Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another spot of good news from Dr. Atkinson!

The DeKalb Board of Education approved the following personnel recommendations made by Superintendent Dr.Cheryl Atkinson:

1. Kathleen S. Howell as Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

2. Kendra D. March as Deputy Superintendent for School Leadership and Operational Support.

3. Gary Brantley as Chief Information Officer.

4. Walter Woods as Executive Director of Communications.

Appointments were made pending completion of DCSS hiring process.

I will provide information about these individuals as soon as it is available.

David Schutten
President

(sent to the ODE listserve via iPhone)

33 comments:

Anon said...

Not to be Debbie Downer but do we currently have these two positions or did she create them? If she created them, does that mean no one is leaving?

Deputy Supt for School Leadership
and
Chief Information Officer

By the way, a google search shows that the CIO was with her in Lorraine.

Anonymous said...

March is from Guilford County Schools in NC; Brantley is from Ohio; and Howell (sp), I believe is from Kansas City.

My take is that certain existing personnel -- Beasley, possibly Moseley -- likely will be severed in a manner consistent with their contracts.

Anonymous said...

maybe Fred will be gone soon, too.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you are posting something from David Schutten? When did he become the PR spokesperson for DCSS?

Anonymous said...

Walter Woods used to write for the AJC. He is/was with an Atlanta PR firm.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Walter Woods works for Cohn Wolf and was the temporary spokesperson for DCSS. Gee, I wonder how he got this job? Friend of which Board Member? Let me take a guess.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Oh, David, don't worry....We'll all do our own due diligence on Dr. Atkinsons' hires.

Anonymous said...

His Linkedin page says he is a Vice President at Cohn Wolf. Wonder how much taxpayers are going to be paying him?

Cerebration said...

FWIW - this message was sent from Schutten via his iPhone to a number of people. Several of those people forwarded the message to the blog. (Luckily there were no pictures attached!)

;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing up how David's infor got posted on this site. I appreciate the info. Dunwoody needs to get on her knees and pray not to be so mean and negative on the blog and others.It's not healthy for her or the schools system.

Anonymous said...

I mean this blog and the AJC blog.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Oh, honey (sarcastic use of the word here), you think I was "mean and negative" because I intend to be "on top" of every decision and action this board makes? You think it "mean and negative" to properly vet the individuals Dr. Atkinson is hiring in an attempt to turn around the crisis that is DCSS?

Well, get ready for a whole lot more....

Cerebration said...

I agree with DM and often get accused of the same thing. It is not 'mean' to keep your eye on public servants - it's a principle on which this country was founded. When people choose jobs that serve the public, they must be prepared for scrutiny. And, in our case, our board of education had their eye seriously off the ball and our former leadership team was able to nearly destroy our school system. On top of that, our system is still very much embroiled in several legal actions, costing us millions upon millions to defend or prosecute (depending on which case you are talking about).

This blog will continue to monitor our new leadership's every move. We will report the good, bad and ugly. However, unlike in the past, I am encouraged that this new leader actually does care what we - and people in all DeKalb communities - think. She cares about our bad feelings from the past and wants to know the story so as not to repeat it and hopefully to resolve lingering problems (and replace relevant staff).

I am encouraged. What is it Kim says, "Cautiously Optimistic" but that should not be considered a "pass". So - call us mean if you wish - but I prefer to call us "American".

Anonymous said...

Time to find a replacement for Ron Ramsey too.

Another article showing Ron Ramsey's lack of accountability and siphoning of our taxes for his wife's child care business! This is disgraceful!

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-officials-past-due-1183242.html

Taxes owed by the Kingdom Group, a Decatur child care business run by Doris V. Carrington-Ramsey, the wife of Sen. Ronald Ramsey, D-Lithonia, also were blamed on the economy.

The IRS filed $173,000 in liens against the center for unpaid taxes from 2007-2010. While owing the federal government, the Kingdom Group was getting money from the state for childcare services. The center received $278,122 in pre-k money from the state last year and has received about $850,000 in state money since 2006.

Sen. Ramsey lists himself as vice president and general counsel for the company, although his wife said he has not played an active role in the business since he took office in 2007.

“I am solely responsible for this tax matter which I hope to resolve in the near future,” she said, adding that lower enrollment in recent years has hurt the business. The Kingdom Group is making installment payments to the IRS to pay off the debt.


Why is it not a conflict of interest for Ramsey, state rep and head of DCSS Internal Affairs, to run a state-funded Pre-K (in his wife's name). It may not be illegal, but it smells bad.

BhutrasGolly said...

Well Dunwoody Mom, Bless your heart. And thank you David for providing the info. Not only will we learn about these people we will support them when they are in the right and when they are not we'll try to set them right-as we will this blog.

Dunwoody Mom said...

The names of the 4 individuals Dr. Atkinson is asking to hire were on the agenda for yesterday's meeting.

"Vetting" someone is not a negative term unless in the process it becomes apparent this person is not qualified for the job. If it turns out these 4 individuals are right for the job, then BRAVO to Dr. Atkinson. Hopefully, Dr. Atkinson will post the resumes of these individuals on the DCSS Website. She has to know and understand the total distrust that parents and other stakeholders in DCSS have with this board and school system. If she truly, truly wants our buy-in, then she, herself, will need to be "above-board" with her hires.

parent said...

Outsiders = good.

parent said...

Any outside blood we can get, the better. Even bringing in an IT guy is a good sign...

My test for Atkinson is, can she fire. It's one of the biggest weaknesses of any leader of any non-profit, profit, govmt institution. You have to cut people that are dead weight or even mediocre. You're hurting THEM and THE ORGANIZATION by having them in a position where they cannot succeed and thrive. Schools are one of the worst offenders of this.

Cerebration said...

To your point: The AJC did an in-depth report on teacher quality. Big article in the Sunday paper - very interesting.

Maureen has a post on her blog:

Teacher quality: Is it a priority in Georgia?

Among the findings of the report, which appears in the Sunday AJC today:

— The state hasn’t figured out a way to identify and remove ineffective teachers. In 2011, only 628 of the state’s 114,248 received received unsatisfactory job evaluations.

— Georgia’s brightest students don’t become teachers. Education majors score about 50 points lower than the national average on the SAT, according to national data. Education majors at Valdosta State averaged 988 on the math and verbal SAT, while the college’s accounting majors posted 1,041, according to 2010 data.

— Teachers need continual training, but in 2003, the state cut funding earmarked for professional development by one-third and has yet to restore it.

— The 21 University System of Georgia colleges offering undergraduate teaching programs produce teachers of varying quality, according to passage rates on the GACE II teacher certification test.


They also mention that nothing will deflate a great teacher like having to work with a bad teacher. So supporting great teachers means culling the bad ones.

Dunwoody Mom said...

My test for Atkinson is, can she fire

Yes, this is a HUGE test and will be a sign of whether she can be independent of the board of education.

Anonymous said...

So far no one has been fired. Moved around - yes. Pink slip - no.

Fred said...

"maybe Fred will be gone soon, too."

It's good to know that those with a different point of view, especially in shining the light on misinformation on programs and people are not welcome here. Too bad some also want to include Dunwoody Mom in that group. I thought this was an environment to share information while exposing wrongdoings. I did not realize correcting those that obviously have an axe to grind is not appreciated.

Fred said...

"My test for Atkinson is, can she fire. It's one of the biggest weaknesses of any leader of any non-profit, profit, govmt institution. "

Parent, while Dr. Atkinson can fire people, employees are entitled to due process. The rule of law offers protections in this case. Unless someone violated the terms of their contract, no one can be simply fired. 12 month employees sign an annual contract that ends on June 30th of each year. Dr. Atkinson can move employees to a different area or position then choose not to renew their contracts for the 2012-2013 school year.

Anonymous said...

@ Fred: So, what you are saying is that our honored board stalled just long enough to ensure even more double payments of salaries at the top, and continued siphoning of funds away from our students. Two of everything administrative until at least June of next year. Brilliant. Simply a brilliant, forward-thinking, planning effort by our esteemed BOA.

Actually, I must say that the moves were truly brilliant in terms of ensuring that their friends and family continued to receive their salaries through a longer period of time.

I'm not so pleased that they were not thinking of the drastic economic downturn and the need to improve services actually provided in the classroom. But, they got theirs, huh. It's all about priority.

Anonymous said...

Administrators do NOT have fair dismissal rights in the state of Georgia. When fair dismissal was restored, it was restored for teachers ONLY. Put the out of work administrators back in the classroom, IF they've kept their TEACHING certificates renewed.

Fred said...

"So, what you are saying is that our honored board stalled just long enough to ensure even more double payments of salaries at the top, and continued siphoning of funds away from our students. "

Board members have to speak for themselves regarding the delay. It is fair to say that had DCSS hired a new superintendent in April, much of the restructuring could have happened before all contracts were signed.

Looking at the titles of the new hires, it looks as though Beasley, Moseley, and Hunter may have new responsibilities soon. It is interesting how fast this was done as the new Cobb superintendent recently named the members of their cabinet after being on the job since July. They at least took a little of two months to evaluate their existing staff before making recommendations.

Anonymous said...

@ Fred
"Looking at the titles of the new hires, it looks as though Beasley, Moseley, and Hunter may have new responsibilities soon."

Tony Hunter is the Director of Information Systems (MIS). There is nothing in this blog about him being replaced.

dundevil said...

Dr. Atkinson wanted her own team of people that she knew and could rely on. That make sense to me.

I seriously doubt that anyone from the administration will be fired. They will just be moved around to other make work positions at the same or higher salaries. After all, there is a matter of self-esteem that must be preserved.

I wonder how she was going to treat relatives of the BOE members, and members of the Edwards and Callaway clans. it will be the real test.

Anonymous said...

Gary Brantly was with her in Lorain. He was responsible for bringing the netbooks to the schools.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Given the current national political climate and talk of abolishing the DOE, I am really afraid for our kids. Believe me, I think there is something to be said for abolishing this massive department and it's non funded mandates, but given more money/power to our board? Oh No.

Anonymous said...

What would hopefully happen if the DOE is abolished, is that local schools would have school councils that would be more powerful and govern along with the principal what happens in a school. This would actually give the board of education for the district less power, and no need for an income. All of the board jobs should be volunteer in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what will happen to Morcease and his friends ?!