Monday, August 9, 2010

Go, Wendy, Go!

Wow. That's all I have to say.  Channel 46 lead investigative reporter, Wendy Saltzman uncovered a pile of family members of current or former board members and administrators working in DeKalb schools. Not only are they working - they have the cake jobs!

Check out the promo for tonight's report by clicking here. Hopefully, they will add the actual report soon. It all went by so fast, I'll have to watch it again for it to sink in.

UPDATE: The video is up and can be viewed by clicking here.

Below is a quote from the text of the article - giving an overview of some of the employees highlighted in Wendy's report:
Check out these members of DeKalb's so-called “Friend's-and-Family” plan who we uncovered: 
Former superintendent Robert Freeman has two sons and a daughter in law who all worked for the school system. His son Robin was charged with a misdemeanor but was hired while his father was there. 
And records we uncovered show Tim Freemen, now an Assistant Superintendent, got his recommendation from who else? His dad, who was the acting Superintendent. Robert Freeman jokingly said he couldn't support the reference for his son. 
Former Deputy Superintendent Frankie Callaway has a daughter, husband and a son who all work for the DeKalb County Schools. 
And Frances Edwards, a former school board member, has a son who is now employed in the Information Services Department, a daughter who was one of the only members of the Media Relations office not to lose her high paying job, and son-in-law with no experience in transportation who is running that department. 
"I am sick and tired of you and all of these people making an issue about my child," Roberts said, referencing these other administrator's children. 
So she expanded her hit list, and took a shot at School Board Chairman Thomas Bowen. 
"Tom Bowen has in-laws whose worked in the school system," Roberts told us.


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Cerebration said...

Let's see - going from memory - she showed the Guillory's - Philandrea (daughter of former board member Francis Edwards) who runs PDS 24 and her husband David, head of transportation and Jamal Edwards - the tech guy we've discussed here as rarely reporting for work - and getting promoted!

Together, the three collect over $300,000 a year.

What else?

Anonymous said...

We now officially have the worst Board of Education in the State of Georgia.

One of the saddest things is that Zepora, the BOE and the Central Office are unapologetic about nepotism and cronyism. It has no place in education and/or the workplace.

One positive is that there will be a whole lotta scrutiny about Parent Resource Centers. Is there is Return On Investment? How in the blankety blank is someone without a college education making $64,000 per year at a PRC? Answer: She's a BOE's daughter.

I hope Zepora "outs" every single BOE'er and Central Office admin with kids and friends in the system.

Who are Gene Walker's and Pam Speaks' realtives in the system?

Who are Tom Bowen's in laws working for the system???

Anonymous said...

Hey Wendy! great job! Don't stop you're only at the tip of the iceberg. Check out Lynn Cherry Grant and her relatives, to keep it racially balanced. Wow Zepora can justify it "because it has been going on for years!"

Ms. Tyson you need to say something so parents can gain some trust with you. Our children's education can't afford to wait 18-24 months for the policy review. Can't you answer a few tough questions please?! Parents and taxpayers deserve some answers from the leader of the system. Hiding from the cameras is not helping!

Promoting an unproven principal as leader of a struggling Title 1 school that needs strong leadership experience is not thinking of the best interest of the children. We're tired of the lip service the board continues to give.

To the poster above Ms. Jones could very well be ready for the challenge, but in this current environment, thanks to CLew, Pope and the rest, the BOE should ask the tough questions or at least discuss her credentials during meetings before they vote. The BOE and their successors created this mess and I think SACS would welcome the transparent discussions in the sunlight.

It's great to know that Dunwoody had a good start thanks to parents. There are a lot of us that look forward to doing the same thing at Chamblee High as soon as our kids get there.

Wendy keep asking the tough questions and I think it would be helpful to add the vote tonight for Ms. Jones. Our BOE are not making great decisions right now but it certainly seems to me that they are about to throw each other to the wolves!

Cerebration said...

No wonder they all tolerate each other's bad behaviors. Seems they each have something over the other. Unspoken don't tells. Till Wendy poked the flame that fans Zepora. Whoa! Stand back.

Anonymous said...

MS. ROBERTS RESIGN IMMEDIATELY! Your performance was an abomination and should have no part in DCSS. The entire Clew cabinet need to resign. The ship will continue to sink until these folks are shown the door. I hope Sonny is watching the state might have to help out the taxpayers of DeKalb.

After watching tonight's meeting I just don't see anything changing. Words are one thing, but we need to see action and 18-24 months for a policy review? Come on.....

Anonymous said...

Edwards may be the worst defender.

Philandra has no experience running anything related to TV media. She makes $125,000 per year???!!!!

David has NO EXPERIENCE in transportation, and he makes $120k+. A guy with nada experience in in charge of transporting tens of thousands of our students.

And the worst is "Where in the World Is" Jamal Edwards. It's been well documented not just here on the blog but with many MIS staff that Jamal Edwards was MIA for months at his CTSS job. Who was in charge of MIS at the time? Ramona Tyson. Who
is his bos now? King of the failed eSIS Tony Hunter.

Jamal Edwards is the chief example of why nepotism has no place in education or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Cere, You're awesome thanks for posting the video. I have sent the link of this blog to our PTA email here in North DeKalb.

The discussions are great and we're finally getting some coverage. My wife and I have been fighting for years about the nepotism, cronyism and waste of our tax dollars. cLew did everything he could to silence us. Well with him gone along with his ties to the media, it looks like we'll finally get some sunshine at DCSS.. The next BOE meeting should be interesting. When do parents get their first chance at the 3 minute snippets?

Cerebration said...

I found the part about Robert Freeman writing up his own son's recommendation very interesting - and very bold!

Anonymous said...

Please, please e-mail every DCSS parent you know. Beg them to read this blog and watch the CBS video.

Too many parents are still unaware of all the issues there are with this Central Office and BOE. Some parents don't even know that the school system and county gov't. We have to have parents and taxpayers who are better educated about the system. It's a BILLION DOLLAR OPERATION. It's our children's future!

I agree that all vestiges of the Crawford Lewis administration need to go. Ron Ramsey. Ramona Tyson. Bob Moseley. Audria Berry. Tony Hunter. Marcus Turk. I'll mention Ron Ramsey twice. Get Melvin Johnson away from the Central Office. We'll give Morcese Beasley the businessman/motivational speaker/pastor a chance.

Stop the madness.

Cerebration said...

September 7 is the next work session and Sept 13 is the next business meeting. If you would like to request to be added to the list of speakers, send an email to

You only have 3 minutes to speak your mind. It's best to have a written speech and practice beforehand - you'll most likely find that you will need to cut it down.

Anonymous said...

She would have to have at least an hour special to cover all the school board members' and cabinet's family members who get a paycheck. I am not for sure if this would be enough time.

I am sure Tom Bowen is happy that he may not have to deal with some behaviors of the board anymore. SACS getting involved may actually help the situation. Someone had to step in and take the school board members individual powers away. They all were trying to be the superintendent and run the school system. No wonder it is in the shape it is in. Dr. Lewis was too busy trying to please 5 or 6 of the school board members to watch what was actually happening to the school system.

Cerebration said...

I'm personally a bit concerned about Beasely. Check out this article reporting on the massive amount of paperwork he impressed on teachers in Texas while working there with Johnny Brown. So much -- they filed a grievance.

Moore said teachers spend way too much time compiling teacher and student portfolios, extensive lesson plans, and logs detailing how many books children read, or those detailing science projects, among other required paperwork.

To prove her point, Moore presented one teacher’s portfolio for one semester. The portfolio was contained in five separate binders.

“How does this portfolio teach Johnny or Susie how to read or add, or get along in the world?” she said.

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen, this is not the time to take the high road. Be a leader. Demand accountability. Publicly reprimand Zepora. Bowen, you have been incredibly unimpressive during the Lewis/Pope crisis. Time to reddem yourself.

Anonymous said...

Actually the school superintendent does make the recommendations to the Board of Education. Tim getting promoted to principal happened right before Dr. Freeman retired. This was one of his later recommendations on his way out in the good old boy network. I remember when this happened. However, Tim actually was a very good principal from what I have heard.

Cerebration said...

To view the best example of school board members pushing hard on Dr. Lewis - view the meeting from June 1, 2009. This is the one where he announced the $10,000 bonuses for principals (I think it was Stimulus money) - and got hammered. He says over and over - "be careful, this could be seen as micro-managing"... the board thought it was "policy" - Lewis thought it was simply a managerial decision.

Anonymous said...

However, accountability notebooks or folders like this are required in most school systems. This is not uncommon. Then they are kept on file at for 3-5 years. They do take a great deal of time.

However, this is one way to assure that lessons are aligned to state standards.

Anonymous said...

Celeb, they did hammer him. I cannot remember if this was something they had to approve. If they had to approve it then they could have questioned it. However, I would assume it was within his powers. They could have questioned his decision in an evaluation, as they evaluate him though so it is a tough call.

Anonymous said...


Let's not forget (and some may not know) that PG was given this phoney position after she was handed the job of PR and Partners director shortly after Dr. Lewis took over. That was an unmitigated disaster and she had to be moved somewhere. So she was given this TV job & title even though there was already someone ( with actual TV experience) in the job and made co-director. The obvious reason was the other guy and his staff could keep things running smoothly while PG played at it. This actually reminds me of the Beverly Hillbillies, when Jethro was made Vice-President of the Commerce Bank. he actually thought he was doing the job while everyone around him did all the work. Exactly the situation here, only the other director retired a couple of years ago and now that the rest of the PR staff was let go, you are already seeing the reduction in quality of what that TV station is putting on the air.

Anonymous said...

I asked Tim Freeman a math question once, and he got it wrong, and gave us a terrible explanation to boot as to why he was right.

He was Area Director back then, which I think is like associate superintendent now, and I asked in a faculty meeting that a few of us had calculated the numbers different ways and determined that we would need about 10-15 additional staff members if we went from six periods to 4 period block scheduling, depending on whose math we relied on. These were math and science teachers I worked with, two were former engineers. We know math.
Freeman's answer: We've done the math at the county office and we don't think your school will need any more staff. The following year - block scheduling...and sure enough...we had overcrowded classrooms, and someone at the county figured we needed about 12 more teachers to fill the gap, so in they came. So no, not very impressed with Mr. Tim Freeman.

Anonymous said...

Robin freeman has a ged and he is a self taught computer person. He used to say he was the black sheep of the family. Nice job for being the black sheep. His wife frankie was a bus drive until she married him.

I saw three people on the e-mail with the name Ramsey. Is his family on the pay-roll too.?
Also marcus turk is the son of dr. catherine turk how long did it take him to be over finance?.

Anonymous said...

And there is a part two! Tonight.

Wow, Zepora was quick to through people under the bus.

One thing to consider is when did the relatives of Walker, Bowen, Woods, and Speaks get their jobs? And what jobs do they have?

Anonymous said...

When did Zepora speak about all these other BOE's relatives? I want to watch it. Sorry I missed it. Please someone tell me how to find this.

Anonymous said...

God is getting tired of this, too. He gave us Wendy.

Anonymous said...

One thing to consider is when did the relatives of Walker, Bowen, Woods, and Speaks get their jobs? And what jobs do they have?

Anon 6:24 is right, before everyone begins boiling oil for this witch hunt, you need to make sure you know all the facts of each situation. If the aforementioned BOE members worked for the district prior to being elected, the only concern is that they do not vote on issues that can impact their relatives individually. If any relative of a BOE or cabinet member is up for a promotion, it is handled as a separate action item on the agenda. I don't recall anything for these BOE members over the past few years.

I am concerned about the racial balance to this story. As ZR indicated, this has been happening since the days of Jim Cheery and most superintendents since that time. You can even find the relatives of many former BOE members scattered throughout the employment ranks over years. Would this story had been in issue 20 -25 years ago?

Let's say a long term teacher has a child that attended DCSS, majored in education, and got hired by DCSS. Is that nepotism when they may have been an honor graduate yet wanted to teach in the system they grew up in? This happens ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. Again be careful when you attempt to OUT people simply because they have relatives in the system without being fair and considering their qualifications.

Paula Caldarella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how long it has been going on, it's time we stop the madness NOW!

All because a few bad apples did it years before does not make it right now. This is OUR money we're talking about here.

There have been parents screaming about this for the past 5 years only to be called names by CLew and a former beat reporter of the AJC. Fox 5 ignored the parents after being given documents 4 years ago, WSB has tried but told some parents the story was too difficult to tell. Now "Tough Questions" at CBS 46 is telling the long sorted story.

DCSS & BOE the time has come for all to resign, we need real leadership! We need folks who respect the taxpayer and parents. We need a BOE that actually care about teaching our children not lining their pockets with our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

When was the last blanket pay increase? I think there hasn't been one in years, but if there has been, every board member who has a relative employed by the system should have removed themselves from voting on it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:16 said,

It doesn't matter how long it has been going on, it's time we stop the madness NOW!

No one is disagreeing with that. The request is simply to be fair about what you are calling nepotism. Given the current climate, there are some great, hard working employees who happen to be related to another person with history in DCSS that may get hurt by this.

What ground rules would you set? Would you say that DCSS should not hire any member of a BOE members family once they become a board member. Would you say the same about a central office staffer, principal, or other school leader? At what point would you run into a legal challenge with the Fair Labor Standards Act? It is not that simple.

Anonymous said...

I really think the issue is the one Maureen Downey has raised in her blog this morning. Can't we find board members who don't have relatives working for the system?

I think if your daughter/child works for the system you shouldn't run. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, why did you remove your post at 7:11? It was a pretty good one.

Anonymous said...

Beaseley is not qualified to hold this job on a permanent basis. With DeKalb's atrocious track record regarding academic proficiency, we must bring in someone who has turned around a large urban, diverse, poor school system.

You can't make lasting and serious academic improvement with extra paperwork and scripted teaching.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone has an issue with a quaslified applicant who happens to be related to a BOE employee applying for and receiving the job, the problem is all the sweetheart deals, and preferential treatment in these tough times. How many of these relatives lost their jobs with the "right sizing"...I seem to remember a specific roofer/painter keeping his job.....even thought he was the last one hired....another concern is the offloading of "bad pricipals" to the service center or another area with the same pay....

Molly said...

CBS now has the full video online.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 12:17 AM

Accountability Portfolios?

Per example from Cerebration at 12:09 AM:
1 semester = 5 binders
1 school year = 10 binders
6000 teachers x 10 = 60,000 binders/yr
Storing binders for 3 - 5 years = 180,000 - 300,000 binders

Where do they store these portfolios (10 binders/teacher/year)? How are they cataloged and indexed? Who reads evaluates and approves these portfolios? How do they benefit student education?

Beasley's insistence on loading down our teachers with busy work that will never be read ... that will be stored in some warehouse somewhere, never to see the light of day again until they are tossed 5 years later to make room for another influx of 60,000 binders is ridiculous.

No! It is more than ridiculous. It is the hallmark of incompetence. Assigning busy work is the refuge of the inexperienced, insecure, inept and ineffective manager.

Beasley is inexperienced, inept and ineffective. And insecure. Very, very insecure -- in both his lackluster, questionable credentials and weak, threadbare experience.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:25 asks for ground rules. Here are two:
1. Jobs must be competed. The new Clarkston HS principal may well be qualified and even the best person for the job, but how would we know since she didn't have to compete for it?
2. Don't create jobs outside the classroom that did not exist before a friend/relative was out of work.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think these family members are the most qualified for those jobs?" Saltzman asked Bowen.

"I think they are qualified and each one is going to meet the same review standards as any other employee," he responded.

O.K. we know Bowen lied when he answered this question. These family members have no prior experience in the high paying jobs they have and none of the fam have been in the layoffs...what's up with that Bowen and the BOE with your friends and family employment agency.

Hey how can I sign up...I was RIF'd like so many others who are waiting for a call back from Jamie Wilson (who's busy trying to prepare to test-a-lie oops I meant testify).
I have a Master's degree and still waiting for the phone to ring....hello...most of us have more education and experience than any of your so called...friends and family who are taking taxpaying dollars without doing a #%#@ thing and we showed up for work and busted butt everyday for DCSS unlike some of these half-baked family members who fail to report to work or call out sick once a week (usually Friday or Monday to shorten the work week)....sorry but Bowen and the entire BOE have ticked me off......

Anonymous said...

The ground rules I would set are simple. If you have a relative who is a manager/principal or BOE member and they want to work at DCSS, in this current environment, we need to say sorry maybe you can work in another system in the area. DCSS is not the only system in metro Atlanta.

If we happen to lose out on the next great teacher or principal that's the chance we need to take. Our past and current DCSS leadership blazed this trial and it's now time for the taxpayers to put out the flames. I know of many major companies that DO NOT allow nepotism and I think for the next 5 to 10 years DCSS needs to follow suit.

The fact that our BOE voted for Ms. Jones to become a principal, with only 3 years as an Asst. Principal, with no discussion is ludicrous. I know it might seem like micro-managing to some, but if she has the credentials then say them on the record, in the sunlight! Do the taxpayers/stakehoders know that this person is WELL qualified for the job? But to vote with no discussion only tells me that they are trying to hide something and it's not the way things need to be done, IN THIS CURRENT ENVIRONMENT. I'm sorry but they are the ones who created this problem and the chickens are finally coming home to roost! This is 1 BILLION dollars of OUR tax money we're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Fair Labor Standards Act? Please! There are friends and family who are being paid 6 figure salaries with no experience. 6 figures to run a DeKalb County cable access channel? I know production managers at the local stations who do not make near what P. Guilroy is paid, and they work for a for profit station that is seen metro wide.

This must stop! Tyson really disappoints me for not coming on camera and answering some of Wendy's Tough Questions. I saw Alice Thompson keeping Wendy away from her, what are they trying to hide? The truth?

We need leaders who we can trust and right now there is NOT ONE person I can trust in this administration. If the BOE wants to be re-elected, maybe they should ask the entire cabinet of our former Super to resign, including Tyson. It's time for change folks and it might be tough for a few months but from the things I have seen, not much was done over the summer months by our leadership at the Central office to prepare for the new year. The principals, teachers, parents, PTA's and students deserve all the credit, not our Central Office staff.

Insider said...

I'm no David Guillory fan, but the guy started with DCSS in 1992 and has worked in Transportation the entire time. While he had "no transportation experience" at the time he was hired... when does he get credit for the fact that he now has over 18 years experience?

Cerebration said...

Two things:

1 - If these board reps and administrators had relatives who had education degrees in a subject matter and were hired and functioned as excellent teachers - that would be great. However, that is not the case for most of these folks. Although some do have degrees - most have been placed in "managerial" or "program" jobs that pay far more than a mere teacher's salary. That said, those who have taught, do so for a very short while and then get promoted, promoted and promoted again. Often over others who are as or more qualified and who have been in the system longer. Many times, these jobs were not posted, or if they were, no one else was called in for an interview. On top of this - ALL of these friends and family employees KEPT their jobs in the recent cuts.

2 - I'm very concerned that Tyson expects us to be satisfied with the major overhaul of board policies. This is a good turn in the right direction, but it's on an 18-24 month schedule. Many past initiatives have run this same course - committees, meetings, discussions, minutes, plans - and then fizzle. People forget. Nothing really changes.

Insider said...

As for claims that this 'hunt' is racially-motivated... I saw just as many light-skinned faces (Freemans)as not. And the names Zepora rattled off (Cherry, Halford) were ones that were Caucausian in their heritage.

Call 'em all out - let race play no part - and let the chips fall where they may.

Cerebration said...

Also, a couple of reasons this has not been such an issue before -

1 - There was no internet 25 years ago - so this kind of information was easier to keep buried.

2 - The economy. Our leaders (Tyson included) really angered some long-time regular employees when they "RIF'd" them - leaving friends and family with less experience/seniority in place. We have a lot of very angry former employees who are not afraid to be very vocal now.

Cerebration said...

Here's an example of one of those past initiatives that was "much ado about nothing" -- The Infinite Blue Ribbon Task Force --

Read these minutes from a May, 2005 Ad Hoc Committee Meeting -

Dr. Stan Pritchett opened the meeting. A review of the minutes yielded an amendment by Dr. Steve Pemberton related to the statement: Dr. Pemberton
stated that we have close to 100 instructional programs that are obsolete. The minutes should be corrected to reflect: We have close to 100 instructional programs that we need to look at.

So - what became of that?

Cerebration said...

Or how about this part -

Rick Cost shared that through COPs-Certificates of Participation, we could partner with a bond issuing authority- GSBA- to issue bonds that they will allow us to use the bond proceeds to build our schools. They would hold the bonds until we pay them off. We would make the lease payment to GSBA. We can do this very quickly- 60 days, at most. We can immediately have access to the cash. No voter approval is needed. Another funding option is that we can tie this (COPs) into a SPLOST III and pay off GSBA. It􀀁s a viable option.

What? We were all led to believe this was Pat Pope's idea! Guess where Cost is now -- Gwinnett!

Anonymous said...

Insider, in this current environment he should go look for work in another system. He should not be working for DCSS, simple as that. If he has the 18 years experience now he should not have a problem finding work in another system. Just not one where his mother-in-law was the BOE Chairman.

Anonymous said...

Cere, you're the greatest! I can't wait to meet you in person and give you some of the documents we have uncovered over the past 5 years.

Your blog is one the reasons the BOE are starting to throw others under the bus. Like you have said before, do they think we're not watching? I honestly think they know now. Looking forward to tonight's continuation of Wendy's piece on Channel 46. Cere, do you know if it's going to be on a 6 or 11 or both?

Cerebration said...

I am pretty sure Wendy's reports are at 11 pm.

And I agree. While David Guillory may now have 18 years of "experience" - he had ZERO when he was placed in his job. There are very qualified people in this world who were never even granted an interview. This was a gift - as was Phillandrea's job. Thanks Mom!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

There are many other school districts within driving distance of DeKalb. If a parent is a school board member you need to be looking for a job somewhere else.

It would be nice to have school board members without family members in the school for the most part. Here everyone has connections which is a real problem. This is a conflict of interest in itself if one of these relatives gets a promotion.

Cerebration said...

The Organization of DeKalb Educators, which represents about 4,700 school employees, said Monday that vice chairwoman Zepora Roberts is a bad example for students.

“How can you tell children not to call each other names, not to make threats and not to bully each other when you have a school board member that continues to act this way? This is conduct that is inexcusable for a school board member,” said David Schutten, the union’s president. “We think she should step down.”

Anonymous said...

Family Services Coordinator is the position Ms. Robert's daughter holds. There are 73 full time Family Services employees that cost $4,500,000 in salary and benefits (average $61,643).

ince this group just got formed during Lewis's tenure, I'm assuming they are on a 4th to 5th year experience level on some DCSS pay scale.

This is much higher than thlevel teachers with Masters Degrees on the Teacher pay scale? What is this salary schedule and who set it?

(source: State Salary and Travel audit)

Anonymous said...

The friends and family issue is clearly and important and sensitive one. However, I would like to see a greater focus on the threatening stance taken by the school board member with the reporter. The mere threat of "slugging" someone, particularly on camera, is one that should be taken seriously by the Board. I find it hard to believe, as I review the behavior requirements for our children, that there is not a policy that requires the adults who run the system to adhere to the same standards. I encourage my children to watch the news and be aware of the community they live in. This behavior is inexplicable and should have SERIOIUS consequences. If our Board will do nothing, perhaps the Gov. should step in.

Anonymous said...

The Family Services group that Mrs. Roberts daughter works in is very redundant. They basically do much of what our counselors and social workers do.

We have 267 counselors for 140+ schools. These counselors cost us $22,500,000 a year in salary and benefits ($84,269 per counselor). It seems that millions could have been saved (and many teacher positions) if we asked the counselors and social workers to take on the responsibilities of the Family Services employees at the Parent Resource Centers. We have eliminated teaching positions until we are down to less than 6,500 teachers and are asking them to take on many more students. Why was this group not touched?

If you look at the Family Services group that works in the Parent Resource Centers, you may find more friends and family employed.

(source: State Salary and Travel audit and DCSS Interim Superintendent proposed 2011 budget cut spreadsheet).

Anonymous said...

Oops! "serious"

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the qualificatios and experience level of the new principal at Cross Keys? The rumor mill is doing alot of spinning about this?

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line: Yes, there has been nepotism in DCSS and many other organizations for many years. That does not make it right! It needs to stop.
You can use the inappropriate actions of others to justify your own guilt.

Anonymous said...

We now officially have the worst Board of Education in the State of Georgia.

Cerebration said...

What new principal at Cross Keys? Is Dr. McMillan gone? Do you mean Clarkston? Clarkston's new principal was just approved by the board. She is an Asst Principal from Chamblee being promoted. She is also the daughter of a high-ranking (so-called "Cabinet") DCSS employee.

Anonymous said...

from anon 10:20---
I typed the wrong school name..Sorry!

Cerebration said...

BTW - our board and administration should drop the pretentious use of the word "Cabinet" along with "Premier" - Below is the definition of a cabinet -

Main Entry: 1cab·i·net
Pronunciation: \ˈkab-nit, ˈka-bə-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, small room, diminutive of Middle French dial. (Picard) cabine gambling house
Date: circa 1550
1 a : a case or cupboard usually having doors and shelves b : a collection of specimens especially of biological or numismatic interest c : console 4a d : a chamber having temperature and humidity controls and used especially for incubating biological samples
2 a archaic : a small room providing seclusion b : a small exhibition room in a museum

3 a archaic (1) : the private room serving as council chamber of the chief councillors or ministers of a sovereign (2) : the consultations and actions of these councillors b (1) often capitalized : a body of advisers of a head of state (2) : a similar advisory council of a governor of a state or a mayor c British : a meeting of a cabinet

Cerebration said...

Ummmmm - Underline this part -

head of state (2) : a similar advisory council of a governor of a state or a mayor

Anonymous said...

It might help when setting standards for hiring into administrative positions, and especially for promotions, that specific qualifications be specified and adhered to.

For example, to be "considered" for a principal's position, you must have X number of years in a teaching position along with X number of years as an AP. If the principal's position is in a Title I school or requires some special skills/knowledge/experience, then the AP position must have been in a similar school for X number of years.

There should also be standards set regarding pay scales. Pay for certain positions should be comparable to pay of similar positions with similar experience within an industry for which that position is normally found... BUT should also have a ceiling given this is not a for-profit company.

To be HEAD of a department requires specified education (degree) and X number of years of experience. A person without a degree can be considered if they have worked X number of years in that department/field AND have taken applicable courses that could certify them in a particular field. It doesn't make sense to put someone in a position over other people who have more knowledge and experience.

To me those are just common sense requirements. Even if a person is related to someone on the BOE or in an administrative position, they would still have to make the cut.

Anonymous said...

David Guillory may now have 18 years of "experience", but let's look at his job performance. DCSS has one of the most inefficient, back dated, old school, wasteful transportation systems in Georgia. Many buses are illegally overcrowded while many other busses run with no passengers at all. There's no electronic routing, no computer programing, no passenger census data, nothing. It's exactly like it was in 1992. Only worse! Forget nepotism. Guillory should be fired for unacceptable performance.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Cerebration 12:09's post regarding Morcease Beasely's unbelievable paperwork in Texas. I've been a teacher and was required to give my principal my plans each week, coded according to the state guidelines being met (but I coded my plans before that was asked). I thought that was perfectly appropriate. My principal was my immediate supervisor and she needed to know I was covering the required material.

However, Beasely requiring this info takes micromanaging to a whole new level. Cynically, I think it goes beyond micromanaging....I think it's a way for him to justify his position and wield power. Who in the world thinks he'll actually read the plans? There is NO way that will happen.

By the way, I have personally (in person---not their school emails) approached several teachers at my daughter's school and asked them to follow the plan outlined on another thread about reporting what Beasely is asking them to do. These are wonderful teachers who have told me that they have just about reached their bull@#$% limit with this school system.

We are going to lose incredible teachers soon. Ms. Tyson doesn't have the 18-24 months to implement changes. She's going to be left with no one to teach our kids if she doesn't act now!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:11 AM

Thank you!

If the teachers will follow the exact directions published earlier (on Friday, August 6, I think), they will be safe and there is no way that they can be identified.

Teachers! Please ... help us to help you!

Anonymous said...

The BOE Bozos had a chance to defuse the Michelle Jones vote, Zepora's "I'm going to slug you" comments as well as the issues at Dunwoody High and Chamblee High schools first day. However, they voted to kick the can down the road with hopes we would forget. the next meeting is ONE MONTH, that's ONE MONTH from now.

Let's not let them forget that we're watching them and they better call an emergency meeting, in the open, and start explaining their tacky votes last night.

Wonders never cease to amaze me when it come to the DCSS BOE and leadership.

Anonymous said...

Slugs of DeKalb call for Mrs. Roberts' immediate resignation due to her derogatory reference of their species as a term for bodily harm.

Anonymous said...

I can honestly state thatmany applicants never get an interview on inside job posts because they are being given to family aand friends. This recent hiring/promotion is only one example. Pope fired and moved people during her reign of terror to maximize her ability to play the shell game she almost got away with had she not stepped on the wrong toes.
No wonderthe BOE did nothing...everyone stood to lose if their secrets were exposed.

Anonymous said...

On a related topic ...

Teachers and parents: Please use when you write to school board members and people like Beasley, Tyson, Moseley, Ramsey, etc.

Sign up for a free trial of ReadNotify at I think you get 25 e-mail trackings for free. But, even a one-year subscription is only $24. Several of you could go together on that subscription, as long as you use just one e-mail address for the tracking reports to be sent to.

The recipient does not know you are tracking the e-mail you have sent. However, you will receive a report when the e-mail is delivered; when it is opened and read (each time it is opened), including for how long; when it is forwarded; the probable location of the recipient when your e-mail was opened; etc.

BTW -- I have an out-of-town probable location for CLew-less when I think his schedule called for him to be in town. Another booty call, perhaps?

Insider said...

re: David Guillory. Wendy's report stated that she had a "son-in-law with no transportation experience" running that department.

Had she said "no transportation experience when he was first hired" - that would have been accurate.

As it is... with 18+ years in DCSS transportation, Wendy's statement is absolutely incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Hey insider you are parsing words now. Even if David had no experience 18 years ago he should not have been hired, period!

However, when you speak to others in that Dept. he is still living in the 80's. A previous poster said that he has not brought his Dept. up to par like other systems of the same size. Insider I know you like Mr. Guilroy and he could be doing a fine job, but the current state of DCSS, every family member, friend, sorority sister, fraternity brother or church member that got their job by a BOE member or leader insisting on it, needs to be reviewed and investigated. With all the layoffs, so many who did not get RIF'd were friends and family according to other insiders.

Anonymous said...

Celebration you are right in your comments about the people who were rif'd. They did not rif'd their families and friends. People in the Central office were shocked when people with ten plus were rif'd and people with less years were not. When Dr. Brown was Supt. he introduced the panel interview, so that applicants could be treated fairly, but that is not the case, even when they do the panel interview, they know who they will be giving the job to. They just do the interview for formality.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wendy! I would love to know why the 100 Black Men of DeKalb are allowed to keep their offices at McNair High School? I was looking at their website and googled their address and was shocked when Google pointed to McNair. Do they pay DCSS rent? Do they use equipment paid for by the DeKalb taxpayers? Is this even legal?

I know several neighborhood associations that have tried to use DCSS facilities only to be told that they would have to pay huge liability costs as well as overtime to the custodians, which sounds fair. However, do the 100 Black Men of DeKalb pay for these services?

I'm just asking.. it's time for total transparency in DCSS.

Insider said...

I may be parsing words... but that doesn't change the fact that Wendy's statement simply is not true.

I said before I'm no Guillory fan. Should David have been hired? Absolutely not. Philandrea? No. Jamal? Heavens no!

But Wendy should correct the statement.

Also, Frankie Freeman was not Frankie Freeman at the time she was hired. She & Robin met when he was in Transportation & she was a bus driver.

mal615 said...

My daughter, who is in the magnet program at Chamblee Middle School told me this morning that the bus that takes them to the hub at Henderson Middle School is so overcrowded that the kids have to sit on the floor. The whole "transportation for magnet students" arguement aside, how on earth is that OK, or even allowed? God forbid there's an accident, or even that the bus driver has to slam on the brakes one day.

Also - in reference to Ms. Roberts' tirade on CBS, I'm astounded that on one else on the board has said one word to call her out. She's an embarrassment to Dekalb County.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Surprised that it took this long for Zepora to be exposed as the bully and thug that she is. This is not new. Many times people will just fall silent during open debate with her not because they're intimidated or weak-willed with their position on an issue, but simply because they know that in a matter of seconds she'll blow and lose all self-control. Sometimes, it was just better to not have the world see just what's been elected to public office. Those days, thankfully, are over.

Anonymous said...

Okay Insider, send Wendy an email and she what she says. Right now, Wendy is exposing something that has been needing sunlight for years. My wife and I have been trying to get the media on this story so many times only to be told, that the story is too difficult to tell, too much time is needed etc..

Wendy has only scratched the surface but one thing is for sure, the folks who this involves are worried and scared and they should be! Let's help Wendy get it right but also let's allow her to tell the story! There is so much to tell!

Cerebration said...

I will cut Wendy slack on the phrasing of her report on Guillory. She perhaps should have said "who had no experience when hired 18 years ago and has been consistently promoted since." Still smells of favoritism to me.... either way.

Also - as to this -

Also, Frankie Freeman was not Frankie Freeman at the time she was hired. She & Robin met when he was in Transportation & she was a bus driver.

You need to finish your sentence with, "and then after marrying into the family, was promoted into a nice job as a secretary commanding a salary of $72,669."

Nice tries though!

Anonymous said...

"... in reference to Ms. Roberts' tirade on CBS, I'm astounded that on one else on the board has said one word to call her out. She's an embarrassment to Dekalb County."

I'm not astounded. First, they are all cowards. Second, they're only interested in perserving themselves and their positions.

But you are correct. She is an embarrassment to DeKalb County. As are her fellow cowardly board members who never say a word about the waste, fraud and abuse in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

No child should ride on the floor of a school bus. It's not just unsafe. It's against the law.

Meanwhile I watch empty busses zip around my neighborhood in the mornings and the afternoons. At the local elementary, one bus has to run its route twice because there are too many riders. Other busses run with a handful of riders. It's ridiculous.

Who's in charge of transportation in DCSS?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:57 PM

Who is in charge of transportation at DCSS?

David Guillory -- son-in-law of Frances Edwards, grande dame and former BOE chair. David is married to Philandrea Edwards who could not identify a grammatically correct sentence, much less a quality television production, with two hands and a flashlight. David is brother-in-law to Jamal "Where's Waldo" Edwards, Frances Edwards' son.

I have heard, but cannot confirm, that David Guillory and his group do NOT use computers to develop an efficient, cost-effective transportation system. Everything in his department is pretty much "fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants." He may have been there for 18 years, but he has not made a positive difference in all that time. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Cerebration said...

Just wondering -- Frankie Callaway will pull down some kind of salary as principal of the Leadership Academy. Her husband pulls down $141,000 as principal of Destiny Academy (a school of about 100 at-risk students waaaaay down in South DeKalb). Plus - as far as I know - they both have retired from the school system as administrators. Do they also take in a retirement pension on top of these charter salaries?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:13 Really? Seriously? "Also, Frankie Freeman was not Frankie Freeman at the time she was hired. She & Robin met when he was in Transportation & she was a bus driver."
The point is she got a huge promotion when she got married to the "son" of then Superintendent Freeman...that's some wedding who's parsing words....this is not a competition just a healthy understnding...the reporter hasdone her job she got people talking..So let's give something to talk about...and thus she all of you who have benefited from the friends and family plan get ready we are calling you out...not just on a "silly little blog (we know that's what some of the naysayers say" but now news 46 has put the spotlight on all of you sapping up jobs from better candidates.

Anonymous said...

To be technically fair, Frankie Callaway works for the board of LPA not DCSS. She is probably paid by a combination of the dollars LPA receives from DCSS for each student along with any grants.

Perhaps there is a retired teacher on the blog that can tell us when they begin collecting retirement. I thought is was at age 65 but there different rules if you have 30+ years of service.

Anonymous said...

DCSS teachers and staff members may begin collecting retirement at age 60 and 10 years of service. They won't get as much as if they were older and had more years of service.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:11 -

I have been told the same thing regarding computerizing routes - by an Assistant Director in the Transportation Dept.

I was told that DCSS bought a computerized tracking /planning system about 5 years ago, but it has never been used because no one was trained to run it, and once school began, nobody had the time to learn it because they were too busy using pencil and paper to do routing. This is a logic loop: the software can't be used because nobody knows how to use it because they are too busy doing it manually because the software can't be used.

I suggested a new route through our neighborhood when I looked at the route and it had the bus traveling down one block, doing a u-turn and traveling down the same block in the opposite direction. Never was implemented.

I also observed that two different buses run down the same street 15 minutes apart and both go to the high school. When I checked the routes, sure enough, the same 5-block run was on both. I called Transportation, and they told me the second bus was for the middle school, and were at a loss when I asked why the bus picked up at 7:15 for a middle school that started at 8:30, and told them I followed the bus daily on my way to work and it went to the high school, and let everybody off.

I am laughing sadly. Always.

Anonymous said...

David guillory don't know what he is doing now and never has. I used to work with the clown and every time things didn't go his way he ran to mother-in law and you sure knew it the next day. There were many people looked over so he could get the job. Should he be gone yes, Philandrea pulls her weight every day. That poor custodian at the bryant center goes off the deep end if every things is not perfect in her office. And that missing jamal he should be made to pay every check he ever received.

When people were laid-off all the friends and family were able to keep there jobs. This is not right and i pray something is done.


Anonymous said...

I hope that every one who has been hurt by this friends and family file a law suit against the system.

Anonymous said...

So now there is word that transportation had software they did know how to use. Well 4 years ago we uncovered that DCSS bought software to help redistrict and redraw lines and update population moves, however back then they had no one who knew how to use it.

Who ran MIS until this Spring? Ms. Ramona Tyson, our interim Super. Yea! Money spent, no one trained to use it. Yea!

I love DCSS! Thank God we have someone who knows how to use the redistricting software, right? I think we do.

Anonymous said...

Here's the text:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School System is under scrutiny this week. The district's accreditation is on the line as new details are surfacing about potentially costly conflicts of interests in the school system.

Now Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman is breaking an exclusive investigation into allegations the district's top brass are steering jobs and promotions to their own family members who may be under qualified and over paid.

Zepora Roberts is a DeKalb School Board member and the mother of two daughters who are DeKalb school employees. When Saltzman went to ask Roberts about her daughters, Roberts lashed out at CBS Atlanta News.

"Who keeps telling you this lie?" Roberts asked.

"What about your other daughter?" Saltzman asked.

"I have no more comments to say to you and don't you come near me or I am going to slug you," Roberts warned.

CBS Atlanta has learned Roberts has two daughters employed by the school system; one who got a job, and another who got promoted during the time their mother has been in power.

In Robert's anger she was quick to point out she's not the only highly influential administrator with relatives being given jobs and promotions. In fact, she's made a list.

"There was Jim Henson, who was a Superintendent who had two children working for the system and it was not an issue. Dr Hallford had his son, his daughter, his in-law and everybody else."

And we found nepotism has run rampant in DeKalb's School System, yet it's been under the radar for years.

Check out these members of DeKalb's so-called “Friend's-and-Family” plan who we uncovered:

Former superintendent Robert Freeman has two sons and a daughter in law who all worked for the school system. His son Robin was charged with a misdemeanor but was hired while his father was there.

And records we uncovered show Tim Freemen, now an Assistant Superintendent, got his recommendation from who else? His dad, who was the acting Superintendent. Robert Freeman jokingly said he couldn't support the reference for his son.

Former Deputy Superintendent Frankie Callaway has a daughter, husband and a son who all work for the DeKalb County Schools.

And Frances Edwards, a former school board member, has a son who is now employed in the Information Services Department, a daughter who was one of the only members of the Media Relations office not to lose her high paying job, and son-in-law with no experience in transportation who is running that department.

"I am sick and tired of you and all of these people making an issue about my child," Roberts said, referencing these other administrator's children.

So she expanded her hit list, and took a shot at School Board Chairman Thomas Bowen.

"Tom Bowen has in-laws whose worked in the school system," Roberts told us.

"Do you think these family members are the most qualified for those jobs?" Saltzman asked Bowen.

"I think they are qualified and each one is going to meet the same review standards as any other employee," he responded.

And while Bowen defends his family, the interim Superintendent, Ramona Tyson wouldn't speak with us about these conflicts.

In a statement, her Chief of Staff said, "The new ethics policy is currently being drafted. Because some of those investigations are on-going and involve current employees, Ms. Tyson does not believe it would be appropriate to publicly discuss these matters."

One school board member is speaking out and says we are only touching on the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

Frankie retired from Dekalb County with 33 to 35 years of experience I believe. I could be wrong on the years. She will make at least 2. percent of her salary for each year I believe. She would be paid by teacher retirement for instance approximately 66%-70% of her top 3-5 years of highest paying years. It is not bad and then you can go out and get another job. This is money that teachers pay into teacher's retirement monthly. Teachers and administrators pay approximately $300-700 a month into teacher's retirement and get money upon retirement. They vest at 10 years of service. Teacher or administrators can retire after 27 years of service but normally retire after 30 years of service due to the difference in benifits.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:33 and 2:54

Regarding retirement:

Teachers and other school employees can begin collecting retirement at 30 year of service, no matter what age they are. So if you started teaching right out of college and taught for 30 years, you could retire at 52.

Your pension is built on 2% of your highest two years up to 40 years. If you work 30 years that is 30 x 2% or 60% of your highest two contiguous years. If you work 33 years (like Dr. Lewis), you will collect 33 x 2% or 66% of your highest two contiguous years (now you see why he insisted on getting his salary up as much as possible).

You can retire at 60 with 10 years of service with no penalty, however you will make only 20% of your salary (2% x 10 years is 20%).

You can retire with 25 years, but for every year you are under 60 and under 30, you will lose 7% of your annual pension. For example, if you're 56 and you have 26 years, you pension would be 2% x 26 or 52% of your highest paid two contiguous years. However, since it's 4 years before I'm 60, the penalty will be 7% x 4 years or 28%. Thus they'll compute your retirement and then subtract 28% of it as a penalty for early retirement.

Retirement members pay 5.53% of their paycheck into Teacher's Retirement. The county matches that with a little over 10.28%% of each employee's salary. As you can see that's an override of 10.28% on DCSS salary costs. The Friends and Family Plan of excess and overcompensated personnel gets to be very expensive because the 10.28%% is based on the salary of the individual.

That's one reason why the 2004 audit done by Ernst and Young consultants was so extremely important. The consultant concluded that 2,400 non-teaching employees were overcompensated to the tune of approximately $15,000,000 a year. On the other hand, teachers were not seen as overcompensated and were under compensated as compared to some metro systems. As you can see, this over payment has a huge effect on DCSS pension contributions. 10.28% of $15,000,000 in salary over payments is an extra $1,542,000 every year in additional pension costs for non-teaching employees.

Here is a link to the DCSS web page that gives you the percentages:

Does this answer the retirement question or are your eyes glazed over by this point?

Anonymous said...

7 or 8 years ago, I was introduced to DCSS bussing. A good friend with an MBA from a top school set about trying to help and mapped the routes for 2 elementary schools that fed to our new middle school. She got big maps of the neighborhood and colored markers and marked the routes in different colors. It looked like spaghetti. It was a glorius mess. She figured out a really neat way to efficiently run the routes and brought it to Sam Moss. They weren't the least bit interested. The next year, we shifted to a new middle school with reallignment. Our son's route still ran as if it was going to the old school. It was moving a mountain to get them to shift some of the kids to a different route that made more sense and they still run the route as if they are going to to the old school (we get picked up towards the beginning of the route and dropped off towards the end even though we live closest to current school). Another friend and i actually followed the bus one day to chart it -- it made so many circles, I had a migraine and went to bed for the rest of the day - it criss-crossed a main street 5 or 6 different times, I suggested to a school board member back then that bus drivers be paid $300 for making their routes more efficient or as a top prize for maximizing routes. We suggested that GA Tech be brought on board to make DCSS transportation efficiency at PhD student's project. All to no avail. 6 years later, the routes are still being run the same way -- probably with the stops in the same place without any regard to where the kids actually reside. This didn't change when fuel prices surged. I feel certain that someone with expertise from UPS or Fed Ex in delivering packages in charge of this department would never be running transportation in this manner. Just my opinion -- my kids stopped riding the bus -- it made them too dizzy.

Anonymous said...

Oldie but goodie:

Anonymous said...

As I said many months ago on this blog, it's all about relationships, never about competence.

Anonymous said...

1) Why are retired DCS administrators like Robert Tucker, Joanne Newby and Sandra Sanders STILL ON PAYROLL??!!

2) I've known Zepora for years and have worked with her. Over the past year or two, she has seemed to lose her mind. She's become very aggressive when anyone asks her a question regarding problems with the school system. She really used to listen to parents and county residnets, but over the past few years, she's become a different person.

If she is re-elected to the BOE, we've all failed as voters and deserve what we get. It's our students and teachers who'll lose in the end.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Ms. Roberts bullied David S. a few months ago from her school board seat because she was mad at him. She really put on a show then also. Anyone at the school board meeting that night was in shock at the disrespect shown of a school board member to a representative of the teacher's union. It was extremely inappropriate to saw the least.

SLUG U. said...

"I am going to slug you."

Anonymous said...

If there is lawyer out there who can answer a question? Many employees have lost there jobs. Do you think they have a law suit. Some were done by Pope/reid and lewis.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. This is from another post on the blog. This is why Zepora is upset. Her daughter Chandra, who has no college degree, went from making $12k per year to now $60,000 per year.

2005 CHANDA L. WHITE salary was $11,384 in the PARENT CENTER

2008 CHANDA L. WHITE salary jumped to $53,292.17 & Travel Expenses $107.19 as a FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR (FEDERAL FUNDS?) -

2009 CHANDA L. WHITE salary jumped to $59,895.57 still as a FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR!

Cerebration said...

Quotes from that "oldie but goodie" - which isn't that old -it was just this past April.

The DeKalb County school closings process was derailed by a board member telling task force members how to vote, pitting schools against each other and charging racism is a factor, one task force member said.

Citizens Planning Task Force member Marcia Coward said she is filing a complaint against board member Sarah Copelin-Wood with the board and the superintendent.

“I know that Sarah Wood made phone calls and pitted one school against the other in her own district. I think that’s very wrong,” Coward said Saturday. “She’s supposed to represent all of the schools in her district.” . . .

Chairman Tom Bowen said the school board will review the complaint, but he said no board members were supposed to be involved in the task force.

Now - I remind you of the emails between Bowen and Wood after this complaint was filed.

-----Original Message-----
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:34:11
Cc: < >
Subject: Your Reference To Me In Article In AJC

May 4, 2010

Hello Tom,

Please address your comments, according to the AJC, in the AJC, I have attached it below for your information:

Discussion about school ethics legislation comes as District 3 board member Sarah Copelin-Wood, who is up for re-election, faces an ethics complaint. She is accused of meddling in the school closure process by directing members of the Citizens Planning Task Force how to vote.

"The complaint against Wood is pending and will be addressed after the board finalizes its budget, Bowen said."

----- Original Message -----

From: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 4:58:28 PM
Subject: Re: Your Reference To Me In Article In AJC

I was asked the status and I said the board had not had any time to discuss it given all we had going on with the budget and other things.

My preference is to not take it on at all and let it go away. It will be a bunch of he said, she said. Only thing we could do is add to the policy on citizen committees but that would just attract more attention.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message-----
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 17:22:38
Cc: < >
Subject: Fwd: Re: Your Reference To Me In Article In AJC

May 4, 2010

Hello Tom,

Thank you for your expeditious response. After reading the article, I was interested to know if there is a pending investigation by the DeKalb School Board regarding me.

Thank you very much,

Sarah Copelin-Wood, Board Member
DeKalb Board of Education - District 3
(404) 371-1490

- Original Message -----

From: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 5:32:27 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Your Reference To Me In Article In AJC

No investigation and nor do I want one. Especially now that we changed the plan with the four schools and we aren't going to use the findings anyway.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Anonymous said...

There are 4 fundamental questions we need to ask our administrators and non-teaching support staff in DCSS:

1. Are they providing all students with a safe, clean environment?
2. Are they providing all students with a low pupil-teacher ratio?
3. Are they providing all students with competent and well compensated teachers?
4. Are they providing all students with an abundance of science and technology equipment?

Teachers have control over NONE of these fundamentals, yet they are absolutely critical for student success. Providing these fundamentals is the responsibility of the administrative and support staff, and should be the only reason they have their positions.

We will never get top notch classrooms for our children while the Friends and Family Plan drives our school system.

Cerebration said...

Oh yes, I remember Zepora dressing down Schutton publicly. It was a disturbing thing to watch. And remarkably - NO ONE said a word in response. NO ONE else on the board said anything about it.

Also - to be fair, that first year's salary for Chandra could have been a partial year's salary. Still... it bothers me so much that these strange program administrators make so much more money than most teachers.

Anonymous said...

TEACHERS and STAFF: Parents and community members can't help you without getting a look at and publicizing Beasley's -- and others' -- e-mailed demands and threats.

I went back to comments made on August 6 and am re-posting a method that will protect you, individually, while still getting the word out about Beasley and others.

BE SURE to use your HOME computer. Then do the following, step-by-step:
1. Access your DCSS e-mail from your HOME computer.

2. Print a copy of each e-mail you receive from Beasley (or from Beasley, but disseminated through your principal or AP). Keep those copies in a safe place. This is because Beasley does have the option to remove e-mails he has sent. So, you MUST keep a paper trail.

3. Then do a copy and paste from the e-mail on your computer screen. That is, copy the text of the e-mail (include the header for proof) and paste the entire copy into a Word document. (To copy, select the text of the e-mail, including the header and do a CTRL-C. To paste, put your cursor on a blank Word document and do a CTRL-V.)

4. Save the Word document. If possible, save to a flash drive. But saving to the hard drive of your HOME computer will do, too.

5. Now, copy ONLY the text of the e-mail from your Word document. Do NOT copy any identifying information such as the header. (To copy, select the text and do a CTRL-C.)

6. Paste the copied text into the Comments Box of this blog. (To paste, put your cursor in the Comments Box and do a CTRL-V.)

7. Choose "Anonymous" for your identity, do the word verification and hit "Publish Your Comment."

Cerebration, administrator of this blog, has assured us that "Anonymous" is indeed anonymous and that no identifying information is kept. That is not to say that the GBI or FBI, armed with a court order, could not trace a posted comment. But, no court is going to provide such an order without overwhelming evidence of need -- and that does not include Beasley's getting his nose out of joint.

If you are concerned about protecting your identity, DO NOT use your DCSS computer – not even your DCSS laptop that you use from home evenings and weekends. Use only your personally owned private computer.

If you don’t have your own computer – most libraries have computers you can use. You might not be able to print in the library, but you can certainly save what you are doing to a flash drive.

We cannot act on your behalf without the solid evidence provided by copies of Beasley's e-mails.

The despots in the DCSS Central Office will be so shocked to see their own words staring out at them from this blog -- and they won't be able to do anything about it! Who knows, maybe the credible news media (right now that is only Wendy Saltzman of CBS and Megan Matteucci and Maureen Downey from the AJC) will reprint what you share with us.

Please, Teachers! Help us help you!

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 5:10

There is only one salary schedule for teachers, however there are numerous salary schedules for non-teaching personnel. To give someone a raise, all the DCSS administration has to do is give them a title that allows them to go on a different salary schedule. This is how teachers' salaries have remained stagnant while so many administrative and support positions have gone up in salary.

Instead of adjusting the salaries and collapsing the job titles of all employees, Dr. Lewis decided to just collapse the titles of teachers. He left 364 non-teaching job titles intact with his document called COMPENSATION AND CLASSIFICATION TITLING CONVENTION.

The Titles of 99% of the jobs outside the schoolhouse were not collapsed. They just changed the title of the job from one title to another.

Here are some examples:

Assistant Director of Professional Learning became Director of Professional Learning

Assistant Supervisor of Accounting became Assistant Director of Accounting

Clerk, Dispatch became Dispatch Clerk

If you want to see what 364 non-teaching job titles look like, go to the BOE meeting notes of 09/06/05 and download the attachment that lists these titles. You can see with so many titles and numerous pay scales, you can move non-teaching employees to whatever title/pay scale you want.

DCSS should publish all of their salary schedules like many other school systems do. Currently, the only one they publish is the teacher salary schedule.

Anonymous said...

We must demand to see all salary schedules and I believe that all those private personnel meetings need to be public until we get some REAL leadership at DCSS.

These comments are making my blood boil... If keep posting I might slug you!..Okay, just kidding.. I'm really enjoying the truth coming out on here. Headed to the CMS PTSA meeting. Keep the comments coming, time to expose these frauds who are taking money and education from our kids.

Cerebration said...

Very enlightening, 5:50. Thanks. I"ll go get those files.

Anonymous said...

How sad!

School board members are elected to make decisions to benefit the students and stakeholders in the county. However, their relatives, church members, and friends of the family are the ones who really benefit from them being elected.

Mrs. Roberts is correct that she is not the only one who has done it. However, this still does not make it ok. This is taxpayer dollars and there has to be checks and balances. The school board members and cabinet should have no say in who gets a job.

The school board made sure to change their guidelines to have committee involvement in the hiring of principals as the school superintendent and school board did not want their input.

Cerebration said...

She's sorry!

DeKalb board member apologizes for threatening reporter

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 6:18

Go to this DCSS webpage:

Do you see any other salary schedules published except for Teachers (see right hand side menu)? How many salary schedules does DCSS have? Obviously, non-teaching personnel are not on a teacher's salary schedule. I agree DCSS should publish all salary schedules for taxpayers to see.

Anonymous said...

And she's too late!

The most appropriate time to have apologized for bad behavior was immediately.

The next most appropriate time would have been at the beginning of last night's BOE meeting.

But to wait until the Organization of DeKalb Educators demands her resignation because she is a bad example for children. Well, it is clear that she is "apologizing" because it is the expedient thing to do -- NOT because she is sorry for her offensive threat.

She has embarrassed all of DeKalb County -- including her constituents. I hope they are smart enough to see through her equally embarrassing faux apology -- and vote her OUT of office.

Anonymous said...

On Monday, Roberts had said she did not regret her outburst. Roberts, who has been on the board for eight years, is up for re-election in November.

This is why she needs to resign! The only reason she is apologizing is because she was forced to by the teachers and most likely by Bowen.
If she didn't regret 3 days after you think she regrets it now? not a chance!

Anonymous said...

Univ. Calif Santa Cruz's mascot is the banana slug. Think they might sell "Slug U" sweatshirts? Gotta have one!

Anonymous said...

Frankie Callaway and her dynasty family are certainly products of the friends and family plan. Several people viewed her daughter's certification on line and found nothing. Is she a paraprofessional in the county or what? Then some of her sorority sisters said she cannot pass her teaching test.This is why she is not an administrator like her lazy brother. Did her mother hire her at her school? You better check and see you know how the family and plan work hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time ZR has taken up for her babies...Ask former DCSS Principals EE Smith or Stan Mons about it!

DCSS Teacher said...

You can find salaries and travel reimbursements for all DCSS employees on Note, though, that the site is updated annually--so info might be outdated. In the current case, since most employees took a paycut this year, the figures listed may be too high by 3-6%, depending on whether a person is 10, 11, or 12-month.

Anonymous said...

@ DCSS Teacher 9:43

That's very useful information for data sorting of general job descriptions and cumulative personnel cost of departments, but it doesn't show the salary schedules that DCSS should have in place for non-teaching employees. After all, non-teaching employees far outnumber teachers, and yet taxpayers have no information on salary schedules for over 50% of DCSS employees.

The numerous salary schedules of DCSS need to be published along with any titles that are associated with them. Numerous salary schedules and hundreds of non-teaching job titles allow individual non-teaching employees that the superintendent wants to give a raise to be placed on a salary schedule will give them that raise.

Anonymous said...

One of the saddest aspects of the interview is Zeporah's inability to speak intelligently and with correct grammar. Can we agree that we need to demand higher educational standards for the people in leadership at DCSS, including the BOE? At the least, every single board member MUST have a college education.

Anonymous said...

There are some top notch candidates running against Sarah Coplin-Woods. If you want to do something, get involved. Volunteer to campaign for the candidate running against her that you think will make the best BOE member. Donate whatever you can - even if it's $10 or $25. That's how Obama did it - small donations made a big impact. I couldn't donate much, but I just donated what I could to a candidate that's not even my district, but I think she will do right by our kids.

Here are a list of the candidates and all of their contact information:

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:15
I disagree. A college education is not necessary. I know many self made people who do not have college educations and many that have college degrees that I would not consider to be qualified to be BOE members (some even have doctorates and reside in the Central Office).

I think Mrs. Roberts has been part of a BOE that presided over declining test scores, budgetary scandals, nepotism and cronyism, falling down buildings, and a huge increase in class sizes. That's why she needs to be voted out. It has nothing to do with her educational attainment and everything to do with what she hasn't done for our students.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:15

Dr. Eugene Walker has a doctorate. Would you consider him a good BOE member. He is as bad as the rest of them. I don't know who has degrees and who doesn't - except Walker calls himself Dr. Walker. I do know that they are all just as bad as the next one. They should all be gone - the sooner the better - so our kids have a chance at a decent education.

Anonymous said...

From CBS Atlanta - Are School Leaders Giving High Paying Jobs To Family Members?

"If it is a cousin or a neighbor, then we have no idea.... There is no way to really keep track of that," he warns.
Which is why Redovian voted against the most recent bulk of hires, which failed to weed out those he believes are under-qualified, but highly connected.

"I knew there was at least a number of people on that list that I did not think should be on that list," he told us.

Redovian is calling for more stringent policies in the county to make sure there is no preferential treatment, and that family members and friends have actually earned these high level jobs."

Don't you just love it. All of a sudden Redovian found religion and is voting against nepotism - "the most recent bulk of hires". I'm going to look through BOE minutes and for all the relatives and friends he voted for. You can't spend 4 years supporting the nepotism and cronyism that has gone on in DCSS, vote a few times against it before the election and then claim you have been against it all along. Redovian has gone along with everything that the BOE has done to get us into this mess. How hypocritical. Do you think voters will believe him? I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Channel 46...the build up for tonight's newscast was just that hype.....we didn't learn anything here...give us more have it so spill it..I know you read this what gives...who shut you all down....was it SACS or did DCSS BOE Chair or Vice Chair promise an exclusive?..just wondering

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who are the family members of Gene Walker, Tom Bowen and Pam Speaks who work for DCSS? Now I know why all three have been so darn quiet about nepotism.

And don't forget, the whole fraternity brother/Sorority sister connection is a major issue, as is the New Birth mafia.

Anonymous said...

Tonight's broadcast was merely an attempt to build up ratings. The expectation set was that additional connections would be shared but it consisted of a lame interview with Jim R. and a repeat of the relationships presented during the Monday broadcast.

Why bring up 'Friends and Family' if they only focus on the family connections?

Anonymous said...

Please vote on this. That way CBS knows they have a good audience.

Go to this CBS web page and vote:
Do you think Zepora Roberts should resign?

Voting is at the bottom left of the page.

Cerebration said...

So Jim Redovian speaks out! How about that?

Strangely though, just yesterday, he voted for the promotion of Felicia Mitchell Mayfield's daughter from Asst Principal at Chamblee to full principal at Clarkston - a school with dire need for a turnaround. I don't think they've ever made AYP. Was anyone else even interviewed? Where is the former principal from Dunwoody? Has he been placed anywhere yet?

From Monday's agenda:

In compliance with Board Policy GAG, Employment of Relatives, it is requested that the Board of Education approve the appointment of Ms. Michelle Jones as Principal at Clarkston High School. Ms. Jones is currently an Assistant Principal at Chamblee High School.

Ms. Jones is the daughter of Cabinet member Dr. Felicia Mayfield.

So - how about a policy that qualified candidates who apply for posted jobs should be interviewed. All jobs should be posted. And perhaps even turn over all hiring to an employment agency...

Anonymous said...

A leopard doesn't change its spots.

Jim Redovian does not deserve to be re-elected to the DCSS BOE -- for many reasons. Here are a few:

So Redovian has suddenly "seen the light" with regard to Friends-and-Family hiring. So what? For 4 years he thought it was fine.

Redovian has completely forgotten that Chamblee Charter High School is part of his district. CCHS is drowning under an incredible load of students, including many AYP transfers -- making the building and the buses way overcrowded. ESEA and NCLB offers a different solution other than sending AYP transfers to an overcrowded school. But, Jim isn't interested in doing anything different just to make things better for all students.

Redovian has ignored the fact that Chamblee's desperately needed renovation or (preferably) re-build has been tabled.

Redovian did nothing -- NOTHING! -- to save Nancy Creek -- DCSS's most diverse school that made AYP every year. He knew that the faux demographic "study" commissioned by Clew-less and used to justify closing Nancy Creek was a complete cut-and-paste job.

Redovian is not responsive to his constituents. I sent him an e-mail on August 6 which he has not even opened yet.

Redovian is on record as saying that the only reason why he ran for a BOE position was to support Clew-less. Not to improve our children's education -- just to support that lying, cheating, incompetent CLew-less.

Funny to watch Redovian on TV as a part of Wendy Saltzman's report tonight (August 10) suddenly "get religion" and come out against Friends-and-Family hiring. Holier-than-thou, now -- eh, Jim?

Anonymous said...

I think Redovian is just trying to get re-elected, plus I believe he had a couple of friends who lost their job or was not considered for a job. I'm checking on that and will report back.

I see that Palace on Stn Mtn Industrial and get so mad, some of that money should have gone to renovate Chamblee High and other schools in dire need.

I did see a commercial for the 100 Black men of DeKalb casino Royale night being sponsored by CBS 46. Their address is listed at McNair High School, is this legal? Why do we have a non-profit using school property? Is DCSS getting paid rent? Are they using equipment purchased by the taxpayers of DeKalb? Someone needs to ask the Tough Questions.

Anonymous said...

The least Redovian could have done last night is start a discussion about Ms. Jones credentials to be principal at a Title 1 school. He voted to approve her promotion and no one asked a question during the meeting. Why hasn't Tyson spoke up yet? She is the Superintendent and I am very interested in knowing what she thinks. Come on Ramona speak on camera, give Wendy some time so the stakeholders know where you stand.

Anonymous said...

To Be Completely Transparent and Open ...

I copied both Bobbe Gillis and Nancy Jester on the e-mail I sent to Morcease Beasley and Jim
Redovian. So far, neither Bobbe Gillis nor Nancy Jester have opened the e-mail. The e-mail has not been opened by Morcease Beasley or Jim Redovian, either.

So, what is this? More of the same regardless of who is elected?

Anonymous said...

"So - how about a policy that qualified candidates who apply for posted jobs should be interviewed. All jobs should be posted. And perhaps even turn over all hiring to an employment agency..."

I agree...First of all, the candidates have to be QUALIFIED. Then we would hopefully put quality people in positions (and weed out the unqualified friends & family).

What makes a candidate qualified needs to stipulated and adhered to during the search/interview/hiring process. Persons on other blogs have indicated that there have been situations where applications for qualified candidates have been ignored or even destroyed and the hiring person was told the "desired" person (friend/family) who would fill the open position.

The selection process must also be transparent. Yes, an employment agency may be the way to go (as long as they are not in anyone's pocket). The actual final candidates being considered (especially for upper level positions) should be listed at some site at least a month PRIOR to selection. Their qualifications should also be listed. There should also be some data regarding the number of applicants that actually applied for the position along with documentation that can be audited. At any rate, the current process is conducted in the shadows to the point where we don't know who is making the actual hiring selections or how it is being made.

Apparently, Dekalb already had a reputation regarding its hiring practices. There is no telling how many qualified, quality candidates are lost because they don't want to waste their time and effort going through our current sham of an employment process.

Anonymous said...

The interview with Redovian was done before Michelle Jones was added to the agenda.

The friends part is very hard to prove. When did the friendship begin? While many are in the same fraternity or sorority, they didn't go to the same college. They are friends and co-workers now, but can you prove that before they worked for the system they were friends.

I am certain Wendy would do more reporting, but no one would come forward. Multiple pleas, including by Wendy during the promo for her piece, have gone unanswered.

I think it was brave of Jim Redovian to come out publicly against other board members. This is what you all demand, all the time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:35 am, I agree with much of what you wrote, except that if you list the names of applicants for any position other than the very top ones, no one will apply. If you have a job, and you don't want to lose, you don't let your employer know you are looking. This idea would then limit applicants to those already working for the system, something we don't want.

The exception is the superintendent. Many states require the publishing of the top applicants names before a final decision is made. GA has some exception, but we can and should demand that we know the finalists names. In addition, many systems will bring the finalists in for a panel type discussion. I would love to see DeKalb add this transparency to the process.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:35, your suggestion would both make the hiring process more costly but also lengthen it. It that what you really want?

Isn't the information about who applied for a job subject to the Open Record Act. If so, citizens who question the hiring process could simply request a listing of the candidates that applied.

Also some have suggested that the Clarkston job was not posted on PATS. I'm pretty sure I saw it there earlier this summer. Some of this speculations seems to be going off the deep end.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 11:38 the former principal of Dunwoody is gone.... he was forced out of the system.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:56 & 6:59

My suggestions regarding hiring practices were "thinking out loud". I see the point regarding persons not wanting their employers to know they are looking. Listing final applicants being considered (not all) for upper level positions was just trying to think of a way to make the process more transparent and make it more difficult for the powers that be to fill positions on a whim.

However, regarding lengthening the process, for SOME positions, perhaps the process should be lengthened. Some of the comments that I see on this blog (and others) are regarding questions about persons AFTER they have been placed in positions. From my perspective, there doesn't seem to be much time between a name being openly "considered" and the actual appointment. I don't know that the extra time would address all of the concerns of stakeholders (e.g., teachers, parents, etc.), but hopefully some would be addressed and we would be a little more comfortable with the selection.

Anonymous said...

If you work 30 years that is 30 x 2% or 60% of your highest two contiguous years. If you work 33 years (like Dr. Lewis), you will collect 33 x 2% or 66% of your highest two contiguous years (now you see why he insisted on getting his salary up as much as possible).

WAIT!! Is Crawford Lewis, indicted for stealing our tax money, STILL getting $15,000 A MONTH from Teachers Retirement? What happens if he goes to prison? Do you still collect the pension if you are fired? Does anyone out there know the answers to these questions?? Please enlighten us.

Nancy Jester said...

Anon 1206am,

I have not received an email that was also sent to Morcease Beasley and Jim Redovian.

Please send it to me at . If you do not hear back from me within 24 hours, please call me at 678.360.1148. I am always interested in voters' and parents' correspondence and I reply to them. I am particularly interested in how Dr. Beasley is performing.

For anyone who emails me, please don't hesitate to call me if you don't get a timely response.

Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon. --Nancy Jester

Anonymous said...

This meeting is today, I hope someone can go and report back.


In keeping with the Open Meetings Act, this notification is to advise that
members of the DeKalb County Board of Education have been invited to meet
with the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and DeKalb Delegation, at 12:00pm,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010. The meeting will be held in the Conference
Center at DeKalb Technical College, 495 North Indian Creek Drive,

The purpose of the meeting is to facilitate discussions regarding the SACS
inquiry. While a quorum of Board members will be present, no action will
be taken.

Anonymous said...

@ Nancy Jester

The e-mail was re-sent about 20 minutes ago.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:01 pm

How do you know that her daughter doesn't have a college degree? I thought she had a degree in social work.

The county should be publishing each position (e.g. Dispatch Clerk, Bus Driver, Administrative Assistant I etc.) in the county including a detailed a job description and the minimum requirements. In addition, each position should be placed on standardized pay scales. This should be placed on the DCSS website so that taxpayers can see what the jobs entails and how much each job pays.

I think that would be a good question to ask present BOE members and their challengers. Would they be willing to publish each job, its description and minimum requirements and place them on a standardized pay scale for all taxpayers to see.

If Ms. Tyson wants transparency for taxpayers, she needs to move on this immediately.

We taxpayers pay 61 Human Resources personnel approximately $4,500,000 in salary and benefits. They should have time to put this in a format taxpayers can view just like they've done for teachers.

Because we have nothing like this, for example, secretaries to "upper management" make twice the salaries of secretaries in other departments or the schools even as they perform the same functions. That's why the Ernst and Young audit advised standardizing job titles and functions. If you do the same job function, you should be placed on the same salary schedule under the correct number of years of experience.

Where does Ms. Tyson and the current BOE stand on this? Since so many of the BOE's family and friends are employed with DCSS, I think I know.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced that Ramona Tyson doesn't really want transparency at all. Hers are just more empty promises in order to try and regain the public's trust. The board acts like she hung the moon and is the savior of the system.

I don't trust this board to choose the next superintendent. No way.

Anonymous said...

This board cannot be trusted on any level to do any thing.

Select the next superintendent? No way!

DCSS needs an entirely new BoE.

The citizens must replace the five BoE members that are on the ballot this November.

It won't fix the mess. But it'll be a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

HR at DCSS is incredibly dysfunctional. I've heard story after story from people who've applied for positions. Whether they got the job or not, everyone said dealing with them is like pulling teeth.

What is the name of the retiree who still works every day with Ron Ramsey at the Office of Internal Affairs? The BOE was supposed to address the retiree situation a few years ago. It was just a way to give a favor to formr administrators back then, and it should have been fixed for good.

Anonymous said...

What is the name of the retiree who still works every day with Ron Ramsey at the Office of Internal Affairs?

I believe that is Robert Tucker.

I am a member of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia and, based on the rules as published on their website [], Tucker should never have been hired back by DCSS when he was. I am betting that DCSS is not reporting to TRS that Tucker was hired back. In fact, I am quite sure that DCSS is not reporting to TRS about a number of retirees who were hired back.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:18

This is from the TRS website:
"All TRS retirees may engage in the following types of employment without jeopardizing their monthly benefit:
Substitute teaching at the substitute daily rate
Private school teaching
Teaching in a state other than Georgia
Employment in the private sector
Employment with a State of Georgia agency
Self employment
Employment in non-TRS covered positions
'Temporary' employment in a TRS covered position (not to exceed 3 months in a fiscal year)."

I'll bet they spread his hours over the year - e.g. he may only work 1 day a week. DCSS was hiring people back until a number of years ago they got into trouble with TRS over this same issue. Mainly, they were hiring highly paid administrators back at their same hourly rate for over the amount of hours allowed. Just more ways to compensate Family and Friends. I think that was cleaned up.

(source: TRS wbsite

Anonymous said...

It's borderline criminal for the DCSS Office of Internal Affairs, that Ron Ramsey makes three times what the average teacher makes, and that Robert Tucker is double-dipping as a DCSS retiree and the Office's defacto No.2.

So many of the issues at DCSS would have been nipped in the bud with an Internal Affairs Division that actually does its job. But it's also hard when the director is out for months each year as a state senator, and calls for an economic boycott of one of the cities in the county.

If Ramona was even a tiny bit serious about reform, Ramsey and Tucker would be out the door.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:06 AM and Anonymous 12:00 PM

If Robert Tucker's allowed 3 months of work hours are spread out over a year, he makes an incredible hourly rate: $105.29/hour!

For FY 2009, he made: $54,331.89

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know if anyone on this blog (one poster in particular) thinks anybody in DCSS central office should stay or if they are doing anything correctly?

Anonymous said...

How in the blankety blank is a DCSS retired administrator collecting his full pension plus an additional $54,331.89 per year??? What, is he doing Ron Ramsey's job for him. Whoops, just answered my own question.

Robert Tucker, can't wait until a new superintendent comes in and politely shows your the door. You too, Senator Ron Ramsey.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:14 PM ... and others ...

"I'm curious to know if anyone on this blog (one poster in particular) thinks anybody in DCSS central office should stay or if they are doing anything correctly?"

Everyone in the DCSS central office must go.

Even if they are competent, they got where they are -- and have managed to keep their jobs --through a combination of the friends-and-family employment program and the reign of terror that began with Johnny Brown and continued with exponential growth under Clew-less. This is all they know. They are unlikely to change. They are a cancer in the system, waiting to spread.

A completely clean sweep is needed -- and that includes principals -- many of whom were promoted above their level of competence with little teaching experience.

All must go!

Anonymous said...

Let's keep Terry Segovis, he is honest and always gives my wife and I time when we see him at meetings. Right now he is an area Super.

The others can go! I hope they go soon! Especially, Moseley, Turk, Thompson, Mitchell-Mayfield, Ramsey, these folks let Clew get away with a lot of malfeasance. It happened right under their noses.

Cerebration said...

That's true about Ramsey. He urged a boycott of all businesses in the city of Dunwoody. Wouldn't that be going against schools and costing schools a lot of possible SPLOST money? If people boycott Perimeter mall and Dunwoody, then DeKalb's SPLOST collections and therefore the schools would be harmed. Why do we employ someone who actually chooses to cause harm to the school system?

Cerebration said...

Wendy has posted the raw video footage of her parking lot interview of Zepora. View it in it's entirety here -

Cerebration said...

Additionally, you can watch the interview with Jim Redovian here in the video library -

The video is called DeKalb School Ethics Part 2

Cerebration said...

FWIW, Zepora makes the point that her daughters have worked for the system for many years and that she has only been on the board for 8 years. True. But, according to the state salary schedule as sent in by another blogger, both of her daughters have experienced major bumps in salary since mama got that board spot.


Reasons Zepora is defensive about her daughters.


2008 TRACEY N. JONES salary jumped to $60,261.47 as a STAFF DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST!

2009 TRACEY N. JONES salary jumped to $68,692.91 and she was PROMOTED TO AN ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL!!!

Ms. Zepora “NEPOTISM” Roberts, within a 4 year period, your daughter TRACEY N. JONES salary increased from $49,902 to $68,692.91! With a couple of hefty promotions to boot!

Now. Your daughter CHANDA L. WHITE is also employed by DeKalb County School Systems.

2005 CHANDA L. WHITE salary was $11,384 in the PARENT CENTER

2008 CHANDA L. WHITE salary jumped to $53,292.17 & Travel Expenses $107.19 as a FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR (FEDERAL FUNDS?) -

2009 CHANDA L. WHITE salary jumped to $59,895.57 still as a FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR!

WOW! So, let me understand. Just from 2008 to 2009 Zepora Roberts’s daughter’s salary JUMPED SIX THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED THREE DOLLARS AND FOUR CENTS??? ($6,603.04)!!! Same position but with a SIX THOUSAND DOLLAR RAISE?????? WOW!!

And to think that teachers were under a salary freeze implemented by you during this same time period.

Anonymous said...

Wow, watch the raw video. Zepora is a blabbering fool on the video. How as she ever elected.

And Zepora's next slogan: "You keep coming to me!"

Anonymous said...

If Ramsey is a state legislator and an important part of the DCSS structure, why hasn't he taken any steps to stop "equalization"--the state procedure whereby some of out tax dollars go to schools in other counties? It would seem he is in an ideal place to do this, and I can't imagine any of his constituents objecting.

Cerebration said...

Geesh - announced and then cancelled in the same day!

August 11, 2010


Please be advised that the Press Conference scheduled at 11:00am, Thursday, August 12, 2010, in the Board Room at the DeKalb County School System's Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain has been canceled.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:14 pm

"I'm curious to know if anyone on this blog (one poster in particular) thinks anybody in DCSS central office should stay or if they are doing anything correctly?"

I'm not that poster, but I do think they should all be let go when we have a new superintendent and then interviewed to get their jobs back. Some will be re-employed, some won't. Isn't that what's done in failing schools when you reconstitute the faculty? Sometimes things are so bad that you have to do this in an organization - businesses do this as well.

I know from my prior experience in a support job in DCSS (retired now) that many if not most admin and support employees think that everything is fine in DCSS. They like their jobs, and the benefits are good, especially in today's economy. Actually, it is fine for them sitting in an office in a building somewhere. But it is not fine in schools and classrooms for teachers and students. That's the only concern parents/taxpayers have.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:38,

I think that is a brilliant idea. Certainly all the central office people aren't bad. Many of them are quite good at their jobs, be it as a secretary, bookkeeper, instructional coach, etc.

But the new superintendent needs to make sure.

The new super also needs to make sure that salaries are in line with job descriptions and that we have just the right amount of positions and not to many.

Anonymous said...

To Cere @ 5:07 -- This reeks of board member micro-management into the day-to-day operations of the school system. SACS can't get there soon enough.

Think about it, the superintendent notifies all media outlets to come for a news-worthy conference, then all of a sudden there's no news whatsoever to share? Not likely. More probable is that a board member(s) weighed in and suggested to their employee (the super) that the conference is not a good idea. If I'm right, this alleged interference has nothing to do with policy setting and everything to do with micromanagement.

Cynical? Yes!

Anonymous said...

@anon 5:38.. who said.....
I'm not that poster, but I do think they should all be let go when we have a new superintendent and then interviewed to get their jobs back. Some will be re-employed, some won't. Isn't that what's done in failing schools when you reconstitute the faculty? Sometimes things are so bad that you have to do this in an organization - businesses do this as well.

Some central office employees have already gone through this - this summer.

This process can be manipulated depending on who is reviewing and interviewing.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:34
"Some central office employees have already gone through this - this summer.

This process can be manipulated depending on who is reviewing and interviewing. "

Agreed. The higher you are the more responsibility you need to take. I think posters on the blog intuitively understand that until you get rid of all DCSS "upper management" and then look at who needs to stay, nothing will really change. It seems in DCSS that kids learn in spite of the administration's actions.

Anonymous said...

Another point of you all think that we have a failing school district? And those schools sites that are considered successful (by your standards) what do you think their formula for success is?

Anonymous said...

I think we have a failing school district.

Making AYP is the focus, not providing our children with a challenging curriculum. I don't care whether or not my child receives a pass plus or exceeds expectations on GHSGT/CRCT--GARBAGE TESTS produced by a backwards state DOE. What I care about is how they score on the ITBS, SAT, & ACT. Does the HS valedictorian have to take a remedial english class in college, because they never learned how to write a proper term paper. I've seen far too many HONOR Graduates that can't write a 3 page paper without copying/pasting from wikipedia.

I'm concerned that many parents are so hung up on whether the school makes AYP, that they lose focus on the curriculum. Stop boring the children to death with copies of worksheets where are constantly filling in the bubbles. After CRCT, my daughter rarely came home with computational math homework. My SR was stuck doing a senior portfolio that consisted of a resume, research on the college/profession of his choice, community service log, and an essay on Beowolf. How does that prepare them for college level composition & literature classes? During his JR year while still on block scheduling, all JRs had to take a GHSGT prep class, so in March after the taking all the tests, what did they do in class? Absolutely nothing, and by the way, how do you give a final in a test prep class where you rotated teachers/subjects every 3 weeks?

Anonymous said...

I have known Frankie Freeman for a long time. She did not go directly from bus driver to making 72K. I know she worked as a secretary at Towers and I believe also in a special ed classroom. Rick Cost gave her the position she is in now the first time he came to DeKalb.

I am sure some have abused the system and others have similar stories. (I just happen to know her) Don't post 1st to last without the between. If you need help at the county office call her. See what happens.

By the way, Robin Freeman left DCSS some time ago due to illness.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:08 pm

"She did not go directly from bus driver to making 72K. I know she worked as a secretary at Towers and I believe also in a special ed classroom. "

You might be interested to know that a teacher with a Bachelors degree and 30 years of experience makes $57,180, a teacher with a Masters degree and 30 years of experience makes $66,390, a teacher with a Specialist degree (between a Masters and a Doctorate) makes $72,607. Does she have a Specialist degree and 30 years of experience?

Why is it that everyone makes more than teachers in DCSS and yet teachers are the one group of employees we can't do without and everyone in the school system is supposed to be supporting as they are the only group that works directly with our children?

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess the 3 years Mrs. Roberts daughter has worked for the school system ensured she was more valuable than a teacher with 30 years of experience. Who designed these numerous non-teaching salary schedules anyway? How depressing for teachers. Teachers need to leave the classroom and stop teaching children to make some money - oh - that's right - the Central Office people have figured that out already.

Anonymous said...

As an attorney, here's a little something for the blog.

Be careful.

Wendy please be careful. She may have more nerve than a brass ...
monkey but her approach is dangerous.

Ms. Roberts is the older female. On film she seems nervous and weak. Ms. Saltzman followed her around enough to cause an intervention from the Security officer. His actions shows Ms. Roberts as the person in need of the protection not Ms. Saltzman.

Ms. Saltzman did not fear or feel threatened as Ms. Roberts stated she felt. Ms. Saltzman did not file any charges. The restraining order is not allowed, she approached Ms. Roberts. Also, Ms. Saltzman's return the next day.

So, whatever bully policy you have in DCSS, if the victim returns the next day to keep approaching, digging and talking, no preceived action of bullying took place.

They are talking and standing in front of each other the next day. Ms. Saltzman came over as a choice not a requirement.

Be careful....You are interested in getting a story. Your readers on this blog now have no standing to ask for Ms. Roberts resignation.

These actions and perceptions all
total up to sensational television
and ratings.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:09 PM

I doubt your hypothesis to be the case.

I think the PR people probably said don't do this. With all the extraneous issues out there, it would have been impossible to control the questioning and limit it to the SACs review.

Cerebration said...

The second interview is nutty.

"I have no commentsssssss."
"I have no commentsssssss."
"I have no commentsssssss."
"I have no commentsssssss."
"I have no commentsssssss."

"But - I will say, YOU bully - ed Me! You ambushhhhhed me. I felt threatened and I was bully-ed. Right in front of my grandson! You are not a friend to DeKalb County. You are not a friend to children. You do not have journalism integrity. That's all I have to say to you Miss Saltzman."

So what's up with Womack's response? "Stick around. That's all I'll say. Stick around." Did he appear to be chuckling just a bit as he said that?

Watch it all online here -

Anonymous said...

To the attorney, 10:35, I have every right to ask for Ms. Roberts resignation. My 6th grade son asked me why Ms. Roberts is not held up to the same standards as he does. He signed his student handbook which states bullying or threatening will be dealt with by suspension or expulsion. Ms. Roberts was in a public parking lot. If Ms. Roberts did not want to talk, all she had to say was no comment and walk to her car. In the video Ms. Roberts stopped to talk, doesn't that give Wendy the right to ask a question? I'm not an attorney, but between the rude emails and the threats she does not deserve to be on the BOE. I have every right to say so. I think the constitution gives me that freedom.

Anonymous said...

Roberts cannot speak proper English. She needs to go. How can someone who appears to not have an education, be making decisions on providing a quality education for our children? She needs to go, and she needs to go now. She is not a role model for our children and not making the kind of representation of DCSS I would like to see.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Does this sound like the Zepora we have heard and read: “In anger and frustration, I inappropriately threatened the reporter. I apologize to the reporter, Wendy Saltzman, for my outburst,” Roberts wrote in the statement. Wonder who wrote it for her – one of the DCSS attorneys, maybe? Do we get to pay attorney fees for her apology too?

Anonymous said...

"Roberts cannot speak proper English. She needs to go. How can someone who appears to not have an education, be making decisions on providing a quality education for our children?"

Exactly. Our BOE members should be at least as educated as the teachers in the schools. As a teacher, I am disgusted to have people less educated than me making decisions for our school system.

How can we expect the schools to pass AYP when the BOE members representing those schools could not pass the tests themselves? This is the Board of EDUCATION. Those at the top must be educated.

Anonymous said...

At one time in this country's history, there was a requirement to pass a literacy test before one could vote. That was determined to be unconstitutional as it was a method to keep certain people from voting.

I also believe it's time for ZR and SCW to go because I don't believe they consider the entire community in their decision making. I could not support any rule with an education requirement for school board candidates. The best way to address this is to make sure you have an engaged electorate. The best way get to get different representatives in those districts is to help in creating awareness of the other candidates and hope the best ones will rise to the top.

Cerebration said...

"while there is no i in team, there is a u in unemployment"

Is that an actual quote? Spoken or written? How horrible!

Anonymous said...

Beasley Has Got to Go!

"while there is no i in team, there is a u in unemployment" is sickening and disgusting. Our teachers do NOT deserve this.

Only a person who is so inept and so inexperienced and in so far over his head that he can't see "up" would be saying these things and making these outrageous demands. He is attempting to shut down any dissent, anyone who questions his demands -- hoping that he can disguise his many shortcomings until he has broken or run off the best teachers -- the ones with brains and experience -- and until patents and taxpayers forget.

Beasley is behaving like an insecure fool. He clearly does not belong in his position.

Anonymous said...

Please! Teachers help us help you!

This is a true story. I was once in a meeting with a number of people from DCSS MIS, including Tony Hunter. The meeting was to discuss Internet safety practices for children and students.

One DCSS person -- I'm pretty sure that it was Tony Hunter -- noted that Georgia is a sovereign state. As a sovereign state, he said, Georgia should be able to stop bad Internet transmissions (scams, child pornography, child molesters, etc) at its borders. BTW -- no one from DCSS corrected him.


You can't make up this kind of stuff.

This ranks right up there with Congressional Representative Hank Johnson's belief that islands will tip over.

Teachers -- do you need to know more? The people in DCSS MIS are waaaay ignorant and unskilled. If you follow the previously published directions, step-by-step, you are safe in sending e-mails from Tyson, Beasley and their ilk -- including those passed along to you by your principal -- to this blog.

This morning's Beasley quote was a good start. What a big, bumbling embarrassment he is!

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to use the email link to email their board members about Beasley and the inappropriate amount of paperwork that is being assigned to our teachers.

The link is on the first page of the website.

Don't just email your board rep, email them all.

We need to stand up for our teachers and our children/students.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should send three copies of our email to Dr. B. Let's fill his email box! Time to bury him in paper work.

Anonymous said...

Has CBS Atlanta posted the interview with the "other board member" they mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Oops... never mind. Found the link.


Anonymous said...

Just watched the Redovian interview. Oh puhleeeeeeeese. Who among us buys this ? Please Dunwoody, don't let this opportunity slip away. We must , must make a change - Do your research, talk to your neighbors. It won't be hard to find plenty of people who have stories of a lack of response and a lack of advocacy with the county office for our students.....

Anonymous said...

Redovian voted against the hirings/layoffs a few months ago. He voted against the hiring of Morace Beasley.

Our school board members get between 100-300 emails daily. This is suppose to be a part time job. Let's get back to the point where it can be.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right, we elect these guys to a part time job. The BOE does things that the electorate does not like and we're suppose to sit on our hands and not express what we feel? These folks ran for PUBLIC office, they decide how to spend 1.2 Billion dollars a year of OUR tax money. I don't care if they get 1000 emails a day, they should respond. My state legislator, Mike Jacobs, answers my emails. My former State Senator, Dan Weber, took time to reply to my emails. Fran Millar, called me the other day to ask if I had any concerns. Why can't Jim Redovian take time to answer emails? I am in his district, he does take care of his Dunwoody constituents, however he forgets he represents Chamblee as well.

I was overjoyed that he voted against that awful excuse of an employee bill. Lot's a names and one vote! Geez!

Anonymous said...

Let's add the well known Miller family to the list of Family and Friends. (RIP)The beloved father Elridge L. Miller (E.L. Miller Elementary) has a son, Jeff Miller that moved so quietly and swiftly up the ladder in the MIS/I.T. Dept in less than 6 months. He was hired as a first level computer tech(CTSS) but within months promoted to Network specialist. Wait get this, by his date of employment he should have been RIF/laid off. But with the help of the Interim Superintendent who don't forget was the Chief Operating Officer, therefore she knew how to allocate moving the money & positions around & creating new divisions within divisions. (keep up pls) before that she was the Assoc. Super of MIS/I.T. She helped to reorganize the MIS Dept to save special friends and families jobs. So, right before the layoffs, they moved the silver spoon Jeff Miller to the superintendent's castle and saved him from the RIF. P.S. His mother formerly worked for DCSS in Title I.
MIS has more managers managing managers it is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:55 pm

"Redovian voted against the hirings/layoffs a few months ago. He voted against the hiring of Morace Beasley."

When he saw how upset his constituents are and he realized he is up for election, he started to modify his votes. He voted to give Lewis a contract. He voted to give Lewis a raise. He voted For Ms. Tyson's budget which left our children in huge class, cut the lowest paid schoolhouse personnel while leaving a bloated admin and support "upper management untouched. He voted for the $30,000,000 Central Office structure while leaving Chamblee HS students to wallow in trailers.

Yes. I have a problem with Jim Redovian. He is trying to change his stripes. I'm sorry if he doesn't like emails. Our students don't like sitting in trailers with 30+ other students. Our teachers don't like being the lowest paid and most pressured employees. If he doesn't like how his votes turned out, then why is he running? If he is re-elected, it will be just as shameful as Zepora Roberts being re-elected.

Cerebration said...

Just a few years ago, Lewis asked Pat Pope to create a list of people to be cut in the demands for budget cuts. I'm told that she submitted a list to Lewis, but then Lewis altered that list - saving "friends and family" before he presented it to the board.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:12 pm

"MIS has more managers managing managers it is pathetic. "

And that is why we spend more than any county yet our students have little access to technology and so little works.

Please, teachers weigh in here. Do you feel your students have abundant access to technology - For example, can you march your students into a computer lab, let them spend 15 minutes taking the benchmark tests and then have the results accessible to you the next day? This happens in most of the other metro school systems.

This MIS group gave us eSis and SchoolNet for $11,000,000 (we are still paying millions a year for these systems) 3 years ago. Ms. Tyson sold the BOE on purchasing these systems because the teachers would get so much useful data. Teachers, have you gotten ANY useful data from SchoolNet ($7,000,000)? I won't even ask about eSis.

DCSS spends approximately $19,000,000 for salaries and benefits for MIS. Plus millions more for Dell to install and do the major maintenance for DCSS computers and ActivBoards.

Anonymous said...

Cere at 7:44 pm

I had heard the same thing and that this was the beginning of the bad blood between Dr. Lewis and Pat Pope.

I don't know if any of you are following Blagojevich's trial in Chicago, but the jury is reportedly deadlocked on almost all the counts. This should worry us all as the resources being put into that trial significantly out weigh the resources in this trial.

RICO is very hard to prove. Pray that the DA can get one of the defendants to roll on the other.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:12

Teachers, what say you. Have you received these benefits Mrs. Tyson promised the BOE that eSis and SchoolNet ($11,000,00) would give us?
Here are Mrs. Tyson's exact words to the BOE about the benefits of eSis and SchoolNet. Have you seen these yet?

"Benefits of Implementing a New SIS

Web-based, Graphical User Interface (GUI) application with a consistent look and feel. The point and click functionality and ease of use should reduce training hours and user error and increase productivity and efficiency

School Interoperability Framework (SIF) compliance will enhance data sharing between the SIS and other applications.

Registration application supports Central Registration with ability to input the parent information once and attach it to each student. The functionality to attach siblings together will increase efficiency within current processes such as Magnet/Theme Lottery.

An automated master schedule builder application will enhance scheduling productivity and accuracy.

A structured, process-driven, and intuitive scheduler would improve schoolhouse productivity and accuracy of student schedules.

Instant messaging and timely alerts among all district-wide roles, including parents and teachers, will result in improved real-time data information exchange.

More comprehensive, fully integrated, district-wide Parent Portal would result in increased parent-teacher communication and parent involvement.

Support of district-wide standard course weightings.

Online help, tutorials and supporting documentation will increase user training accessibility and improve professional development.

Powerful, robust and user friendly reporting system will empower users to retrieve information based on authorized access at an “on demand” basis.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:12 pm

Ms. Tyson also told the BOE that everything was going great with the implementation of SchoolNet. Teahers, have you even been trained on SchoolNet? Do you use it to help your students?

Mrs. Tyson's exact words:
"This application was approved by the Board of Education on December 20, 2007 and the approval (RFP 8-12) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual BOE approval. Future payments are as follows:

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

Services which are included in the price are project management, database configuration, data conversion, application installation, implementation, testing, training and product support. The vendor will also provide customized reporting tailored to the needs of district administrators, principals and teachers.

The project is on schedule and training for teachers and administrators is planned for first semester 2008."

We've had SchoolNet since 2007 and we're still paying for it. Moreover, we'll still pay after we finish these payments since it is hosted on the vendor's server, we'll pay the maintenance fees.

What a waste of taxpayers' money. This MIS group cannot technically deliver any benefits of this system so we pay and pay and will continue to pay. Why doesn't Mrs. Tyson do something about these millions that are being wasted instead of packing classrooms with 45 students?

(source: BOE meeting notes - DCSS website)

Cerebration said...

More comprehensive, fully integrated, district-wide Parent Portal would result in increased parent-teacher communication and parent involvement.

How's that workin' out?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 5:55 Seriously? Really? Redovian is off the hook for how long of being in a DCSS BOE coma?
Oh sure, he is talking a big game now with the re-election issue.
And we are supposed to just accept., Oh yea, it is a part time job and Oh yea, you didn't really know what was going on.
So, don't you find it strange now that the hammer is coming down and their positions are threatened he is " bravely " coming forth ? Are people really that gullible?
Well, I'm not ! I am a parent in his district who called, e-mailed , and got no response whatsoever.....

Anonymous said...

You can't find the link to Parent Portal on the new webpage.

It is under community. WTH?

Why isn't it under students?

Is community suppose to mean parents?

Who thinks these things up?

Ok, just kidding. I know I shouldn't be surprised.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, who was the vendor that sold DCSS Schoolnet? I don't know but would be interested to see if it is a friend or family member of someone high up in the DCSS food chain.

The teachers I have talked to claim they do not have time to use schoolnet. They're too busy doing paperwork, grading papers, talking to parents and most importantly TEACHING OUR KIDS!

Enough with these clunky software systems that do not seem to have any return on investment. The only ROI I want to see is more schools making AYP, more kids learning, teachers being taken care of and the criminal activity to stop at DCSS.

One can dream...right?

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