Friday, December 4, 2009

Monday's Board Meeting - Lots of Issues on the Plate

Check out the link containing the agenda for Monday's upcoming board meeting. There are several very interesting items up for discussion and vote - a true smorgasbord of an agenda.

First, the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Status Report will be presented by Barbara Colman. The document is not yet available on the website, however, I am intensely curious as to what she has to say about the plans for Cross Keys (which is still in limbo, having made virtually no progress).

Next, Jamie Wilson will discuss item F2, Improving Teacher and Principal Selection (Gallup Instrument). Hopefully, the board will also choose to evaluate closely what is written in the proposed policy regarding Local School Councils, "A vacancy occurs in the position of principal when the position is to be filled from applications submitted to the district and not from reassignment of existing personnel." Some are saying that this means School Councils will only be consulted for their opinion of a new principal when that principal is being hired from outside the county. If it's an internal hire, there will be no consulting. True? I don't know, we need clarification.

My favorite - Item G1 - Board Resolution Regarding Size of Board - The Board of Education members serve for four (4) year terms. Five (5) seats have terms ending December 31, 2010, and four (4) seats have terms ending December 31, 2012. The resolution proposes that the Board be reduced by two (2) members prior to January 1, 2013, so that all nine (9) Board Members would be potentially impacted by any reduction of members. Please pass this one, guys!

Item G2 takes the cake - a Proposed Ethics Policy for the board, which will also create an Ethics Committee comprised of residents selected by ---- you guessed it - members of the board. Ironically, none of these citizens is allowed to "hold any elected or appointed office and is not a candidate for any office in the governments of the United States, the State of Georgia, DeKalb County, or any municipality in DeKalb County;" - but the same requirement is not demanded of board members themselves or school administrators. I guess they had their new legal representation (Sutherland, etc) draw up something to make it look like they already have it "under control" so that no one needs to vote for Kevin Levitas' bill - which would be actual GA LAW and would prevent board members from serving on conflicting public offices.

As reported in Atlanta Unfiltered, Item J6, entitled, Supplemental Project Management Services for the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), asks for approval to extend the construction management contract of Parsons Corporation and Jacobs Engineering. It reads, "Parsons Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Inc. were approved by the Board of Education and awarded the Supplemental Project Management Services Contract on June 8, 2009. The Master Agreement is based on the services being provided from the effective date June 8, 2009 through December 31, 2012. Parsons Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Inc. have provided a cost proposal for the remaining 37-month period of December 12, 2009 through December 31, 2012 in the amount of $14,588,797.00 which represents 3.54% of the remaining CIP construction funds. This percentage is in line with the market industry for construction management. Parsons Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Inc. will be responsible for providing project management services as needed on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the District. Parsons Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Inc. will adjust their personnel based on the District’s needs as the CIP projects are started and completed." This stream of steady build-up of construction services reminds me of a good book called, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".

Item J-13 was brought to our attention by one of our regular bloggers - Change Order on Mountain Industrial Center Tenant Build out Project "In April 2008, the Board of Education approved the award of a Design/Build Contract to Nix-Fowler Constructors, Inc. for the completion of the Mountain Industrial Center project. A change order will be issued to Nix - Fowler Constructors, Inc. for $ 568,792 for two (2) new emergency generators and associated transfer switches, controls, panels, conduit, wire and all other required materials and accessories for the additional scope of work to relocate the Administrative Offices." Just curious why no one thought about this before.

There is also a proposal to adopt next year's calendar, requests for approval of a variety of roof replacements along with several other miscellaneous items.

Plan to attend the meeting on Monday, December 7 at 6:00 pm at the District Offices. Or - be "green", avoid the traffic, pour yourself a nice glass of Chardonnay and enjoy the live broadcast from the comfort of your own living room on PDS Comcast Channel 24.


Anonymous said...

A Message from the Avondale Blue Devils Touchdown Club

There will be a Community Meeting at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, December 8th at Avondale High School in the Cafeteria. Barbara Colman, Interim CIP Operations Officer of DeKalb County School System is going to explain to everyone why the school has not been updated to other school standards and to hear comments and suggestions.

Currently at the school, there is no weight room, wrestling room, band room, showers, lockers, and no storage.

The school needs help from DeKalb County and a good turn out from the
Avondale Community and surrounding areas.

If you have questions, please contact Bobby Burgess at bburgess@ppg. com

Bobby Burgess Jr.
Class of 70

Anonymous said...

Were these rooms "displaced" by the DSA move?

Kim Gokce said...

@Anonymous: "Were these rooms "displaced" by the DSA move?"

I believe that to be the case for most of those items. I was there for the Cross Keys v Avondale season finale (7-77 ... *sigh*) and did see the new addition. It did appear to be taking place in the area adjacent to the football field and side parking areas. I suspect this is affecting athletics more than others.

Cerebration said...

Please publish a report about the meeting here afterward. I have big concerns about the well-being of resident Avondale students.

Justice In DeKalb said...

Every now & again I find myself indulging in the Blog Readings of DeKalb County School Watch. It is fascinating to read, yet, hard to stomach. As it happens, I have personally been on this case for the past 2 years. I do applaud this particular blog site for being the closest to “sniffing” out the truth as it pertains to the felonious misdeeds of DCSS et al. To even begin to Untangle this Diabolical Web, one must first understand the Cronyism, Nepotism, and Power Structure within DeKalb County.
They are Robbing the Innocent, Helpless, Voiceless, Powerless DeKalb County School Children BLIND – Stealing their EDUCATION & FUTURE right from underneath them! Period.
However, I did not fully appreciate the POWER & ARROGANCE that these individuals LORD over others. I have gone to every Georgia government agency imaginable to report this DCSS “situation” of Corruption Fraud, Abuse of Power, Mismanagement of Money, Government Waste, & Unethical Behavior. I have personally visited the office of the Fabulous DeKalb County District Attorney – Ms. Gwen Keyes Fleming……(TWICE!) to ask her to investigate Her Highness (P Pope). Nada. I have spoken to the GBI AND THE FBI! I have spoken to the GA Attorney General’s office. I have spoken to GA State Auditors at length. I have spoken to GA Professional Standards Commission (several times). I have spoken to GA Dept of Education – Kathy Cox office. Nada. Let’s see. Oh, yeah, I even contacted SACS & spoke with the investigator at length, providing irrefutable documentation. Again, NADA.
All this is to say, my Dear Fellow Bloggers, that this situation with DCSS is much much Deeper and POLITICAL than one can ever imagine. I have come to respect the diabolical GENIUS of Ronald Ramsey & Pat Pope, though. Please do not Mis-Take what I say, for, you see…I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE IN PRISON! I have taken these issues up with President Obama, the Secretary of State – Arne Duncan, & the US Department of Justice!
Hesitantly, I say to you this, though - I am most disappointed with the Citizens of DeKalb County. This is happening on OUR WATCH. It is Disgraceful, Shameful, and Criminal, and yet....What???? Are we anxiously waiting for the Ever-Evasive Gwen Keyes Fleming (CRONYISM)! to save the day? Really?
Just a few Juicy little DCSS tidbits –
“GATEKEEPER & THE BRAINS” (RONALD RAMSEY) …Did you know that STATE SENATOR (of parts of DeKalb County & Lithonia) RONALD BERNARD RAMSEY (DCSS Director of Internal Affairs) is a FORMER JUDGE that worked right at the same DeKalb County Courthouse with the District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming (CRONYISM)??? Did you know that Ramsey is (to date) a practicing attorney in the state of GA?
Do you not remember that His Dis-Honorable State Senator Ronald Ramsey was INSTRUMENTAL in the DOWNFALL of the former Mayor of Lithonia? Remember THAT Scandal? (as I clear my throat)…..Well, what you may not know is that the Good Ole’ Senator is long time friends with Mr. Jason Lary & as a matter of a fact, Jason Lary contributed to Ronald Ramsey’s Election Campaign when he was running for his Judgeship in DeKalb County (YEP. I’ve got the documents to prove this!!)
Ronald Bernard Ramsey is probably one of THE Evilest & Heartless people that I have Ever Met in my life! He has been Instrumental in the Destruction & Downfall of DCSS since he was hired in 2005/6.
If you are interested in more info or would like to email me – here is my email address – or
Also, please email me to pre-order a copy of my book BLACKBOARD – CORRUPT! The True Story Behind The Corruption In DeKalb County School Systems.

Justice In DeKalb said...

PART 2 – More Juicy DCSS Tidbits
→“MONEYBAGS” (PAT POPE) PLANNED her own exit! FACT – Mrs. Patricia Ann Reid Pope began INTERVIEWING for a construction manager “replacement” on April 2, 2008 (check this out on the PATS system)…I actually have the job posting/description/salary that date stamped the April 2008 date!
“MoneyBags” was ALREADY MOVED and RE-LOCATED from the Sam Moss Center at the time of the so-called STAGED RAID of her offices. Pope had literally vacated that particular location in July 2008!
Also, did you know that SPLOST III runs through 2012??? (Interesting, huh) More importantly, did you know that ALL OF THE SPLOST III MONEY IS ALREADY SPENT – due to Pope awarding Construction Contracts to her “Cronies”???
Ok, I will give you a little bit more. C. Lewis & DCSS BOE hired P.Pope (Spt 17, 2005) although they KNEW that she was married to A. Vincent Pope (Architect) who was already contracted for Columbia HS (& Dresden). Yep. Once MoneyBags was hired she approved SEVERAL “Change Order Summary” requests for her Beloved Hubby to CONTINUE to get paid with YOUR MONEY! (this nefarious activity is indeed EXTENDING HIS CONTRACT!!!) HUGE CONFLICT OF INTEREST! UNETHICAL!
Let’s see….what else can I share with you regarding Her Highness…Oh, yeah. Did you know that Mrs. Patricia Ann Reid Pope is the CFO of her husband’s company???? CHIEF. FINANCIAL. OFFICIER. OF. VINCENT. POPE. ARCHITECTS. INC. Come on, Now!! How blatant and IN-YOUR-FACE is that? (YEP. I’ve got the documents to prove it!) Can you all comprehend what I am saying???????? This woman is GETTING PAID!!! BIG TIME!! With YOUR MONEY!!
Want more??? Ok, how about this – They, His & Her Royal Highness – The Popes, also have a company in Sunny Florida!! Where Pat Pope is ALSO listed as the CFO of Vincent Pope Architects.
→“DR. OF DECEIT” (CRAWFORD LEWIS) – P L E A S S S S S E tell me that you all DO NOT BELIEVE that Mr. Lewis actually TURNED IN Pat Pope!!!! Please say it ain’t so! Please! Come on, Guys! How silly and insulting to our intelligence does that sound? No, No, No, No, No!!! First of all, it WAS NOT even “MoneyBags” who turned in the “Dr. of Deceit” regarding the car….it was Cassandra Anderson-Littlejohn (I spoke with her myself before her Grand Exit in December 2008) AND, I then verified this information with the GA State Auditor (who I shall not name -----their office has been wonderful in terms of investigating and annotating the audit reports on DCSS!)
Not too much on the Dr. of Deceit because he TOTALLY BORES ME! Although he is the Master of Deception - he is very much nothing more than a Mere Puppet and not worthy of my time!
I have been Methodical in Researching these Thugs! And think it only fair to offer my solution to the problems that they have created -
►GET. RID. OF. PATRICIA ANN REID POPE. (not for play-play but FOR REAL)
Then, and ONLY THEN, will the Students of DeKalb County and the Citizens of DeKalb County have a Fighting Chance!
If you are interested in more info or would like to email me – here is my email address – or
Also, please email me to pre-order a copy of my book BLACKBOARD – CORRUPT! The True Story Behind The Corruption In DeKalb County School Systems.

Cerebration said...

Wow. Justice. You sure bring a lot to the smorgasbord.

I too have had a problem with Ron Ramsey ever since he called for a boycott of the City of Dunwoody on the floor of the Capitol. I mean, how can he possibly be fair to the schools in Dunwoody, when he has publicly called the entire city "racists" and called for a boycott of the businesses there?

According to some of the documents we have seen, it is true that Dr. Lewis was aware that the Popes were married when he officially hired her in her current position. The premise at the time was that he would be allowed to finish the contract he had at the time (Columbia HS I believe) and then he would bid no more. What we're trying to find out is - was he simply given work anyway, without having to bid - or as a "sub-contractor" to the winner of a bid???

Cerebration said...

ELPC Action Alert: Selection of DeKalb School Principals

In our continuing effort to keep parents and the public engaged, we wanted to advise you of a significant policy change now being considered by the DeKalb Board of Education. On Monday, December 7, the Board will consider amending a Board policy (action item J 5, By-Law BBFA,) to significantly reduce the role of school councils in the selection of school principals.

Currently, pursuant to a regulation issued by the Superintendent, school councils play a significant role in the interview and recommendation process for principals. Parents, teachers and a business representative now hold a majority of 5 out of 7 positions on each Interview Committee, which interviews all candidates selected by Human Resources and recommends two candidates to the Superintendent, who makes the final decision. The recommendations are advisory only.

The proposed Board policy (we assume the corresponding regulation will be changed) eliminates the Interview Committee. The Superintendent would only be required to ask for very general input from the school council about the traits the new principal should have, but only if the principal is to be hired from outside current DCSS personnel. The school council would have no input if someone is to be reassigned from within DCCS.

We believe this change is counter to an open, accountable and community-based model for governance of our schools. Significantly reducing or eliminating the role of school councils potentially undermines the sense of community which is a critical element of a school’s success.

Please visit our web page for more information. Click on Announcements.

Justice In DeKalb said...

Cerebration - The question of Vincent Pope and the Columbia High School Contract.....Factually, Crawford Lewis, under Deposition, stated that he was advised by staff attorneys that if DCSS was to hire Pat Reid Pope then Vincent Pope could not continue on with his construction contract. Now, here in lies the Man-Ip-U-Lation & Deception....instead of taking this advice, Pat Pope was hired anyway. Now, let's meditate on that for a moment. Remember, this was in 2005. Remember, the Articles of Incorporation for Vincent Pope's business show Pat Pope as the CHIEF. FINANCIAL. OFFICER. (that is CRAZY that they would be SO BRAZEN, IMMORAL, & UNETHICAL! So, Pat Pope, Chief Operatoring Officer of Construction & Design of DCSS has been placed in a Very Powerful Position.... to Award Construction Contracts to her "Cronies" - AND, she is CHIEF. FINANCIAL. OFFICER. of her husband's Architecture Firm (Boy, is SHE getting PAID)who just happen to have an office ACROSS THE STREET from the Sam Moss DCSS Building???!!

Ah, but I digress. Again, this is compicated and convoluted. The original Construction Contract for Vincent Pope/Columbia High School pre-dated Pat Pope (well, sort of...remember, she is listed as the CFO of his company so she was always receiving a financial kick-back from DCSS, so to speak) Now, what is IMPERATIVE to this piece of the Construction Fraud Plot is that Vincent Pope was Contracted under SPLOST II monies! When the Dr. of Deceit (Crawford Lewis) hired Pat Pope as the DCSS Construction Queen, he gave her full autonomy and Power over SPLOST III. NEW MONEY. Ahhhh, which is why she (Pat Pope) is the Queen of the Change Order Summary for Construction Contracts. You see, Vincent Pope's construction contract would have been dead in the water but for Pat Pope's RENEWAL OF HIS CONTRACT(S)!! Was THAT not BRILLIANT???!!! Got to give them credit for being so good, though, down to their CORRUPT bones! It's just insulting, though, for them (POPES) to feign innocence. (Dahh, Uhhhh, WHAT Contracts???? I, uh, only had a Contract for COLUMBIA HS and that was BEFORE Pat Pope was hired by DCSS)!!! Come on, now, good people! The Question should be whether or not Vincent Pope CONTINUED to have his Construction Contracts RENEWED AFTER HIS WIFE BECAME HEAD OF DCSS CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN!

I am well documented and have every Change Order Summary, Contract Extension, etc that I have mentioned.

Dekalbparent said...

Every time Pat Pope got up to speak at a School Board meeting, she would smile this Mona Lisa smile at the dais. This was after the first raid on her office (the one that was supposed to be reported on n a week).

I was always puzzled by this - why is this woman who is reportedly being investigated by her employer continuing to work and why is she smiling these secret "we know something they don't know" smiles at [who]?

Did any of the rest of you notice this?

Anonymous said...

I just saw that Vincent Pope Architects is in the business park/shopping mall just up Montreal Rd from the Sam Moss Center. It's the one with Tuesday Morning in it.

That said:
1) this may not be news to many of you - I just noticed
2) there is certainly nothing illegal about the office being located there - maybe it's a great rental rate
3) is Pat Pope working out of that office ("offsite")? She was at Michael's around 11:00 this past Wednesday...

Anonymous said...

So, John Trotter visits yet again.

Cerebration said...

No, not Trotter. MPTA stands for Motivating People To Action. They sprang to life after the Jaheem Herrera case. They used to have a great blog at mySpace, but it's private now, so we can no longer view it.

Nope, this is a whole 'nother group --- I might like to check out your book guys ---

Cerebration said...

ELPC Action Alert: Decision on 2010-11 and 2011-12 School Calendars

In our continuing effort to keep parents and the public engaged, we wanted to advise you of a significant decision under consideration by the DeKalb Board of Education. On Monday, December 7th, the Board will consider approving proposed calendars for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years (action item J15)

The current 2009-10 calendar provides for a start date of the 2nd Monday in August, ends the first semester one full week before Christmas and ends the second semester on a Friday while providing for an 11 week summer break. The current schedule has 89 school days in the first semester and 91 in the second semester.

The proposed 2010-11 and 2011-12 calendars start and end the first semesters on the same schedule but add a holiday in 2010-11 to coincide with election day (November 2nd). The calendar lengthens Winter Break by one day and ends the second semester on a Wednesday. The first semester is 88 days and the second semester is 92 days. Summer break will be reduced to 10 ½ weeks. The 2011-12 calendar is virtually identical except the Election Day holiday becomes an additional February holiday; the calendar provides 89 days in the first semester and 91 days in the second semester. The summer break remains at 10 ½ weeks.

Please visit our web page for more information and to view the calendars. Click on Announcements.

The following concerns, which are not an exhaustive list, have been raised by members of the public:

1. Pushing more instructional days into the second semester under the 2010-11 calendar means fewer instructional days before key tests such as End of Course, CRCT and Graduation.
2. The proposed calendars reduce the length of the summer break.
3. The 2011-12 calendar creates one three day week in February.
4. The calendars lengthen the Winter Break.

We urge you to examine the calendars closely and to contact your board members if you have any concerns or questions.

Anonymous said...

If Ron Ramsey worked for any other school system in the state other than DeKalb or Clayton, and he called an entire city within that county "racists", and he was out of the office for over two months of the year as a state senator, then on Ramsey would not be working in any of those school systems.

When Crawford finally retires or if the BOE comes to their senses and lets him go, Ron Ramsey MUST go too.

Anonymous said...

The change to the School Council input into principal selection simply formalizes a policy Dr. Lewis has already implemented. He does not want parent input. Period. His raise-the-drawbridge mentality is apparent in every patronizing, pat-us-on-the-heads communication and speaking engagement. The school board will affirm his policy because they're all on the same page.

fedupindcss said...

I have always been a little conflicted over the role of the school council in the interview process. I can understand a certain sense of frustration and powerlessness that leads to a desire for more parent action (not just input) in hiring principals. That said, it has always seemed a bit weird to me for a few reasons:

--Presence of teachers: this is supposed to be confidential, but it never is. I always felt like it put teachers into a difficult position in having to make comments on a potential future principal.
--Questioning: the inability to ask questions specific to the candidate was strange, as was the inability to research the candidates presented (you had to take the resume on face value). No interviewer does that.
--Panel set-up: it was supposed to be the school council, which was okay when they were all just 7 people, but now they are a lot bigger, and that doesn't necessarily mean better.

But beyond process, the concept has bugged me. We elect a BOE who hires a superintendent, who is in turn supposed to hire personnel. They are supposed to be professionals, and should therefore be charged with this task. To be honest, if I were applying for a job in DCSS and I had to be interviewed by a group of parents, it would seem strange and not too professional. If the issue is that we think there is cronyism or incompetence at the top, that needs to be addressed through our votes for the BOE. It is more cumbersome and doesn't get instant results, but it is supposed to be how it's done. And to be honest, what parents want in a principal is not always what is best for the school or the kids.

I am more than open to argument on this, but I have always been a bit concerned by this.

Open+Transparent said...

Great post by fedupindcss. The issue is "cronyism or incompetence at the top". What parents want from a principal is not always what is best for a school & staff. There is a fantastic superintendent for the City of Decatur school system, who is 100x more professional and competent than the superintendent we have for DCSS.

It's well past time for a new super and letting all of the current upper level administrators go.

Tired Teacher said...

Please for those of you who care about your children and DCSS advocate for teacher workdays!!! It is impossible to really plan and be creative while simultaneously grading, pushing papers. Yes, some underpaid teachers would like to have a little bit of life

Anonymous said...

Tired Teacher, what do you do during your planning period?

Anonymous said...

During my planning time, I grade papers, input grades (when Esis is working), plan lessons, get materials together to teach a lesson, rework planned lessons when things need to change, contact parents, go to the bathroom, contact social worker, guidance counselor, work with a child who is struggling or been absent to get them back up with the class, meet with other teachers to get ideas on how to help struggling students better and so many other things to help the children and to make my classroom run smoother.

Teachers need their planning time. I don't think that parents realize how much time a good teacher puts in after school hours. Work days and planning periods are important. If they are taken away the education in DCSS will be even poorer than it currently is.

Even teachers using America's Choice and that are teaching what they are told to teach have to have planning time to read over what they are to teach.

Teachers who don't use their planning time and days in the correct manner should have consequences, but this time should not be taken away from teachers who utilize it wisely.

Anonymous said...

AMEN Anon 7:56. Don't forget we have to copy papers for the Portfolio (when the copier is working). We have to grade pre and post test (as required by the county).

I start my morning at 5:30 going through parent emails, get to work. At the end of the day check my emails before I leave, come home fix dinner, spend no time with my family, because DCSS really does not want us to have a life. We are paper pushers to justify all the upper management we have.

Can you beleive that there is a person at William Bryant who does nothing all day but make sure that our eSIS passwords have 1 capital letter and a number in it. Frankly, I was not told that I had to do that. Well they locked me out. Lost a semesters worth of grades so I have been playing catch up for 3 weeks. AAAARGH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My planning period in elementary is 30 minutes. By the time you subtract walking my class to their special, walking them back, and using the restroom, there's 20 minutes left. That's usually enough time to check my student's homework. That's it. There is 30 minutes at the end of the day once the students have been dismissed that's also considered planning time. Here's how it's scheduled - Monday- grade level meeting, Tuesday - Student Support Team, Wednesday - Faculty meeting or Leadership Team meeting, Thursday - Committee meetings. ALL of my planning occurs after contract hours.

Anonymous said...

start my morning at 5:30 going through parent emails, get to work. At the end of the day check my emails before I leave, come home fix dinner, spend no time with my family

So, how is your job is different than anyone else's?

Anonymous said...

That was pretty darn rude Anon 7:58 AM. Show some respect to the teachers who go above and beyond. Not every teacher in DCSS does, but there many who do.

It is absolutely disgusting that teachers have had to waste so much time with eSIS while Tony Hunter got a promotion and raise. DCSS teachers have lost countless hours because of eSIS problems, yet Crawford Lewis promotes Hunter instaed of putting him on probation.

Cerebration said...

Please make sure you check out our three simple rules on the home page of the blog -

RULE #2: Be nice. No profanity. No name-calling. Make your point tactfully

We try to show respect to each other here. One fact of life is -- we all work hard -- so there's no point in arguing about who works harder than who (whom?).

Those kind of conversations will be deleted. Sorry. However, pointing out how much the administration is requiring of teachers unnecessarily is important. We want our teachers focus to be on the children as much as possible and requiring an abundance of paperwork or requiring them to use a sub-standard technical service is taking their attention away from their most important task - and that's important to discuss.

Dekalbparent said...

Anon 7:58,

In all gentleness, have you walked in a teacher's shoes? I thought I worked hard and long managing databases for a multinational company, but I

1) could go to the restroom when I needed to
2) could get up and get a cup of coffee or a stroll for fresh air when I needed to
3) did not have to be ON all day long - if I had a bad night taking care of my kid, everybody understood that I might be a bit subdued inthe morning - kids don't understand this
4) could structure my own day to some extent
5) etc - I could go on, but I won't...

There are demands in a teaching job that I don't think exist anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Please don't push the teachers. They like so many professions get little pay and very little respect. No I am nit a teacher but I have a lot of admiration for men and women who give day and night of their time, talent and abilities to educate our future. Believe this there are far fewer college students entering into this profession because of these three things:
1. money (even with a Master's degree teachers are under paid)
2. long hours (outside of those spent with the students)
3, lack of parental involvement

Wake up everyone this info coming from our college campuses right here in the great state of Georgia.

They had betterfind a way to increase the budget for teachers and make the art of teaching more attractive for this job to survive.
If not, there will be uncertified teachers educating our future.

Cerebration said...

I've seen surveys many times that indicate that teachers would actually prefer smaller classes with better behaved students and involved parents than more money. True?

I know that even when I used to volunteer at school or chaperone a field trip, (which I always found very enjoyable) I would return to my own office pretty dang tired and glad to be back in the peace and quiet!

We do need to value our teachers more. They should be number one employees in the eyes of the board. Without good and happy teachers, our children won't learn much.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any insight on the fact that both St. Mountain Elementary and Meadowview Elementary are both getting new principals? Retirements, relocations, promotions? Anyone know

No Duh said...

If you want a true taste of what teachers go through...

Volunteer to teach the Junior Achievement curriculum (if your school brings in JA). I've taught the second grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, and seventh grades. It's once a week for about 45 mins to an hour, for six weeks. JA has a fabulous, easy to use curriculum that anyone (even those of us without any teaching background) can use. Involves a little prep time on your part, but no true thinking skills.

You will be amazed how exhausted you are after just 45 mins. You will begin to understand why teachers sometimes yell in the classroom -- they are human remember and some of the kids in their classes are completely out of control. And the disrespect that is out there for adults (authority figures) is astonishing. Some of the seventh graders I taught, I really wanted to slap! :0

Needless to say, it's a good thing I'm not a teacher...

Anonymous said...

Interesting developments from Justice in DeKalb. Thanks.

The thing about Gwen Keyes not investigating anything (schoools or anything) makes me think how different things are here than Gwinnett. I wonder if Gwinnett schools has the same level (type) of corruption?

If anyuone knows anybody at Gwinnett schools, you might want to show them some of this and get their reaction.
Their feedback--a different perspective--might be revelatory.

Hey Justice-in-DeKalb--what do you know about Gwinnett--comparison please.

Anonymous said...

I wish they would bring Pat Pope back to manage these projects. Seems like things were going much better (on time, on budget) back then!

Anonymous said...

I had been a huge Pat Pope fan. However, one of the things that Ms. Colman touched on was that they were looking at scope of projects.

For example, how is it that there was no weight room replacement at Avondale High? Additionally, we are starting to hear complaints about the poor quality of replacement materials being used in renovations. I visited a school the other day where the replaced cabinets had been sturdy and solid and what is there now will be lucky to last a year.

I continue to scratch my head about why projects are coming in so< under budget.

Anonymous said...

Which of Jay Cunningham's schools doesn't have a weight room? Does Arabia Mountain not have one?

Anonymous said...

The CIP update report was as empty as the administration's promises. Virtually no information was provided on major projects that are years behind schedule, except for Cross Keys.

The reason why the CIP budget looks so flush with money is very simple: No money is being spent on projects.

I drive past the beautiful new elementary school on Ponce de Leon every day and marvel at how the City of Atlanta can buy intown property and build and OPEN a school in about one year. And they had to deal with a small landlocked property, comply with many city codes and historic preservation guidelines. Yet they built a fabulous school and had it open in one year.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "Justice"--you guys are missing the boat. Once you understand how the corruption works, you know the "why" your complaints fall on deaf ears.

Send your book to Levitas;
and you would sell a lot more books if you'd tell people who the author is. Gotta open up, cuz nobody in their right mind is going to send you their name and e-mail address for such a sensitive matter.

Justice In Dekalb said...

To My Friend – Annonymous December 7 @ 9:41pm regarding Gwinett County SCHOOL DISTRICT

You’re good. A quick thinker and obviously a thorough researcher such as myself! Yes, Yes, Yes, I did in fact consult with Gwinett County School District – October 2008. For 2 weeks I interviewed several of the top administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students. I observed the day to day mechanisms of a couple of their schools (Shiloh ES, Shiloh HS, Parkview HS, and Camp Creek ES) I was totally impressed and blown away. They have incorporated a true collaborative spirit in which the community/parental involvement is encouraged, welcomed and fostered.

I also did a comprehensive study of their salaries comparing their top admin to that of DCSS. Surprisingly, there wasn’t too much of a deviation….dollar for dollar, that is. A noticeable difference is with the “entourage” if you will. Meaning, the Superintendent of Gwinett County did not crowd or pad himself too thickly with Associate Deputy Superintendents-of-this-and-that – as does Crawford Lewis and his hired posse. You see, Crawford Lewis is running DeKalb County much like it is his own personal business. (Although I digress, please note that Crawford Lewis is merely a Public Puppet ….the real Power and Decision Makers are one over to his left - - - - RONALD BERNARD RAMSEY----and one over to his right - - - - PATRICIA ANN REID POPE. Never forget that, ok??)

Additionally, I also looked at and pulled various documents as related to Gwinett County and their SPLOST/CONSTRUCTION projects.

First of all, their SPLOST dollars have gone a much much longer way than DCSS. Secondly, I found it totally commendable that their SPLOST oversite committee is comprised of community members.
Finally, through my research and inquisitions…I learned that Gwinett County’s BOE & Superintendent put the money where it is needed. Period.
Great question.

Justice In Dekalb said...

@ Anonymous – December 8 @3:59pm

Gosh, thank you for the compliment – and Yes, I will admit that I have indeed governed my ID with the first law of the land – Trust No One and Smile! Ain’t that right, A-N-O-N-Y-M-O-U-S??!! smile. I could NOT resist.
Another affirmative regarding Kevin L.

I am already in touch with him. Thank you, though.

Justice In Dekalb said...
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Justice In Dekalb said...
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Cerebration said...

Sorry Justice. We can't publish personal info about people.

Cerebration said...

This part, however, is available publicly from the Sec of State online, and is relevant to our discussion here --

Here are the businesses that are listed at the same Montreal address -

VINCENT POPE & ASSOCIATES, INC. (Entity Control No. K608983 – 4/15/2005) Patricia A. Pope is listed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Secretary of her husband’s business.

MANAGING PARNERS, PM , LLC – Articles of Organization (Domestic Entity 0681203– 9/12/06) lists Anthony Vincent Pope, 2015 Montreal Rd, Suite #200, Tucker, GA 30084 and Patricia Reid Pope, 2015 Montreal Road, Suite #200, Tucker, GA 30084. 

P2 HOLDINGS, LLC – a holding company listed under Patricia Reid Pope’s name (Control #0568196) 2015 Montreal Rd Ste #200, Tucker, GA 30084 (alternate address – 2314 Ivey Springs Trail, Stone Mountain, GA 30087