Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Faye Andresen writes . . .

With a SACS investigation, the Zepora Robert’s threat to a reporter dominating the news, reports of rampant DCSS nepotism, SPLOST II in an expensive legal battle and SPLOST III the center of a criminal investigation, the question becomes ---- HOW DID WE GET HERE??

I have included in this posting e-mail exchanges three years ago along with my subsequent letter to SACS. I received no response from SACS but the e-mails demonstrate that the Columbia high school project was challenged early on and no board oversight was provided and offers a glimpse of the level and length of negligence by board members.

I attended the meeting between the DeKalb Delegation, Chamber of Commerce representatives and members of the DeKalb School System and shared these documents with the DeKalb Delegation Education Committee Co-Chairs Mary Margaret Oliver & Steve Hanson and the Chamber leadership of Sadie Dennard & John Kelly.

At the February 3, 2007 DeKalb School System working board meeting, Board Member Zepora Roberts questioned Agenda Item #10, $600,000 to fund technology at the new Peachtree Middle School. It was her belief that technology funding for the school was not included in SPLOST II. Both the head of IT and Construction were fairly new in their jobs and neither could confirm when such funding was allocated. My letter is a response to that question, and another concern voiced by Ms Copelin –Woods with regard to Avondale High School. Please note their responses.


"Faye Andresen" writes:

To Board Members Roberts & Copelin-Wood,

At last night's board meeting, there was discussion concerning past SPLOST II decision making. Allow me to express my fear that airing such old history may hurt SPLOST III efforts. Both the administration and the board share in the responsibility for SPLOST II problems. The administration has changed management & procedures; the board, I hope, will change its approach to SPLOST management.

To Ms Coplin-Wood - We have previously communicated concerning Avondale. The Career-Tech faded as the HVAC costs soared and that has been thoroughly discussed.

To Ms Roberts -- If you look back to June 2004 board meeting, you'll find Agenda Items #9 & 20 - pertaining to construction at both Chamblee Middle & St. Mountain Middle. I have in my notes that Ms. Manning-Moon inquired about technology at that time. But more to the point -- December 2004,

Agenda Item # 9 SPLOST II Budget Revisions does include the additions of $600,000 at the new middle schools, including Peachtree Middle. (note: Towers & Columbia are the only high schools listed for a Technology allowance - $50,000) I am sure Ms Clary will be happy to furnish you with the meeting notes if you do not have them.

Since both of you are so full of energy & so focused on the proceedings of past SPLOST spending, may I ask a favor of both of you?

First, much like you, Ms. Roberts, my memory (and the documentation I have since October 2001) fail me. I simply cannot find, in board meeting notes, when Columbia was approved for a full renovation. Nor can I find when the work was deferred. I think it reasonable to believe Ms Pope does not/cannot know the history to which you were referring last evening but she is quite sure Columbia was promised a renovation. Please be as vigilant on this item as you were with Peachtree's funding. Out of the 25M for deferred work allocated in SPLOST III, 14M is for work at Columbia. (Including SPLOST II funding, Columbia is slated to cost app. 27M) All I am asking is the dates of board approval & deferral of such a major project.

Secondly, Ms Copelin-Wood -- you have a much better understanding of the funding than I do. Just when SPLOST I was wrapping up & SPLOST II was starting, the AJC wrote an article with the mention of the addition at McNair Middle School. I searched high & low for that item within both budgets and finally found that the 5M spent on McNair Middle was from 410 funds. Examining August,2006 Agenda Item #17 - Capital Outlay Fund 410 Reallocation, except for system wide purchases, most allocations are less than 1M. McNair's construction stands out as an anomaly. How does this 410 funding process work? Why was $5M spent on a McNair Middle School addition while SPLOST II was being formulated and the student census was decreasing?

I hope my information has been helpful. And I hope you can provide me additional information.

Thank you,

Most Sincerely,

Faye Andresen


Ms. Andresen,

Thank you for your letter. Just as you always miss the train of thought on issues being discussed, Monday night's meeting was no exception. You once again missed the whole thing! As a matter of fact, you added points to your lopsided way of thinking that were not even said by me nor Ms. Copelin Wood. You once again used this opportunity to spread your poison. 

I was elected to represent the people in District 7, and I will always do that with honesty, dignity and integrity. I do my home work before, during and after school board meetings, and I read everything. I don't think that I need you to summarize and clarify anything, because you are always off track. It is painful to hear the truth even in the year of 2007, and it is amazing that if there is something that we don't want to hear, especially the truth, we want everyone to play dumb and pretend that we don't know anything different. Well, I am not the one to go along just to get along. I have a rather good memory, and a very good knowledge of how much money was allocated for my schools, as well as other schools in DCSS. I also have records on most of them. For your correct information, I never said anything about Columbia HS being approved for a full renovation, or anything being deferred for Columbia. You need to stop trying to be the "Savior" in chastising and whipping Board members back in line, and before you even make an attempt to do so, ensure that you get the facts, and all of the facts before you take that chance.

By the way, your information in this letter has not been helpful because it is full of errors and omissions, and why do you think that I should provide you with additional information? Who are you anyway? It seems to me that you know it all, since you have designated yourself to try and tell the superintendent, staff and board members what to do. Please get a life Ms. Andresen.

Zepora Roberts
District 7 School Board Representative


From: Faye Andresen []
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 10:02 AM
Subject: SPLOST response 

Ms Roberts,

Let me be very clear and state that 

  • I am a taxpayer and have a right to be interested in how my tax money is spent  I have served on the SPLOST II Citizen's Review Committee since its inception 
  • You are an elected official who, as I understand it, is pledged to serve all of DeKalb 
  • You publicly requested proof of funding for Peachtree MS Technology - It was your understanding the funding had never been approved 
  • I sent you proof that the funding was allocated in 2004 - citing a board meeting Agenda item specifically 
  • Then I asked you a question- not pertaining to the discussion -- but pertaining to SPLOST funding in general 
  • You have responded with a letter that has attacked my right as a taxpayer, as a citizen, and you have attacked me on a personal level - you have attacked my character and my motives. 
Your letter truly concerns me.

Faye Andresen


To: "Faye Andresen"
Subject: Re: SPLOST response
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 22:18:13 -0500

Ms. Andresen,

Although I am an elected official, I am not obligated to respond to you in any form or fashion, and as of this date, February 7, 2007, I will not waste my time in the future trying to respond to you. Serving on the SPLOST Committee does not make you an expert on anything. Even though you have access to a lot of data, you still have it all wrong. You have forgotten that I served on the first SPLOST Review Committee until I was elected to the board, and we accomplished quite a lot. Frankley, I don't recall you being on that committee. I feel sorry for you, so take your lopsided, twisted thoughts where they belong, to the trash bin. Thank you.

Zepora Roberts
District 7 School Board Representative


Sent : Wednesday, February 7, 2007 8:13 AM
To :
Subject : SPLOST II Confusion
Attachment : 272007_80659_0.png

January 7, 2007

Hello Faye,

It is evident from your e-mail that you are continuing to weave your web of deceitfulness.

It is also apparent that you are most definitely "Confused."

Therefore, let me help you - The Election Is Over - Get Over It.


Sarah Copelin-Wood 


Ms Copelin-Wood,

You accuse me of deceitfulness. This is a serious charge that concerns me greatly. I merely responded to questions raised in the public venue of a board meeting and asked for additional documentation and information concerning funding protocol.
What part of my letter is deceitful?

Faye Andresen


February 26,2007

To SACS Representatives

Approximately 18 months ago I called SACS to inquire as to the possibility of a group of parents/taxpayers lodging a complaint against the DeKalb County Board of Education regarding its lack of proper process and oversight of SPLOST II project spending. I was told that SACS does not involve itself in educational funding issues of this type. With the rumored threat of state intervention, the board did finally decide to conduct a forensic audit and, as things have played out, are in the beginning stages of a lawsuit against Heery-Mitchell.

I am coming to you once again not knowing if SACS touches on this part of the school system but will present my complaints nonetheless. My first complaint concerns responses I received from two board members. Included in this packet is an e-mail exchange between Ms Roberts, Ms Coplin-Wood and myself. Although an acknowledged thorn in their side, I am still a simple resident-taxpayer-parent in DeKalb County; they are elected officials. Not only does what they have written give me cause for concern but the way it was sent – copying administrators and the other board members – demonstrates their feelings of complete impunity from the most basic ethical and legal constructs of elected official behavior. I have no desire to institute a libel lawsuit but find this type of board behavior unacceptable and am looking for a means of putting a halt to such rhetoric… to me or other taxpayers.

My second complaint is that while conforming to the letter of the law, the board’s scheduling of meetings and scheduling of agenda items within meetings does not serve the public well. Having ceased sub-committee meetings months ago, the board frequently meets on any given day, at any given time to receive information from the administration and do just a bit of called-to-order business. Often these meetings are interrupted by closed executive session. Case in point, Called Meeting on January 19th, meeting started at 9:35AM, board listened to an instructional program up-date then adjourned to private session at 9:55AM. The board reconvened at 3:50PM and proceeded to conduct another item of business.

I would not complain if the above meeting was a singular instance of impromptu scheduling but it is not. Throughout the fall while negotiating the Capital Improvement Plan the board scheduled meetings and interrupted meetings with executive sessions on any given day, at any given time. As concerned constituents were marginalized, true information did not filter into communities. Very few parents/taxpayers heard the demographer’s presentation; few followed how the CIP was altered to meet the concerns of the board. Only now, as we move closer to the SPLOST III vote, are many parents becoming aware of the decisions made in December. Many parents have scheduled meetings with school administrators to demonstrate the true needs of their neighborhood school. Many parents discount the demographer’s report and seek to change the plan. Very few parents realize their time to truly affect the plan has passed. The plan was approved by the Board just days before Winter Break… one of the busiest weeks of the year for parents.

Notable also is the fact that the board and administration consistently fail to include details of agenda items on their web-site. A citizen can down-load the agenda but the detailed information is omitted. At the board’s February work session, DeKalb Early College Academy’s possible re-location was a popular 3-minute parent comment topic. On Friday, February 23rd, the board went into executive session at 10:15 AM and resumed the public meeting at 12:15; they adjourned at 1PM. Somewhere in that meeting, the re-location site of DECA was announced and discussed by the board but only the most stalwart of unemployed parent could have attended. And no detailed information – the actual decision – is posted on the board web-site.

The DeKalb County School System faces many challenges. The focus, the priority should be on instruction and I believe SACS plays an important part in keeping school systems focused on instruction. But the DeKalb School System is also a very large public business, 27th largest school system in the U.S. (USA Today.) The system has responsibilities to its public. Its elected officials have responsibilities to its public. I believe DeKalb is failing to meet the requirements of the covenant it has with its taxpayers/ parents in the ways I have discussed. I hope you will take my concerns seriously as you evaluate the system and suggest corrective actions or ways in which the system can improve.

Most sincerely,
Faye Andresen


Anonymous said...

Wow...not surprised.

who in their right mind responds and refers to a taxpayer as if they are a piece of trash.

As a teacher this appalls me b/c I conduct myself with a very high level of professionalism both in/out of the classroom and on emails.

If I wrote this to a parent, I would be fired...plain and simple. And rightfully so to.

How is this woman still sucking off the taxpayers of deKalb for her income. District 7 better wise up before she slugs YOU!

Anonymous said...

Governor Perdue needs to remove them from the BOE. This is long overdue. Years of damage have been inflicted upon our children who are trying to receive an education in DCSS. I am disgusted beyond words.

Anonymous said...

The entire school board needs to be replaced. These emails are amazing and have left me speechless.

As a former teacher, I was always expected to act with professionalism, even when I was being verbally attacked by parents. I expect others working in the district to do the same.

As anon 8:05 said, if I had written these emails to a parent or a co-worker, I would be fired. If I threatened to slug someone, I would be fired. I want to know why she continues to collect her pay check, a full pay check, if I my memory is correct, because she is one of the board members who did not take the voluntary pay cut, while teachers have 30+ children in a class, packed liked sardines.

When is the state, SACS, or any other power that be going to come in and get these people out? Our children deserve a better education, and it becomes clearer and clearer that our school board, and administrators are not the people to do the job.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad.

Faye, I know you and I am so sorry. You are such a nice person and really work hard to make things better in the DeKalb County School System.

You have every right to ask questions.

I am shocked at the attitudes. Both of them feel they are queens and are not fearful of losing their positions. Otherwise neither one of them would behave this way. Then you have another one selling pizza and another one taking money from Sembler and then trying to make sure they get the right tax break the next year.

I sincerely hope the voters vote against all of the current school board members. We need change.

I think the Governor might need to remove several of them for ethical violations.

Anonymous said...

Zepora Roberts' ignorance as evident in her e-mails are beyond galling.

But what's even more troubling is her vindictiveness. This woman is no example for any student or parent.

By failing to reprimand her, Tom Bowen and the rest of the BOE are condoning her actions.

Thanks for fighting the good fight Faye.

Zepora: Enjoy your last few months as a board member, because you are going to lose in November, badly.

"You once again used this opportunity to spread your poison. "
"I was elected to represent the people in District 7, and I will always do that with honesty, dignity and integrity."
"Well, I am not the one to go along just to get along." "You need to stop trying to be the "Savior" in chastising and whipping Board members back in line"
"It seems to me that you know it all, since you have designated yourself to try and tell the superintendent, staff and board members what to do. Please get a life Ms. Andresen."
Zepora Roberts
District 7 School Board Representative

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why parents and teachers need to publish emails from DCSS administration and BOE members on this blog. Email is forever.

Anonymous said...

Simple steps you can take:

1. Write, email or call SACS to express your concerns with DCSS:
Contact information:

2. Donate to the candidate of your choice (even if it's just a little bit):
3. Campaign for the candidate of your choice
4. Make sure you vote

Anonymous said...

Holy cow.

The people who elected these women are either blind, dumb, or equally evil.

Time to redeem yourselves, District 7. For your children, if for nothing else.

Anonymous said...

However, from another prospective why are they not asking the hard questions of the other individuals who have family members. Most of them do. However, she really is going after Ms. Roberts. Does she want a reaction? Does someone want to make Ms. Roberts look bad? Is this a set-up? Why not do this fairly to the other school board members? This give her a reason to feel she is being picked on.

What other school board member did she try to interview today?

I feel strongly Ms. Robert's reaction was inappropriate. However, I do feel Ms. Roberts is being picked to ask the tough questions for a reason. Someone does not want her to be on the school board. Someone wants her gone. Someone wants to make her act out. Someone is playing mean games with Ms. Roberts also.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:14
And was your precious Zapora being "set up" or "unfairly singled out" in the emails in the original post?

Exposing people who are evil and behave like animals is not a "mean game". And if you support this person in any elected office, then you're either dumb or evil too. End of discussion.

Mary Kay Woodworth said...

I hope that Wendy Saltzman and Megan Matteucci read this blog.

I am now eternally grateful that the situation at Lakeside deteriorated so dramatically 3 years ago, and we made the decision to move to private school. As a taxpayer and formerly a strong supporter of DeKalb's schools, it sickens me to pay taxes to support the corrupt, dysfunctional DCSS and then have to pay private school tuition so that my daughter can get a decent education.

Anonymous said...

"I was elected to represent the people in District 7, and I will always do that with honesty, dignity and integrity. ............I have a rather good memory, and a very good knowledge of how much money was allocated for my schools, as well as other schools in DCSS."

This is Zepora Roberts at her best: "I was elected to represent the people of District allocated for my schools...." She has NEVER understood that, even though she was elected by a small group of voters in District 7, her job is to ensure that ALL DeKalb County Schools students are well-educated.

And--by the way, Ms. Roberts--you're a school board member, not a congresswoman! You don't "represent" anyone. A school board member's job is to oversee the school system and be sure that everything is done to ensure our children have safe clean schools, well-educated teachers, and the technology needed to assist in their education.

Kudos, Faye! you've been a champion for our children for a VERY long time. I know many of us have urged you to run for the school board over the years, but you wisely knew it would be futile.

No Duh said...

Faye, you are a gem. I commend your hard work and dedication to our system. That you didn't plaster these emails on every wall in every school in DCSS three years ago is a tribute to your professionalism and class. What a contrast to our elected offenses -- I mean officials.

I was fascinated by Roberts' "apology" to Wendy. Where is her apology to her fellow BOE members, to the students, to the parents (especially those in her district), to the teachers, and employees of DCSS?

These women are petrified of the truth. The truth being, they are absolutely unemployable in a real world scenario.

PolitiMom said...

I am so disgusted by these public officials. I just have no words. I wish public officials would realize that TAXPAYERS are their boss and act accordingly. I'm SICK that my paycheck is going into Ms. Roberts and Ms. Copelin-Wood's pockets.

No Duh said...

Please also note that on June 12, I posted a thread sincerely asking the people of District 7 to tell us why they continue to vote Roberts in as BOE member.

88 people posted to that thread, and if memory serves, not a single one answered my original question. No one from District 7 reads this blog? Really? No one will stand up and tell us exactly what that woman has done to help educate children in District 7 or anywhere in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

How very brave of Faye to share what must have been unbelievably difficult to live through all those years ago.

I am sad to say though, that in many ways I believe that Sarah Copelin Woods and Zepora Roberts are well supported and loved by their districts. Copelin-Woods, in particular, is a hero to her community because they believe she saved their schools and because many of them love their administrators.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Woodworth, there still is quality education to be had at Lakeside....for all students, not just those of privilege

Tax Payer said...

Wow. Just . . . Wow.

Anonymous said...

No Duh

I have asked a similar question twice in the last week or so. How do the voters feel about Zepora Roberts in district 7? No one has answered.

While I think this blog gets a very high number of hits, I don't think the readers/writers are from across the county, at least not spread out evenly.

Cerebration said...

I'm afraid she may actually get reelected. She has too much competition splitting the votes. She has name recognition and has her supporters convinced that she has been victimized. Look at the list of her opponents. Any opinions? Voters in District 7 are going to have to band together and pick one opponent to support as these types of situations always give the incumbent the advantage.


Donna G. Edler
1364 Cedar Green
Stone Mountain, GA 30088
Phone: 770-808-7779

Richard Gathany
4773 Banner Elk Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Phone: 404-273-6880

Donny “Muhammad” Grogan
4317 Buckingham Circle
Decatur, GA 30035
Phone: 770-895-9389

Willie R. Mosley, Jr.
2127 Troutdale Drive
Decatur, GA 30032
Phone: 678-651-7174

Zepora W. Roberts - INCUMBENT
1616 Cobbs Creek Lane
Decatur, GA. 30032
Phone: 404- 284-7314

Anonymous said...

Faye - I am completely appalled by the emails from Zepora and SCW but not really surprised. I would love to see this information given out to the media.

I don't care how good a memory you think you have, there is so much information in these SPLOST funds that unless you had a photographic memory, could anyone keep track of details.

When you try to act with professionalism and get crude vindictive responses, we don't need these kind of people sitting on the BOE. I pray we get some qualified individuals voted in. I am so tired of this mess.

Anonymous said...

However, from another prospective why are they not asking the hard questions of the other individuals who have family members. Most of them do.

I think much of Wendy's information originated from this blog. There was very little attention paid to or knowledge of the fact that Bowen and Speaks had family members working for the system. This blog was clearly the source for the basis of her story.

We missed it -- so she missed it.

Fire the Five said...

Now I see why the current board members (Redovian, Walker, Bowen, Roberts, et. al.) ignore my emails.

If these are typical of emails DCSS BoE members send, the less sent the better.

Folks, we've got a bunch of unprofessional, undignified, petty criminals on our BoE.

When they're not spending our tax dollars they are wasting them. And when they're not wasting our tax dollars they're stealing them.

And they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Be True to Your School said...

I, too, know Faye Andresen. We were in the same Leadership DeKalb class. Faye is a fine, reasonable, knowledgeable, community-spirited person who has selflessly given a lot of time and effort to make things better for everyone in DeKalb County.

It is rare that I am at a loss for words -- but I am now. The letters from Sarah Copelin-Wood and Zepora Roberts to Faye Andresen are chilling in their evil and animosity.

Further, I have come to believe that SACS is simply a money-making machine and a jobs program. It is appalling that they would not respond to Faye Andresen. Her tax dollars pay their inflated charges to DCSS.

But then, SACS did almost the same thing to me -- and my tax dollars also pay their inflated charges to DCSS.

A person whom I am not at liberty to name, but who is known by and respected by Mark Elgart of SACS, suggested I get in touch with him regarding my documentation of DCSS wrong-doing. This person even placed an advance phone call to Dr. Elgart on my behalf.

Not only was Dr. Elgart's secretary haughty and rude to me when I called, but when I finally heard from someone at SACS, it was SACS' director of communications. Dr. Elgart was too busy to give me 15 - 30 minutes of his oh-so-valuable time in a face-to-face meeting.

I do not believe that SACS' "vaunted" accreditation is worth the paper it is printed on. The sooner colleges, universities and the HOPE program learn this, the better.

SACS is willing to quickly yank accreditation from small, rural school systems because their BOE does not use Roberts Rules of Order. Yet, DeKalb County's students and their education are suffering from a series of self-serving and bad decisions made by the DCSS BOE -- all of whom are probably indictable. DCSS's top management was indicted on RICO charges. But, still, SACS does nothing.

DeKalb County taxpayers and teachers asking for relief and assistance for our students is met with no response from SACS. Apparently SACS believes Bob Moseley: We are all background noise.

Faye Andresen is subjected to derision and worse by elected officials, Zepora Roberts and Sarah Copelin-Wood -- also not worth the paper they are printed on.

Those of you who think we are not dead serious about taking back our school system -- at least, the part of it that still works -- and, ultimately, taking back our county, had better think again.

Furious in DeKalb said...

Please keep in mind that those emails were sent on black berries or computers paid for by you and me (the taxpayers of DeKalb County).

Yet another fine example of how our elected school board members keep their oaths, honor their offices, respect their constituents and do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Unreal! Thanks Faye, I think you and my wife need to talk, she was having issues during the same time with Redovian, Moseley and Clew-less.

More sunlight will expose these frauds, but I am afraid Cere is right, she most likely will play the victim card and get re-elected.

Ugh! I'm so mad and angry right now!

No Duh said...

The CANDIDATES in district 7 need to sit down together, agree who is the most electable, and the others need to drop out -- NOW, before the ballots are printed.

Great so many of you want to take on Zepora, but basic election theory will play out and you will succeed in doing nothing but getting her reelected. Take the high road -- this may not be your year, pick one person y'all. But, please pick someone who can complete a grammatically correct sentence and serve as a role model for our young people (i.e. not a thug).

No one from District 7 out there reading this blog? How about teachers in District 7 schools? Will you start encouraging your parents to read and participate in this blog? Slip it to them on a piece of paper the next time they come in with birthday cookies or to help you make copies, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Not only is Zepora's response appalling but there is a larger issue present-- how did the lack of Columbia High "slip" by all the board members.

If Zepora is elected then we clearly know where this county school system is headed. Until voters and leaders require more of our Board members nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

My board members are not up for reelection this year, but if they were, I would be voting for the person I think can best represent my community.

I would love to have the luxury of worrying about the entire system. But because DCSS is so dysfunctional, I would have to have my community's needs and priorities be my guiding light for who I vote for.

I can't risk having my community's needs ignored because others on the board are doing a better job looking out for their districts and my board member is worried about the entire system.


Anonymous said...

Zepora Roberts and Sarah Copeline-Wood,
You two have won the prize for being the rudest, most insensitive, inconsiderate, full-of-yourself, all-knowing, unbelievably bold elected officials that I have ever run across.

On the other hand, that you would be so stupid in the same vein as to put your ugliness in writing for the world to see one day is quite comical ... and so very fitting. I shall follow with absolute glee to see what happens to the two of you after you can no longer hide behind the big, powerful DCSS.

You don't deserve the people's trust if you can stoop so low as to talk to another human being with such complete unconcern about their feelings.

You'll answer to God one day ... that's never been in question. You must be very very insecure to treat people so rudely and so disrespectfully.

There's a professional way to respond to questions, and you two should have been held accountable. You are just about to find out what being held accountable means ... you will no longer be big powerful BOE members. We all out here can hardly wait for someone with some CLASS to replace you.

I keep waiting for someone, anyone to sing your praises, but so far none have come forth. What an incredible legacy you leave. I bet your family is proud of the way you two handle yourselves, and what a wonderful example you set for the students of the county you SERVE ... un freaking believable.

Thanks, Faye Andresen, for enlightening us.

Anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anon said...

In February of 2007, we had just installed 2 new board members that January, Redovian and Cunningham.

Copelin-Woods, Roberts and Elizabeth Andrews had been reelected. Bebe Joyner, Simone Manning-Moon, Lynn Cherry Grant, and Cassandra Anderson Little-john were continuing in office.

Redovian and Cunningham wouldn't have been aware of the history. Why didn't the others speak up?

This is back in the days of prime vote trading. What did Roberts give these board members, in terms of votes, for the Columbia renovation?

Cerebration said...

I hope you all noticed that Faye's warning regarding Columbia was quite the harbinger - albeit unknown at the time. Columbia is the main project the criminal indictments are focused on. Wonder if there are more heads on the chopping block over the Columbia Construction Corruption?

Also - Sarah does a great job of convincing her supporters that somehow schools in her district have been (racially?) targeted for closure and that without her, their schools would shut down. Au contraire - those schools are dwindling due to the proliferation of charter schools being approved by Sarah and her board partners that suck the top students from neighboring schools, leaving them very under-populated. She's responsible for the problem - and then tries to sell herself as their salvation. Can't have it both ways, Sarah.

Don't believe me? Read our report. It only has the facts.

Mary Kay Woodworth said...

Anonymous 10:19

I disagree with your comment that "there is quality education to be had at Lakeside....for all students". For AP/Honors students yes, for general students, not consistently - it's a crap shoot. Joe Reed is turning things around, but it's not there yet. No, we don't have any kids at LHS anymore, but following it closely.

But this isn't about my family or choices, it's about the outrageous behavior and decisions that this school board and administration have made for at least the last 10+ years. I admire Faye, Shayna and many others who continue to fight the fight. I couldn't do it anymore, it just sucks the energy out and life is too short.

And if the privilege you are referring to is the privilege of working, volunteering and paying for the education of three in college/grad school and one in private simultaneously, well, I guess I'm privileged.

Anonymous said...

All of you are right about these two. Unfortunately, perception is everything! How do we get the word out to SCW and ZR's communities that they need to go? I understand throwing $$$ at their opponents, but ZR has too many. Ideas?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 11:07
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm for hiring a plane to fly a banner around the area and drop leaflets by the ton.

Anonymous said...

@ No Duh 10:43 PM

Absolutely! You are completely right!

Please! Candidates put the good of all of DCSS ahead of your pride. Get together and decide which ONE of you has the most name recognition and the most ability to get out the vote. Be reasonable. Be realistic. The MOST important thing is to get rid of Zepora.

As it stands now, you will split the vote and Zepora will win in a walk. Surely you don't want that.

Dismantle DCSS said...

Anonymous at 10:48 makes a point we should all consider.

When I look at it from her perspective I come to realize that one solution DeKalb County should consider is dismantling DCSS.

That's right. Break it up into multiple smaller school districts. Anonymous at 10:48 and her neighbors can have their own school district. Me and my neighbors can have ours. We'll take two or three elementary schools, one middle and one high and see DCSS in the dustbin of history.

I'd like to explore this option further.

Anonymous said...

I am from district 7 and believe me most people that I talk to about the BOE definitely want them all out. The key will certainly be rallying around 1 candidate.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:55: Just so that the facts reign supreme here -- Simone Manning-Moon was not in office in 2007.

District 7 Parent said...

I have lived in District 7 for a few years now and cringe whenever I see/hear Zepora Roberts. Unfortunately, as with Sarah Copelin-Wood, there are usually multiple candidates running against them and the votes are diluted, leaving the incumbents to somehow win yet again. I can't explain it, but some of my (primarily older/senior) neighbors honestly love these women.

Anonymous said...

District 7 Parent ...

You might explain it to your older neighbors this way:

Zepora Roberts is going to cost them their home.

How is that? It's quite simple, really. First, businesses will not settle in DeKalb County -- particularly in District 7 where schools are uniformly poor. So, taxes will continue to go up across the board to provide necessary services since there won't be any businesses paying significant taxes.

Eventually, for those on a limited and fixed retirement income (i.e., Social Security), it will be too costly to live in their houses. They won't be able to afford to keep them up. They won't be able to afford the taxes. They will be forced to leave and try to sell, if they can, for whatever they can get.

For renters, it will be pretty much the same picture. They will be forced into cheaper and cheaper housing as landlords are forced to raise the rent to cover their taxes.

And so the blight continues.

If your neighbors love Zepora and Sarah, fine. Tell your neighbors to invite these women over for dinner. Just don't vote for them for the school board. They are killing South DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

In some ways, I honestly believe the best thing is for all of them to be reelected. GASP.

Here is why. The SACs investigation, if there is one, will take a while.

If SACs finds anything that can lower our accreditation level, the Governor can step in and appoint all new board members.

I don't believe that the majority of the board is going to change. It is also very possible that the candidates have drawn opponents who will not only not be better, but possible be worse.

So let them all win, pray SACs finds something and let the Governor appoint the most competent people he can find.

Only then can we have a truly fresh start.

Anonymous said...

Governor Purdue needs to step in and remove the school board members who have conflicts of interest, inappropriate behaviors, and unethical behaviors.

I believe he does have the power to do so know.

Anonymous said...

To all of the posters in this wonderful blog. As a Chamblee Charter High School teacher, Michelle Jones is highly qualified for the Clarkston position. She is one of the best administrators I've ever worked for and teaching is my 4th career. Its unfortunate that everyone is hypersensitive to the nepotism issue. Jones is a math teacher. She's smart. She listens to alternate ideas. She can juggle a million things at the same time. She keeps it real. And I've only seen her be superb with parents. Give her a chance.

Anonymous said...

Nice typo at 6am.
She is smart.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Governor doesn't. The Clayton situation exposed real weaknesses in the law. This was corrected with legislation that allows the Governor to intervene only when accreditation is affected. A system doesn't have to lose accreditation for the Governor to step in, but has to have the status changed negatively.

Here is the language of the law:

The Governor can step in:
if a local school system or school is placed on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation for school board governance related reasons by one or more accrediting agencies.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Andersen's first sentence is incorrect, there is no SACS investigation - the media misrepresents this as well. At this point, SACS is simply asking the school system for answers to a series of questions. It is those answers that will determine if there is an investigation or not.

Anonymous said...

@ District 7 Parent 11:43

I understand what you mean. I'm older and retired. I talked to 2 senior citizens yesterday at the gym. They're aware of the problems, but they saw Redovian on TV and thought he was great. I explained that he voted for everything Lewis wanted and then went into how how our taxes were being wasted. There's nothing more than wasting taxes to get retirees riled up.

One of them kept saying that he saw some new schools, and it looked like they were working hard. I then told him about Lakeside and Chamblee and the tens of millions that should have been spent properly. I told him about the unending trailers and shoddy construction at so many schools. The kicker was the $30,000,000 Central Office that they gave themselves instead of fixing all of the schools for children and threw in $2,000 chairs for good measure.

I linked Redovian to the entire mess because he is part of the mess. (BTW - a lot of people in District 1 like Jim Redovian - only god knows why).

When you don't have kids in the system, you often don't know how bad it really is. I've made it my mission to tell those people. Retirees vote in heavy numbers, and they tend to vote incumbent unless they can see something that affects their own interest. You've got to find out what their self interest is and appeal to that.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anon at 9:20. We must get the story out there! By the way, the reason the media is not characterizing the SACS mess properly is because of Clayton County. However, we are only one step away. Until the BOE starts to show some true leadership we'll me mired in this mess for months to come.

Redovian is only saying the things he is so he can be re-elected, that's it! A couple of years ago my wife and I talked to him and he told us his hands were tied because of the voting block that Clew-less had on the board. I told him to vote with his heart not with a deal for something else. Dunwoody High renovations got approved because Redovian sold his voted on other matters. He'll deny it but folks that's the way this BOE works, scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody High renovations got approved because Redovian sold his voted on other matters

Dunwoody's renovations were planned as part of SPLOST III - there was nothing to "approve" and the renovations were delayed for 2+ years, as has been Lakeside's.

Anonymous said...

This is copied from another thread and is not my post. But we all must be appalled and check into this. What have DeKalb County Schools become to all this to happen? Parents, please quietly check with your kids' teachers and ask about this:

"with regards to the jr and sr who were busy doing test pret and not learning - yesterday at dept meeting we were introduced to morcease beasley's demands for a ton of more paperwork and reports based on benchmark tests, the demand for uniform lesson plans, and other time-consuming forms of paperwork; and we were reminded that "while there is no i in team, there is a u in unemployment" and told that if deadlines are not strictly met, those stats would be used against us in terms of not having a contract renewed. nice people. clearly, educating the children is not a priority. generating paperwork to justify high-paying jobs for leaders and their families is."

August 12, 2010 5:09 AM

Anonymous said...

We would definitely like to vote Zepora OUT in District 7. We need to know more about the candidates running against her so that we can select one to all get behind. She has got to go! Just from sheer unprofessionalism alone. She is a bad example to the students of Dekalb and really the entire board has to be replaced. Unlike Clayton, we have an opportunity to vote ours out without having to beg them to resign!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:59

Parents, here is an idea:
When your child's teacher teaches an exciting or meaningful lesson, write or email the principal saying how much you appreciate what that teacher has done for your child. Be as specific as you can. Get other parents to do the same thing.

Request that the principal put this commendation letter into the teacher's permanent record. Make sure you carbon copy the teacher, the principal's supervisor, your BOE member and even Morcease Beasley if you want.

When I taught gifted, I worked closely with a lot of teachers. I wrote many letters of commendation about other teachers when I saw them do great things in a classroom and I asked that the commendation go into a teacher's permanent record. I was not in a supervisory position (just a lowly teacher), but you don't have to be a supervisor to write a letter of commendation.

We are quick to write and call when things go wrong, but it pays real dividends for our students to write and call when things go right.

Here is a link to the principals' supervisors and their phone numbers. Just look for your school:

Here are their email addresses:
Terry Segovis:

Ralph Simpson:

Debra Wilson:

Horace Dunson:

Ken Bradshaw:

Here is a link to your BOE members:
Click on the name of your member and you can email him/her directly.

Morcease Beasley's email address:

themommy said...

What a great, positive suggestion in the post!

Thank you for taking the time to write this up.

Anonymous said...

I would not encourage any of the candidates to drop out, because defintely there is going to be a runoff and it might be Ms Roberts and one of the other candidates, and hopefully it will be the best one, then we can all rally around that person. I do not think anyone will want to drop out at this point.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:24 AM

Roberts in a Run-off?

You do make a good point.

There are 2 key issues:
(1) A near certainty that Zepora will NOT get the required 50% plus 1 vote to avoid a run-off.
(2) Getting a good turnout for the run-off of people who (a) support Zepora's opponent and/or (b) just want to vote against Zepora.

Personally, I would vote for a goat instead of Zepora. She is killing our area of DeKalb County, dropping our home values and cheating our children out of an education. Plus -- and this is a very BIG plus -- a goat has more class and is more articulate than Zepora.

Anonymous said...

I do not know you but can appreciate your concern and agree with you. It is truly unfortunate that you were responded to so unprofessionally.

Word from the street committee is Simpson and Thedford and others were escorted out today....let hope they are the line leaders for the board as well!

Anonymous said...

Recently someone asked about Yvonne Butler. Was she led out today as well?

Anyway, I heard that Dr. Lewis had cut her position but Jay Cunningham had them put it back. Anyone up for an open records request?

If she is gone, perhaps it doesn't matter.

My source told me that those involved in the book "issue" were going to be dealt with. It may have included Butler. I wonder if they were fired!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:18 PM

There is nothing on the news that I can find about Simpson, Thedford or Butler.

Source of your information, please.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Professional Standards Commission has ruled and suspended there ability to work.

Anonymous said...

How can we find out if this is true?

Anonymous said...

Per WSB, Ralph Simpson has been demoted, moved to Tucker HS and will repay $9,600 for the sales of the books. Both Simpson and Thedford's salaries will be adjusted according to their new positions.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 5:21

I'm sure Tucker HS parents are just thrilled that someone demoted for ethics reasons will now be the instructional leader of their school. I wonder if any parents including the PTSA have met with Tyson to express any concerns. Sounds like another "jobs program" for to me. Tucker HS parents, how do you feel about having Ralph Simpson as your principal?

Anonymous said...

WOW! Simpson takes $9,600.00 and Ramona Tyson demotes him and puts him over a school's entire pot of Title I money. Are you kidding me????????????

Anonymous said...

I don't think he's the Principal at Tucker.

Anonymous said...

Tucker High isn't Title 1.

I am confused. Where are you hiring this?

Anonymous said...

Amamzing! DCSS will fire folks, excuse me RIF folks, for budgetary reasons, yet when someone bilks the taxpayer for just under 10k, they get demoted. In the private sector the person would be FIRED!

Now I see why they canceled the previously scheduled Tyson press conference today.

This is a nightmare that will never end!

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow, according to Ch. 2 Action News, there is a motions hearing and then arraignments in the Pope, Reid-Pope, Lewis and Moody case(s)--I think they said 1:00. The judge is Judge Becker--show up in force to show your outrage over the continuing fraud in our school system.

Anonymous said...

Re: the post on starting new districts. The state constitution prohibits the creation of any new school districts. But there can be consolidation with districts that border a political entity. If Avondale Estates shared a border with Decatur they could move to become part of Decatur City Schools. Thus if Druid Hills incorporated as a city they could possibly do the same. There has to be a vote of acceptance on this by all parties but it could happen. I'm not a lawyer but this is what I've been told or have read.
I would like to seen the school system broken down into smaller systems.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jackson is the principal at THS and I understand that Simpson will be an AP. I am not happy that we will have a demoralized person working in our school. He should have been fired! He purposely broke up the transactions so no one could see what he had done. Is that not a form of embezzlement or stealing?!!!

Tucker High is not Title I, Tucker Middle is Title 1.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Butler is out! She sold her cookbooks during instructional time and use our children in her motivational speeches while making money giving speeches and appearing on every t.v., radio, magazine and any other show to promote her cookbooks. People are saying it is about time. Her sister was let go as the principal of Rainbow. I bet she sold cookbooks too for her sister, Butler.Hopefully someone can confirm that Butler was let go today.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:50 and 5:56"Tucker High isn't Title 1.

"WOW! Simpson takes $9,600.00 and Ramona Tyson demotes him and puts him over a school's entire pot of Title I money. Are you kidding me????????????"
"I am confused. Where are you hiring this?"

Both of you are right to some extent. Tucker High School is not a Title 1 school (maybe you're thinking of Tucker Middle School).

However, Tucker High School is a Targeted Assistance school under Title 1, so the county does receive some Title 1 funds for Tucker High School. What trickles down to the school I don't know. Most Title I decisions are made in the Office of School Improvement headed by Audria Berry - e.g. America's Choice, Instructional Coaches, Springboard, etc. took up around $17,400,000 alone out of the $30,000,000.

The information is on the DCSS website on:

...and download document named Title 2009-2010 Schools (find this hyperlink on the right hand side of the web page)

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:05

I remember that she had another sister working in the DeKalb Schools TV station (PDS 24) - the one that Ms. Guillory is heading up. Don't know if she works there any more. Seems like that department has a lot of relatives.

Anonymous said...

""To all of the posters in this wonderful blog. As a Chamblee Charter High School teacher, Michelle Jones is highly qualified for the Clarkston position.""

SACS may have 3 questions regarding the Clarkston caper. Here they are:

1. Then why did she not do the classy thing and interview for principal positions in Gwinnett or Atlanta where her mother (Dr. Felicia Mayfield 2 steps down from the superintendent) cannot have any real or imagined influence on the selection panel???

2. How do we know that the region 2 & 3 assistant superintendents who might have been on the panel were not intimate friends of her mother?

3. If qualified as stated (a point not in dispute), why would she need the unfair advantage since her competition did not get to be interviewed by potential family friends?

Enough here, let go make my word wall and try to figure with multiple intelligence b#llsh@t I have to include in my lesson plans.

Cerebration said...

How is using (and hiding your purchase) Title 1 funding to purchase your own books or the books of your boss not a fireable offense?

Anonymous said...

District 7 candidates and District 7 parents:

I'm out there showing everyone I know Redovian's quotes and votes. While looking for Redovian quotes and votes, I came across one from Mrs. Roberts you might want to use. Please return the favor regarding Redovian:

"Board vice chair Zepora Roberts abstained from the vote, saying she didn't want Lewis -- who has led the district for five years -- to leave.

“Our superintendent has not done anything wrong,” she said. “I am in support of him and would like to see him come back to work tomorrow."


Anonymous said...

Any teachers want to report on the latest demands made by Beasley today related to the CSIP. It certainly sounds like the man is out of control.

Anonymous said...

Beverly Hall still has her job in Atlanta and their board of ed hasn't said a word!

Do defendants have to show up at arraignments? I think they do, though I know that there are some hearings that are just formalities and not much happens at them.

I wonder what the hearing tomorrow amounts to.

Anonymous said...

It may not be legally possible to split DCSS into several parts, but we could lobby the state legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. We have voted on other constitutional amendments in this state. The amendment could be written to target large systems like DeKalb and require citizens to vote for or against the proposed change. When this state constitution was written, I don't think anyone realized how large DCSS and other metro school systems would become. IMO the size of this school system is contributing to our current problems. My experience says that smaller school systems are better able to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Anonymous said...


Could it also be a federal offense?

Anonymous said...

Glynn County in southeast Georgia, Gainesville City, and our own Decatur City are very well-run systems.

Anonymous said...

Why weren't Simpson and the entire lot fired?

The school district is not setting a good role model for our children. If I haven't been witness to what has been taking place this past school year, I would have never believe it.

When will our children be thought of first?

Anonymous said...


So what happened to the school board members who do whatever they want? Are there no consequences for them? Is Womack all talk and no action? He said we will have to wait and see. We are waiting and hoping to see action.

Anonymous said...

Are there consequences for any politicians who violate the law? Some get caught and punished, most don't.

A judge just told DeKalb CEO Ellis that he can't break a contract with one firm to go with another firm. The latter firm happens to be owned by a friend of Ellis' and has a terrible track record. Back story can be found here:

There was just a piece on the news tonight about Glen Richardson and what he did with the money left in his campaign fund.

Power can be very corrupting.

Anonymous said...

I copied and pasted Mrs. Robert's email into Word and then ran it through spellcheck and grammar tools. Am I the only one who noticed that it was perfect in spelling, grammar, topic sentences were there, etc. - and this is an "off the cuff" email? This email does not sound like the gramatically incorrect woman described here and was seen speaking on TV.

Paul Womack is my BOE rep. His response to a recent email had numerous grammar and spelling errors. What do you think is going on - why is Mrs. Roberts writing such elaborate, perfect emails?

I've noticed that Mrs. Roberts reads many of her pronouncements in BOE meetings (reference the David Schutten dressing down).

Anonymous said...

@8:43 -- What if there was an amendment to re-establish old voting districts in the former Milton County? Could the cities of S Springs, Alphrta, Jhns Crk, Rswll, Milton, and Dwdy join together to reform the county formerly known as Milton? If so I'd move there tomorrow at whatever the cost knowing the schools would be suburb -- I mean superb.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is ....

that the ex-principal of Clarkston High School, Sherry Everett, will take over Ralph Simpson's position as Area Superintendent. LET US ALL PRAY THAT IS NOT TRUE. Sherry Everett is incompetent, petty, and mean-spirited. She does not support the staff, and she does especially does not seem to like males in education. It was her practice at Clarkston to throw male teachers under the bus. I know she used and abused her male assistant principal. She forced him to handle the "hot" issues that caused him to look bad, but she protected her female assistant principals. Hopefully Michelle Jones will get Clarkston's female mafia under control!

Please, Lord, do not have Sherry Everett get promoted to an Area Director!

Anonymous said...

Read what Kira Willis, State Superintendent, says about RTTT:

Instead of running to the federal government for a handout every time Georgia faces financial trouble, we can implement a few changes to the educational system right now that will make the RT3 Grant funds seem like small potatoes:

–Make the HOPE a reimbursement plan. 254 million dollars saved annually.

–Move to biannual testing. 60 million dollars saved annually.

–Eliminate any position within a school that has no direct contact with students. Eliminate any position within a county that has no direct contact with students other than a skeletal staff of payroll and human resources. Priceless.

I'm a registered Democrat, but she will have my vote for State Superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Roberts will ill recently. Perhaps two years ago, her faculties were better?

Anonymous said...

Wait just one minute here!

NCLB wants Sherry Everett out of Clarkston HS because it did not make AYP repeatedly and DCSS puts her in charge of several schools??? We have lost it as a nation!!

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, the DeKalb side of Dunwoody wasn't originally in Milton and thus, it will be hard to include Dunwoody in the Milton referendum. If it ever gets on the ballot, it is unlikely to pass a state wide vote.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:56

"Ms. Roberts will ill recently. Perhaps two years ago, her faculties were better?"

You mean...
Ms. Roberts WAS ill recently. Perhaps two years ago, her faculties were better?

And that's a one sentence post. See how easy it is to make a mistake.

BTW: Mrs. Coplin-Wood is the BOE member who was ill recently.

This is a well crafted email - very mean spirited, but very correct. Its tenor is so much like the speech she read from her computer. Here is it. Tell me it's not also very, very different from the way she speaks.

"“I will not vote in favor of this contract between AT&T and the School System because the AT&T community liaison is part of the newly formed eduKalb movement that has targeted five board members that are up for re-election this year.”

“AT&T has allowed politics to overrule their community duties in making a difference in our community with AT&T liaison being a part of the effort to erase the board. If their endorsed candidate wins, over either one of us, that candidate will be beholden to them as needed to support an agenda contrary to our community needs.”
“I will not vote in favor of this item, not only AT&T – but for any other businesses that’s doing business with AT&T and is part of this eduKalb [effort] to erase the board.”

“Now I as a board member receive all these phone calls from teachers and employees saying they get no help from ODE, and I say that they should be helping them, and I ask, if you can’t get any help, why pay your dues. Keep your money and help your own budget crisis. Here we are in the middle of a major budget crisis trying to save jobs and eliminate furloughs, and our teachers and employees are paying $600 to $700 a year to an organization where the president is sometimes untruthful, untrustworthy, very negative, in representing ODE.”

“When the outcry came out, he started backpedaling.”

“Now the only thing that he does is fly all over the country, spending your hard-earned dues trying to be a high roller, hobnobbing with important people. In fact, when your ODE president comes to our meetings, he is disrespectful, plain nasty all of the time, very negative and getting more disrespectful every day. His behavior is just awful.”

“I don’t think you need anyone to speak for you, because we will do the right thing by our employees. I am letting you know that we will do the right thing by our employee without a spokesperson. Your president keeps getting bolder and bolder with his nasty antics and disrespect. Enough is enough for this one board member.”

Anonymous said...

Yvonne Butler and her sister, Annette Roberts (former principal) of Rainbow Elementary were given their walking papers today . Butler's sister (Dr. Roberts) purchased cookbooks from Yvonne using Title I money we're told. If this is true, maybe the news media needs to verify this and let everyone know that DCSS did investigate Butler finally.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:42

Why didn't Ron Ramsey bring this to light rather than citizens haveing to depend on the AJC? Ron Ramsey sounds like an awful Internal Affairs director. Isn't his job to investigate the ethics violations of the administrators of DCSS?

It sounds like the Cabinet of DCSS is sacrificing as many people as they can in hopes nothing will reach them.

Be True to Your School said...

Who are Simpson and Thedford related to in DCSS?

What they did was not a simple mistake or misunderstanding. It was coldly calculated to fly under the radar.

They should be fired. Period.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the idea of splitting the school system into smaller parts. It would solve a lot of problems. Split the 'assets' divorce style and move on. South DeKalb and its BoE members could have their own district. North DeKalb could start a new system with a new board. What's wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

Who cares whether it is Tucker HS or Tucker MS? All schools have a budget whether it is Title I or not and Ralph Simpson should not be anywhere near a school's budget. You people are missing the point!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Simpson should be fired.

Anonymous said...

At least Simpson now has time to work on his sequel.."From Remarkable to Removed"............

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:09

For one thing the Georgia Constitution says:
"No independent school system shall hereafter be established."

Article VIII, Section V, Paragraph 1

Anonymous said...

Just went to the website for Rainbow and the principal slot was blank. Could this be Ms. Tyson cleaning up the mess that she indicated she would do?

Anonymous said...

A Principal's Email when I questioned the validity of using an exact copy of the benchmark test as both classwork and Exam. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good Morning,

I wanted to summarize my observation on 12/6/2007. I was actually called
to your classroom because it was brought to my attention that students
were upset that they would not receive credit for an assessment that they
had taken.

As I walked into the classroom, you were seated at the table in the front
of the classroom. There were 4 students that had there head on their
desk. There were no objectives written on the board. Several students
did not have any materials on their desk. You never got up to walk around
the classroom to monitor the students progress.

You covered bisector angles and asked several students to complete the
problem that was listed on the overhead. Most students seem to be paying
attention to your discussion. As you continued to review the math
problems, you wrote the word UNETHICAL on the overhead. This was a
concern to me because I was not sure why you would write such a word on
the overhead as you were reviewing the math lesson. ******* was the
word unethical written for me to see? I hope that it was not for your
students! What was the point in writing such a word on the overhead?
Please explain to me in writing no later than Wednesday, December 12th,
the reason for writing such.

If you have a concern about what is appropriate in your classroom, please
schedule an appointment with myself and your department chair as soon as
possible. As a reminder, Dr. Searcy is assigned to you to assist you with
your PDP, not your duties and responsibility as it relates to your



S. Carol Thedford, Ed.D.
Miller Grove High School
2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway
Lithonia, Georgia 30058
Office - 678-875-1102
Fax - 678-875-1110

Anonymous said...

I don't know how they could fill Simpson's job so quickly, if he has indeed been demoted. I would think that they would have to post the job and have interviews, especially with SACS at the front door.

I hope that the board and Tyson will make a good decision on who to fill Simpson's shoes, as the public is watching very closely.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 11:09 PM

An Idea Whose Time Has Come!

I absolutely agree! It is time to split DCSS so it is a manageable size. Current state law can be changed.

Anonymous 6:52 PM offered a very interesting possibility. I would like to know more about it.

It is time to take all the energy being expended via this blog and turn it into something positive for our children and teachers. Enough already with begging the BOE and Tyson, Beasley and their ilk to do the right thing. They are not going to -- ever.

It is time to do what it takes to do right by our children, their teachers and our communities.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:25
We have heard of principals pressuring teachers to change grades and principals doing anything they can to make sure students pass tests even if they haven't mastered the material. Does anyone think they have done this on their own?

Remember these:

How do you think the DCSS administration has gotten the graduation rate up?

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Zepora. Take your "you owe me" attitude and your abominable use of the English language somewhere else. The rest of us could care less about "your daughters" and their "qualifications." You and all the rest of the "gravy train" passengers on the board and in the county office are about to reap what you've been sowing for years. Pack your bags, sister....the gig is up.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just DeKalb, it is everywhere across the country.

In GA, grade inflation was already becoming rapampt before NCLB and its requirements. THE HOPE saw a huge increase in the number of 3.0 students.

The value of a high school diploma has really been weakened by all this. More and more jobs that use to require just a high school diploma now require at least a little college.

In DeKalb, we now give most high school students nearly 12 extra credits during the school year to try and graduate on time. The block has been a big reason that the grad rate in DCSS has gone up.

Anonymous said...

Opps did the math wrong -- it is 8 extra credits.

Anonymous said...

I sure wish private school was an option for my family. These people sit in their 2k chairs, at their 30 million dollar palace and think we're not watching them?

The fraud this school system has become has angered and disgusted me. I said a week or so ago, we must provide the media with video, we must protest all public meetings at the palace, we must show up in force at the courthouse during the pope/lewis trial. Folks as long as the BOE, DCSS leadership and others get away with this criminal activity and the public shows complacency, then nothing is going to change. As long as we have at least 100 protesters at every meeting, the media and their cameras will be there. Media loves new video!

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow
Ramsey's role hasn't been to prevent unethical occurrences.
Rather, he functions more like Vernon Jone's security detail.
The detail was less about having 4 people walking into the room to protect you, and more about conveying intimidation.
It conveyed what would happen if you displeased the person being surrounded. Just like Frank Sinatra back when, snap their fingers, and someone might get roughed up.
Ramsey doesn't have a goon squad. He functions as one by seeing who complains about unethical or illegal occurrences. He isn't there to make sure that these occurences won't happen, rather his role is to discourage reporting them.
Reports about malfeasance that might hurt the front office bunch probably results in two types of actions :
1. Dead letter office. What's reported goes down the rabbit chute.
2. Killing of the messenger. Persistent, inconvenient persons might find their circumstances changed regarding employment, retention of current status or position.
Ramsey functions as a fox guarding the hen house.
Now, if anyone cares to write in anonymously and re-inforce this statement with some war stories, who am I to complain?

Dismantle DCSS said...

The law should be changed. This school system cannot be fixed. There is nothing left to salvage.

It's time to hit the reset button.

DCSS needs to be terminated and replaced with 2 - 5 smaller school districts (e.g., S. DeKalb ISD, Dunwoody ISD, N. Dekalb ISD, Lithonia ISD and Druid Hills ISD, etc.).

I support this idea 100%. And my neighbors who've watched their schools decline, their taxes soar and property values plummet thanks to DCSS will support this idea as well.

Anonymous said...

Many school districts in Georgia are way too big. One asks why schools up North are much better than schools in Georgia. One reason, is the size of the school system. We have systems with one or two high schools, but only the city schools have more than that. Also principals have more say in how their title one funds are spent, and teachers have a voice in what happens as well. Also board members are not paid.

Smaller districts would allow for better control over what happens and how money is spent. It is time that Georgia does something to drastically change the failing government provided education, so that more students have a chance of earning a quality education.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Wisconsin has some of the best public schools in the United States. And Milwaukee (a city much smaller than Atlanta) has dozens of small independent school districts. And their resuts cannot be disputed. High test scores and documented college achievement.

Smaller districts have some drawbacks. They often lack the vertical and/or horizontal diversity of larger communities. But they never have bloated overhead, unneccesary administrators or wasteful spending.

Georgia would be wise to consider going to smaller locally controlled public school systems. And the taxpayers and students of DeKalb County would be better served by smaller school districts.

Anonymous said...

I agree with making smaller districts. The frugal taxpayers of North DK are holding back their neighbors from providing more schools, more elaborate schools, better transportation, even more jobs, etc.

Anonymous said...

I agree with making smaller districts. The frugal taxpayers of North DK are holding back their neighbors from providing more schools, more elaborate schools, better transportation, even more jobs, etc.

Lakeside ISD said...

I'll support the start of Lakeside ISD. We'll take the territory boundaried by I-85, I-285, US-78 and North Druid Hills Road.

We might consider throwing in with Tucker to the North and/or Cross Keys to the West. But I'd prefer to keep Lakeside ISD as small as managably possible.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to see the school system broken down into smaller systems.

Anonymous said...

Smaller Districts... good idea.
We can start with the parent councils.


Emory/LaVista/Avondale Estates

East DeKalb/Tucker

Southwest DeKalb

Lithonia/Stone Mtn.

Anonymous said...

Smaller Districts???


And I agree with Anon 10:00am. We can start with

Dunwoody/Chamblee ISD

Emory/LaVista/Avondale Estates ISD

East DeKalb/Tucker ISD

Southwest DeKalb ISD

Lithonia/Stone Mtn ISD

B R I L L I A N T ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the off-topic interruption. I have missed the discussion, if any, on the results of the recent CRCT cheating probe. Will someone please direct me to where I can get an update on how DeKalb came out.

Anonymous said...

How can you remove a post that you made?

Cerebration said...

Very interesting link to the criminal case Anon - we'll follow up. Send more info via email if you have it

Also - regarding the CRCT cheating scandal - you can check schools here

The Atlanta Public School system's next board meeting will be Mon, Aug 16. They plan to discuss the CRCT at this meeting. DeKalb has no such discussion scheduled.

Cerebration said...

You have to login with an id if you want to be able to remove your comments. Anonymous commenters have no tools. That said, I can remove it if you tell me the time stamp. I often remove doubles as I see them.

Anonymous said...

to Anon 8/12 at 7:27pm you are assuming interviews were held for the position of principal at Clarkston. Do you know if they were? When Lakeside's latest principal got the job it was all done behind closed doors w/ the then super Clew-less, newly appointed BoE member, Womack and a parent. No panel was assembled, no interviews held.

Anonymous said...

Please remove Aug 12 - 8:52pm
Aug 13 - 10:03 am
Aug 13 - 9:57 am
The info is true...I've just decided not to get on this level.

Cerebration said...

Just a note - anyone who is uncomfortable posting particular bits of information can instead choose to email it to us at the blog and we'll track it down and use it in a report if necessary - or pass it along to reporters who can investigate it more.

Be True to Your School said...

Smaller Districts -- YES!

I'm in! I can support and work to establish a Dunwoody/Chamblee ISD.

When and where can we meet to get this rolling? There are a number of things that must be done before November so that we are certain that our elected representatives can and will go to bat for us.

DCSS is broken beyond repair. If the terrible, disgusting, sickening e-mails from Roberts and Copelin-Wood to Faye Andresen are not convincing enough, then Tyson's refusal yesterday to fire Simpson and Thedford should do it. Actually, Tyson's complete and utter mismanagement of technology and her refusal to fire/RIF Friends and Family when stringent budget cuts were needed should be the nails in DCSS's coffin.

When and where to begin working toward Dunwoody/Chamblee ISD? I will be there!

Anonymous said...

Maybe a discussion can begin at the next DCPC meeting. Mike Jacobs is our current and most likely our next State Rep. He lives in the Chamblee area.

I must remain Anon. however my wife and I plan to contact Cere soon so we can get with Faye Andersen regarding those emails. We were in the midst of a controversy, with Clew-less and the BOE, at the same time.

Cere thanks for the comedy of Monty Python. It's sad that the DCSS Boe Meetings seem to be the same thing. We must continue to laugh at these comedians that claim they know what is best for our kids. However, sometimes I want to cry.

Let's discuss these smaller districts at the next DCPC meeting! Even if it is in a small group.

Anonymous said...

Next DCPC Meeting?

I totally understand, Anonymous 11:48 AM. I have similar reasons for remaining anonymous, as well as the high visibility of my job -- not with DCSS, thank God!

When and where is the next DCPC meeting?

Paula Caldarella said...

I believe the next DCPC meeting is September 1st at Peachtree Middle School.

Dunwoody/Chamblee ISD said...

Dunwoody/Chamblee ISD

Now you're talking my language!

I'll be there September 1st. And I'm ready to work, give and do whatever needs to be done to make this happen.

Be True to Your School said...

Dunwoody/Chamblee ISD Meeting

I'll be there!

Peachtree Middle School
Wednesday, September 1

What time, please?

Paula Caldarella said...

In the past refreshments are served at 8:45, with the meeting scheduled to begin at 9:00 - I am assuming this will be the same procedure this year.

Anonymous said...

Is Carol Thedford now going by the name Carol Moon? any relation to the former DCSS BOE member?

Cerebration said...

Somewhere, someone commented about the taxpayers in the "north" end of the county as being cheap or frugal or something.

Allow me to share my tax story. We bought our home in 1994 when the schools were still doing very well. We specifically chose the Oak Grove/Lakeside district (this was before middle schools). Our tax bill was just over $1700. Fast forward to 2009, where our tax bill has catapulted to $6200, our schools are totally over-crowded (due to unrestrained transfers of all kinds). Lakeside is in complete disrepair with 21 trailers sitting on our ball fields (having been moved from the tennis courts to prepare for the over 3 years delayed construction project). Not only that, but Lakeside's test scores have dropped into danger zone for AYP and pushed them significantly down the Newsweek list of excellent schools.

I'd say I'm not frugal at all -- in fact - I'd say I've been ripped off, since due to the current condition of our school system and Lakeside's building, along with the economy, the value of our home has declined significantly in the last 5 years. Yet, somehow, our tax bill continues to climb - by over $300 each and every year. (Tripling in the last 15 years.) As a taxpayer, I'm quite fed up with funding this mess.

Anonymous said...

Cere is spot on. Again.

We moved to Atlanta in 2000 from out of state. We bought our home in the DeKalb School District because the zoned schools were very good and we wanted our children to attend them.

Since buying our home in 2000 our DeKalb County school taxes have rocketed upward. And I don't object to paying property taxes to support public education. But since 2000 there has been a dramatic decline in the DeKalb School District and in the schools to which we are zoned.

As a taxpayer I am outraged at the recent (ten year) collapse of our school system. As a homeowner, I'm furious that the public school system that made my property attractive ten years ago NOW makes my property unattractive (and of deminished value). Enough!

Mary Kay Woodworth said...

Cere, any others posters,

What would it require to dismantle the current structure of the DCSS and create smaller local districts?
Can the Georgia BOE do this, is a referendum necessary? Anyone know?

Cerebration said...

It really would require a change to the state Constitution. I think it's possible though...

Be True to Your School said...

Let me add my thoughts ...

We purchased in the Montgomery/Chamblee district for the same reasons others have stated. Excellent schools. Both my children began in Montgomery kindergarten and graduated on time from Chamblee. Throughout all of that time I was an active parent volunteer. I never minded paying taxes for excellent schools.

But, now my taxes have nearly quadrupled to $7,063.98. I am furious to see that my money -- our tax dollars! federal, state and county! -- have been frittered away through outright theft, fraud, graft, and corruption.

We all know why. We all know who the likely guilty parties are. We also all know that nothing short of a nuclear bomb will adequately clean out the nest of scorpions and snakes that have been feeding off of us.

Talking to you, Clew-less, Pope/Reid, Tyson, Moseley, Ramsey, Wilson, Turk, Tucker!

Talking to you, BOE! Redovian, Speaks, Roberts, Copelin-Wood, McChesney, Bowen, Womack, Cunningham, Walker.

And here's a special shout out to all those "wonderful" folks in Finance -- Turk (again!), Hammel, Hurst, Smith, Gordon. It's a "wonder" there is any money left at all. Every one of you had to know what was going on. But you were aided and abetted by Ramsey. Can you spell "per-pupil funds fraud"? That is a federal offense.

Talking to you Loeb, Calloway, Steele. You can retire. You can run. But, you can't hide. Now is the time, Debbie Loeb and Marilyn Steele, to put on your big-girl panties and tell what you know. I know you know plenty!

Snakes and scorpions -- all of you!

And the long-term solution presented itself this morning: Break up DCSS into smaller independent school districts (ISDs) based on parent councils!


themommy said...

To get smaller/city/whatever school districts, the GA constitution will have to be changed. Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people.

To change the Constitution, the following has to happen:

A bill must be introduced in either the State House or Senate and then passed by 2/3rds vote. Then at the next General Election, the citizens get to vote on it.

Or a Constitutional Convention can be called, thought I think this option is really meant to be used when a whole new constitution is proposed. Anything that comes out of this Convention, must be voted on by the voters of the state.

GA doesn't have ballot initiatives where citizens can petition to get things on the ballot.

themommy said...

And here is more information about amendments, from Ballotpedia

Article X of the Georgia Constitution establishes two ways in which the constitution can be altered, revised or amended over time, either via legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or constitutional conventions.

Some noteworthy features of Article X:

* It contains a prohibition found in very few state constitutions in that it explicitly restricts the type of amendment that can be offered by saying, "Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people."
* The governor is also explicitly forbidden from vetoing acts of the legislature to propose amendments or call conventions.
* Newly approved amendments or revisions are effective on the first day of January following their approval.
* The state legislature can vote to put an entire new constitution on a statewide ballot, rather than just an amendment.
* Unlike in many other states that allow for constitutional conventions, the legislature can unilaterally call for a convention without submitting that proposal to a vote of the people.

Rules for proposed amendments offered by the Georgia General Assembly include:

* An amendment can be proposed starting in either chamber of the assembly, i.e., the House of Representatives or the Senate.
* A proposed amendment must be approved by 2/3rds of the membership of each chamber before going to the state's voters.
* Proposed amendments are to be voted on during general elections of even-numbered years.
* Article X establishes a Georgia Constitutional Amendments Publication Board which is charged with ensuring that the state's voters have adequate notification that an election is to occur on a proposed amendment(s).
* The General Assembly can put a measure on the ballot that is either an amendment to the existing constitution, or an entirely new constitution.
* The General Assembly is allowed to repeal a previous vote to put a proposed amendment on the ballot if they do so with a 2/3rds vote of both chambers and at least two months before the election would have occurred.

Rules for a constitutional convention include:

* Unlike in many other states, the state legislature can unilaterally call for a convention as long as 2/3rds of the members of each chamber vote in favor of doing that; the people of the state do not have to be further consulted.
* Any proposed amendments or revisions arising out of a convention must be put to the state's voters.

Anonymous said...

As much as I would like to see DeKalb broken into different school districts, the reality is that's a long shot and probably a long way off (witness how long it took Sandy Springs to become it's own boss).

I would not want to see efforts to reform DCSS derailed by this movement.

I don't even think the possibility of breaking the school system into smaller parts would make a bit of difference to the current DCSS administration or to the current BOE. Both of these managerial bodies have proven exceptionally shortsighted.

Anonymous said...

Re: smaller districts -- I think some folks may be working on something that would not require constitutional amendment. I recall hearing last spring that a Republican in the legislature (don't recall his name, or which chamber) who chaired a committee responsible for charter school issues, was working on a bill that would allow "charter clusters" -- i.e. a high school and its feeders could, all together and at the same time, get one charter. Does anyone know any more about this possibility?

Anonymous said...

RE the earlier posts about the cheating scandal.

DCSS had already turned in their results months ago, actually earlier than the state deadline. Because the overwhelming majority of schools suspected of cheating are City of Atlanta schools, the state has delayed acting on the reports until all results were in.

Now some within the state are suspect of the Atlanta school's investigation, so who knows when the whole report will be released. There is a chance that the state may investigate the schools that Atlanta's blue ribbon report cleared.

Anonymous said...

The republican you speak of is Dan Weber and he leaving office but Fran Millar is running for his Senate Seat. Please let him know that the Dunwoody/Chamblee cluster would be a wonderful place to start. Two High Schools, Two Middle Schools and 9 Elementary Schools.

See you at the DCPC Sept. 1st at 8:45 for coffee! Is the place Peachtree Middle?

Anonymous said...

OK, ELPC people! Time for us to talk to our reps/senators and get on the charter cluster bandwagon.

I must be misremembering - I thought City of Decatur schools had already applied for and gotten charter cluster designation... Did they just apply for when the bill passes?

Dekalbparent said...

Yes, City Schools of Decatur is listed on the Georgia Charter Schools Association as a charter system - they were a system already, so they could do that. Th create charter clusters will take that bill, I think. We should start looking at it - more achievable than a constitutional amendment, I think.
Heaven knows it would get media attention....

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, there was an interview panel for the Clarkston caper...And there were 2 Assistant Superintendents on it. Both knew full well (professionally and professionally) who the selectee's mom is ( Dr. Felicia Mayfield---look at the organization chart!)

Again if the AP is truly principal material, why did she not interview in APS Gwinnett, or Cobb where mom has little influence??

"to Anon 8/12 at 7:27pm you are assuming interviews were held for the position of principal at Clarkston. Do you know if they were? When Lakeside's latest principal got the job it was all done behind closed doors w/ the then super Clew-less, newly appointed BoE member, Womack and a parent. No panel was assembled, no interviews held."

Anonymous said...

If true, we can say for sure that the new principal of Lakeside did/does not a mom or a dad in the DCSS "cabinet"... We can also say for sure that there was 30 years of teaching and administration in the guy's files and a 3/4 year stint as an assistant principal at LHS and double that number of years as principal at Sagamore...

Let's get off the apples to orange comparisons now...

"to Anon 8/12 at 7:27pm you are assuming interviews were held for the position of principal at Clarkston. Do you know if they were? When Lakeside's latest principal got the job it was all done behind closed doors..."

Anonymous said...

The charter cluster legislation is for high school clusters within larger school systems. The City of Decatur school system is a Charter System, which is very different than a charter cluster, since this is a whole school system converting to charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, anon @ 3:52, you are right, it was Dan Weber.

And yes, ELPC, get everyone you can to attend the Sept. 15 ELPC meeting at Oak Grove Elementary. Ramona Tyson will present the Interim Superintendent's "State of the Schools" address.

Anonymous said...

However, the way the principal at Lakeside was hired was totally inappropriate. It was micro-management of one or two school board members to get the principal they wanted at Lakeside.

This was when the school system by-passed letting the community and parents have any involvement and then the appointments started happening. Then the school board went back and changed their policy after they had broken it. The policy did not work for them now so they changed it. They wanted more micro-management power.