Big story in today's AJC with a follow-up Mo Downey Get Schooled blog post. The major problems with Atkinson bringing in three new administrators paid over half a million in salary & benefits (a whooping $160k each STARTING salary plus bene's):
-Teachers have not received a pay raise in years, and now pay more for their benefits.
-The Tom Bowen-led Board of Ed. decided last year to save money by significantly increasing class sizes, instead of looking at the spending and staff's of wasteful non-school departments. Not a peep from Atkinson about teachers having 30, 35 or more students in their classrooms, while she adds more highly paid administrators.
-AND THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: SHE DIDN'T LET THE ADMINISTRATORS GO WHO NOW HANDLE THESE DUTIES GO!!! ADDING INSTEAD OF REPLACING? WHAT THE ...???
"Atkinson’s point person for instruction is Kathleen Howe, a former colleague of hers as a deputy superintendent in Kansas City, a district of 17,400 students and 2,300 teachers and other employees."
-So will Morcease Beaseley and Audria Berry be demoted and receive a lesser salary? What does this say about the massive, under performing Office of School Improvement? How about finally getting all that staff back in the classroom?
"Kendra March is DeKalb’s new deputy superintendent for school leadership and operational support. March worked with Atkinson in Charlotte at a district of 125,000 students."
--So will Bob Moseley be demoted and receive a lesser salary?
-As pointed out in the Get Schooled post, Kendra March thinks very highly of herself:
"“I was able to improve student achievement in all of those schools,” March said. “That’s what our mission is here in DeKalb.”
-I'm guessing that the teachers and staff who worked with her would have greatly appreciated her using "We" instead of "I".
"Gary Brantley, the chief information officer, will be in charge of all computers and technical equipment, such as digital “smart boards” for the entire district. He held a similar post for the Lorain City Schools in Ohio, where Atkinson was most recently the district superintendent."
-Current MIS head Tony Hunter was in the business world, from a computer that DCSS made a multi-million dollar purchase from, and was welcomed with great fanfare by the BOE and Central Office. So will Hunter be demoted and receive a lesser salary?
"Atkinson’s third hire is Brantley, who in Lorain helped the district move from relying on printed textbooks to electronic tablets that have all the textbooks loaded on them. “Society is moving fast and kids today need to be plugged in,” he said. “Technology can help us do that.”
-Why hasn't that happened under Tony Hunter and current MIS leadership? They have a great budget, getting everything they ask for from the Board of Ed. MIS may be the most underperforming of all DCSS departments. If Brantley just adds on staff instead of REPLACING staff, another major red flag.
Then again, if Brantley can stop from having so many computers walk away, and actually seem to care about DCSS computers seemingly disappearing like a 50% off flat screen on Black Friday, he's worth every penny (from March 2nd: Tony Hunter - asked for money to install software to track stolen computers (like a Lojack). Jester - any update on the status of the extensive theft of computers at Henderson? Tony Hunter -- we don't have the budget to replace all stolen equipment).
Dr. Atkinson had been well received across the county, including this blog, and everyone is on board to be positive and give her time to right the bloated, rotting, fetid Central Office.But she knew coming in that downsizing the Central Office machine was a top priority, and hiring these three in addition to current staff instead of REPLACING current staff is a major red flag.