Monday, January 3, 2011

First board meeting for 2011 tonight

Tune in to Comcast 24 to watch it live, connect to DCSS' website to stream it, or just go on and get in your car and head over to the Mountain Industrial Center to watch and participate in person.  Nancy Jester and Donna Edler were both sworn in today and this will be their first board meeting. You can view the agenda items by clicking here.

One significant item on the agenda is the 2020 Vision Master Plan: 2011-2012 Redistricting and Consolidation Preliminary Options. Presented by: Dr. Bill Carnes, Consultant, MGT Consultants of America & Mr. Ed Humble, Consultant, MGT Consultants of America.

Also, the Board of Education will consider for final approval amendments to the bylaws relating to attendance areas. One of the revisions to the bylaws will strike “quality of education” as a factor in determining or altering attendance areas.

Another bylaw to be revised is the new limitation of public speakers before the open meetings. As Open & Transparent reported, the board is proposing reducing the number to 10 speakers at 3 minutes each, requiring personal information and notification of topic. Read the post with the redlined text here. Presented by Ms. Judy O’Brien, Attorney, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan.

If you are confused about transfers, be sure to download and read the new policy (Item K-6) JBCC up for approval. This new policy clearly states the rules for student assignment (including employees) and transfers outside of your assigned neighborhood district.

Item L-3 asks for approval to use money from the Education Jobs Act. The distribution is to restore all remaining furlough/work calendar reduction days at an amount of $13.4 million and to use $14.6 million to provide a one-time temporary compensation adjustment to all full-time employees, either as a lump sum payment or contribution into an optional tax sheltered annuity account, as determined by the employee.

And as Sagamore 7 alerted us, in Item L-17, Tony Hunter is asking for over $1 million of Title 1 monies for laptops. This is terrific, except that we have had a rash of thefts of laptops in our schools. We would like to see these crimes solved and security heightened to protect this enormous investment.


UPDATE: Download the Jan 3 redistricting preliminary presentation here.


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Anonymous said...

Beasley's putting on his preacher's cap.

And wow, SCW inadvertently called out Berry, saying she doesn't see the results in testing.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I take it back about SCW. She is talking about resource use and low performing schools, just not in a straight matter.

Anonymous said...

Hey Beasely, you better hope no BOE member asks you why you allow students three chances to make up a zero. Way to have the backs of teachers.

Anonymous said...

We should not be paying for AP tests.

Sorry -- not an appropriate use of funds.

Ten teachers or so could be funded by this money.

Dr. Speak is wrong. The system doesn't have to pay for it. Students and their parents benefit from these tests. NOT THE SYSTEM. NOT THE GENERAL POPULATION.

Anonymous said...

Beasley is an idiot. He doesn't know that 9th grade took the PSAT? They did at my school!

Anonymous said...

McChesney is on the money. This is not an appropriate use of money.

Anonymous said...

Don making some good points about AP tests. Are there any checks & balances on who takes them?

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it isn't about who takes them, but DCSS shouldn't being paying for my child to earn college credit.

This isn't necessary.

Anonymous said...

Students can't pay $80 for an AP test? How many of those same students have an I-Phone and/or an Xbox.

Anonymous said... this meeting still going? How many items remain?

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness. Can he really tell parents that they need to worship with their kids??

Anonymous said...

Gene Walker actually made sense for once about parents meeting their kids' teachers and turning off the TV.

He actually spoke without using the phrase "high achieving school".

Anonymous said...

Gene Walker's appeal to the citizens of DeKalb county

Go to skoo wich yo chil and meet cho chils teacha!

Anonymous said...


Get the shovels and boots.

Anonymous said...

Bob Moseley looking old? Maybe it's the stress of being so unpopular and a long gone backbone. He used to be loved I hear until he got the job of being on the front line taking the hits for a bunch of crooks. If you hang with them, you eventually become one of them. Sad.

Anonymous said...



From: DeKalb County

Re: Your mouth.

Please shut it.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

SCW is bitter Womack is vice-chair.

Anonymous said...

SCW just forgot Nancy's name???!!!!

And Jay, please learn how to speak English.

Anonymous said...

OK I so do not want every one of ny students' parents coming in on the same day each month. What a ridiculous suggestion.

They are welcome at any time, but we would lose a day of instruction if a bunch showed up on the third Thursday!

Anonymous said...

11:02 and counting.....

Anonymous said...

Briliant Anon 10:59!

Anonymous said...

I think Ron Ramsey should be made to attend these meetings just to have to sit through four hours of this. It's the least he could do for the two or three paychecks we pay him.

And Towm Bowen says SACS has no issue with any BOE member?

No issue with SCW and her family members working for the system?
And the fact she doesn't speak English or ever read the agenda in advance.

No issue with Gene Walker's various scandals and sexual harassment lawsuits?

If SACS doesn't have an issue with Gene Walker than SACS doesn't serve any respect.

Cerebration said...

For a second there, I thought Tom was going to pass the Chair to Walker. That would be scary - Walker as Chair and Womack as Vice....

Anonymous said...

11:07 and the meetings's finally over?

I am going to miss the laughter Sarah Copelin-Wood and Jay Cunningham provided tonight. Better than anything on Netflix.

Anonymous said...

Unreal! Please tell me that this bunch will get it right. I know rhetorical of course....

Nice hat will exchange between Jester and Jay, I bet in the end Jester will win.

Why does Jay not want to see the data on how the technology is being used in the classroom and if the investment turned in any results?

Another question from tonight's meeting.. Who is the creeper? Why can't our crack staff of DCSS police, with 2 chiefs and Ron Ramsey heading up Internal Affairs not find the perpetrators of these crimes? So the BOE will spend more money on more computers and place them in schools where they will most likely be gone in two years. Nice! Great use of OUR money.

Anonymous said...

The big story of the night: Jay Cunningham trying to strong arm Nancy Jester.

Watch out Nancy, Jay has a tough past:

DeKalb school official’s record surfaces
’82 felony on guilty plea involved $12,500 taken as McDonald’s manager

Anonymous said...

Part of that review involves looking at board behavior, which shows indications of ineffectiveness and other problems, said SACS’ president and CEO Mark A. Elgart. “We still expect the people who are on the board to demonstrate the ability to do the job effectively,” Elgart told the AJC on Wednesday. “I would say without hesitation that even the membership has concerns about their effectiveness to govern.”


Tom says SACS has no issues with the board? What?????? How short is your memory?

National accreditors said they are concerned about the governing effectiveness of the current DeKalb County school board. Despite that, three of those members were re-elected and another two are in run-offs.

“I’m really disappointed the other districts didn’t step up and do something about a board that I can’t think of anything positive to say about,” said Bill Armstrong, a father of two and president of the Huntley Hills Elementary School Council. “With Cunningham’s felony background and Zepora’s ‘I’m going to slug you’ comments, I’m just amazed. My biggest concern is the incumbents will think they haven’t been that far off, and all the problems are [former superintendent Crawford] Lewis’ fault and they can go back to the way they were.”

In the past year, DeKalb’s former superintendent and chief operating officer were indicted on charges of running a criminal enterprise at the school system. Cunningham’s family restaurants were found to have sold more than $20,000 worth of pizzas to schools since he joined the board. Voters also learned from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Cunningham had pleaded guilty to felony theft charges.

Cunningham declined to comment on Thursday.

Roberts was admonished for threatening to slug a television reporter and Copelin-Wood was reprimanded for making insulting comments about the staff at a public meeting.

And last week, the Southern of Association of Colleges and Schools said it will visit the district in January to see if it meets national accreditation standards. Part of that review involves looking at board behavior, which shows indications of ineffectiveness and other problems, said SACS’ president and CEO Mark A. Elgart.

“We still expect the people who are on the board to demonstrate the ability to do the job effectively,” Elgart told the AJC on Wednesday. “I would say without hesitation that even the membership has concerns about their effectiveness to govern.”

Worried about the threat of an accreditation loss, leaders from the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce formed eduKalb, a group intended to get “qualified” school board members. But of the group’s endorsements, only one was elected and two others are in run-offs.

On Thursday, chamber president Leonardo McClarty said the group is now looking at what it can do to be more effective.

“We were surprised at some of the outcomes [of the elections]. But in the end, you have to look at it and say while there may be some differences of opinion, the will of the majority is what counts,” he said. “There were certainly some things in hindsight to see if we could have done something differently.”

Paige McGaughey, a mother of two DeKalb students, said she voted for newcomer Nancy Jester in District 1 not because of her qualifications, but because she is ready for a change.

“I voted to send a message. I have had a really hard time with what’s gone on in the past year and my board member has let us down by not being more vocal,” said McGaughey, a Gwinnett teacher who used to teach in DeKalb. “I’m not completely surprised by the results because I think a wealth of promises were made to the voters that may not come to fruition.”

Cunningham and Copelin-Wood did not return phone calls.

Cerebration said...

Whew - this was almost Twitter! The live running commentary on the blog was so much more fun than being there -- same time same place next month ok?

Anonymous said...

Ya'll staying in Dekalb is like pissing on yourself to keep yourselves warm. Dekalb = Detroit. Utter shit. Anyone continuing to work in DCSS after this year should be blacklisted from any other job, ever, for sheer stupidity.

Anonymous said...

per WSB news online article:

"A consultant has recommended the DeKalb County Board of Education close down more than a dozen schools as part of a plan to streamline the district.

The list includes Medlock, Livsey, Rock Chapel, Bob Mathis, Wadsworth, Kittredge, Sky Haven, Glen Haven, Gresham Park, Toney, Peachcrest and Atherton elementary schools. It also includes Avondale Middle School and recommends turning Avondale High School into a centralized magnet."

I guess they are planning to close Kittredge magnet school at this location and put at Avondale? Does anyone have clarification on this. Nancy Creek area complains there is overcrowding and closing this school was a big mistake. Are they planning to reopen N. Creek to a neighborhood school? Will magnet at avondale include Kittredge/Wadsworth kids or not?

Anonymous said...

Nancy Jester is small, but tough.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with asking for a Return on Investment for every program DCSS has? We spend much more on non-teaching personnel for those programs than for teachers. And of the teachers we have less than 4,000 teach grades K-5 and math, science, social studies and language arts in the middle and high schools. These 4,000 personnel are responsible for students making AYP, yet they are not getting the help they need from the other 11,000 personnel. This is not going to work for students. DCSS is about at the end of the road for students.

Anonymous said...

The plan does not mention what the Nancy Creek building will be used for, if Kittredge moved to a "central" location like Avondale.

I hope, for the sake of the neighborhood, the Nancy Creek building does not sit there and rot like that nice old school building which use to house Chamblee Middle.

Get ready for the public meetings and ask what they plan to do with the Nancy Creek building. DCSS always has all the answers and they're so honest too!

Anonymous said...

Anyone knocking "pissing on yourself to keep warm" has never been in the military in a combat arms role in wartime. The silk suit HQ mentality of this board and administration wants to make me puke. Nancy is the daughter of a decorated US Army Special Forces (Green Beret), the genetics show. Don't let physical size fool you, tough gal.
As a Grenada and Gulf War 1 combat vet, what I see in this board is what I see in an analogy to the Headquarters / Warriors mentality.
Warriors and teachers are the front line troops. The typical HQ ideal is "Nothing is too good for the troops, so that is what we will give them".
Padding the palace while neglecting where the rubber meets the road and the troops and mission suffer. I despise cowards and that is what this admin and most of the board are.
Nancy Jester is a fresh wind hopefully blowing the stench of mendacity and corruption / nepotism out of the system.
As Gump said< "That is all I have to say about that".
Ramsey should be first, but not last. The wave is coming.

Anonymous said...

AJC was quick tonight:
DeKalb workers ask for furloughs, no outsourcing
Bowen, Womack to oversee DeKalb school board
14 DeKalb schools on proposed closure list

Sagamore 7 said...

The DCSS website will be updated in the morning. It should be completed by 11 am. Wait until you see the redistricted and redrawn school lines!

There were 40 people outside the meeting telling the administrators that none of this makes sense.

Make sure you show up to the "Bitch Sessions" in the next week because these are going to be the only forums to EXPRESS your OPINION!

All of these meetings are scheduled for 6:30pm.

01/11 Miller Grove HS
01/13 Chamblee HS
01/18 McNair HS
01/20 St. Mtn HS

Then there will be two more meetings at the "Palace" on 02/22 and 02/24 as Ms. Tyson makes her recommendations to the board.

After that we will be stuck with the boards vote to approve the changes.

God help us all!

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

oh BLAH BLAH BLAH - there's going to be change! things will get better! "The wave is coming" WAKE UP! This is REALITY! No amount of wishful thinking will change a damn thing. This ain't the movies. Things have only gotten worse. Have school conditions improved? Furlough days? Teacher salaries? Grades? MORALE? No. What has happened? Everyone talks a good game, but it just gets worse. So you enjoy your crappy existence in hell. Face up to it. This is a slap in the face of reality. Want a real change? QUIT and get a better job!

Anonymous said...

Unprofessional. Unprepared at meetings. Constantly using race to divide. Nonsensical, random comments at meetings. Meddling into day to day system affairs. Divide instead of unite. A big fan of cronyism and nepotism. And she forgets the last time schools were closed they were in the northern section of the county.

If Sarah Copelin-Wood isn't the worst and most embarassing board of education elected official in the state, lord help the person who is. Copelin-Wood is Example No. 1 on why there should be term limits for board of ed members, not just in DeKalb, but state-wide. If we're going to elect her to multiple times on the board that supervises education for our children and votes on a billion dollar entity, maybe we deserve what we get.

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen never reprimanded SCW for the last time she meddled into re-districting. Way to be a leader, Tom.


Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:34:11



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."


From: bowent

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.


From: bowent
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.

Anonymous said...

eduKalb really wanted SCW out:

Anonymous said...

OK, its been a while since I was in the classroom, but here's my understanding of AP testing costs:

AP - the state pays for ONE test per student. DeKalb policy is that they will pick up the rest. The test, however, is optional and because results aren't known until the summer, the test cannot be part of a student's grade.

I taught in DeKalb. I put the fear of death into my students - the taxpayers paid for this test, it is unacceptable for you to opt out of it. None of my students ever opted out of taking the test.

The question is, is $80 too much to ask a kid/parent/family to take a test? Sometimes. If a kid is really bright and takes 5 of these classes, and his or her parents have problems - unemployment, medical bills, foreclosure, etc. - we're talking $400 - we may just benefit from the expense.

Seriously? Yes. A student of mine years back took the AP biology test (free), she got a passing score, and went to her chosen school and got into her chosen major (biology). Her mother's economic status and the child's status meant she got a free ride - scholarships, grants, no loans. Likely she is in medical school right now. Likely she will return to DeKalb and earn six figures. She'll buy a big house, have a nice family, good salary. Likely she will be taxed pretty dearly, too. A lot more than $400 difference - every year.

Totally worth it.

Anonymous said...


You are a moron. If you can't join the, beat them. That is what committed and brave folks do. And win.

Look at what happened when a small portion of DeKalb got fed up with the crap and got their own city, Dunwoody. With all the resources and money for lobbyists and pressure, end result? DeKalb loss to a smaller yet highly focused and very motivated force.

When Dunwoody becomes part of Milton County soon, which will happen, what will the DCSS do without all of the sales tax revenue that comes from Perimeter Mall? Ron Ramsey asked for his boycott of Dunwoody, he is going to cause DeKalb to lose a ton of their revenue when it is in the new Milton County.
Smart Ron. Or should I say More-Ron.

Have Fun!

Anonymous said...

win? win what? Tyson's pay raise? more money funneled to admins? Cutting hundreds of jobs? sounds like a winner to me!! YAAAAAAAYYY!

Anonymous said...

It is evident that Nancy Jester is not prepared to make a great contribution to the Board. I was shocked of her lack of knowledge of posted PSAT&SAT scores. Does she not read the DeKalb web site and AJC where it is posted by school every year for the last 2o years?
She appeares to be very arrogant, uninforned, naive, yet overly aggressive. A little advise: "keep your mounth shut until you have taken the time to learn the history, funding process and studied the asessment data.


I voted for Jim and I am so proud of my vote! Maybe Sonny can help you with some tack and PR skills! It will help a lot and call Jim so he can help orient you to the system because it is true; You don't know much about public education.
You should also do your own research so our employees can work for improvement of student achievement instead of you. Remember, you asked for the job do your own homework and let our employeres work for the schools and our students.

Anonymous said...

Beasley is not a fool, you are. Ninth graders at my school had to PAY if they took the PSAT. I hope you don't teach at my school!

Anonymous said...

"When Dunwoody becomes part of Milton County, which will happen soon . . . "

Question: What planet are you on?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:28

The state now only pays for one test. If a child qualifies for FRL, college board offers a discount on additional tests, I think.

However, many of the students taking multiple AP courses have adequate resources to cover the cost of the test. My friends and I were shocked to find out that we didn't have to pay for those tests.

650,000 is a ton of money. Eight teachers, 16+ para-pros etc.

Anonymous said...

Sagamore 7

We couldn't really see the maps online very well, just pieces of them.

I am confused though, are these maps considered to be recommendations or just examples of what the lines might look like if they choose option 1 or option 2.


Anonymous said...

To the person who asked about the Nancy Creek building, as I understood the presentation, if they centralized the magnet program, NC would become an elementary school again.

Paula Caldarella said...

I guess they are planning to close Kittredge magnet school at this location and put at Avondale? Does anyone have clarification on this. Nancy Creek area complains there is overcrowding and closing this school was a big mistake. Are they planning to reopen N. Creek to a neighborhood school? Will magnet at avondale include Kittredge/Wadsworth kids or not

The plan is to move the Elementary School magnet programs at Kittredge, Wadsworth, Chamblee MS and Chapel Hill MS to Avondale MS.

The magnet programs at Chamblee and SWD would move to Avondale HS. DSA stays at Avondale HS.

If I saw the presentatin correctly the plan is to reutilize Nancy Creek as a neighborhood school. However, according to the enrollment figures released by the counsultants, Montgomery is only overcrowded by 31 seats and Huntley Hills 3 seats. Certainly right-sizing those school populations does not come close to triggering the use of Nancy Creek?

Sagamore 7 said...

I would refrain from Jester bashing at the present time. She may be a wolf in sheep's clothing but she is in the fight to fight the fight.

Even thought the redrawn lines are a shock to some, MGT and the Planning department are the ones who made them, not the board.

Did you notice the redrawn line on the board last night?

Womack vs. Walker for Vice Chairman?
5 to 4 vote right down the redrawn lines.
Walker's votes came from:
Copelin Woods
(2 districts and both super districts)

Womack's votes
(5 districts)

New blood for a new board! WOW!
Walker went to Edler immediately after the vote to say something to her. She smiled and nodded. I wonder what was said.

Before the presentation of the redistricting Tyson called for a 10 minute break. Prior to the break Walker sat in his regular seat to the far left next to Speaks and Edler.
After the break Walker changed seats with SCW and sat next to McChesney and Jester on the right. Hmmmm???

I'm just stating fact, not opinion.

The funniest part of the meeting last night was when Nancy asked MGT to show the coefficients and factors associated with the computations to deliver the data.

I thought 3 board members were going to have a migraine trying to understand what she just said!
SCW had the usual puzzled look on her face and Cunningham looked like he wanted a pizza to ease his pain.

The biggest concern that SCW had was she considered the actual map of the location of the school in her district incorrect?
The board is paying this consulting firm $400,000 to deliver factual data and make suggestions regarding a billion dollar enterprise and SCW is concerned that the map looks like her ES is in the wrong place? Believe me SCW, it was in the correct place and the name of the school was off to the side.
SCW doesn't have the competency or intelligence to be an entry level anything in DCSS much less a high ranking board member.

I think part of HB-22 should be competency requirements to be on the board! They should have to pass a literacy test and be able to pass 5th grade math and English.
Is your board member smarter than a 5th grade test?

Enough bashing SCW, I do appreciate Donna Edler and Nancy Jester for jumping into the fight at such a strenuous and uncertain time.

We will see how smart and devoted they are very very soon.

I'm off to work!

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

I thought Edler voted for Walker and Speaks for Womack. Are you sure?

Sagamore 7 said...

Anon 6:42

The redrawn lines as I was told are only options. Their is a Centralized option and a De-Centralized option.

I took that as if the board votes for change then it will happen next school year 2011-2012 with further recommendations in August of this year for future growth.

MGT suggested that ES should have 900 students, MS have 1,200 and HS have 1,600.

This would produce cost savings due to efficiencies in the system and limit redundancy.

The 4 "Bitch Sessions" / meetings the next 2 weeks are for voicing our opinions and believe me, they need to be voiced!

I will be looking at the numbers very closely with other parents from our school today and deciphering what caused the changes.

The maps will be published online this morning as part of the 2020 Vision / DCSS webpage between 10 and 11am.

Good luck and I've got to go to work!

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Have a nice day at work.

Anonymous said...

Geez, Anon. 1:03am take a chill pill. Personally, I prefer Nancy Jester over Sarah Coppelin-Wood, Jay Cuningham or Dr. Walker. These folks bloviate enough to make a flock of birds fall from the sky.

This is her first meeting and if she asks a staff member for test data I think it's smart she asks for it from them over looking at an old AJC or searching a website.

I'm proud of your Redovian vote too, at least we live in a country that let's us vote for our leaders. Jim lost and Nancy won and I think hearing her questions throughout the night, she is very interested in making the most corrupt school system in metro Atlanta honest once again.

Sounds to me you're a bit nervous about the Dunwoody redistricting plan.

Paula Caldarella said...

! Maybe Sonny can help you with some tack and PR skills!

Who is this Sonny you refer to? Sonny Perdue?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:09

That would be the MOST CORRUPT school system in the COUNTRY!!!

Sagamore 7 said...

Anon 6:59
I will double check the voting to make sure. Hold the phone!

I'll check the minutes from last nights meeting that are required by law to be published with 72 hours.

Minutes, where are the minutes from last month's meetings?

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

@anon 103am,
You must not have been watching. Jester asked the best questions. She was definitely prepared. I think her point about the AP exams is to ask the question so the administration will have to admit that we don't get enough 3+ scores. Get them to say it! Why keep paying for all these tests?

Cerebration said...

I recall that the vote went like this

Walker's votes came from:
Cunningham (Jay nominated Gene)
Copelin Woods

Womack's votes
Speaks (It was Speaks who nominated Womack)

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:14
I, too, am glad that I don't teach at your school, as I prefer not to work with folks who call others morons.

Note the following from the DCSS website testing calendar:

October 2010
All 9th grade students
(10th grade students Contingent on statefunding)

I teach ninth grade. I administered the PSAT to every student I teach, and no--they did not pay.

And since it is DCSS policy--and has been for years--that all 9th graders take the PSAT at no cost, I imagine that is what happened at your school.

You are not a moron, just misinformed and terribly rude.

Paula Caldarella said...

10th and 11th Grade students had to pay $13 to take the PSAT. 9th grade students did not have to pay.

Anonymous said...

Anyone continuing to work in DCSS after this year should be blacklisted from any other job, ever, for sheer stupidity

Oh, wise one, can you please tell me where I might find a fulltime job with benefits so that I can support my stupid self? Are all of the Gwinett and APS teachers going to quit so that we can make a switch?

Or are there hundreds of available jobs that pay over $50K a year (less than I am worth, but what I am currently paid) of which I am not aware?

Sagamore 7 said...


Thanks for the clarification on the vote.

We will see how they vote when it really matters.
I.E. redrawn school lines!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:48. I'm not sure what I saw last night. A lot of the slides in the powerpoint were cut off for the folks watching on Philandra Guilroy's PDS-24. I'll get to that in a moment.

I think Nancy Creek will become a neighborhood school once again. I think they plan to use Nancy Creek, Montgomery and Huntley Hills to relieve overcrowding of the Dunwoody schools. I need to look at the maps, once they are available online to make sure. I bet the multi-family units along the 285 corridor and near Perimeter Mall will be drawn into Nancy Creek, IF they decide to use the building, once Kittredge moves to Avondale.

Folks this is just the beginning of a process that most systems spend a lot of time on, However, since the state must have the attendance data for FTE funding in by this summer, they are in a huge rush to complete this task.

My question is, IF we go with the MGT "centralized" plan and eliminate 6000 empty seats, how much more funding will DCSS receive from the state? Plus, how much will this whole process cost us in the long run?

Regarding PDS-24, I think we need to replace Philandra as the leader of the TV channel. Last night, was the most important meeting that DCSS has had in a long time. One could tell by the enormous turnout at the Palace that the stakeholders are very concerned about the consolidation process. I would like to ask Ms. Guilroy why the slides that were shown were not prepared to be shown on PDS-24 properly? I work in television and this process is fairly simple. A short phone call to MGT asking them to prepare the slides for TV viewing, would have made it much easier for the stakeholders watching on TV to read the slides. Ms. Guilroy you failed once again and I think that 6 figure salary you make is not money well spent. Please go take some TV courses and learn how to run a cable access channel.

Cerebration said...

The first speaker, Bill Armstrong said it best. "This board will be judged not by your intentions, but by your actions."

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a meeting.

1)How ironic and interesting that magnet existence drove the restructuring of the entire system ? The consultants said this in their opening statements. The centralized magnet location seemed to be first option out of the gate as if they acknowledged that DCSS provides a rather expensive system and it could be done more cost effectively. Did anyone else feel the silence and the quaking ?

2) OMG - what in the world is Dr Walker up to? Who did he promise big things to , to publicly put up such a stink about at least " regionalizing " the magnets. Whatever...... How many parents do you think DCSS has alienated by the ridiculous magnet lottery and the low admission criteria
( 75%) for our " high achieving " schools!

3) Nancy Jester , I hope you will think long and hard about sacrificing your brand new image to save Kittridge. There are plenty of parents in your district who feel that the system has never been equitable , we are just tired of being called whiners and sore losers.... You cannot quantify everything - public opinion got you in your BOE position - be sure to listen closely to it in developing your opinions.

4) This process certainly is going to bring out the best and worst... However, it is past time to look at the expenditures and acknowledge that the magnet system could be provided at less cost. No longer, are we the " mean people" - thanks to the consultants...... We cannot afford specialty programs that only touch a small percentage of the DCSS population.

Insider said...

Technically, only the superintendent can make a recommendation. That comes in late January after the public meetings.

Anonymous said...

Ya know what. I'm done here. When this school system finally tanks completely, nobody who continues to work for DCSS will have the right to complain. All anybody does is bitch. No action. None. Continue to be abused. Continue to let children suffer. You have no conscience. No balls. Keep your soulless jobs. Watch as hundreds get laid off. Watch as admins outnumber teachers. Watch as your pay gets cut. But don't you dare complain.

Anonymous said...

I would raise the same question asked at 8:48.

Some teachers need their jobs. And there are no other teaching jobs available. And we can't sell our houses in this market to move to a more desirable location.

So yeah, for a while at least, we have to do the best we can. And we do have a right to complain, just as you have a right not to listen.

Cerebration said...

Here's something interesting to me. I see a lot of political posturing by Walker, Woods and Cunningham. They all like to hammer home the "poor black children waiting for the school bus at 5:30 am to go to a good school in the north" argument. However, I gotta hand it to Sarah - she is the only one who seems to get close to actually fighting to IMPROVE local schools. Walker and Cunningham SAY that they are all about the children, however in practice, all I ever witness from them are actions to protect special programs for certain children. They do not speak up for the regular, everyday people and children in their actual district schools. Why on earth these three would fight to keep separate "high achiever" programs along with the enormous costs for the programs and the transportation is beyond me. These programs cost a small fortune and the regular students are the ones to continue to lose. Their class sizes get larger and larger and their test scores are not improving. I am shocked at Dr Walker continually fighting for our "high achievers" (read that magnets and Fernbank voters in his district) - yet doing very little for the struggling students in our regular schools.

Sarah says it often - these schools need help. The children in many of these district schools are not learning at the level their peers are in the expensive specialty programs offered elsewhere in the system. We need to spend Title 1 and other dollars getting in those schools and doing the hard work of ensuring those children are reading, writing and doing math just as well as everyone else.

Sarah never cheerleads for the magnets - often unfocused and sometimes inarticulately, she actually does advocate for the very real children in the very real at-risk schools in her district. However, the system continues to allow these schools to fall into worse and worse shape and encourages students to leave the building in search of a proper education in a specialty program. So now, the proposal is to close some of these struggling schools. They would have plenty of students in them and would be thriving if the leadership would stop dangling theme, charter, magnet and other transfer programs in front of them. I'm not saying those are bad - but you can't just offer it for those who have the ability, test scores and wherewithal to partake of them - and then leave the home schools to flounder.

Escape isn't the answer. Well, it is for some - but what about those "Left Behind"?

Cerebration said...

The reports are now available at the bottom of this link under "Options"

Anonymous said...

The presentation and all maps are now available on the DCSS Vision 2020 page.

Anonymous said...

Can someone answer a dumb question for me? My kids are in their school's gifted program, but are still too young to be in the gifted magnet. The DCSS website info on Kittredge Magnet shows that it is underenrolled. That seems odd to me -- doesn't the fact that they have a lottery indicate that there is not enough space for all of the qualified kids who want to attend?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the maps? The plan is to send all of Sagamore to Druid Hills - as well as some of Oak Grove. How can this happen when Evansdale will remain - they are outside of 285 and right down the street from Tucker. Our kids will go from walking to a 20+ minute bus ride. How is that saving money?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 11:51
"The plan is to send all of Sagamore to Druid Hills - as well as some of Oak Grove."

Well, my guess is they are reserving the Lakeside spaces for the administrative transfers. One of the perks of working outside the schoolhouse in admin and support is the opportunity to "pick" whatever school you want to send your children to - and Lakeside is a favorite place for them to send their kids. This has grown even worse as the admin and support side has grown and grown and the DCSS administration has gutted the schools in South DeKalb by filling them with high paying non-teaching personnel.

I guess you're reaping what Dr. Lewis and all those in this current administration have sown.

Cerebration said...

I'll be very curious to see how the transfer policy returns to the board after Tyson rewrites it. (The entire policy is posted early in the comments of this post. Tyson asked for it to be pulled from the agenda last night.) I wonder if she will write in rules for administrative transfers for staff or rules stating that central office staff cannot use transfers - only teachers and staff in the schoolhouse - and only in the schoolhouse where they actually work.

Here's hoping.... We will certainly be keeping an eye on this one.

Cerebration said...

Anon 11:08 AM - I could be way off base, but I would think the "under-enrolled" number means that the building itself can hold more - either that or it's "under" the 450 marker for state funding to kick in for specials (art, music, pe...) The actual enrollment number at Kittredge is set by the number of teachers and staff the program administrators can wrangle for the program (I think). Anyone know for certain?

Cerebration said...

ps - the maps are here - along with all the rest of last night's presentation

Check out our new discussion on the topic -

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in Dekalb County. I am frustrated with what is happening. Could I get out? Yes. I have been offered positions in a nearby county. Why haven't I taken them? Because unlike you, I care about the children in Dekalb County. I care about the students in my classroom. At times I am the only thing that isolates them from feeling the "pain" of the Central Office and Board's decisions. So, as long as there are kids here, as long as I am needed, I will teach. Can I complain? You bet I can! I speak up. I am on committees that voice our opinions, and for now, that's the best I can do. My students are learning. Just because programs and expectations from the CO have been "dumbed-down" doesn't mean my classroom has!

Cerebration said...

According to the AJC

Bowen, Womack to oversee DeKalb school board

By Megan Matteucci
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tom Bowen will continue to serve as chairman of the DeKalb County school board.

On Monday night, the board elected Bowen, who represents District 6, to another term.

District 4 board member H. Paul Womack was elected vice chairman in a 5-4 vote. He defeated board member Eugene Walker for the position.

Oddly, at the end of the meeting, when the board members have time for comments, Tom Bowen made the point that he asked SACS who would best lead the board, and who, if anyone would cause SACS to have an issue. He said SACS had no issue with anyone on the board. Then - he went on to say that if you went by qualifications - then in his opinion, Dr. Walker should lead the board!

Anonymous said...

Don Roberts is the main reason that Dekalb County has one of the highest ranked music programs in the Country!

Anonymous said...

"Don Roberts is the main reason that Dekalb County has one of the highest ranked music programs in the Country!"

Ummm..since when?

Never seen DeKalb's music program nationally ranked. And music education is more than drums.

Never seen Roberts at my children's middle school or high school.

I wish him the best, and just hope he's putting in the energy and effort that he is being compensated to do.

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