Monday, January 17, 2011

Call to Action

Someone recently made the comment that we are only complaining, and not taking action to improve our school system. It recently dawned on me, why not take that challenge?

We have almost an entire new state administration, so let's cry out to these folks for help. Believe it or not, every legislator or government leader I have met has always told me that they do not hear from the public as often as people would think.  They actually like to hear from us - so let your thoughts be known!


Here's how:

If you would like to write the governor, the state school superintendent and the state school board and specifically ask them to help us by investigating and possibly taking over our board and some of our schools, write down your feelings in a letter or an email.  If you would like, give them a call—they are more accessible than you think and it's their job to listen to the public. Below is the contact information you will need.

Contacting our new Governor, Nathan Deal is quite easy. Just click this link and fill out the handy contact form.

We also have a brand new state school superintendent, Dr. John Barge, who was just sworn in along with the Governor. To contact Dr. Barge use the info below:

Dr. John D. Barge
State Superintendent of Schools
2066 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-2800
(404) 651-8737

Brad Bryant has served as Interim State School Superintendent, leaving the 4th district seat open. I'm not certain if he is still acting as super this week or if he has or will return to his board seat, but below is contact info for Brad Bryant (which may not be current).

William Bradley "Brad" Bryant
Chief Executive Officer/Superintendent
Georgia School System
Tel: (404) 657-7410
Fax: (404) 657-6978

If you are a registered voter, click here and submit your name to get a listing of your locally elected officials. The DeKalb delegation is very powerful in the legislature. Our school system's director of Internal Affairs, Ron Ramsey, is an elected state senator. Feel free to email him with your concerns about our school system—he holds two public jobs designed to protect education. He is required by law to do so. If you have an issue that you want internally investigated, send it to Ron Ramsey by clicking here and send a copy of your request to Ms. Tyson and the Board by CLICKING HERE to Email the entire DCSS Board of Education

Additionally, we are about to have a visit from SACS (administered by AdvancED), the accrediting organization which accredits our school system. If you have issues you would like leaders at SACS to know, send an email (with DeKalb Schools in the subject line) to SACS by clicking SACS accreditation

To write a letter to SACS leaders, send to:

Dr. Mark Elgart
AdvancED (SACS/Casi)
9115 Westside Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30009

Or Call -
888.41ED NOW (888.413.3669)


Rather than writing a sample letter or a bullet-point listing of topics for you to use, we simply encourage you to speak from your heart, asking the people with the power for the help that we seek for our county school system and our 100,000 students.

Let's get going!


Anonymous said...

Let's start by sending everybody whose anybody a copy of Dr. Blackwood's analysis. With a link to our discussion here. Has it been discussed on the AJC?

Anonymous said...

You may want to visit this site for ideas and ammunition.

To quote its founder: " Mayor Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Barack Obama send their kids to private schools where class size is no more than 15 students per class"


Anonymous said...

I like 2:29's idea. he says it so eloquently. Add a line or two of your own and send it along.

2:54, throwing something out there that we know we can't achieve is kind of counterproductive, isn't it? It gives them a reason to throw up their hands and say, "See--nothing we can do!"

I recognize that class size means SO VERY MUCH and should be at the fore of our conversations, but 15 is not gonna happen. Maybe another quote from tht organization that would be better food for thought. Just MHO.

Anonymous said...

You are right but this site has identified many of the ills with Title I that beset Dekalb County.

It speaks of wasted moneys in programs and technology without really helping.


Anonymous said...

FBI -- if you have any solid info on fraud, waste and misuse of federal funds, please report them to the FBI -- they have someone assigned to public fraud and corruption -- as does the US Attorney. Everyone's voice matters!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Tyson just sent out an email that she made the decision to not pursue any of the RFPs for facilities services.

Anonymous said...

Call to Action

@ Cerebration

Simple, elegant and effective! Bravo!

Three suggestions:
First: Keep your e-mail letters to one (1) page or less. That is approximately 400 - 500 words, max. Don't guess! Use Microsoft Word's or OpenOffice's word counter tool.

Second: Ask someone else to read your e-mail before you send it to ensure the use of correct grammar and correct spelling. Improper grammar and incorrect spelling reduce your credibility in the eyes of the recipient.

Third: Use ReadNotify [] to know if your e-mail is actually received and opened. A free trial to ReadNotify lasts for two weeks or 25 emails (whichever comes first). Annual subscriptions are just $24 for basic; $36 for premium. It's an invaluable service, worth every penny!

Cerebration said...

Not so fast on the 15 per class idea. Do the math - 100,000 students divided by 15 per class = 6,666 teachers. We have around 6,500 now. (Used to have more.) So, add in the need for even fewer in special education and say we need 7,500 teachers. That is totally doable! (Just cut back on the 8,500 support and admin staff - especially teacher coaches, etc.)

Cerebration said...

ps - Vox - so glad to have you back!

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration
But keep in mind that less than 4,000 out of 6,500 of those teachers teach the content of science, social studies, language arts and math. Those 4,000 are solely accountable for making AYP. That's why it's so important to have Title 1 reading and math specialists in the schools teaching math and reading to small groups of struggling students.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Tyson's decision is due to many facilities being so run down that it would cost us a mint to have a private company come in and take care of things.

Anonymous said...

one thing is that when the schools are consolidated/closed Ms Tyson will layoff those custodians/staff that are no longer needed..I believe that is the short term goal of her agenda. Also why woudl she be making these decisions when a new Super will be in place by the summer? Shouldn't this be something the permanent Super should be tackling...not the interiem....jmo

Anonymous said...

Another person to contact is

Sen Fran Millar who represents a part of North DeKalb. He chairs the GA Senate education committee. He saved DCSS some $ millions last year when they had missed a filing date. He is in the Senate majority. I cannot find his email address.

I still think that we should set up a fund to be administered by Cereb to pay costs for open records requests.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow is the vote on Ramona's raise/pension bump up.

E mail your BOE member NOW to say she gets money only if it is not used in computing her pension.

Anonymous said...

"E mail your BOE member NOW to say she gets money only if it is not used in computing her pension. "

Legally speaking, those stipulations cannot be put on someones compensation.

Sagamore 7 said...

Here is my request from the BOE regarding Ms. Tyson's raise.

You have to work for the money and produce!

These are my requests and until they are completed, she gets no additional funds.

Create a legal document/employment contract contingent on these duties being performed for additional compensation.

1) As per the 2004 audit from Ernst & Young, cut at least $15,000,000 in central office administration.

2) Help implement the 2020 Vision prior to redistricting and offer a comprehensive accounting of all facets of the plan.

3) Stay out of the new superintendent's way and help when asked during the transition.

4) Create new policy directly dealing with nepotism at DCSS.

5) Create transparent and accountability personnel policy at DCSS.

Once these tasks are completed, Ms. Tyson you will be paid in full and thanked for job well done.
Good luck at your next, much smaller school system.

We can fix the rest of DCSS after Ramona is gone. This shouldn't be too much to ask for an additional $1,000,000 in lifetime benefits?
Anybody up for doing the job?
I know I am!!!


Ella Smith said...

I understand how the raise for Tyson may look. However, from another propective I do not think she has been paid as our superintendent and she has been doing the job. I agree that this does not look very good. However, I do believe that she should be making what our last superintendent was making as she has filled his shoes well and deserves the pay he would have been receiving. To not pay her what we were paying a man to do the job is questionable to say the least legally. Once she is not the superintendent she can go back to her original salary but currently I do think it is important to pay her as a superintendent is paid. This is a big responsibility. This may look like a raise from one angle. However, it is only fair to pay her fairly for the job she is doing as a women. To not pay her as a women what we were paying a man does not look very good in my opinion. (From another prospective whether it is wrong or right)

Ella Smith said...

Sagmamore 7, very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Please don't forget that tomorrow there is a public hearing scheduled at 10am to hear public opinion about the proposed $73K pay increase to our interim superintendent (Ramona Tyson). Let's not get distracted by all this redistricting mess and miss this opportunity to be heard. I'll be there. Those who want to speak are encouraged to arrive b/t 8:45 and 9:45am to sign-in.

Ella Smith said...

Sagamore 7, I would like to see all of Sagamore in the Lakeside district. I also hope they do not move Leafmore out.

I live across the road on Lakeside's side of LaVista and it looks like I am going to be redistricted to North Druid Hills if this plan goes through. I am in shock. I thought for sure that our school board candidates would not allow this to happen. I am in shock as this was the platform on which some of them ran in the Lakeside district. I hope changes are made.

Ella Smith said...

Anonymous, the redistricting is a big deal if you are getting moved from one high school to another.

Legally, Tyson needs to be paid fairly compared to other superintendents while she is in. I understand this is a great deal of money. However, the responsibilities she has are very big. I always like to look at the picture from different angles. This sounds like a great deal of money. However, are we paying Tyson fairly now? I do not think we probable are. Is this too much money? Maybe, but she does deserve to be paid fairly.

Anonymous said...

Hello....are you listening? The redistricting proposals are just that...proposals! The consultants said that the presented plan would not look anything like the two suggestions. It would be a result of input from us, the users, the communities. They are only starting points for discussions....I can hear it now...." the plans are already made, why bother" ...Ok, go stick your head in the sand and believe that. This blog has posted great discussions, go to one of the meetings and voice your opinion. You'll never know until you try....

Anonymous said...


I agree with you whole heartedly about Ms. Tyson earning her money. IMO, she was in the right place at the right time for a HUGE career move. Now that she is there, they are making her do all the dirty work that was not done for years. She can never go back to her old job. Really, I do not think there is anywhere for her to go in DCSS when this is over. By giving her the raise we are saying she is superintendent material. She can look for another job in another district.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:04

What dirty work has Tyson done? Our administration is still too large. The level of education for all children has not improved. Discipline within the schools hasn't improved. Friends and family members continue to get jobs, big paying jobs. What has Tyson done to deserve a pay increase?

I agree with Sagamore 7, that until she right sizes salaries, non-teaching jobs-especially in the palace, and increasing the level of education our children receive. As well as right sizing the number of schools that we have, as we simply have too many open seats.

I believe that if these things are done, a bonus is in order, but not a pay raise that will effect her pension earning an extra million dollars.

Anonymous said...

Cere, your math (that we can have classes of 15 kids) can't be right.

How could increasing the number of teachers by 15% cut class sizes by half?

he ratio right now is fewer than 16kids per teacher )100K divided by 6500), but 30+ kids all over the place.

I don't think I can wrap my mind around all of the math involved, but clearly to cut class sizes by half, we would have to double the number of teachers.

We can certainly get much much smaller classes. If we could get to a max of 25, that would be a huge help.

Vanderlyn parent said...

This is the most informative blog regarding our schools. I tell parents about this site all the time as most of them have no clue what is really going on. I thank you for your dedication and all your time for all this data. It is true - parents need to get out and make their voices heard. Too many are just sitting by the sidelines. Thank you!

Cerebration said...

You're welcome Vanderlyn parent - glad you enjoy the blog. I hope you also participate in the school system decision-making. Level heads will prevail.

Anon 8:14 PM - Well, I was an art major...

Cerebration said...

It appears that Mark Elgart is pretty busy with Atlanta Public Schools this week -

Atlanta school system to learn SACS fate Tuesday

Anonymous said...


How do we get an AJC discussion going on Dr. Blackwood's editorial? It really is an amazing statement that needs the most exposure possible. What a brilliant analysis.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 8:14

Less than 4,000 of our teachers teach the content to our students (math, science, social studies and language arts). Many of the rest teach much smaller classes (special ed, gifted, ESOL, etc).

Remember than EVERY child must be taught by those 4,000 teachers since ALL children take the core courses (that's actually the ONLY reason they are in school - to learn math, science, language arts and social studies).

So divide 100,000 by the 4,000 that teach them the core classes = 25. Of course, some of those are magnet and theme and other choice schools so they have less students meaning the remaining teachers have more students. Some schools just tip over in a grade level to be over the legal limit so another teacher is hired. That will equal out somewhere in the system where another teacher takes up the slack and pick up more kids. You see Lewis and then Tyson set the class sizes to only apply to these 4,000 teachers so in essence they set the regular ed content and grade level class sizes to rise above 30 up to 36.

I know it's complicated, but understand Lewis and Tyson balanced the budget on the backs of the regular ed content and grade level teachers (those 4,000 math, science, social studies and language arts teachers) because that was the ones they could load up with kids. They can't do anything about the other 2,500 teahers (special ed, ESOL, etc.) because the state sets their class sizes so low.

Tyson will keep packing the classes of the 4,000 employees who have making AYP TOTALLY on their shoulders because it's most expedient and the easiest way out without cutting admin and support personnel. With those 4,000 you just don't replace a 100 or 200 of them. The teachers have left the system so they don't complain like someone who actually gets fired. The kids show up the next year to 2 4th grade teachers where their were 3 and they end up in classes of 33 and 34. But they can't complain because they're kids and they don't vote.

This is the hardest way to balance the budget for the students because the content areas are the ONLY reason they are in school and we pay taxes, but the jobs program is intact and that's the main reason for DCSS as Ms. Tyson is concerned.

Not being mean - she really doesn't understand the impact on kids -just on her colleagues and the pressure that will end up on her if she cuts the jobs program.

Does that make the numbers of 30+ in a class more understandable?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 9:04

"How do we get an AJC discussion going on Dr. Blackwood's editorial? It really is an amazing statement that needs the most exposure possible. What a brilliant analysis. "

Ask and ye shall receive. It's done:

Now DeKalb Watch bloggers, get in there and do your thing.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Even better piece. Dr. Blackwood's essay on Maureen Downey's blog is the unedited version. Check it out:

Anonymous said...

Ella, I have to respectfully disagree. Ms. Tyson should, in NO WAY, make what Dr. Lewis made. She has never been a superintendent, she has not been a superintendent as long as he had been, and she would not be hired as a superintendent even if she wanted it. She isn't permanent superintendent material. We can pay her what you would pay someone who applied for a superintendent job with no experience as a superintendent. A performance bonus is the way to compensate her when and if she actually DOES something besides talk.

Cerebration said...

@9:04 PM - Write an email to Maureen Downey and ask her. She often responds to reader's requests -

But you are correct. This essay is brilliant. I have to admit, the first three times I read it, most of it went over my head. But then, when I had time, I actually reread it very slowly and right-clicked on the (many) words I did not know and then internalized the whole message to the best of my ability.

My interpretation of the core message is that (too many) administrators today enforce too many "popular"methodologies, programs, teaching techniques, busywork (word walls, etc) that impede a truly gifted teacher's ability to teach -- and to teach deeply so that students can internalize and really know the material. Students can then transfer and cross-reference knowledge and make qualified inferences across subjects - becoming good thinkers.

It seems in DeKalb, we built a foundation of sand in the early years, with too much emphasis on "critical thinking" and not enough on rote learning and mechanical reading and writing skills along with creative play. Then, as students progress to high school, where if they have a good foundation, they can build with bricks - knowledge that they have discovered, or uncovered themselves with good teacher leadership - and applying their base knowledge and skills can use critical thinking to make the connections and unfold their own learning.

But, you can't place bricks on a foundation of sand, so in DeKalb we are forced to use rote-style learning (knowledge regurgitation) in the upper grades - in a panic to make up for the foundation that was not built early on - driven by the addiction to returning "Adequate" test scores.

Anonymous said...


Agreed. Is it "hush" money then?

Anonymous said...

How do we get an AJC discussion going on Dr. Blackwood's editorial? It really is an amazing statement that needs the most exposure possible. What a brilliant analysis.

Your wish has been granted..Maureen has posted a forum on the get schooled everyone please post

Anonymous said...

There are other ways to get this editorial noticed. If you are on Facebook, post a link. If you have access to a parent email list--or just know your kids' parents, send them a link. If you tell two friends, and they tell two friends . . .

Oh, that's my age showing, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

perhaps the job is just more than Ms. Tyson bargained for, for a longer time frame and the BOE needs her to stay more than she needs the job.

Anonymous said...


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anonymous said...

"Sagamore 7, I would like to see all of Sagamore in the Lakeside district. I also hope they do not move Leafmore out.

I live across the road on Lakeside's side of LaVista and it looks like I am going to be redistricted to North Druid Hills if this plan goes through. I am in shock. I thought for sure that our school board candidates would not allow this to happen. I am in shock as this was the platform on which some of them ran in the Lakeside district. I hope changes are made."

I thought school board candidates were not supposed to prejudge what specific changes should or should not happen. What candidate was it that ran on this platform?

Anonymous said...

If Tyson were male there would be absolutely no decussion period. Bob Moseley would have gotten his money up front, no doubt about it. In my opinion and I am entitled to one, Tyson has done more in 9 months to keep DeKalb in the road while trying to clean up some of CLewis and Halford' mess. Francis Edwards and Halford did so much wrong. If only we had kept Brown!!!
Wow, who wants to come to our struggling system that is worth anything.
We should leave Tyson alone and let her keep doing the great job she is doing and pray for relief for her and the system.

Anonymous said...

Just what has Tyson done to clean up? I don't think it takes a lot of thought to hire all these consultants.

Does she ever mention student achievement?

If she cleans up the central office, I would give her a bonus.

Does she deserve the same pay as an experienced superintendent? Absolutely not!

Wonder if we could get Cindy Loe to come in as interim?

Anonymous said...

She could refuse to serve as interim and return to her former job.

Anonymous said...

Tyson needs to get rid of Beasley!

Anonymous said...

When someone is hired to replace a principal or a teacher do they make the same salary as the person they are replacing? In DeKalb, all salaries are based on the job title and experience... why should the superintendent be treated any different?

Georgia Gal said...

The AJC blog with comments on Blackwell's article are excellent. There is an especially valuable response from "Crass Realist", who graduated from SWDeKalb about 30 years ago. He reflects on the changing neighborhood and places blame on the M to M program. He also comments on the high schools with day care programs. How many of them are there, where are they located, how are they funded, and how many children attend ?

Anonymous said...

@ 7:08 When a substitute is hired for a teacher they are not paid the same as a teacher. Even with long term sub work is not a teacher's salary or benefits. Substitutes are also not making the same money that they were paid last year and took a $10 a day pay cut to $75 a day.

If Tyson doesn't like her pay, let her walk. She hasn't been willing to be a superintendent and make the necessary cuts to the administration and put the children first. She has continued Lewis' mantra of expanding the administration and putting kids last.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Tyson getting a pay raise, but why does it continue for a FULL YEAR after a new supt, is hired on July 1st?

Her salary needs to go back to the already very generous is not already too high $168k per year.

Cerebration said...

Please note: TODAY January 18 at 1:00pm the joint Senate-House Education Committee will host hearings at the Capitol on the upcoming K-12 budget.

We'll see how the state plans to fund education next year.

Cerebration said...

Also, be sure to read the post at Maureen Downey's "Get Schooled" blog reporting on the media conference with state Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody.

Gold Dome 2011: No vouchers, no money, less HOPE

As to Deal’s pledge to put an end teacher furloughs and shortened school years, Millar said that will depend on whether school districts banked some of their stimulus money.

“This does not depend on the state,” he said. “It depends on what local systems have in their bank accounts. The possibility to end furloughs depends on what your local school board did with the stimulus dollars.”

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that she gave all employees a bonus (probably to make up for the lost pay), got rid of the furlough days, and beefed up the travel budget.

Anonymous said...

I turned on Channel 24 this morning expecting to see the BOE meeting scheduled for today, January 18, 2011. Instead, there was a replay of an earlier meeting.

Wasn't there supposed to be a meeting this morning? If so, Philandra where are you?

Anonymous said...

73K raised approved! 6-3 vote

DeKalb county residents, we didn't even get a meal first!

Jim Bohica Ben Dover

Sagamore 7 said...

Yes there was a meeting, it was Ramona's raise!

A couple of board members tried to table the vote to another meeting.

4 board members voted to table it.

5 members voted to disallow the tabled suggestion.

Then the board voted for the raise.

Yes, she got her raise.

6 people in favor of the raise.
SCW / jumped the aisle

3 were opposed.
Nancy Jester
Donna Edler
Don McChesney

Donna even said she didn't think this was final, final, but I don't see how.

7 people spoke publicly, 4 in opposition and 3 in favor.
Dr. Bouie and his wife were 2 of the 3.

It is still an unsavory environment at DCSS.

Ramona, time to fall on the sword!!!!


PolitiMom said...

It was frustrating this morning not seeing the meeting streamed. I even brought my headphones from home so I could listen at work. Would have liked to have heard the debate.

Sagamore 7 said...

There was no debate.
The freshman class board members asked to table the vote and the establishment vetoed the motion.

Then SCW jumped the aisle and voted in favor of the raise when the table was vetoed.

I'm very disappointed in Womack and Bowen. I can't be disapointed in SCW, Walker, Speaks and SCW not changing their stripes during their tenure. At least they showed up to the meeting finally.

Walker, Cunningham and SCW weren't there for the public input. Who cares, it's only the public, the taxpayers, our bosses?

I didn't feel that employees of the county should have had the right to speak at all much less in favor of the raise of their boss.

It is sort of like Jeff Dickerson talking publicly about his employer on the Georgia Gang.

Only in this State and County can this type of behavior exist and hopefully not too much longer.

I'm going back to work!


Anonymous said...

Why bother commenting to the board of ed? Why bother commenting to the superintendent. They are all corrupt. Cutting teachers salaries, eliminating paras, providing differential services and instruction, cheating students from a good education so that they can take more money home.

Congratulations on your million dollar raise Ms. Tyson (not even a Dr., eh). Congratulations for eliminating two more teacher positions this coming year and many more over the course of your DeKalb career.

I, for one, do NOT think you have done a good job to this point. You have hired consultants to do the work of consolidation, but likely will bow to political pressures in formulating your own plan. You have yet to fire people who don't show up to work, yet earn more money than teachers. You have yet to reign in Beasley's paper terror and thus set up the district to lose what promising young and experienced teachers we have and leaving us with no pool of good replacements given the districts reputation for how they treat teachers.

You put administrators and your own purse first. Congratulations! You have done your Board and your buddies proud. Meanwhile, the children are starving for intellectual stimulation! Congratulations, Board, for successfully slapping children, parents, teachers, in the face!

Congratulations to the DeKalb Delegation and the Governor and SACS. Your total lack of interest in our district has ruined our kids educational and financial well-being and futures. Job well-done.

Yep, not happy with this vote.

Anonymous said...

let me get this straight-we can stop talking and take action by writing letters and emails?
I think I'd rather volunteer to help some kids at school catch up up on their reading or math. Start a science garden in the spring some where in the south and have an after school club. Give some money to the partners in education foundation, help catch phone calls in the office. Being a neighbor works both ways. Maybe I should have shoveled that sidewalk rather than complain about it?

Cerebration said...

I've posted here how many hours I've volunteered for DeKalb schools over the last 14 years, but oddly, no one believed me! They didn't believe people actually volunteered that much - but guess what - we do! Lots of us. ESPECIALLY when you are a PTA officer or member of school council AND a band parent, sports parent, Beta Club parent or whatever... We're talking hundreds of hours every year.

So yeah, I do that part too - as do most of us on this blog. More volunteer hours are given from people who participate on this blog than just about anywhere. Trust me - we are not just whiners and complainers - we are major "doers" as well. We've just figured out (the hard way) that we have a very broken system and we need help from the outside and transparency from within.

Anonymous said...

Chill out Anon 4:53 PM. I put in my time with manual labor for my school, as does my spouse.

We post on here not because we are whiners, but because this is the first time any of us have ever had a "community gathering place" to air out our frsutrations with the system. A system that spends a billion dollars a year of your and my tax dllars.

Anonymous said...

This blog haa been the most amazing forum to share ideas and information -- keep at it. The Asst. DA in DeKalb has commended the blog for being over 90% accurate with its information. Many on the BOE HATE IT! Why? Because we are sharing our collective information and verifying information. Yes, you can write to legislators and try to get legislation. You can contact the state department of education and get information or ask for help in managing, operating or controlling the school system. Will you succeed? Who knows but if you don't ask, you definitely won't succeed. If you sit quietly, everyone loses, particularly the kids (okay, palace (and New Birth) win). I think that that there was very heavy handed intervention from NB and Washington DC to get Ms. Keys out of the DA's office.... this blog is very effective... don't knock it!

Anonymous said...

@10:34AM I don't mind Tyson getting a pay raise, but why does it continue for a FULL YEAR after a new supt, is hired on July 1st?"

To slow down the next superintendent for a full year before the new moon of reform rises?

Or is for silence on the past storms?

Anonymous said...

Title 1 Fraud
My child attended a Title 1 school. We are an upper middle class family, but a large portion of the school community is lower income families. When my son went for his testing before kindergarten started, he apparently didn't know the sounds of a couple of letters in the alphabet. Because of this, and this only, he was "invited" to participate in the Title 1 reading program. I asked the teacher if she would be teaching the alphabet to the class. She said yes. I asked if this included teaching the sounds the letters make. She said yes. I asked if she felt my child would learn them well right along with the other children. She said yes. So I asked why it was felt he needed to be pulled out of class to receive "special" instruction - along with the 7 children who were non-English speaking children in the class. She didn't have a good answer other than the "data" showed that he "qualified". I said no - my child was not to be removed from the class, ever, without my permission and he would do just fine learning along with the rest of the students. In spite of the fact that I spent sometimes three days a week in the class acting as a teacher's aide because the class had 32 CHILDREN in it (I thought Title 1 was supposed to reduce class size??), I found out at the end of the year that my son had been taken out for "special tutoring" by the Title 1 specialist every week - on the days I wasn't there. Believe me, the principal and teacher got an earful. This is fraud - it was deceitful - it was completely unnecessary. My child didn't do any worse or any better than any other child in the class at the end of the year. My rights as a parent were trampled on. My child was labeled as a "special needs" child and USED to make sure this school met their quota of title 1 students. He is now a sophmore in high school, and has been a straight 1 student since kindergarten. He never "tested" into a title 1 program again.

Read more:

Cerebration said...

Interesting link, Anon - I'll repost it so people can easily click to read -


Anonymous said...

Anyone see the article in today's AJC? It seems that Dr. Barge wants to leave it to local districts to select math curriculum going forward -- which makes much sense for fully functional districts with expert math teachers in charge of curriculum. Survey please -- who trusts DeKalb on this one? Should folks be writing to the the state Board of Ed? Dr. Barge? State Legislators? One of my favorite proposals is that we have legislation requiring the state board of ed to adopt (in toto) one of the top 5 best rated curricula from somewhere else -- math from Mass.; english from Iowa... find something in the top 5 and adopt it without tinkering... no more guinea pigs....