Friday, December 30, 2011

Well now, hmmm.

Panel recommends special grand jury investigation into DeKalb schools

Read the article at the above link. The AJC is reporting that the Grand Jury has recommended convening a Special Grand Jury to investigate the school board. Well, now, hmmm. That is interesting.

Here's a snippet:

After their November-December presentments, the DeKalb County Superior Court grand jury has recommended a special grand jury look into the county school board, because, “It is clear that the school system remains top-heavy and suffers from a perception of conflicts of interest and waste.”

Among the more damaging allegations, the grand jury blamed the board for taking nearly two years to find a permanent replacement for former superintendent Crawford Lewis, who is now under indictment for fraud.

...

The panel also noted that:

  • The school board had too much influence in the hiring and retention of personnel, which created a culture where “friends and family” are benefiting.
  • Several school officials connected with DeKalb County bands were engaged in outside activities that might have had an impact on their duties at work. Band activity at all schools has been suspended in the wake of the hazing death of a Florida A&M University drum major, who had graduated from Southwest DeKalb High. Investigators are looking at connections between the college and high school.
  • The school system might have improperly campaigned taxpayers to approve the renewal of a penny sales tax. By law, systems are only allowed to provide information about the so-called SPLOST, but not lobby for or against it. In November, voters gave DeKalb County schools, where former superintendent Lewis is facing fraud charges related to previous SPLOST money, $475 million for school construction, including $144 million to replace seven elementary schools.
UPDATE: Click here to download the grand jury presentment.

194 comments:

Anonymous said...

Duh. What took them so long????

Anonymous said...

What panel are they talking about?

Anonymous said...

Wow, this version of the story FAILED to share that most of the issues and concerns are old issues and concerns. Even WSB-TV did mention that point all the while including a photo of Pat Pope.
It seems as though there are some unhappy people in DeKalb county who will never be content with any superintendent unless it is "The Superintendent" that they want. If the issue is with the BOE, I do believe that the state legislature has resolved that issue for DeKalb by cutting 2 of the 9 people on the board beginning with the voting cycle in 2012. As far as the top heavy and central office staffing, many have seen that the new superintendent is intent on reorganizing, and have retired or quit effective December 31st. The reduction to 2 area superintendents regardless of friend/family connection is something in the works for reduction of staff at the central office. The job of area superintendents can be done with 2, and area directors. The rest of the employees will be handled in upcoming BOE meetings after the final report by the consultant organization. I wish SACS would come out swinging hard, as they have done in FLorida with the governor attempting to use undue outside influence on FAMU, against these back handed, misguided groups who attempt to have complete control of DCSS. Unsure which group(s) are good or bad, but this is simply ridiculous when a new superintendent has been hired and no one is satisfied so as to let her do her job.

The literature regarding the SPLOST was well intended but was quite expensive when you consider that a 3-panel color brochure was the outcome, when all was needed was a flyer or letter signed by all the board members and the superintendent. Utilizing the DCSS website to communicate SPLOST would have been a better communication tool than the wasteful brochure.

CAn we change our game plan for the New Year? The children and staff are tired of being beaten when the real target is the BOE.

Anonymous said...

We need to see the whole Grand Jury report. Timing is incredibly odd. Dolars to donuts the same people who are after the Bishop got the Grand Jury onto this.

Interesting thing about investigations is that they can be used to kill information as much as expose it.
(1) Once done, they become the "case closed--no need for more" record.
(2) Official versions can be redacted before public distribution.
(3) Agenda and questions are negotiated among members before proceedings--pursued as a "board".

A problem in this particular case is that investigating school boards is not cut and dried-- subjective. ALWAYS dealing with ETHICS rather than ILLEGALITY. They get the "job well done" (replacement of members) only by innuendo, usually a resignation.

Then there's the media's reporting-more cause for concern--later on that one.

Anonymous said...

"For their report, the grand jury interviewed Atkinson, former interim superintendent Ramona Tyson and school board chairman Thomas Bowen. District spokesman Walter Woods said the system is prepared to cooperate fully with any investigation."

If the grand jury were at all concerned with the truth, why not interview a few involved parents as well? Seems like a few hand-picked, top level administrators and boe chairman might offer completely different perspectives on conditions at DCSS.

Anonymous said...

To the 1 AM poster, the Grand Jury report certainly singles out the Board of Education as a major problem.

In addition, the Grand Jury seems to be outraged about the legal costs associated with Heery Mitchell Civil Suit, something that should make each of us ill.

You are naive to think that this board of ed is going to stand by and let Atkinson make all her changes. So far, they have been quiet, but I am hearing that several of them have lists of employees they want protected.

Shame really. Surprising, no.

Kim Gokce said...

" , why not interview a few involved parents as well?"
I am great from qualified to speak on legal processes. However, my observation about Grand Juries is that they are most interested in getting testimony under oath from those most likely under investigation. That way, even if they never establish core items of wrongdoing, they can still lead to charges of perjury even on peripheral matters.

Kim Gokce said...

That was supposed to be, "far from qualified" ... smart phone out-smarted me ...

Anonymous said...

The Grand Jury will be outraged at the legal cost associated from defending the school board from all the lawsuits regarding the cell towers as well. Maybe they should look in to what T Mobile paid the board members and Dr. Atkinson for their votes?

Cerebration said...

"I wish SACS would come out swinging hard, as they have done in FLorida with the governor attempting to use undue outside influence on FAMU, against these back handed, misguided groups who attempt to have complete control of DCSS."

What does that mean?

Cerebration said...

As I understand this, the grand jury simply decided to create a special grand jury charged with looking into the matter more deeply. That's their job. We're talking about millions upon millions of tax dollars and hundreds of thousands of children's futures. IMHO, one can't be careful enough.

Cerebration said...

The school system might have improperly campaigned taxpayers to approve the renewal of a penny sales tax.

That one is most concerning. That would not only be unethical, it would actually be against the law.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to sue the high priced lawyers that were in attendance and answered questions at every SPLOST PAC meeting?

They were asked numerous times how to be compliant to the laws during the entire process.

Anonymous said...

Asked. Answered. But followed?

Anonymous said...

Again a question of laws vs. ethics...but something smells rotten regarding SPLOST campaigning when my children come home with glossy brochures about SPLOST a day before the vote.

Anonymous said...

The brochure did not solicit or advocate for the SPLOST.

It was an informational brochure.

End of story.

There is much more for the Grand Jury to look into at DCSS than the brochure and I'm not refering to SPLOST!

Anonymous said...

That the "old" issues have never been resolved is a concern for taxpayers/parents. Dr. Atkinson needs to clean house of friends and family, thin the non-teaching ranks that swelled to historical numbers under Lewis, right-size the compensation of support wnd admin personnel, and redirect those resources back into the classroom.

Cerebration said...

Those "old" issues are very expensive. Think about this: the controversial cell tower contract will only generate a million or so dollars. "Some" of our board members are doing back flips to sign on the dotted line. BUT - those same board members do not think twice about spending over $15 million so far and another $15-20 million on the books in legal fees for a civil case where our main representatives are currently indicted for racketeering - which has us all waiting on pins and needles for their criminal trial. We have to get these trials over with before we can move forward with anything. The legal fees are bleeding us dry and diverting time and attention away from the school board's main task (in theory): educating children.

Anonymous said...

For some time a perfect storm has been building that is wiping out black political and economic power in the metro. The DA James is in a very tricky position. If he goes forward, who knows what may come out? If he stalls, how much worse can it get before the Feds have to jump in? And the Lewis trial hasn't even started yet.

Anonymous said...

A perfect storm is NOT wiping out the black political and economic powerbase.

It is the illegal activities of these individuals and businesses that should be held accountable for their actions!

I don't care what color anyone's skin happens to be.

All people need to be held ACCOUNTABLE for their actions!

We have been waiting for a LONG TIME for accountability.
(and Transparency)

The silver lining of the recession and the economic turmoil for the last couple of years is that "Status Quo" is not acceptable anymore!

Therefore people start looking into how OUR tax dollars are being spent. (WASTED)

Subsequently, questions are raised and it is taking a GRAND JURY to get answers! (I hope)

Our current BOE has stone walled numerous requests, countless times for answers.

How did a former board member's children become the HEAD or DIRECTOR of a department when they have NO EXPERIENCE in that field?

Who leaked confidential, executive session board information to Zepora Roberts regarding the superintendent search?

Etc, etc.

So now we are at the crossroads of accountability and transparency versus cronyism and nepotism.

Which way will we go?

In my opinion, this could be a direct result of our new superintendent. (Once again, I hope)

Let's keep on fighting the fight folks! We may just have a few more students turn out to be like Mpaza and come BACK to DeKalb County and help correct the wrongs of previous generations!

(I hope)

Atlanta Media Guy said...

The people of DeKalb are going to need a whole lot of popcorn to get through these investigations and trials. Everyone knew this was coming, but no one knew what was going to happen.

I'm glad this is happening. We need to take a close look at the past history of DCSS to make sure nothing like it happens again.

From fraudulent cut and paste demographers report, which cost the county 6 figures to produce. For DCSS and the County Planning Dept. to never speak to one another, under orders from Crawford Lewis himself, this alone will cost the school system money since school areas will change demographically as well as density wise and will effect the student numbers at all schools.

I think the Grand Jury understands that DCSS can not conduct business like they have in the past. It's time to put some sunshine on the BOE, Central Office and where OUR tax money is being spent.

I hope the Grand Jury invites parents and stakeholders to testify. Should be an eye opening process.. THANK YOU Superior Court or whomever called for the Grand Jury investigation.

Anonymous said...

Talk to the teachers at Arabia, Control was basically lossed at the "premier" school on the south side. Earlier in the year a gun was flashed by a parent in the parking lot. There is no discipline in our schools. None. Zero. The administrators are in their jobs because of who they know and not because of what they can do. Arabia is a excellent example of this problem. They refuse to discipline children because they listen too much to the parents who aren't raising them to begin with and they don't want to lose the money that comes with keeping them in school.

Anonymous said...

Odd thought: What if certain board members would like to revisit their decision to hire Dr. Atkinson, as now she is simply not doing as they had wished? (ie; maintaining the Friends & Family status quo.)

Is this their way of correcting "buyers remorse"? After all, the jury only heard from Tom Bowen; the guy who wouldn't investigate the leak and who affixed electronic signatures of board members on a letter to the legislators. Is this all just a big Bowen manipulation?

Anonymous said...

IMHO,In part, we have the DCSW bloggers to thank for the recent news about the grand jury proceedings.

Whether you agree, disagree, or agree to disagree, the information presented in this blog eventually caught the eye(s) of the right people.

A number of DCSC bloggers had been accused of posting rumors and misinformation but behind all rumors lie a kernel of truth.

The noise we created has been heard. It was a virtual "Occupy the Palace!"

Fellow education system patriots, keep up the good work and keep making the noise!

ps Thanks Cerebration!

Dekalbparent said...

Ditto

Anonymous said...

Something bothers me about this. County DA James is not noted for investigating any wrongdoing in the county or DCSS. The Lewis/Pope deal was forced on him.

Either someone is out to get somebody or the stage is being set for another event. Could it be:

1. To provide Ms Atkinson with a solid legal basis to clean house
or
2. A whitewash of the past so that the status quo can carry on ?

I would like to think that a new day has dawned in the DCSS, but I have to be convinced by some real action.

Cerebration said...

The Champion has a bit more on the subject:

“This leads to suspicion that certain board members were on purpose working to compromise the selection process to the detriment of the DeKalb School System and the citizens of DeKalb County,” the grand jury’s presentment stated.

The grand jury also expressed concerns about the school board’s influence in the hiring and personnel evaluation process, stating that “it appears that there has been a long term culture of active or perceived influence of DeKalb County School board members on the hiring and retention of ‘friends and family.’”

The grand jury specifically mentioned the positions of parent centers and family service coordinators which, appear to have “salaries out of line with other roles within the School System.”

“While policies and procedures need to be put in place immediately to prevent issues in this area, we believe an investigation should be made to determine if past actions to hire and retain (protect) School System employees have taken place to the significant detriment to the Citizens of DeKalb County,” the grand jury presentment stated.

Other issues the grand jury wants investigated include whether senior personnel are employed in outside work that would impact their ability to perform their required duties; whether DeKalb County School funds were used to promote the recent SPLOST referendum; and whether proper procedures were followed in hiring attorneys, deciding to file a lawsuit and management of the lawsuit by the DeKalb County School Board in its case against Heery International mismanagement of projects.


Grand jury says DeKalb school board should be investigated

Claudia said...

Vindication, one hopes, for the grievances expressed on this blog, as well as hundreds of fruitless complaints to SACS.

Anonymous said...

Read the Champion to see what Ernest Brown has commented.

He states that the DA's investigation will take away from educating the children at DCSS.

He's finished in my book!

Cerebration said...

Right on Claudia!

Cerebration said...

And more from the Champion:

DeKalb County School officials said that Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson has promised significant personnel changes at every level of the school system at the beginning of 2012.

Atkinson is nearly finished with her 90-day entry plan and school spokesman Walter Woods said the personnel changes, which would occur throughout January, would bring the plan to a close.

“We are expecting significant changes throughout the district at all levels, particularly the higher central office levels,” Woods said.


Officials promise sweeping changes in DeKalb Schools

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

Not the same Ernest Brown, but I do worry that the Ernest Brown quoted has lost perspective on the seriousness of the situation in DeKalb. I think his children have been in choice programs nearly their entire educational career in DeKalb and he doesn't understand how it is for the rest of the system.

Anonymous said...

I think that if you have solid evidence that you think will help the DA in his investigation of the issues as expressed in the story, as it is being reported, you should take your "bits and pieces" to the office of the DA. If you would like a "point person" -- contact Cere at the blog and we will work to get you in touch with a point person there. I really believe that it's the bits and pieces of the puzzle that have enabled the scheme and, ultimately, the enterpirse, to be exposed through the blog and through individuals reporting the pieces they actually know as fact. Please do your part. I think this will facilitate Dr. Atkinson's efforts to "cleanse" the system of "friends and family" -- it will be much more difficult for current and past BOE members to complain.... (not impossible but more difficult) and should keep SACS on the "look out" -- if we're really lucky, the governor will step in and appoint our new 7 (highly unlikely). We still really don't know what's really out therre re: the band program and connections to FAMU -- I think there's something much bigger out there than we know about and that shoe is going to fall. We can hope that the ties to NB come a knockin.

Anonymous said...

Has james said when lewis/pope will go to trail. I also heard that marcus turk is on admin leave? Just asking this could not be true.

Anonymous said...

It's party time...yall having fun?

Anonymous said...

How can ANYONE be on administrative leave when the entire DCSS is closed until Jan. 2nd?

Anonymous said...

Turk was rumored to be connected to "David and Golliath" so who knows what all has been uncovered in the mess.

Anonymous said...

I too have been part of the fruitless complants to SACS. What exactly do they do? Why didn't SACS uncover the majority of the grand jury's investigation during their latest review? Who holds SACS accountable?

Anonymous said...

Turk being on leave has nothing to do with the system being closed. Question, is he on leave from the system.

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

Earnest Brown is great asset to all Dekalb County Schools. Hopefully, he will soon become a BOE member. He is knowledgable , intelligent, and most importantly, he gets nothing from DeKalb, personally. He is great and I wish him well.

Anonymous said...

TRAIN WREAK 2112! So Sad , too bad. What a mistake in giving Arkinson a 3 year contract without student achievement gains attached to it.
Is This ANOTHER STUPID MISTAKE_ TIME WILL TELL VERY SHORTELY.

Anonymous said...

We may as well have kept Ramona Tyson as super. She and Atkinson are joined a the hip all day long.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, train wreach...on the way and soon and very soon. DRASTIC changes after only 90 days and absolutely no plans for improving student achievement. Wonder what test scores will like? Well, Dr. Atkinson can't blame CLewis, it's her watch now and the only thing we have heard is "CHAND...DRastic CHange". What about school improvement, administrative and teacher support?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Atkinson is definately not ready for "prime time". She will soon find out that we are not like the parents in Lorain, Ohio. How many more outsiders can we tolorate? Chane in family & friends to more of her family and friends. Isn't she an AKS, also!!
Seen as if we were fools not to demand Ramona Tyson, who did a super job with SACS and was moving us forward with very limited Board support.

Anonymous said...

"Seen as if we were fools not to demand Ramona Tyson, who did a super job with SACS and was moving us forward with very limited Board support."

And what was Ms. Tyson's academic plan? Triage - also called "more of the same".

Anonymous said...

Looks like some of you might be a bit scared of what's coming down the pike. Oh too bad for you! Keep going Dr. A!

Anonymous said...

I think Dr. A is actually going to do very well.... at least with what she has inherited. I think that the BOE members who supported her thinking that they could control her and maintain the status quo are going to be quite mistaken. I think she is an educator at heart and is actually smart (something new for the position) and that she is a mom. I think that Ms. Tyson began in the position as Interim without that base and learned a lot and landed pretty much in the same spot (educated and smart and as a mom) and I think that as a "duo" they will make headway from a very difficult, corrupt and terribly bad place -- let's give them some time to see what they can do from their very different backgrounds. I agree that many of the "anons" are strikingly reminiscent of those that pushed Dr. Brown out because they didn't like the "house cleaning" that was going on that happened to have been very necessary.

Anonymous said...

I think the men on the BOE underestimate the "mom" instincts that just are there after most give birth -- particularly for educated folks without mental issues.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 10:39

Are you suggesting Ms. Tyson is an outsider? She was one of only 4 direct reports to Crawford Lewis as she was the head of Business Operations overseeing Finance and Human Resources. In a system that subscribed to the "Family and Friends" plan, how do you think the upper level managers were chosen?

Ms. Tyson cannot escape the fact that she was one of the highest placed managers in the DeKalb County School System on a management team that oversaw the steepest decline in student progress in the metro area.

Please read the following quote in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:
"Lewis recommended Tyson take over, Womack told the AJC......
While two board members did not support Lewis' choice to take leave, the board voted unanimously to appoint Tyson".

Ms. Tyson took over at the personal recommendation of Crawford Lewis, and the BOE was totally in agreement with Lewis's recommendation.

Here is the AJC article:
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020422&docId=l:1134998863&start=4


In two years Lewis and Tyson cut around 600 teacher positions and student achievement rate in our Title 1 schools became the lowest in metro Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Truthfully, Bob Moseley was more qualified than Tyson to take over as Interim. Now, instead he's been demoted to area super.

DaQuan Smiff said...

"I think the men on the BOE underestimate the "mom" instincts that just are there after most give birth -- particularly for educated folks without mental issues."

I laughed out loud! Cause it is SO true!

Got my Sam's club super duper popcorn, easy chair, and laptop. This is gonna be a fun one to watch. That subpoena thingy can be a mighty powerful tool.

I wonder if any hard drives are accidentally getting dropped, reformatted, etc??? Over these holidays?

Anonymous said...

December 31, 2011 12:03 PM

I agree with everything you say ... that being said, I think she was "shielded" from info under CLew and was "exposed" once she was "interim" -- I also think her hands were tied behind her back and that she was trying to do things that the BOE wouldn't let her do that she knew were necessary... I want to give her the benefit of the doubt -- I actually think she "gets" it and knows what needs to happen. I think if we "cleanse" too much we won't be able to move forward -- there's a certain amount of "institutional knowledge" that is necessary to move forward along with the "cleansing" and I think she may be in a position to best accomplish that. I don't know, this is just a sense. She is in a precarious position because she was one of CLew's 4 direct reports... but if you run a creiminal enterpirse and keep nooses around folks, it is sometimes next to impossible to do the right thing. The BOE did an excellent job of "stringing" Ms. Tyson along ... "just a few months" and we'll hire someone... I think that's part of the recent grand jury "report" and "issues".

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:40 pm
"I think she (Ms. Tyson) was "shielded" from info under CLew and was "exposed" once she was "interim" -- I also think her hands were tied behind her back and that she was trying to do things that the BOE wouldn't let her do that she knew were necessary..."

Lewis only had 4 direct reports:
Pat Pope/Reid, Chief Operations Officer (in charge of construction)

Alice Thompson, Chief of Staff (his administrative assistant)

Bob Mosley, Deputy Chief Superintendent School Operations (overseeing instruction and the schools)

Ramona Tyson, Deputy Chief Superintendent Business Operations(in charge of Finance and Human Resources)

What employees would you say "shielded" Ms. Tyson from her job which was to oversee:
The financial system of DCSS

The hiring and firing of all of the personnel in the school system

The Office of Internal Affairs that is charged with investigating any ethical or legal violations by any DCSS employee

Are you suggesting the employees under Ms. Tyson "shielded" her? She only had two direct reports - the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Human Resources Officer. She reported to the Superintendent. Are you suggesting Ms. Tyson's boss "shielded" her? If so, how did he accomplish this? Did he direct other employees to withhold data from her? Who are these employees?

If Ms. Tyson was so easily "shielded" from ethical and financial misconduct in the upper management of DCSS (a very small group of employees), then what functions was she performing in her position of head of Business Operation in charge of Finance and Human Resources?

Did Ms. tyson ask for data and reports regarding the business operations, personnel decisions, and ethical conduct of DCSS employees. If so, what misleading data was she given and more importantly, who gave her misleading information?

How competent does this make her look if she did not have enough business acumen to look clearly at the business operations of DCSS when she was the Deputy Chief Superintendent of Business Operations?

Your reasoning is flawed - Ms. Tyson is very smart and was stellar at performing her job of overseeing business operations, but she didn't really know what was going on in the business operations.

If Ms. Tyson didn't know what was going on in the business operations end of DCSS, how smart and on top of her job was she?

Anonymous said...

"Truthfully, Bob Moseley was more qualified than Tyson to take over as Interim. "

Are you certain the BOE didn't ask Mr. Moseley and he didn't turn the job down?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:06 pm

"Wow, this version of the story FAILED to share that most of the issues and concerns are old issues and concerns."

The (grand jury) panel showed:
"The school board had too much influence in the hiring and retention of personnel, which created a culture where “friends and family” are benefiting."

This has been going on for a long time, but was raised to new heights under Lewis. The OLD issues are still CURRENT issues since taxpayers are paying more than ever for the promotion of "friends and family" and valuable resources are being drained from the classrooms and the children that reside in those classrooms.

Note the BOE minutes from 2005, when the head of the DeKalb BOE Ms. Francis Edwards voted for her own daughter to be promoted to Director of the Public, Press and Partner Relations Department.


Before her promotion in 2005, the state salary and travel audit says Ms. Edwards' daughter was making $65,652 ($78,782 including benefits). By the 2006-2007 school year, after her promotion, she was making $109,788 ($131,745 including benefits).

Her mother as Chair of the DCSS BOE voted on a promotion for her daughter that resulted in a $52,963 increase a year in salary and benefits (actually, more than this considering her current compensation).

Currently, Ms. Edwards' daughter made $114,487 ($137,384 including benefits) for the 2009-2010 school year according to the 2011 state salary and travel audit.

See BOE minutes from DCSS BOE website:

"CALLED MEETING OF THE DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

April 20, 2005

The DeKalb County Board of Education held a called meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2005, in the Learning Resource Auditorium at Georgia Perimeter College, Central Campus, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston.

Present at the meeting were Chair Frances Edwards, Elizabeth Andrews, Sarah Copelin-Wood, Chip Franzoni, Simone Manning-Moon, Zepora Roberts and Superintendent Crawford Lewis. Vice Chair Bebe Joyner, Cassandra Anderson, and Lynn Cherry Grant were absent.

Chair Edwards called the meeting to order at 7:14 p.m......

.......Mr. Tim Freeman, Associate Superintendent of Administrative Services, recommended that the Board approve the appointment of Philandrea Guillory, a relative of a board member, as Director of the Public, Press and Partner Relations Department. A motion was made by Ms. Andrews, seconded by Ms. Roberts and carried with a unanimous vote.

There being no further business, Mrs. Edwards called for a motion to adjourn. On motion by Ms. Andrews, seconded by Ms. Roberts, and by a unanimous vote, the meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m."

Anonymous said...

Look at these BOE notes from 9-6-05 regarding promotions of relatives of BOE and Cabinet level administrators.

"9-6-05
Recommendation It is requested that the Board approve the following personnel assignments: Sharon Pritchett from the position of Prevention/Intervention Specialist to the position of Prevention/Intervention Coordinator Torie Callaway from the position of Pre-K Paraprofessional at Redan Elementary to the position of Prevention/Intervention Specialist Marilyn Griffith from the position of English teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School to the position of High Schools That Work Coordinator in the Department of Instruction "

Note that Frankie Callaway's (Lewis's Cabinet member) daughter went straight from a pararprofessional to a Prevention/Intervention Specialist (listed in the state salary and travel audit as a Parent Center Coordinator) making $45,052 ($54,000 including benefits) in 2007. Parapros in 2007 made an average of $22,556 a year ($27,067 including benefits). So Ms. Callaway's daughter essentially was a parapro for a year, and then her promotion as a Parent Center employee doubled her compensation. She did not get her certification as a parapro until September 2004 according to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission records and was promoted in September, 2005 according to DCSS BOE minutes. Current parapro certificate is expired.

Seeing how this affects taxpayers today, according to the 2011 state salary and travel audit, Ms. Callaway's daughter makes $48,853 ($58,623 including benefits). The average pay in 2011 for DCSS parapros is $25,729 ($30,875 including benefits).

Anonymous said...

I hope those making the decision about whether to follow the recommendation and bring this before a grand jury are keeping up with this blog.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 5:42 pm

All of the information is a matter of public record - Information any taxpayer can access.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Tyson did an excellent job as the interm. Yes, she knows where all the bodies are buried at the palace. There are many!
Yes, Atkinson is a member of the Calloway organization (AKA) Let us hope and pray this this superintendent pledged in college and doesnot care to advertise her Greek clothing wearing sorority gear for a 100 year old organization that needs no advertisement from its sorors.

Salute Ms. Tyson for the firing of the book-gate crooks and others who were stealing within the county for years. Thanks to the AJC.
One bookgate crook's husband (Mr. Butler)is now an ordained minister after his famous wife lost her job lying on national television and writing fake recipes. Maybe the 400,000 that Ms. Butler says she and her husband lost is going to buy New Birth from Bishop.
Simpson is still working in the county and his friend.
Ms. Butler's (Annette Roberts) has now re-married and still no one can find any of the cookbooks she ordered for her school.Although, she has a lawyer and states that she is being paid by the county. Hmmmm

Ms. Tyson did have the nerve to correct the problems that Marcus Turk failed to turn over information to the absent senator, Ramsey. Hmmmm

When is the trial date for Pat Pope and ClEW? Maybe then we can find out where the other bodies are buried during the trial.

Anonymous said...

I understand that, but I wonder if those making the decision will be willing to do all the research needed to gather this information (e.g. the BoE meeting minutes). Here it is ser ved up on a platter.

Anonymous said...

“Truthfully, Bob Moseley was more qualified than Tyson to take over as Interim. Now, instead he's been demoted to area super.”

Yes, Mr. Moseley does have the qualifications and experience. However, he has been part of the problem. Mr. Moseley is known for referring to parents as “background noise”. This man just needs to cash in his chips and leave.

Has Mr. Moseley’s salary been reduced to reflect his new responsibilities?

Anonymous said...

Did Ms. Calloway have to submit her resume to the central office? Let us hope so. Para pros in the county should be upset knowing that this family and friends member was given a position along with a increase. While many parapros are educated and some even certified to teach.
The street community says that Ms. Calloway cannot pass the GACE Test, and was given the job as a preventive specialist in the county.
I donot think that the District Attorney is going to create a panel to investigate any wrong doings in DCSS. He is a frat brother to many and has ties within the system as well. Another smoke screen for DCSS.

Where is Richard Belcher? He can find out if no one can. We need Richard Belchers taxpayers again on this one.

Anonymous said...

How can the taxpayers see the report? We need to be able to read it line by line. If you have privy, let us know.

This should be brought out so all can see the family and friends connections.

Anonymous said...

formatting a hard drive does not delete the data. dropping it only slightly prolongs obtaining the data from it. nothing short of a nuclear explosion will get rid of it.

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

@ Anonymous 6:14 pm
"Ms. Tyson did an excellent job as the interm. "...
"Salute Ms. Tyson for the firing of the book-gate crooks and others who were stealing within the county for years"

Please see what Ms. Tyson promised the taxpayers regarding Ralph Simpson and Selina Thedford for their participation in the unethical book sales scandal:

AJC article 12:40 p.m. Sunday, August 15, 2010:
"DeKalb County’s top school official is firing two principals and demoting two other officials after an internal investigation found school funds were used to purchase thousands of dollars worth of books that school administrators had written. ....

Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson said the investigation uncovered a misuse of school funds that was “alarming,” “disturbing” and “unethical.”.....

The district cut Simpson’s salary from $115,405 to $89,599, and Thedford’s from $105,615 to $93,168, district Chief of Staff Alice Thompson said."

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-fires-2-demotes-592425.html

Taxpayers need to go to the 2011 state salary and travel audit that lists the 2010 - 2011 salaries for these employees:

Ralph Simpson:
School year 2010 - 2011 - $113,697
(versus the $89,599 quoted to the AJC)

Selina Thedford:
School year 2010- 2011 - $107,153
(versus the $93,168 quoted to the AJC)

So Ms. Tyson did not appreciably reduce their salaries. They functioned as Assistant Principals for the entire year at almost the same salaries with generous travel benefits as well.

The average salary for an Assistant Principals in DeKalb is $77,000 a year so they are not in line with the pay for Assistant Principals either. In addition, Mr. Simpson has $945 listed as his travel expense, and Ms. Thedford has $2,499 listed as her travel expense. The average travel expense for DeKalb Assistant Principals in the 2010-2011 school year was $390.

Judging by Mr. Simpson's and Ms. Thedford's compensation, Ms. Tyson has rewarded them for their unethical behavior.

Did the Central Office and Ms. Tyson think no one would look their salary information up?

Apparently, the AJC never followed through to see if the "demotion" as told to the newspaper ever happened.

Taxpayers need to go to Open Georgia. gov (see link below) to see the 2011 salary and travel information for DCSS employees. Please look up these two employees for yourselves.

http://www.open.georgia.gov/
Click on Salary and Travel Reimbursements, choose Organization, choose Fiscal year 2011, choose Local Boards of Education, and search for Dekalb County Board of Education.

Ms. Tyson needs to address the promise she made to DCSS taxpayers regarding the demotion of these employees for unethical behavior.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:14 pm

"Salute Ms. Tyson for the firing of the book-gate crooks and others who were stealing within the county for years. .....
Ms. Butler's (Annette Roberts) has now re-married and still no one can find any of the cookbooks she ordered for her school.Although, she has a lawyer and states that she is being paid by the county. Hmmmm"


Go to the DCSS email website to see that Annette Roberts is still listed as an employee of DeKalb County School System:
http://fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us/directory/

So much for Ms. Tyson's promise to "fire" and "demote" the book-gate employees for their " “alarming,” “disturbing” and “unethical" behavior.

DCSS can spend tens of millions in a lawsuit against Heery Mitchell yet they can't stand up to personnel who use Title 1 funds meant for the poorest of DCSS students to buy books written by school system employees?

Anonymous said...

I think one of the things that the grand jury is trying to get at is the control the BOE has had over various employment decision. I think that it's very possible that Ms. Tyson may have wanted "to do the right thing" and that the BOE was exercising such control that she was precluded from doing so..... and this is, quite possibly, one of the largest problem we have in the drama called DCSS. This is what resulted in Dr. Brown's departure (I think if you really closely analyze it -- he was paid to get out and to keep his mouth shut regarding what he learned -- a half million and his contract had 15 months left....).

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:14 pm
"I think that it's very possible that Ms. Tyson may have wanted "to do the right thing" and that the BOE was exercising such control that she was precluded from doing so."

The moral and ethical route is hard to follow. Standing up for principles that promote the well being of children is what leaders of school systems are supposed to do. This is what taxpayers/parents expect of the superintendent of the school system.

What good does it do to have a superintendent who does not place the students first?

Ms. Tyson asked and received a $75,000 a year increase in salary from the BOE while teachers' salaries were being cut so this raises questions as to why she did not "do the right thing" IMHO.

From the AJC:
"Ignoring complaints from parents and board members, the DeKalb County school board on Tuesday approved a $73,000 raise for its interim superintendent....
The board voted 6 to 3 to give Ramona Tyson the pay increase, which would bump her salary to nearly $240,000. Board members Don McChesney, Donna Edler and Nancy Jester objected to the raise and asked to delay it....
“This brings me in line with other metro districts,” Tyson said. “The school district is in some very complicated and unique challenges now. It will not stabilize overnight....
In addition to the pay raise, the board agreed to give Tyson an 18-month contract, which includes a $24,000 expense account."

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-approves-73-000-807788.html

Anonymous said...

"I understand that, but I wonder if those making the decision will be willing to do all the research needed to gather this information (e.g. the BoE meeting minutes)."

That is what the DA is paid to do. Literally billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, the county is being divided as factions seek to break away to form their own cities, and most importantly, student achievement is being compromised.

A few keystrokes to locate this information seem like a small price to pay. The health of a school system is the driving force for real estate values, property taxes, job opportunities, and the future of hundreds of thousands of students.

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Tyson asked and received a $75,000 a year increase in salary from the BOE"

Sorry - comment should have read:
"Ms. Tyson asked and received a $73,000 a year increase in salary from the BOE"

Anonymous said...

I hope the DA saw the news photo of Cunninigham holding a SPLOST sign and waving at passersby in cars the day before the vote!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Atkinson does not need Ms. Tyson at her side telling her what to do. She needs to be evaluating Ms. Tyson's past performance in DCSS. Performance is defined as moving students forward in terms of student achievement. Did Ms. Tyson improve student achievement as the Interim serintendent, head of Business Operations and the leader of Information Systems?

Anonymous said...

Note that Frankie Callaway's (Lewis's Cabinet member) daughter went straight from a pararprofessional to a Prevention/Intervention Specialist (listed in the state salary and travel audit as a Parent Center Coordinator) making $45,052 ($54,000 including benefits) in 2007. Parapros in 2007 made an average of $22,556 a year ($27,067 including benefits).

Yet, a fellow teacher who had/has 20-plus years of teaching experience, along with a leadership degree has applied over and over for those positions...to no avail. The said teacher was never even granted an interview. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:34 pm

It is a perfect example of the "family and friends" plan that Frankie Callaway's daughter would be a paraprofessional for one year (no teaching certificate or social worker license) and then obtain a Prevention/Intervention Specialist position in the Parent Center department at double the salary.

Posters need to verify this for themselves.

Go to the Georgia Teacher Certification website to view her certification date as a paraprofessional:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Go to Open Georgia. gov to see her 2011 compensation:
http://www.open.georgia.gov/

Reference BOE minutes 9-6-05:
"Recommendation It is requested that the Board approve the following personnel assignments: ... Torie Callaway from the position of Pre-K Paraprofessional at Redan Elementary to the position of Prevention/Intervention Specialist "

BOE meeting minutes:
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/board-of-education

Anonymous said...

WORK SESSION/BUSINESS MEETING
OF THE
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCA¬TION

January 9, 2006

Dr. Lewis recommended a position upgrade for Sally Wade, a relative of a board member, from a Secretary II in Human Resources to an FTE Specialist within the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department.

In discussion that followed, Ms. Grant noted that since two of the recommendations on the agenda pertain to relatives of board members, the member associated with the candidate is not allowed to vote.

Ms. Joyner made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Roberts seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Joyner, Ms. Manning-Moon, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, and Ms. Grant abstaining.

Dr. Lewis recommended a position upgrade for Michelle Jones, a relative of a cabinet member, from a teacher at Miller Grove High School to assistant principal at Chamblee High School.


Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

Ms. Grant made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Andrews seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Manning-Moon voting affirmatively, and Ms. Roberts abstaining."

Anonymous said...

Ms. Francis Edwards's son is promoted December 5, 2005 to a Network Liaison Specialist -
2004 salary - $32,610
2007 salary - $52,706
2011 salary - $57,994

Ms. Edwards son received a $20,000 pay increase with his promotion (62% compensation increase). He was promoted without this being brought in front of the BOE and only later was the BOE asked to approve the promotion.

WORK SESSION/BUSINESS MEETING
OF THE
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

December 5, 2005
"Dr. Lewis recommended a position upgrade for Jamal Edwards, a relative of a board member, from a 10-month Certified Teacher Support Specialist (CTSS) to a 12-month Network Liaison Specialist I within the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department, effective July 1, 2005.

Ms. Andrews made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Roberts seconded the motion.
In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis apologized that this was not brought before the Board at the time of the promotion as required by Board policy. He has directed Human Resources to review and revise its standard operating procedure so this violation of Board policy does not happen again. Ms. Grant said this policy has been followed for a number of years unerringly and she is troubled that suddenly it has been violated. Ms. Grant asked for clarification of the process to determine which jobs are posted and which jobs are not posted.

Ms. Ramona Tyson, Associate Superintendent of Management Information Systems (MIS), stated that under the former administration an initiative was established to address needed budgetary personnel cuts. One of the decisions made during that time was to reduce the workforce through attrition. One area selected was the Certified Technology Support Specialist (CTSS) which is a ten-month position. Within this initiative, the CTSS full-time equivalency (FTE) position was moved from the local school personnel budget to the MIS personnel budget and in doing so, the management of these positions was now under the administration of MIS. In August 2004, a decision was made by the former head of MIS to relocate seven CTSS employees from the local school to MIS. These seven individuals were required to assume the duties and responsibilities of the entry-level position of a Network Liaison Specialist within MIS. At the end of May 2005, the ten-month payroll for the seven CTSS employees ended for the school year and these employees were placed in a 12-month department as a part of the MIS staff. They were inclusive and working on assignments and projects that required them to continue to work as 12-month staff. In order to compensate them for the additional time they were required to work, a request was made through Human Resources to upgrade them from 10-month to 12-month status. This request was made through the chain of command and approved by Human Resources July 2005.

The question was called, and the motion to approve the position upgrade as recommended was approved by a vote of 7/0/2, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Joyner, Ms. Manning-Moon, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, and with Ms. Edwards and Ms. Grant abstaining.
"

Anonymous said...

Board Chair's Francis Edwards son-in-law was promoted from Director of Transportation to Executive Director of Transportation. See BOE minutes July 10, 2006.

Did his change in title from Director of Transportation to Executive Director of Transportation entail additional responsibilities to go with the additional compensation?

Compensation in 2007 - $114,121
(2005-2005 school year as a Planning Evaluation Personnel his salary was $74,095)

WORK SESSION/BUSINESS MEETING
OF THE
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

July 10, 2006
"Dr. Lewis recommended that David Guillory, currently Director of Transportation, be appointed to the position of Interim Executive Director of Transportation, with the salary to be reviewed and brought back to board for consideration at a later time.

Ms. Andrews moved to approve Dr. Lewis’ recommendation that David Guillory be appointed Interim Executive Director of Transportation to include the recommended salary increase. Ms. Joyner seconded the motion

Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn called for a vote, and the motion passed by a vote of 6-1-1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, Mr. Franzoni opposed, and Mrs. Edwards abstaining."

Anonymous said...

You are correct, Annette Roberts is still listed on DCSS directory. Is she being paid to sit at home knowing that she and her sister stole Title 1 money to purchase cookbooks.And bragging about this!

Yvonne Butler is still saying that she will be vindicated for stealing and that Marcus Turk knew of this.

Please let Dr. Atkinson make changes with the principals. Please take a poll vote of the number of incompetent female administrators that were hired by Debbie White (AKA,) Calloway, (AKA,) Audria Berry , (AKA.) The list is VERY long, not including the incompetent AKA sorors that were special friends of CLEW. Let us hope that the audit will reveal a lot of secret salaries and job that were underserving.
The person who stated that she never got an interview, the county is full of people who were black-balled by administrators and if your application was pulled, your principal most likely is the blame.
Or, you are not an AKA, or part of the Family and Friends plan in the county. Better luck for 2012.

Anonymous said...

Richard Belcher or the I-Team could uncover a lot of info for Mr. James. Let us hope that he does not rely on Ramsey for assistance in this matter.

Ramsey's main job is to dismiss teachers based on principal's recommendations or area superintendents. No facts, just word or mouth.
Call Richard Belcher for help! ClEW promoted so many of his AKA girlfriends to principal and assistant principals positions.

Anonymous said...

What has been going on with the BOE is just the tip of the iceberg; this same system of arrogance is also evident in the school houses across the county. Teachers have watched and been victims of arrogant and vindictive administrators. Ms. Atkinson really needs to look into what is going on in individual schools.

Teachers are being threatened with losing their jobs if students do not pass the CRCT. Some are made to make projections of raising students’ reading and math levels to proficiency even if their students are 3-2 grades below grade level. They are told that they must not fail their students or their jobs are in jeopardy. Many are forced to make projections of future scores that are not realistic. Most teachers want their students to show growth as well as to be successful. However, these unrealistic projections are creating environments of stress for teachers as well as for students.

It is ironic that DCSS has a zero tolerance for bullying regarding student behavior, yet teachers are being bullied on a regular basis. Just walk through most schools, particularly in the south end of the county, as this toxicity is almost palpable. Until these issues are also addressed and dealt with, student success will continue to suffer.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 1:36 am
"Teachers are being threatened with losing their jobs if students do not pass the CRCT. Some are made to make projections of raising students’ reading and math levels to proficiency even if their students are 3-2 grades below grade level. They are told that they must not fail their students or their jobs are in jeopardy. Many are forced to make projections of future scores that are not realistic."

This is exactly what happened in APS.

Title 1 funds need to be used to provide Title 1 teachers for small group instruction for struggling students below grade level. A teacher with 30+ students, 8 to 10 of them a year or 2 or 3 years below grade level in math or reading, cannot address the needs of every student. All the non-teaching "Coaches" and "Coordinators" and "Directors" in DeKalb have drained the classrooms of teachers who work directly with students and have ensured our students in low income schools fall farther and farther behind.

Over 100 non-teaching "Coaches" make around $100,000 each a year in salary and benefits so DCSS spends over $10,000,000 on these employees who never teach a child. The many "Coordinators" make on average OVER $100,000 year and never teach a child so there ae many more millions down the drain.

Is it any wonder student achievement has plunged while highly paid non-teaching jobs have increased to unprecedented levels?

The Parent Center personnel are almost all uncertified in teaching and unlicensed in social work. Just what the qualifications of this exceptionally top heavy and highly paid group are a mystery. In addition, they have absolutely NO accountability for student progress even as they divert money from direct instruction of students in the classroom.

NO qualifications or pay scale is posted on the DCSS website for ANY of the non-teaching personnel positions in DeKalb Schools. EVERY Atlanta metro school system has non-teaching personnel qualifications and pay scales posted on their websites EXCEPT DeKalb. This is an enormous problem that has allowed the nepotism and cronyism to flourish. How has the DCSS administration and Human Resources Department gotten away with this?

Ms. Tyson had almost two years to require the Human Resources department to post this information. Surely, the DCSS Human Resources has pay scales and qualifications for every job in the school system. Dr. Atkinsonn should have this posted immediately like EVERY other metro school system. This is taxpayer money. No excuses.

Teachers and in particular grade level and content area teacher comprise a continually shrinking portion of the DeKalb School System pie in terms of numbers and pay. Threatening teachers with their jobs if scores do not improve while increasing their class sizes will nott result in a legitimate increase in student test scores. DCSS must do the hard work of "right sizing" and rebalancing the work force so that MOST personnel are teachers even if many non-teaching jobs are eliminated, consolidated and/or outsourced. The taxpayers will be behind Dr. Atkinson if she does this. No one watched out for Dr. Brown. We can't afford to make that mistake again.

Anonymous said...

On the Georgia Gang this morning regarding the Grand Jury's recommendation of an investigation into DCSS.

Jeff Dickerson, (Who I think is still on the DCSS payroll.)

"This Grand Jury investigation will only hurt student achievement within DeKalb County Schools."

"What good will come from this?"
"This needs to be handled from within the school system."

Jeff, it is time for you to distance yourself from DCSS!

Just like the lies you spew for your various employers. You are a sick person with NO integrity!

I hope you learn soon that you can fool some of the people dome of the time but you can't fool us anymore!

Phil Kent said he is confident that the DeKalb DA, Robert James, will root out the bad people from inside DCSS.

Keep Jeff Dickerson out of our school system!

Anonymous said...

I was actually shocked to see a particular individual's salary at $70,000 as a "student support" person in a school, not a parent center. On Open Records, this person's position is Parent Coordinator. An investigation really needs to be done because so many qualified people over the years have applied for these positions (including the Intervention Prevention Positions) but many were not even granted interviews. Thus, many qualified people learned that if you were not "connected", you need not apply. Too, don't these people continue to get raises while the hard working teachers and other non-teaching staff do not? Yet the above referenced person would not not know how to support a student even if it was written down, step by step! On another note, someone posted earlier names of many department heads and the majority of them belonged to the same sorority, including the recently retired Felecia Mitchell Mayfield. While nepotism and cronyism happens in many organizations and corporations, nepotism and cronyism of unqualified persons is really ridiculous. Dr. Atkinson, I'm sure has already infuriated many because she herself belongs to this sorority yet she had the fortitude to recently dismiss a Soror department head. Let us pray that she is given the support that she needs 'cause this is not going to be easy!

Anonymous said...

I am a taxpayer in DeKalb County. I was exposed to this “blog” about a year ago. I can honestly say that atleast 60% of the information pans out to be true and I am shocked and enraged by the “friends and family plan.” I was looking at the qualification/certification of some of DCSS’ leaders. Why is it that qualifications requirement of Top Leaders (Area Assistant Superintendents) are not congruent with that of mid level management (Assistant Principals). For example, Robert “Bob” Moseley only has a Bachelors Degree and he supervises administrators that are required to have graduate degrees in Educational Leadership. How does an agriculture certifcation qualifies you to manage a system -- no disrespcet for agriculture certification. Why are we paying him so much? (http://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx) - Robert Moseley. How is this soooooo? People have shared how great he is as a leader. Is he academically prepared to support principals and other administrators?

Anonymous said...

Wrong Moseley.

Anonymous said...

That same name shows a 6-12 science teaching certification too. Remember, Ramona Tyson only has a bachelors degree and only taught business ed for a couple of years. It's interesting that most of the overpaid friends and family were placed either under Tyson or Berry.

Anonymous said...

Moseley was the principal of Tucker high school at least.

Anonymous said...

If it is the wrong Moseley.... please lead me to his certification.

Anonymous said...

I am correct about his certification. It was not the wrong Moseley.

Anonymous said...

That certificate was issued in 1962. He would have been a toddler.

Anonymous said...

Is he listed under George Mosley? His name is listed as Robert G Moseley on the the DCSS website. A George Mosley has an Educational Leadership degree per the Teacher Certification site.

Yes. Mr. Moseley was the principal of Tucker High School. He was well liked by the teachers at Tucker High School.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad some don't understand the law. As a public service, you may want to look up OCGA 20-2-940. This has to do with the Fair Dismissal Act which guarantees employees due process rights. It governs the dismissal, demotion,
and suspension of professional, certificated school district employees in Georgia. Dr. John Trotter speaks of this act frequently along with the non compliance by many school districts in GA.

A good summary of this can be found at:

http://www.brockclay.com/PDF/Article_Fair_Dismissal_Act_11-16-06.pdf

Anonymous said...

Anybody want the COO job posted for DCSS on their website? Sounds like fun.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:01pm

Dr. Atkinson didn't fire a soro sister, she fired an employee who was CAUGHT making ILLEGAL and UNAPPROVED purchases!

Bahama Berry recently purchased over $500,000 worth of textbooks recently WITHOUT the BOE apporval.

She had done this for YEARS!

I think she knew someone in charge that let her get away with these actions.......(That was a joke)

She was terminated for illegal actions!

This was not a soro sister but a CRIMINAL!

She could be in jail is prosecuted by FEDERAL attorneys!
Title 1 is a FEDERAL program and any fraud or misuse of funds could lead to JAIL!

I read recently there were 500 available jail cells at the DeKalb County jail.
We could create a School System wing as part of it?

Anonymous said...

Is it realistic to expect that every student will be proficient in math; that every student will be proficient in reading; and that every student will graduate?

Regardless of your answer on this, NCLB is promoted as requiring 100% of students (including disadvantaged and special education students) within a school to reach the same state standards in reading and mathematics by 2014. Do you think this has anything to do with teachers being threatened with losing their jobs if students do not pass the CRCT?

Anonymous said...

The politicians are currently dealing with the unrealistic issue of 100% student achievement.

Anonymous said...

Look at a few of examples of the Salary Schedules posted for:
Gwinnett
http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/careers/careershr.nsf/010d64ffdfc63566852571dc0061d644/5d1dfad1cd332b0b852571e0006cb5c7?OpenDocument&0~Careers

Forsyth:
http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=474

Rockdale:
http://portal.rockdale.k12.ga.us/about/fs/hr/employbenefits/Pages/default.aspx

Contrast this to DCSS that publishes ONLY teachers' salary schedules:
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/human-resources/teacher-salary-schedule

Non-teaching salary schedules should have been published YEARS ago like EVERY other school system in the metro Atlanta system. The DCSS Human Resources Department should have Salary Schedules that cover EVERY job and position. It should be a simple matter of uploading them to the DCSS website. Taxpayers should be able to compare our salary schedules with other counties.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:24 pm

"The politicians are currently dealing with the unrealistic issue of 100% student achievement."

We are not talking about 100% achievement here. The fact that only 20% of our Title 1 schools could make AYP is a disgrace, and the responsibility needs to be placed on the Teaching and Learning Department and more specifically on the Office of School Improvement that has handled all of the Title 1 funding.

Teachers in Title 1 schools have NOT been asked what they need these funds spent on to move their students forward. Does anyone think they would choose scripted learning programs and literally hundreds of non-teaching admin and instructional support employees rather than personnel who will directly instruct struggling students?

Is anyone besides the Upper Management and the BOE at DCSS satisfied with the fact that only 20% of our Title 1 schools made AYP (the lowest percentage in the metro area)? The accountability for student progress must rest on the shoulders of the DCSS administration. They hire the teachers, tell them how to teach and set policies, procedures and programs for the entire school system.

The DCSS administration has turned over almost every single principal in the last ten years, and the DCSS teacher turnover has ensured that a substantial number of our teachers have turned over as well.

If you break it, you should buy it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe more pressure needs to come from the citizens to politicians to remove this unrealistic expectation. Politicians are responsible for the current law as it stands. School systems are doing what they can to comply with NCLB. Unfortunately it sometimes involves cheating. The pressure that teachers get for meeting this unrealistic goal flows up through principals, school boards and superintendents, politicians and ultimately citizens.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:34 -- the salary schedule isn't posted for the same reason that the 2004 audit was buried -- the inconsistencies are too bright and apparent. Dr. Brown was let go over trying to fix this and I think he was "paid" to keep his mounth shut about it. If we want real transparency, we probably need the Ga legislature to pass legislation requiring 75 or 80% of all dollars to be spent in the classroom (or go back to Gov. Barnes' classsizes) and require on-line posting of all transactions. There's no requiremnt, funds are coming in at the top and you see what that gets us....maybe the grand jury will get somewhere on this too? And for all of you who didn't (don't) think the 2004 audit is relevant... I think you are very wrong... it highlighted these inequities... it was buried and the salaries, which were bad then, are much worse now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:46pm.

I agree 100%.
The board spends their time and attention on non-education issues such as:

Cell Towers
Band Uniforms
Culminary Programs (SCW words not mine)
Redistricting and school closures
SPLOST funding
etc.

I would be totally shocked if I heard the BOE actually deal with the lack of student achievement.

This is their sole responsibility and the BOARD has failed us miserably for letting this happen.

Shame on them and good for us for fighting for the children.

IMHO, it is time for new board members.

Here are a couple of ideas/requirements for next year's board elections.

Boards members need to:

1) Pass a credit check, no liens.
2) Pass a criminal background check.
3) Pass a 5th grade CRCT.

This should get rid of the majority of our current board. I'm not kidding either.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:46 pm

"Teachers in Title 1 schools have NOT been asked what they need these funds spent on to move their students forward."

Someone here is spreading misinformation about what happens in Title 1 schools. All Title 1 schools have a school improvement team that includes school administrators, teachers, classified staff members, parents, and community members. They are responsible for the development, on-going monitoring, and implementation of improvement plan. This is a GA State DOE mandate. The school improvement plans for the school system can be found at:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/school-improvement/consolidated-school-improvement-plans

It is sad that some people are so intent on providing misinformation. Time spent on defending misinformation is time not spent on coming up with real solutions to aid with student performance.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:05pm

First of all, the link you provided was to the School Improvement page of DCSS. This is for ALL schools not just Title 1.
Misinformation.

#2, do you remember who WAS in charge of school improvement and curriculum?
Morcrease Beasley!
What a JOKE that guy IS!
He can't pass a 5th grade CRCT!
I guarantee! Doctor? What gum ball machine did he get his degree from?

Typical BS that is KILLING the education in DCSS!

Put him in a classroom and he will be gone in a month!

Now, if you would like to have a discussion regarding Title 1 in DCSS then provide some information worth discussing.
Please let me know what type of educational PLAN is being implemented and what type of results are being produced and recorded?

I look forward to hearing form you soon.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:17pm

If you bothered to look at one of the plans, you will see that it indicates the schools that are Title 1 in the report. You will also see that these online plans go back to the 2006-2007 school year when Gloria Talley was over Curriculum and Instruction. It really does not make a difference who was in charge because the report is done at the local school by those that are closest to the students. That includes teachers which you erroneously said have not been asked how to use the Title 1 funds. This can be verified by speaking to an employee at a Title 1 school.

Teachers know the truth about the use of Title 1 funds in their schools. Decision making on how to use those funds (which come to about $600/child) is done at the school. The amount of funds dictates what can be done to supplement instruction. Teachers will also tell you that when students are academically 2-3 grade levels behind where they are, the Title 1 funds don't go very far. This is especially true if there is not a supportive relationship with the family to make sure learning is reinforced at home.

Let's not let the truth get in the way of your spin. You want to blame the central office and teachers for the lack of student performance in some schools and you will continue to do it despite the information that provides more insight.

Anonymous said...

"The school improvement plans for the school system can be found at:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/school-improvement/consolidated-school-improvement-plans"

CSIPs are stupid and I've written one. They are more paperwork that take away from instruction.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:40pm

Once again your comments, prose and style IMHO out you as either a DCSS employee, agent or ghost writer!

Keep on trying to blow that smoke because the winds of change are building to gale force and those winds will clear the air and more!

Anonymous said...

I teach in DeKalb County, have worked for Bob Moseley, and would gladly work for him again. I didn't always agree with what he did, but always respected the thought he put into decisions. I am well aware of the "background noise" incident. At this point, with bigger things going on in the county than what was happening at Lakeside 5 years ago, l see Moseley as actually one of the few positives in the DCSS

Cerebration said...

We have had this conversation before several times. To get up to speed, and review our reports on the subject, click these links:

The Office of School Improvement: An Oxymoron

More on the "Office of School Improvement" $$$

Triage! That's what they're calling the plan to improve test scores.

Ramona Tyson's report on the 2004 Ernst & Young audit and plans for a new audit"

Back to the topic of the Ernst & Young 2004 audit

Anonymous said...

"Teachers know the truth about the use of Title 1 funds in their schools. Decision making on how to use those funds (which come to about $600/child) is done at the school."

And how many teachers would choose to have non-teaching "Coaches" in their schools ($10,000,000+ a year in Title 1 funds for around 100 non-teaching "Coaches"). Did the teachers choose to spend $6,000,000 on America's Choice. Lastly, did teachers choose to spend $2,200,000 on Coordinator, Directors, etc. for the Office of School Improvement Central Office personnel?

Source:
DCSS website (staff directory)
Open Georgia.org (Federal Expenditures for DeKalb Board of Ed and State Salary and Travel audit 2011)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:49pm

As mentioned, they are a requirement of the GA DOE not DeKalb Schools. The state is required to provide an adequate education for its student. Documenting proven strategies used to educate students can help if they can be used by other schools to improve student performance.

Anonymous 3:55pm

Actually it is fun pointing out the errors in your posts. Anonymous 3:49pm is probably a teacher and validated my original point of teachers being involved. It is not a secret that are many problems in this school system. No one disputes that. When people like you focus on the wrong areas with misinformation, it takes attention away from where it is needed.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:40

"You want to blame the central office and teachers for the lack of student performance in some schools "

No. The Central Office bears the responsibility for the lack of student performance. They have hired every teacher, told them how to teach, set policies, procedures and programs for the schools, and controlled funding expenditures throughout the system. The DCSS administration must be held accountable for the lack of student progress.

Every non-teaching admin and support employee must have their jobs tied to the service they give to the members of the classroom (the teacher and her students).

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:17 pm

"Now, if you would like to have a discussion regarding Title 1 in DCSS then provide some information worth discussing."

Here are the student performance numbers for DCSS Title 1 schools as compared to demographically similar metro school systems:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/07/dcss-title-1-schools-and-ayp-shell-game.html

The student performance data and the demographics data at this link comes from the state of Georgia DOE website.

Anonymous said...

“Is it realistic to expect that every student will be proficient in math; that every student will be proficient in reading; and that every student will graduate?"

What is realistic is that each teacher will work to ensure that every student is supported in reaching their fullest potential. As teachers we are required to assess students' skills in various domains using a variety of assessments. In any given class there will be students identified as; below level, on level, and exceeding expectations. It is then left up to teachers to meet these students where they are through; remediation, on level, or enrichment learning experiences, as well as differentiation and scaffolding of instructional strategies. The teacher is then also required to expose all students regardless of their instructional levels to current grade level instruction ,with the goal of ensuring that they do not fall further behind. This is a massive task. (It is not unheard of to have a class where more than half it not more ,of the students are identified as performing below grade level proficiency.)

There are some schools that provide support for students that need remediation through programs such as; English Language Learners (ELLs), reading and math specialist. There are some schools where this additional support is not given. It should be noted that all teachers are qualified to provide remediation with or without this support.
Many schools also receive the “support” of a literacy coach, who has no direct contact with students.( We have heard of this controversy. )Many teachers find their support to be negligible on ineffective, as well as displaced. It is usually not the teachers that needs support, but the students.

What is reasonable is that each teacher will ensure that each student makes progress. If this progress does not manifest, then interventions must occur. These interventions require that a teacher specifically targets the gaps in learning and monitors progress or lack of progress. The instruction at this point must be individualized for each student. If no progress is made more documentation and additional interventions must ensue.

The bottom line is teachers can and most do work to ensure student success. Success, like proficiency can be relative. NCLB is flawed in practicality and in execution. This is America , someone is always left behind.

Anonymous said...

Here are the positions and salaries of personnel in the Central Office who work in the Office of School Improvement ($100,000 a year "Coaches" not included):

Data Entry Specialist $50,532
Executive Director $117,012
Coordinator $88,520
Parent Community Liaison Specialist $62,682
Coordinator $104,784
Assistant Director $90,084
Accounting Associate $52,861
Executive Administrative Assistant $51,561
Coordinator $68,005
Coordinator $92,592
Coordinator $102,732
Coordinator $80,815
Parent Community Liaison Specialist $67,343
Accounting Associate $52,384
Coordinator $104,784
Coordinator $94,980
Administrative Assistant $32,004
Director of DeKalb Graduates $115,308
Administrative Assistant $37,231
Parent Community Liaison Specialist $61,021
Director of DeKalb Graduates $109,740
Administrative Assistant $36,527
Coordinator $77,580
Coordinator $89,457
Administrative Assistant $26,198

Total expenditure:
$1,866,737
20% benefits included bring this figure to $2,240,084 a year

Average cost per Central Office School Improvement employee to taxpayers annually:
$89,603

Source:
DCSS website staff dierctory
2010 State Salary and Travel audit

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:18pm

Good post! To add two more challenges teachers face, factor in lack of support with discipline (from administration and parents) and increased mainstreaming of special needs students in regular education classes, it makes your jobs that much more difficult.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4:18
"Many schools also receive the “support” of a literacy coach, who has no direct contact with students.( We have heard of this controversy. Many teachers find their support to be negligible on ineffective, as well as displaced. It is usually not the teachers that needs support, but the students.'

Looking at the 2011 state Salary and Travel audit, DCSS has around 160 non-teaching "Coaches" who cost taxpayers $13,000,000+ in compensation including benefits. There are Literacy Coaches, Instructional Change Coaches, Title 1 Coaches, Graduation Coaches, Math Coaches, ELL Coaches, Language Arts Coaches, and the list goes on and on (use 2011 state salary and travel audit to sort for Literacy Coach, Graduation Specialist and Instructional Specialist - not to be confused with Instructional Specialist P-8 - they teach students). In addition, taxpayers spent almost $124,000 last year in travel for these employees.

This does not include the 79 non-teaching Parent Center personnel that cost DCSS taxpayers $4,500,000 a year in compensation including benefits.

Nor does it include the include the Coordinators (listed as Instructional Supervisors). There are 49 of them, and they cost taxpayers around $5,500,000 in compensation including benefits. These 49 employees spent $104,000 on travel in 2011.

Nor does it include the 18 Staff Development personnel (isn't that what the 160 "Coaches" are supposed to do?). The 18 Staff Development personnel do not teach students, and they cost taxpayers around $1,700,000 a year in compensation including benefits. Travel cost for these 18 employees was $28,522.

DCSS taxpayers spent approximately $25,000,000 on 300+ "Coaches", "Coordinators", "Parent Center" and Staff Development employees. NOT ONE of these employees ever teaches a child and NOT ONE of these employees is held accountable for student achievement.

$25,000,000 a year spent on these non-teaching employees means that our schools forgo 385 experienced teachers who would directly instruct students (calculating $65,000 as the cost of a teacher including benefits).

DCSS needs to decide if the model of investing in all of these non-teaching employees who bear no accountability for student progress is improving student achievement. The results would say otherwise.

Posters need to go to the state of Georgia's Open Georgia.org if they want to verify these numbers:
http://www.open.georgia.gov/

Anonymous said...

Last year Gwinnett County Schools served 159,814 students as compared to DeKalb County that served 95,481 students.

Gwinnett County Schools spent $1,075,215 in travel
while DeKalb Schools spent $1,569,192 in travel.

When you have eliminated 600 teaching positions in the last two years and post the lowest academic scores in the metro area, travel expenditures should not be this out of line with other metro area school systems.

source:
Student enrollment

Georgia DOE
Gwinnett County Schools:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=667&T=1&FY=2011

DeKalb County Schools:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2011

Expenditures for travel:
Open Georgia (Salaries and Travel Reimbursements)
http://www.open.georgia.gov/

Anonymous said...

More 2010-2011 Travel Expenditure figures

Cobb County Schools:
106,619 students
Travel expenditure: $955,039

DeKalb County Schools:
95,481 students
Travel expenditure: $1,569,192

Ms. Tyson was fine with cutting 300+ teaching positions, however travel expenditures for DeKalb Schools remained some of the highest in the metro area.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 4:01 pm

And let's not forget "Where Have All Our Teachers Gone?"

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/11/where-have-all-our-teachers-gone.html

Lewis eliminated 275 teaching positions and Tyson eliminated 300+ teaching positions or close to 600 teaching positions in the last two years.

Anonymous said...

Before anyone makes a comment about what a person has done to support and to improve student achievement, make sure you check your facts. If you don't have documentation on what a person has done in his or her job performance, don't speculate.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:58 pm
"Before anyone makes a comment about what a person has done to support and to improve student achievement, make sure you check your facts. If you don't have documentation on what a person has done in his or her job performance, don't speculate."

Please be more specific. Most data detailed in this blog thread has web links to state websites so that readers can check the facts of the poster/commenter. The data was provided by DCSS to the state.

Can you cite an example on this thread where documentation for data presented has not been provided or is not accurate? If you can, please do so in a subsequent post. Posters of data on this blog strongly encourage readers to check the data provided. That is why the source links to state websites are provided.

Please point to a comment in which the data on this thread is incorrect and provide links to your credible source(s). It is not the intent of the comments that provide data on this blog thread to mislead readers. Rather, it is the intent to provide data that readers can verify for themselves. That is what transparency is all about.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:58 pm
"Before anyone makes a comment about what a person has done to support and to improve student achievement, make sure you check your facts. If you don't have documentation on what a person has done in his or her job performance, don't speculate."

A blog is defined as; a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites. Reteived from:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blog

Anonymous said...

“DCSS needs to decide if the model of investing in all of these non-teaching employees who bear no accountability for student progress is improving student achievement. The results would say otherwise.”

You are exactly right, the data would evidence that the plan is indeed not working for facilitating student achievement. (See testing data; http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/test-scores ) The plan is however working for those selected to work in these unaccountable positions. It is extremely frustrating to watch an “expert” teacher who has been removed from the classroom due to allegedly being highly effective, and then they just assume the role of an overseer or an extremely highly paid para-professional. (no insult to all the hard working para-professionals, your pay is not sufficient) Their expertize should be better utilized in working directly with students and effecting and fostering positive student achievement.

Let us just hope that this situation will be rectified, and we again become committed in deeds rather than just talk to ensure that all students are better served.

Anonymous said...

Last year's legislation for Board ethics includes a prohibition on hiring family members. Unfortunately, it is not retroactive--nor does it address family members of administrative employees. It also is restricted to "direct" family members of Board.
Hopefully, this investigation will help clarify the full INTENT of the new law. Guessing it won't--and the hiring of anyone not meeting the specific language of the law will simply be deemed "probematic" rather than an ethics violation warranting State intervention.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the friends and family are so entrenched that they are self perpetuating. They are in places of power that give them power to hire others who then solidify their power base. For example, look at the Guillorys, Francis Edwards' children and in-laws. They have very influential power bases which then grow to include other friends and family.

To break the power bases will be very difficult. The members of the power bases do not owe their allegiance to Dr. Atkinson or the taxpayers. They owe their allegiance to the friends and family that are in these high positions. They feel as long as they are loyal to the people who run the power center they reside in, they will be fine. This is why DCSS Admin and Support positions have become all about the politics and who you know and little about what you know.

Schools in middle class areas that do not rely so much on the educational system for success and have parents who are squeaky wheels have not been as affected. However, schools in low income areas where the educational system can make or break a student have really experienced the deleterious effects of a school system run on connections rather than competence.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:50 pm

"Last year's legislation for Board ethics includes a prohibition on hiring family members. "

This is not correct. The statement reads "No Board member shall vote on the employment or promotion of any of his or her immediate family members. No immediate family member of a Board member may be employed or promoted unless a public, recorded vote is taken separately from all other personnel matters."

No having the ability to employ a 'qualified' family member of a board member could be against the law. It goes to the transparency with the hiring. One could have a hard time enforcing this in small towns that have a smaller pool of qualified people for various positions.

Anonymous said...

Should be "Not having" above

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:29
You have made some key observations that are barriers to our current learning environments. The first that I will address is the issue of mainstreaming. Research has in fact shown that the inclusion model when done correctly can have positive affects on student achievement. Herein lies the problem, it's often times not being done correctly. In many instances it has become yet another opportunity for a professional teacher to assume the role of a helper, rather than that of a contributing teacher; thereby limiting the potential to enhance the learning of all involved students.

In the effort to provide customer service, the issue of student discipline has somehow egregiously been linked to the issue of customer service. This has lead to significant handcuffing of teachers' authority to instill discipline in an effective manner. We understand that without discipline true learning is indeed compromised.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:09 am
"Research has in fact shown that the inclusion model when done correctly can have positive affects on student achievement"

That's purely your opinion. Please give some links to reputable studies that show the efficacy of inclusion over other models of remediation and enrichment.

Anonymous said...

This is correct about female administrators on the south end of the county using their power to intimidate staff members who will not yield to them.

Several teachers have applied for positions and never received one interview. Remember, the Delta and Alpha Cohort. This was a leadership joke that Debbie White and Glanton used to weed out persons who were not favorites among their principals. In fact, a lot of teachers in the county have been Black-Balled by female administrators on the south end of the county. These female principals call each other once teachers put in for transfers and bad mouth teachers. Then at their monthly county meetings, they laugh about who got which teacher. Or, how they got rid of certain staff members. Keep in mind now, Dr. Atkinson gave them power recently to hire and fire. This is another can of worms or explosion about to happen.
Most teachers are now aware of the South end transfer scheme and Black-Balled system and will be taking legal action in some cases where they have be Black-Balled.
GAE represents a lot of these administrators and Area Directors are either sorors or part of the Family and Friends connections, so what other choice do you have, except legal action.
Horace Dunson received a lot of complaints from teachers at Browns Mill School about the principal and Assistant Principal. Nothing was done and these two continue to cause terror among staff.
Female administrators on the south end of the county are connected by soror affiliation, church, college, neighbors, and etc.Most use these connections to run their schools using their sorors to serve as spies for them. Taxpayers, and Dr. Atkinson, take a unannounced vist to the schools on the south end of the county and this will give you a chance to understand why the schools never make AYP. Along with the incompetent teachers who are shielded by their leaders because the leaders are not mature enough to manage a school. Most were hired or PLACED as administrators by CLEW, White, Berry, and other area directors.In 99% , most were placed using the soror connection, mentor or I JUST Like YOU PLan. These administrators have brought the south end of the county nothing but a gossip mill and a place of play time for their favorite staff or sorors. Watch which schools will not make AYP again this year. (The South End) These female principals need to be removed and sent to learn how to lead a school. They were PLACED and that's all.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:54

Did you read the law? You cannot be a BOE member and have anyone in school or system administration. It is very clear. Here are excerpts and the web link for posters to verify if they want to read the entire law:

http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/versions/hb251_HB_251_AP_11.htm

"To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.....to provide for nepotism restrictions for eligibility for members of local boards of education and for local school superintendents..."

"(2) No person who has an immediate family member sitting on a local board of education or serving as the local school superintendent or as a principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff in the local school system shall be eligible to serve as a member of such local board of education. As used in this paragraph, the term 'immediate family member' means a spouse, child, sibling, or parent or the spouse of a child, sibling, or parent. This paragraph shall apply only to local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2009. Nothing in this Code section shall affect the employment of any person who is employed by a local school system on or before July 1, 2009, or who is employed by a local school system when an immediate family member becomes a local board of education member for that school system."

"(2) No person shall be eligible to be appointed, employed, or to serve as superintendent of schools of any county or independent school system who has an immediate family member sitting on the local board of education for such school system or who has an immediate family member hired as or promoted to a principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff on or after July 1, 2009, by that school system. As used in this subsection, the term 'immediate family member' shall have the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-51. Nothing in this Code section shall affect the employment of any person who is employed by a local school system on or before July 1, 2009, or who is employed by a local school system when an immediate family member becomes the superintendent for that school system."

.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:54

Should read:
You cannot be a BOE member and have a relative in school or system administration. This includes your son in law and daughter in law as well as child, parent, and sibling.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:54

The DCSS BOE must abide by state law. If the DCSS Code of Ethics does not match the state law, then they must change it. Are you saying the DCSS Code of Ethics does not contain the state provision against being a school board member if you have a relative in a school or system administrative position?

See HB 251:
http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/versions/hb251_HB_251_AP_11.htm

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:12

Did you read the comment I commented on? It said there was a PROHIBITION on hiring family members. Even in what you shared, it did not say family members could NOT be hired, just that they could not be in certain positions. Could a teacher that is the spouse of a Board member be hired in that school system? The answer is yes.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the State BOE Local School Board Governance Standards and Model Ethics Policy, passed in 2010. It can be found at:

http://www.gadoe.org/pea_communications.aspx?ViewMode=1&obj=1972

Look at the link on the bottom referencing Conflicts of Interest.

This blog is at its best when information can be shared with references and context. Just throwing data out without putting it into any context serves no purpose.

Anonymous said...

So the law is effective only for after July 2009 and in our case it closed the barn door after the horeses got out.

Anonymous said...

Actually when family members of the superintendent, Board and cabinet members are up for hiring or promotion, it is brought as a separate action. This has been happening in DeKalb for prior to the State Board policy.

It seems some here are getting confused about what 'friends and family' really is. This is a tough area to write employment laws and policies on without discriminating. It it was that easy, we would not have many of the problems that exist in most government agencies today. Favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism has been around for a long time and it a culture that will be a challenge to eliminate. Should we try? Sure, but be prepared for lots of litigation.

Anonymous said...

Teachers want and deserve to be heard. So many times, administrators have connections with area directors and others in the palace, so when the complaints are brought up, they flush them down the drain.

The news about Marcus Turk being sent to the Service Center is the resting place for administrators who break the law.

Did they send any of the female administrators packing especially on the south end? They think that their decisions and actions are above the law and that they can bully teachers and move them around as they please because this is their building and I am the BOSS.
Take a poll vote from teachers on the south end and they can confirm how they are treated by their female bosses.
A lot of teachers wanted to address issues at the fireside chat, but they knew each principal on the south end , had a spy sitting waiting to tell who and what was said. Sad, but true.

Anonymous said...

Retyping the post from 12:52 earlier because of the grammatical errors.


Actually when family members of the Board, superintendent or cabinet members are up for hiring or promotion, it is brought as a separate action. This has been happening in DeKalb for a few years prior to the State Board policy.

It seems that some here are getting confused about what 'friends and family' really is. This is a tough area to write employment laws and policies on without discriminating. If it was that easy, we would not have many of the problems that exist in most government agencies today. Favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism has been around for a long time and it is a culture that will be a challenge to eliminate. Should we try? Sure, but be prepared for lots of litigation.

Anonymous said...

Will the taxpayers get a chance to see what positions have been cut and what members of family and friends/ frat/ church/ sorors and others have been eliminated?
We know the spender of our taxpayers dollars (Marcus Turk, savior of; CLEW, Simpson, Thedford, A.Roberts, Yvonne Butler, and Berry) ) has been sent to the Service Center instead of out the door. Internal Affairs, Ramsey, where were you? Chasing teachers out the county based on some administrator's lies....not one ounce of proof, just administrators, here say and gossip.
Is this a demotion or outta sight thing for now until everything cools off. We will see.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the Human Resources report that is a part of each Board Monthly Work Session. It includes employees that have separated from the school district since the previous report. There is a reason associated with each employee.

Anonymous said...

where is this report found from the Human Resources Department

Anonymous said...

From the DCSS Main Webpage

-Select Leadership then eBoard Home Page from the pull down menu
-Select Meetings on the Ribbon Bar then Board Meeting then any Work Session you see.
-The Human Resources report should be under Action Items. Select the report. There is a PDF consisting of the Human Resources report that contains the information for the previous period.

There are other ways of getting to this and past reports. This is one way.

Anonymous said...

here's something from one of those HR reports:

The Division of Human Resources reports the leaves of absence of the following employees:

Mack, Antonio R Druid Hills Middle Assistant I, Food Service-MS LOA-Professional Improvement

Mcneal, Margaret Mary International Student Center Assistant I, Food Svc LOA-Professional Improvement


??? What kind of professional improvement do food service employees need a leave of absence for???

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Don't forget Jamal " where in the world is" Edwards after getting his salary improved by vote of the BOE did NOT report to his new job for 6 months until parents uncovered the facts that he was hiding out at their school.

We're going to need a ton of popcorn as Dr. Atkinson unravels the corrupt friends and family of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Part 1
@ Anonymous 10:09 am, 10:39 am, 12:30 pm, 1:15 pm, 12:40 pm, 12:52 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:42 pm, 5:49 pm,

You are obviously with the Central Office which leads me to believe Dr. Atkinson approved blogging as part of your job description.

You can't blame Dr. Atkinson for wanting "spin control". But she needs to do more than "spin control" on a community blog.

My guess is that you didn't have sex scandals and racketeering charges in Lorain so you are playing catch-up with some help from the "Friends and Family" that have been entrenched for years. Many of the highly paid "Friends and Family" have connections to the BOE members or former BOE members and "upper management" personnel:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/06/friends-and-family-plan.html

The grand jury is concerned about the "Family and Friends" connections because this practice has corresponded with the most drastic decline in DeKalb student achievement, particularly in the lower income Title 1 schools, in the history of the school system. Only 20% of our Title 1 schools made AYP in 2011. NO other metro system - even ones that have 100% of their schools as Title 1 - come close to that dismal statistic.

See the article below, and PLEASE click on the links provided to go to the state websites where this data was obtained:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/07/dcss-title-1-schools-and-ayp-shell-game.html

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/06/in-comparing-standardized-test-scores.html

If our students were achieving at the same rate as other demographically similar school systems are achieving, the "Family and Friends" program would not be such an issue.

You may not know this, but DeKalb used to be "the system" to educate students and "the system" to work for. I know because I started teaching in DeKalb in the early 70s, have lived here and sent a child through DeKalb schools, and have paid close to $100,000 in property taxes which has the lions share going to DeKalb Schools.

Suggesting that DeKalb cannot keep up with demographically similar systems is to imply we have inferior parents, students, and/or teachers. I can assure you we DO NOT have less capable students, less involved parents or less educated teachers when compared to demographically similar school systems. We do however have a "Family and Friends" plan that has rewarded and promoted personnel based on social and familial connections regardless of competence or merit and a culture of corruption in "Upper Management" that has resulted in criminal charges at the highest administrative levels.

Anonymous said...

Well now, hmmm,Maybe, Jamal is with Mr. Turk at the Service Center hiding out.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:09 am, 10:39 am, 12:30 pm, 1:15 pm, 12:40 pm, 12:52 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:42 pm, 5:49 pm,

You are obviously with the Central Office which leads me to believe Dr. Atkinson approved blogging as part of your job description.

You can't blame Dr. Atkinson for wanting "spin control". But she needs to do more than "spin control" on a community blog.

My guess is that you didn't have sex scandals and racketeering charges in Lorain so you are playing catch-up with some help from the "Friends and Family" that have been entrenched for years. Many of the highly paid "Friends and Family" have connections to the BOE members or former BOE members and "upper management" personnel:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/06/friends-and-family-plan.html

The grand jury is concerned about the "Family and Friends" connections because this practice has corresponded with the most drastic decline in DeKalb student achievement, particularly in the lower income Title 1 schools, in the history of the school system. Only 20% of our Title 1 schools made AYP in 2011. NO other metro system - even ones that have 100% of their schools as Title 1 - come close to that dismal statistic.

See the article below, and PLEASE click on the links provided to go to the state websites where this data was obtained:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/07/dcss-title-1-schools-and-ayp-shell-game.html

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/06/in-comparing-standardized-test-scores.html

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:09 am, 10:39 am, 12:30 pm, 1:15 pm, 12:40 pm, 12:52 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:42 pm, 5:49 pm,

If our students were achieving at the same rate as other demographically similar school systems are achieving, the "Family and Friends" program would not be such an issue.

You may not know this, but DeKalb used to be "the system" to educate students and "the system" to work for. I know because I started teaching in DeKalb in the early 70s, have lived here and sent a child through DeKalb schools, and have paid close to $100,000 in property taxes which has the lions share going to DeKalb Schools.

Suggesting that DeKalb cannot keep up with demographically similar systems is to imply we have inferior parents, students, and/or teachers. I can assure you we DO NOT have less capable students, less involved parents or less educated teachers when compared to demographically similar school systems. We do however have a "Family and Friends" plan that has rewarded and promoted personnel based on social and familial connections regardless of competence or merit and a culture of corruption in "Upper Management" that has resulted in criminal charges at the highest administrative levels.

Taxpayers/parents are angry that our children have been shortchanged and dismayed that our property values have been negatively affected disproportionately in a time of serious economic uncertainty for many of us.

Ms. Tyson and Dr. Atkinson cannot hide the student achievement scores that show our students lag behind other schools systems that have basically the same socioeconomic levels as DeKalb, and that Dr. Lewis and then Ms. Tyson balanced the budget on the backs of the members of the classroom (teachers and students) while preserving non-teaching jobs that are out of line with other metro area systems.

Rather than dedicate an employee to monitor a blog and produce "spin", Dr. Atkinson would do better if she:
1. Acknowledges the problems of DeKalb
2. Aggressively removes the highly paid non-teaching personnel who got their jobs via "Family and Friends" connections
3. "Rightsizes" the number and pay of the admin and support side
4. Redirects resources back into the classroom in the form of teachers that directly instruct students.

The taxpayers/parents of DeKalb will continue to monitor the student achievement and "Family and Friends" connections that concern us. We will continue to post the student achievement results as contrasted to other metro schools systems and compare the number and pay of non-teaching personnel to teaching personnel. Parents ALL over DeKalb are asking questions and looking at the data. Concerns about the school system do not belong to a specific geographical group regardless of what you have been told.

Hopefully, the DA will aggressively pursue the "culture" that has led to DeKalb Schools having the lowest student achievement in the entire metro area.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to find out the names of the members of the grand jury?

Passionate... said...

Mr. Robert Gwen Moseley II, Level 6Specialist Degree Educational Leadership since 1995 certificate expires June 2013-GAPSC certification

Inclusion for the 21st Century: Integrated but Not Included; What Are the Advantages of Inclusion? By Greg Sandlin

The Pros and Cons of Inclusion for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders:
What Constitutes the Least Restrictive Environment? Thesis by Lindsay J. Vander Wiele

I'm glad grand jury is outraged. Many of us have been outraged for some time. DCSS BOE and AIC needs to be looked at, but not at the precious cost of doing more harm to our children.
Much of our system is broke. We need repair, we don't need to be condemned and rebuilt. DCSS has a lot of great staff. Many great teachers.

Anonymous said...

The overwhelming response to the "family and friends" practice indicates that we have big problems within Human Resources. The most important role of human resources is to hire and retain skilled and competent employees. This is definitely not the case in DCSS. I was told by DCSS HR dept that they are in essence a "storer" of information. This information is made available for administrators to view/choose candidates. I was told that I would need to contact administrators and request an interview. We all know that any effective HR department would present administrators with a list of the top 3 to 5 candidates from which they are to choose. Goodbye nepotism...cronyism...family and friends.
Maybe Dr. Atkinson will be willing to provide the "stakeholders" with more insight into the workings of HR.

Anonymous said...

I think day two through five at DCSS will see some significant changes in Human Resources.

Dr. A. seems to be going methodically through her list of things to do and cleaning out the top heavy system. I think she has witnessed what policies and procedures are in place and how ineffective the leadership has been and will modify these changes immediately.

I think most of us didn't expect the current Super to come in and make changes because of the lack of experience running a large school system. Some of us assumed she would be pushed and led by the current BOE...well I'm sure the BOE aren't too thrilled about her choices of Dr. A.'s decision to dethrone the friends and family employment agency "aka" DCSS.

Anonymous said...

A post worth repeating!!


Anonymous said...
@ Anonymous 3:26
"Do we want to spend more money on lawyers fees for not following the law? Why do you think Annette Roberts is still employed by the school district? "

Why did she tell the AJC she was firing Ms. Roberts when she was obviously keeping her on the payroll?

Why did Ms. Tyson tell the AJC she was demoting and drastically decreasing the pay for Ralph Simpson and Ms. Thedford when she knew she was keeping them at virtually the same pay ?

Ms. Tyson told the newspaper and thus the taxpayers what she thought would get her good press.

Here are the links to verify that what Ms. Tyson told the AJC and the public versus what she really did:

AJC article 12:40 p.m. Sunday, August 15, 2010:
"DeKalb County’s top school official is firing two principals and demoting two other officials after an internal investigation found school funds were used to purchase thousands of dollars worth of books that school administrators had written. ....

Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson said the investigation uncovered a misuse of school funds that was “alarming,” “disturbing” and “unethical.”.....

The district cut Simpson’s salary from $115,405 to $89,599, and Thedford’s from $105,615 to $93,168, district Chief of Staff Alice Thompson said."

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-fires-2-demotes-592425.html

Taxpayers need to go to the 2011 state salary and travel audit that lists the 2010 - 2011 salaries for these employees:

Ralph Simpson:
School year 2010 - 2011 - $113,697
(versus the $89,599 quoted to the AJC)

Selina Thedford:
School year 2010- 2011 - $107,153
(versus the $93,168 quoted to the AJC)

So Ms. Tyson did not appreciably reduce their salaries. They functioned as Assistant Principals for the entire year at almost the same salaries with generous travel benefits as well.

The average salary for an Assistant Principals in DeKalb is $77,000 a year so they are not in line with the pay for Assistant Principals either. In addition, Mr. Simpson has $945 listed as his travel expense, and Ms. Thedford has $2,499 listed as her travel expense. The average travel expense for DeKalb Assistant Principals in the 2010-2011 school year was $390.

Judging by Mr. Simpson's and Ms. Thedford's compensation, Ms. Tyson has rewarded them for their unethical behavior.

Did the Central Office and Ms. Tyson think no one would look their salary information up?

Apparently, the AJC never followed through to see if the "demotion" as told to the newspaper ever happened.

Taxpayers need to go to Open Georgia. gov (see link below) to see the 2011 salary and travel information for DCSS employees. Please look up these two employees for yourselves.

http://www.open.georgia.gov/
Click on Salary and Travel Reimbursements, choose Organization, choose Fiscal year 2011, choose Local Boards of Education, and search for Dekalb County Board of Education.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain the differences in the populations served by DeKalb Transition Academy, Destiny Academy and The two Dekalb
Alternative Schools?
It appears to be a duplication of staff and services/facilities...

Anonymous said...

The Alternative School is for expelled students for school offenses; the Transition School is for students returning from incarceration; and the Destiny Academy is a charter school. The Transition School has THREE administrators for less than 100 kids.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonmous 3:40
"If you bothered to look at one of the plans, you will see that it indicates the schools that are Title 1 in the report.,,,,Teachers know the truth about the use of Title 1 funds in their schools. Decision making on how to use those funds (which come to about $600/child) is done at the school. "

These "plans" brought DeKalb from 74% of Title 1 schools making AYP to only 20% of our Title 1 schools making AYP.

The more "Coaches", "Coordinators" and other non-teaching employees hired, the lower our Title 1 schools student achievement became. An inverse relationship between non-teaching employees and student achievement was happening. Yet the Office of School Improvement and the Department of Teaching and Learning and Dr. Lewis and Ms. Tyson and ultimately the BOe were busy approving these "plans".

Does anyone really think teachers would choose to have all these non-teaching personnel wandering around the building never teaching a child while their class sizes were increasing exponentially?

Please review the state data for DeKalb Title 1 Schools:

2007-08
63% of DCSS Title 1 schools made AYP

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2008


2008-09
74% of DCSS Title 1 schools made AYP

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2009

2009-10 (AFTER strict test monitoring)
52% of Title 1 Schools made AYP

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2010

2010-2011
20% of Title 1 school made AYP
http://www.ajc.com/news/2011-georgia-crct-results-983502.html

Please contrast this with:
Rockdale (100% of their Title 1 schools made AYP and every school is Title 1)

Marietta City Schools (77% of their Title 1 schools made AYP, almost all of their schools are Title 1, and they are considerably lower income than DCSS)

Clayton County (55% of their Title 1 schools made AYP and all of their schools are Title 1)

Does anyone still think teachers were the ones driving the Title 1 train - making plans to increase their class sizes and hire more and more non-teaching personnel?

No Duh said...

If the school is for students returning from incarceration, I think three administrators is probably appropriate -- maybe even short a couple. In fact, let's send some of these "waiting for June 30" dismissed employees to these schools to help out. They would be more useful walking the halls and tutoring these troubled students than sitting in the Sam Moss center.

Anonymous said...

@ Passionate

I'm sure Mr. Moseley has the proper certification, but he is not listed under Robert Moseley or Robert Gwen Moseley or Gwen Moseley in the Georgia Teacher Certification website. Not really sure where you got your information unless the Central Office gave it to you to post on this blog.

Take a look at the Georgia Teacher Certification website. That's what posters are referring to:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Anonymous said...

According to his website, Mr. Simpson is an educational speaker with a fee schedule of $1,500 to $3,000.

http://greatblackspeakers.com/speakerprofiles/ralphsimpson.htm

Interesting to note that his website says he taught 2 years in elementary and 3 years in middle.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:30

Don't most employees exercise their due process rights after they were given an option of being fired or demoted? Given this is a confidential personnel matter, why would the AJC have definitive information on that? You may recall the new APS superintendent wanted to fire all teachers that were alleged to have cheated, only to find out that he could not because he would be violating their due process rights.

Can you provide a time table of when the AJC report was done and the possibitility of the employees exercising their due process rights? That may tell us more about the salaries. The AJC has been known to be incorrect from time to time along with not following up on stories.

Anonymous said...

http://greatblackspeakers.com/speakerprofiles/ralphsimpson.htm

To further strengthen his academic portfolio, he completed his Specialist in Educational Leadership and earned a Doctorate of Education in Supervision and Leadership at the University of Sarasota in February of 2004.


---

The University of Sarasota was one of those online dimploma mills so in favor with Central Office paper pushers, who work on their coursework during the work day in their offices.

The University of Sarasota was "purchased" by Argosy University a couple of years ago. It no longer exist and Argosy University now stands in its place.

It's sad that GA State has a great graduate school of education, yet Central Office flacks all seem to prefer the online diploma mills.

If MIS ever blocked staff from doing coursework from Argosy on DCSS computers, you'd hear some loud fussing and screaming, especially from Office of School Improvment coaches and coordinators!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:07 pm

"Don't most employees exercise their due process rights after they were given an option of being fired or demoted? Given this is a confidential personnel matter, why would the AJC have definitive information on that?"

You are missing the point of the post. This is not a debate.

1. Ms. Tyson and Ms. Thompson were quoted in the AJC:
"Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson said the investigation uncovered a misuse of school funds that was “alarming,” “disturbing” and “unethical.”...."

....."The district cut Simpson’s salary from $115,405 to $89,599, and Thedford’s from $105,615 to $93,168, district Chief of Staff Alice Thompson said."

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-fires-2-demotes-592425.html

2. The state salary and travel website shows that they earned $113,697 and $107,153 respectively.

http://www.open.georgia.gov/

Are you saying as a school system employee (if you are posting from your desk within the school system on a school system computer, you are speaking as a school system employee) that the AJC misquoted Ms. Tyson and Ms. Thompson?

If Ms. Tyson and Ms. Thompson were misquoted, they should have gone to the AJC, stated they were misquoted, and asked for a retraction. Did they do this? Don't taxpayers pay a considerable amount of money for PR personnel for the school system? Shouldn't the DCSS Public Relations personnel ensure the AJC does not misquote school system officials?

Not debatable are the salaries published by the state of Georgia on the Open.Georgia.org website. The salary information published by the state was/is obtained from the school system.

The AJC also said:
"The school district is referring the book purchases to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which investigates and disciplines educators, and the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office."

Did this happen? What was the disposition of these referrals?

If you wish to provide a "time table of when the AJC report was done", feel free to do so. That would be most welcome. Taxpayers need all of the verifiable facts from credible sources they can get.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:07 pm

"Don't most employees exercise their due process rights after they were given an option of being fired or demoted? Given this is a confidential personnel matter, why would the AJC have definitive information on that?"

You are missing the point of the post. This is not a debate.

1. Ms. Tyson and Ms. Thompson were quoted in the AJC:
"Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson said the investigation uncovered a misuse of school funds that was “alarming,” “disturbing” and “unethical.”...."

....."The district cut Simpson’s salary from $115,405 to $89,599, and Thedford’s from $105,615 to $93,168, district Chief of Staff Alice Thompson said."

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-fires-2-demotes-592425.html

2. The state salary and travel website shows that they earned $113,697 and $107,153 respectively.

http://www.open.georgia.gov/

Are you saying as a school system employee (if you are posting from your desk within the school system on a school system computer, you are speaking as a school system employee) that the AJC misquoted Ms. Tyson and Ms. Thompson?

If Ms. Tyson and Ms. Thompson were misquoted, they should have gone to the AJC, stated they were misquoted, and asked for a retraction. Did they do this? Don't taxpayers pay a considerable amount of money for PR personnel for the school system? Shouldn't the DCSS Public Relations personnel ensure the AJC does not misquote school system officials?

Not debatable are the salaries published by the state of Georgia on the Open.Georgia.org website. The salary information published by the state was/is obtained from the school system.

The AJC also said:
"The school district is referring the book purchases to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which investigates and disciplines educators, and the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office."

Did this happen? What was the disposition of these referrals?

If you wish to provide a "time table of when the AJC report was done", feel free to do so. That would be most welcome. Taxpayers need all of the verifiable facts from credible sources they can get.

Anonymous said...

If you are under contract, then you can not have your salary reduced until the next contract year. So Tyson told the truth, you just didn't understand it.

Anonymous said...

@3:16PM

Are you saying that ALL punitive demotions CANNOT carry a punitive fine or pay reduction until the next contract?

If so, how come a SUSPENSION without pay was not used as a punishment?

WITHOUT the possibility of being fired on the spot, why would these individual ever accept a demotion?

Anonymous said...

And to follow-up, these individuals did not accept these demotions without the threat of immediate dismissal.

Likewise, they might have signed/accepted a modification of their contract in order to finish out the year and be renewed.

Anonymous said...

"If so, how come a SUSPENSION without pay was not used as a punishment?"

Can you show where that is an option under OCGA 20-2-940?

"WITHOUT the possibility of being fired on the spot, why would these individual ever accept a demotion?"

How about keeping a job and retirement benefits in tact?

In the article, Roberts was adamant about not accepting the demotion. Based on her responses, one can assume she exercised her due process rights.

Anonymous said...

From the AJC article mentioned

"Tyson said two sisters, both of them principals, are losing their jobs, while two others are being demoted to assistant principal positions. Both are on paid leave and are entitled to a tribunal hearing that could uphold or reverse the terminations."

From the post at 11:30

"Why did she tell the AJC she was firing Ms. Roberts when she was obviously keeping her on the payroll?"

Can anyone else see what I see from the post at 11:30? Doesn't paid leave mean still on the payroll?

Anonymous said...

To find Bob Moseley, you must look up "Moseley II"

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:54
You are correct. That is how he is listed in the Teacher Certification website. Nice to know that Central Office personnel are spending time monitoring this blog during their workday.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:16 pm

"If you are under contract, then you can not have your salary reduced until the next contract year. So Tyson told the truth, you just didn't understand it."

No. I understood it very well.

The AJC stated:
"The district cut Simpson’s salary from $115,405 to $89,599, and Thedford’s from $105,615 to $93,168, district Chief of Staff Alice Thompson said.""

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-fires-2-demotes-592425.html

But in reality, the salary cuts did not happen.

The AJC also reported:
"A DeKalb County school administrator has agreed to serve a 10-day suspension for selling a book he wrote about himself to five local schools, including two that were under his direct supervision.....
.....The PSC also imposed a 10-day suspension this month on Thedford. It was determined she bought the books for the school from Simpson and split invoices to avoid closer scrutiny of the purchases, said Jeff Dickerson, school system spokesman."

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-administrator-author-agrees-992204.html?cxtype=rss_news_61499

Look at the Professional Standards Commission Teacher Certification site to see the ethics violations on the certificates:
https://www.gapsc.com/Certification/Lookup/look_up.aspx

Are ethics violations not "cause"?

Anonymous said...

If the grand jury wants to investigate DCSS, they should investigate the suppression of the 2004 Ernst and Young audit. This is the Compensation audit that found $15,000,000 in overpayments to non-teaching personnel.

Lest you think this is "old news" $15,000,000 a year is $120,000,000 overspent on DCSS non-teaching personnel from 2004 to 2012. And this does not take into account all of the additional non-teaching personnel with inflated salaries Lewis added after he became the superintendent in fall, 2004.

The grand jury should ask why the BOE meeting notes for the BOE meeting minutes (April 1, 2004) in which Jim Landry, Ernst and Young consultant, presented his summary, are missing from the DCSS BOE website.

See AJC archived article:

"Study: DeKalb schools overpay workers
BYLINE: JEN SANSBURY
DATE: April 2, 2004
PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
The DeKalb County School System overpays more than 2,500 nonteaching employees to the tune of $14.8 million…. Ernst & Young consultant Jim Landry told school board members Thursday that some positions are "overvalued" and carry "inflated titles." … About 35 percent of 7,355 full-time employees who are not in the classrooms appear to be paid above the maximum recommended pay range for their jobs. Only 233 employees are paid below appropriate pay ranges, which would cost about $325,000 to fix, he said…. The 98,000-student district also employs about 7,000 teachers. Landry said DeKalb's teacher pay scale is lower than some other metro Atlanta systems, but higher than the national market. …Ernst & Young has been comparing job descriptions and actual duties based on questionnaires completed by thousands of employees….There have been elevations of people into jobs that really the overall market [indicates] what you should be paying is considerably less" than they are currently earning.”
(This article is copyright protected so to pay for and read the entire article, go to - http://www.newslibrary.com/sites/ajc/)"

Here are some additional links:

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-much-have-non-teaching-salary.html

http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2011/02/07/dekalb-school-audit-found-bloated-salaries-then-what/

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/05/back-to-topic-of-ernst-young-2004-audit.html

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/02/update-on-missing-340000-ernst-young.html

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/05/ramona-tysons-report-on-2004-ernst.html

Cerebration said...

Also, it's important to note that Dr Lewis cited those few underpaid positions in the study and insisted on bringing those people in line with their pay. Now, our board is saying, the study was deemed unreliable or unfinished or some other vague dismissal, however, it was definitely used to give some people a raise. They say you can't have it both ways but Lewis sure did,

Just like how he convinced the board to hire Pat Pope - in an 'emergency'. He said he had hired a search firm and they 'found' her, however, in her testimony, and on her resume, she stated that she had already been working as a consultant on SPLOST II with Lewis, while also serving as VP of her husband's architecture company, which enjoyed several DCSS contracts.

Then, we have the audit done by MGT America saying that Heery Mitchell had done a very good job. However, in an "emergency" Pope and Lewis hired a new auditor who wrote up a scathing report against HM - leading to the $100 million civil lawsuit we now find ourselves embroiled in, and have paid over $16 million with another $20 million owed in legal fees to King and Spalding - with NO trial dates in sight.

Passionate... said...

Mr. Robert Gwen Moseley II
Certification ID: 261675

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see the grand jury subpoena the records of how the Jaheem Herrera "decision" was arrived at with absolutely nothing in writing except the 6-figure check cut to the hand-picked (by Clew) ex-judge who exonerated the system.

But that's likely outside their scope (sigh).

Cerebration said...

From an older posting on the subject ---

Under Dr. Lewis, Jaheem Herra, 11, following what appeared to have been a particularly bad day at Dunaire Elementary School , a school notorious for bad bullying, which he had been journaling about in his diary and showing his mother and his teacher, Jaheem committed suicide. This story made national news and the Oprah Winfrey. It was very sad.

Dr. Lewis hired formal Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore to investigate the suicide. Judges are “finders of fact” – they rule on matters brought before them. Judge Moore had served on the Fulton court for a few decades. We don’t think her resume included “private eye,” “detective” “GBI” or “FBI” (we don’t know this for certain) -- Dr. Lewis did not go out of his way to turn this over to the police for investigation or to the GBI Or FBI.

Judge Moore was paid between $300 and $500 an hour to “investigate” the suicide and she ultimately, after approximately 6-9 months and approaching a half-million in fees, concluded in an oral report that no bullying occurred at Dunnaire Elementary School .

This is odd, because bullying occurs at every school, at all levels and anyone with children does know this (even at the best schools). It would have been reasonable for her to conclude that the bullying was not likely the “proximate cause” of the death, but she concluded that there was “no” bullying at all at a school notorious for bullying when the teacher confiscated the diary reporting the bullying on a daily basis.

Thereafter, Rep. Mike Jacobs introduced and obtained passage of new legislation the next legislative session in the Georgia legislature that required anti-bullying laws in elementary schools. Thus it appears that the “no bullying” finding by Judge Moore was based on a legal “technicality” that since it was an elementary school, no bullying could occur because the legal definition of bullying at the time only applied to middle and high schools. This, though, would have only taken a regular lawyer (or even law student) 10 minutes to figure out – yet the taxpayers paid Judge Moore nearly a half million dollars to issue her oral report after this investigation for this conclusion.

We later learned from a former insider that Ron Ramsey did most of the investigating for this “report”. We do not know who really received the half million or who really did the report (not written) since the transactions are not posted on line… we have not pursued any open records requests on this series of events but find it all very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

I will forever support and respect Dr. Atkinson, AFTER she fires Ron Ramsey and Robert Tucker!!!!

Ron Ramsey has been involved one way or another in almost every scandal that's faced the system over the past 5-6 years. He must go!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Ronald Ramsey is the person who administrators rely on to do their dirty work to teachers who they can not control. They (administrators)tell him what to say and what the punishment should be. Then he carries out their mission without haste or any evidence from the person being accused.
He is a very dirty person to deal with in internal affairs.

Anonymous said...

To the post above! I agree. Well, looks like Marcus Turk is coming down from his thrown and taking a little seat now. How did he get away with it....he is responsible for the money! Where is the money Turk? I respect the sup. Dr. Atkinson YOU JUST KEEP RIGHT ON CHOPPING THEM DOWN!!!

We are so blessed to have a sup that is serious about changing business as usual. And if the board thinks that they are going to get in her way, know that the tax-payers are watching! The board members will have to go before she does.

And yes, Ron Ramsey needs to go! He has not been doing his job at all. He is responsible for scandal. And DCSS needs to get a good media consultant.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else find it odd that the AJC Get Schooled blog has had nary a post on the Grand Jury presentment? Maureen has blogged about education in Finland and distance learning and why architecture is an iffy career choice right now - but not a word on this big honkin' deal in our own back yard. Could it be that the Grand Jury is investigating how Maureen got inside info during the Lillie Cox debacle? I wonder if she and Richard Belcher might have been alerted that they will be called to testify in a future investigation. Richard has been awfully quiet lately too.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the "sit up here staff" isn't going to be sitting up there anymore.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if Cere likes Maureen, IMHO she has been and IS part of the problem culture!

AJC only reports what they want to report.

Have you ever read an article about Dougherty county school system?

I had to go on Thanksgiving vacation to Florida to read about the corruption and undictments in south Georgia.

Their DCSS reminds me alot of our DCSS!

All the way Dr. A!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:06

I think Maureen was on vacation during the grand jury (everybody deserves some vacation time ever once in a while) and when she came back it was "old" news to her. It's the nature of the blogging world and the news world.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 10:06 pm

The AJC reports what they think will sell papers. Selling papers attracts advertisers. Attracting advertisers allows the paper to turn a profit. Profits are what allow the paper to exist. Newspaper personnel have families to feed and careers to pursue just like everyone else. They do a pretty good job IMO.

The AJC may have been/are slow on the uptake regarding DeKalb, but we are still considered a "bedroom" community without the name and national recognition of the city of Atlanta. The Atlanta cheating scandal made the national news because it was - well - Atlanta. They will always get greater press than DeKalEEPROM any other school systemin Georgia even if the abuses are just as egregious.

Dekalb Property Owner said...

I think the getschooled blog's silence on this topic is curious as well.

Cerebration said...

It's everywhere... DA James is busy.

From the AJC --- sound familiar???

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James will convene a special grand jury next week to investigate allegations of corruption in the county’s water department that possibly could have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

The county alleges a contractor overbilled the water department by $3 million with the help of a supervisor who allegedly steered contracts to certain vendors working with one of the supervisor’s family members.

However, the attorney for contractor Paul Champion said those claims are a cover-up for alleged financial mismanagement and a kickback scheme involving upper-level managers at the county.

“If they dig deep enough, I think they will find there was some corruption both in stormwater management and in contracts and purchasing for the county,” attorney Bob Wilson said.


Grand jury to investigate DeKalb watershed flap

===
Seems this is just the way we do business nowadays. It's all 'what's in it for me' and that attitude will take down this whole country - one town at a time...

Anonymous said...

AMEN. Let's not forget a fair amount of Congressmen and Representatives who go to Washington as "public servants" and retire rich (with servants). Let us not forget some in local, state, and county governments who also benefit more than the constituents that they are elected to serve.

Anonymous said...

Grand jury for the watershed group will take the heat off DA James to proceed with the BOE grand jury. Hard to find someone in the DKC employee group who can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Watershed seems to have been a pay to play (get contracts) deal. I wonder if any of that goes on in DCSS? At the last BOE meeting Dr A talked about an insurance agent who places the DCSS insurance and said that she wanted to make that more competitive. And then there is Dr Walker's diversity law firm that seems to get a good bit of work, some of which is redundant.

DKC and DCSS have the same culture, rip off the taxpayers and spend every penny. Both are bloated organizations. Compare them to other metro counties

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they will look into the DeKalb Parks and Rec dept while they are at it. It's dirty too.

Anonymous said...

AJC is reporting on the consultant's recommendation that DeKalb eliminate administrative positions - confirms DeKalb is top heavy. The article says the report was released Thursday. Did the reporter mean to write that it will be released tomorrow?

How can we get the report?

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/report-dekalb-schools-have-1307169.html