Yes – incumbent Board of Education members – including Jim Redovian – DCSS could have finished last without you.
CLew-less – Right or Wrong
Jim Redovian ran for election to the DeKalb County Board of Education with a single publicly stated mission: To support Crawford Lewis, no matter what. Redovian certainly made good on his promise – following Lewis right over the cliff, in spite of numerous warnings from taxpayers. In 2003 – 2004, only 14% of DeKalb County School System’s (DCSS) schools did not make AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). By 2009 – 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 44.4% of DeKalb’s public schools unable to make AYP. That is the highest number in the metro area.
E-mail me for the spreadsheet that supports the above chart: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, during the intervening years between 2003 – 2004 and 2009 – 2010, the DCSS Office of School Improvement grew exponentially in number of employees and size of salary and benefits. While teachers and their families were absorbing the body-blows of salary cuts, no raises, furlough days and a complete stop to the promised DCSS BOE contribution to the TSA account that is supposed to replace Social Security, Audria
In fact, we now have more central office and “support” personnel than classroom teachers. When serious budget cuts had to be made, Interim Superintendent Tyson’s cuts were to the low-level personnel who keep things running and to the classroom, by raising class sizes and eliminating teachers and parapros who have direct contact with students. Tyson protected the Friends-and-Family employees, at the expense of our students and teachers. Tyson, you may remember, presided over huge salary and staff increases in the largely ineffective, inept and inefficient MIS department. What has Jim Redovian done to make our classrooms centers of learning instead of the afterthoughts they now are?
When poor planning and general ineptness on the part of Morcease Beasley and Bob Moseley threatened to send 200 9th grade AYP transfers to an already overcrowded Chamblee Charter High School, only quick, determined action by parents and community members (the people who pay the bills) – not by Jim Redovian – enabled temporarily sidestepping that disaster-in-the-making. Yet, there has still been no action on Jim Redovian’s part.
Tangled and Non-transparent
In her October 6, 2010 letter to the editor of the Dunwoody Crier, retired DCSS employee, Bette Swilley, alleges that Jim Redovian has “fought” for District I schools. Ask the
Further, Bette Swilley notes: “DeKalb Schools has a network that is not easily unraveled or transparent. It is better for us to have someone in the position who has discovered the underground associations administrators have with one another, current and past.” Really? Swilley continues, “there are inner workings that must always be considered when approaching school system issues.” Really?? Clearly, Swilley is expecting Redovian to be re-elected to continue enabling “business as usual.”
[Full disclosure: This post was offered to The Dunwoody Crier on Friday, October 8, 2010, long before The Crier's Monday deadline. It was unpublished as of Wednesday, October 13, 2010.]
Transparency – the lack of – is a huge issue with DCSS. Lack of transparency has allowed bad things to happen in DCSS. Lack of transparency and tiptoeing around “inner workings” has enabled the “well-connected” with “underground associations” in DCSS to line their pockets and get away with it. I definitely do not want a board member who has “discovered the underground associations,” accepts non-transparency as the modus operandi (MO) and is willing to tiptoe around “inner workings.” Do you?
Note to Jim Redovian: You had your chance and you blew it – big time.
I want a well-informed board member who has the will and the courage to:
(1) demand and get complete transparency;
(2) render the “underground associations” ineffective by
(3) directing the new superintendent to clean house and get rid of the “Palace Guard”;
(4) right-size the budget and the central office staff; and
(5) put students and teachers first.
How about you?
Nancy Jester will be that board member. VOTE on November 2!