Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Data Behind the Man

Information and actual data on the successes or lack thereof relative to the policies implemented by Morcease Beasley have escaped us to date.  All we've learned thus far is what we read on Beasley's own websites.  This makes it truly difficult to have a reasonably informed discussion about the man and his policies. Therefore, our resident researcher, DeKalb Parent went to town digging up some much needed background data on Beasley's programs.  Read on . . .

Dr. Beasley was the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum for the Port Arthur Independent School District from 2006 to 2009. Below is data from the Texas Education Agency ‘s (Texas’s DOE) Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). The Texas TAKS system is similar to Georgia’s DOE Made AYP system.

Dr. Beasley’s performance parallels that of many DCSS classroom teachers. That is to say, sometimes his results are/were up in some areas, years, and grade levels and sometimes they are/were down. Port Arthur was rated Academically Acceptable the three years Dr. Beasley was head of instruction.

Take a look at some of the data that IMHO are important when assessing Dr. Beasley’s past performance in Port Arthur as indicative of his future performance for Dekalb County students. To verify this data, click here.
Type in Jefferson in the county field. Select Port Arthur ISD when the next page loads. Corrections are appreciated – This was a lot of data to crunch!

A. School Demographics:
  • Port Arthur is a diverse system of 9,238 students with 48.7 % African American, 41.3% Hispanic, 3.7% White, .38% Native American, and 5% Asian students. Hispanic students represented the greatest rise in percentage of students between 2006 – 2009.
  • The teacher demographics are almost equally divided between African American and White with a small percentage of Hispanic and Asian teachers.
  • Port Arthur’s Economically Disadvantaged student percentage although considerably higher than the state average is decreasing. In 2006, 84.5% of the students were classified as Economically Disadvantaged. In 2007, 83.9% of students were classified as Economically Disadvantaged. In 2009, 80% were classified as Economically Disadvantaged.

B. Teacher Turnover rate:

1. From 2006 to 2009, the teacher turnover rate decreased in the state of Texas but increased in Port Arthur:

Turnover Rate for Teachers:
2006 -2007: 17.8% - Port Arthur 15.6% - Texas
2007 – 2008: 17.7% - Port Arthur 15.2% - Texas
2008-2009: 18.5% - Port Arthur 14.7% - Texas

2. From 2006 to 2009 the average years of experience of teachers decreased and percent of less experienced (beginning teachers in their first year of teaching) increased:

Average years of Experience of Teachers:
2006 – 2007: 13.0 yrs.
2007 – 2008: 13.0 yrs.
2008 – 2009: 12.3 yrs.

Percent of Beginning Teachers (teachers in their first year):
2006 – 2007: 6.3%
2007 – 2008: 9.9%
2008 – 2009: 10.5%

C. Criterion referenced test scores:

Reading and math scores declined in some grades and maintained and increased in others. The second test administration (i.e. retaking the test) pulled all scores up. This was pretty impressive. The Texas Education Agency requires that:

“All students who fail one or more sections of the TAKS are placed in a TAKS Acceleration class that meets daily.” This occurs for Grades 3 through 11.

The difference in the first attempt at the test and the Retake scores would indicate that small groups of struggling students served daily by certified teachers had a positive impact on student achievement in Port Arthur and indeed throughout the state of Texas. Would enlisting DCSS Instructional Supervisors, Instructional Coaches, and other non-teaching certified personnel to directly teach DCSS struggling students on a daily basis have a similar impact for our students?

Science fared well overall, although scores still lagged behind the state and region. Science and math tended to have the lowest scores of the content areas. We experience that in DCSS as well as do many school systems.

See a few examples:

1. 3rd Grade students
Reading scores (English)
2006: 84% (State: 90%) Retake: 89% (State Retake: 94%)
2007: 84% (State: 89%) Retake: 88% (State Retake: 94%)
2008: 80% (State: 89%) Retake: 89% (State Retake: 94%)
2009: 81% (State: 90%) Retake: 88% (State Retake: 94%

2. 5th Grade students:
Reading scores (English)
2006: Reading: 72% Retake: 82% Math: 71% Retake: 83%
2007: Reading: 71% Retake: 80% Math: 69% Retake: 81%
2008: Reading: 71% Retake: 82% Math: 67% Retake: 78%
2009: Reading: 72% Retake: 80% Math: 66% Retake: 79%

3. 8th Grade students First test administration:
2006: Reading: 74% Math: 51%
2007: Reading: 79% Math: 50%
2008: Reading: 86% Math: 57%
2009: Reading: 87% Math: 63%

4. 11th Grade students First test administration:
2006: English: 77% Math: 62%
2007: English: 81% Math: 59%
2008: English: 78% Math: 59%
2009: English: 82% Math: 65%

D. Science scores moved up overall, but still lagged behind the state and region. Science and math tended to have the lowest scores of the content areas.

See some examples of science scores from 2006 – 2009:

2006: 5th: 71% 8th: 42% 10th: 28% 11th: 59%
2007: 5th: 63% 8th: 47% 10th: 35% 11th: 53%
2008: 5th: 66% 8th: 45% 10th: 38% 11th: 67%
2009: 5th: 70% 8th: 49% 10th: 35% 11th: 71%

E. Other indexes were mixed in success. For example, the Graduation rate increased, SAT scores increased by 2%, and ACT scores decreased by 5%:

Graduation rate:
Class of 2006: 76%
Class of 2007: 80%
Class of 2008: 80.3%

SAT scores:
Class of 2006: Port Arthur: 794 State: 991
Class of 2007: Port Arthur: 820 State: 992
Class of 2008: Port Arthur: 813 State: 987

ACT scores:
Class of 2006: Port Arthur: 17.6 State: 20.1
Class of 2007: Port Arthur: 16.6 State: 20.2
Class of 2008: Port Arthur: 16.7 State: 20.5

Columbia High School did not make AYP in any area last year (2009 -2010) with Dr. Beasley at the helm although truthfully one year is not enough time for anyone to make a significance difference. Principals need to stay for at least 5 years to even begin to effect change, something that is not happening in DCSS.

Scores for Columbia’s Economically Disadvantaged students in 2009 - 2010 were lower than in 2007-2008. Port Arthur is very different in school system structure than DCSS. They have a smaller system (10% of the size of DCSS) with less highly paid administrators, one period of the school day with dedicated teachers working with small groups of struggling students per the TAKS policy, and smaller class sizes. Are these the factors that allow Port Arthur students to be more successful on the Retests and thus increase overall scores? Perhaps Dr. Beasley is hoping that the benchmark tests can be used in the same way and regular education classroom teachers can “fill in the gaps”, but an antiquated technology system that requires teachers to manually scan hundreds of answer sheets and increased class sizes make this impractical and probably impossible. A shift in thinking in DCSS is in order.


Dan said...

The IDMS system is actually quite cutting edge. Not antiquated in any way. It provides teachers a simple method for analyzing formative assessments.

The key factor is student achievement is teacher quality, not deputy superintendent quality. Let's spend our mental energy supporting teachers and students, rather than tearing down individuals.

Anonymous said...



1. The benchmark assessments have glaring errors in them, misspellings, double answers. Some are six pages long. They were created out of thin air by educators who probably could not make perfect scores on them

2. Teachers must Xerox the assessments, print off answer sheets, scan answer sheets, wait a day to print off results, then repeat for post-assessment. Do you recognize the waste of time and materials?

3. Even though the results are available for any administrator to access, teachers are then expected to manually input the data into Dr. B's special spreadsheet, the one that includes the students' learning styles. Why the redundancy?

4. The key to teacher quality is administrator quality. If the top is rotten, how can the rest not be?

Practice what you preach. Teachers are not the only ones in this game. Why are administrators who devise this time-intensive data collection-analysis given a pass?

Anonymous said...

While Port Arthur is diverse, it isn't DIVERSE like DeKalb. The students there are far poorer and the far more are non-English speakers.

What I happen to find objectionable about Beasley, as a parent, is that he is treating all schools the same. In DeKalb, this makes absolutely no sense.

With limited resources, prioritize please.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great data from Texas! Nice work. How any of this applies to DCSS, who knows? All I do know is Dr. B, is once again a person who has ties in the DCSS. Let's hope his title remains "Interim".

We must demand total change in our leadership if we want to expect any new ideas to improve the chaotic DCSS.

Anonymous said...

"The IDMS system is actually quite cutting edge. Not antiquated in any way. It provides teachers a simple method for analyzing formative assessments."

Yes. It is cutting edge if the benchmark tests that feed this system could be taken via computer by students rather than the 1950s "bubble in" method. In addition, teachers need immediate access to test results.

The ideal situation would be to take your students into the computer lab for 30 minutes to take all the benchmark tests and then pull up the results by the end of the day. Not one school in DCSS can do this.

DCSS does not have the technology infrastructure to support successful implementation of the benchmark testing, the most critical component of IDMS. So the cutting edge of IDMS is not efficacious for DCSS students.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Beasley is laughing at all of us...

I am still on the fence if I am either "for" or "against" him going into my 2nd year of teaching and 2nd year in DCSS.

I have heard some good stuff about him at my school and thats about it, but not a whole lot of negativity outside the confines of this board. I just wonder how he can be a preacher and administrator at the same time. He must be superman or something.

Anonymous said...

Technology Infrastructure!

There is a good idea for DCSS. Who has been in charge of the technology infrastructure for DCSS?

I know IBM has a huge regional headquarters here. Plus, Georgia Institute of Technology is located here. Head up to Windward Parkway and you see many more technology companies. You'd think, with these huge public and private partners in the area, DCSS would be on the leading edge of technology. Why aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Columbia High School did not make AYP in any area last year (2009 -2010) with Dr. Beasley at the helm although truthfully one year is not enough time for anyone to make a significance difference. Principals need to stay for at least 5 years to even begin to effect change,

something that is not happening in DCSS.

Speaking of which, where did the "reassigned" principal of Dunwoody end up? Hopefully, somewhere good as he beat the odds listed above and made AYP during his second year on board.

Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

I still haven't seen the information from first pretest which I gave last week and I'm ready to give the post test. What good is this system if teachers can't get the data? I'm likely going to end up on a PDP having never seen the data to know what I need to work on. Rather frustrating.

themommy said...

I don't know if this link will work, but all of a sudden there are a bunch of jobs posted on PATS for teachers, middle and high. Some are for the AM annex, but most are for schools.

I am guessing these are the teachers that will be brought in to relieve overcrowding.

I wonder if there are candidates waiting to be hired who have already been vetted, or if DCSS is starting from scratch.


Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Dan...with the support that we are getting from TEACHING and LEARNING your wish and desire is right before you. Micromanaging professionals. Is that teacher support or paper pushing and having people visit from his office to all buildings as part of a show of teacher support? I'd rather have people come to help support the classroom rather than crunching data for students. By the way...Dan, if we spend any more mental energy on the data driven support we are getting from this "new" but outdated system then I'm afraid my child's teacher will burn out!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If it's good enough for TEXAS, then it's more than good enough for DeKalb County Georgia.

I hope the BoE hires Dr. Beasley to be our permanent Superintendent ASAP! our children would be blessed to have this gentleman running their schools!

Anonymous said...

Get real 10:47 pm post. A blessing comes not from man.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 9:11 PM

"Technology Infrastructure!

"There is a good idea for DCSS. Who has been in charge of the technology infrastructure for DCSS?"


Anonymous said...

He wasn't good enough for Texas, he was run off after the teachers there filed an official complaint and ended up splitting their board.


I think Beasley was back here with 6 months of that complaint. The move back to DeKalb was effectively a demotion. He had been an Associate Superintendent in TX.

Anonymous said...

IDMS cutting edge? Please.
1) There is no data available to teachers about students in the system from 2009-2010
2)scanning benchmarks in then requires an overnight wait until the data "updates"
3) A whole sheet of paper for 5 multiple choice questions? Plus a cover sheet for each class. Plus an extra sheet for each class.
4) Search features that require you to fill in one box at a time and the screen rolls between each box check, with 4-5 boxes to check. Google people are LTAO

Oh and Dr B. Going from a school district of 9,500 students to 97,000 students? No wonder he wants to see every lesson plan. He has no clue how many plans that really is and how many little spreadsheets of data from every classroom are clogging up the computers.

Anonymous said...

The numbers from Texas look a little fishy. Lets take a look at these stats.

Section D for CRCT science scores. Look specifically at the 10th grade and then the next year in 11th grade.
Same kids, same schools, the following year.

2006 10th grade 28% / 2007 11th grade 53% = 90% increase
2007 10th grade 35% / 2008 11th grade 67% = 91% increase
2008 10th grade 38% / 2009 11th grade 71% = 86% increase

Call me crazy, but I smell a RAT!
And APS is getting their CRCT scores auditied?

Did anyone else notice this huge increase?

If you haven't gone to the website for the documentary of public education in New Jersey.


do yourself a favor and look at the trailers. Guess where Beverly Hall came? You know it, Newark, NJ.

We need more highly paid/effective teachers in the classroom and less bloated FAT at the top in administration. Good luck and thanks for your interest.

Anonymous said...

CRCT tests are not taken in high school.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me this current leadership hasn't led! Ms. Tyson is responsible for the DCSS technology infrastructure? Now she is the interim Super? Wow! What experience does she have at running a school system? Looking at the information, MIS at the DCSS seems to be the largest Dept. second to teachers.

The CTSS at our school has been fighting problems all week. The systems have been crashing, teachers have been trying to update their web pages, only to have their updated info disappear the next day.

We should not depend on a system or MIS infrastructure that can not handle the data properly. I ask the question again, can't DCSS partner with one of the many technology companies based here in the south? Why have there been so many computer glitches these first few weeks. Who is minding the store?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Anon @7:39.
You are correct, these are not CRCT scores.
This data is from just Science scores that jump an average 90% from 10th to 11th grade.

Cerebration said...

I wonder what the dropout/transfer (to an alternative school) rate was for the 10th/11th/12th grades. These are the grades where all high schools lose students. Lakeside, for instance, usually has well over 500 freshmen, but the numbers decline until at graduation, there are only about 260-290 who graduate. Many of the students either repeat grades, transfer to another school or simply drop off the radar. (We don't really know, because no one tracks this whatsoever.)

Just Curious said...

Not to hijack this thread, but . . .

I attended cirriculum night / parents night / back to school night at my children's schools the last two nights.

And I was shocked / depressed by the changes (reductions, cutbacks and elimination) in the instruction being offered this year.

Have any other parents had a similar experience in their DCSS school??? If so, perhaps we should have a thread on the topic.

Anonymous said...

We "talked" extensively about this last Spring when the budget discussions were ongoing. It isn't pretty out there anywhere, but I will stick up a quick blog topic, so we can compare notes. I would be curious to hear what everyone's experiences have been, as it is about time to begin the budget process for next year.

themommy said...

I have posted the topic. I hope everyone will participate.

Anonymous said...

2006 10th grade 28% / 2007 11th grade 53% = 90% increase
2007 10th grade 35% / 2008 11th grade 67% = 91% increase
2008 10th grade 38% / 2009 11th grade 71% = 86% increase

Those increases in one year are statistically impossible. Beaseley is very lucky they were not investigation by the Texas DOE.

Anonymous said...

It will be fascinating to see if our 'nationwide search' magically identifies Mr. Beasley as the man most qualified to be the next super.
Not surprising, but fascinating.

Cerebration said...

Well, let's just say that when Lewis promised a "national search" for a new principal at Lakeside (after firing, rehiring, then refiring Wayne Chelf), we ended up with a middle school principal from Gwinnett.

Cerebration said...

Actually, the only way those numbers are possible is if you politely ask the low-achievers to "transfer" to an alternative program, where their scores will not be counted with the home school. This happens quite a lot.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Lakeside AYP, it was explained by Anonymous on the "Again, I ask, "Choice for whom?" thread.

If you look at the state website, you see that Tucker and Lakeside didn't actually make the AYP targets on the GHSGT math section, but they are listed as having made AYP anyway because of an appeal of the formula. "This school appealed the academic performance calculation and requested that the determination be based on 11th grade first time test takers rather than all first time test
takers." Anonymous (August 16, 2010 11:54 PM) said that the appeal was not solicited by the school, but was the state's way of cooking the books.

Regarding the rise in Port Arthur science scores between 10th and 11th grade, there is a perfectly innocent explanation for the increase. I suspect that the 11th grade test is simply easier than the 10th grade test. Every year from 2006-2009 the 10th grade scores were in the 20-30 percent range and the 11th grade scores were in the 50-70 percent range.

Anonymous said...

Morcease Beasely is the nephew of the former superintendent Johnny Brown.

Anonymous said...

I do a lot of reading of education related materials that discuss things on a national level. Lots of states and school systems are having huge gains because the test are being manipulated.

Anonymous said...

Many of the students either repeat grades, transfer to another school or simply drop off the radar. (We don't really know, because no one tracks this whatsoever.)
Cere this is one of life's mysteries. It happens to many (if not all) schools. Where do they go? If they do not tell you how can you code them? Do somewhere between one third and one half of our students nationally really drop out? One of the DeKalb Charter Schools is only for drop outs or students about to drop out? How do these students get counted if they have been out of the system for over a year? While we are asking these questions what akind of measuring system tracks the scores of this year's fifth graders compared to last year's fifth graaders? Wouldn't a better measure of progress be how the same group of students improve from year to year? Do students who are several years behind in reading ever catch up?

Cerebration said...

Wow, there must have been a sale on question marks, Anon 11:53!

First, I will say that each time I withdrew my children from public school, I was never ASKED where they were going. I was handed their transcripts in a sealed envelope and sent on my way. The only time they asked was when we transferred a child to another public school in DCSS, then the records are electronically moved.

Second, I will say that YES! Somewhere between 25-50% of students in the U.S. do not finish high school! The numbers are the worst for minorities. We need to offer alternative pathways to the job market. Vocational schools and skills training is sorely needed in this country (tried to hire a decent carpenter lately?)

Third, our school leaders are so focused on responding to one crisis after another, or on testing that they cannot (will not) look out on the horizon to plan for the future. Times have changed -- the school systems haven't. It's time they take an honest assessment and make some major turnarounds - including offering many different options for students and admitting that not everyone is college bound.

Anonymous said...

Morcease Beasley -- the quintessential conundrum. Just like Johnny Brown. MAY be well-meaning, MAY have a good heart, MAY be a real professional. Time will tell. I'm not sure we gave Johnny Brown enough time. Not sure we're going to give Beasley enough time.

Given other similarly-credentialed candidates, Morcease Beasley is the last person I would have considered for the job. To serve ANY segment of student demographics, let alone black students. He may well grow into his self-sized shoes, but we can't afford the experiment. No district can. Even for an 'interim' period.

Be True to Your School said...

Just a wild guess ...

DCSS can't/won't partner with one of the many technology companies in the area because (1) Tyson and DCSS have a very bad reputation that no one wants to get mixed up with and (2) the decent companies cannot afford to get caught in a kick-back scam which is the way DCSS does business.

Anonymous said...

Morcease Beasely is a slave driver. He has placed such a large amount of paperwork upon teachers that instruction will be limited. He also suggested that teachers should work outside their contractual times in order to meet all his demands thus neglecting their own families. Those who complain will not be given contracts next year. Morcease Beasely is a bully and so are most of the principals in Dekalb County.

Anonymous said...

"He also suggested that teachers should work outside their contractual times in order to meet all his demands thus neglecting their own families. "

Why are other certified employees "not in the schoolhouse" told not to work any time outside their 8 hour day unless their time is approved for overtime, yet certified personnel "in the schoolhouse" can be asked to work over time with no compensation?

Anonymous said...

@ 7:56 pm

Dr. Beasley should be involving teachers in the process and getting ideas on how to streamline paperwork. Pressure needs to be on the DCSS MIS department to let students go into computer labs, spend 15 minutes taking the benchmark, and then providing feedback to teachers via their teacher computers or even from home by that same afternoon. Ms. Tyson needs to say, "This needs to happen now - no excuses." What a waste of students time to "bubble in" tests in every subject every 6 weeks! What a waste of teacher time to spend their time scanning in 150 (170?) answer sheets (can we say 1980s technology for the tens upon tens of millions of dollars we have spent on technology)! What a poor delivery system of these results they have.

Why doesn't Mrs. Tyson demand results and accountability from this department when it comes to supporting the classroom? If MIS can't get it done - cut them loose and get some personnel that can get it done. There are some incredibly qualified IT people out there looking for jobs in this recession. We've read about quite a few employees in this department that are on the Friends and Family plan. We can't afford that anymore.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure where Anon @ August 25, 2010 7:56 PM heard that teachers have been told to work outside of their contractual time in order to meet all his demands. I am a teacher and have not heard this at all.
I agree that we are being asked to do a lot. However, the majority of these things are things we as teachers should be doing anyway.
Lesson plans, differentiating instruction, analyzing data, etc. are things that all teachers should be required to do. I know many teachers in other counties that do this and have been doing this for years.
Is it easy? No, by all means!
Yes, the county is in turmoil and the happenings at the county office has created many of these problems.
However, the things I am getting from the Department of Teaching and Learning are things that I truly beleive can make a difference in the education of ALL students. EVERYONE is being held to the same standard and everyone is being held accountable.
IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

@ 8:24 pm

"EVERYONE is being held to the same standard and everyone is being held accountable.
IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!! "

Well, not exactly everybody is being held accountable.

DCSS is at the bottom of the barrel in AYP scores, yet the personnel in the Office of School Improvement and the Instructional Coaches and Coordinators are not being asked to be accountable for lack of improvement in the schools.

MIS is not being held accountable for the eSis and SDMS mess or the fact that technology is not working correctly.

The Area Superintendents are not being held accountable for scores falling at their schools.

Ron Ramsey and the DCSS Office of Internal Investigations is not being held accountable for not investigating the unbelievable number scandals that have rocked our school system and disrupted student learning.

The HVAC personnel are not being held accountable for the air conditioning that many of our students don't have.

The Central Office personnel who haven't supplied our kids with textbooks (some students still don't have textbooks) are being held accountable.

Ms. Tyson was over Finance this past year, and MIS for 5 years before, but where is her accountability?

Our construction was shoddy, expensive and many of our students are sitting in substandard classrooms. They didn't hold Ms. Pope (Reid) accountable.

Students are packed into trailers and sitting on floors at 2 of the 3 schools that made AYP, but no one is holding Mr. Moseley and Dr. Beasley accountable.

EVERY child deserves a:
1. Safe and clean environment
2. A competent teacher in a reasonably sized classroom
3. Access to cutting edge science and technology equipment

NOT ONE of the above is under teachers' control. Where is the accountability for not providing this for DCSS students?

Anonymous said...

9:27, great list! We can add to the others from earlier today. What a mess! We need to protest at the next meeting, we need to fill the palace board room and parking lot. The media will take notice if we have hundreds there, let's call it CIVIL MAYHEM!

Anonymous said...

Beasley has sent a group of his people to visit the schools 15 out of 20 days a month. They were in our school the first week.

The thing that I find so interesting about this is how can they have time for this. What were they doing those other 15 days a month in the past?

Anonymous said...

School has not even been in session for 15 days, so how could he send someone out to the schools?

Is this the same person who posted all of that made-up items about KMS?

Sandy Spruill said...

We have begged DCSS BOE members to do the right thing. We have filled their e-mail boxes -- and possibly their USPS mail boxes as well.

I am still waiting for an answer from Jim Redovian to an e-mail that I sent on August 15 concerning the unconscionable plan to overcrowd Chamblee Charter High School with AYP transfers. Jim Redovian is running for re-election, but he cannot be bothered to return e-mail from a concerned constituent.

NO BOE members responded. They don't care.

In fact, the only person I heard from was Nancy Jester who is running against Redovian for the District 1 seat.

So -- I have a very radical suggestion: NO demonstrations. NO protests. NO more begging the board to do what is right. NO more media photo ops of parents clamoring for BOE attention. Let the BOE meet in a completely empty room.

Tell the media that we have no more time to deal with the ignorant, sniveling, self-serving, thieving, arrogant, non-achievers who make up the DCSS BOE -- and their hired minions. Dumb and Dumber! DCSS is DEAD. They just don't know it yet.

We are too busy elsewhere, taking back our schools! We are planning charter clusters and meeting with our elected representatives to find a way to create Independent School Districts. DCSS is D.E.A.D. DEAD! We can do this -- and we will!

Meanwhile, the BOE can sit in their big empty room in the Palace, in their expensive chairs, talking to themselves. They can take turns standing where the hoi polloi -- the background noise -- are supposed to be. One by one, they can look up at their fellow BOE members -- disinterested, stone-faced, mute -- seated high above on a raised dais.

Personally, I would not set foot inside the Palace as long as even one DCSS student is in a dirty, dangerous, overcrowded, mold-and-rat ridden classroom. No more begging!

So, let's all be a no-show at upcoming BOE meetings. Time wasters! We have shown up for meetings and the BOE ignores us and does what they please. Could it get any worse? RIP, DCSS.

DCSS Teacher said...

This is my 28th year in DCSS. Dr. Beasley will likely be the chief reason that this is my last. There are far too many mandates coming from him that are developmentally inappropriate for young learners. Benchmark tests in science and social studies for emerging readers is just futile. So much of what we do in lower grades with these subjects is hands on, small group, and collaboratiave in nature. This impending benchmark information was given to us today in faculty meeting. We are testing these young children excessively. What is consisdered asassessment for middle and high school populations, is quite likely not sound for primary populations. However, in DCSS, far too many blanket decisions are being made by Beasely without regard to the significantly different structure of elementary school. Yes, there is value in diagnostic assessment and accountability and it is necessary. With young children, the approach to assessment should differ from that that is given to older students. Elementary schools need some autonomy regarding these kinds of decisions. What Dr. Beasley is doing is creating mountains of paperwork, frustration, and resentment due to many of us working 12 and 13 hour days to supply "data" utilizing a very inefficient system. If this continues, the county may experience mass defections on the part of its experienced teachers.

I for one will atttend the next board meeting to vocie my concerns.

Anonymous said...

@ANON 10:24

I was not the one who posted the previous message, but I can assure you it is the truth. I am an administrator in DeKalb. We have been directed by Dr. Beasley to be in the schools 15 days a month doing teacher observations. We had to begin observing principals during pre-planning to verify that they were providing the mandatory Dr. Beasley in-service for teachers.

Anonymous said...

The students aren't coming to CCHS. They are going to an annex or the students are staying where they are.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me..what is the BENEFIT of 15 days per month being observed by an administrator when class sizes are well over 25 students. We need a lower student-teacher ratio. Put more people in the classroom!!! What is the BENEFIT of poorly designed, error ridden BENCHMARK tests for students who cannot read at grade level? ALL THIS IS SIMPLY FOR SHOW.

Anonymous said...

We know about the annex decision! The question I have is why didn't Moseley and Beasley, follow their bosses, Ramona Tyson's plan? HER plan was to allow 50 transfers into CCHS. However, Beasley and Moseley told Berry to give everyone their first choice! Resulting in this disaster. Folks you must watch both hands! They might be doing something with their right hand but worries me most is what their doing with their left.

Either Moseley and Beaseley are setting up Tyson to fail for their own personal gains or something else is going on. THEY ALL NEED TO GO, WE CANNOT AND I WILL NEVER TRUST THESE MORONS IN OUR LEADERSHIP!

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in a Title I school. Most teachers at our school feel like our math scores are going to go down. This year we are required to use the State Performance Task as our primary teaching tool in math. Most of the tasks are too hard for the students. Sometimes only a handful of students can complete them. The county has wasted money again. They bought each student a Math GA workbook. Now we are told that the workbooks are only suppose to be used to differentiate in small groups. Other teachers at non-Title 1 schools are not told at their local schools that they have to follow these mandates. The teachers in our school that teach math are totally frustrated. We are told that these mandates came from Lenora Bodson. I can't understand why she would allow Math Georia workbooks to be ordered and then instruct the teachers, on the First Class forum, that they only use them during small groups. This seems to just be another waste of the citizen's tax money.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous

"We are told that these mandates came from Lenora Bodson. "

I think you mean Lenisera Bodison, K-12 math coordinator for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Morcease Beasley is the Interim Deputy
Superintendent for Teaching and Learning so she is one of his coordinators. Maybe he needs to be looking closer at the mandates that go out to teachers that waste taxpayer money. It's not like we have millions to burn like we used to.

You can look up her salary at:
Click on Salary and Travel Reimbursements

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. B.,

You might want to check out the AJC blog Get Schooled-----

"In the midst of a controversial LA Times series linking teacher performance in that district to test scores, a new briefing paper was released today by the Economic Policy Institute cautioning against the use of test scores, the Value Added Model, to judge teacher performance.

The 27-page paper — by a blue ribbon collection of educaion researchers including Eva L. Baker, Paul E. Barton, Linda Darling-Hammond, Edward Haertel, Helen F. Ladd , Robe rt L. Linn, Diane Ravitch, Richard Rothstein, Richard J. Shavelson, and Lorrie A. Shepard - lists many negative impacts from judging teachers largely on student test scores. They also point to studies that cite the unreliability of scores....." Check out


Anonymous said...


Now we are talking "research based" not stuff you guys created while working in groups to produce that from Remedial to Remarkable book.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:28 and 6:37
Thanks for posting this article which supports my post "The Data Behind the Man".

From the LA Times article:
" VAM (Value Added Modeling) estimates have proven to be unstable across statistical models, years, and classes that teachers teach. One study found that across five large urban districts, among teachers who were ranked in the top 20% of effectiveness in the first year, fewer than a third were in that top group the next year, and another third moved all the way down to the bottom 40%. Another found that teachers’ effectiveness ratings in one year could only predict from 4% to 16% of the variation in such ratings in the following year.

Thus, a teacher who appears to be very ineffective in one year might have a dramatically different result the following year. "

Now you can see why I said:
"Dr. Beasley’s performance parallels that of many DCSS classroom teachers. That is to say, sometimes his results are/were up in some areas, years, and grade levels and sometimes they are/were down. " and cited other factors that contributed to scores rising - e.g. the number of Economically Disadvantaged Children steadily decreased and the institution of one period a day of direct instruction in small groups for struggling students.

There may be other factors as well. For example, reading the new reports, it appeared that Port Arthur may have absorbed a number of shell shocked Katrina students (2005) who then migrated out of that area (I had no data on that so I didn't include it). Rising scores are rarely attributable to one person (i.e. the teacher) - there are generally a host of factors involved.

Anonymous said...

yesterday our school had an ap teachers and administrators meeting; after 5 years of having my class packed with kids promised with a chance to improve their gpas (and who have no intention of taking any othere aspect of the class, including the ap exam, seriously) we were told that we could face replacement next year if test scores don't come up. how is all this statistical data report nonsense going to help make students give a darn about working hard, reading, and thinking for themselves? one of my ap classes has 32 students, easily 20 of whom should not be there (low skills, would rather do each other's hair and nails, talkers, copiers, etc.) counselors admitted to putting kids in ap classes if they asked for them without checking the academic or disciplinary history of the student. of course, as a teacher, i know this is all my fault. i don't think we have time to give beasley a chance just because he speaks well and looks good. can't we please have leadership with brains and teeth? i'm tired of being threatened at work every week. i've been here many years, but other school systems are looking better and better.

Anonymous said...

p.s. the benchmarks are a paper-wasting time-wasting joke; they measure nothing. they just pile up more paper and stats to make leadership look like they're doing something.