Thursday, January 5, 2012

Turk is out! Well, "reassigned"

From the AJC today:

DeKalb superintendent sidelines finance chief


Another high-ranking official in the DeKalb County school system has been sidelined as part of a restructuring by incoming Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson.

Chief Financial Officer Marcus Turk was reassigned, a system spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The spokesman, Walter Woods, said it was unclear who would fill Turk's role until a permanent replacement is hired. The school board meets Monday, when Turk would normally present an update on system finances.

"We're working on that," Woods said.

Read more...

143 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was sitting in the room in the cafeteria at William Bradley Bryant Center at the public hearings in April 2009 before we had our first furloughs.... I still to this day remember Mr. Turk saying the reduction was equivalent to 1 day's pay being reduced from the local supplement for teachers. He failed to mention that the state was giving us a step (and they have every year since then). DCSS has reduced the local supplements to the point that there are teachers who are on paper making less than state salary. On the pay schedules, they are told that they are receiving an additional stipend to get them to the state salary level. There are some steps, if you look at the state salary schedule from the DOE and compare it to the DCSS salary scale where DCSS is, again on paper, paying teachers over $3,000 LESS than the state. I haven't believed a word that man has said since he made that statement nearly 3 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Dr. A needs to take a good long look at where the leftover per pupil funds disappear to.

Anonymous said...

"Turk is Out" is not really out. If he has been re-assigned to Sam Moss Center, he still receives his $165,000 salary per his current contract. If in the interim, they hire an interim--we taxpayers are on the hook for another annual executive salary of $135-140,000. These people need to be gone. If they have done something inappropriate or unethical, then they need to have their contracts revoked and shown the door. We cannot afford "double" salaries. The job cost/analysis study and report cannot come soon enough.

Cerebration said...

True that! Very true that!

Anonymous said...

I believe that Dr. A is not firing the people that she has let go, so that the district does not face any further lawsuits. If she is able to fire them, without having to worry about lawsuits, I believe she is, but I do not feel that these people will be hired back and if they are than she should also be gone. DCSS can't afford to lose any more money on lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Several top level administrators have been terminated or offered such drastic salary reductions that they opted to resign. Every employee's job is on the line and the morale and fear of such is crippling performance. People don't care right now because "what's. The point if I may loose.my job".

Individuals making $100k+ with a HS diploma or GED, not because your qualified but because of who you're related to or who you know isn't fair.

Its sad to see anyone loose their job but if you've been manipulating the system for your (or your family's) personal gain you should be terminated. And not bounced around the county polluting. Other divisions.

Jesus Is Lord said...

I just want to say thank you Dr. Atkinson and God. Keep up the great work and do not let the corrupt board members, and administrators tangle you up in their web. There are so many adminstrators that have abused and lied on teachers and staff. Good people have lost their jobs.Human Resource, Area Supt's,Internal Affairs, and Palace Supt's plotted against people who reported their unethical behavior.The HR Dept. tell principals confidential information about employees.

Anonymous said...

"If in the interim, they hire an interim--we taxpayers are on the hook for another annual executive salary of $135-140,000."

An interim is usually someone on the inside who will earn a supplement on an existing salary temporarily, not another full $135-140,000. Just watch out for when she brings in her ringer and tries to give him/her more. That's the running bet now. Which one of her states will he/she come from. She's setting up her team and the board is sitting blindly by and letting her do it. If she needs someone who will green-light her purchases without question, you know she's going to bring in one of her people, just like she did with the other three.

The board should be watching her and scrutinizing her actions. Maybe that would help them with the DA.

Go Get Them said...

Thank you Dr. Atkinson for helping to get rid of some of the low-down, wicked employees with DCSS. There are many people that have been afraid to speak out to the administrators in the palace for years because they realize they would be fired,like their co-workers. The principals have received Title1 money,and other funds for students, instead it was spent it on themselves.Teachers end up purchasing items for the children to use.Mr. Turk informed us during a meeting that "we need to be happy just to have a job" while he received his $75,000 raise over a five year period.

Anonymous said...

Shame, shame , shame on anyone who does not know that Marcus Turk is the guru of finance in the state of Ga. He has kept Dekalb employees from more drastic , furlough days. Look around at the other counties. He will have no problem getting a job , he has a M.Ed in Finance from Ga.State, receieved allocades or having the most accountability and perfect audits in the State of Ga
Forced Lewis to repay P-card violations etc. before a whistle-blowers protection policy, imposed by SACS.
So I have to wonder , with the record of mismanagement of funds,
and bankrupcics that was not revieled on Akinson's application,
Is Atkinson trying to get her a free spending of funds with no accountability. After all, we know, that TURK is about the book when it comes to finance.
an 800 million dollar budget is not for little time Lorain , Ohio. I am su re we all will have an eye on budget, spending, P-cards etc.
I am sure she has pleased the 3 Board members that voted against her and I can't wait for them to sing the interium's praises Monday night stating that this is the best report that they have ever gotten.
TRAIN Wreck ON THE WAY... soon! Lord have mercy on the children and parents who can't afford pvt. school or can't get into Charteer schools.

Anonymous said...

11:54 PM and 1:04 AM. I suspect you are the same person and I hear your fear.

Not sure if you are an employee or a family member of an employee but change seems to be difficult for you to except.

I am wondering which school system in GA didn't have perfect audits, if there is a problem, you have to fix it before turning them in.

An ethical person would have TOLD SOMEONE that the p-card abuse was happening.

Government employees regularly go to jail and/or are put on parole for P-CARD abuse.

We should ask ourselves why DeKalb is the exception to this rule?

Dunwoody Mom said...

Several of us who had concerns about the hiring of Dr. Atkinson made the observation that if she does what she promised and her decisions are based on what is best for the STUDENTS of DCSS, then we will end up being her biggest supporters.

Dr. Atkinson has the right to build her own organization. This school system needs to cleanse itself from the previous administrations and move ahead. I'm sorry people will lose their jobs, but our students have lost more.

And yes, Eugene Walker continues with his oh, so subtle bullying. Well, Dr. Walker, you know what they say, "karma is a b* and she don't play".

Syncopated Pickle said...

"karma is a b" Well said. The special grand jury just may have a few things to say, "again" about the Duke grad. My, my nasty emails have a way of coming back around now, don't they.

I'm just gonna leave this one right here....lookin at you Mr. board member.

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King (1929-1968)

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:04

Are you trying to tell me that Turk did NOT approve the P-card purchases?

Are you trying to tell me the Clewless paid his own way to the islands with Bahama Berry?

Are you trying to tell me that Clewless paid his own way to the Ritzy Ritz Carlton with Bahama Berry?

Or did Turk approve the P-card purchases knowing they were wrong?

This is what happens when you have the son of a former "Friends and Family" not wanting to rock the boat by doing his highly paid job!


Plu-ease! Pick another former to promote and good riddance to Turk.
BTW, do you know how many people are looking for jobs that have Masters degrees?

Good luck Turk, you'll need it!

Adios.
Adiéu
Auf Wiedersehen
Bai bai
Chào ông
Ciao
Do videnja
Ma as-salaamah
Shalom
Sayonara
Vale
Zay gesunt

Turk, it might be helpful to learn another language so I'm trying to help you learn the word Goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:54
Referencing . . ."An interim is usually someone on the inside who will earn a supplement on an existing salary temporarily, not another full $135-140,000."

Not in DeKalb. Do you recall all of the "interims" such as Jamie Wilson, Morcease Beaseley, Marcus Turk, Barbara Colman and especially Interim Ramona Tyson?

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Like a fine wine it takes time!

Dunwoody Mom, I love your karma line... so true!

To the poster who thinks Dr. Atkinson should not be hiring her own people from out of state. You're kidding right? Any new hires for DCSS should come from as far away as possible. Our system needs new blood and not recycled has beens who are connected to politicos in our county or state.

Continue to clean the slate Dr. Atkinson, we need to cut away the most corrupt, unethical and sleaziest friends and family members from DCSS. The blood letting will continue and I'm glad every single person at the Palace is looking over their shoulders.

One question I have, has anyone in the Palace come forward to expose the garbage that has happened in the past while this audit rolls along? I look forward to seeing the preliminary report as well as the follow up this Spring.

The BOE meeting should be fun Monday! No Turk, no Moseley, no Mitchell-Mayfield, no Berry and on and on... the Palace is getting the cleaning they've needed for a couple of years. Just think, if Tyson had done this during the interim we might have been well on our way to success. Instead Ms. Tyson made sure these Clew leftovers got one more year on their contracts.

Dr. Atkinson has had to do the dirty work that interims usually do. Keep up the good work, of cleansing DCSS of the past, so we can move forward Dr. Atkinson.

You know July 1, 2012 can't come soon enough, when we can cut out this festering wound of Clew's crew.

Cerebration said...

@January 6, 2012 1:04 AM

"Train Wreck Coming"...???

Where have you been? This blog only exists due to the train wreck that has been DeKalb schools for the last 4 years!!

Anonymous said...

@January 6, 2012 1:04 AM

"Train Wreck Coming"...???

Evidently, this poster is a member of the highly paid "Friends and Family" group, and is finally realizing that their gravy train is about to run out of gravy!

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration January 6, 10;02 AM &
@ Anonymous January 6, 11:20 AM

Like!

Anonymous said...

"Forced Lewis to repay P-card violations etc. before a whistle-blowers protection policy, imposed by SACS."

Did he alert the Office of Onternal Afdairs about the P-card violations? Did he alert his supervisor, Ms. Tyson? This was what he was supposed to do - follow the chain of command and the procedures set up for P-card abuse. Lewis told the administrators many times in meetings that P-card abuse was a termination offense and they could be prosecuted.

Cerebration said...

Many other state employees have been convicted of misuse of state-issued P-cards and are currently serving jail time. Several are from GA Tech. Turk certainly was aware of this. He did tell Lewis not to use the card for his vacation - even as a "loan" as Lewis had requested. But Lewis used it anyway and somehow it was quietly paid. Now whether Lewis paid it or Turk paid it doesn't really matter. It was illegal, he was warned and Turk had a responsibility to report it.

Dekalb Property Owner said...

Dunwoody Mom, I always love your posts, but what is "subtle" about Walker's bullying as seen in the email exchanges with Nancy Jester?

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration
" It was illegal, he was warned and Turk had a responsibility to report it."

Mr. Turk was responsible for reporting financial wrongdoing to his supervisor Ms. Tyson. If he reported this to Ms. Tyson, then she should have turned it over to the Office of Internal Affairs which then had an obligation to investigate P-card abuse. Isn't this what the Office of Internal Affairs does? If a principal misused a P-card, wouldn't it be up to the Office of Internal Affairs to investigate? Why would Lewis be treated any differently when it comes to tax dollars?

Can taxpayers see the records on this (emails or lack thereof) or do they have to wait for this information to come out in the Lewis trial?

Cerebration said...

Very true. Do we know if he reported it to Tyson? If so, and she did nothing, this in not good for her. However, if she then reported it to Ramsey and he did nothing, it's not good for him. So where did the 'p-Card' report stop?

Anonymous said...

Yes, so many teachers and other staff members have lost their job or reassigned due to principals who lied. There are many and yes, HR does share confidential information to these principals who themselves have their own personal demons.... act innocent or holy than thou.
Now, we need fresh competent administrators who can lead a school and not rely on the assistant (no knowledge ) principals to do what they should be doing. It is going to be interesting throughout the county, especially with the family and friends. Too many relatives with little to no experience are assistant principals and it shows, plus, too many principals who donot have a clue about running a school are sitting at the throne doing nothing all day. Let us see how many will be moved when their schools donot make AYP again due to their poor leadership and refusal to discipline members of the family and friends, frat, sorors, church members, neighbors and the list goes on.
I can only imagine Dr. Atkinson wondering, what kind of mafia organization is DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Turk,gave permission to use DCSS money to everyone in the county. Is his Mother related to the soror (AKA) group. Cleaning house will not be easy with this group. It is huge throughout the county on all levels especially within the administrators. Wonder how did that happen within a school system? Interesting!

Anonymous said...

Okay now that Turk is gone, we are still waiting on Jamie Wilson to leave the palace.
Donot forget Ramsey and his non-working folks in internal affairs. Ramsey works for administrators.Donot go visit him unless you have an attorney of your own.
Next, Atkinson needs to move on down to the administrators on the south end and clean house ASAP.
Then to the Service Center and just continue until most of these unlawful folks are gone .

Anonymous said...

Looking at agenda for Jan 9 Business meeting, and found, under J.4. Monthly Financial Report for January 2012:
Quick Summary / Abstract
Presented by: Ms. Susan M. Hurst, Director, Budgets Office


and under J. 6. Human Resources Monthly Board Report for January 2012:
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith, Director, Staff Services, Division of Human Resources

Any significance to the second one?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the HR report isn't being presented by Patti Reed- thought she was 2nd in command under Wilson.

Anonymous said...

I say,

All the way Dr. A!
All the way Dr. A!
All the way Dr. A!

Keep on moving Dr. A, we support you and believe in you!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Alene Pringle who is implicated in the Doughterty County CRCT Cheating investigation any realtion to Angela Pringle here in DCSS?

Anonymous said...

Weed out the rest of them by getting rid of everyone with a doctoral degree from DeKalb County University (Argosy).

Anonymous said...

Jamie Wilson teaches there.

Anonymous said...

"Did he alert the Office of Onternal Afdairs about the P-card violations? Did he alert his supervisor, Ms. Tyson? This was what he was supposed to do - follow the chain of command and the procedures set up for P-card abuse. Lewis told the administrators many times in meetings that P-card abuse was a termination offense and they could be prosecuted."

You have no idea what he might have done and who he might have informed. When the trial begins, many people may be surprised about what role he might have played in Lewis' downfall. Could that be why Atkinson wanted him out? Someone who might tell her no? Tell on her? Those of you who are so adamantly singing her praises now may be surprised at what has occurred in the first four months of her tenure. I hope she rented her house.

Cerebration said...

You're kidding right? We are to believe that the last 4 years are not to be discussed but that we should dig into the recent 4 months with the new superintendent? Sounds like you may need to start your own blog for that.

Cerebration said...

As I recall, it was Cassandra Anderson-Littlejohn who insisted on looking into Lewis' p-Card spending.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me,Jamie Wilson is standing on water and about to drown. Maybe Argosy pays enough to make up for what he is about to lose. I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Wilson isn't listed as Argosy faculty on their website.

Anonymous said...

Cassandra A-L tried to bring several spending issues to light and establish guidelines for informing the BOE of expenditures by superintendent and was dismissed as sour grapes because she had had the cheerleading uniform incident previously;

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Cere, you're going to be as disappointed in her as you were in Lewis. The DA is not only investigating the board at this point. She has only been here for a few months. What will a few years bring? Can we afford that?

Anonymous said...

Could Dr. A afford NOT to talk to the DA? If she doesn't have possible criminal wrongdoing investigated she is culpable.

Anonymous said...

I knew in my heart that this day would come. I never wish any bad things on anyone. Myself and others were black ball years ago. You see when you call them on anything they would put you in a small room somewhere and make your life a pure hell. Things have a way of working out if you just stand still. The friends and family have rule the system for many years and have hurt our children in dekalb. If turk is all that then he will be able to get another job, he got the job because of him mother let's just be real.

The frances edwards family all got there jobs because of her. Several people were over-looked so her son-in-law could get his job.

I pray for Dr.A every day that god walks with her, because she is dealing with demons. Stay strong Dr. A and keep up the good work. The children in dekalb and our teachers need you. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Being Black Balled is key for administrators in Dekalb County especially if you donot suck up to them and Bow down.

Those who participate in Black Balling others, do remember that your day may be soon. Karma has a way of making us remember how we treated others (Family and Friends, frats, sorors, churchmembers and etc, do remember this!

Anonymous said...

Dr. A is trying but so much remains secret. If she can reduce the staff by half, it will be a great start.
I think the training and DOLA departments need to be revamped.
If anyone complains about a trainer or DOLA instructor for being tardy or incompetent, you will get a nasty call from this yelling screaming person named Regina Merriweather. She's a bully. Bloggers, don't think all of the crazies work at Mountain Industrial, NOT, the big red/white sorority Delta bully at the William Bryant Bradley Center, has been ruled by Regina Merriweather for years. Get rid of her and maybe training will be worth attending and when DOLA students test for the algebra chapter exams the system will actually display the diagram (i.e. Fig. 1) that it refers to.
Our children fail because Regina and her Delta sisters failed them and the teachers first.

Anonymous said...

I have attended training and it does suck.

Eyes Wide Open said...

I am thankful to see a courageous Sup't(Dr.A)take charge with the transfers, hopefully firing, and demotions of the leadership staff. The corruption, terrible treatment of teachers and other departments has gone on way too long. This removal been needed for a very long time.
Teachers have been abused and given poor evaluations by ignorant chairpersons and administrators who are on an ego trip with themselves.The children are the last thing on their mind.Principals scold teachers on the hall in front of students, have disruptive students write false statements about the teacher when the teacher provide a discipline report on the student, lie to parents on the teacher, post on the internet unkind information parents and students said about rhe teacher.
The county off. adm. have encouraged this kind of treatment and turned their heads. These are the type of leadership the adm. have hired. What about the principal with anger mgmt. problems that threw a chair down during faculty meeting, and scolded staff in front of students, and the list goes on. These type of Adm. need to hit the road with Turk, IA (three jobs Ramsey), staff,HR stabb you in the back sisters,B. Moseley,Segovis and friends.No wonder the students can't pass tests.These are just a few of the problem areas.

Cerebration said...

For a long time I have said that I think DOLA is a big waste of money. It's completely unnecessary - a duplication of what students can already get for free from the state. In fact, the state's online academy offers many more classes and is much better, I'm told by several students and parents who have used both.

DOLA is akin to if the county decided to suddenly start issuing their own driver's licenses - completely, totally unnecessary and an obvious jobs program. I will be bold enough to take it a step further and say that DOLA is in fact quite watered down and was really only created to improve graduation rates by offering classes that are easy to pass.

Anonymous said...

Cere

You are presuming that the goal of DOLA (and the similar virtual programs in Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, etc) is to learn. The reality is that most of this is for credit recovery purposes. The empahsis on graduation rates have made these kinds of thing necessary. Back in our day, dropping out wasn't such a huge issue for school sytems and even for students, when there were low skill jobs with livable wages.

every system in metro Atlanta seems to have their own virtual credit recovery system.

The state program, at least from what I can tell, is much harder than the virtual classes offered by school system.

Cerebration said...

Copy that. Very true. Very expensive but very true.

Anonymous said...

Correct!

DOLA, block schedules (8 classes per academic year), and 7th period day (7 classes per academic year)are ways to pump-up the graduation rates as only 6 classes per year are necessary/required to graduate!

Cerebration said...

That's another issue we've discussed. The block schedule is also expensive. The block offers 32 credits to students over 4 years. They only need 24 to graduate.

Anonymous said...

I use my Saturdays to read this blog for awareness.
So much truth is kept hidden.
I hope Dr. A will read this blog to get information about people that can cause her to fail. I know the concern and passion in this blog is from the heart.

Anonymous said...

Regina Merriwether is an AKA- not a Delta!

Anonymous said...

The success rate of DOLA classes is low. It is a waste of money.
I was told by one student, the program material is much harder than the regular classroom material. The DOLA program covers many more topics not introduced by the teacher.

The failing students need two things: 1)Involved parents to make them practice and study after school. 2) A teacher assistant in the class to help the students get it the "second time".

less dola moRRREEE TEACHERS.

Anonymous said...

Another problem with DOLA is lack of access to the teacher. You can wait days for an answer to a question you have about the material, an assignment, etc. Does Merriwether supervise the DOLA staff? Seems they get a paycheck for very little effort and minimal interaction with their students

Anonymous said...

Why was Turk reassigned while the $103,000.00+ purchasing person, Uladia Taylor, fired?
I really am praying for this superintendent because the stress from "righting the wrongs" is going to be tremendous. I can personally attest to the repercussions that people in general face when they try to do the right thing when doing the right thing is not the norm. A person who has been the superintendent of a school system larger than DCSS would also have an extremely difficult time bringing some kind of order to this ASSORTED PROBLEMATIC MESS!

Anonymous said...

The DOLA classes are easy.

Daniel said...

Do you realize how much we will have to pay 1) in new textbooks if we come off of block? We only need one textbook for 2 students on block - and if it is done properly, the gaps in Math and World Language aren't an issue (but that is a big if) and 2) On Block, I can teach 186 students a year as compared with 160 on 6 or 7-period day. Since we are here, it's more cost effective to stay here.

Anonymous said...

It is not more cost effective to give students 32 chances to get 24 credits. If block was being used as originally rolled out (by Brown and Boring who said it would be used to give students exposure to a wide variety of subjects, electives to help with career planning) and if the majority of teachers had the skills to teach/engage students for 90 minutes, then there would be value to the block. As it is, teachers do not teach the whole time and it is used for homework. Block schedule: 90 min. of instruction per day times 90 days (1 semester) equals 8100 minutes of instruction if teaching occurs for the entire 90 minutes. 7 period day: 50 minutes a day times 180 days equals 9000 minutes of instruction. 8100 minutes vs 9000 - which student has the best chance of mastery of content?

Anonymous said...

"Since we're here, it will be more cost-effective to stay here."

Decisions are made based on cost. INSTRUCTIONAL decisions have cost as one of several factors -- or so I thought. How about what's right for students? How about what is academically sound? Is that a factor? Staff made a presentation in a school recently which clearly shows that the 3rd block in this pure 4x4 school is academically detrimental to our students. Moments later, a teacher made the point that it is impossible to conduct science labs on a schedule other than the block.

Um, in that same school, albeit 100 years ago, I somehow managed to dissect a frog and conduct physics experiments in a 7-period day. Just don't know how I did it. Must've taken a miracle. Good grief.

I DO realize that having adopted this block business several years ago, it has turned into a lightning rod. Some hate it, some love it, some students do well on it, others not so much.

We're already way off the topic on this thread, but I would love for there to be an HONEST discussion about the block. You see, when you have schools with low parental participation it is NOT enough to turn in surveys every year which show that parents and students "approve" of the block. It skews the results. Many teachers like the block because it is good for them. And, it is true that is very difficult to change course and go to a different scheduling model during the course of a student's high school years. But if we are honest and if we work hard enough, we can actually pull it off -- meaning doing what's right. If a school is on a 4x4, then find out what it would take to go "hybrid". Even that's better than the current "I can't do anything about it now" mantra.

Anonymous said...

I've commented before about the block as it pertains to mathematics...I understand the appeal for the extremely high achieving students having access to lots of challenging coursework and for the low achieving student who may take several attempts to pass a class.

But there are some issues:

1. I don't think DCSS or any school system should make scheduling decisions based on how to remedy failing students. Not fair to the majority who aren't failing. My understanding was that the block was originated to help the failing student.

2. I don't care how you slice it, students do NOT benefit from missing an entire semester of mathematics. The amount of review required at the beginning of each semester is staggering. It's staggering to begin with when you have a year-long class, but when students have gone 6+ months without using math skills...ugh.

The cost should be a secondary factor...do what is best for the MAJORITY of kids. The majority fall apart if they miss more than 1 day of mathematics content. The majority don't need to remediate their work each semester. The majority would do BETTER with year-long work in ANY discipline.

Anonymous said...

Block is more costly than 6 periods and it really isn't working the way Lewis envision in terms of second chances for passing a course. Here is why.

Say you have 400 sophomores that need to take Math 10. You staff for those 400 students. That is how things are done in DCSS. However, you have 50 students that are Juniors that either failed Math 10 or are new to DeKalb and need the course. DCSS DOES NOT STAFF SCHOOLS TO SERVE THOSE 50 STUDENTS.

THUS DOLA. Block isn't really helping struggling students.

In the meantime, at nearly every DCSS high school, math SAT scores are dismal and you have the block to thank for that.

Anonymous said...

There are many reasons why students are struggling with Math that have nothing to do with the type of academic schedule of the school. Students at the 7 period schools are struggling with Math as well.

Anonymous said...

If a student is out for a week - let's say a flu epidemic- on the block that is roughly 2 weeks of content....very difficult to catch up!

@anon 11:35: true, there are challenges moving from block to 7 period day but it is do-able. If it weren't, Lakeside, Chamblee, and Arabia wouldn't keep receiving transfers!

The parent and teacher surveys have been used for years to justify staying on the block. Have you read them. They are like all the other DCSS surveys - junk in, junk out.
Have you noticed that when Bob Moseley presents the
reasons for staying on block, there never is any data
provided other than the survey? No one has collected/presented data to see how many students repeat a class 1, 2, 3+ times on block; how many students actually earn 25, 26, 28, 32 credits; how many students take a wide selection of electives; and the list of items for a real analysis goes on but no one has ever shared, I doubt even collected, that data. It would likely not look so hot. Do we even have a large enough course offering to earn 32 credits?

It's January. Every January for the past few years, Moseley stands up to report what schedules each high school has chosen for the following year and each year, he says "it's too late to consider changing from block. We can't make schedules, get the needed textbooks, etc" and every year, the BOE asks that they look at it for the following year...and the cycle repeats itself year after year. They are too busy dealing with construction and policies to put academics first in their discussions. Oddly enough though, if it is what they want - like math changes- they somehow find a way to adjust those mid year with minimal notice and add new annexes on short notice that also require textbooks, schedule changes, etc. It just depends on what they want to do - it is do-able if it is their desire and conveniently not do-able if they don't want it.


credits?

Anonymous said...

I have long advocated that DeKalb use a HYBRID block schedule. This is what almost all high schools do in Fulton county and many high performing school systems in other states.

On a Hybrid schedule, students take courses for the entire year, thus eliminating the gaps where a student may not have math or foreign language for 2 semesters. But typically two days a week the classes are on a rotating block with 90 minute classes to allow for science labs, testing, remediation, etc. There is usually a "bonus" time period that can be used for clubs, tutoring, etc.

Anonymous said...

Arabia uses the hybrid block. Most weeks have the seven period day (A week). Designated weeks are done using block with 4 classes per day for 4 days, then seven classes on Friday (B week). Labs are usually done during B week. It seems to work well for students and staff.

Anonymous said...

Arabia uses the hybrid block. Most weeks have the seven period day (A week). Designated weeks are done using block with 4 classes per day for 4 days, then seven classes on Friday (B week). Labs are usually done during B week. It seems to work well for students and staff.

Anonymous said...

Even Sarah Copelin-Wood questioned the benefit of block schedule last year on improving student achievement. She was clear it wasn't doing for achievement in her schools what had been promised.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:25 -- I'm 11:35 and you're so right -- it IS do-able.

Had a thought about the "survey". I'm what could be called an active parent in my Title 1 4x4 school. I don't recall ever seeing a survey to complete. (That 100+ year-old thing works both ways -- both wiser and more forgetful ;).

You're saying January is the month in which surveys are submitted? Gosh -- I don't remember completing one. Wonder if I missed something? Think I'll check on that.

Anonymous said...

@1:21, 12:35 here. I don't see it in the agenda for Monday and can't find it for January or February of last year but check out the January 11, 2010 BOE Business meeting minutes online- see superintendent's report. Moseley presented on block schedule. Note that he says all students, teachers, parents, etc are given a survey to complete and note how many he says did. Those percentages are far above the average for any survey rate of return. It would be interesting to see the school council and PTA minutes for all these schools to see where they discussed the schedule for the coming year. I suspect they aren't to be found. My experience is the principal calls in the school council and PTA officers and asks them to sign a sheet of paper - no discussion. Also of interest - the actual survey is not included in his supporting documents nor is any rationale given from each school forntheir decision.

It will be interesting to see how Ms. March addresses this issue this year - if she even knows it is under her area!

Anonymous said...

hmmm -- I am a PTSA officer at this school for this school year. Missed the last council meeting, so don't know if it was presented there.... but again, no recollection of such a discussion/survey. I'll try hard to avoid inferences until I get the facts. The facts must be here somewhere.......

Anonymous said...

My daughter has not been in Dekalb but has been in a Cobb School with the block schedule. Then we went to a Fulton school with 7 classes classes. She has severe ADHD, but scores in the 90% + on the IOWA tests. At first I thought that the 90 minutes were too long for any child with ADHD. She also really had a tough time when she had the swine flu and missed 7 weeks of school. But even worse is the 7 class schedule when all of the teachers do not corrdinate the work and give assignments due at the same time. Especially at Midterm, they give final projects, tests, and then a Final exam in every class. With no regard to everything else. This is not realistic to what it is like in college. Then at the better Fulton schools you have parents paying for tutors 3 x a week for their children to overcome the bad teachers. They do all the homework "Web Assignments" and projects for the kids. So the middle class kid gets screwed. My daughter will be going back to live with Dad at the Cobb school that is on the Block Schedule. Especially with the Hope Scholarship we need all A's. It is easier to concentrate on 2-3 hard classes and one elective. Then on 7 classes at a time. The block schedule really saves you from a year of bad teachers. As a parent I can survive the crying of a semester but a full year of 2 horrendous ones. Plus the cost of tutors.

Anonymous said...

It is possible to accommodate lab classes in a 7 period day. A class like Chemistry requires a lab . So, the instructional segment is offered 5 days a week (5 classes). The lab adds an additional two class periods a week. The labs can be scheduled right after the regular class periods so that the class gets a double class period twice a week.

What do you do with the three extra class periods? driver's ed, math help, reading help, a half credit art or music class. This would add time for SAT prep. You could even offer half credit language classes or choose another subject. With 4 half credit classes equaling two full years of study.

I have taught 90 minute classes. Personally, I don't think they are any more effective than shorter classes. In some cases, I think they are less effective.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember those unbearable Tuesday-Thursday classes in college? They seemed like they lasted forever compared to the MWF classes! That is what our students experience every day on the block schedule. Very hard to sit in one place for that long and keep your concentration! The difference: in college we usually only had 2 of those classes a day and often had a break in-between!

Supposedly, one argument for the block is to improve discipline issues - less changing classes means less free time for students to be in contact with each other in the halls. The flip side that is ignored: more restless students in the classroom for a teacher to control for 90 minutes - discipline issues have just been transferred outnof the halls and into our classrooms.

Daniel said...

@Anon 4:02 - you bring up an interesting point though, how many colleges will students see anything like a 7-period day? Does a 7-period schedule help get the students ready for post-secondary responsibilities? I had very good results on my EOCT last semester on block - and I typically do every semester. Like I said earlier, the block can work out just fine if the people writing the schedule take a few minutes to make sure courses are sequenced correctly.

The reason I brought up costs last time, just to be frank, is if the money is having to go into buying the extra textbooks, you're looking at $42,000 just for my department just at my school - multiply that by all departments and all schools and then ask yourself where is the money going to come from? Where is the money going to come to hire the extra teachers necessary (again look at the numbers from my earlier post) to move to a 6 or 7 period day? Morale is already low enough in DCSS, do we really need to drive out good teachers over the schedule too?

Anonymous said...

@ Daniel,
The reality is that no college student will see anything that resembles a block or 7 period day. There will be no second, third or fourth chances to get it right, no one to hold their hand and organize their workload, no professors checking with other professors to make sure they aren't giving tests, projects and exams on the same day or week. There will not be a no zero policy. The best thing we can do for all students is provide a rigorous academic environment for those who plan to go to college, an alternate path of study for those that will not, high expectations that all can learn and consequences/rewards for the student's choice of actions.

DCSS has enough money to pay teachers, restore furlough days and TSA, and provide textbooks if they appropriately prioritize their budget and are creative related to their textbook resources.

You may have great EOCT results and are probably a fabulous teacher. If all were like you and the results at our block schools showed successful student achievement (since that is what it was billed as providing), then this discussion would be unnecessary. As it is, student achievement has declined since Block was implemented in 2004. BTW, if block schools can show success and a real survey and meaningful data collection can be done to support there is success, then by all means, that school should be allowed to continue their current course of action. Each high school has had about 7 years to show improvement - for those that haven't, it is time for the school system to step in and make the decision as the "parent" for the students' sake.

Anonymous said...

How do you explain the decline in student achievement at the 7 period schools?

Anonymous said...

anon 11:00 PM
"...going on for years"
How long would you say "frirnd and faily" have been going on?

Anonymous said...

Friends and family has been going on since at least Hallford but "unqualified" friends and family in high places exploded with CLew: Turk, Wilson, Guilories, Berry, Simpson, Dunson, Merriwether, etc

Anonymous said...

@ 5:59 - significant influx of AYP transfers, non Title 1 status so no supports for those AYP transfers, inability of transfers to handle a 7 class load ( per the students)...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Friends and family has been going on since at least Hallford.

January 7, 2012 6:28 PM

Uh, guess again. Since Dr. Freeman, i.e. Tim Freeman, Frankie Freeman.

Anonymous said...

So you are claiming that is the AYP transfers that are bringing down the -period schools? Do you have data to back up you claim?

Anonymous said...

The Family and Friends, sorors, frats, neighbors, etc, increased with CLEW. He hired friends from the 100 Black Men , his very special personal AKA principals and administrators,(Calloway, Berry, Mayfield, Debra White, Merriweather, and others they made it impossible for others not affiliated with this organization to get promoted in many positions. For example,about 89% of female principals belong to the organization of AKA and that is on purpose. A lot of these female administrators from this organization are low down and practice dirty tactic. They have a system where they call each other (principals) and spread lies about teachers. During the transfer season such as now, they are already trying to see who will transfer. Once the transfer goes through, they start with the BLack Balling and will make it hard for other female principals to hire you. Keep in mind many of these same AKA principals have special connections to CLEW which is how they themselves became assistant principals or principals. Tax payers, it is real, this actually happens on the south end of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:50 said..

"Uh, guess again. Since Dr. Freeman, i.e. Tim Freeman, Frankie Freeman."

Uh, guess again. This has happened since Jim Cherry. You won't recognize some of the names because of marriages. Also check the names of those that got construction contracts in the 50's, 60's and 70's. When one person runs the school system, they can do as they please. They can also hire as they please, especially since no one could complain about it.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:08
"So you are claiming that is the AYP transfers that are bringing down the -period schools?"

Look at this comment on the Get Schooled blog from AMHS (Arabia Mountain High School) Parent:
"This WAS an isolated incident. This was perpetrated by only a few of the students who attend. My daughter attends and I was completely apprised of what happened by the school principal. AMHS has been an outstanding school since it’s creation and still is. A few, misguided NCLB students, caused this calamity."

The DCSS administration needs to address these negative perceptions of the NCLB transfers.

Did receiving schools receive additional staff to deal with students transferring from NCLB schools? After all, the lowest achieving students are given priority when NCLB transfers occur. Low achieving students need more individual attention. Was this individual provided at Arabia Mountain or Lakeside or were teachers just told to do the best they could?

Anonymous said...

Yes,you are correct. The BLOG is what now keeps everyone informed and most people would not have a clue about the key players in CLEW organization without this BLOG.
It is one sad that the DCSS has become like a mafia connection, but it has.
CLEW hired special(AKA) female friends of his and they make it impossible to work for or with.

Area Directors especially Dunson received several complaints from teachers who were being mistreated by their female bosses, Dunson did nothing to investigate the complaints. He shared information with the administrators and laughed with them about what was being said. For example, L. Smith at Browns Mill is known to mistreat teachers while her principals supports her in mistreating teachers. The principals was placed their by her retired mentor. She received no training in how to manage a school and it shows, plus no one in their right mind would have hired L. Smith as an assistant principal, she is too messy and loves confusion, talks about everyone!

Anonymous said...

In the past, most DeKalb students were from middle class households with involved parents. Nepotism and cronyism did not matter as much in terms of impacting student achievement.

But times have changed. DeKalb has many, many more low income students who struggle to be on grade level. The DCSS Upper Management has not changed. They were raised in the old era when you could allocate the money any way you wanted, and student achievement would remain stable.

Now that DCSS has many struggling students who need individual attention and thus require more personnel directly instructing students (aka teachers) their hiring and promotion practices are coming showing up in decreasing test scores and greater scrutiny by taxpayers.

It was easy to hide the nepotism and cronyism in the past. It's not easy to hide it now that we have so many low income struggling students.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Atkinson made a serious mistake giving princials more power in their buildings. This is really going to be interesting.
1.Most principals are already power hungry and will use this to intimidate others.
2.Most have already hired their friends (sorors/frats) in positions such as; assistant principals and etc.
3. Principals are incompetent on the south end and have had NO training for this positions. So they abuse teachers and others under them.
4.Assistant principals , most of them were hired by area directors or administrators inspite of NO training for this position.
So why in the world would Dr. Atkinson give them more power to abuse staff? They have complained over and over again about their hands being tied, but if they would go through some type of training they would not have to have more power to make others do their jobs. Taxpayers, let us pray and hope that Dr.Atkinson rethink this thing called power to principals.

Cerebration said...

Anyone with any complaint at all should file a report on the whistleblower hotline. Stick together! Don't be intimidated. There were only 6 reports files last month -- that's only making the board and the public think that everything is "ok"...

We have a link on the right side panel to the hotline - click or call the number on the graphic.

If you want backup, send us an email and let us know what you've filed so that you have someone watching your back.

Anonymous said...

Let's think about this. You take 200 students from a failing school (& the lowest performing students have the first option to leave) and add them to a school of 1200. Would your average achievement go up? NO! How many years do you think it would take to bring a failing student up to grade level and above - 2 yrs? 3 yrs? High school is only 4 years and the same schools keep getting transfers every other year because there aren't enough passing high schools to go around.

You have a good point though about data to back it up - there isn't any data because our dear school system isn't tracking our AYP students- they don't know how many stay at the school to which they transfer, how many return to the original school, how many move to yet another school, etc. They don't know if they are succeeding or not. I suspect the data would be dismal if available but then again, if you don't track it, you don't have to be responsible for the results revealed. It's a travesty.
outcomes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she needs a list of the friends and family. It started before Dr. Freeman left, but i have to say it really got bad with Lewis. Ask andrea brown how she got her job? She and lewis were in school together. She didn't even know how to do a e-mail when she came in. I was told by someone who knows that the friends and family don't even have to pass the test in Hr. Lynn cherry grant sister works for the county (vickie durben) she don't know monday from friday. Last time i checked she was making over $50.00 no college.

Anonymous said...

Vickie Durben passed away last year. May God bless her soul. She is in a better place now.

Anonymous said...

How does the whistle blower hot line works? If six complaints were listed , how would you know? People want to talk but at the same time, Family and Friends are known to make your life harder.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone with any complaint at all should file a report on the whistleblower hotline. Stick together! Don't be intimidated. There were only 6 reports files last month -- that's only making the board and the public think that everything is "ok"..."

Really, Cere? You believe what they're telling you? If you think that the superintendent doesn't have the power to suppress these complaints, you're naive.

Atkinson is all over this. Along with deciding what Ron Ramsey will or won't investigate, she's watching her back, squashing things, and beefing up security at the AIC. She doesn't make a move without her personal police officer these days. Nor does Kendra March. Personal escorts to and from the parking lot. Come over to the AIC in the next week or two and see the new security measures that she's put in place.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Is Jamal Edwards still reporting for work? When he worked under Tyson, he didn't report for his new job for 6 months, but he did get his raise of $15k. Tyson was so surprised that the son of the former BOE Chairman was hiding out in a school and did not report to his new job which garnered him a $15k raise.

This is the culture that Dr. Atkinson is swimming against. As long as Ramsey is in charge of ethics nothing is going to change. Remember folks Ramsey takes his 3 month sojourn to the legislature next week. Think any thing will be taken care of that comes in on the hotline?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:33

I would increase security as well. She is making massive changes and people are going to be disgruntled and lose their job. So is March, as head of school leadership.

I know that everyone wants a warm/fuzzy working environment, especially in education. I understand that change is hard. But if Atkinson doesn't get rid of some of these people, we are doomed to repeat past mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:44 Pm

You are on the $$$$.

Let's pretend that there was never even corruption, nepotism, incompetence in DeKalb, but that the level of academic achievement was the same.

We would still need to clean house. You know how it is easy to miss the dirt in your home because you are there all the time? It is the same for these long-time DeKalb bureaucrats. They don't even see the problem.

On top of that, they can't even begin to solve it. They lack the skills to get the job done.

DCSS has some of the lowest performing schools in the state. Our poverty is not any worse than some of the rural areas of GA and our system has more financial resources. We should be able to hire better teachers and we should be able to hire better administrators.

We have and we continue to fail these children.

Anonymous said...

The posts by Anon 7:44 PM and 6:59 AM both should be pinned for all to read. Many posts speak in code words to avoid saying what really is on the minds of residents. These two post state a reality that most should agree with.

Anonymous said...

Marcus Turk hides behind that bright white smile. His style is to be evasive. He knew what Lewis was doing and advised against it but when it came to doing the right thing and reporting it, no way was he going to jeopardize his high paying job. Reporting it to Tyson is a joke. She was put in place to run interference for Lewis. Tyson walked over many bodies to get where she is.

Turk made many mistakes other than not reporting Lewis. He is the one who came up with the plan to cut out the TSA violating Board Policy. That money should be given back to the employees. What happened to that. They think it will be forgotten and drop off the radar.

By the way, the word is that Turks mommy came to the palace begging for his job back.

Anonymous said...

Many posters are missing the point about the "friends and family" mess:

THERE ARE TO MANY NON-TEACHING, OVERPAID POSITIONS TO START WITH!

The administration needs to be lean and mean. Except for the Superintendent, no other administrator should make more than a principal.

Frances Edwards, Gene Walker, the Callaway's, the Freeman's, the AKA's, the New Birther's, etc. gamed the system. Admin Assistants and Parent Resources Center staff making more than veteran teachers? Of course they were going to manipulate the system, with all of those cushy, overpaid jobs available.

The focus needs to be on the school house. Everything else is a support service for the school house. Those departments had no one minding the store, and morphed into power centers for those who know how to work the system. Human Resources hired with no regard for qualification, but only regard for who you know.

Yet the Board of Education allowed so many overpaid, non-teaching positions to be added in the first place, despite the positions doing nothing to improve academics. The BOE is out of lunch, has no problem with tens of millions of wasteful spending, and spending their time on ridiculous time wastes like the cell phone towers.

The Office of School Improvement? Disband it now. Save millions. Put the money back into the classroom Parent Resource Centers? Close all of them and come up with a new model. Save millions. Put the money back into the classroom.

Audit the other departments that consistently fail and provide no return on investment: MIS, Sam Moss, School Police, etc.

And we taxpayers need to vote out the BOE members who enable the disaster, starting with Tom Bowen and Gene Walker.

Anonymous said...

“The administration needs to be lean and mean. Except for the Superintendent, no other administrator should make more than a principal.”

Using Target’s organizational structure as an example, a district/ regional manager makes more than a store manager. As you move up in the hierarchy, you make more because you have a greater span of control and responsibility. It’s like that in all organizations.

I think what you are concerned about is the out of control salary structure and not having a personnel audit that validates the importance of the job for the school system along with providing a true job description. This has never been clearly defined in the school system. Dr. Brown attempted to rein this in when he commissioned both the personnel and salary audits. Blame should rightfully be placed on the Board members at that time as they were the only ones that could delay this process by firing him. There were some citizens behind his firing also however Board members were the only ones that could vote on this.

Where would this school district be if Dr. Brown was allowed to carry this out without fear of retribution?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 0728, AMHS is experiencing what other AYP Receiving schools have experienced over the years - students who do not want to be at that school (their parents make them and they are away from their friends). For most, but not all, of these students education is not the priority that it is in the receiving school. If it were, the sending schools would not be consistent in no making AYP.

Anonymous said...

"As you move up in the hierarchy, you make more because you have a greater span of control and responsibility. It’s like that in all organizations."

But in DCSS it has not worked like this. As personnel moved up in the hierarchy, they have had a greater span of control, but they have borne no responsibility for their decisions. These decisions have led to the greatest decline in student achievement in the history of the school system with NO accountability on the part of the personnel who have "move(d) up in the hierarchy" is a recipe for disaster.

Higher ranking personnel have relished the greater span of control and the increased compensation, but they have been surprised and dismayed that they would bear any responsibility or accountability for their actions. They have lashed out by blaming parents, teachers and students, anyone and anything but their own decisions.

No data has been released EVER for the efficacy of ANY department, program or personnel group in DCSS. Yet the Upper Management continues to request funding for these cost centers and the BOE has continued to fund them.

Lack of responsibility and accountability must be established with clear benchmarks for these non-teaching administrators. Every benchmark should be tied to their service to teachers and students (members of the classroom) with detailed and quantitative measures of student performance.

If you give personnel wide spans of control with no responsibility for results and no quantifiable measures of accountability, you set up a system of "mini-tyrants" who operate under the delusion that they are right because they are in charge.

Cerebration said...

If six complaints were listed , how would you know?

It was reported at the last board meeting -- Jester specifically asked the question.

Also, I don't blame Dr. A for one minute for asking for escorts to and from her car and buildings. First, have you ever walked to your car in the dark from the Palace? It's creepy. And people are angry right now. She has good reason to be very careful.

Anonymous said...

"No data has been released EVER for the efficacy of ANY department, program or personnel group in DCSS. Yet the Upper Management continues to request funding for these cost centers and the BOE has continued to fund them. "

Are you saying the annual report cards we get for each school along with the district along with the personnel and program changes based on the data don't represent what you are seeking? What additional measures are you seeking and how would you propose that data be collected, analyzed, then make decisions off of it? How much additional time and money should we invest in this?

Perhaps you can point to a school district that provides data for the efficacy of ANY department, program or personnel group so that we can learn from that and look to replicate.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say... to all those who think Dr. Brown was the savior - he was not. He did not have the temperament required of a top-level leader. He insulted people behind closed doors and ran off those whom he perceived as threats -and this was after a great number of people had already left with Hallford's retirement. We lost some able leaders under Brown, people went on to join the state Dept of Ed. He was terribly arrogant and could not work with the DCSS BOE - even the rational members who had corporate backgrounds and understood what he was trying to accomplish. I think he wanted to be the baseball bat- wielding school administrator whose actions went unquestioned and he got incensed when he met with pushback - on school uniforms, school consolidation and curriculum changes. I do not dispute that his instincts to reduce the administrative bloat were on target, but running EVERYTHING thru Abbe Boring's office effectively brought the system to a standstill. Had he had the personal skills to build coalitions for change instead of bullying other administrators, he might have succeeded and averted the Crawford Lewis disaster.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 1:24 PM

No superintendent can be a savior for any school district. There will always be something left undone. Dr. Brown was working on many of the issues citizens have been complaining about. He was addressing the central office organizational structure. School uniforms was the desire of some of the board members. He introduced the block as a means of helping the graduation rate. He also worked to ensure greater equity with instructional programs such as AP being added at schools that historically did not provide as many. He introduced Algebra for 8th graders as a means of raising rigor. We can debate whether any of these should have been done with the speed he was doing them but there is no question this is what he was hired by the board to do. The bottom line for any superintendent is to improved student performance and achievement. Obviously because he began making changes that affected 'the way things have always been', citizens complained to board members who then fired him.

Maybe the problem is not all with the board members but with various communities also that want to be isolated from the larger school district.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:24 - That's my point. To lead this many people in a new direction you have to build coalitions in healthy ways. He was so surprised and angry when parents opposed him - but why was he surprised? If it was easy, anyone could do it. How could he not understand that? But to become nasty, defensive, and ultimately vindictive when people even questioned him - it makes me wonder how he moved as far up the career ladder as he did. As for his changes: every 8th grader in Algebra? Fine, but you have to remediate the gaps students had, which was not done. More APs in all schools? Wonderful, but you have to have teachers qualified to teach college-level courses and students prepared to take them. He underestimated the holes all over our curriculum - and would have been better off providing meaningful teacher development and putting students in a position to be successful in all those APs, than grandstanding about school uniforms. Don't get me wrong: what followed in the Lewis tenure was far more damaging, with no focus on student achievement whatsoever. But Dr. Brown was not a "missed opportunity" for positive change.

Anonymous said...

We could debate over and over again about Johnny Brown and his attitude and our perceptions. The bottom line is that DCSS has become a laughing joke to outsiders and insiders.
People want to know about the key players such on the Family and Friends Plan. In reality, we all know that DCSS became a Play School when CLEW brought in these people who turned our system into a Greek School System. Then he hired folks(administrators) especially females because of his after hours connections and then came Calloway who hired and recommended every member of her sorority for top positions even her daughter (AKA) who still cannot pass the GACE test. She is currently working as a Preventive Specialist with only a masters degree, her para certification has expired.
We the taxpayers would like to have competent leaders as principals and assistant principals not because they are your sorors or church members but because they are qualified. Being in a sorority or fraternity in DCSS is similiar to being in a club. Walk the halls and on Fridays, OMG, being from the north, I have never seen an entire school wear college sorority colors and frat colors. These folks would never walk in the corporate work place sporting this kind of attire. Plus, in the corporate world, it does not matter to others what sorority or fraternity you belong to. Only in the schools of DCSS. So SAD, yet, half of the students in their classes can never pass the CRCT. SAD, see the scores on the south end of the county.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Atkinson and her new staff I'm sure got a kick out of reading over the information that was presented by teachers during the fireside chat. Now, if she is smart, her next move will be to act on what the teachers shared with her about the principals and morale in the schools.
Hopefully, after reading the information, this will give Akinson hindsight as to why the administrators donot need any more power. They need to power themselves with training classes on how to operate a school and bring up the scores within their schools. That is the only power these tyrannts need. Anything more, it is going to be a hot mess with these incompetent administrators who were PLACED in their positions by CLEW, Area Directors, BOE members, and Family and Friends connections. It shows in the test scores. MOVE Low Performing Prinicpals!

Anonymous said...

The problem with Dr. Brown was that he faced the harsh reality that what the system needed wasn't appealing to many northside parents and the southside parents weren't paying attention.

I was at a meeting when at Chamblee High parent lambasted him about uniforms only to hear later that night from another Chamblee parent that they were having a terrible gang problem, at the time, and uniforms would be helpful. We were not, and are not, a suburban school system folks.

His Algebra I plan wasn't well thought out, but his desire to offer more APs was. The inequities in this system were real.

It was the Board of Ed at the time, who didn't like that he was a strong leader that they didn't control. They hired Lewis so that they could control him.

Lucky us.

Anonymous said...

I am really glad to see that it was not just me (certified, qualified, experienced, and an outside applicant). This system is about; all in who you know or who knows you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, lucky us. We got CLEW and this school system has been in HADES since. By the way, how long does it take for CLEW and POPE to face jail time? It has been three years now.... I could have swam cross the Atlantic Ocean and back.

Anonymous said...

There are obviously many here that don't know the history behind the growth of the central office. It grew under Dr. Freeman shortly before he retired. Back then, there were two area superintendents, Dr. Hallford and Dr. Melvin Johnson. Someone had the idea to further subdivide the district and many long time employees were promoted to the central office. Many were black females, who headed many schools during the early to mid 90's. Freeman quickly realized this was a mistake however did not reassign those folks back to the schools. This is when some of the 'made up' jobs in the central office started.

When Hallford was promoted to follow Freeman, he did nothing to reduce the size of the central office. When Brown came in, he questioned why so many many employees were in the central office. He actually reassigned several back to the schools. This was part of Brown's undoing as those employees began calling in favors to have something done.

It's interesting that in Brown's current school district, he has had success in implementing the very programs he attempted to implement in DeKalb. There was some resistance since not everyone was happy but it was supported. Perhaps they were ready for the change that DeKalb has resisted.

Cerebration said...

Dr. Melvin Johnson. Do you mean the guy who got the Leadership Academy placed at New Birth?

Interestingly, you will find in the documents that four of the eight founding member of the board of the Leadership Academy are also members of New Birth. In addition, Dr. Melvin Johnson is also on the board of New Birth Christian Academy - the private school operating out of the same church building.

Even more interesting - Dr. Melvin Johnson donated $200 to Gene Walker's 2008 (15 days out) special election campaign for school board. Johnson is listed there as simply "retired" and his employer as "none".


The guy who agreed to pay $122,050 to New Birth to lease the space for the DCSS Leadership Academy?

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/08/oh-boy-this-could-get-ugly.html

Anonymous said...

Uh, there are 12 schools in the Port Arthur Independent School District. Plus one alternative school. Not exactly the same scenario that Brown had to oversee here. Glad he's improving the scores, though. Must be a good match for his skill set.

Cerebration said...

What? Walker said,

"All we do is hold the superintendent accountable for the results."

I have never EVER seen a DCSS board of ed hold a superintendent accountable for the results. Never! They have rarely ever DISCUSSED the results. I don't think as a group, they have ever even reviewed the results!

Anonymous said...

If the board cared about results, they would have fired Tyson.

Anonymous said...

Ha, the principals on the south end griping about they want power to hire and fire. Look at the five public high school that received recognition. Take a close look, do you see any schools from the south end. Yet, these are the principals griping about they need more power. Hope Dr. Atkinson changes her mind.
Oh, the summary about the rise of black females in the 90's to administrative positions did increase. The system has been in HADES every since from elementary, middle, and high due to Freedman's mistake in promoting people not use to being in charge over nothing caused this system to become a laughing stock.

Anonymous said...

you're so right about the principals. If they are given any more power,God have mercy on the poor teaching staff that donot belong to their church, sorority,frat, I Just Like You Club, or etc.
Trust me, every school will increase it's status even more; a soror/ frat/ AKA elementary school, AKA middle school, and AKA high school on the south end of the county.These ladies in this organization just do not get it. Thank you Ms. Calloway, Debra White, Mayfield, Berry, and others, people are plain tired of you all.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:24pm
"Are you saying the annual report cards we get for each school along with the district along with the personnel and program changes based on the data don't represent what you are seeking?"

That is exactly what I'm saying. Surely you don't suggest that this data is anywhere near comprehensive enough to evaluate 15,000 employees.

Parent Centers located in Title 1 schools have seen a steady decline in student achievement. Where is the data on numbers of parents seen per day, time spent in face to face parent contacts, measurable objectives and benchmarks for Parent Center initiatives, etc.

Prevention/Intervention personnel should have data on the number of students seen, time spent with students, measurable objectives and benchmarks for Prevention/Intervention initiatives, number of discipline referrals in a school year, resolution of discipline referrals, student achievement measurement of discipline referrals, etc.

America's Choice has been used in Title 1 schools for many years. The schools that have used America's Choice have been the very schools that have failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress. Why has this program not been tied to student achievement? Why has the administration recommended and the BOE continued this program to ensure more schools make AYP when in reality less schools are making AYP?

Quantitative, measurable objectives should be required of ALL non-teaching employees. And teachers who are the leaders of the classroom should have a part in the evaluation of employees from custodians to maintenance workers to coordinators to technical personnel. These personnel ONLY exist to serve the members of the classroom (the teacher and his student).

Whether other school systems make their departments accountable is not relevant. DeKalb Schools is the lowest school system in metro Atlanta in terms of student achievement. The DCSS administration must enforce accountability for every department. Hiring and paying MOST of your personnel without tying them to the "core business" of ensuring student progress will not improve these statistics. Measurable, quantitative data for every cost center is a prerequisite to moving students forward.

Cerebration said...

Oh - you must read our old post on America's Choice

America's Choice - Sucking up the Stimulus


Here's the press release about Dr. Lewis addressing an audience at the America's Choice symposium. Arne Duncan was keynote speaker of the event.

http://www.dekalbkaleidoscope.com/?p=1181

Anonymous said...

What else do you folks know about Melvin Johnson? Seems shadowy. Any connection with Stan Pritchett?

Anonymous said...

When Dr.Johnson,Lonnie Edwards, Jim Williams and others were in the central office it was a dam mess. They with halford was all about the friends and family. Halford when he was not drunk went along with anything that they and frances edwards said. I remember it well because a lot of people ended up in those small rooms with a chair and a student desk. When frances edwards got her son, son-in-law and daughter in a lot of people were moved to make way for them. Her son-in-law is a very nasty person. We were all told don't do or say anything that might up set her family. That poor custodian at the bryant center had to make sure her daughter's office was just right every day. She had to have the a/c just right for her.
Jamal edwards is a joke no other person could get away with what he has done.

I am glad to see Dr. A light a fire under these people, it's time for the system to get back to the education of our children. I support her all the way. If you have been doing your job and your salary it fair you have nothing to worry about, But if you are not then what will be will be. Thank you Dr. A we are all praying for you.

Anonymous said...

In terms of student achievement, what are the responsibilities of the various (elementary, middle, high schools) Directors of Teaching and Learning?
To whom are they accountable? I have not seen a blog that addresses their responsibilities.
More of the same:
Director of Elementary Schools-AKA
Director of Middle Schools-AKA
Director of High Schools-AKA
Hmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

Did Lonnie Edwards hire his cousins; the book-gate sister crooks' Ms. Sanders-Butler and her sister; Annette Roberts? from rags to riches
Bet he did!

Cerebration said...

I have not seen a blog that addresses their responsibilities.

You are welcome to write one! Send it to
reparteeforfun@gmail.com

thank you!

Anonymous said...

Director of Professional Learning-AKA

Anonymous said...

Marcus Turk's mom-AKA

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

According to the 1/10/12 AJC, the results of the administrators' evaluations should be made known on Friday. So...how quickly will this information be posted? Will this public information be distributed in its entirety or in "piece-meal" fashion?

Anonymous said...

I wish we could have a list of the number of AKA's that are principals and Assistant Principals along with the county office staff.
The mass numbers would show taxpayers who CLEW promoted these ladies. It's SAD, but in reality, this is how our school system ballooned in the Dekalb County AKA School System on the south end of the county. Low test scores and a parade of incompetent sorors doing nothing by hiring sorors to fill positions. Donot leave out, HR Department. Donot apply for a job, if an AKA is on the panel, or over the position, forget it! It already taken by one of their sorors.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean that taxpayers would know how adminstrators faired on their PAL evaluation?
That would be interesting. Plus, has Dr. Atkinson finished meeting with the administrators and made any decisions to move the majority of these folks to the North end of the county . They are causing more harm on the south end and teachers are plain tired of them.

Anonymous said...

9:07 List of AKAs in administration

Additionally, your comments are right.
Those who wanted advancement at any cost knew that this was their avenue to it.

Some have already been posted last year and this year, even on this section. To add to the lists, Prin. Avondale Elem, AP at Bouie, Prin. at Rainbow, Parent Center Supervisor, Tova Davis-HR, Calloways, and many many many more.
Take a tour of the schools and you will clearly see.

Anonymous said...

9:20 I believe the newspaper article is regarding those administrators that will be moved, demoted, promoted, etc.

Anonymous said...

Avondale Elementary(AKA) Very special friend of CLEW if you can read between the line. We need the list of AKA's that are principals, assistants, county office, and etc.
Taxpayers, you need to see this one!
Cannot find the AJC article on administrators evaluations.

Anonymous said...

Reference to the administrators' audit is in AJC.com, Dekalb news section under the heading of "Dekalb School Board Picks Walker..."

Cerebration said...

I was never in a sorority so I don't really relate, but wouldn't it be logical if these are all African-American women and they attended historically black colleges that they would most likely be a member of one or two traditionally black sororities? I don't find it all that odd that many of these women belong to the same one or two sororities, however, I do find it odd that they seem to continue to wear the colors and act like a junior high aged group of girls. I have never heard of such a thing. It's pretty hard to comprehend really. It's so unnecessary in a professional world.

Anonymous said...

CERE you are basically right that the majority do basically pledge one or two sororities. The point that is being made here is that the majority of the administrative positions are primarily held by one sorority. Word around Dekalb is that many very qualified people have applied for these high paying positions but could not get interviews. From what it appears, "not a member of this one sorority, don't apply for the position." This practice is as unfair as people being hired only because of their skin color, political affiliation, religion, and other associations. This hiring practice is being documented by people and their positions listed here and in past blogs. Reportedly, the majority are in Title 1 and according to some of the bloggers, were hired by their sorority sister, Berry. Understand too, that many of these people did not join this sorority in college. Many, many joined later when they realized that being a member helped in their progression. If all were listed, you would see a clear pattern. Dr. Atkinson, who is also a member, is surely disrupting this pattern which has been in existence for many years. I surely wish her well because she probably will experience stress from numerous sources, including this one.

Cerebration said...

See, I didn't even know (or actually care to know) that you could join a sorority after college... I'm really not understanding that.

Anonymous said...

Well written and stated about why people are progressing when they join AKA sorority in DCSS. Berry herself didnot join in college like so many others. Really it doesnot matter in the REAL world, only in DCSS.Many qualified people have left DCSS due to this unfair practice.
Some have been Black Balled by this same group because of the numerous capacities that they were promoted too by Calloway, CLEW, Berry, Mayfield, Turk, White, and other members of this same group.
Some of these same members (AKA)received special promotions to principals positions, AP and others because of their special relationship with only CLEW.
Hopefully Dr. Atkinson will lead the charge and clean this unfair practice up.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that the CFO of Atlanta Public Schools (Chuck Burbridge) has been working a couple of days a week for Dekalb County Schools. Hmmmmm. Dr. Atkinson would be out of her mind to hire Burbridge or anyone else from Beverly Hall's administration. I wouldn't touch Burbridge with a 10 foot pole.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you mention Turk is out. Maybe the new assigned person to this job can start some real investigating into even the schools. Carolyn Williams at Stone Mountain High. Where is the money?????? Bookkeeper was fired last year. Last time I checked the principal is in charge too of day to day finances of the entire school.