and powerless. Those are tough realizations, especially for a group of people that are charged with developing the next generation of thinkers. My personal and professional desires are that these horrific circumstances will, and can be changed. Each day I must encourage and motivate myself in order to teach my students, reminding myself that they are not the problem. It takes a strong commitment to self and to my students to reach these goals daily.

Anonymous said...

Anon 523,
I agree about clean and safe environments, etc. You are absolutely right! And children are all unique; certainly not "widgets."

Obviously I didn't make my point clearly so I'll try again. I was just trying to critique the analysis regarding teacher incentive pay. The suggestion was that teacher incentive pay didn't help student achievement significantly.

My point really is about relative pay. If base pay for teachers was increased significantly and was relatively high compared to other professions, we would begin to see higher numbers of people make the choice to enter the teaching profession. So the pool of potential teachers gets larger and more talented as the higher salaries now attract people who would have previously entered more lucrative professions (engineering, medicine, etc.). The process of attracting these people would take time and they'd need to receive a decision signal that the higher salaries were going to be maintained. I'm saying that experiment with compensation has not been done. So while the study mentioned on the blog that said incentive pay didn't improve student achievement, I'm saying that is not the equivalent to proving that higher compensation for teachers won't improve test scores, etc. Specifically, higher compensation for teachers and its implications would take a longer time to measure because you would need to wait for the substantial changes in the labor market to take effect.

Perhaps an additional benefit to the increased compensation and the new labor market for teaching, would be that, as a group, they would more successfully pressure districts for the resources they needed. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

AYP...54% correct equals a passing score in most instances. In some schools, 20% of students are making a passing score [800] and making AYP based on an appeal. What a joke! We should be making AYP when 80% of our students are making an 850 score which is 84% correct. [Note: please see cut scores for actual numbers per grade level]
To Anonymous at 6:47 PM...one AP plans on retiring, the other one plans on staying...loves the school and the faculty...fights the good fight...just confirmed this with the API. Go Dragons!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:24 Please let us know about this meeting with Beasley and how it goes. Is he receptive to ideas, or is he spewing more teacher/administrator rhetoric? The public needs to know. I really believe that he is being groomed for the superintendent position. I pray that I am wrong, but his hiring for his current position and what he is doing in it just doesn't feel right.

Anon 10:13 You are right about what you say. I will go further and say that those with PE degrees do not understand how students learn to read or even the implications of students being passed on and not truly ready for the next grade.


Thank you teachers!!!! We need to help the public know what is truly going on. I hope that they can help true change come about in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

It's truly interesting to see people who claim to be "teachers" belittle the contributions of P.E. teachers.

ODE strikes again.

Anonymous said...

Maybe PE teachers are just more aggressive and competitive by nature and that's why they have a higher percentage who compete for and win higher paying administrative jobs.

Anonymous said...

It's quite easy to believe it is ODE members posting - what they post is the same thing they say over and over and over again at the BOE meetings.

If you have ever heard their speeches at the BOE meetings, you know it's really all about them, and very little about the students.

Cerebration said...

I just came across a book with the title,

"You Can't Get Out Of The Blender Until You Turn It Off".

I think that message is very appropriate for DCSS. We need to concentrate on ways to turn off the blender, so to speak. Unless and until the bad press and criminal activities are stopped and punished, the outrageous fees we pay for attorneys (millions!) become unnecessary and can go back into the classroom, and we have strong leadership willing to clean house and build a school administration that is student-focused, we will continue to simply "whirr" in an endless, mindless, cycle of slipping academic achievement and wasted tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how ODE members got thrown into the discussion, but it doesn't make any sense.


The statement 9:13 made:
"Maybe PE teachers are just more aggressive and competitive by nature and that's why they have a higher percentage who compete for and win higher paying administrative jobs."

Had me thinking that if this statement is indeed true, why aren't they competitive about improving the quality of education the children in their school receive? Why are they listening to the dog and pony show that the top brass give, and agree and follow through on things that anyone with a little common sense questions? Why aren't they using that competitiveness to make their school number 1?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:29

"If you have ever heard their speeches at the BOE meetings, you know it's really all about them, and very little about the students."

That's not true. They are the adult member of the classroom and as such they stand up for students. I've watched BOE meetings and teachers have always had good ideas in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:04 pm

"Had me thinking that if this statement is indeed true, why aren't they competitive about improving the quality of education the children in their school receive? Why are they listening to the dog and pony show that the top brass give, and agree and follow through on things that anyone with a little common sense questions?'

I agree that the will to compete runs strong in PE teachers which is a necessary and good characteristic for a leader. However, I think that the way DCSS (and to be fair public education in general) is set up is that there is a taller career ladder to climb than in times past and this ladder leads out of the schoolhouse.

The ultimate ladder is the Central Office. If you want to get to those top rungs, you learn teamwork. Teamwork to the Central Office means helping others and expecting them to reciprocate with self-promotion, higher and higher pay (yes folks, higher pay is a competition in the Central office since most of those employees think of it as a "corporate" environment), and more power.

The power issue is huge - who has the power is the biggest goal for those at the top. They are constantly playing politics as they socialize, align themselves in this camp or that, and do whatever they can to shine the light upon themselves and their power center.

Crawford Lewis was at the pinnacle of the main and winning power center until he was let go. Now they are trying to predict who has the power, who may have the power in the future, switch alliances to the new power center, and be nimble enough to stay where they are and eventually climb higher.

I'd say that's enough to keep any competitive person interested no matter what your background is.

Anonymous said...

ODE= NEA's Little Pawn.

Theres a reason my mother who taught for 20 years told me to never join teacher organizations that align with the NEA and political agendas

Anonymous said...

I don't like the NEA/AFl-CIO or any other teacher union.

I don't believe that the teachers who post hear are ODE pawns. These teachers simply are telling the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

I'm recently retired and post here all the time. I was an NEA member in 1971. That was the only year I joined. The only reason I know that teachers join is for the liability insurance. All the Central Office personnel are members. That should tell you something about the effectiveness of this organization for teachers.

Anonymous said...

I may be turning the page backwards a bit, but I do have a quick question. A bit ago I noticed that several posters noted the lack of arrival of books for the students in particular classes. I recently conversed with a teacher at a local school and heard a similar woe at a very early elementary level. I am wondering if anyone would find it useful at this point to see how many classrooms/subjects/schools are still without books for their students. To me, this informs the status of our academics. If we can provide funds for attorneys, but not the necessary books for our students....need I say more. I fear that teachers and schools are making up for this loss locally - through copying, etc. This seems to take away from the teachers planning (and heck even assessment) time. What are costs of local schools of supplies (e.g. copying) when required textbooks aren't provided. Sorry, I"m somewhat aghast.

This should be something that those in charge of instruction should be on top of as it directly impacts students. It also may inform discussions about the math curriculum (availabilty of new/old books).

Anonymous said...

"It's truly interesting to see people who claim to be "teachers" belittle the contributions of P.E. teachers.

ODE strikes again."

This is definitely not ODE. There is nothing wrong with being a PE teacher.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm....the good PE teachers that I know also coach multiple sports in addition to teaching their Health and Physical Education classes. Those PE teachers are masters of their content area, they excel at multitasking, they have excelent time management skills, they are goal oriented (think win), they are able to work with variable skill levels and they are great motivators. Now, what are the skill sets that a good administrator needs?

Dan Magee said...

http://www.championnewspaper.com/news/articles/599school-system-hires-auditor-to-help-restore-credibility-599.html

School system hires auditor to help restore credibility

The DeKalb County Board of Education wanted an auditing director sooner. Two years ago to be more specific. But tight budgeting and salary freezes kept the district from hiring one.

---

Mr. Babst,
Please, please a tough, fair, no nonsense, transparent with the public auditor!! We parents/taxpayes will no longer tolerate from DCSS and the BOE any fraud, SPLOST overruns and change orders, nepotism/cronyism/fraternity/sorority hiring preferences, wasteful spending (MIS, School Police), the bloated Instructional Coaches army, millions spent with no return on investment (America's Choice, eSIS), etc.

And please get the Open Checkbook Online systems that other school systems and local gov'ts are using:

http://www.peytonwolcott.com/CheckRegistersReport_2010.html.

She has also done a lot of work recently to update her website. Check out "Lessons Learned", "5 Rules for Successful
Change", and "10 Tips for Successful Change" in the left-hand column of the
page at www.peytonwolcott.com/howtoorganize.html.

Cerebration said...

One friend's child, a student at Lakeside, just got her first math book in three years! (As in two years of math with no textbook whatsoever.)

Anonymous said...

There NO textbooks latin, french, german, spanish.

own their own, some teachers are using old books from the mid 90's.

my kids' spanish teacher has make up her lessons from some vague curriculum cobbled together by Dekalb... this is done from scratch every week.

my wife is from havana cuba and i am from argentina but we cannot help because we can't follow where the curriculum maps are heading. meantime, they are floundering

Anonymous said...

I am an English teacher, and we have not issued textbooks for a couple of years. We have enough to use in the classroom during the day but not enough for every kid. Kinda hard to give homework!

Anonymous said...

With regards to the earlier comment about PE teachers becoming administrators, I agree that being competitive is one of the qualities that makes for a great administrator. But if you have never taught in a classroom, how can you make decisions about how classrooms should be run? How can you know what it's like to try to teach a core content class to 34 kids? These are fine, dedicated people who do offer a lot to our schools. But if you haven't done my job, you have no standing to tell me how best to do it.

Anonymous said...

You all making this up about no textbooks. If true, please provide the name of the school(s) for which you have not received textbooks so that it may be addressed.

Cerebration, please contact the Lakeside BOE rep to confirm what you have been told.

Anonymous said...

Quit whining, English Teacher!! Just set a simple spreadsheet and give homework to 1/3 of the class!!

With just 2 assistant coaches, we used to work on running backs on Tuesdays, wide receivers on Wednesday, and with linemen on Thursdays using just 1/2 the football field only ruining 1/2 the grass.

With skills I honed coaching middle school PE I am now an area superintendent----Please don't hate!!

Anonymous said...

Just ask any Dekalb high school teacher if there are textbooks for Spanish 1 and Spanish 2.

No need to launch an investigation, just ask any kid in these classes to show you the textbook the teacher issued to them.

A few seasoned teachers are using textbooks no longer on useful list to give the children some guidance and structure.

Otherwise, it is utter chaos with teachers searching for lessons from the internet instead of following the structure of a well researched and well conceived textbook on which several academics put time and effort to develop.

Anonymous said...

Textbooks? What are they? My child is a sophomore at Chamblee High. She hasn't had a Math book in 3 years, no German book this year, no English book, no book in either of her electives. She does have a Social Studies and Chemistry book. What 2 out 7? That's not bad, right? Could there be a direct correlation between lack of textbooks and declining test scores?
Could this be a source of a student's questionable foundation in Math? How can a parent know what "should be covered" or should have been covered in Math if there is no book? When we ask we are told to go online to the state DOE website and look at the standards there. That is what is being covered. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Got a text back from my kid.

Mom, no textbook issued. my notebook is my textbook. We follow JPS from state or country.

Anonymous said...

The academic deans at UGA teach 1 or 2 classes per year. Are the "deans" at DCSS too busy to teach a class to relieve overcrowding?

Ooops, Mxxxxxse Bxxxxxey can't because he has no certificate!!

Dan Magee said...

"I am an English teacher, and we have not issued textbooks for a couple of years. We have enough to use in the classroom during the day but not enough for every kid. Kinda hard to give homework!"

If accurate, this is so indicative of the Central Office and the out of touch, clueless because they have no kids in the system (but plenty of relatives working for it) BOE. Millions spent on the Central Office. Millions spent on Morcease Beaseley's/Audria Berry's army of Instructional Coaches. Millions spent on no ROI initiatives eSIS, America's Choice, etc. But OUR CHILDREN DON'T EVEN HAVE TEXTBOOKS!!!

That would be fine if there were textbooks available online, Kindle, etc., but DCSS MIS is years behind the better school system IT departments. Tony Hunter, former sales rep., now head of MIS for the 26th largest school system in the U.S.

No textbooks for students. An incredible, egregious indicator of incompetence, yet the BOE and Central Office won't blink an eye. They'll spend $200,000 to send staff to California during the school year, but textbooks for students?

No mas. I give up.

Anonymous said...

The HMS Middle School kids use a language arts text book series that is relatiely new that I hate -- there is no room in the book to engage the child and to get them interested in the material -- the book is full of "short stories" (3 paragraphs here, 5 there) that are followed by questions -- it is hundreds of pages that teach to the test with nothing to kindile a real joy of reading or the finer art of the Classics. Nothing to really engage the kids. But there are text books.

Cerebration said...

That trip cost $400,000. Sorry to make it worse.

Anonymous said...

I understand that there is a lot going on with this system. Clearly, however, we have basics that currently are lacking, and from what I'm reading here have been for several years in some cases.

Does anyone know how we can mobilize at least on this very basic issue of textbooks. I think that having the philosophical discussions is important; however, perhaps we should start with a more "compact" issue that everyone can agree on. I would suggest that we find a way to start questioning the BOE and the staff of the central office about 1) TEXTBOOKS and 2) math curriculum. These are two matters that every school in the community, regardless of location, should be able to come together on. These are two issues that affect EVERY student in the system, and ultimately the whole of the system. Only if we can make a dent with such issues can we really have a hope of making a bigger dent in the system.

I don't know how to start this other than bring the issue to the this blog....I'm hoping someone here will have ideas. I highly suspect that most parents don't realize that kids don't have books. How do we really feel about this? What can we do as a community? As individuals?

Anonymous said...

@7:59 - I am a non-player on the blog, but note the question to Cerebration to confirm with Lakeside about book issue. How do we get involved so that other schools without books can have the problem addressed. It is occurring in other areas of the county.

Anonymous said...

9:26 I agree. How can we get more united and really do something about the lack of text books and quality of math instruction? I would help with making a real change in these areas. I don't know how to do it either. Any ideas would be useful.

Anonymous said...

"How can we get more united and really do something about the lack of text books and quality of math instruction?"

Easy, vote in five new BOE members in the upcoming election.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:00pm. I get that. Unfortunately, my board rep is not up for re-election, and I cannot vote against the others. Besides, while I understand, as noted a few posts above, that there are these larger philosophical/structural issues that only taking such actions can resolve, can't we for now become more laser focused and work to accomplish an end that can have real impact in the here and now. No offense, but while the new board may have consequences for years to come, the kids really could use books - NOW.

Anonymous said...

The state's math curriculum was designed to be utilized without text books. Or at least so said Kathy Cox and her GA DOE buddies.

I have not heard any public comments about the textbooks. That is probably the best place to start.

What is up with the foreign language textbooks? That sounds like a major fail.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:18

"@ 10:00pm. I get that. Unfortunately, my board rep is not up for re-election, and I cannot vote against the others."

Womack, my BOE member is not up for re-election either. However, I made a donation to Nancy Jester, one of Jim Redovian's competitors. His district is right next to my district and he needs to go as much as the rest of them. I've also volunteered to work for Nancy going door to door if necessary. Even though our BOE members have districts, the votes they cast affect students all over DCSS. Jim Redovian has negatively affected just as many children in my Northlake neighborhood as Paul Womack.

Every vote Zepora Roberts, Jim Redovian, Jay Cunningham, Sarah Copelin-Wood, and Eugene Walker cast to prop up Crawford Lewis and now the current administration has been detrimental to students all over DeKalb County.

Pick a BOE member you want to unseat and donate to and/or volunteer for him/her. Everyone of them affect every child in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

We have to do more than work for the election. I agree that the 5 board members up for reelection need to go, but we need to do something to help our kids NOW!

Our kids-all kids in the county-cannot wait until or if we get new board members we need to try to do better for them now. They need to know that we care.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that someone schedule a meeting in a few libraries or school cafeterias and call a meeting to discuss the issue of textbooks and math and see who shows up and discuss the next step in person.

Passionate... said...

Textbooks...
Publishers hire former teachers [great ones] to work on textbooks...
I know six people personally that have done this after they retired.
DCSS purchase some, not enough...or turn around and tell teachers to use as a resource...
Our really top notch teachers spend hours developing their own curriculum... stress factor.
They would welcome the opportunity to have textbooks for each student.
Textbooks that could be used for practice, homework, etc.
They would have time to plan research based best practice activities to enhance student learning.
DCSS teachers spend a great deal of time spinning their wheels [especially this year] locating items to use, i.e. test on compound subjects and predicates.
Once they locate item or create their own, then paper is needed. County went "green" at AIC, but not at the local school level. Printers purchased with "tech" monies in 1998 are wearing out. Printers, repairs, toners, cartridges and paper...cost lots of money.
Textbooks would be more economical.
But what makes sense ...doesn't happen in DCSS.
I know a system in Georgia that has piloted Kindles for 8th and 10th graders.
Wouldn't that be great for DCSS!
But that would require a whole lot of folks to be terminated at AIC and in the local school house.
The people that draw paychecks for doing virtually nothing on behalf of children.
Textbooks...Kindles...Resources for DCSS teachers...what a great idea! Let's make it happen! What are our next steps?

Anonymous said...

You all realize that most of these textbooks are online?

Passionate... said...

Most of our parents in our community do not have computers...online texbooks will not help them. Kindles for students would though. DCSS staff members have access to online resources, that is true...but we were talking about our children.

Passionate... said...

Textbooks online...yes...but not free. Just tried to download a Scott Foresman 5th grade Spelling/Grammar Book. 3 year plan $39.99. How does this help in our economy? Taxpayers are already providing monies to the school system, expecting that part of those monies goes for the purchase of textbooks.

Anonymous said...

Many of the Math teachers at Chamblee do not use textbooks. That is their choice.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that there is NOT a Math textbook for accelerated Math in any grade. There is a grade level and advanced book, but no acclerated. However our neigboring systems are using textbooks and teaching Algebra I, II, Geometry, etc. Why can't DeKalb?

Anonymous said...

What school are you with Passionate?

Anonymous said...

This book?

http://www.sfreading.com/resources/ghbgrd5.html#

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:31,

Yes, the books are online, and for a lot of my kids, that is a great option. But even kids from affluent families may not have their own computers. What happens when siblings each need a couple of hours of computer time at home to complete the reading and/or writing for multiple classes? And of course, I have students who have no computer at all.

The online English textbook is also not very user friendly; it doesn't even have page numbers!

Anonymous said...

Re: choosing one or two issues on which to focus--I completely agree. I have been in a meeting where my principal was bombarded with 10 different issues and nothing got done because it couldn't ALL be done.

To be fair--regarding textbooks--we do have enough to give them to about half of our kids, so we issue them on request. Granted, a kid is not likely to ask for one, so unless a parent intervenes, we are back where we started.

Mandatory one book per kid per class is the only equitable system. If kids want to keep them in lockers and use the online book, that is their prerogative, but at least there are no excuses.

All that said, I gotta tell you that as much as the textbook issue concerns me, class sizes should be at the top of the list. 34 kids times 5 means 170 kids for one teacher. You aren't going to see a lot of rigorous work--requiring time comsuming grading--assigned by that teacher.

Put those certified non-teaching folks into the classrooms. Demand that it happen now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:02, thanks for making my point. You have no idea how a core curriculum classroom operates.

Passionate... said...

Anon at 12:25 am
Thanks for the link to SF

Anonymous said...

I think that Anon 8:02 was being ironic.

Anonymous said...

@1:05 am-

You are exactly right. We should choose one or two core classroom issues and correct those first.

Smaller class sizes would be my #1.
Putting the instructional coaches in the classroom would be a start - and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

#2 - new BOE/new central office - let a new superintendent have the power to get rid of people at will - and make sure the new superintendent has NO ties to DCSS.

themommy said...

Again, I am confused about textbooks for foreign language. They had them last year right? Were those books destroyed before new ones arrived? Or is it just a quantity issue, too many students not enough books?

So, I found this from the March 1, 2010 minutes

For a cost of (a) $2,400,000 the 9th – 12th grade ELA;(b); $2,000,000 Kindergarten – 12th grade world languages;(c) $774,827 11th - 12th grade mathematics; (d) $2,001,436 6th – 8th grade ELA students and teachers will receive a new textbook series which is fully aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards and will serve as an instructional resource for at least five years.

This was approved at the March business meeting.

So, where are the books? It is a delivery problem or a distribution problem?

Has anyone told your board members? Again, I haven't heard a comment at public comments about this, though it is possible I missed it.

Anonymous said...

Lakeside just issued Accelerated Math 3 text books -- brand new -- something like 1300 pages long (may not be "good" books -- heavy and there though. First book given to this batch of Accelerated math kids. My own Accelerated Math 1 kid at HMS (2nd one to take the class in the 3rd year it is being offered) does not have a text book (to be fair, I'm happier with his teacher using her experience and resources the way it is). I'd be happiest with an Algebra I book for the class.

Cerebration said...

Cerebration, please contact the Lakeside BOE rep to confirm what you have been told.

I don't need to do this. I was told this by a very reliable, intelligent parent - and this was about their own child - first person. We are not making this up, believe me.

Anonymous said...

some kindergarten classrooms don't have handwriting books......this is something that really every child needs to have - or teachers will have to make multiple copies. These are books that are USED, not referenced, by every student - if they have them, that is. I know that things are needed at every level, but some of this stuff really is fundamentally necessary.

Anonymous said...

@the mommy

The world language textbooks were physically purchased for the 1995-1996 school year. Students who started with the Spanish 1 textbook in 9th grades are practicing law right now!

These books had been used for 14-15 consecutive years! Without even addressing political and social changes (euros versus pesos; 2 Germanies versus 1 Germany; etc...) these books are old and are falling apart AND CAN'T BE REPLACED because they are no longer in print.

Sure, good teachers, can offer better instruction than a textbook; they can update; they can alter a story ever so slightly to make it interesting or more comprehensible but THEY CAN'T spend all night creating from thin air!!!

Anonymous said...

With regard to textbook adoptions

I 'think' that every time the school system goes through a textbook adoption, the book choices are made available for teachers, parents, and community members to review and comment on, prior to purchasing the books. So, parents might want to keep an eye out for those notices asking for public comment on textbooks being reviewed for adoption.

That being said, these notices are easy to miss. I also wonder how much the school system relies on the feedback they receive from these book review sessions.

themommy said...

But they adopted the textbooks for foreign languageg and approved the purchase in March 2010. Where are the books?

Anonymous said...

Early in my teaching career I substituted in a middle school classroom at a school with a high number of at-risk children. The first class was math. When the bell rang, nobody in the classroom moved. One student raised her hand and explained to me that the students couldn't leave until all the math books were collected and counted. If books left the classroom they might not come back to school and they wouldn't have enough books for everyone to use during class.

This event happened almost 30 years ago and the lesson, for me, has not been forgotten.

The problem of not having enough textbooks is serious. If you are a teacher and you have one class set of books to be used with 4 different classes, sending those books home with students is a risky business. Some students don't return the books. Some move away without notice. Books wear out. If there really aren't any more books to be had, eventually, you won't have enough books to use with any class.

Anonymous said...

Cerebration, please contact the Lakeside BOE rep to confirm what you have been told.

May I also say that the Lakeside BOE representative is Paul Womack and he absolutely would not know.

Anonymous said...

Re: textbooks at Lakeside. My student has access to a textbook for every class but French. There is only a class set for Lit but all of their homework has been their own writing. There was a problem having enough AP Euro books for everyone at the beginning of the year but that was resolved around week 3 - 4.

Anonymous said...

If you subtract the candidates, the sponsor groups and the families of the candidates, there may have been at most a dozen citizens. I think that was due in part because of the lack of advertising. I doubt many know that these forums are being held. Heck out doubt if many even care.

This was also in the original blog.

Sad. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

@the mommy:

Get out of your house, walk down to a neighbor's house, ask the middle-schooler/high schooler there to show you a world language textbook with a 2000 or later copyright!

If the kids has a textbook-the kid should not because it would be trouble for the teacher-, the teacher issued the 1996 era textbook.

Ask the BOE or ask Beasley about textbooks!

Why are you asking so many rhetorical questions??

themommy said...

I am not asking rhetorical questions, I am trying to see if anyone has asked the people you refer to. I truly am perplexed as to why the money for the new books was authorized in March and there are no textbooks.

I fight many battles in DCSS. I can't fight them all. If I had a child in one of these classes, trust me, I would know the answer because I would have been screaming to the hilltops to get it.

There must be 1000 of high schoolers with no FL textbook. Where are their parents?

Anonymous said...

STOP whining about textbooks! Only incompetent teachers need a textbook!

You see, I coached a very successful football team and we never had a textbook. We had a nice binder for the plays we needed.

Why can't the math and spanish teachers just give the kid a binder of the rules, plays, and all?

Spanish can't be as complicated as football. "cat" is "gato", right? Easy to learn, right? "x-ray 58 dog" in my old football binder took 3 sentences ( middle guard pulls right; quarterback shakes right; left wide receiver goes slant left)

We made our plays up. I even had time to get my phd in adminitration because this worked so well.

I prayed, gave 10 percent to my church. Now, I am in charge of a middle school--can't wait to be an area director!

See you don't need textbooks!

Cerebration said...

Right on coach! ;-)

But really, the mommy is right. Where are the textbooks? Obviously, some math textbooks have made their way to Lakeside, but according to these posts, we have a lot of classes being conducted with no textbook to reference (no wonder the copiers are burning up!)

The mommy brought us this - money was "approved" - but was it "spent"? -- We need to follow up!

For a cost of (a) $2,400,000 the 9th – 12th grade ELA;(b); $2,000,000 Kindergarten – 12th grade world languages;(c) $774,827 11th - 12th grade mathematics; (d) $2,001,436 6th – 8th grade ELA students and teachers will receive a new textbook series which is fully aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards and will serve as an instructional resource for at least five years.

This was approved at the March business meeting.

Cerebration said...

Teachers - please let us know if you have received the following new textbooks -

9th – 12th grade ELA

Kindergarten – 12th grade world languages

12th grade mathematics

8th grade ELA students and teachers - a new textbook series which is fully aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards and will serve as an instructional resource for at least five years.


This was $7,176,263 expenditure for the above promised textbooks was approved at the March 2010 business meeting.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:30 pm

"I know a system in Georgia that has piloted Kindles for 8th and 10th graders.'

MIS technical personnel decide how tech dollars are spent. $11,000,000 was spent for eSis and SchoolNet in 2007 (although we're still on the hook for another year to the tune of millions). After that, look for a hefty maintenance fee. SchoolNet has yet to give one teacher timely feedback on student data on his/her workplace or home computer.

DCSS taxpayers pay close to $19,000,000 a year in salary and benefits for 290 MIS employees.

Add to that the tens of millions SPLOST II MIS spent on the fiber optic network they are so proud of (big data pipe but nothing for kids to hang off of it). This fiber optics network still has a maintenance fee and a never ending appetite for faster and newer servers. Let's not forget the Interactive boards that cost millions as well. How much use are our teachers getting out of those boards? From the posts on this blog, I'd say most of them are are used like plain old whiteboards.

Until parents and teachers have input into how MIS dollars are spent, our students will continue to lag behind every other metro school system. MIS can't even get the copiers (1980s technology) to work. Tens of millions a year in technology, and exactly what academic benefit do our students get?

Why is this department not held to standards and evaluated by schoolhouse personnel as to how well they are supporting the classroom? MIS needs to be rearranged so their goals align with the overall performance goals for students.

Anonymous said...

This Dekalb teacher just finished reading last Sunday's editorial section in the AJC. Will someone please offer a rebuttal to Ramona Tyson's "Old Way of Doing Things Is Over in Dekalb"? This 320+ article praising Dekalb's newly created ethics policy, redundant (my word-not hers)internal audit, and change in culture, never-not once-mentions students. Ignoring students is and will continue to be Dekalb County's downfall. Ms. Tyson claims that "we're empowering principals to run their building and share in decision-making," yet my principal was denied the additional staff needed to accomodate one fewer teacher and 100 additional AYP students. Instead, this principal has been "empowered" to crowd classes, exhaust teachers, and most important, deny students the educational opportunities that should be afforded to them.

This article-like the school district's new Mountain Industrial facility, costly initiatives, and superfluous positon-speaks volumes about the district's priority: justifying waste and ineptitude.

Anonymous said...

Two schools with which I am familiar never received any new ELA textbooks. We were told that the County didn't spend the money for new ELA texts and only purchased class sets (books that can't be assigned to students and which must be kept in the classroom to be used with other classes of the same subject) of foreign language textbooks.

Of course this was all during the last of Gloria Talley's gig. Perhaps when she left, there was no one to push for the purchase of new books, so the money was used to what? Maybe pay Lewis' defense bill. Maybe finance some "professional" or private fun-junket?

Teachers at my current school have NO foreign language texts. They must copy packets to give to students. Get it? DCSS is forcing its teachers to violate copyright laws.

Not only that, when GA DOE rolls out the Common Core Standards, the new books geared to the GPS would have soon been obsolete.

Anonymous said...

Talley was really pushing for the textbook purchases.

I wonder if the ball got dropped when she left.

The ELA textbooks purchase was very controversial because some ELA teachers were adamant that they didn't need them while others were equally adamant that they did.

Anonymous said...

"Not only that, when GA DOE rolls out the Common Core Standards, the new books geared to the GPS would have soon been obsolete."

This is sophistry! Just about any mass produced high/middle school textbooks for the US market will cover the standards.

While individual teachers may prefer one textbook over the other, most students and teachers would love to follow the textbook from chapter 1 through 10 in the sequence it was designed. Of course, a teacher may supplement or skip a section or even touch ahead to meet the Ga standards or the core standards but this GaDOE & DCSS bull#### that textbook does not drive the curriculum is just that.

GaDOE & DCSS don't have enough academics with skills and experience to truly generate a peer reviewed and acceptable manual. All they do is produce a play book conceived by a committee of tired and stressed teachers looking for a few bucks and a few professional learning credits.

Anonymous said...

"Old Way of Doing Things Is Over in Dekalb"?

Jeff Dickerson probably wrote that article probably. Why would Tyson/Dickerson have mentioned students?

Empower? Empower? Empower whom?

Did the overcrowded schools got a chance to agree to a number of new students? Got prior warning in April or May that there would be new students? Did the County Office plan this transfer with any skills?Pleeeaaaaaaaaaaaase!

The only school that was empowered was Arabia Mountain!

No,Virginia, it's still the same old way!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 2:48:

Not only are all textbooks geared to the standards, most good teachers were geared to the standards before the standards were introduced!

In fact, I find that the standards often dumb-down my own objectives for my classes. I was once told by an Instructional Coach that I shouldn't waste my time teaching a certain more complex literary concept because it's not in the standards.

By the way, I once heard that if America had a dictator, we would call him "Coach."

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:18 "DCSS taxpayers pay close to $19,000,000 a year in salary and benefits for 290 MIS employees. "



19,000,000
290 ÷
--------------------------
65,517.2413793103448 =


That is only $65,000 average per employee. Fringes of about 20% are probably on some other budget lines.

Why be a teacher? Join NBBC and get a job in Ramona's MIS squad. You don't have to show any positive results.

Anonymous said...

A new wave of catastrophic computer issues is about to hit Dekalb County Schools.

Grab your socks and secure your grades on paper. Save your plans on flash-drives.

Teachers inevitably will be blamed for the glitches.

Windows 7 is coming to a school near you!

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