Friday, May 20, 2011

Why is Tom Bowen Supporting the Criminally-Indicted Superintendent?

The following has been reported to us by one of our blog supporters - many thanks.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011 the Court of Appeals heard oral arguments related to the DCSS Construction Corruption case (on appeal from DeKalb Superior Court, case number IOCR2861). Specifically, Crawford Lewis' attorneys argued that DeKalb County Superior Court Judge CJ Becker had abused her discretion in ruling that Alston & Bird, the firm representing Lewis in the criminal matter, was disqualified due to a conflict of interest. Parsons Technology Group is the program management company that took over the running of the DCSS construction department after P. Pope was reassigned after the 10/2009 search warrants. An employee of Parsons is now the interim CIT Officer and is essentially the new Pat Pope. This employee, according to the prosecutor's argument at the Court of Appeals, will be a major State's witness against P. Pope and C. Lewis at the criminal trial. The conflict stems from the fact that Parsons Technology Group is a longtime, multi-million dollar client of Alston & Bird. In more specific terms, Lewis' attorneys will inevitably be in a position to cross-examine a high-ranking employee of very large client. This is a built-in basis for an eventual "ineffective assistance of counsel" claim by Lewis once convicted. Such a conflict may be waivable in a civil matter, but not in a criminal matter.

The Court of Appeals hearing was set to start at 10:00. It did not get underway until about 10:40. Tom Bowen, current DCSS Board Of Education Chairman, showed up to the proceeding prior to its start. He made his way to Crawford Lewis and his family. He hugged Lewis and members of Lewis' family. After exchanging hugs and pleasantries, Chairman Bowen then sat behind the Lewis family (on the Appellant/Lewis side of the courtroom) in a blatant show of support for the indicted former superintendent who was fired nearly a year ago.

Why in the WORLD would Tom Bowen show up to this proceeding? And in support of Crawford Lewis? Why isn't he supporting the District Attorney's Office that did the difficult and right thing and pursued the criminal charges against Lewis? Could it be due to the need to protect the outcome of the school system's $100 million lawsuit against Heery/Mitchell Construction? A conviction on the indictments of Lewis and Pat Pope would certainly harm the school system's civil case – a case that they have already spent over $15 million on King & Spalding and other legal entities.  

Tom, are you with DCSS OR are you with the former superintendent who was indicted for running a criminal enterprise? Do you support DCSS OR do you support indicted Lewis? You can't have it both ways.

Were you there on your own ...OR on behalf the entire Board?

Either way – it was irresponsible of you and certainly sends a disappointing message to DeKalb County residents about you, the board you represent and your intentions.

51 comments:

Cerebration said...

To catch up on some background on the case feel free to revisit these posts -

So, how is the civil case between DCSS and Heery Mitchell coming along?

DA: 'Bad faith' in schools case

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen and Crawford Lewis are friends. No matter what he says, they are friends.

Anonymous said...

Ask Tom and Crawford about how they got together to place certain friends in current Principal positions. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Has Tom been to the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation or the Bahamas? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Atlanta Media Guy said...

This definitely shows why no one from CLew's inner circle has been fired. Think all these people are trying to cover something up? Are they trying to protect all the people they placed in jobs? This is all really beginning to stink. The fact the two largest law firms in Georgia are collecting OUR tax money for their services is also un-nerving. What return on investment are we getting with this? It's time to settle the Heery-Mitchell stuff and time to send CLew and Pope to jail.

Someone at the Palace knows something.....

Anonymous said...

@Atlanta Media Guy

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

teacher said...

It's disgusting to realize that we have spent millions of dollars on the Heery Mitchell case and Dr. Lewis case that would have been better spent on improving buildings in our district, or the money that hasn't been paid to the teachers for their retirement, or a slew of other things.

A school board's member is to support the school's position, not a friend who is being indited by the county because of wrong doing he has done. Few of the members give a rip about our children or the school that they are PAID money, our tax dollars, to represent.

I have little faith in this school board and them sanctioning Bowen for this. He needs to be thrown off the board and I am even more convinced that he is the rat that went to the media about Cox. We will get an insider for sure.

Anonymous said...

This has to breaking some type of rule somewhere. Simply unacceptable. If taxpayers only knew how deep this family and friends and alphabet soup(aka and delta mess) was. Dekalb is in a very sad state right now. Principals hiring teachers because of friendships who really weren't qualified to teach a dog how to roll over. Degrees being earned right and left but aren't worth anything...earned while on the county clock...not a brave soul willing to address the low morale ....just a sad place to be....

Anonymous said...

@ 8:13 You are right about so many things, although I am not sure how much the DeKalb public really cares about what is going on in our schools.

This has to be illegal like so many things that happen in DeKalb and DCSS. The Title One coaches that are paid more than teachers, don't have to have teaching degrees or teaching experience, yet they tell teachers what they should be doing.

You are dead on about teachers and administrators earning degrees while they should be doing their job (teaching or administrating). I have worked in many places, and this is not normal.

Our children are the ones who suffer. I wonder if it wouldn't be better for DCSS to pay a on-line program for their curriculum, which really is better than what DCSS offers. Hire teachers to be the learning coaches for thirty or so students. Think of the money the district could save, jobs that could be illuminated and the better learning our children would receive.
I know that this would never happen, but it would be in the best interest of our children. What happens now, is nothing about the children.

Bowen's actions today reinforce that our children are last and adult relationships are the priority, along with the jobs that adults can get for friends and family members.

Cerebration said...

Read Tom Bowen's bio:

Thomas Bowen represents District 6 for the Board of Education. Schools in his District are Stephenson and Stone Mountain High Schools, Freedom, Stephenson and Stone Mountain Middle Schools, and Hambrick, Eldridge L. Miller, Pine Ridge, Redan, Rock Chapel, Rockbridge, Shadow Rock, Stone Mill & Stone Mountain Elementary Schools and Wynbrooke Theme School.

Mr. Bowen also represents Georgia’s 4th Congressional District and currently serves as Board Chair on the Georgia Student Finance Board of Commissioners. He was appointed to the GSFC Board of Commissioners in October 2004.

Bowen is an attorney and certified public accountant (CPA). He has extensive experience in the area of state and local tax counseling.

Bowen is Director of Tax with Hewlett Packard Company. Mr. Bowen oversees all aspects of the Company’s sales and property taxes.

Bowen received his undergraduate degrees from the University of South Florida (BS Accounting) and St. Leo University (BA Computer Information Systems). He earned his JD from Georgia State University, College of Law, and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

He and his family live in Stone Mountain.


Can one person REALLY do all those things? Be all those things? To all those people? AND - have time to support the guy the board FIRED due to his ILLEGAL activities? Tom is a lawyer - he really shouldn't be stepping into this pile.

Anonymous said...

I can assure Tom Bowen was representing the best interest of the school district and the Board. You didn't mention what other Board members were present. I do believe all nine members were present. I wish we hadn't wasted all that money on law firms either. However, you have to realize that Lewis & Pope were feeding them false infor. Because Tom is a Bar Lawyer, he understands that regardless of his personal feelings or beliefs " one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law". Be patient the law will eventually prevail, although it seems as if this has been going on too long. By the way, Tom doesn't socialize, he is a workaholic.

Dcsscorruption said...

Unreal! Folks, we need to demand answers from the other BOE members about this incident. Was Bowen there on his own accord or on behalf of the BOE? Between King & Spaulding attempt to civilly sue the DA (which I now understand has been dismissed by K&S/DCSS) and Bowen showing up at a court of appeals argument and sitting with Lewis...AND making it clear to the DA's Office where his support lies...something rotten is going on.

Bowen's actions are disgraceful. Lewis committed and covered up his crimes and the crimes if others. Even if Bowen somehow supports Lewis on a personal level...how stupid and arrogant of Bowen to think he can showcase his support in such a public manner.

What a jerk!

Anonymous said...

okay - so was the entire BOE there? Okay -- if so -- I wonder why and then why only report on Bowen?

Cerebration said...

No. The entire board was definitely not at Lewis' hearing. Definitely not.

Some have been called on to attend hearings relating to the Heery/Mitchell civil suit with the school system, however. Maybe you have these lawsuits confused.

Cerebration said...

And, we need to remember that it was Tom Bowen who wrote a stongly-worded letter speaking out against legislation under consideration to reduce the size of the school board and electronically added the signatures of all nine board members then had Nichole Knighton, school system's legislative liaison hand-deliver the letter to the DeKalb delegation.

How bold is that?

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, the superintendent search is the number one item of importance on the docket for this board. That is JOB #1. They are not getting it done. Perhaps they need a new leader to guide the process who has the time and the focus to git er done!

Anonymous said...

Pam Speaks was also at the oral argument. I didn't see any other board members. There aren't really "sides" in the courtroom, such as bride and groom sides at weddings. The board members' presence at the oral arguement isn't disturbing in and of itself. I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to have attended, as I am sure they're very interested. That is why I attended. Supporting the indicted former superintendent, however, is another matter.

Anonymous said...

I do not post much, but peruse this blog every now and again. However, I am very concerned with the accusatory tone of this article and subsequent comments.

If what this particular blogger submitted to Cerebration is true, then my question is "so what"? Mr. Bowen is chairman of the Board of Education. My hope is that he would take the time to educate himself on what is going on with this lawsuit as it does affect the school system as a whole and as such the education of our children.

I am becoming concerned this blog has lost its focus and has become one of critizing and pointing fingers rather than being a haven for thoughtful conversation about our school systen.

Cerebration said...

They've been supporting Lewis for quite a while now. This isn't really new. They have to - what happens in the criminal case could harm their civil case. Read this article from Jan 2010...

School system says no to DeKalb DA

DeKalb County school officials have refused to give the District Attorney’s Office information it is seeking in its criminal investigation into the county’s school construction program.

DeKalb County investigators filed an Open Records Act request last month. The school system rejected the request, citing attorney-client privilege.

Investigators from the District Attorney’s Office, using a search warrant, had already seized many documents from the school district’s Design & Construction Department in October.

They also searched the home of high-ranking school official Patricia “Pat” Pope, who once ran the construction program, and the homes and offices of her estranged husband, Tony Pope, and the couple’s friend, Lithonia builder David Moody.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Dec. 13 that Tony Pope, an architect, worked on three of the six multimillion-dollar construction projects being investigated by the authorities. Moody worked on two of them.

But investigators believed the school district had more information. Rather than get another search warrant, the District Attorney’s Office filed the records request on Dec. 1, said District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming, who declined to say what her office requested.

“The information we’re seeking is public record,” Keyes Fleming said.

She said she found the school system’s rejection of the request “curious.”

“I guess it may be unusual, in light of the fact that the school system asked us to initiate the investigation,” Keyes Fleming said.

Schools superintendent Crawford Lewis could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

School district spokesman Dale Davis declined to comment on the matter.

Word that the school district has not been helpful in the criminal probe first surfaced on Dec. 22, in a Superior Court hearing for a related civil lawsuit.

“Quite frankly, we would be further along than we are right now if we had had more cooperation from the Board of Education. But we are not getting it,” Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney John Melvin said. “Matter of fact, we are getting a little bit stalled in that, because we are at a critical phase where the investigation needs to really expand a little bit, but we are being thwarted by the board of education at this point.”

To get the information that she wants, Keyes Fleming said, her office is going to review their “legal options,” but she would not elaborate.

Anonymous said...

to anon 6:35 am -- I understand your point. To those of us who have been in the system through a few kids, we began life as parents making excuses for ineptitudes and the unfairness that we saw. As we grew with our kids we began to saw that there was a bit more to it. As we've gotten really into to it with a pure heart with an intent to change things, we've uncovered what many of us believe to be a real criminal enterprise not just ineptitude. I am on the side of things that things that CLew "got" things on people to be able to control them.. a pretty clear example to me is the uniforms on Kassandra -- another may be pizza on Jay but I think his hands are in it a bit deeper -- maybe a bit cleaner is getting Womack under his thumb by immediately giving in to his desire to "rid" LHS of it's principal when he came on the BOE ...the theory is that he gave folks he needed to or wanted to control something they arguably should not have or learned something about them in order to control them and to keep them quiet and to get their vote on things. From my "outsider" perspective, much of what Tom has been doing makes absolutely no sense -- he seems to me to have put his bar license and CPA license in jeopardy for not much to gain -- his only family member in employ is his mother in law, who may very well be deserving of the job. His wife is a very bright and very successful attorney at a downtown, silk stocking law firm. He has a very high powered job without the BOE job, which main job actually seems to require a long commute to North Fulton. He has his hand in another business as an accountant. So why do it? Why represent that you have the authority of 9 when you only have 6 to send a "duh" letter to the legislative delegation that isn't going to go anywhere because the House and Senate almost have an R super-majority and everyone knows you don't want to regulate and downsize yourselves and you just look even more foolish? Why? So my question becomes, particularly given this post, what, exactly, does CLew and his "cronies," have on Tom to keep him under their thumb? (Someone told me that CLew told her that "if he was going down, "he was bringing members of the BOE with him" -- to which we were thinking, "let's get on with it" -- but he didn't name them or indicate the time frame). So flags get raised... antenna go up. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I will graduate tomorrow from Southwest Dekalb High School. My father said I should check out this blog and think about the corruption and how it looks from where I stand. Tomorrow I will have to listen to a principal who did not act against cheating last year on the APUSH test. Instead she told us she cares about the snitching not the cheating. This same lady ia now well known for saying that this is not the ghetto. We also learned that she had to take a stupid teacher test many times to pass. With this lady there will be assistant principals who make us feel embarrassed by the way they speak and behave. My question is how do these people get and keep their jobs when they are responsible for educating us? Many of the seniors graduating with me do not have very good educations.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for caring and caring. Do your best to learn to speak and write proper English and to learn real facts, speak up and care and to speak out. Don't let the bad guys win. The really evil ones (during World War II, for example) were the ones who refused to learn what was going on and who refused to do something about it. Do what you can. Congratulations and best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I am becoming concerned this blog has lost its focus and has become one of critizing and pointing fingers rather than being a haven for thoughtful conversation about our school systen.

May 21, 2011 6:35 AM

RE: 6:35am bloger

I to have a concern about these blogs as well, and how there going. Allot of conplaining, I feel that if you have a problem about how DCSS is running things! why not get together with other whinning citzens and make a possive difference in the issue, that will effect ALL students Not just your private clusters??

It takes so much energy to whine and complain. I would like to recommend that you try spending all that engery and working with the district. Unity works why not try it. Stop whinning and try to reason with the Board members, Supt, Central office,and educators personally.


Mr. Bowen should have attending the proceedings this is business NOT personal. The three that are being accuse have not been conviced yet? I personally don't feel the Mr. Bowen was wrong at all. The Whinning community needs to find a plan of action that doesn't interfer with there racist feelings. I recommend that everyone focus on how we will contiune to better education in DCSS. My encourgement to all is to work with DCSS to make things better not just pointing fingers and yelling at them all the time..


Issue # 2
I feel that ALL board members should have a Lap Top at meetings informing there clusters live on whats going on at the meetings. It shouldn't just one board member doing this. Is it fair for a board member to do? I wonder about the intent of this one board member that does this at every meeting????

I also feel that texting during the entire Board meeting is extremly disrespectful to the presenters and the public.

Shouldn't board members work together in making sure that all DCSS families informed about what's going on in the district, and not just there selected cluster?

Issue #3

As you can remember during the resdistricting process the North side sated that they would fight for all students, you got together and made a plan of action for your side ONLY and presented it to the board, if you can remember you got what you wanted for The Northside (Disricts #1,2,4) Southside district board members ( 8,6,4,5)

You never supported all the students as you claimed you would do. Most of you voted for school closure without a plan of action.

Some board members supported there communities that wanted to make sure that the folk that lived in apts, and children that didn't look like there's didn't attend there schools. This is a disgrace to all students...

The right thing to do was for all the board members to fight for some of the school on the south side not to close. I do agree that some of them needed to close; but certainly not all of them.....

It's ashame that we have board members that are so selfish and don't stand up for all students as they claim.

I can't wait to see the everyone work with DCSS in making things better instead of complaining all the time. Let make a difference with the staff of DCSS. Try it, it will work.

Anonymous said...

If you're sure of your facts, after you haver your diploma in hand, consider filing an ethics complaint with the state board of ed and you can do something about it to in order to improve quality and say "no" to covering up cheating....

teacher said...

@ 9:10

There are many who have tried to help make changes in DCSS. I did when I taught, but quickly realized that the district didn't really want to get better, so I left and decided to home school my children.

There are many outside of DCSS, trying to make positive changes and constantly come in contact with the brick DCSS wall. I don't think that unless you've come across the brick wall, that you really understand the magnitude of how deep the lack of care of education quality and friends and family/unqualified personnel is.

The student from Southwest DeKalb's posting says it all. I hope that she takes the advice of another here, and try to do something to change things for the students coming up. I believe that what she/he is saying is right on the money, as I have experienced similar things during my working in DCSS.

We do not have the best and brightest as principals and APs. We have a few token non-friends/family members, but for the most part, people get their jobs based on connections. While, I realize this happens in other work places, I do believe that many hired by DCSS would not keep their jobs or be offered jobs in a regular work environment.

As I and others have said here, DCSS is not a means to employ the county, it is a government "agency" that's main mission is to educate our children. The entire main mission is not considered or thought about. Our children, the reason why anyone working in DCSS has a job, are forgotten about.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Teacher:
I couldn't agree more with you. I've been trying to work with DCSS for years! I was part of that group that exposed a former board members son hiding in our school. Crawford Lewis asked us what we wanted and we got a wonderful new principal. But we made a promise to him we wouldn't expose the fact that Tyson was the supervisor of that employee and had no idea he had not reported for his new job, that came with a $15K a year raise.

We then exposed the county planners had tried for years to discuss Vernon's Vision for the county and the impact on schools.. DCSS had no one that new how to use the software that analyzes population data. We have Dan Drake now, but then we went years with no one knowing how to use it. That's why that whole redistricting five years ago was proved to be a sham.

We tried to go through elected officials and only discovering that they had made deals with other BOE members to get things passed. We keep trying to this day. We gave up fighting at the county level and now focus all out time volunteering in the schools and it's much more rewarding.

There are huge issues at DCSS, hiding the audit, hiding minutes from meetings, friends and family working in positions they have no business of being in. No new Super yet, after a year! the very same inner circle of leadership remains after 10 or more years and that is the reason nothing has changed!

We need a Palace cleaning if we want to see real effective change at DCSS.

SHS said...

@ Anonymous 9:10 AM

I, too, have a concern about this blog.

Now that anyone can, once again, post as "Anonymous," this blog has taken a troubling turn toward near illiterate ravings and ramblings with all kinds of undocumented claims. Annoying!

The scary thing is that I am afraid that many of the near illiterate posters may be part of the friends-and-family crowd running DCSS schools into the ground. They don't even possess the education to recognize when they are making spelling, usage and grammar errors. Worse, their postings illustrate a clear inability to exhibit critical thinking.

Errors + no documentation = Zero credibility. Waste of time and space.

Please, Cere, let's go back to having all commenters and posters register. Let's, once again, have an adult and informed conversation. Please.

Anonymous said...

I would never post here if I could not be anon. Too many people getting too desperate. The Southwest student hit the nail on the head. Angela Bethea would never be where she is except for the family and sorority connections. Those who knew her back in the day at Spelman know that the talk then of becoming a lawyer was a joke. We also remember the many attempts to pass the teaching test. But DCSS comes to the rescue of those with the family connections (daddy in this case) and promotes them into positions that they are in no way qualified for. Let's not forget that Crawford gave Bethea the job. These are facts, not hearsay. Just like the fact that almost all of our admins are not qualified like Bethea. Just like its a fact that ones who pay the price are the children, really the ones in south Dekalb the most.

Anonymous said...

The rapture is less than 5 hours away. May God take the good students and teachers, and leave everyone else to rot in DCSS hell.

Anonymous said...

I'm rather disturbed at the attacks on a principal when she is down. I am also concerned about people speaking about certain issues at schools or the county when they don't know all of the facts - specifically the issue with the AP US History test. Had the College Board not been satisfied, the scores would have been invalidated. I don't know all the facts about the case, but this graduating senior certainly doesn't know them either.

Anonymous said...

Down but not out. Why not just leave us alone? Like so many of us want. This senior knows what this senior heard. And so do a very lot of others. We are not blind. We see that so many of our school leaders have no character. All they want are the paychecks.

Anonymous said...

The college board has the exams that were returned to it. The college board does not have info about the conditions under which the exams were taken. If there was cheating or copying of answers, the results of those who really took the tests on their own are invalidated by those who cheated for their results. The cheaters should be reported -- they are not entitled to the same "placements" as those who earned credit on their own accord. Cheating only hurts those who do the cheating. Report the cheating to the college board if that really happened -- I wasn't there. I don't know. If it happened, it deserves to be reported. (In my view, this is how we have adults who think that the rules don't apply to them, the rules have never applied to them... make the rules apply).

teacher said...

Our children, especially our high schoolers know more than we give them credit for. Our children see and hear things all of the time. Probably more than a teacher, with 30 students in a small cramped room.

I don't trust much of what the board, including new members, or the current administration is doing. I had high hopes for our new board members, but they remain silent and go along with the rest of the rat pack.

The facts are, that too many of our principals have very little teaching experience. Five years or less in the classroom is not enough to really know what our children need in a school. Pardon me, but gym teachers make the worse principals, because they don't understand what is needed to teach a child how to read or how to deal with special education students on an academic level. I have witnessed teachers giving students worksheets or having them watch a video, so that they could get their on line work done. God knows what administrators do behind closed doors. There are education coaches who do not have a teaching certificate and do not have teaching experience telling our teachers what is needed in their classrooms. Our top two leaders (Beasley and Tyson) have a pitiful number of years of teaching experience between the two of them.

The facts are there. One can choose not to accept them, but they are there. Many of the educated parents that I know have given DCSS a shot, and have pulled their children, because they realize that they can't work with the district. The district doesn't want to change. They don't see a need to change. Why would they? They are making a bundle while our children are getting screwed.

I knew that I was in trouble in 2007 during my teaching orientation when two hours was spent on a fashion show showing me how to dress-by the way heals and a suit in an elementary classroom is not appropriate- instead of how to write lesson plans the DCSS way, showing me the text books that I would be using or the resources that were available to me to use with my students, or even how to take attendance. I knew I was in trouble. This was also the "NO Excuses" year, and then I was sat down at a faculty meeting and told that I was not able to give my students zeros, had to given them multiple chances to make up work missing or failed, and would have to justify any grade lower than a 70. There went "No Excuses."

For the past four years, our elementary children have had a slightly different math program that has poorly written and worded benchmark tests, often with questions that don't pertain to the standards that were taught. This same program does not teach to mastery, so we have children who have not mastered their basic math facts or really understand the basics of our mathematical system.

We have leaders, principals, APs, all the way up to Mr. Beasley who do not speak proper English and have difficulty using proper English in writing given the memos that I have received that really needed to be corrected and sent back to the sender-typos are one thing, but a blatant misuse of English is another.

DCSS is being held up by corruption and those that are benefiting from our tax paying dollars. Our Title One funds are not being used in the best interest of our children. Instead we have an army of over paid people worried about teachers posting standards and teaching a direct instruction lesson that may or may not meet the needs of the children in the classroom.

teacher said...

Continued.

For those who are concerned about what is written, I ask is it because it hits too close to home?

The student from Southwest DeKalb, stated what she knew to be true. Shoot she could have been there and saw what actually took place. We don't know. If she feels that she received an inferior education, she probably did-most of our kids do-that's a fact.

SHS, a few kids getting into Harvard, one into Standford, and a few other top notch schools does not make for a good school system. How many children will graduate this week, who can barely read, write, and do basic math? That is the real story.

Dan Magee said...

Tom, once again your embarass the school system, the BOE, and the entire county. The first time you display ethical leadership will be the first time you display ethical leadership.

Looking forward to "the can't come soon enough" day you'll be voted out of office.

Anonymous said...

@Teacher 3:37.... people, businesses, and governments respond predictability to positive and negative incentives. Do you think the teachers and administration likes pushing people through the system? Do you think administrators like telling teachers that they must give umteen thousand chances to students to do an assignment? People tend to forget that, at least at the high school level, graduation rates are part of AYP. Let's also not forget that people tend to over-value an AYP label for a school. SWD was nationally recognized for its scores by College Board not only in US History (and they did know about the controversy) and Macroeconomics. I saw the report. The school, however, failed to make AYP again because of the GHSGT in math. No other reason. One test. Now what would happen if the teachers were actually allowed to fail a student and make them retake the course until they actually mastered the material? The school would be labeled as failing for not graduating a certain percentage of its students. So it seems we either demand more of the students or we hold them back - and if we do the latter, we're failing.... tough choice.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous May 21, 2011 9:10 AM

This is why so many of us have left DCSS

Being called "racist" because we've tried it "their way" and it's just not worth it.

This person can't even spell or use proper grammar! Your SW DeKalb ebonic standards are too low for me! If you don't like it, or you think that makes me a racist, then that's just too damned bad!

Take your race-based, substandard, friends and family operation and jolly good luck to you. My children will get a proper education even if I have to pay for it out of pocket. You're not going to get your ghetto paws on my children!

dadfirst said...

No one knows under what circumstances Mr. Bowen attended the hearing. Was it personal or was it to keep himself abreast of a situation that could affect the school system? To assume his attendance was for a nefarious reason is unfair.

The problem as I see it is that this blog can get "back to its roots" with pertinent, fair, discussion or it can continue along the current path of discussing all things in a negative light. The latter objective serves no one, and our students the least.

Open+Transparent said...

Are you serious, Anon 5:42?

Tom Bowen is hugging a person who is indicted for operating a criminal enterprise, taking money away from children?

Where are your personal ethics?

Lewis took trips on his school system purchasing card to the Carribean abd the Ritz Carlon, with a female school employee who wasn't his wife? He accepted front row tickets to the Hawks from a firm bidding on school system business? He used who know how much gas for personal use? He hired who knows how many friends and family for positions there weren't qualified for?

Sorry, Tom Bowen should be furious at Lewis, and publically calling for his imprisonment. I do not know how any intelligent adult can justify Bowen's or Lewis' actions. Shame on you.

Dekalbparent said...

I am curious about the background of the principals in DCSS - there have been observations that many have insufficient years of teaching experience, and that they come from areas that do not require expertise in teaching and learning.

For my local schools, there is one principal with a background in business education and at least 9 years' teaching experience. I cannot find the information on the principals of the other schools.

Bloggers, please contribute what you know (facts only - no innuendo or second-hand stuff)and perhaps we can determine if what is being passed around is truly the case.

Cerebration said...

I don't think we would see Gene Walker standing in solidarity with Dr. Lewis...

“A lot of people said we had a reign of terror in our school system,” Walker said. “I received a number of complaints from employees and they would not let me bring them forward because they feared reprisal.”

A grand jury indicted Lewis and former chief operating officer Patricia Reid, along with two others, in May on charges they ran a criminal enterprise at the school system. The four, who remain free on bond, have all pleaded not guilty.

“Mr. Walker’s allegations are absolutely false and we believe personally motivated against Dr. Lewis,” Lewis’ attorney Mike Brown said Tuesday. “Dr. Lewis did not do anything wrong and we will prove that at trial.”


DeKalb school board protects whistleblowers

dadfirst said...

Open + Transparent - yes, because giving someone a hug assumes total blind allegiance? Of course not. That is your view and your assumption. To point the finger back at those who ask that perhaps there is another reason for Mr. Bowen's presence and call us "shameful" and "unintelligent" is unacceptable in my view.

It is not the first time that you have called out others that do not fall lock step into your thinking.

Anonymous said...

This is my last post. I'm ready to get on up out of here and leave DCSS behind me.
Why make such a big deal out of a special category of AP test results for black students at SWD? I and my friends want to be judged for who we are, and not what we look like. The to do by the administrators has always bothered me and others. My black friends at Chamblee, Lovett, Woodward don't understand it at all.
There was serious cheating last year on the APUSH and APWHY tests. Folks know this. I am glad it turned out like it did because I got a good score and did not cheat.
The baddest thing is that ATB said in front of a large group of students that she doesn't care about the cheating, just the snitching. This is fact. It went down like that.
So what kind of leaders do we have in our schools? Not very good ones. They make way too much money and do way too little. If they really cared they would speak out for change. They could start by practicing some of what MLK did. Others have done this.
It starts at the top and goes down from there.
Angela This is not the ghetto Bethea.
They are more ghetto than they know.
Lots of us will be thinking this tomorrow as we march and are thankful for some truly great teachers.

Cerebration said...

Thanks for sharing with us. You have learned the valuable lesson that telling the truth sometimes creates a firestorm - on the truthteller. You have a talent for clarity for being so young - stick with your inner voice and you will go far!

Best Wishes SW DeKalb Grad! And to all of the graduates!

Yes, the dedicated teachers deserve the credit but they could not do their job without the symbiotic relationship of a hard-working student.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd like to see Mr. Bowen becoming a true leader of this Board--stop dragging your feet and find us a superior an ethical superintendent!

A Blue State of Mind said...

Speaking of superintendents: Kudos to Cobb County. Sounds like a great hire! To top it off, two of his three sons each attend Harvard and Princeton.

Cobb bounced back from their first attempted hire and came up with this winner! All within about a month!

Meanwhile, back to earth. Dekalb BOE is still lurching in the dark.

Cerebration said...

There are still good candidates in the mix. DeKalb certainly could do the same as Cobb and come up with a winner. Truly they can.

Anonymous said...

to 9:10 am
Nobody with any REAL education wants THEIR kids to have your education. You obviously have none. I have never seen such bad writing, even from lazy teenagers. It's mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

Several points will be made that apply to many subjects. I will try to keep my dictionary handy so that I may correctly spell and use proper grammar and impress everyone here. If people are taking the time to write and post events and information on this blog-it has a good chance of being true. The anonymous option has provided more information about what goes on in the system. Now what you all choose to do with that information is your decision. Its a BLOG -not a court house! Dekalb is not going to change-it sees no need to. Regarding the whining and complaining --I havent read any-yes I report on injustices I see in my local schoolhouse-in the corporate world there are checks and balances-employees can report an incident and feel good about doing so-but that is not the case with Dekalb-you actually are fearful of your job-if you dare speak up. I have never seen anything quite like this before. The principals are little dictators and they only have respect for the chosen few that are in their clicks(sorry for the slang term). But the ones they choose cant speak correct english to kindergartners and should NOT be anywhere near children. Many educators will tell you they dont even like kids. SAD! The good empoyees, the ones that want to be promoted based upon their work ethics and performance will always be on the bottom. Dekalb is like a secret society. But once this pyramid scheme collapses-it will be a great day in DEKALB county georgia!

Anonymous said...

To Anon SWD Student 7:01 PM -- I am proud of you -- you will go far for upholding your values. Please do consider sharing your story with the state teacher certification board after you graduate. It takes courage to put truth to power. Lots of us are trying. Congratulations. You will do well in life.

Anonymous said...

Can you believe students are REALLy signing a petition to put Angela Thomas Bethea back at Southwest Dekalb High to continue her mess of keeping lies, secrets and scandals within the school with teachers and students. 297 students .... she's a little dictator and only have respect for the chosen few that are in her click (sorry for the slang term). But the ones she choose can't speak correct english to preschoolers and should NOT be anywhere near children. The good empoyees, the ones that want to be promoted based upon their work ethics and performance will always be on the bottom. Dekalb is like a secret society (Greeks). But once this pyramid scheme collapses ....it will be a great day in DCSS