Monday, June 1, 2009

It’s the end of the year as we know it!

Well, well, well. What can I say? The last Board of Education meeting for the 2008-09 school year was held at Lakeside HS this evening and it was, to my ears, a garbled mess. And let me tell you – the gloves are off!

We started out with Dr. Lewis expressing his disappointment in the fact that the Marine Academy Memorandum of Agreement has not been signed and the school has been put on hold – with no promise to open it in August of 2009 or even 2010. Reasons given by the marines were building selection and modifications, student application process and curriculum modifications.

Moving on to the public comments, we heard from several people who were very much against the Military Academy, including Grandmothers of Peace and the Georgia Veterans Alliance, which includes veterans of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Tim Franzen of the American Friends Service Committee presented a written resolution compiled in part by the Georgia ACLU, the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, and the American Friends Service Committee to the board advocating for adhering to the UN Rights of the Child (which only the U.S. and Somalia have not signed). Many stated their concern that the military school is a recruitment tool, citing the fact that the funding is to come from the marines recruitment budget. They also pointed out that Chicago schools have readily admitted that their long-term experiment with military schools has not produced improved test scores or graduation rates. Eric Fontaine, representing the Libertarian Party of DeKalb County made a public statement that his organization opposes the Marine Institute. One lone speaker at the end endorsed the academy.

Shayna Steinfeld (who ran for School Board, District 4 but lost to Paul Womack) gave a cogent outline of her suggestions for improving DeKalb schools. It’s too bad that she only had 3 minutes to share her ideas, as they were intriguing. Some examples: return high schools to a six-period day, align DeKalb’s graduation requirements with the state’s, create a bona fide Vo-Tech school to enable all students to finish high school with a marketable skill, get rid of the new math curriculum, end policies that promote mediocrity in teaching and strengthen neighborhood schools.

Once again, Annette Jackson and her children approached the Board pleading for them not to move DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts (DESA) to Terrell Mill. However, this time, I was intriqued by what Ms. Jackson had to say. In fact, I send out a personal apology over this blog to her from me. I have been too harsh on her. She is passionate about schools and insuring that her children do well (they are both straight A students). We should lift up mothers like Annette Jackson who stood before the board and asked, “How can you find the money to start up a military academy for at-risk students, yet not support your top performers?” She is absolutely correct. And as a result, DeKalb’s top performers continue to leak from our buildings into other systems and private schools, ensuring that we have no hope for making AYP anytime in the future.

And, happily, we were treated to another uplifting year-end presentation by Sandy Purkett, who works tirelessly for the students at the “Great” Redan high school, helping to secure over $5 million in scholarships for students graduating this year! Way to go, Sandy!

Then, after a short break, we turned to the ugly business of the school board meeting at hand. Where do I begin? Well, first, there was a contentious debate over the contract for legal counsel before the Board. The contract put counsel under Dr. Lewis – effectively reporting directly to him (what they called a "solid" line) and serving as his personal attorney. Counsel is only connected via a “dotted line” to the Board, which was problematic to Dr. Walker, as he wondered how legal counsel would ever serve the Board if they disagree with the Superintendent, if that counsel reports directly to the Superintendent. He called it a “legal disaster”. Jay Cunningham agreed and voted no along with Walker, however the rest of the Board approved, except Sarah Copeland Wood who abstained, since she was attending the meeting “telephonically” and couldn’t grasp what the action was over the phone. In fact, it was hard to grasp what her comments were due to all of the very loud, ambient phone noise dotted with her raspy coughing.

Additionally, I must tell you that Dr. Lewis was forced by Dr. Walker to admit that yes, it’s true – the seven principals that he is moving to underperforming schools will each get a $10,000 bonus for their trouble! He defended his action, stating that he had a meeting with representatives from the federal government who assured him that he could use the Title 1 Stimulus money for these bonuses. (The money does not come from the general fund, however, some argued that even so, stimulus money should be spent more wisely.)

On top of that, several Board members took issue with the tardiness of Dr. Lewis’ submittal of the meeting minutes. He presented minutes for approval from meetings dating to early April, and several Board members complained that they couldn’t remember that far back in order to approve or make changes. SCW also requested a CD or DVD of the meetings soon after they occur for review.

There were a few other issues with regard to Dr. Lewis, which made me think that perhaps the Board is no longer wearing their rose-colored glasses in support of him. He has recently suffered serious set-backs in his administration and found that he had to defend his actions at every turn. In fact, he warned the Board several times that they should be wary of “micro-managing,” especially regarding his principal bonus plan and to effectively, step back and let him do his job. Dr. Walker continued to disagree, insisting that spending money on bonuses is in effect, policy-making, which is a Board responsibility. Dr. Lewis insisted that he only moved “A” principals (apparently they graded the principals recently) and that the complaints are most likely coming from jealous “D” performing principals. Dr. Walker and others demanded some kind of accounting as to how Dr. Lewis went about choosing these “top-performers” to move to low-performing schools. They want to see his rubric! Jim Redovian, a voice of reason, suggested that perhaps the bonuses should only come after the principal creates a positive movement in outcomes for students.

More interesting information came from this fairly heated argument. We learned that this bonus scheme has been going on for a while all over the county. For instance, the entire staff at McNair Middle School and Sequoia Middle School received bonuses in the past. And at Towers High School, the teachers and principal received bonuses and the school system paid for some teachers to earn a masters degree.

We ended with Paul Womack complaining that a certain Board member, (Gene Walker) as Chair of the DeKalb Development Authority is in a position to give a $52 million tax abatement to the Sembler Company for a development in Brookhaven (near Buckhead). Womack said that this will end up costing the school system $1.2 - $1.6 million every year for 20 years in lost tax revenues. Dr. Walker countered stating that Womack was spreading misinformation. He basically said that the school system won’t earn the tax dollars if the development isn’t built, so effectively we can’t ‘lose’ something we won’t have. (However, he is forgetting that if it is built, by someone who doesn’t ask for a tax abatement, the system will earn that money.) I quote Dr. Walker as saying, “It’s a transparent situation, assess the facts on your own.” (Note: We have tried this at the blog, but there is very little information to be found. All Development Authority meetings on the subject are closed-door.)

That’s pretty much all I have to report. As a point of clarification, the “High School B” mystery was solved by Pat Pope who told us that the original plan was to use the money from the state, which replaced money in the CIP budget to build a 9th/10th grade academy at MLK high school. That has been changed to an addition (not a separate building.) She also told us that there were plans to build an Arabia Middle School, however, that has been tabled as it was deemed unnecessary.

I think I’ll hit the hay now, as my head hurts and my fingers are cramped. I will end with more thoughtful suggestions from Shayna Steinfeld (another voice of reason). Since I asked for, and was given a copy of her speech, I will quote her verbatim, “We need to decentralize and reorganize. Give Area Superintendents the authority to run their areas as self-contained districts, mini-school systems. As Superintendent, Dr. Lewis and his staff must become proactive and get ahead of issues instead of always responding to crises. His time should be spent leading strategic planning and working cooperatively with other entities – Emory, the Bill Gates Foundation, GE and others – to bring the kind of resources to DeKalb that has benefited places like Atlanta Public Schools. He should have more experts in place running the other business functions of our billion dollar school system.

As board members, I encourage each of you to recognize that we are at a crisis point and address the issues before us sooner rather than later.”

I hope the Board heard that last part.


themommy said...

Interesting report. I didn't catch all the meeting. Sounds like a missed a lot.

First, though, to your comments abuot Ms. Jackson. DESA is not underfunded, at least when it comes to instruction. At last check, and I haven't checked next year's budget, DESA has 10 teachers totally paid for by the system (no state subsidy). These "unearned" teachers go for extra art, music etc which might (and I use that word loosely) tolerable if every school in DCSS had what it needs instructionally. They don't.

Later, in the public speaking section, a woman spoke about the high school art schools in other systems. Want to know why those systems can afford them? They have no elementary school magnets to subsidize. I bet that just KMS and DESA have cost the system over a million dollars a year. Just those two schools.

So, we could afford to do more for top performers, if we weren't so busy spending so much on less than 5 percent of the student body.

themommy said...

Oh, how I wished I had seen the business part of the meeting. (I suffered through the legal discussion then I had to go out.)

The principal thing shocks me. Do we think Moton got a 10k bonus for going to Lithonia? That bothers me, because good or bad, she certainly hasn't had time to prove herself. If she got an A it is because Lakeside students earned it, not her.

I am pleased to hear there was heated discussion. As an aside, the bonuses at McNair Middle and Sequoyah were part of the plan the system had to come up with because they had reached that restructuring point under AYP penalties. Of the two schools, Sequoyah really turned around (at least by AYP measures) and the principal at Sequoyah is one of the ones being moved to a low performing school. He is tough and very demanding, but I also think at Sequoyah he had a parent population that was willing to cooperate. It will be interesting to see how he does at a very different school.

Wonder when it plays again on TV?

Cerebration said...

"If she got an A it is because Lakeside students earned it, not her."

themommy, I couldn't agree with you more! I also agree with your assessment of spending on the arts - and have blogged on that many times. I just was suddenly struck by Ms. Jackson's tenacity and passion and felt like I had been too hard on her in the past - at least she's participating!

Anonymous said...

Good report Cere. I caught the meeting beginning with Dr. Walker's tirade about having the school attorney report to the Superintendent. I do not know how other school systems handle this issue but in the business world the General Counsel always reports to the CEO, not the Board of Directors. If the Board feels it needs independent advice, then it will hire counsel on a case by case situation. Consequently, having the school attorney report to the Superintendent mirrors the business world. The school attorney's "client" is the entire school system, not the school board and not C. Lewis as an individual.

I got quite a chuckle when Walker said that the Development Authority is transparent when nothing could be further from the truth. At least we all know exactly where Walker stands- he has no plans to recuse himself from the vote and he will push this ridiculous tax break through for Sembler.

People need to write the other members of the Development Authority since I do not think the School Bd or County commission will have a vote.

Kim Gokce said...

Great summary - I only caught the business portion of the meeting.

The one interesting item I don't think you mentioned, Cere, was Jay Cunningham's plea for support and participation by District 5 parents. I thought that was very poignant and noteworthy ... whether he intended to or not, it sounded like he felt isolated by the rest of the Board (just my impression - no facts).

I was glad to see Don McChesney demonstrate that at least our District #2 BoE member reads the recommendations - he had a couple of direct, specific questions for Pope, etal, that made it clear he had completed some homework - that always wins points in my thinking and is encouraging from a body in charge of education! :)

I met Trenton Arnold 2 weeks before his move from Sequoyah was announced - very disappointed. He struck me as a no-nonsense leader who would have been great to work with regarding the future of Cross Keys district.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Walker, please name me a company, organization, etc., where legal counsel reports to the board of directors. You cannot. It does not happen. In this instance, CL is correct. Quit micromanaging - do you want to see SACS on Dekalb's doorstep?

themommy said...

Can I ask a question about the legal stuff that is still unclear with me?

What has happened with Josie? (the attorney, sorry I don't know her last name.)

Did we ever put a bid out for legal services? Are we going to?

Was this discussion a precursor to what is going to be written in the RFP?

Anonymous said...

I think it's entirely appropriate to pay principals more for working at an under-performing school. It's a much harder job, with fewer rewards and accolades. It's also a great way to encourage our best and brightest to take on a challenging assignment.

Anonymous said...

I think it's entirely appropriate to pay principals more for working at an under-performing schoolIt is not appropriate to pay them BEFORE they "turn things around" at their new school.

Anonymous said...

"It is not appropriate to pay them BEFORE they "turn things around" at their new school."

Why not? How about a "bonus" to leave the cushy, high-performance school, then another bonus if performance improves at the low-performing school. Otherwise, there's not much incentive for a principal to leave. If the county "forces" someone to leave their current school and head a lower-performing school, then the county should offer a monetary bonus.

Directed assignments are a recipe for low morale. This can be offset with a monetary reward.

Once upon a time, a relative of mine (and many of her colleagues) was sent from a school in Dekalb close to her home to a low-performing school in another part of the county. After a year of a long commute, much frustration, and no monetary incentives, Gwinnett gained a great teacher.

Anonymous said...

Directed assignments are a recipe for low morale. This can be offset with a monetary reward.I do not understnad this comment. Principals are employees of Clew. As an employer, he decides the assignments. Why do you think principals should get to "choose" their "assignments"?

How about a "bonus" to leave the cushy, high-performance school, then another bonus if performance improves at the low-performing school.Well, in Ms. Moton's case, she had nothing to do with Lakeside's high-performance. That was already in place when she took over. Why should she get a bonus for that?

Dekalbparent said...

I was caught up short by the bonuses revelation, too. I really liked Redovian's point about giving the bonus after the principal has had a chance to prove her/himself.

It is possible that it will take more than a year or two to see if the principal has been effective, and a case can be made for making it worth their while to see the job through, so perhaps a little incentive each year of improvement would be reasonable.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget Copeland-Wood's two whine fests that DCSS wasn't "doing anything" for the low-performing schools in her district and this was discriminatory! She didn't name the schools but my guess is that they are all Title I schools. The Title I schools have ALL the money and extra resources and are being showered with much more due to the stimulus funds.

And what did Tom Bowen mean with his closing statement? He said that when DCSS started budget cutting earlier than other school systems that DCSS was subject to much criticism! First of all, eliminating empty FTEs and paying large buyouts to get a handful of people to retire on top of the guarnteed retirement benefits that NO ONE else in the business world gets anymore is still not my idea of trimming the budget. But more important, I do not recall any criticism that the DCSS was pursuing cuts unnecessarily. Was this from DCSS employees? Taxpayers were jumping for joy that some of the fat might be cut from the bloated administration.

themommy said...

Doesn't it make you wonder what grade the principal(s) of your child(ren)'s school(s) got?

Just a little bit...

Anonymous said...

"Directed assignments are a recipe for low morale. This can be offset with a monetary reward.I do not understnad this comment. Principals are employees of Clew. As an employer, he decides the assignments. Why do you think principals should get to "choose" their "assignments"? " almost all organizations, vacancies are posted, people apply, and someone gets the job. So, in many (most?) cases, people do "choose" their "assignments." Of course principals work for the school system and can be moved at will. But, it's much better for morale if employees have some input as to what type of job they would like and where they would like to work.

Anonymous said...

"Well, in Ms. Moton's case, she had nothing to do with Lakeside's high-performance."

How do you know? Just playing devil's advocate....But it's really hard to look in from the outside and say whether a principal is responsible for a school's success or failure. So many factors go into making a school work. The prinicpal is but one (large!) cog in the wheel.

Anonymous said...

How do you know? Just playing devil's advocate....But it's really hard to look in from the outside and say whether a principal is responsible for a school's success or failure. Ms. Moton was only at Lakeside for 2 years. Lakeside was an exceptional school before Ms. Moton was principal. Just review their academic profile and you will see for yourself.

No Duh said...

"SCW also requested a CD or DVD of the meetings soon after they occur for review."

Doesn't she know that all the meetings can be accessed on-line from the DCSS website? The meetings are usually up a few days (sometimes a week) after the meeting. Hopefully her short-term memory is better than that!

Ofcourse, Walker wants the solid line attorney. Where else will he get his free legal advice?

fedupindcss said...

I was at the meeting and honestly, the part that chaffed me the most was how clean Lakeside was. They sent in a crew beforehand to tart it up for the Board and public. Then they hauled in that huge travelling Board dias, a giant portable backdrop curtain, and enough AV equipment to make a movie studio envious. I found my mind wandering over the cost of that stuff. I understand the AV, but why not just use the cafeteria tables at the school instead of a dias? And why do you need a backdrop curtain at all? Let the audience see how crappy Lakeside's cafeteria stage is.

Ella Smith said...

I am sorry I fall asleep and missed the meeting entirely. That was not my intent at all.

I feel the DESA gets a great deal of money compared to what is spent on my child at Lakeside High School. The data shows that DESA gets more money per student than most of the schools in the county. I understand that Ms. Jackson does want the best for her children but many of us want this. Like Ms. Jackson we are not always pleased. I respect her very much for standing up and fighting for what she believes.

I do feel that paying out $10,000 payments to move may not be appropriate as results of improvement have not been shown yet.

I am concerned about the micro-management of certain school board members. Many school board members spend a full days work down checking on items at the school board office. I am not sure that this is not micro-management.

This was a great report. Thanks.

Cerebration said...

I'm not agreeing with Ms Jackson about DESA, I'm just saying that she has a point. Good students - high achievers - tend to be overlooked due to the abundance of attention necessary to improve the performance of so many low achievers and "at-risk" students. Seriously - we are bleeding good students in DCSS -- they are leaving the system in droves.

You can't meet the needs of the lowest performers by ignoring the needs of the best performers. I think Dr Lewis is in a panic to improve the bottom line test scores - so much so that he is cutting off his nose to spite his face - as he focuses too much on the needy and not enough on the best and brightest.

Cerebration said...

And- I agree that Ms Moton certainly could not have possibly EARNED a $10k bonus as a high performance principal -- Dear God - she was only at Lakeside for 2 years - and Lakeside students had a proven track record before she set her big toe in the building.

Open+Transparent said...

Cere, I love 'ya, and I love this blog! And to think you almost quit on us! Thank you for sticking it out. whenever we have the first DCSW Happy Hour, the first round is on me.

I'm glad the BOE is questioning C Lew more than ever before. This blog is a big part of the reason why. He had a "free ride" before, but as the public becomes more educated on the various issues, we are going to call him out more often, as should the BOE.

I'm very interested in finding out if Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton award five figure bonuses to principals for moving to a new school. It seems a bit unseemly to me, but if it's standard protocol, then I'm more willing to not call C Lew out. But if it's not the norm for big urban GA school systems, then C Lew is going to get a ton of deserved flack.

My buddy pscxeb loves his metrics. P, if C Lew is going to move around principals, he better damn sure have measurable measurements to show taxpayers/voters how he evaluates his principals. Right now, it seems it's purely subjective instead of objective.

Hey everyone, let's not please forget that while the new Arabia Mt. High is otherworldly, Sequoyah Middle, Cross Keyes and Lakeside are some of the shi#%est school facilities in the State of Georgia.

And please, if and when you see Dr. Gene "Sembler Whore" Walker in person, please call him Dr. Double Dipper Gene Walker.

fedupindcss said...

I find Walker's dual role in the county as offensive as the next person. That said, he was the only Board member who was out talking to the public before the meeting; the rest were sequestered somewhere until the moment they came in to start the meeting. Doesn't mean I like what he does otherwise, but just sayin'...

I was surprised that there were not any speakers there to argue against the merger of Heritage and Margaret Harris, which was on the agenda. If only Ms. Jackson could send some of her love that way, it would be more useful. Housing all those age ranges in one building is not appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Cere you are absolutely right about the complete inequality of public education for high achieving students. They are leaving in droves. If I had it to do over again my children would be in private school- something I would have never said 10 years ago.

The article is a year or two old but the Fordham Institute published a report "High Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB." The report found that teachers spent much more time focused on low achieving students than high achiving students due to the pressures of NCLB. The National Math Panel also surveyed teachers who said they felt guilty because they did not have time to spend nurturing the higher level math students. There is another recent study that finds that when you peel the layers back on the standardized testing onion, the lower performing schools are not making any progress- it's just that the high achieving students progress had flattened so there is an illusion that the "gap" is narrowing.

Cerebration said...

According to data quoted in Shayna Steinfeld's speech, "40 to 50% of Lakeside’s freshmen fail a class – this is astounding. "

If a principal who presides over this level of failure is considered "high-performing" and worthy of a bonus - then I fear for this school system.

Ella Smith said...

Lakeside is a high performing school, but we forget about all the students who do not raise to the standards of Lakeside.

Lakeside has given my children a wonderful education but I learned the hard way that to get the best Lakeside had to offer your children needed to be in Honor, AP, Advanced or gifted classes. Many students do not pass classes their freshman year. The students are not prepared for the rigor of Lakeside's high academic standards.

I do think it is important to remember that standards do have to be set and meet for students to receive grades in high school. If students do not meet the basic standards and do not know the information it is important in high school that they retake the classes verses passing them on socially. Each student must pass the GHSGT and to do this each student must have the knowledge. Lakeside does fail the students who do not meet the standards. Many schools and principals want all students past. You can not have it both ways.

This is a tough subject but being a high school teacher I have found that many freshman do not prepare for class and do not study for tests. If they do not have these study skills or chose not to use the skills they have then these students will fail. When students get to high school they do get a wake-up call many times. They are used to being socially promoted and this does not happen in high school. We do our children wrong by ever socially promoting them at any level.

Anonymous said...

"If a principal who presides over this level of failure is considered "high-performing" and worthy of a bonus - then I fear for this school system."

Nobody (on this board) wants to give Ms. Moton credit for Lakeside's success, since she had only been there for two years....but she must take responsibilty for Lakeside's failure?

Cerebration said...

Good point, anon. I guess I was clumsy in making my point. I just don't see how Moton has been deemed a "high performing" principal worthy of a 10k bonus. Lakeside does have (and always has had) very successful students - however, their freshmen failure rate in the last 5-6 years has grown exponentially. (The successful students stay - the failures leave, shown as the number of students in the class dwindles from 500+ freshmen to only around 300 as seniors.) No one has been able to address or fix this, and it really concerns me that the system is not only willing to overlook this trend, but reward the principal in charge.

Something's fishy in Denmark. There's just no way in my mind that you can take a middle school principal from Gwinnett, drop her in a high school with a reputation for high achieving students and two years later - viola! - she's one of our best and brightest! Frightening that this is as good as it gets in DCSS.

Cerebration said...

I would like to hear from teachers at some of the schools where the principals are being transferred (with a $10k bonus) to 'challenging' schools. Do you agree that this administrator is effective? Worthy of the bonus? Do you have confidence that this person has what it takes to turn around their new school?

Lakeside Mom said...

Consider the most recent piece of high school data on the DCSS website, the GHSGT scores. Druid Hills' scores have gone up since 2005 in all categories except English, so, judged only on those scores, Mr. Patrick deserves a bonus. Lakeside's scores have gone down since 2005 in all categories except science, so apparently neither Mr. Chelf nor Ms. Moton would deserve a bonus. Between 2008 and 2009, Lakeside's scores dropped in all categories. However, I think GHSGT score fluctuations are partly due to factors beyond the principal's control.

What might be more within the principal's control, though, is morale. 7 teachers left Lakeside at the end of this year. What's up with that? Is that normal turnover at a high-performing school in a recession? (Their jobs aren't posted - maybe on hold until the new principal is chosen?)

(Cere, I see you already replied to Anon while I was typing, and that dwindling class size from freshman to senior year is a lot more dramatic than GHSGT scores. I wonder what these rates are at all Dekalb high schools?)

pscexb said...

Great summary, Cere! Though I haven't posted recently (busy with work again), I read the blog several times a day. I'm looking forward to seeing the meeting replayed on Comcast 24 in the next day or so.

I agree with themommy regarding DESA. There are several elementary schools in the district that do not offer music and/or art. We need to make sure all schools offer that before spending more on this dedicated 'select' program.

I have to give props to Dr. Walker for raising questions about the 10K bonuses to principals. As I recall, he asked the questions on behalf of constituents. We can disagree whether this is a proper use of stimulus money however we should have clarify regarding how the funds will be spent. Though 70K is a small percentage of the over 32 million dollars the district will receive, there is still an obligation to be 'fiscally responsible'. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke before the Press Club on 5/29 (you can see the recording on and he mentioned districts around the country were using the dollars in creative ways.

Providing monies like this to principals is not new. Those with the designation of 'High Performance Principals' by the state were also offer bonuses in the transferred to a Needs Improvement school. I believe Ms. Burger was selected as one a few years ago. I would not think Oak Grove is a NI school though... :) It would be interesting to provide an incentive bonus to move along with one for actual improvement at the school.

O&T, review the summary I submitted for the Community Cabinet meeting in May. Dr. Lewis indicated there is a type of 'rubric' that will be used to measure principals. He specifically mentioned discipline as one of the measurement criteria. One would think that principals would know up front the measure criteria being used since it impacts their employment. Dr. Lewis did clearly state at that time there would be shakeups in the principal ranks throughout the district.

I thought Shayna did her usual great job with her comments. What could have been.....

Cleaning up a school in advance of a board meeting is not new. I know some schools that lobby for this in hopes of getting needed repairs. This includes community information meetings also.

Regarding Tom Bowen's statements, much of the criticism came from employees. I recall in the meeting held at Freedom MS, there were threats of lawsuits for rescinding the step increases. DCSS was the first county in the metro area that openly discussed significant cuts and the media played it up. Since that time, other metro area counties have made similar announcements of layoffs, cuts in services and salaries, and other changes. Cobb and Fayette come to mind regarding making cross the board salary reductions for ALL staffers. IMO, this was not a visible in the media as the DeKalb cuts were. Considering the reduction in home assessments and probable reduction of property taxes, I expect we may see significant cuts in the 10-11 school budget also.

Cere, if O&T is buying the first round, I'll have a Merlot. Just put that on his tab.... :)

fedupindcss said...

Lakeside mom: seven leaving is actually light for that size staff--a couple of years ago, the end of year going away party had almost twice as many.

A couple were retiring, at least one was moving, and a few had to be let go because the FTE count had gone down by the end of the year, and LHS no longer had the points to keep them.

That last part is the stupidest part of the point system. They know by September Lakeside's numbers will be back up, and for the first few weeks classes will not have teachers. Yet they get rid of them now, and the principal will have to hire out of the displaced pool. It is non-sensical.

Cerebration said...

psc! Glad you're back - and glad you're working so hard!!! Consider yourself lucky in this economy! (Or maybe - just talented...)

I agree with your assessment of Dr Walker questioning the bonuses. I was impressed that he seemed to not only really listen to his constituents, but bring their concerns to the Board. I still have a problem with his conflicting membership to the Development Authority though. I think I'd trust him more and be much more supportive without that component.

I know Dr Lewis is attempting to improve performance as he was directed to do by the Board. However, he seems to be throwing everything in the mix but the kitchen sink. I don't see an over-arching, organized, formal plan. Again - Shayna's idea to delegate more of the day to day operations to the Area Supers would free up Lewis to spend more time creating relationships in the community and formulating cohesive long-range plans.

Merlot Eh? Good choice. I think I might go with my newfound "Blue Moon with a slice of orange" - yum!

Anonymous said...

Someone earlier posted that the SW DeKalb principal had been demoted to assistant principal and was moving to Chamblee HS. Does anyone know why he was "demoted?" I thought SW DeKalb had a pretty good record and reputation.

As for the whole bonus situation, it seems like it might be more appropriate to offer the principals half the money as an incentive to make the move to a low performing school with the promise that they will receive the rest after two years if the school turns around.

I do have concerns about throwing lots of money at administrators or teachers to "increase" test scores or graduation rates. At some point, financial incentives could encourage fudging on the numbers. Covering the cose of a masters degree is huge! I have long wondered what happened in the schools that the AJC reported last year made miraculous improvements on CRCT scores after a very brief summer school course.

pscexb said...

Anon @ 10:37, word on the street is that though Mr. Prince is a 'nice guy', he did not have a good handle on discipline. I hear he may have 'lost' some of the teachers because they perceived he was ineffective in that area.

I also agree with your suggestion of providing a 'transfer' bonus with an annual incentive for high performing principals. Perhaps since this is being funded by one time stimulus money rather than out of the general budget, that was not considered.

Also I believe the DeKalb schools were cleared in that investigation of score increases from summer school. The basis was students simply concentrated on the one or two subjects hence retention was higher.

Delegating is hard for some to do. I was 'dinged' for that on an eval years ago. It comes down to a matter of trust and I had to learn to trust those that reported to me to handle certain tasks. As I did this, I was able to participate in more strategic planning and decisions. I'm positive this is what Shayna was saying with her comments.

I noticed I had a few typos in my earlier post so please forgive me.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any knowledge about the "internal process" being used to select the new principals at DHHS and Lakeside? From what I can glean it seems to consist of circumventing parental/school council input.

fedupindcss said...

Heard DHHS parents say they felt like the school council was being circumvented, but not sure what that means. Lakeside put together some ad-hoc groups of "stakeholders" (hate that word like I hate "premier"), of school council and PTA, but had to disband it when told Board policy required all school council. No idea what they are planning to do now. Pick from a hat?

Anonymous said...

from anon12.08

Prince was demoted because of the student walk-out over the choral teacher being fired. It did not matter that SWD made AYP each year he was principal. Negative student reaction to a popular teacher's firing resulted in Prince's demotion. (Male students exposed themselves to female students during a dance while the choral teacher was supervising them. He didn't see this but word got out -- as did video.)

Cerebration said...

That whole episode at SW DK was terrible for that teacher. I don't know how you could hold him responsible for that.

Principal Prince should have taken a cue from Principal Chelf - Chelf went under the knife due to similar "public" events - which included picketing against his firing that was aired on the news. You don't want your school to be in the news - plain and simple. The powers that be view this as the principals inability to control their school/students/parents...

Ella Smith said...

ON behalf of the chorus teacher, things could happen in a big group like that and the chorus teacher not be aware of it. Chorus teachers supervise a big number of students.

I understand the knee jerk reaction and I feel sorry for the teacher. I do not know all the details but I know your are not able to see everything that happens. When you write on the board your back is turned. It is sad this happened to this popular teacher.

I am still concerned about Dr. Walker conflict of interest. I like him very much, but I still feel strongly it is a conflict of interest to be on both boards and due to this I am positive he will have some stiff competition for the district 9 school board position if he decides to run again. It is hard to beat an incumbent but I do feel he needs competition due to the 18,000 dollars he received. I am considering running myself against him. I am sure others will do the same.

Salaries approvals or bonuses I would think would need to be approved by the school board. They are responsible for overseeing the budget, so I do understand their concern, but I also see Dr. Lewis' point also as I am sure he is constantly be micromanaged by many of the school board members.

pscexb said...

Good point Anon @ 12:46. If you take a look at the HR report from the last meeting, you will see Mr. Grigsby (chorus teacher) was terminated (see page 5). An unfortunate end to a sad episode.

Cerebration said...

Just curious -- what was the punishment for the students at SW Dekalb?

Ella Smith said...

Good question. What was the consequence of the student involved?

Again, I feel for the teacher regardless of how the situation went down.

pscexb said...

Good question about the punishments for the student. I'll ask around and if I come up with something, will post it here.

FWIW, I understand the new 'push' to remove cell phones from schools was partly motivated by this incident...

Anonymous said...

The new cell phone policy goes with the new dress code for next year. So far we have not heard anything about what students can wear to school. Has anyone else?

What I have heard from a few teacher friends at different schools is they (the teachers) will be held accountable if our students do not go to school dress correctly or they miss a cell phone. A written reprimand will be put in their file at the school house.

How can we take the cell phone away when so many parents text their students during the school day?

How said. Don't teacher do enough?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:55

It is very SIMPLE. Parents should not be texting their students during school hours. Or if parents do this, be advised that your child cannot turn the phone on until after school has ended.

Woodward and other private schools have always had this rule.

Students are also using i-phones and such to cheat during exams but using the internet to look up answers, translate in language class, etc.

Same rule in my office and it works fine.

I fully support eliminating cell phones during school hours.

Cerebration said...

I think Lewis may be getting a mixed message about ways to spend the stimulus money. It really is freaky - and flexible and I don't think our Board is up to par on what the Feds are doing. We all need to pay careful attention to how all of these stimulus dollars are being distributed spent. Much of it doesn't appear to have a viable reason.

From Schools Matter -

"Arne over America
Nobody was a bigger winner from the stimulus bill than the Department of Education. A federal agency with an annual budget of about $45 billion, DOE saw $115 billion in stimulus money. The money is mostly for perennially under-funded long-time programs like Head Start and money to stabilize state budgets. But it also included outlays like a $4.3 billion in “Race to the Top” funds. There is also a $545 million school improvement program that Duncan can spend how he wishes. Duncan hasn’t yet allocated this money – yet more discretionary cash will come from the 2010 fiscal-year budget and maybe also a re-authorized NCLB.
But he has spelled out in the past two weeks – at Brookings and then in Michigan, California, Vermont, and West Virginia – what he wants the Race to the Top and capital improvement money spent on: States should come up with sophisticated data systems that can hold teachers accountable for student performance. This data should also track students from kindergarten through not just twelfth grade but college graduation. Duncan is also advocating for “turnarounds” at the 5,000 worst schools in the country, which he calls “drop out factories.” In San Francisco this week, Duncan blasted California as currently unworthy of Race to the Top funds because the state was not using student achievement data to evaluate teachers. “The data doesn’t tell the whole truth,” Duncan said. “But the data doesn’t lie.”"

Kim Gokce said...

"States should come up with sophisticated data systems that can hold teachers accountable for student performance."

As a software professional, I have to say this is a frightening prospect - especially, when the the word, "sophisticated" is used in the same breath as "system."

Software projects have a very high failure rate that would make our students' failure rate pale in comparison. Here's hoping this tsunami of cash is used to build systems that are simple and effective, not sophisticated.

The last thing we need is another set of data that tells us that many of our public schools are failing.

Cerebration said...

There's a growing consensus of people who think that NCLB and now the actions of Arne Duncan and crew will only serve to dismantle public schools. The reason? Big bucks. Programs such as KIPP and other private curriculum and testing developers are making lots of money by taking over public schools as charters. LOTS of money. It's the newest multi-billion dollar business. It's something to keep an eye on - and a reason to not take everything you hear about "failing" public schools at face value. There are many of us who believe in public schools -- especially when they have thoughtful, progressive leaders.

I just don't want you all to believe everything you are told. There are many ways to set schools up to "fail" - and then claim that they need to be taken over. (Duncan is about to close 5000 schools nationwide with plans to reopen after overhauling.) Take a serious look at the military school experiment in Chicago -- it isn't "all that"... Keep open minds and look behind the curtain. They could come after your school next -- and I sincerely think that "Federalizing" DCSS would be a very bad step.

Lefty said...

From what I hear, the dress code for middle and high schools won't change except for a few tweaks (no cleavage and no flip flops or crocs).

What will change is enforcement of the dress code as it is published in the student code of conduct. It will be expected that administration and teachers will be in halls and at doors between classes to monitor and enforce the appropriate dress that is required of students.

The goal is that if there is constant monitoring of student dress then other problems won't occur as much.

No Duh said...

All so very interesting.

If Walker cared about DCSS budget and spending, he'd quit and live off his Sembler salary alone.

The schools sell magnets, mugs etc. as fund raisers. Next year, they should sell BELTS. And, each child with pants around their knees should be required to buy one! Just think, in the high schools especially the PTA budgets would be set for life! :)

Also, in the category of I must have too much time on my hands...

The photo on this thread is profound. I swear the onion is a reference to "The Scream" -- Cere, are you that clever?

pscexb said...

Kim, DCSS recently purchased a new reporting system called Instructional Data Management System (IDMS). There was an item on the agenda to approve this years funding. School systems have terabytes of data over the years but have not have good business intelligence systems that enable them to perform in depth analysis. Supposedly there will be a parent component to IDMS that will enable us to drill down and look at student performance across years. I get excited just thinking about that (To save some of the strange looks, I'm a nerd and proud of it :) )

Regarding the dress code, I though I understood it was more a push to go to a 'uniform policy' rather that enforcing the existing dress code. This was discussed at length during the May business meeting. While I personally could support a uniform policy, I have concerns about 'requiring' that for attendance to a public school. One could say the district is creating a 'barrier' to attending a public school by requiring a uniform. I see this similar to the recent discussions about requiring a photo id to vote.

We all remember what happened when Dr. Brown though he had a mandate for a uniform policy.....

Cerebration said...

If I had a prize - I'd give it to you no duh! Yes - that is my tribute to The Scream - a summer cook out version! (I used a digital "scream" on my last Board meeting report!) There are some really funny versions of The Scream out there! Next time, I think I'll go for the Homer Simpson version.

Lefty said...

Right now, the uniform push is only for elementary schools. You're right, PSC -- there are a few board members who are driving it. I guess they could probably progress that through middle and high school on a year-to-year basis.

But dress issues typically aren't a problem in elementary schools. If there are uniforms only in elementary, can you imagine the potential for kids swinging to the other end of the spectrum when they get to middle and high school.

From what I heard, the sentiment on the task force was that the current rules need to be enforced. And principals need to be accountable.

Seem to me that some principals are out of touch, holed up in their offices. If they were in the halls checking dress, other problems would decline.

pscexb said...

Thanks for the clarification, Lefty. I would really want to see the language of any policy changes with regards to dress.

You also said:

Seem to me that some principals are out of touch, holed up in their offices. If they were in the halls checking dress, other problems would decline.

There is so much truth to that comment, I don't know where to start. I would not be surprised if this is part of the 'rubric' for principals, how often are you in your office versus walking throughout the school.

Cerebration said...

Mr. Davis at Shamrock MS back about 7-8 years ago used to do something funny (to me) and effective. When he caught boys with their pants hanging down, he brought them in his office and made them tuck in their shirt and tie up their pants with a hot pink rope. All the teachers had to ensure that the kid kept 'the look' the rest of the day. This method usually worked after just one application.

Cerebration said...

Of course, with the girls, when they wore low cut shirts and booty skirts - he called their parents. Sadly, more often than not, the mother would show up wearing just about the same thing as the daughter....

Anonymous said...

Re: Arnie Duncan's plans for NCLB:
"But he has spelled out in the past two weeks ... what he wants the Race to the Top and capital improvement money spent on: States should come up with sophisticated data systems that can hold teachers accountable for student performance."

IMHO, this is more of the same. More testing and more number crunching is a waste of money. Does anyone think we are going to learn anything new? The same subgroups will be doing poorly and the common thread is poverty.

We have been gathering data for 15 to 20 years and all we can show is 1) a significant exit of good teachers and high achieving students, 2) a "teach to the test" mentality, and 3) a complete absence of creativity in public schools.

Please Arnie and Sonny and Crawford- use my tax dollars to fund the "delivery" of education and innovative teachers.

Anonymous said...

Dress Code enforcement rules by a Principal receiving a bonus;

Teacher must document three (3) official reprimands to a student who is non compliant with the school dress code; after the third reprimand, the student should be referred to the grade level administrator who will then decide an appropriate punishment. (i.e. maybe a day in in-school suspension or maybe a warning if the student promised to adhere to the dress code.) Also, if the admin doesn't receive referrals from more then one teacher, they usually reprimand the teacher for being too harsh with a student.

Do you really think that it's worth a teacher's time?

I've worked in HS,now, MS, and even in Elementary Schools and there are very few teachers who will refer a student to an administrator for dress code violations. Mostly, because the message from the administration is that they are much too busy to deal with this and they do not want to involve parents when they are unsure of parental support for this issue.

Anonymous said...

Two issues caught my eye.

"500+ freshmen to only around 300 as seniors" Please let me correct your figures.

According to the Georgia Department of Education the graduation rate for both Georgia and DCSS is 75%. This is an arcane number because the enrollments at the elementary grades are much higher than the at the high school level. I think that’s why the AJC wants the way Georgia and most states in the union figure graduation rates to change.

However, according to the state report card the last graduation rate for Lakeside is 90% which is 15 points better than the state and higher than many high schools in the nation.

On the other hand based on the Georgia Report Card, Lakeside started with 426 9th grade students in the 2004-2005 school year and ended up with 310 enrolled seniors in 2007-2008. The same report card figures show that the state of Georgia overall started with 136,194 ninth grade students enrolled in 2004 and ended up with 94,356 enrolled seniors. The Lakeside rate of 73% retention is slightly higher than the rate of 70% for the entire state. The loss in enrollment form 9th grade to 12th grade (or from the 1st grade to the 12th for that matter) is a national problem. The figures are approximately the same state by state.

Think of the bonuses not as performance bonuses but recruitment bonuses. Many school systems pay bonuses wither to attract teachers that are in short supply such as math or science teachers, or to entice staff to under performing schools. The truth is, for teacher or principal most would rather work at a high performing school with great parent support and students who come from a family that emphasize educational attainment. No matter the system, or state, good staff tends to move to the good schools. The attraction to move is less frustration, more reward, more prestige, less hassle, and- well, you can imagine.

If you were a working at a small struggling law firm wouldn’t you jump at the chance to go to a larger, more prestigious law firm? As nice as the University of Mississippi might be, what about a move to the Harvard faculty? C. Lewis picked people he thought could help the struggling schools and offered them a recruitment bonus to go there. No one needs a bonus to go to Lakeside-instead you have a waiting list. Will it work? Who knows, but the old way of filling the principal position at struggling schools was not. You can reassign a good DCSS principal to a problem school but, if they are good they can go somewhere else.

I might note that many of the problem schools in DCSS and elsewhere in the USA have the highest rates of truancy, absences, and tardiness. If your child misses school more than 10 days then that’s either a serious illness or child abuse. Almost 11% of DCSS students missed more than 15 days last year. State wide 43% of all students missed 6 days or more. In DCSS a little less, 41%, missed 6 days or more and at Lakeside (since we have been talking about Lakeside) 58% of the students missed more than 6 days! Maybe that has something to do with declining test scores. How can you expect schools to help students that are not there?

Where these students’ parents and what are are they thinking?

No Duh said...

Is the award for being the first or the LAST to notice The Scream? My follow bloggers are probably so erudite they didn't think the resemblance needed to be pointed out! They probably read my revelation and said to themselves, "Well, no duh!!"

So, you really are that clever! :) Can't wait to see the monthly versions.

DCSS is a lot like the Titanic -- a lot of hype propped up by expensive bells and whistles, but structurely unsound. So, you rearrange the principals or the deck chairs and you're going to get the same result.

Until the system is completely overhauled and run more like a business, there is no hope for it. The adminstrators need to be business people (not former failed principals and teachers) and the people in the school houses ought to be educators with degrees (from REAL colleges/universities) and a passion for teaching. Ever wonder why Pat Pope seems to be able to perform to her job description? She's NOT a former educator.

themommy said...


I have been thinking about the $10K and like you, prefer to think of it as a reward.

That said, to really be an effective school reform tool, it needed to be advertised and CL should be out recruiting nationally for his most troubled schools. If someone is going to be paid extra for turning a school around (ahead of time), then please let it be someone who has proven they can do it. Go to the communities where principals and schools are beating the odds and spend that money to lure those leaders to DeKalb.

fedupindcss said...

Anon 3:41--Two questions/comments:

Re: your discussion of Lakeside's 90% graduation rate. That number is off the senior class, correct? I assume it doesn't take into account the loss of students during the four years of high school, in which case Lakeside has a high graduation rate but also a high attrition rate.

As for the high rate of absenteeism, I might proffer a possibility (which might apply systemwide to DCSS). We send kids all over the county to magnets, themes, charters, as administrative transfers, and of course AYP. Dekalb is a big county, with lots of traffic, which that makes for a long (easily skipped) commute. And if a parent works and a kid misses that bus, too bad. I think that if we went back to more neighborhood schools, we might see attendance rates go up because they can actually get there.

This is an aspect of the transfer part of NCLB that I always felt was at cross purposes with the attendance component.

pscexb said...

Good point Anon @ 3:41, looking at the bonuses as 'recruitment' versus 'performance' does make sense for how it is being positioned. As long as the school has a Title 1 designation, it probably meets the requirement for use of the stimulus dollars. I also agree with themommy, perhaps a 'wider net' should have been cast for principals, especially those that have had success in schools with similar demographics of the receiving schools.

Calculating the graduation rate is a blog topic unto itself. Do you look at the delta between 9th and 12th grade? Do you simply look at the percentage of graduates that started the 12th grade year at that school? How do you factor in transfers that ultimately graduate from another school or even your school? How accurate are our stats on drop outs? Questions, questions, questions.....

Cerebration said...

I do think that the "official" graduation rate at Lakeside only calculates the percentage of graduates vs the number of seniors who began that school year.

All I know for a fact is that the rising senior class of about 300 at Lakeside started out as a class of about 525 freshmen. This has been happening there for several years. I just wish that someone would track where they go and why they leave. I think the new revisions of NCLB are going to make it law that schools have to track across all four years.

Cerebration said...

ps - no duh, you cracked me up with your post about "The Scream", btw... It was actually hard to pick up on if you ask me... but something about the way you "said" - I swear the onion is a reference to "The Scream" - I don't know, it just tickled me -- glad you noticed!

Anonymous said...

Military Schools pay US, thats why Ms Jackson. Same as Feds pay us for Title 1 seats (filled from Clayton County).

Cerebration said...

In DeKalb County, the school district would get about $500,000 a year plus $1.4 million in startup funds from the Marines, Lewis said. The school would open with 150 cadets, growing eventually to about 650 drawn from a pool of low-performing students who have high test scores and want to attend, Lewis said.

I do know that the start up costs involve uniforms and other military needs. Also, DCSS pays the principal, and the marines provide a Commandant to serve as AP (Discipline) as well as Marines pay teachers salaries with DCSS picking up their benefits. DCSS also pays for the building, its utilities and maintenance. Not sure about books, transportation and student supplies. Half a million a year won't go far...

Molly said...

The school would open with 150 cadets, growing eventually to about 650 drawn from a pool of low-performing students who have high test scores and want to attend, Lewis said.

The students are low-performing but have high test scores? How does that work exactly? Sure, there is the occasional gifted kid who blows off class work and still aces the tests, but for the most part, low-performing students are low-performing test takers as well.

Anonymous said...

Sometime what we know is contrary to the facts.

"All I know for a fact is that the rising senior class of about 300 at Lakeside started out as a class of about 525 freshmen. This has been happening there for several years..."

No Cerebration you are mistaken. The 12th grade enrollment of 2008-2009 needs to be compared with the 9th grade enrollment of 2005-2006 for any accurate comparison. Last year was the first time Lakeside has had over 500 9th grade students (at least since 2000). In 2012 we will know how many of them graduated.

Here are the official Lakeside enrollment figures from the Georgia Department of Education.

In 2001/2002 the 9th grade enrollment was 426. Four years later in 2004/2005 the senor class enrollment was 261. (61% retention rate)

In 2002/2003 the 9th grade enrollment was 416. Four years later the senor class enrollment was 310. (75% retention rate)

In 2003/2004 the 9th grade enrollment was 370. Four years later the senior class enrollment was 302.(82% retention rate)

In 2004/2005 the 9th grade enrollment was 428. Four years later the senior class enrollment was 325. (76% retention rate)

In 2005/2006 the 9th grade enrollment was 456. Four years later the senior class enrollment is not yet released by GADOE.

You can find them yourself at this link

But you will have to scroll through several years as I did.

Cerebration said...

That's interesting, Anon. I am only going from what MR. Chelf announced at his first PTA meeting that year (one of my children was in this class). Apparently, what he told us and what was reported to the State are different. I could be mistaken again, but the State numbers for the fall may not be submitted until the October count - and we may have lost students by then already.

Also, the "rising senior class" is the class of 2009-10. They were freshmen in 2006-07 and the State website you quote says that the fall count that year was 481. They just finished their junior year and have dwindled to just around 300. That's about 181 students who disappeared ... Exact numbers are just semantics - the point is the same.

Where I come from -- they generally graduate the same number of students who began as freshmen. Some move away, but very few give up.

Cerebration said...

I have always wondered about the same thing, Molly. Dr. Lewis first presented the Military Academy idea stating that it would serve to provide a college prep education for students who test well but are at-risk. He more or less told us that there are lots of really bright kids in DCSS high schools who just need better direction and discipline and a chance to prove themselves.

Then he said that these students would have to have passed Algebra 1 in 8th grade in order to apply (of course, he meant the new Math 8 I think.) Then he said it was only for Title 1 students. Then he retracted that statement and said it was for anyone.

I think overall, the project was rushed and too much misinformation got out because there was never a finalized, formal plan so we learned of these things as they were discussed. I hope they get more organized and introduce something well-defined and ready to serve students interested in that type of school. Also - hopefully this means that they will spend this year scouting out an appropriate location that can be used for a long time - not one that will cause them to have to move after one year.

Cerebration said...

Dear Lakeside Community,

The Region II Office is pleased to announce that Dr. Crawford Lewis, Superintendent, has appointed Mr. Joe Reed as the new principal at Lakeside High School. Although we are still waiting on the official start date, we wanted to take this opportunity to share the news with the community and to highlight some of his experiences.

Mr. Reed returns to DeKalb County after being a teacher, instructional lead teacher, assistant principal, high school coach, and most recently, where he served as the principal of Sagamore Hills for eight years. His connections to Lakeside are significant since he is a graduate of the school, he coached the cross country and boys track and field teams from 1984-1994, and he also served as the Assistant Principal for Instruction.

Mr. Reed has three grown children, enjoys reading and running, and loves to practice his Spanish with anyone who is willing to listen.

We look forward to serving him in his new role and know that you will offer him a warm Viking welcome!

Dr. José G. Boza, Jr.
Area Coordinator - Region II Schools

fedupindcss said...

Cere--I got that e-mail, too. Love Joe R., but I am confused; there appear to have been no interviews, though the position was posted (twice). Dr. Lewis just appointed him to the position, out of retirement. Does anyone on the blog know if this is how it is supposed to work?

Anonymous said...

Administrative Regulation
Descriptor Code:BBFA-R
Local School Councils

The school council which experiences a vacancy in the principalship of the school shall be provided the opportunity for involvement in the selection process according to the following guidelines:

A vacancy occurs in the position of principal.

Invitations shall be extended to council members within a reasonable amount of time by the Area Assistant Superintendent. The names and positions of those members that will serve on the Interview Committee should be provided to Human Resources by 12:00 noon the day prior to the interview by the Area Assistant Superintendent.

The Interview Committee is limited to a maximum of seven (7) persons and must include the following representatives:
Area Assistant Superintendent
One principal
The current principal is ineligible to serve on Principal Selection Committee.
Two teachers (school council members)
Two parents (school council members)
One business partner (school council member-if one business partner is not available, add the second business partner)
In the event a parent or parents are unable to serve on the interview date, parent(s) replacement shall be made from the PTSA/PTA Executive Board.
In the event more than seven members serve on the school council pursuant to Code Section 20-2-86 (d), an equal number of parents and teachers shall serve on the Interview Committee reflecting the increased number of parents and teachers identified on the council. If any of the parents are unable to serve, replacement shall be from the PTSA/PTA Executive Board.

4. With exception of the Area Assistant Superintendent and the sitting principal, members of the Resume Review Committee are ineligible to serve on the Interview Committee.

Members of the Interview Committee are provided interview questions at orientation for principal candidates. Orientation on questioning for consistency and fairness to candidates is determined prior to the interview. Questions may be expanded upon to reflect the school climate.

The Interview Committee recommends two candidates for the principal position. These advisory recommendations and preferences are provided to the superintendent who appoints principal pursuant to Board Policy GBB and GBD.

DeKalb County Schools
Date Issued: 7/10/2006

No Duh said...

It's supposed to work with an interview process with some (not all) of the Council members, one or two principals from other schools snd various others from within DCSS. This ad hoc group then makes a recommendation to the Superintendent about the candidate they want. BTW, the ad hoc group must be unanimous in their vote. The Super, can however, deny them their choice. And, he can, in fact, pluck anyone he wishes to to fill any position. The Council interview process is technically a courtesy.

fedup, are you saying there were no interviews at the DCSS level, or just no interviews by the ad hoc committee described above?

How long has Joe Reed been retired? I'm trying to place him in my mind. Is he a tall white guy? Balding? Comes to almost all the ELPC meetings? I might have him mixed up with someone else.

No Duh said...

Found the below in my search for info about Joe Reed. He has a point. When is comes to high school, if Johnny can't read, it's because Johnny doesn't want to. By High school age, the responsibility for getting an education can be placed squarely on a student's shoulders. > Blogs > Get Schooled > Archives > 2007 > June > 29 > Entry

When Raising Achievement, Students Must Step Up, Too
By Joe P. Reed | Friday, June 29, 2007, 08:00 AM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sometimes I’m puzzled when I read about school officials or politicians shooting at the diverging targets of increased rigor and higher graduation rates at the same time. Do they not understand that any time you raise the bar in education or in any endeavor you automatically exclude a higher number of students from clearing it?

Over time, some of the students will recognize that the standard has been raised and they will adjust their sights and clear the new height. Many won’t. They will continue what they have been doing and settle for a lesser outcome or, in some cases, choose to drop out sooner as the finish line is moved farther out of reach.

When I graduated from a Georgia high school in 1975, the public schools were educating a rather homogeneous student body. There were few, if any, special-needs students in regular schools. The only students who came in speaking another language were exchange students, who probably spoke English about as well as many of the American-born students.

Today’s schools are being required to teach a much more varied group. Students are coming from around the world never having heard English. Many of them had been unsuccessful in school or had not been attending school in their home country. The number of students with various disabilities also has increased tremendously. These students are now required to complete course work that would not have even been offered to them 30 years ago.

Currently, the State Department of Education is considering raising the graduation requirements from 22 to 23 credits. This will include four years of English, four years of math, four years of science, three years of social studies, one year of physical education and health and seven electives — including two years of foreign language for college-going students or three years in a job-related pathway for career-technical students.

Increasing the rigor of the high school diploma is fine. Those who achieve that goal will have a fine accomplishment and should be prepared for their next level of academic course work.

What we must understand is that we are working at cross-purposes if we expect more students to meet a more challenging standard. For those students who, for whatever reason, cannot meet the more rigorous requirements we can offer a different goal or a different level of diploma to demonstrate their abilities and efforts. If we don’t offer it, they’ll find it for themselves. It’s called the GED.

In almost every article on increasing student achievement, someone mentions helping teachers to be more effective in their efforts. When will we realize that it is not the teacher but the student who, as he enters each successive level of education, increasingly dictates the pace and amount of his learning — either enhanced by or in spite of the efforts of his parents and teachers?

Perhaps the disparate targets of more rigorous graduation requirements and a higher graduation rate can both be hit. But it will take more than one entity taking aim.

The student must come ready and willing to learn with a quality education as his foremost priority.

Today’s guest blogger is the principal of Sagamore Hills Elementary School, part of the DeKalb County School System. If you’re interested in being a guest blogger on Get Schooled, submit an entry on any education-related topic to

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Anon999 said...

Joe Reed will be great as Lakeside's new principal. He retired at the end of the '08 school year. (Some folks said he was disappointed that he didn't get the Lakeside Principal job when it was given to Ms. Moton.)

He's from the Lakeside area and very committed to it. As former principal of Sagamore Hills, he intimately knows the elementary programs the kids are coming from. While he was principal he also saw Sagamore become more and more diverse. He implemented many programs to help Latino students succeed. Sagamore has moderately intellectually disabled students so he's well-versed in spec ed. He was also one of the main drivers to keep Lakeside on the traditional school day vs. the block.

Here's hoping Druid Hills finds such an plum too.

Cerebration said...

Nice article by Joe Reed. It's good to hear an educator with empathy for students who struggle.

I've always said that our problems with high school graduation is a problem in elementary school. If we don't spend the time ensuring that the basics are being taught to the highest level, as children age, instead of admitting that they still cannot read well, they will simply act out or act as if they don't care. I once added up the average number of hours my child's first grade teacher actually spent during the day with her class - instruction time - it was about 3 1/2 hours. The rest is squandered in special events, other special programs and projects (lots of time spent on black history every year) and lost time simply "moving" from one place to another (library, cafeteria, restroom...)

Teach young children to read really, really well. They can't possibly be expected to comprehend biology or American Lit if they don't have a high enough reading level.

Teach children basic math. They can't move gracefully into Algebra and Trig if they don't know their times tables by heart.

I swear - if children arrived at high school better prepared, with a strong vocabulary and a strong foundation in math functions, they would perform so much better - and I'll bet the behavior issues would be reduced.

pscexb said...

The Lakeside community got a GREAT principal in Joe Reed! I did not realize his connections to the community date back to his high school days. IMO, that should definitely play a factor in his success.

On a side note, it is great that the Lakeside community got notification about their new principal. I understand most, if not all of the new principal assignments have been made. It will be nice when the other communities find out about their new school leaders.

Cerebration said...

Let us know and we'll publish it here!

Anonymous said...

from anon12.08

Rumor has it that Mindee Adamson, current assistant principal for instruction at Druid Hills, has been named principal.


How should all the folk currently hired in DeKalb Schools with administrative certification feel about Reed being brought in from retirement?

fedupindcss said...

No Duh--it is my understanding that there were no interviews at any level, that Mr. Reed was appointed by the Superintendent. That is what was told to the school council (who was not in on any interviews, nor was the PTA).

Anon 12.08--that is why I asked about the process. It could be assumed that Lakeside had lots of applicants for the job, particularly since it was posted twice. And if DCSS really wanted Joe R. to have the job, they could set it up for him to pass the interview. The only reason I can see for the appointment was to 1) make sure he got the job, and 2) get someone in who will get staff and parents under control. He is most likely not there long term, just as a cooler.

Cerebration said...

Hi Anon1208! Glad you're back!

I don't know much about Mindee Adamson, but I have heard that Druid HIlls historically likes to promote an AP to principal. I think that's a good idea in reality - if that person has been properly mentored.

As far as bringing in Reed from retirement - it's the superintendents choice I'm told. The job was posted twice - for a week or so each time. However, according to fedupindcss, no one was interviewed. If true, that could make for bad feelings on the part of anyone who may have applied - you're right.

No Duh said...

"If true, that could make for bad feelings on the part of anyone who may have applied - you're right."

Cere, I'm assuming you mean anyone from within LHS who may have applied. The way I see it, Joe Reed should be told who from LHS applied and then he should ask that they be immediately transferred. LHS can not handle any more of the same crap that met Chelf when he was moved up. Love him or hate him, you have to admit Chelf was naive to think he could smooth over any hurt feelings from also-rans. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Sounds like Joe Reed should be a winner (I finally figured out who he is, I was confusing him with someone else). Now let's hope the more power-hungry Council members will jump on board and not make a stink about their not getting a say. Or, march in his office with a list of demands and grievances like they did Chelf and Moton.

Here's a charge for the LHS School Council memebers...Come on LHS Council members, prove you really want LHS to succeed and stay out of Reed's way! Not a single one of you know what it takes to be a principal of a high school -- so stop acting like you do.

BTW, has any construction begun at LHS?

Cerebration said...

you're exactly right, no duh. Hopefully no one from Lakeside applied - however - at least Joe Reed has been a principal for a long time. The Chelf fiasco pitted several APs in competition for the job - and then left the "losers" in place - which they then proceeded to undermine any progress Lakeside could have made. This will be a much better -- much much better transition.

Cerebration said...

Bottom line - let's hope the "Principal Shuffle" works for ALL of our schools...

themommy said...

Joe Reed should be great for Lakeside.

Dr. Lewis, with all his faults, generally learns from his mistakes. I suspect that the assistant principals had all be forewarned not to apply.

I know that our high school, the APs had been told to look at AP positions at other schools to get a wider range of experience to be considered for principals. This was a big part of Halford's leadership philosophy. I wonder what background the AP at Druid Hills has.

The area superintendent over Lakeside, Terry Segovis (sp?), is pretty no nonsense and doesn't play. I think he will help insure that Joe Reed succeeds.

No Duh, were you thinking about Tippins (retired from Oak Grove)?

Cerebration said...

Again, you all need to be aware that Dr Lewis is very much following the recommendations from Arne Duncan and Obama. These principal bonus incentives are just one idea in the bonus compensation plan using Title 1 funding. (This is new Stimulus Title 1 funding - in addition to regular Title 1 funding. The stimulus money for special education - IDEA - is separate and additional and hopefully will be used to train ALL teachers how to work with special education students.)

This is from the EdWeek blog -

. . . another Obama proposal looks like it’s going to be a tough sell with some committee Democrats: the mega-increase for the Teacher Incentive Fund program. Obama’s budget seeks to boost funding for the TIF, which doles out grants for pay-for-performance programs from $97 million in fiscal year 2009 to $487.3 million in fiscal year 2010. That major hike would come on top of $200 million for the TIF in the stimulus.

But Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked Duncan whether he could point to any studies that demonstrate the TIF’s effectiveness.

Duncan kind of tap-danced on that one, talking about his very positive experience with a TIF grant in Chicago. He said the grants only went to schools where 75 percent of teachers said they wanted them.

But Murray didn’t sound assuaged. While she said the program’s purpose “sounds good when [Duncan] says it,” she wants to make sure there are safeguards in place to make sure that the money isn’t used for programs that give out “subjective rewards” to educators. She said she’s particularly worried because the program has never been authorized by Congress.

Cerebration said...

So as you can see, what is happening regarding this bonus compensation issue at the national level is mirrored on our own Board. Lewis is forging ahead with the plan (endorsed by Duncan) while Dr Walker is concerned that the Board has not approved this - since he views it as "policy" - akin to the reservations of Sen. Patty Murray.

Interesting... However, personally, I have to agree that it's probably a good idea to create incentives for the best and brightest teachers and administrators to move into challenging schools. The parent component that Lewis is introducing is also key. We should give this plan a chance.

fedupindcss said...

No Duh: Looking at the makeup of the LHS school council, it is hard to see that this particular group as configured has marched on anyone with anything. They seem to follow the rules on what they are supposed to do.

That said, there are plenty, plenty of disparate groups in the Lakeside community who march on anyone with anything at anytime (they almost remind you of the lunch tables in Heathers or Mean Girls, they way they self-group). Joe R. knows this very well, and I think we will have a lot of very surprised people in the Lakeside community who will be shocked that he does not have an open door policy for casual complaints. It is out there again that the "community" is going to "take back our school." That is such a loaded statement that it boggles the mind, but I think their minds will be boggled when they deal with Joe R. and see that they may not have exactly the same agenda.

No Duh said...

"The parent component that Lewis is introducing is also key."

I missed something, what's the above?

themommy -- nope, wasn't thinking of Tippins, but he'd be fun to have back in the mix.

All hail Lakeside and its feeder schools! Let's get our school back and start teachin' and leadin' again!

Mr. Reed welcome aboard. Go forth and weed out the bad apples (teachers who bad-mouth you to parents, teachers who are pooped out and act like it, teachers who refuse to innovate), ignore egomaniacal parents, demand and expect excellence from all students -- create, build, lead. PLEASE!

Cerebration said...

to clarify - when Dr Lewis was speaking about his initiatives to improve schools, he touted a new program for parents - probably a Title 1 funded program - that will go above and beyond the current "Parent Centers" to engage and educate parents of students in struggling schools - a great idea, IMO!

Let's also remember that there are several principals being moved around and several schools that will need to replace principals - it's not just Lakeside.

Cerebration said...

No Duh -- why don't you propose your tag line to DCSS? I really like it! Instead of "Premier DeKalb" we could go with "DeKalb County Schools - Create. Build. Lead."

Anonymous said...

Shayna's suggestion apparently are unnecessary. She obviously doesn't know that Lewis is doing an exceptional job--at least one state leadership group thinks. Atlanta Business Chronicle named him:
"Receiving the high ranking from Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Industry Focus May 2009 Who’s Who Guide to Atlanta’s Top Educational Leaders, Lewis is recognized alongside college presidents, private school headmasters, university chancellors and deans."

I believe you get a "Who's Who" when you pay your Commerce Club dues (or your employer pays them).

No Duh said...

I can't find a post I made earlier (guess I didn't really post it!).

Anyway, I'll try to recapture what I said. Fedup, you and I cross posted earlier and both used the phrase "take back Lakeside."

I wanted to clarify that I didn't mean it in the sense that the community may be using it. I really meant let's get back on track and regain our position as a DCSS leader in educating all the students in the building -- even the AYP kids. Let's let a strong principal -- who already has the respect of the Superintendent -- get back our status as a great high school that doesn't need to be micromanaged by DCSS.

If you're correct and the Mean Girls are at it again, then I hope that Mr. Reed will quickly take them aside and tell them to get with his program or leave. Additionally, DCSS administrators -- from Terry to Crawford -- need to stop feeding the Mean Girls' egos and stop taking their calls and giving them audiences. They should be told that their input is no longer needed. Better to piss off a few "customers" than to perpetrate their egos.

I agree that the current Council is less proactive/aggressive than previous versions, but as you say the Mean Girls are still out there. We must make sure they are not reelected to the Council or legitimized in any way. (see above, note to DCSS, cut off their direct lines into DCSS!).

Additionally, Mr. Reed should immediately fire any teacher who shares personnel or confidential student information with these Mean Girls. The MGs must no longer be allowed to create their own realities based on half-truths from disgruntled teachers. Cluckers and trash-mongers who are employed at LHS should be removed and cluckers and trash-mongers in the community should be ignored.

And now, I will try REALLY hard to stop talking about the past and focus solidly on the great future ahead of us.

Go Lakeside! Go Vikings!

fedupindcss said...

No Duh--appreciate the clarification. I do want to make one of my own, though: when I used the term "mean girls," I did not mean for it to be quite so literal. It was really meant to apply to folks, male and female (a lot of men, actually) who are unwholesomely overinvested in the Lakeside community, past the point of caring about the educational aspects. I actually am able to respect people who get insanely overinvolved when it comes to instructional issues. Sadly, many in the Lakeside community are more engaged over issues that have little or nothing to do with education. It is a bit, well, creepy.

Some of them are hung up on the property values issue (in which case, Cross Keys must be the best high school in Dekalb). Others feel some sense of ownership over having once attended Lakeside themselves, particularly when it was the "best high school in GA."

Having spoken to folks from other DCSS schools, this phenomenon seems somewhat limited to Lakeside, to its detriment. It is my hope that Mr. Reed comes in and tells people what the priorities should be in a school, and that students come first, followed by teachers (yes, teachers), then parents of students, and all other comers at the end of the line.

Cerebration said...

MG's? Really - tell me that you're dreaming this or making it up. Anon1208 - you must be falling out of your chair laughing -- if this isn't PWF talk - I don't know what is --- geez.

Lakeside has a huge issue ahead with the plans for construction -- any principal is going to have a heck of a time getting through it. I remember how difficult it was on everyone just to do the HVAC.

Does anyone know if they've replaced Steve Donahue, principal of Peachtree Middle who was moved? How about a new principal for SW DeKalb?

Cerebration said...

Request -- if any of you bloggers would like to take on an assignment, send me an email to the address below and let me know. (You can create an anonymous email if you would like.) I would like it if someone would do some research and reporting on plans for the future of DCSS. For instance, I'd like someone to track and report on the progress with Cross Keys construction, as well as Lakeside's and Dunwoody's. I'd like someone to track and follow the progress of the Marine Corps Academy - especially regarding the location. As well as curriculum changes, new programs and interesting teaching methods.

We need an official reporter - someone who has knowledge of how the system works, and who will be fair and equitable here on the blog. Of course, the job doesn't pay - but I think that if we could find someone with a relationship with the school system, we could find a way to keep the public informed and hopefully stem the flow of misinformation that seems to set off so much unnecessary over-reaction.

Any takers? I'll give you the key to front page writing privileges. And if you do a really good job - I'll make you an administrator (we only have two of those so far!)

Anonymous said...

from anon12.08

Cereb, Thanks for the shout-out. I had decided that I'd stop posting anything on this site because of the blatant censorship of what I wrote. But I continued because I actually like what this blog does for DeKalb County Schools. (I wonder which of my anon bros is Crawford.)

Mean Girls? HA. If I had written about Mean Girls, several of you PWF would have complained and my post would have been deleted. I appreciate your humor and your remembering me and calling me out, but, you know, all you PWF are suffering from some delusion that y'all ain't PWF. I never noted but remember when you deleted all my posts when His High and Holy Majesty complained? You were quick to post a video featuring n-words and to post positive commentary about helping n-words. That is appreciated but, it does not diminish the fact that you all are still PWF. Y'all just be tryin' to make yourselves feel that you all ain't closet racists by throwing a crumb at the n-word you censored. (OOPS, will I be deleted again?)

Anyways, let's jump in the time machine and travel back to what really got Chelf in trouble. I forget her name but, she was the n-word female librarian at Lakeside. She didn't like the way he talked to her and she complained to Crawford and Crawford came down hard on Chelf. You know the rest of the story. What does this tell us? Well, it tells us that n-words working inside Lakeside thought Chelf thought himself to be a PWF and he treated n-words without that grace that comes from God and Crawford. Crawford, like Brown (what a wonderful n-word name) before him, didn't reckon with the Mean Girls at Lakeside. (I like how the poster corrected himself and said that Mean Girls actually includes Mean Boys.) These Mean Peeps cause much consternation (even I know a big word!) for the biggies up top. These Mean Peeps be knowing they be wanting an olde-time Lakeside. But what I don't unnerstan be how Mean Peeps causing problems at Lakeside for the biggies up top is any different from the Mean PWF on this blog causing problems for n-words they don' be a-wantin' at Briarcliff/Lakeside.

Ah, so, Cereb, you okay by me. If that be yo pic with the chalk cartoon balloon, let's you an me get together in the Briarcliff/Lakeside p-lot and drink some dat juice you be talkin' bout.


Cerebration said...

All I can say is - "I wish" that was me in the picture, anon1208. I do like to hear your perspective - and I know you are right on many points - but please know - we are sincere - we are trying... don't give up on us.

pscexb said...

Word on the street is that Ms. Angela Meredith is the new principal at SWD. She is a former student and AP at SWD (similar path as Joe Reed in that sense) who has recently been working at the central office.

Interesting tidbit, she and Stacey Stepney, former principal at Dunwoody and the current HS coordinator, were BFFs in HS.

Still checking on the other schools. Hopefully the list will be printed shortly.

No Duh said...

I was using Mean Girls as shorthand for the same types of people you were talking about FedUp. I see how it looks like I meant specifioally "girls."

Unfortunately, some of these factions have "ringleaders" (to continue your analogy, FedUp)who are political enough and connected enough to continue to confuse DCSS administrators, teachers, parents and previously Prinicpals.

I just hope Reed and Lewis will quickly cut off the information supply to these power-mongers. Or, as my mother used to say to help me gain perspective "Consider the source."

You nailed it FedUp, the tone needs to be set sternly and quickly -- priorities are students, teachers, parents and all others.

Anon 12:08. I was disappointed when you were censored, too. I'm thinking you are really a white (PWF?) psychologist doing an experiment in race baiting. Or, maybe not...

Cerebration said...

uh oh -- you asked for it no duh.

I mean really, anon12.08 comes here and blesses us with his perspective and you think it must be a white psychologist conducting an experiment? Stand by for a response - this should be good...

take a deep breath before you respond, anon12.08...

Anonymous said...

Enough on Lakeside. I couldn't watch the Board meeting tonight.

Did any thing interesting come up?

Why hasn't DeKalb posted CRCT scores?

Anonymous said...

from anon12.08

Blessed are the psychologists: for they shall be called the children of Crawford.

Cerebration said...

good one Yoda, I mean, anon12.08!

DeKalb won't post the CRCT (or at least they usually don't) until after the summer re-tests. It will be up to the AJC to dig up the current scores -

In addition, the NCLB, AYP transfer list will expand in July - so watch for a new list of "sending" and "receiving" schools --

No Duh said...

Good Lord People! It was an attempt at HUMOR.

Cere, just because Anon12:08 is apparently Black doesn't mean we have to treat him with kit gloves. Does it?

Anon 12:08, do you want us to talk with you guardedly and humorlessly just because you are black? Or, do you want us to be open and jocular as we are with the others on this site (whom I suppose we all assume are white)?

Personally, to me there is nothing more repressive than a humorless person.

Remember the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett: "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."

Cerebration said...

oh - that was humor - sorry. I guess sometimes written humor just doesn't get read as intended.

Also - much to the contrary - we have had several black parents and community members post here. I find their input enlightening in this way --

We have all been led to believe that one "end" of the county or another is "getting" more attention than the other. It's not true. We all want the same things for our kids -- a quality education in a safe environment with inspiring teachers and leaders who help our children attain their potential and become productive, healthy citizens.

Mary Kay said...

Good for Joe Reed, good for Lakeside. If he'd been selected as principal two years ago, LHS would be very different there today, even with the overcrowding and other issues.

"Mean Girls" is a wonderfully appropriate description of that group. Joe won't put up with that kind of nonsense. Though I no longer have a child at LHS, I am very supportive and can't wait to see Joe leading our neighborhood school.

Kim Gokce said...

@pscexb: "School systems have terabytes of data over the years but have not have good business intelligence systems that enable them to perform in depth analysis"

I get that and share your passion for data analysis. My concern is about the relative return on investment of these types of systems and their high implementation risk.

When my high school is short of class room supplies and has no windows in its gym, it is hard to justify many zeros behind a budget item for this purpose in my opinion. I like to see DCSS get better at "blocking and tackling" before they crank up their "West Coast offense."

@cere: "Cross Keys construction" ... I've been making inquiries but have had little luck so far in tracking the work. The promised public briefing mentioned at Ashford Park ES in March never materialized or I missed it somehow. I'll share what I learn when I do!

@anon12.08: "If I had written about Mean Girls, several of you PWF would have complained and my post would have been deleted."

Welcome back! This PWT would never complain about your opinion. I take it from your posts that you do not like Crawford Lewis. You may know him personally and have good reasons for your opinion. You can share your distaste for him all day long on this blog as far as I'm concerned. Your opinions are yours and I have no right to censor them.

However, this is not "" and is not the place for personal and slanderous attacks IMHO. That kind of thing detracts from the goals of the forum and demeans your own efforts on behalf of DeKalb children. For that, I commend your participation.

Cerebration said...

Kim - I can't figure out Cross Keys either. I think there may be two camps of thought and they're sort of debating what to do. I think Pat Pope wants to move forward with the $20m reno, but some others would like to step back and entertain some other ideas. It would be good if they would research what the community would like for their school - just so they know. I personally would like to see them step back and ponder building a nationally recognized vocational/tech school where kids would graduate ready for college if they choose - but also with a usable job skill in case college needs postponed.

As far as Lakeside, Mean Girls and PWF - this is the last thing I'll say on the subject. Yes, there are many struggles between groups for power at Lakeside - but I believe that has been due to a long-term scarcity mentality which has led to a competition for resources - as in good sports, good teachers, etc. Hopefully, a new building and new leadership will provide equity for all and the power struggle will die down.

No Duh said...

Which brings me to the questions I asked a few days ago?

Has any construction started at LHS?

Lefty said...

It could be a while before there is any real activity at Lakeside. First, the bidding takes place. Then the plan must be completely laid out. And the BOE must approve the contract. I wouldn't expect any ground-breaking or demo before 2010.

Cerebration said...

I've heard rumblings about construction starting in the fall at Lakeside. I haven't heard rumblings as to a plan about Cross Keys - and I haven't heard when they will start on Dunwoody.

I"m also - very curious about enrollment at Arabia. Does anyone inside have any idea as to how many applications have been received and how many students they plan to start with in August? The school is built for a capacity of 1600 with expansion to 2100. I'm guessing they may start with 900 in 9th-11th - but I don't know.

We sure coulda used that kind of relief around here -- wouldn't it have been so nice if Arabia had been built on the North Druid HIlls property? I guarantee it would be full from the start!

Anonymous said...

They should use the empty Arabia Mtn spots for NCLB transfers. It would save tons of federal Title I money on transportation reimbursement since many of the transfer students live in the southeast portion of the county. It would put these students in a new school with fabulous technology and a highly aclaimed new principal.

Cerebration said...

Nope - they won't do it - we've already brought that up several times. In fact - they can't even take on the new "inter-county transfers" that were just approved by the Legislature. You have to have been open for 4 years.

Beyond that - I don't see Arabia EVER taking AYP transfers. They have set this school up so that there is an application process which includes an essay. The kids will wear uniforms. It doesn't get more "special" or magnet than that - but of course, they are not "magnet" - they are "choice" . Yeah, right.

Can you imagine for one second if Lakeside, or Dunwoody tried to set their admissions up like this? Word on the street is that the all new Tucker HS is working on a plan to be a Charter.... These beautiful new schools really don't want the AYP transfers.

Dekalbparent said...

News in: DHHS principal is Mindee Adamson, the current DHHS AP for Instruction. This was predicted earlier in this blog, I believe.

momofthree said...

I think my age is showing - what is "PWF"? The ones I have identified on the web include:
PWF Pacific Whale Foundation (Maui, Hawaii)
PWF Public Workstation Facility
PWF Polarimetric Whitening Filter
PWF Peter Westbrook Foundation
PWF Preserved Wood Foundation
PWF Pro Wrestling Fan
PWF Personnel Working File
PWF Power Weight Filter

Methinks there is another meaning lurking!

Cerebration said...

Funny, momofthree. You must have missed that whole conversation - it's back on the blog about the Milani party trying to charge to use Lakesides parking lot - back in April.

anon12.08 got a little upset with us - calling us Privileged White Folk - PWF for short. But I must tell you - don't get down on him (or her) - if you really listen - there's much truth in what he says and we welcome his perspective here. However - that gig should be blamed on Milani - renting the White House for a huge money-making event. No can do in a private home.

Anonymous said...

from anon12.08

Word is Crawford's brought back Morcease Beasley to be principal at Columbia HS. Morcease was principal at Stephenson HS and left to go with his uncle (maybe cousin) Johnny Brown to Texas.

Why a retread, Crawford?

pscexb said...

@anon12.08, that would be a surprise if true. Why would he leave being a deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction position to become a HS principal again?

Cerebration said...

$10,000 perhaps?

themommy said...

I have heard the same thing about Beasley (though we are on a hiring freeze and other schools have been told repeatedly no outside hires for administrators will be permitted). I wonder if he was fired from his job in Texas? Or if Brown is moving on?

Ella Smith said...

Maybe he retired and is coming back to be a principal.

You can retire and draw that salary and come back and teach or be a principal.