Friday, August 6, 2010

The August 6 Called Meeting Re: SACS

Check out the new digs! (Photo from Ch46News)
This morning's called meeting was brief and to the point.  Hopefully, this is the way all meetings will be conducted going forward.  Tom always does an amazing job of graciously acknowledging time for comments, but pushing the meeting forward at the same time. He had a tiny bit of trouble with the new voting technology in the impressive new facility, but managed the system very well.

The first order of business was the SACS letter requesting that the school system provide input on a list of topics and evidence that it is in compliance with accreditation standards. The AJC published the letter two days ago which you can find by clicking here. The AJC reported that they acquired a copy of the letter from SACS after the school system did not respond to their request. Ramona Tyson defended her actions by stating that she had requested a deadline extension from SACS and was waiting for their reply before sharing what would be a new version of the letter with a new deadline. She also stated that she has three days to respond to media. That said, a simple acknowledgement of the AJC's request with the above explanation would have, in all likelihood, nipped any misreporting in the bud. Communication is absolutely key in every situation and I think it is one of the most important issues DCSS needs to work on. Like it or not, a superintendent is a very public figure, and as such must communicate regularly with the media or assign a spokesperson to do so. Since our spokesperson was part of the recent budget cuts, Tyson will have to take on this task herself. There's just no way around it I'm afraid.

Several board members made interesting comments regarding the SACS letter. Apparently, several of them accompanied Ms. Tyson to a meeting with Dr. Elgart at SACS on June 23. They were informed at that time that some issues have come up and that SACS would provide assistance and resources to help the system address these issues. Dr. Walker pointed out that SACS issued a letter a year ago stating that DCSS was doing well and then he added his personal opinion that the media does not "master the story" and asked the media to "please give us a fair shake". Womack attended the June 23 meeting and took away that these issues would never have come to the fore without the indictments of our top leadership.

All seemed to agree that they will push forward with these questions from SACS and use their results to improve the system. Tyson has put a 15-member team together to work on this project and promises a "forensic" review of all areas of concern. In addition, she will host a website as well as broadcast all meetings, which will all be open, on the subject.

The board also voted to begin the process of creating a RFP for search firms to submit proposals for a superintendent search. The board seemed unanimous in hoping to find a firm that will conduct a national search and that the firm will not hold a pool of candidates that they represent - they wish to find a firm that will strictly work for DCSS and seek the best candidate for the job, even if it requires recruiting someone from a successful system. The board will also set up a webpage that will track the progress of the search.

All good things. I have always prayed for the day that we will not feel compelled to "watch" our school system leaders. In this age of the internet and Google, the power of the people has become very strong and I think our school board has heard this message. They promise to respond with transparent internet access as well as open, broadcast meetings. Who knows - maybe someday they will even host a blog!

219 comments:

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Paula Caldarella said...

This stuff makes me crazy. Do they not think people are watching?

Maybe they are just so arrogant and don't care?

Clarkston is in a lot of trouble - they need a principal who has a strong record of turning a school around. Why take a chance on an individual who has never been a principal? What about the former Dunwoody HS principal? As far as I know he still has not been placed in a school.

Anonymous said...

To say that Beasley was hired from nepotism is a conspiracy theory that ranks right up there with little green men. Brown hired him as principal at Stevenson. Beasley then went to Texas with Brown when the board got rid of Brown. He later came back here to be a principal and was promoted. No one has every proved that he was anyone relative let alone Brown's nephew. Even if he was (a supposition yet to be proven) Brown wasn’t here when he got rehired and promoted. How could that possibly be nepotism? Let’s confine this discussion to facts rather than wild suppositions.

Anonymous said...

When Womack is on the radio saying that Tyson is doing a great job we have a problem.

Anonymous said...

He was on Fox 5 last night saying the same thing.

UGH.

Anonymous said...

How sad is this for Clarkston, relative or not, Dunwoody Mom is right. Bring in a leader with a proven track record of turning a school around.

Anonymous said...

Why would Beasley move to DeKalb and take a pay and title cut, without some notion that he'd have a better job within DCSS? It doesn't add up.

Beasley does not have the experience to have the job that he currently has. Teaching 3.5 years does not give one enough experience to really even come into their own teaching skill set. I would say it takes about 5 years.

Nepotism runs wild in DCSS and if our school system was superior and all of our schools were making AYP, maybe I could let it slide. We have more schools not meeting AYP every year.

Tax payers have a right to ask questions. Why did he follow Brown to Port Arther, and why did he follow Brown back to DCSS? These questions and others being asked make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

DCSS doesn't hold on to principals long enough to give them time to turn things around. People with a proven track record wouldn't want to get employed by DCSS unless it was the last job available.

We won't get good people coming to DCSS until we get a superintendent who shows that he/she is willing to clean house and put the children and the quality of education first.

Anonymous said...

Womack is disgusting to say such stuff. Folks, we have to show solidarity amongst the taxpayers. We MUST demand change to the current environment. We must provide media with pictures of protesters at the Palace on Stn Mtn Industrial. Ms. Tyson you spoke of trust and transparency last spring. Ms. Tyson also said they would listen to parents. Well, it's obvious to me she went to New Birth and talked to parents there, because the parents that asked questions of here last spring are still waiting for answers.

Did Womack say anything about the Zepora Roberts "I'm gonna slug you" threats to a journalist, on the radio?

My 11 year old asked me if Ms. Roberts would be suspended? He said he signed a pledge, handed out by DCSS, that he would never threaten another person and if he did he would be suspended.

Well? Mr. Bowen, Mr. Womack is this vile, disgusting woman on OUR BOE going to be suspended for threatening a journalist? I've sent an email asking and will be happy to place the reply here, if I ever get one.

Paula Caldarella said...

And, not surprisingly, not one Board Member questioned the appt. of Michelle Jones as Principal at Clarkston.

The BOE just continue to blindly accept everything in front of them.

They have not learned a thing.

Anonymous said...

I am watching the DCSS board meeting. I'm not sure if I can eat after this BS.

With his funny-looking beard and and his shirt without a tie and his collar sliding down under his ill-fitting jacket -- he looks like a bum that just stumbled in off the street.

Make that a gutless bum. With this board meeting, he has publicly accepted Zepora's offensive, threatening and embarrassing behavior.

We have serious problems in DCSS and it seems that the most time at this board meeting was spent on "feel good" and campaigning for re-election.

Would it be too difficult for the TV staff to put the consent items on-screen?

To Michelle Jones, former -- thank goodness! -- AP at Chamblee Charter High School: Goodbye and don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out. Good luck, Clarkston! You are going to need it.

For Bob "Background Noise" Moseley: Would it be asking too much to actually name the schools that, in this 90+ degree heat have 3 or more classrooms without AC? What about giving an ETA for the completed repair?

For Zepora and Sarah, a quote variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and the Bible:
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Oops! Too late! You two, along with your fellow board members, are an embarrassment to all of us who pay your salaries.

Anonymous said...

"Do we know if she is qualified? "

We don't because they made darn sure the Clarkston Principal panel does not include a close friend (Dr. Simpson) of the relative( Dr. Felicia Mayfield) of the Clarkston principal to be hired (Ms. Jones). That is how it is done!
I have been told of panels where the Area Superintendent advocates for a candidate to the dismay of the non-DCSS panel members.
If these folks were being hired on merit, they’d look into another district to make a name for themselves or acquire more skills/experience BEFORE applying for a high visibility job in the district where a relative in a position of power or influence.

Anonymous said...

Zepora gets crazier by the day.How in the world did she get to be a Board Member. This woman acts and looks crazy!

Anonymous said...

"Do we know if the new Clarkston principal s qualified? "

We don't because DCSS made darn sure the Clarkston Principal hiring Panel DOES include a close friend (Dr. Simpson) of the mother( Dr. Felicia Mayfield) of the Clarkston principal to be hired (Ms. Jones). That is how it is done!

I have been told of panels where the Area Superintendent advocates for a candidate to the dismay of the non-DCSS panel members.
If these folks were being hired on merit, they’d look into another district to make a name for themselves or acquire more skills/experience BEFORE applying for a high visibility job in the district where a relative in a position of power or influence.

Anonymous said...

I'm told that Butler's sister, Dr. Annette Sanders Roberts (principal of Rainbow)was showed the door for selling her sister's cookbooks and using school funds. Then, Butler was let you as well. Now, Butler can use her own time to apply her fake lashes and lie about nutrition without involving our children in her quick rich schemes of nutrition.Two down and more to go. One quick rich dynasty down. Let us hope SACS find others.

Anonymous said...

I'm told that Butler's sister, Dr. Annette Sanders Roberts (principal of Rainbow)was showed the door for selling her sister's cookbooks and using school funds. Then, Butler was let you as well. Now, Butler can use her own time to apply her fake lashes and lie about nutrition without involving our children in her quick rich schemes of nutrition.Two down and more to go. One quick rich dynasty down. Let us hope SACS find others.

Anonymous said...

I'm told that Butler's sister, Dr. Annette Sanders Roberts (principal of Rainbow)was showed the door for selling her sister's cookbooks and using school funds. Then, Butler was let you as well. Now, Butler can use her own time to apply her fake lashes and lie about nutrition without involving our children in her quick rich schemes of nutrition.Two down and more to go. One quick rich dynasty down. Let us hope SACS find others.

Anonymous said...

So do you give credit to Ms. Tyson for taking the corrective action against Dr. Butler and her sister? Could there be more situations like this in the district?

Anonymous said...

A PRAYER FOR DEKALB SCHOOLS

Please, Dear God, please, do not allow these incompetent idiots who run Your school system appoint Sherry Everett, late of Clarkston High, to the Area Directorship held by Ralph Simpson. Please, Dear God, please, do not allow that sexist, anti-male, unethical harridan with bad hair (and attitude) to hold any sway over educated professionals.

Please, Dear God, hear my plea. Place Sherry Everett over the administration of Scan-Tron sheets for the benchmark assessments, but, please, please, Dear God, do not have her appointed to pass judgment over certificated human beings in Your school system.

A man.

Cerebration said...

The board has announced that they will hire a search firm in October.

DeKalb schools to hire search firm

The school board voted Tuesday to solicit bids for a search firm to find a new superintendent.

This is the first major public step the board has taken toward filling the schools’ chief vacancy since May when the board terminated superintendent Crawford Lewis, who is under indictment for racketeering.

The board hopes to hire a search firm in October and a superintendent by the start of next school year.

The board did not use a search firm in 2004 when it promoted Lewis, a former DeKalb physical education teacher. This time, the board says it wants to conduct an extensive national search.

“Every step of this process will be transparent,” board chairman Tom Bowen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We want the public to know that the next superintendent will be selected using a well defined and open process which will bring the most qualified applicant to the district.”

The search comes as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is closely monitoring the state's third largest district to ensure it meets accreditation standards. The board must respond to seven questions from SACS by Sept. 11, including what steps it is taking in the superintendent search.

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