Sunday, April 11, 2010

How Much Have Non-Teaching Salary Overpayments Cost DeKalb Schools Taxpayers in the last 5 years? $9,000,000 or $70,000,000

One of our incredibly smart bloggers, known as DeKalb Parent, has taken a considerable amount of time to conduct an investigation into the compensation and classification schedule of the school system. Read on for a fascinating and enlightening history of the possible waste perpetrated by Dr. Lewis and the board.


According to DeKalb Board of Education meeting minutes, a $341,000 Compensation and Classification Study begun at the behest of Dr. Johnny Brown in 2003 and conducted by Ernst and Young during Crawford Lewis’s administration from 2004-2005 revealed millions of dollars of overpayments to non-teaching personnel. The Board of Education ignored any financial benefits to DCSS and accepted Dr Lewis's recommendation to simply rename these employees positions by giving them different titles.

Dr. Johnny Brown, DCSS’s Superintendent from 2002 to 2004, had begun the process of looking at the compensation and classification categories of DCSS personnel to ensure DCSS personnel were properly classified by job functions and pay. In September, 2003 Dr. Brown asked to the DeKalb Board of Education to approve $341,000 in consulting fees for Ernst and Young to do a Compensation and Classification Study audit.

September, 2003 BOE Meeting Minutes:
"Authorized the firm of Ernst and Young to conduct a single salary compensation study for the DeKalb County School System at a cost of $341,000."

Dr. Brown was using this study to look at reducing 1400 different salary categories to a manageable number while standardizing compensation for personnel who did the same functions and had the same amount of experience. Of particular interest was standardizing the compensation of non-teaching personnel to reflect market value for their skills.

November, 2003, The DeKalb Dispatch, Dr. Brown’s internal newsletter:
“The DeKalb County School System expects to develop an objective, appropriate classification structure and a market-competitive compensation system. This structure will reflect fewer salary schedules; less distinct job titles; and job titles that comport with current industry nomenclature."

During 2004, the first year of Dr. Lewis’s tenure, as part of the contracted Compensation and Classification Study, over 15,000 employees completed surveys that required them to answer a detailed questionnaire regarding their job duties and the daily percentage of time spent on each duty.

After four Board Meetings regarding Ernst and Young’s Compensation and Classification Study from January through September, 2005, Lewis presented the Board of Education with a document named the Compensation and Classification Position Titling Convention and Position Specifications. This document simply renamed positions by giving them different titles, but didn’t address the job functions or overpayment or underpayment of any non-teaching personnel. The financial impact to DCSS was listed as none.

In December, 2005 responding to a news story which reported that the Ernst and Young study results showed $14,000,000 in yearly salary overpayments, Dr. Lewis stated to the BOE that the DCSS overpayment in non-teaching salaries was $1.8 million, but he was not going to adjust them. $1.8 million overpayment of non-teaching salaries over 5 years is a $9,000,000 cost to DCSS taxpayers for no additional value in personnel performance.

BOE minutes 12/5/2005:
"Regarding the compensation portion, he (Lewis) referred to the inaccurate news story that reported an overpayment in salaries in the amount of $14 million and clarified that the figure was totally erroneous and the actual amount was $1.8 million. He stated that at the beginning of the study, 15,000 employees were told that they would not lose salary as a result of the study and he plans to stay true to his word.” . . . Dr. Lewis stated, “Once an associate superintendent has been named to Human Resources, he will work closely with the individual to identify creative ways to address the compensation portion of the study and will bring his recommendations back to the Board. "

Two months later in February, 2006, Lewis hired Darren Ware, a convicted felon, as Human Resources director. Mr. Ware cut the pay of ten DCSS non-teaching employees. One of them sued because it seemed totally arbitrary (and it was). 28% of the non-teaching employees were over the market value (i.e. over 2,000 employees), yet Ware cut the pay of only 10 employees. Perhaps this is what Lewis considered “…will work closely with the individual to identify creative ways to address the compensation portion of the study.”

BOE meeting minutes 12/5/2006:
"Of the salaries that are over the market value, 28% are employees in non-teaching positions”

It's this kind of thinking - that almost $2,000,000 in annual salary over payments to non-teaching personnel is not important that helped bring DCSS to this financial crisis.

In addition, there is no way of knowing if the overpayment was really $2,000,000 as Dr. Lewis says or $14,000,000 like the news reported.

If the $14,000,000 figure the news reported was correct, the financial impact would total $70,000,000 in over payments over a 5 year period until 2010. Only the Ernst and Young completed Compensation and Classification Study audit to DCSS could tell us if the $1.8 million in annual over payments or the $14 million in annual over payments was correct. The original Compensation and Classification audit attachment is missing from the DCSS Board of Education meeting website. If taxpayers had this audit they paid for, they could analyze it the way the new reporters did. It should be made available on the BOE website.


Anonymous said...

W O W ! ! !

themommy said...

It was a drastically different board in 2006. I think the only members who were on that board then and are still on now are Roberts and Copeland-Woods.

This is however, what happens, when you elect people who haven't really been paying attention to the big picture. The current board probably knows nothing about this study. Back then, I attended nearly all board meetings and I recall none of the current board members being in the audience.

We need strong candidates this time around but they must be ready to hit the ground running. We may have to form a advisory committee to get them up to speed, but they cannot come in cold or with specific agendas that are irrelevant to the whole system. They need to know what questions to ask, what actions need to happen and what skeletons are out there waiting to be rattled.

rumors and preverifcations said...

At Monday nights board meeting, they board is getting a recommendation from
the DCSS design and Construction group to approve Hogan Construction Groups bid on the Clarkston High School project. Even though Hogans Bid is $ 204,000.00 dollars higher than the next bid. The next bidder is more qualified in school building and is $ 204,000.00 dollars cheaper than Hogan Construction Group.This makes no common sense. DCSS has to cut there budget but they will pay more for a school? I suggest you call your Board Members and put a stop to this waste of money.They are trying to keep it quite by not showing in the agenda what the other contractors bids where? They are taking the low bid on an architects propsal on the same night and they show the bid amount of each architect, but they are hiding that same type of information for the Clarkston project. I wonder why??

Anonymous said...

CLew told the then-board that the higher salary people were the difficult-to-hire pool (special ed teachers, math/sci etc.) and that there was a very small fraction of "regular" employees who were being paid too much. He told the board that he'd freeze those salaries until they were rationalized with their peers. It was up to him to be true to his word.

themommy said...

Since we don't pay teachers based on what they teach, that is wrong. They did say that speech, occupational and physical therapists were on that list. But that is less than 200 employees.

I wonder if open records would apply to a report this old. (or someone could get their board member to get it.)

Cerebration said...

Crawford Lewis also says that "someone" at a gas station got a rubber hose and (thankfully!) pumped out all of Lewis' mistaken premium gas from his car (thank god!)

I think we can all agree that we cannot hang our hats on Lewis' word.

Somehow, we need to make that report public.

Ella Smith said...

Dr. Brown was on his way to make improvements. However, the problems was that the school board members could not micro-manage and they did not like this.

This is one of the reasons I have always felt that the past school board got rid of him.

I met with him and I was very impressed. He was a professional who wanted to make a difference in areas like overpayment and he wanted to downsize the county office.

Since he left the county office has grown and grown and grown. This is probable some of those non-teaching salary overpayments.

Dan M. said...

Lewis said it was only $1.8 mil in overpayment? Only $1.8 mil???

One penny in overpayment is too much. The paradigm has to change, and change now. Lean and mean, BOE, make it a lean and mean administration. It's about the classroom and the school house. Everything else needs to be about how to support the classroom, the teachers and the school house. Administrators need to make now more than what veteran teachers make, and we need a fraction of the administrators and non-school house staff we have now. Lean and mean.

Anonymous said...

Ella, I agree...Dr. Brown was doing a great job...some BOE members didn't like it...under Dr. Brown's short tenure...more monies were in the school house too. The report will probably show 14 mil.

Cerebration said...

This cavalier attitude Dr Lewis displayed toward "only $1.8 million" in salary over-payments, vs his very serious attitude toward the "need" to close 4 schools at the enormous "savings" (which cannot be proven) of $2 million, shows exactly where his loyalty and concern lies: with his staff - not with the schoolhouse. So glad he will be departing. I pray that we find someone OUTSIDE of Georgia to fix this mess.

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of either Dr. Lewis or Dr. Brown! Seems any of you are longing for days of JB. His short tenure was not without issues. Do you forget one of his educational solutions was mandatory school uniforms? Won't improve our test scores but we will look good doing it!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Brown irritated teachers with his "pep rally" during pre-planning (I didn't like riding on that bus or sitting in the sun either when I had so much to do), and a number of parents didn't like the idea of uniforms in schools (personally I didn't have a problem with that one).

I didn't hear teachers complain a lot about Dr. Brown. They were busy teaching, and he didn't cut their pay or raise their classroom sizes. He didn't establish fancy, pricey educational programs, fill the schools and system with non-teaching personnel, or give teachers an inordinate amount of "busy work".

On the other hand, I heard a lot of Central Office personnel complain about him. First of all, when Halford retired, each of the higher-ups thought he/she should have been superintendent. They had their spheres of influence that were rooting for them, and the disappointment was palpable. Dr. Brown sent a number of Central Office folks back into the schools, and you would have thought he was the devil incarnate to hear them talk. I've never seen people scramble so hard to try to get back to the Central Office. He had more than a few DCSS personnel who lobbied hard to get him fired, but the struggle was really a "Clash of the Titans" - way above teachers' heads.

As you can see from this post, Dr. Brown was concentrating on streamlining the compensation and classification of non-teaching personnel to bring it more in line with the marketplace. How different our budget woes might be if he had been successful.

Dr. Lewis and Ms. Tyson have done more than "irritated" teachers. They have "devastated" them. Teachers have to ask themselves, "Are we and our students better off today?"

Anonymous said...

The SchoolNet program cost DCSS $7,249,736. Let’s hear from teachers what benefits the students have gotten so far. After all we started paying for this program in 2007. DCSS bought this educational program on the recommendation of Tony Hunter, Director of MIS, and Ramona Tyson, DCSS Interim Superintendent.

Teachers, can you go on DCSS’s SchoolNet and access those lesson plans and weblinks aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards yet? How’s that working out for you and your students?

By the way, this is where the benchmark tests come from. DCSS paid SchoolNet an additional $189,364 for 400 printer/scanner units (average cost $473 each) to scan in the benchmark tests students take and you manually scan in every 6 weeks. Are these units working correctly? Are you getting all that great data from the benchmarks that you were promised. More importantly, is SchoolNet with its benchmark testing helping your students achieve?

BOE meeting Notes (7/20/2009):
“Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems, recommended that the Board of Education approve the purchase of up to four hundred printer\scanner units to support the roll out of the new Benchmark\Assess module from SchoolNet, Inc., at a cost of $189,364.”

This post got me looking at BOE meeting notes. I wanted to know more about SchoolNet, what it cost, and how it benefited students. When the expenditure of millions of dollars for these educational programs (America’s Choice, Instructional Coaches, SpringBoard, etc.) are approved, what I’ve been noticing is that the administration always has goals. But most of the time, the goals are not quantifiable, nor is the program or project revisited to see if it is effective. The money is spent, nothing is measured, no one is responsible, and the project or program is scrapped until the next big money project comes along.

Why did DCSS buy SchoolNet when they had a perfectly good Student Data Management System. After all, SmartWeb was scrapped and the dreaded eSis was chosen and paid for because it interfaced with SchoolNet. We started paying for SchoolNet in 2007, but the rollout didn’t even occur until 2010.

DCSS BOE meeting notes (6/8/2009):
“Rationale: The application was launched in 2008. Currently it is providing principals and administrators with real time data such as standardized test scores and student demographic data. Pilots are underway which provide the pilot teachers with student section data and benchmark assessment results grouped by class/school. Loading exercises are underway which will ultimately result in availability within the application of curriculum resources (lesson plans & weblinks) aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards.

Quick Summary / Abstract Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems
Details: This application was approved by the Board of Education on December 20, 2007 and the approval (RFP 8-12) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual BOE approval. Future payments are as follows:

December 20, 2007 $1,600,000.00 completed
July 1, 2008 $1,600,000.00 completed
July 1, 2009 $1,600,000.00 current request
July 1, 2010 $1,058,383.00 future
July 1, 2011 $ 927,350.00 future
July 1, 2012 $ 464,003.00 future
TOTAL $7,249,736.00”

Do you think DCSS will ever see the attainment of the educational goals Tony Hunter listed below? Where are the objective measurements to know if these goals are met? Where are the administration’s benchmarks? Will anyone ever be responsible for ensuring this system provides DCSS students with these benefits? Where is the accountability?

“Goal #1 - To narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate
Goal #2- To increase rigor and academic achievement in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in Pre-K Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in PreK-12
Goal #3-To ensure quality personnel in all positions
Goal #4-To ensure fiscal responsibility in order to maintain safe and healthy learning environments”

Cerebration said...

Good research, Anon. Teachers, please weigh in. Personally, I am shaking my head in sadness.

Anonymous said...

SchoolNet, if it worked, would be fantastic. However, I have had nothing but trouble trying to do my classes' benchmarks. I am very technology-savvy, and was initially very excited about using the SchoolNet resources. However, when I complain about problems I'm having with the program, my complaints are ignored. The problem I'm having hasn't been fixed and I reported it two months ago. I was told to just score and code my students' benchmarks by hand and send the data to my central-office coordinator via email.

Anonymous said...

I was able to see the data when I scored the benchmarks myself. Now I have no idea how the children have grown.

These benchmark tests are full of errors and poorly written. Seems like a waste of time.

Wonder whose friend or family member is making a commission on this product?

Anonymous said...

SchoolNet ($7,000,000+)
Let's get this straight:

Students take these benchmark tests every 6 weeks so they are off task to take the tests. There's not enough computers for students to take the tests so they have to bubble them in (circa 1956).

Then the teachers take their plan periods and instead of grading papers or planning for classes they scan the students' tests into the scanners.

What happens to the data? What do teachers see? Is there any feedback? Is the feedback timely enough so teachers can make modifications in their lessons or is the feedback so long in coming the objective they are teaching is long past?

Inquiring minds want to know. What did DCSS get for $7,000,000+?

Anonymous said...

At our school we get the test results back a month after they take the pretest or posttest. This defeats the purpose of using the data to drive instruction. The instrucional coaches like to use it for one of their teacher meetings and therefore we don't see the data until it is too late becuse they are holding it.

Anonymous said...

$11,312,515 for eSis and SchoolNet - drains on teacher and student time and too little too late.

eSis, possibly the worst and most time consuming software ever purchased by DeKalb Schools, cost DCSS taxpayers $4,062,779 and is a complement to SchoolNet which cost $7,249,736.

So the total cost is $11,312,515 for eSis and SchoolNet.

What has DCSS gotten from this expenditure except a drain on students’ and teachers’ time? We replaced a perfectly good online grading system (SmartWeb) with eSis because it interfaced with SchoolNet which took 2 years after we started paying for it to come online and sill hasn’t provided teachers with any usable data.

eSis as well as SchoolNet was recommended by Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems, and Ramona Tyson, Interim Superintendent.

Below are BOE meeting notes. Note that the Goals for eSis are the exact same goals for SchoolNet – again goals that are not quantified and no benchmarks are provided.

What do these people do – copy and paste for multi-million dollar expenditures?

This is pitiful. What gives with the MIS department ($19,000,000 a year in salary and benefits)? How many tens of millions a year of unproductive and unmeasurable programs have they committed DCSS taxpayers to? These people need to be replaced.

BOE Meeting Notes(7/20/2009):
Rationale: The AAL Student Information System is a comprehensive, scalable, web-based application to replace the current student information system. The application includes the following:

Demographics (Name, Address, Parents/Guardians, etc.)
Flexible Scheduling Module
Discipline Tracking
Integrated Grade Book
Parent Portal Access with online registration option
Standardized testing and pre-ID labels
Real-time data reporting (i.e. when grades are posted, they must be
available for viewing immediately).
Georgia State Reporting Requirements

All schools will go live with the core eSIS application July 22, 2009. The parent portal application for elementary, middle, and high school will go live October 2009.

Quick Summary / Abstract Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems
The application was approved by the Board of Education on January 14, 2008 and the approval (RFP 8-11) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual BOE approval. The payment scheduled was approved as follows:

Year 1: $ 800,000.00 (paid January 2008)
Year 2: $ 900,000.00 (paid August 2008)
Year 3: $ 850,000.00 (due August 2009)
Year 4: $ 850,000.00 (due August 2010)
Year 5: $ 662,779.00 (due August 2011)
Total: $4,062,779.00

Services which are included in the price include project management, database configuration, student data conversion and migration, application installation, implementation, testing, training and product support. The vendor also provides customized reporting tailored to the needs of state and federal requirements, district administrators, principals and registers.

Financial Impact $850,000.000, Charge Code:

Goal #1-To narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate

Goal #3-To ensure quality personnel in all positions

Goal #4-To ensure fiscal responsibility in order to maintain safe and healthy learning environments

Anonymous said...

I'd I'll to be able to scan in my benchmarks! I'm an ES teacher, and I hand score 50 +\- tests, then fisaggregate them myself before creating my own spreadsheet to turn them in. (the county-created spreadsheet has erroneous formulas!)...but having to fuss to get the data might not be worth i have to proof and rewwrite the benchmarks anyway, I should just apply for a central office position. But as I'm competent, and have written test questions for other states, cental office would hate me. I love my students, but DCSS is a joke. Stupid me for staying. Not for long!!

No Duh said...

Speaking of "non-teaching salary overpayments," any news of the whereabouts and future of Crawford Lewis? Spring Break is over.

Is Pat Pope showing up to her interim office? Anyone seen her? What special projects is she working on?

Anonymous said...

Can we please drop the "Premier" from the DCSS!? I'm watching the Board Meeting on channel 24 and they go to a break. I then saw the word "work" misspelled as Wor. Of course it stayed on the screen for 4 minutes before it was changed.

The person in charge of Channel 24, is paid $114,000/year to run it. The average salary of a production Manager at a commercial station here in Atlanta is $75,000.

Here is one place you can save right now. The person who runs the channel is also the daughter of former board member,Francis Edwards. Nepotism? Please delete positions at the central office not in the classrooms.

Anonymous said...

Those copy and pasted goals are the Board of Education Goals. They've been tweaked a couple of times but they haven't really changed. We used to have posters displaying them in my school and I believe there is still a copy posted in the Board Room of Building A.

Anonymous said...

There are no posters because the GOALS posters were printed in the DCSS printshop which Ms Pope closed. they didn't get such a cheap deal getting them printed outside like she lied and told everyone.....

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else watching the board meeting? The BOE can't even tentatively adopt a budget for discussion. What a joke.

No one really wants to make cuts, but they aren't really wanting to make the classroom better -- rather focusing on pet programs, like magnet points, DECA points etc.

Oh wait Ms. Roberts came though...

Now it is on the table.

Anonymous said...

I think the benchmarks are awful. They are good in theory, but the benchmarks we have for my subject are of poor quality. (Our pacing guide is also very non-sequiter for the course). Several of the questions on my course's benchmarks are out of context, labeled as "enduring understandings" and they ask questions that pertain to standards not yet taught. How is a student supposed to have an enduring understanding of something they have not learned?

Now that I have said my peace about the DCSS benchmarks... onto SchoolNet. I cannot understand why DCSS ever went with this piece of software. I was trained as one of the "scanners." Not only do I have to print and scan my own classes during my planning period, but other teachers' as well. The SchoolNet install has been frought with problems. I still cannot get the scanner to read all my benchmarks correctly. If DCSS had decent technology we could take all these benchmarks online. DCSS already subscribes to excellent test prep websites USATestPrep. As for the excuse that SchoolNet allows for better desimination of information, the other teachers that do not have access to the system cannot see their students results. It does them no good.

I wish the county would stop micromanaging my classroom. My tests are comprehensive and I teach to the standards set forth by the state. Teaching in a standards based classroom should not mean I am forced to write the standard, enduring understanding, essential question, etc. on the board each day. My students do not care about all that junk (I've asked them), only administrators. My students trust that I know what to teach them and I will prepare them for the course.

SchoolNet is just another way of DCSS playing Big Brother to its teachers. A multi-million dollar taxpayer version of Big Brother.

Anonymous said...

Anybody else been by the MIC recently and seen the beautiful new parking lot out front that sits basically empty? It sure is pretty!

Anonymous said...

All of it sounds like the accumulation of wealth over learning in the schoolhouse. It simply means "divesting" in our childrens' education for personal gain. The law of reverse justice MUST arise in defense of our children -- OUR FUTURE. I still say let's turn our attention to technology driving education in DeKalb County.

Anonymous said...

I am apalled and disgusted after just watching the entire board meeting on Channel 24. The BOE spent more time arguing about the perks they should receive than about any other item on the agenda. Dr. Walker stated he is "here for the children" yet argued for the longest time that if a vendor wants to take him to dinner the amount should be $100 instead of $50 for the meal. This board is a joke.

Anonymous said...

It is essential that we get new board members in DeKalb. And I am sorry Ms. Roberts, but what exactly has the "north" been given that the south hasn't. They aren't shutting the magnet schools anymore-- rather they are simply reducing points to ALL the magnet programs. Even you had to acknowledge that all the empty seats are in S. DeKalb.

And exactly what relative is Ms.Roberts worried about protecting with all her objections to the ethics policy?

Anonymous said...

I had to turn off the Board meeting after Walkers' and Robert's gripes about the proposed ethics policy! I was afraid I would break something when I started throwing stuff.

Please, please vote these people off the Board.

themommy said...


Anonymous said...

Zepora Roberts wants to continue to charge people a fee to go to their functions, and Eugene Walker wants vendors to take him to a big fancy restaurant and spend $100 on him. They are here for our kids. Right. Can they not be recalled by a vote before Dekalb loses its accreditation?

Anonymous said...

DCSS was paying as an annual maintenance fee for SmartWeb - $116,333 a year (upfront investment already paid off years before) when Ms. Tyson and Mr. Hunter proposed purchasing the eSis system for over $4,000,000. What was the cost justification to spending $4,000,000 on a system that didn't work as well as the old one that only cost $100,000+ a year? SmartWeb was an online system (DCSS did not administrate it or maintain it) so all of the upgrades and newer versions already came to DCSS as part of the maintenance fee.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:47 pm

Well, you better get some better leadership for MIS. That's one of the the biggest porkers of all ($19,000,000 in salary and benefits - way out of line when compared with other metro systems) while providing little in the way of equipment and terrible customer service for teachers and kids.

Dan M. said...

Have you no personal ethics, Gene Walker? You are not in the state legislature any more. You have absolutely no business allowing any potential school system vendor to purchase any meal, gift, etc. for you. How dare you complain about a limit.
Get over yourself.

The only positive from your latest rant is you cemented your reputation. $21,000 in campaign contrib's from Sembler/Fuster/Fuqua. You want want $100 meals from vendors. You have no chance of being re-elected this fall, and we'll have a better Board of Ed when that happens.

Anonymous said...

Oh, don't worry. MIS is gonna trim 1/19th of their load by having to let go 18 CTSSes. Can't wait for that meeting. It ought to be SPECTACULAR!

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know that MIS is trimming 18 of their lowest paid employees - and of course where do these employees work? Where all the lowest paid employees work - in the schoolhouse.

Dekalbparent said...

I know we need to remain focused and energetic if we are to change the course of DCSS, but sometimes I just despair...

WHY does Dr. Walker think he has to be allowed to be treated to $100 dinners?
WHY does Ms. Roberts think she should be able to contribute to discussions on doing business with her friends and/or relatives?
WHY does Ms. Roberts think she should be paid above her $450 monthly expense allowance (which seems pretty darned generous to me)?
And I was struck by the fact that although Ms. Roberts believes the north DeKalb schools have all the good stuff (not true), she also believes all the magnet schools are in south DeKalb (her complaint that taking away magnet points affects south DK because that's where those schools are).

Then reading the exact figures on SchoolNet (I remember all those glowing promises) along with eSIS (I remember the promise of a seamless interface, allowing administrators, teachers and parents "instant" access to completely up-to-date figures on the status of students and schools).

And tonight NOBODY on the BOE said ANYTHING about cutting expenses in Central Office...

Sometimes I despair.

Anonymous said...

Well, Maureen Downey has DCSS's number. How many posts has she run on DeKalb? She's taken to attending all the BOE meetings. And the AJC is doing its part as it runs article after article on DCSS. But when I talk to a lot of people in my community - Northlake - they seem oblivious to what's going on. To replace the BOE members will require a really organized and energized effort.

Quite frankly, every BOE member we have is an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

I know Ms. Robert's daughter works for DCSS in a non-teaching position. Dr. Lewis requested she get a raise due to the Compensation and Classification study (the very one this post is about and he refused to move on to adjust the salaries of the overpaid DCSS non-teaching personnel - LOL). Ms. Roberts abstained from voting for her daughter's raise according to BOE minutes.

Does she have other relatives working for DCSS?

What other relatives of BOE members work for DCSS and in what capacity?

Dekalbparent said...

Regarding the discussion above about expecting CTSSs to handle network, hardware AND software issues, as well as educating teachers on how to use the software:

1) that's what InTech and WebTech were supposed to be for - taching the teachers how to use technology in the classroom - the course presented how to use all the software available to the teachers through the county as well as how to use Microsoft and web-based freeware to create lessons. If a teacher passed InTech, they should NOT have to be taught how to use educational software, Word, PowerPoint, Excel or how to obtain freeware from the web. They should not have to be taught how technology fits into the curriculum. (Of course, my suspicion is that EVERYBODY passed InTech...)

2) Fulton County Schools have a CTSS in every school. They maintain the equipment as well as train teachers on software and new programs.

Fulton wisely allows people with an aptitude for technology to take InTech, WebTech or another educational technology course of study and then become a CTSS/Instructional Technology Specialist, even if they are not certified (e.g. a para who was technically savvy could have this position). The teachers can come to them to hash out a tech-connected lesson plan, and the specialist can co-teach the lesson. DeKalb requires the person be a certified teacher, which limits the talent pool as well as possibly costing more money - if a certified teacher serves in this capacity, they cannot be teaching a full schedule.

Anonymous said...

It's a foregone conclusion this board has got to go. No pulse!

_______ DCSS BOE flat lined _______

DNR (Do Not Resusitate)

corruptionindekalb said...

Everyone is talking about the board and how it must anyone willing to help participate in a recall. I live in Dr. Walker's district. I am going to the recall office TOMORROW!! I am so sick of this....I did speak at the meeting tonight and they are a bunch of crack pots. I am African American and I live on the "southside" It's not about North VS South.... the board has to do what's right for children all across the district. There are distinctions in educational facililties/programs/buildings etc. Anyone who can't see that is just in pure denial. You don't see parents rushing to the south for their children to attend schools (at least not where my child goes) I will say there is also a distint difference in parental participation on the North side vs. the South side (hello) Anyone who can't see that is also in denial. But setting aside all of that...we have got to do something about this board. It seems they are further separating the two sides. Parents on the South side are just as angry at their school closings as anyone else. I don't trust this board...they create a task force and then totally ignore their recommendation??? why ask for the public's input then??? Many of the schools are performing well and the criteria was not applied the same to all the schools. Which leads me to believe that this IMMEDIATE push to close these schools has absolutely nothing to do with money. WHY NOT SELL SOME OF THE VACANT SCHOOLS AND STOP BUILDING NEW SCHOOLS THAT AREN'T NEEDED (YES SOME OF THEM BEING ON THE SOUTH SIDE)AND GIVING THOSE CONTRACTS TO FAMILY/FRIENDS The amount of money being saved is minute yet the outcome of closing these schools is insurmountable and the impact and scrutiny of this decision will bring this county to an all time low (if that is possible). Anyone wanting to help participate in this recall please email me at Forget North vs South....this madness has to stop! Justice in Dekalb...get at me homegirl!

Anonymous said...

Not one board member mentioned adding more central office cuts last night. (Of course, they had a very limited discussion, but it is clear that none are leaning that way.)

Anonymous said...

I am so sick and tired of having to listen to people just because they're in charge when they haven't proven that they SHOULD be in charge!