Monday, July 25, 2011

Credit Probe Delays Diploma For Eddie Long's Child


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A senior administrator in the DeKalb County School System is under investigation because of the way she handled an academic matter involving the daughter of mega-church Bishop Eddie Long, Channel 2 Action News has learned.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher found out the issue surfaced with a tip to school Superintendent Raymona Tyson.

At issue is a course for which Taylor Long was given credit, but which should not have been allowed because it was taken at a church school -- apparently her father's church -- New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

She was not allowed to walk with her classmates on graduation day, and an area superintendent now faces possible disciplinary action.

Angela Pringle is one of five area superintendents, but when the dispute arose in May, she also held the position of principal at Arabia Mountain High School in south DeKalb County.

On the eve of graduation, school, Tyson received a complaint from a parent.

“That a student was going to march and did not have all the credits required to march,” said DeKalb County School System spokesman Rodney Jenkins.

The school system did not identify the student, but Channel 2 has confirmed that she is Taylor Long -- the daughter of Bishop Eddie Long.

[Follow this link for the rest of the story...]

109 comments:

Cerebration said...

From the AJC

School board Chairman Tom Bowen said he was told that the student had some course work that did not meet state guidelines and she did not walk with the rest of the class. "It's the normal outcome for any student who didn't meet the requirements," he said.

He said he did not think anything improper occurred.

"Does that happen to every single student? No, but I don't want this to appear to be an isolated incident. ... Unfortunately, this puts a family on hold, but it does happen."


I think Tom missed something. The issue is not that the girl had to make up credit - the issue is that the principal tried to give her credit for a course that wasn't supposed to count in DCSS. The issue is much more about Pringle doing the Longs a favor... which I'm sure she'll insist was an honest mistake.

Cerebration said...

The school is called New Birth Christian Academy and has been in NB church for quite some time. That's why everyone had an "Issue" when the DeKalb Charter school - Leadership Prep Academy - headed by Frankie Callaway, former DCSS administrator moved into New Birth! There is too great a danger for co-mingling of funds... the charter school has a contract to pay NB $10,000 a month in rent - and they only have 160 students!! Add to that, the DCSS charter, Destiny Academy, headed by Frankie's husband Clarence, is housed in a former DCSS elementary school that is now owned by New Birth and you have to start to really wonder!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Ms Pringle will suddenly retire with full benefits and join
Ms Walkaway Calloway as a co-principal at the charter school housed at Bishop Long's church for a paltry $120,000 per year.

Sagamore 7 said...

I wonder if the anonymous tipster called the internal hotline connected to Gary Bapst the internal auditor? Probably.

How can Ms. Pringle take on a full time job as Principal of AMHS and not neglect her duties as Region 2 area superintendent?
Did she get paid at the level of a principal? Or did she receive her Region Super compensation while working as a Principal?
Did AMHS need a principal for a failing school? No WAY! The classes are filled with selected students in a high achiever environment.
(Except for one entitlement filled daughter of a very "Hands On" Bishop!)
How did Ms. Pringle's schools in Region 2 fair this school year?
Take a guess, Towers, Columbia and SWD, not to mention the MS and ES.
Was she "Hands On" for her Region 2 schools or did she check out to take care of Region 4 AMHS?

When have we had enough happen in DCSS already?

FOIA when the investigation is over in a couple of weeks.

S7

Cerebration said...

I wonder if the anonymous tipster called the internal hotline connected to Gary Bapst the internal auditor? Probably.

NOT! The "whistleblower hotline" still does not exist! It was promised nearly a year ago and ... crickets! Last week, Ms. Tyson admitted in the budget meeting that SHE had been the hold up! Basically didn't want to deal with what she feared would come down the pipe...

Also - Sagamore, Pringle was first principal of Arabia (since it opened... barely two years) and was promoted to Area Super when Ralph Simpson was demoted to Asst. Principal for selling his books to schools. She apparently had been doing "both" jobs while they searched for a replacement. (We all know how hard they "search".) Alas, in the end, they moved Dr. McMillan from Cross Keys to Arabia and moved Dr. Wilson from (now closed) Avondale to Cross Keys. The music has stopped -- grab a chair!!

Anonymous said...

OK, let's see if I got this straight. DCSS almost screwed up but ultimately did the right thing. That is the extent of Richard Belcher's "investigation"?

The fact that this particular family was involved didn't trigger any questions? As usual, Belcher passes along what he is fed and stops there.

Nameless Celebrity said...

So where does Dr. Pringle attend church?

Anonymous said...

I am ashamed to have my child be part of Dekalb County's educational system. My child hears this "dirty business" and ask why is Dekalb so corrupt on so many levels. One more year and we will no longer have to deal with the vile happenings of what was once a wonderful school system. Shame on you Dekalb County!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has been a high school counselor knows that this is a routine situation that happens all too often at high schools and college level. When reviewing transcripts for graduation one often find questionables courses and the State Dept. has thousands of courses from private and public school transfer that they make decisions on whether the course is acceptable.
I am NOt a member of New Birth but I am a Christain and a parent and I think it is a disgrace that the child had to be identified and her picture pasted across Tv's across Metro. Hasn't the child gone through enough humilitation this year.
AS for Dr. Pringle, who is an exceptional administrator, opening a new school and having the time to personablly monitor every student who is accepted into the school is unrealistic.

The main thing is a chikd was crushed with unnecessary publicity on a very routine yet unfortunate situation.
I question how the parent who supposely made the complaint had access to student records. That is a MAJOR concern to me.
The major factor is being ignored and that is Dr. Tyson did the right thing and that should be that.
Whomever has a bone to pick with Long or New Birth should leave the child out of it. Why not publish the name of every student in DEKalb County Schools and the states where courses were questioned and unaccepted who is not the child of a name known person. This child has gone through too much this year to be used like this.

Anonymous said...

Right on Anom the girl should be left of it and Tyson should be named Supt. YESTERDAY! It will take two years at least for an outsider to begin to know what to do.

Anonymous said...

Give us a break. The mere fact that the child's parent is/was very influential in this county lends itself to the fact that if an exception was made it would be for this family. I agree that the child has gone through alot but let's not discount the fact that Pringle should have been careful. Yes, we all make mistakes but at the time of this incident it would have warranted a closer look at the request! As far as Tyson...keep looking. She has said No...respect her decision!

Anonymous said...

Why did they identify the child involved in this story? How despicable is that. If this was anyone elses child it wouldnt make the news. Give the kid a break she cant help who her father is.

The media is out of line to involve children in their efforts to drive ratings ... they know any story involving eddie long will get eyeballs -- shame on the media!

Atlanta Media Guy said...

By the way Anon. 12:44, Tyson does NOT have a doctorate.

No student should have to go through this in the public eye. But when your dad is the good Bishop, that's the price you pay for bad behavior and public scrutiny. There is no trust between DCSS/New Birth and the stakeholders of DCSS.

It's time to cut all ties with Eddie Long. He is am accused sexual predator and DCSS has no business using the Bishops facilities for any school. The school should have been moved as soon as the good Bishop settled his lawsuit with the young men, who accused him of inappropriate behavior. Sorry Bishop, you admitted your guilt when you settled. It's time for New Birth to survive on their own and not receive another dime of OUR tax dollars.

DCSS = Epic Failure

Anonymous said...

The PR campaign here is back in full swing I see. Had the news not found this out, Tyson would not have done a thing.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that there were five students that were in danger of not granduating and Dr. Pringle explored options for each of them. Two of those five did end up graduating. She did for Ms. Long what she would have done for any student in a similar situation. Ultimately, Dr. Pringle correctly determined that the course would not qualify and Ms. Long did not walk or graduate. There was no special treatment here. Dr. Pringle is an excellent educator. It appears that some people are rushing to judgement and convicting her in the media before they know and understand all of the facts. Perhaps they have their own agenda to derail a promising career and eliminate possible competition.

Anonymous said...

Pringle an "excellent administrator"!? How did she get here from Gwinnett? Whom did she know? What was her situation in Gwinnett when she moved to DCSS? How did she move from principal to area super? Why was there no national search? The southside drinks its own koolaid a bit too easily.

Anonymous said...

Angela Bethea, Angela Pringle, Terry McMullen. Three specific names. Three people who tried to railroad Dr. Blackwood for speaking his mind and trying to educate. This is a trinity of DCSS corruption and incompetence. Why do we employ people like this? Oh. wait, it's who you know, not what you know and how you act. Great lessons here for our children.

Cerebration said...

I agree. There was no reason to name the girl by name. I realize that anything connected to Eddie Long is tantalizing, and certainly that would have been impossible to suppress. However, actually saying the girl's name crossed a line I agree.

FWIW -- this is similar to what Frankie Callaway was accused of doing. Sort of. She asked an administrator to change her statement about pressuring a teacher to change a child's grade so the child could graduate. The child's name is never mentioned, however, the Georgia Tech educated teacher who refused to change the grade was dragged through the mud and eventually lost her job.

Did Frankie Callaway encourage cheating and then hurriedly retire?

I don't know what the New Birth school course was in this case, but it does appear that Pringle gave the girl the credit, a parent from the school anonymously complained and Tyson, not Pringle, investigated, then denied the credit. It was a simple fix, she just took the class over the summer. Why Pringle didn't just encourage this in the first place is surprising. In fact, why Pringle is involved rather than counselors is surprising. It's too bad she didn't have good counseling beforehand - she could have taken it online and graduated with her classmates.

Sagamore 7 said...

Anon @ 7:58am

"Dr. Pringle correctly determined that the course would not qualify and Ms. Long did not walk or graduate."

If I read the article correctly, Ms. Tyson asked the state DOE for their input on the matter. The state DOE are the ones who determined that the course DID NOT meet the curriculum.

Per the AJC:
"Tyson asked the state Board of Education to examine the student's transcript and the class in question to see whether it met the curriculum standard. It did not."

We have Board members and administrators who do NOT know the laws and the rules that govern public education.
In light of what our school system has experienced in the past few years I would assume anyone with an exceptional situation would ask for a ruling from the compliance department.

Does DCSS have a compliance department or do they choose to spend $300,000 annually of a PR firm instead? By the way, who is Rodney Jenkins and where does he work? What happened to Jeff Dickerson and Walter Wolfe?

In Hawaii with another one of their clients? (aka BH)

S7

Cerebration said...

I do see your point Sagamore. How could Pringle effectively supervise ALL of the schools in her area as area superintendent, while simultaneously serving as Arabia's principal? She didn't, obviously. The schools in her area she was supposed to be supervising crashed and burned. Arabia got all of the light and attention and did well.

Anonymous said...

Bigger fish to fry right now.

wondering said...

I agree there are indeed bigger fish to fry. This entire ploy smells like an intentional diversion, to distract us from the real issues plaguing DeKalb County Schools, even if just for a moment. It also points out the continued ineffective practices of the school system. This child, regardless of whom her father is, was not advised regarding her graduating status. That is the job of paid professionals, not the student. If she cannot receive adequate services, despite her father’s privilege, money, and influence, I pity the rest of the students. Let’s not be diverted away from the real issues here. It’s not about this one privileged students, it’s about the thousands that are not. I wish her all the best, as I wish for all of our students.

John said...

Rodney Jenkins is the new PR person for the school district. This announcement appeared in the AJC last week.

I also wonder what was the story here. That someone made a mistake that was corrected before a larger mistake was made? When the dust was settled, nothing improper was done.

I also agree that as adults we can have disagreements with other adults but we should leave the children out of it.

John said...

Dr. Pringle came to the metro Atlanta area from Virgina. She was hired from Gwinnett to be the principal at Stephenson (ironically after Beasley left to go to Texas with Dr. Brown). She was the first principal for Arabia Mountain. She was hired as an area superintendent during her second year at Arabia Mountain. A nationwide search was done for a replacement principal however none was found. She was asked to do two jobs until a replacement could be found. It also gave her the opportunity to participate in the first graduation ceremony for Arabia Mountain.

Dr. Pringle obviously either made a mistake or used poor judgment regarding the credit. It is good an anonymous tipster called and reported this. The system worked.

John said...

New Birth is the largest indoor facility in DeKalb that also has plenty of parking. For that reason, it makes sense to have graduation ceremonies in this church, if the price is right. It is only fair to to paid for building usage, utlities, and cleanup. If someone can suggest another facility for hosting graduations, please give it to the counselors at the large high schools in the county.

Anonymous said...

However, it would be interesting as to why Dr. Pringle was involved. This should have been handled by the counselor and acting principal at the school which was one of the APs. I bet a School Board member was also involved in pushing the situation so the young lady could walk with her class.

I bet there is a great deal more to it than we are aware. Walker and Jay were probable involved. It would be interesting to know really who pushed this to Dr. Pringle. She is a favorite of several school board members. There is probable a reason they like her so much.

Anonymous said...

"Rodney Jenkins is the new PR person for the school district."

So Ms. Tyson let the PR spokesperson Julie Rhame go citing budget constraints. A year later she hires an in-house PR person. Is our budget so much better off?

Anonymous said...

There is a lot more that will probably never see the light of day. Why did Lewis bring in Pringle when he did? She was having problems at Gwinnett at the time. Why was she appointed to take over from Simp without a credible, transparent national search for a high-ranking adminstartive positon? How strong is New Birth's influence at Arabia Mountain? Why does AM get so many special priviliges in the system? Why was Pringle allowed to choose the new AM principal?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Arabia Mountain was just a stepping stone for Pringle. Actually, she had one foot on both stones, the principal stone and the area superintendent stone. God only knows what DCSS paid her, and what they're gonna pay her.

Can you believe that DCSS did a national search for the principal's position at Arabia Mountain?

DCSS just throws principals into office based on friendship, sorority affiliation (which may have something to do with the hiring of Pringle's replacement), or other reasons that have nothing to do with qualifications.

I guess Ramona's glad she had a chance to appoint Pringle's replacement. If she had waited, the new "outsider" superintendent may have hired a more qualified principal. Yeah right....like there's gonna be a new superintendent!!!

DCSS has some truly incompetent principals and some even more incompetent assistant principals.

This is on of the weakest links in DCSS--its lack of good principals who are willing to stand with their own schools against bonehead central office decisions.

The stone keeps rolling downhill and it picks up more and more mud and debris on its roll.

Anonymous said...

Walker got many donations in his election from Eddie Long. Wonder how he is involved in the situation. He probable crossed the line on this one to do Eddie Long a favor and Tyson had to put her foot done on this to prevent it getting out of hand.

Of course Walker would never do anything like this. He does not represent the interests of New Birth and Eddie Long even if he did receive major contributions from Eddie Long.

Cerebration said...

Just want everyone to know -- those "national searches" always turn up nothing. I find it astounding that no one from such eco-friendly states as Colorado or Oregon or Maine or wherever couldn't turn up a principal interested in leading this nationally recognized LEED certified school.

Yeah, and no one applied for Lakeside either -- except a Middle School principal from Gwinnett.

And yes, I agree. Julie Rhame should sue. She did an EXCELLENT job for DCSS. There hasn't been any good PR coming from in-house since she was RIF'd. Of course - -I hate so say it, but she is white. If the new guy is black, she could definitely have a racial bias lawsuit to file.

John said...

The article anouncing the Jenkins hiring appeared in the 7/15 AJC.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/new-spokesman-named-for-1018410.html

betty said...

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Anonymous said...

"And yes, I agree. Julie Rhame should sue. She did an EXCELLENT job for DCSS. There hasn't been any good PR coming from in-house since she was RIF'd. Of course - -I hate so say it, but she is white. If the new guy is black, she could definitely have a racial bias lawsuit to file."

and Frank Zayas was white, and Dale Bowen was white. When was the last time you saw any Kaleidoscope PR pieces or any new PDS shows? That was Julie Rhame, Dale Bowen, and Stephanie Johnson (all of whom were fired ... I mean riffed) who produced and distributed those pieces. BTW...those folks are all still unemployed. What a shame.

Cerebration said...

That is a shame - a damn shame.

Anonymous said...

Cere--the year the middle school principal from Gwinnett was hired for Lakeside, there were a large number of applicants, and four people were interviewed.

On the other hand, the present principal was not interviewed, but was appointed by CLew outside the normal selection process at the request of Paul Womack.

As for the Long credit situation, this would not have been brought to light had it not been for one hacked off parent who realized that yet another child of a connected parent got a benefit that was undeserved (this is SOP in DCSS, including but not limited to administrative transfers--yes, that means you Rep. Johnson and Commissioner Boyer--hiring of family members, awarding of scholarships, etc.).

Do the Longs live in the Arabia Mtn. attendance zone? Or was that another benefit that they received for their child?

Anonymous said...

I sure hope they make Mrs. Tyson Supt. I know of no other Interum Supt. who has been thrown so many issues to deal with...and she has dealt with them well. New Supt. will not know a thing before he/she is sent packing.

Cerebration said...

Ms Tyson has stated over and over again -- she does not want the job. It's not going to happen.

Also, Arabia has no attendance zone. Arabia is strictly an application-only "choice" school with a "magnet" school for environment, energy & engineering as a school within a school (or a choice within a choice!)

Here is the web address to their website: (to copy & paste)

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/arabiamtnhs

However, I was unable to find information as to how to apply to Arabia at the school's website. You have to go to the county website - the information is found within the choice/magnet/theme web pages...

The main DCSS "Magnet" link is found here:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/about/schoolchoice/magnet.html

An Arabia brochure can be found here:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/about/schoolchoice/files/C174E56EC65046E7A9B1349E3043AEC1.pdf

The Arabia link is here:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/about/schoolchoice/files/D30AFEB6AF4D4FF9A392077DC00D26D1.pdf

Anonymous said...

This appears to be a honest mistake that has been blown totally out of proportion.
As, I read the blogs, It's clearly obvious that this site is not always a source of accurate information. Dr. Pringle is an excellent administrator. Instead of Dr. Pringle being acknowledged for doing a great job while serving as a principal of a very demanding, high expectations, and "all eyes on me" high school and area superintendent she is being dragged through the mud about a situation that's not even news worthy. She didn't choose to wear two hats. She was gracious enough to stay on while they sought out a replacement. You think she wanted to work two stressful, high profiled jobs?
Additionally, Arabia Mountain does not have an attendance zone. Check your facts.

Cerebration said...

I have to make certain that you are all aware -- no one at this blog wrote that news story. The news item came from Richard Belcher at WSB and from the AJC. We don't break news here -- we just discuss it.

Cerebration said...

Anon - I think I already corrected the comment about the fact that Arabia has no attendance zone. Please check my comment just above yours.

Cerebration said...

While I'm on the subject. Here's how blogs work. We write "posts". We post them. They either consist of snippets of news reports, bits of information from interesting sources "minutes" we write up about meetings we attend or research that we do on our own.

Then, anyone on the entire planet can leave a comment. We are not responsible for the comments, although we try to keep conversations civil and on track. (Many blogs do not - they just let it all rip!)

Please never assume that what is said in the comments is the opinion of those of us who write the posts for this blog. (Unless, of course, they are our own comments.)

Anonymous said...

You might want to look for example at the teachers lost under Pringle's leadership before laying on the praise. Also, you really should check out her record in Gwinnett, where she was in limbo until the Lewis-Long connection worked for her. The New Birth presence at AM is huge. Is she really that different from Simpson?

Shoes Keep Dropping said...

The fact that AM doesn't have an attendance zone only lends itself to questions about whether Long's daughter got in based on preferential treatment.

As for newsworthiness, when you are in the public eye like Long, you and your family are going to be scrutinized whether it's right or wrong - not unlike Amy Carter, the Bush girls, the Obamas, etc who also didn't ask for it.

Unfortunately the story's significance is that it highlights problems in the school system although it isn't clear which problem is at the heart of this issue. Maybe it is related to the knowledge/abilities of the counselors. Maybe the school doesn't track progress toward graduation like it should. Maybe the counselor was given a directive to count it as a credit and didn't feel he/she had any option. Maybe when the counselor refused to count it, someone went over the counselor to the principal or to a Board
member. Maybe the principal doesn't know graduation requirements or acceptable credits. Maybe pressure was put on the principal from someone. Maybe someone put
pressure on the area assistant superintendent for AR....

It could be incompetence, corruption, job insecurity, special treatment, etc at the heart of this issue - we surely don't have all the facts. Hats off to Tyson for investigating. Hopefully if the facts find intentional wrongdoing, that person will be shown the door.

As for Pringle....I don't know any good principals or good area asst. superrintendents who aren't drowning trying to lead their school/areas and do all the busy work the county requires, much less do both jobs - not possible to do both and do them well....and yes, Pringle had a choice, we all have choices. She chose to do both - if it was too much to be able to do a good job with each, then she had the responsibility to say so. Again, it is the children who suffer.

Cerebration said...

Dumb question: Did she get both salaries?

Anonymous said...

I'm perplexed. Eddie Long has money up the wazoo why is he sending his kid to a DCSS school? If I was his daughter I'd be furious over not getting to go where to a school where real rich kids go like Lovett or Pace.

Anonymous said...

What you "bloggers" fail to realize is... At the end of the day, Dr.Pringle sought options for ALL five students that were told they weren't graduating. Bishop's daughter took the needed class during the summer, so let's move on. This internal investigation is to clear up Dr.Pringle's reason for CONSIDERING letting her walk, which is what she did for all FIVE non graduates.

Anonymous said...

This blog loves to break down the truly good administration at DCSS... Were any of you in Gwinnett with Dr.Pringle? Did any of you work with her in Gwinnett? Stephenson? or Arabia Mountain? If not, then you don't have a honest opinion about who she is...just what you have heard and read.

Take a look at the numbers and facts.. Dr.Pringle has shown a record of gaining AYP progress for the school's she's at..She has led Arabia Mountain to do what Chamblee, and Dunwoody aren't doing for DCSS anymore.

Anonymous said...

This blog loves to break down the truly good administration at DCSS... Were any of you in Gwinnett with Dr.Pringle? Did any of you work with her in Gwinnett? Stephenson? or Arabia Mountain? If not, then you don't have a honest opinion about who she is...just what you have heard and read.

Take a look at the numbers and facts.. Dr.Pringle has shown a record of gaining AYP progress for the school's she's at..She has led Arabia Mountain to do what Chamblee, and Dunwoody aren't doing for DCSS anymore.

Shoes Keep Dropping said...

What was reported is that Dr. Pringle approved the course for credit and had there not been an anonymous tip, Long's daughter would have been given a diploma that she had not earned. An administrator functioning at that level should know what the viable options are and pursue only those. In this case, #1 the student shouldn't have gotten to senior year without knowing what courses she had left to take be that the fault of the counselor, the student and/or the parents during junior and senior advisement and #2- when it was discovered that she was a credit short, the only option is one of the online courses over the summer or maybe a joint enrollment plan for fall.

We'll all have to wait and see what the investigation reveals.

How did the schools Dr. Pringle serves as area asst. superrintendent do related to AYP? AM can choose it's student body unlike other high schools and curiously, it is protected from overcrowding. One would expect it to make AYP.

Anonymous said...

With schools not making AYP and teachers & children needing to begin a new school year on a plus, why is this crap consuming the blog and news. New Birth and Arabic Mt. problems are minute to me.How many schools in the county faced these situation EVERY YEAR, IT IS NOT new. I want to know why this is coming up this time or year when grad. was in May and the Long Child DIDNOT GRADUATE at that Time. She went to summer school and took the questioned course and graduated this summer without the oyof doing it with her class.
There were 5 students at Arabic that were questionablr, how many were there in all DeKalb High Schools and why aren't there names published and on TV with the area Directors being investigated.

I must say that I cannot conceive of a PARENT having access to a transcript and having the knowledge of what the State approved or not. YES, I SMELL TOO MANY BIG RATS!
DR. PRINGLE IS GREAT AND WE WANT & NEED HER IN DEKALB...

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:17--I seriously doubt that a parent had access to another student's transcript. It is likely that the Long girl told her classmates she got credit for the course, or it came out when another student asked her why she hadn't taken certain courses with them.

I think the newsworthiness of this story is that it further illustrates DCSS's general sloppiness and/or corruptness.

atl said...

@ Anonymous

"She (Pringle) has led Arabia Mountain to do what Chamblee, and Dunwoody aren't doing for DCSS anymore."

Perhaps we need to make these schools into "choice" schools that do not serve the local community. Rather let's students apply to get in. Then we may have a fair comparison.

We already pick and choose the students for half of Chamblee HS. It's called the magnet program. A fairer comparison would be to compare Arabia Mtn. with the Chamblee Magnet Program. We could break out the Chamblee Magnet Program scores and compare them to Arabia Mtn.

Of course, that's not fair either since Chamblee Magnet program limits itself to high achievers and Arabia Mtn. does not.

So maybe comparing Arabia Mtn. a "choice" school to Dunwoody and Chamblee is not a fair comparison after all.

Regarding turnover, close to half of Arabia Mountain’s teachers were in their first or second year of teaching (per the Georgia Certification website) - most with only a bachelor's degree this past year. That means there close to a 50% teacher attrition rate at Arabia Mtn. That is an extraordinary amount of turnover. Turnover is clearly an administrative problem since the hiring and retention of teachers is one of the main responsibilities of a principal.

The WSB and AJC stories maintain that Dr. Pringle was going to let this student march in graduation without the proper credit, and the only reason she didn't is that a parent brought this to the attention of her supervisor (Ms. Tyson). That's what they considered newsworthy. I think that fact alone is newsworthy no matter who the child is related to.

Cerebration said...

This is one thing that comes up again and again in DeKalb. We compartmentalize schools and programs, picking and choosing who can attend which school and then when the schools with the hand-selected students performs well, we brag about it!

Duh! DSA does this all the time. DSA is a very special program with an admissions process. They only have 300 total students - and that's from 8th-12th grade. Class sizes are small and they have a full administration to serve them. You have no reason not to do well at DSA. Chamblee magnet - same thing. Arabia magnet and theme - same thing. Kittredge and Wadsworth - same thing. In fact, if we didn't have these specialty schools, I would think DeKalb would have very few high-ranking overall schools in the state, as these students' test scores would be watered down in the bulk of scores at a larger school.

That shouldn't matter. We really should be focusing on individual student progress. This is trackable. NCLB is good in that it makes schools responsible for every child - no longer can they bury the fact that they don't do well educating the poor, or English language learners or special education students. The harsh response of labeling schools as "failing" when these "sub-groups" are not served was meant to wake up the school and force some attention on those groups. Sadly, instead, it has created a mass exodus of those who aren't in the failing sub-groups or perhaps who are, but choose to simply run for higher ground. This is causing a major segregation of the classes - high achievers, vs regular schools. It's really not attractive to break away, form a specialty school, hand-select students and then brag about the results.

When Dr. Pringle can take a very low-performing, over-crowded, regular school with a high poverty level, classrooms of 30 students, few support personnel and difficult home lives and raise the scores of those students, then I'll be impressed!

Anonymous said...

Pringle had one of those schools. It was Meadowcreek in Gwinnett. She got pulled from there in the middle of the year.

The real story here is the creation of a special school with special rights in a part of the county that has too many, not too few high schools and then allowing the Bishop's cult church to have a lot of pull at that school.

Who can blame parents in south DeKalb for wanting a place where the kids don't run wild? Pringle was good at creating this kind of structure. She should be given that. She was not good at working with smart teachers.

The difference between the Chamblee magnet program, the good classes at Lakeside, DSA and then the quality of classes at Arabia is huge.

You'll probably never get a real topnotch academic program in south Dekalb. Too much politics and cronyism. Way too little diversity.

One of the sad thing is that so many people are trapped down there in houses that's values will never come back.

blackhippychick said...

I am an Arabia Mountain Parent and I have to digress with the individuals saying that the students do not receive proper advisement. Dr. Pringle has established an excellent method of advisement where parents and students must attend a grade level meeting every year and must check off their kids schedule for the year not only is it done once but it's done several times. I've been there twice and there is a third advisement meeting already planned for this year. As for Dr. Pringle she has done an excellent job of dealing with the lot she was given; the job description stated she was being given a magnet with high achievers, and before it was all over NCLB saddled her with the lowest achieving students which resulted in a two school riot which she handled. As for the whistle blower I don't understand how this parent had access to our kids private records. As for one course as the parent of an honor student; quibbling over one course is just plain dumb.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something worked. The real story would have been if the student in question had graduated when she shuldn't have. May Richard could do some more stories on what might have happened but didn't.

Cerebration said...

I think you have very valid points blackhippychick... I don't know A) how this class snafu slipped through the counseling cracks and B) how and why it got leaked to (surprise!) Richard Belcher and made headlines.

BTW-Lakeside, Chamblee, Druid Hills and Dunwoody have all suffered the same repercussions from NCLB. Maybe now that it's hit Arabia, the administration will actually listen?!!

Cerebration said...

There is a major leaker in south DeKalb with a direct hotline to Richard Belcher.... I would advise you to do a little detective work and find out exactly who that is and "out" her... (or him, or them...) This has gotten ridiculous. Richard Belcher has turned into a gossip. And the AJC surprisingly toddles right along...

Anonymous said...

Leakers are actually a good thing in a despotic organization. The majority of us seems to think Dekalb County not transparent.

Anonymous said...

Every high school is supposed to follow the same protocol Blackhippychick is describing. No kudos for Dr. Pringle here.


















h

Anonymous said...

@ blackhippiechick

"... and before it was all over NCLB saddled her with the lowest achieving students which resulted in a two school riot which she handled"

I'm assuming that these students who you describe as ones Dr. Pringle was "saddled" with are the students who transferred from schools that did not make AYP to Arabia Mountain, a school that did make AYP. These students were placed at Lithonia High School and called the Arabia Mountain Annex.

It would be interesting to see how the Arabia Mountain Annex students did as contrasted to the students who were "choice" students at the Arabia Mountain complex.

John said...

How does a teacher/administrator get their reputation back when the media does not tell the complete story? Richard Belcher has hurt DCSS already this year by leaking information about the superintendent negotiations. Many were angry that he did that.

In this story, the only facts we have are that a student that thought they had the necessary credits to graduate in May did not because of a whistle blower. In one story, it indicated the student did graduate, another said this was caught beforehand.

We shouldn't believe everything we hear from Cox Enterprises. There are more things we don't know with this story that do know.

Sagamore 7 said...

John,
We have been asking not only for accountability but also Tranparency from DCSS for years.

I think this Pringle / Long article is a great example of our current administration NOT making a public and clear statement of what ACTUALLY happened in this specific scenario.

There has been an internal investigation and I think DCSS should completely disclose the circumstances. This has been Dr. Erroll Davis's plan of operation since taking over APS. Clear and transparent commincation with all parties, especially the tax payers, parents and media.

Most PR departments have one official "Press Release" regarding public comments or public disclosures. In this case I read one article in the AJC that had very limited information compared to the WSB article from Richard Belcher. His article had much more detail of the situation.

Does DCSS not have a standard PR policy regarding publicly disseminated comments?

Once again I ask, who is Rodney Jenkins and where does he work?

S7

Anonymous said...

Clearly this story is evidence of a deep, dark underlying conspiracy that leads all the way back to the assination of President Kennedy.

Cerebration said...

Just wondering -- why on earth would Tom Bowen make a comment on this at all??? The proper thing for him to say was that this was an administrative matter and he defers to Ms. Tyson... He has no business commenting on the details of one student's situation. This could be considered micromanaging or even meddling by SACS.

John said...

Sagamore 7, does your right to know trump someone else's right to privacy? Given that nothing improper was done, as reported by the story, why is there a need to be transparent with this? If something improper was done, you might have a point. There are many things that happen in life that we never hear about because nothing improper was done. Do we have a right to know about those things? I still have a problem with the name of the student being put in public domain.

Also, information about Rodney Jenkins appears up the blog.

John said...

Cerebration, I agree that Tom should have deferred on the comment. I don't think he shared any specifics to cause concern by SACs as his answer was somewhat generic. One persons opinion.

Sagamore 7 said...

John,
I agree that bringing the child's name into this is WRONG!

Just because she is "The Bishop's" daughter is why it made the news and we are still debating it.

Nothing wrong happened because Ms. Pringle was ratted out by a parent who was fed up with the special treatment given to the privileged few. NBMC.

I still wonder why Tyson had to ask the DOE if the course was creditworthy. Shouldn't a superintendent know that a make up course at her FATHER'S school would get through compliance!
No wrongdoing?

This is where transparency comes into play and shades of grey, especially within DCSS and NBMC, are heavily scrutinized.

I am fed up with the corruption and mismanagement of MY educational tax dollars. That is why I am here and that is why I am not going to leave until things change for the BEST, not better.

I did see where Mr. Jenkins is supposed to be the new in-house DCSS PR person.

I will follow up with DCSS and see if we still have Cohn & Wolfe & Dickerson on retainer.

What a mess, what a shame.
Keep on fighting the fight!
Sincerely, thanks for your input John.
S7

Sagamore 7 said...

Repeating and Correcting:

Shouldn't a superintendent know that a make up course at her Fahter's school would NOT get through compliance.

Sorry for the typo.

Cerebration said...

Isn't Ron Ramsey's department in charge of compliance? I agree, I don't understand why the state had to be consulted.

Anonymous said...

State had to be consulted for 1 of 2 revealing reasons.


A. Dekalb County's elite Teaching and Learning did not know graduation requirements.

B. They were afraid of Bishop Long wrath.

In either of these situations, Dekalb County incriminates itself.

Anonymous said...

Lol! You mean afraid of been cast to hell by the sweet bishop Long?

Anonymous said...

I should think that Dr. Beasley's office stands between Arabia Mountain's principal/area superintendent and the sovereign state of Georgia's DOE. Did his office gave a final opinion about graduation requirements? Should he have? Was it for or against accepting the course?

How does one explain going to the DOE?

Something stinks!

Anonymous said...

So did they trust Dr. Beasley's opinion or not? Really, if the GA dept of Ed had hear about it would have to be because the Bishop or Ramona did not trust Beasley's opinion in his own turf.

Out of curiosity, what was Beasley's opinion? If it was the same as Dr. Pringle, Beasley should be investigated as well???

Hey Pringle, I just gave you a fig leaf, use it!

dadfirst said...

Perhaps you all need to look at an organization chart and locate the chain of command. Principals report to Area Superintendents; Area Superintendents report to Robert Moseley; Robert Mosely reports to Superintendent Tyson.

Anonymous said...

@dad

Regardless of your chain of command, Beasley had to be involved as the issue was a required course (of the curriculum ) to graduate. That his area.

Anonymous said...

School Counselors are actually the personnel that are in charge of verifying that students have all the required courses for graduation.

Anonymous said...

sure 11:11

But it was not resolved at the school counselor level; it went ALL THE WAY to the state Dep of Ed for the correct decision. Why are paying these joes and janes hundreds of thousands dollars if the school counselor could just reach out to the the state Dep of Ed?

Anonymous said...

If you don't have the facts or know what you are talking about, be quiet and read more or ask questions. The procedure for questionable courses always go the State Dept. Of Ed. for acception or rejection. This is by state RULE. Many of the courses we thought would be rejected by the State were actually approved. Over 100 courses are referred yearly when transfers are made from some public schools and many private schools. I recall one from Woodward Academy was rejected. There is absolutely no way a parent could know a course taken in 9th or 10th grade at a pvt school was questionable. If students transcripts are transparent then we, really have a problem.

Anonymous said...

"There is absolutely no way a parent could know a course taken in 9th or 10th grade at a pvt school was questionable."

True that. And you wait until 24 hours before the graduation ceremony to find out. That is parental and school competence!

Cerebration said...

This is all quite inane. It's also symptomatic of what ails our school system -- random, oddball details taking up the attention of those at the very top who are supposed to be looking out for ALL children and the overall quality of education. They *should* be looking outward, finding the most advanced, innovative ideas in education, planning for the future of our system, implementing entire programs, leading the 13,000+ employees and communicating it all to the public.

Instead, they debate the merits of one course of one child of a famous preacher. And the superintendent herself has to take the question to the state. Sigh!

Cerebration said...

Interesting note about the org chart, dadfirst. In this case Angela Pringle was the principal. Oh! and Angela Pringle was the area superintendent! Then there's Bob Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent of School Operations (that's a lot of words in a title for a person who doesn't seem to know how to figure out one course credit). Since, starting with the counselors at Arabia, none of these people can seem to figure out one course credit, or they themselves can't seem able to make one phone call to those who know at the state, why, as always, Ramona Tyson has to step in.

Ridiculous! We need people in these (highly paid!) jobs who can actually DO the job without dumping minutia on the superintendent!

Cerebration said...

ps - for anyone who cares, the org chart can be found here -

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/organizational-chart.pdf

Anonymous said...

As usual, the DCSS defenders muddy the waters again. This wasn't a case of whether a "private school" course was acceptable to satisfy state BOE graduation requirements. This was a church-school program that someone somewhere attempted to pass off as a valid course. I'm reminded of parents whose children have attended summer courses at Duke through the TIP program. These children have taken rigorous math and science courses - eight hours a day, taught by Duke professors. And their parents have literally had to go to war to get these courses counted on transcripts - with mixed success. As for the surprised poster who thought with all Eddie Long's money he could place his daughter in Lovett or Pace: those schools have admission standards. There are benchmark scores, interviews and assessments. Take a look and you'll see these schools are not "full of rich kids" as you assume. They are full of smart kids, many who receive financial aid.

Shoes Keep Dropping said...

@ Anon 6:16-a parent may not know whether a course counts toward graduation when entering DCSS from another system, but they have a responsibility to find out and to request the school get them an answer if the school is uncertain. No way it should get to the last week of senior year! In this case, however, the student has been in DCSS throughout high school. Did mom and dad attend the yearly conferences with the counselor and their daughter? If so, what transpired related to credits, the course in question, etc - we'll never actualy know.

The first thing a competent counselor does when a student comes into the system from out of state, private school, etc.
is determine which courses they can count toward
graduation credits. Then they work with the student for the
remainder of their high school career to make sure they are
on track to graduate.

This is not rocket science. The BOE has a policy on graduation requirements. Counselors meet with students
each year to review progress and plan a course of action
toward graduation. If the counselors at Arabia are as good
as blackhippychick says, then it sounds like someone was
trying to pull a fast one.

It's newsworthy because it's the bishop's daughter, the
bishop's church school, and there are many checks and
balances toward graduation readiness that for some odd
reason apparently didn't work properly.

The system is broken on many levels and Tyson surely shouldn't have to spend her time with stuff like this. Too many others making lots of money below her that should have been able to resolve this following the policies in place.

Dekalbparent said...

Anon 11:30

You are correct about the Duke TIP courses not always being accepted - I always thought that was very strange.

When my child entered a DCSS high school from a private middle school, all her credits from the middle school were evaluated during the summer before 9th grade. As I recall, I had to provide a course description, showing what was covered from her private school.

The credit decision was made prior to her beginning school. I thought it was made at the school level, since all communications came from the school itself.

All the way through high school, she met with her counselor multiple times a year to check that she was on schedule to graduate - I assumed this was standard procedure.

I don't really know what happened here - was it just an oversight or was there an attempt to slide something through as a favor. As others have said, the lack of faith we have in DCSS right now makes us suspect the worst. The Central Office and the Board together need to take the lack of faith seriously as the crisis it is.

No Duh said...

"The Central Office and the Board together need to take the lack of faith seriously as the crisis it is." AMEN to that DeKalbParent

Unfortunately, the Emperor has no clothes on and we are merely the confused peasant boys(and girls).

Anonymous said...

You people educators, parents, administrators on this board make me tired and exhausted. I'm beginning to see why Dekalb County government and School Systems are falling apart. I feel sorry for my kids and all the rest. They don't stand a chance in this system.

Anonymous said...

I agree. If we're this disjunctured, can you imagine what the kids must be feeling. There is no sense of community, family, honor or fairness in Dekalb County at all. It's just one saying "I" want vs. the other side saying what "I" want. Sounds a lot like our Government. No surprise this has trickled down to the states and communities. Someone is going to have to consider what is best for their neighbor at some point or we're going to go down. Period.

Anonymous said...

Regarding turnover, close to half of Arabia Mountain’s teachers were in their first or second year of teaching (per the Georgia Certification website) - most with only a bachelor's degree this past year. That means there close to a 50% teacher attrition rate at Arabia Mtn. That is an extraordinary amount of turnover. Turnover is clearly an administrative problem since the hiring and retention of teachers is one of the main responsibilities of a principal.

This is bad math. The fact that half the teachers were in their 1st or 2nd year DOES NOT indicate a 50% turnover. The number of teachers at AMHS increased significantly from year 1 to year 2 because the number of students increased significantly. Also, since the school is only 2 years old, any teachers that started as new teachers and were there both years are counted in the statistic.

There was significant turnover, but the quoted statistic is not a barometer of that turnover.

Anonymous said...

When Dr. Pringle can take a very low-performing, over-crowded, regular school with a high poverty level, classrooms of 30 students, few support personnel and difficult home lives and raise the scores of those students, then I'll be impressed!

She managed to get Stephenson to make AYP in math in her last full year there...

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Stephenson is not a Title 1 School...

Anonymous said...

Stephenson was a title 1 school last year..I believe.While Dr.Pringle and Dr.Beasley were there, the school made AYP and excelled...The current principal is a different situation.

Cerebration said...

Well that's good news Anon!

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Stephenson is not a Title 1 School...

The statement I replied to did not say anything about Title 1. It is, however, a Target Assistance school which puts it close to being a full Title 1 school in the future.

When I read this blog -- especially comments about AMHS and Dr. Pringle -- I am constantly amazed at how much people act like experts while proving how little they actually know.

Dr. Pringle has her faults; everyone does. But for people here to say that she neglected her area schools and simply worked to make sure AMHS was successful is complete ignorance. She was at AMHS about 2 days per week; the rest of the time, she was working to improve her area schools. She did not ask for the county to go through FOUR rounds of searching for a principal to replace her. She did not ask to have 2 full-time jobs. But she stepped up to fill the void.

Because of her double duties, the Assistant Principals at AMHS were incredibly overworked. But they also stepped up to do the best they could, working many extra hours and sacrificing sleep. Mr. Wells, Ms. Black, Mr. Davidson, and Dr. May deserve a lot of credit for their hard work.

How many of you are stepping up to do anything other than complain?

Cerebration said...

Oh brother, apparently there's a fifth young man in the Eddie Long lawsuits --

Bishop Eddie Long Had Fifth Accuser in Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit

Part 2 of the story will be reported tonight on Fox 5.

Cerebration said...

My heart really goes out to this child Taylor Long. None of this is her fault whatsoever. I hope anyone who knows her will give her a hug today.

Anonymous said...

Stephenson was a title 1 school last year..I believe.While Dr.Pringle and Dr.Beasley were there, the school made AYP and excelled...The current principal is a different situation.

Stephenson did not make AYP in math in 2006/7, a transition year between Dr. Beasley and Dr. Pringle when another principal (name escapes me) was in place most of the year. Even before that, I believe the math scores had been sliding but still meeting the AYP standard. Dr. Pringle turned that around while she was there; when she left, it reverted and began falling again.

Like it or not, Dr. Pringle had a lot to do with the successes at Stephenson while she was there.

Anonymous said...

Good Day,

I must add my 10 cents. Angela Pringle is NOT a good administrator. If she can lie and cheat and get away with it....she will. She has conveniently lost important paperwork, because she wanted to cover up for one of her cronies. It's about time she got caught. Eventually, all of the so-called idiots who are admins, and are dishonest will fall. There needs to be a whislte blower line somewhere. Maybe we should blow to the SACS committee. DeKalb is not out of the woods yet.

atl said...

@ Anonymous 8:13
"The statement I replied to did not say anything about Title 1. It is, however, a Target Assistance school which puts it close to being a full Title 1 school in the future."

DCSS counts Target Assistance schools as Title 1 schools. Read this quote from the DCSS website:

"Title I Schools
As of September 23, 2010, there are a total of ninety-three Title I schools, including six new schools, five target assistance (TA) schools†, and eighty-eight schoolwide program (SWP) schools."


(source:
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/school-improvement/title-i-schools)


" I am constantly amazed at how much people act like experts while proving how little they actually know."

You might want to read the information that is published on the DeKalb County School system website.

themommy said...

What puzzles me about this situation is that students I know who have transferred into DeKalb schools are generally told pretty quickly about what courses are accepted or not, so their schedules can be adjusted and a plan can be developed. I know a student, who moved from an out of state very Catholic school, who had to have nearly 6 courses evaluated. The answer didn't come right away and so he was considered initially a sophomore until the state cleared the courses.

I suspect that the fault lies with the counseling staff and I hope Pringle can address this issue system wide. This is a system wide issue

atl said...

@ Anonymous 8:21

Was Angela Pringle only there for one year?

Look at the scores for Stephenson HS:
2003-04:
Math: all students 61.5% (needed 62.3%)
Language Arts: 93.2% (needed 81.6%)
School Made AYP

2004-05:
Math: all students 61.5 % (needed 62.3%)
Language Arts: all students 95.3% (needed 84.7%)
Made AYP


2005-06:
Math: all students 69.6% (needed 68.5%)
Language Arts: all students 95.4% (needed 84.7%)
Made AYP


2006-07:
Math: all students 64.3% (needed 68.6%)
Language Arts:all students 94.2% (needed 84.7%)
Math - Did Not Meet AYP (all areas)

2007-08:
Math: all students 72.0% (needed 74.9%)
Language Arts: all students 92.4% (needed 87.7%)
Made AYP due to SAFE HARBOR


2008-09:
Math: all students 72.2% (needed 74.9%)
Language Arts: all students 92.7% (needed 87.7%)
Math - Did Not Meet AYP (all areas)


2009-10:
Math: all students 67.9% (needed 74.9%)
Language Arts: all students 89.5% (needed 87.7%)
Math - Did Not Meet AYP (all areas)
Language Arts - Did Not Meet AYP (Econ. Disadv.)

Anonymous said...

Pringle is a Lewis crony and also connected to Long. She has made it farther than the woman who got the Lakeside job because there is so little involvement by parents. The Lakeside woman had the same Long connection. When she failed, she got moved to Lithonia and got 10000for doing that. Folks do not appreciate the depth of the corruption on the southside. Personally it is shocking to me that no one is willing to take a stand and expose what needs to be exposed. We can only pray that Long is selfdestructing.

Anonymous said...

Was Angela Pringle only there for one year?

I believe she was there for only the very end of 2006/7 (arrived after testing), the entire school year for 2007/8, and left in January of 2008/9 though I could be wrong about the timing of when she started at Stephenson.

Anon said...

Ms. Moton, at LHS, may have been connected to Lewis, but she really cared about the kids (even if she couldn't play the local school politics well) .... she wan't given a chance to do what she could do and was pulled from LHS for reasons beyond her control right as she was reaching a point when she could have started to really make a difference for the kids. Her extradiction from the school managed to continue the state of "organized chaos" that Dr. Lewis perpeetuated in most of the schools in DCSS -- as it takes at least 3 years of being at a school for any principal to figure out how to fully fund a school with point allocations and how to turnover staff and to do what is best for the children. Each time a pricincipal is moved before year number 3 is completed, the state of chaos is continued and central office can play their games rather than really educate children.....

Anonymous said...

Anyone subjected to Moton's announcements knew that she was out of place. This kind of stuff is easier to hide at Lithonia. Dekalb suffers from a lack of diversity in its administrators and a high percentage of poorly spoken and educated administrators. The FUBU mentality has destroyed the system from within. Look at Cross Keys. Do those administrators have any business leading an international school? Look at the quality of administrators in the City of Decatur. Huge, huge difference.

Disgusted said...

I am a parent @AMHS and I agree with you there about the falsification of documents. I up to know have had two documents falsified or not found at AMHS. Angela Pringle once you think about it good and hard is an awful woman who does falsify documents. It is a shame that our kids in DeKalb have to work with people who literally embody evil. My child will not be returning because though Pringle is gone, I'm afraid her influence is not. As for the credit probe, at first I thought it was one credit but I have been to too many programs when Pringle talked about how "elite" the students were and even observed her refusing to pin certain students and one woman got so very upset she almost cried when the school did not even put her child's name on the program for making honor roll, yet SHE is going to give away a credit that's incredible. In order for anyone to understand why the parents were so upset about the one credit you have to understand "Pringle's" crazy elitist dishonest attitude; it's not real over there and the way she falsifies documents I'm sure she falsifies test scores too, and knows how to do it where it can't be traced either that's probably why she's superintendent so she can teach every one how to lie cheat and steal.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: Eddie Long's daughter is a college freshman at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia.