Friday, April 1, 2011

A Plea to the New DCSS Superintendent

Obviously, the three candidates for DCSS Supt. are researching the system which includes reading this blog. It seems that they are aware of the layers of wasteful bureaucracy in the Central Office.

Here's a quote from the blog:
"Title 1 and the Office of School Improvement has moved away from Direct Instruction of students to an indirect training and support model of Coaches and Coordinators and Specialists."

Because this Board of Education and Interim Supt. have failed to address Title 1 and the Office of School Improvement, the next Supt. must address this big important stuff.

It is time to eliminate the DCSS, Audria Berry-led Office of School Improvement. It is time that Title 1 dollars are spent on students and in the school house, not for a cadre of sorority sisters with limited teaching experience but important friends and family connections. It is time for Dr. Morcease Beasley to stop with the busy work and needless time and paperwork requests requests for our teachers.

It is time to eliminate the millions of dollars spent on OSI staff. Place those funds in the CLASSROOM!
Give them the chance to go back to teaching. If OSI staffers think they would be hired by any other school system at their present salary, they live in an alternate reality.

The new superintendent must change the culture of the school system. He/she must make the tough decisions. And this is the one to start with first.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully the new superintendent won't ever travel out of the country on DCSS p-card with school system employeee, and CFO Turk still paid the bill even after warning Lewis not to.

Anonymous said...

Plus, two of the three people you mention are still on the payroll in the current Tyson Leadership Circle.

Turk has got to go right along with Berry and her Army. There will be huge savings right there. Why not add Moseley, Beasley, Thompson, Mitchell-Mayfield, Ramsey, Tucker, Guilroys and the rest.

Could the Friends and Family plan e coming to an end? This taxpayer hopes so!

Anonymous said...

How can this department "improve" student achievement if the teachers have lost all respect for its administration?

Anonymous said...

Morcease Beasely MUST be replaced with someone educated and qualified to hold the position. Head of Instruction is, next to the superintendent, the most important position in the system.

Anonymous said...

How did Marcus Turk keep his job if he knew Lewis used the P-card illegally and said nothing about i? Did he go to the DA or Ron Ramsey with the information or was his testimony about knowing Lewis used the P-card for personal use a response to questions from the DA?

Did Ron Ramsey, director of the Office of Internal Affairs, investigate allegations about Lewis? Did he know Lewis was having an affair with a highly ranked and highly paid female employee that he repeatedly promoted?

Is Ron Ramsey investigating the female employee who took the trips with him? Trips that the DA characterized as "no school system business was conducted"?

Did these trips that the DA characterizes as "personal" at all overlap the business day when taxpayers were paying Lewis and his mistress their salaries? In other words, were Lewis and his mistress conducting personal business during the business day?

These questions need to be answered for taxpayers who are footing the bill for the salaries of these personnel. Much of the resentment and distrust for DCSS "upper management" has come from never addressing these questions that taxpayers have every right to know the answers to.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea: the new superintendent absolutely must immediately come in and hire top notch people really qualified for the top jobs to run the county -- really evaluate what skills are really needed for which position: Here are some thoughts: a logistics background to run transportation; prior experiences as CFO in a public, top 500 firm, ferreting out fraud, for the cfo job, a decade of experience as a teacher and another decade as a principal and a real degree from a a top 50 university for chief of instruction... how about a general counsel who can review legal bills and mitigate litigation? How about someone from management with lots of experience negotiating bulk purchases to run purchasing? Someone with years and years in construction to run Sam Moss? We have got to eliminate the "friends and family" who are employed in the system who have no other qualifications for their jobs and who are not adequately doing their jobs and who are making others miserable in their jobs. The school system is about educating kids and responsibly using taxpayer dollars. It is not a jobs program for the well connected. The longer the new super leaves the "well connected" in place, the more likely it is that the "well connected" will sabotage the new super. If Ms. Tyson is worth anything she will not allow this to happen and will not renew these contracts come June so that the new super and the system as a whole has half a chance of moving forward.

Anonymous said...

If you have any doubt about the "sabotage" part -- just remember what happened to Dr. Brown... it didn't take very long. Remember the 2004 salary audit that has been buried. Look how much the central office has ballooned. It's out of control. It is absolutely critical that central office be shrunk to next to nothing before the new super starts so that he or she has a chance at success. The kids deserve it. The taxpayers have paid for it. It would help, too, if the school board was about to all be re-elected so that they were even running against each other -- it would be a clean slate for a new day for DCSS. Maybe that bill will pass today -- go Mike!

Anonymous said...

To the new superintendent candidates:

As a DCSS teacher, I can also attest to the fact that most DCSS teachers have completely lost respect for DCSS administration. We know first hand that students have not benefited from the many layers of bureaucratic bloat. We see it everyday. Teachers feel that DCSS administration has no credibility because as a rule it doesn't practice what it preaches. This is evidenced by the fact that funds are not allocated to the classroom where they can directly effect student achievement as they should. As a school system, we don't need anymore "suits" talking the talk but not walking the walk as it relates to what is good for children. Perhaps many in administration need to do a much better job of communicating just exactly what it is that they do to earn their salaries. Just showing up teacher planned and implemented school events for photo opportunities is not enough. Major change is long overdue in this system. We need someone who can lead us forward with integrity. We need someone who has the courage to make the right choices for children. We need someone who is credible, accountable and transparent. We need a leader who respects all stakeholders, including teachers. We are supposed to be on the same team not separate factions with the kids literally falling through the cracks in the middle.

PolitiMom said...

All such great suggestions. I can only add the request that whomever takes on this role considers the source when taking advice or learning background from existing DCSS administrators. This blog represents the true stakeholders--parents, teachers, taxpayers. Our only bias is wanting what is in the best interests of the students, not what will insure job security or political position. I beg you to make the tough decisions early to give your administration the best chance of success. If you do it with transparency, and resist the cronyism that has befallen your predecessors, the parents and teachers will support you. Godspeed to you.

Anonymous said...

I would hope that whoever is offered the position would want to put persons of their choice in key postions -- people they have screened, that are really qualified for the position, and would be able to adhere to the new superintendent's philosphy. As such, hopefully, the new superintendent would "demand" as a condition of their acceptance that no new contracts be issued for those positions. Persons would have to apply (re-apply) for the positions and will be selected based on the criteria (beyond the minimum) that the new superintendent has determined is NEEDED for that position, which for many currently holding the title, may be beyond their current capabilities.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Dr. Cox and if she is not offered the position of Super. I hope that she takes over the Super. of Curr. and Inst. from Dr. Beasley. He is supposed to be interim, right?

Anonymous said...

Do your home work and based your decisions on data and not on subjectivity. Many teachers need to be fired also. So, I would say becareful and fair to all children in this county, including Charter School students.

Anonymous said...

Look out. This Fall the county is planning on adding MORE instructional coaches. They will probably use Race To The Top money to fund it. Ours does not do any coaching of any teacher. She just sits at the computer most of the time when she is at our school.

Anonymous said...

I pray the new superintendent will stop promoting former principals into important positions in which they have no experience (Jamie Wilson, Steve Donahue, Charlie Henderson, etc.).

I pray the new superintendent will break up the sorority mafia, the fraternity mafia, the New Birth mafia, and the nepotism/cronyism mafia that pervade DCSS.

And I really hope the new superintendent will stop promoting administrators who get their masters and Ed D's from these online diplomas mills. Guess what Central Office bureuacrats? Argosy, Univ. of Phoenix and Sarasota Univ. are NOT RESPECTED INSTITUTIONS for a Master's and Ed D in Education. GA State is down the street. Tech, Emory and even UGA are here for you.

Anonymous said...

Clearly there is a strong consensus among reasonable people that the "Instructional Coaches" are not only not productive, but actually counter-productive, doing serious harm to morale and budget, and yet the huge public outcry has resulted in the addition of 10 to 12 more for next year. The much vaunted writing score increase has been due to a change in the rubric and scoring profile, which administrators very well know if they know anything about education, and has nothing to do with the coaches. It is very clear, however, that Ms. Tyson and the CO are making no effort to learn from the input from teachers, parents, students, and taxpayers; not even a nod or small concession. In fact they increase the spending. Clearly we have no voice. The Parent Centers are another complete and utter waste. I wonder if these highly paid administrators with their fake degrees have any idea how it makes a teacher feel to walk past that parent center 4 or 5 times a day and see the people who work there watching TV (yes, they actually have a TV in my building) or playing on the computer. I've seen fewer than 5 parents in there in two years, and they were basically lost or asking a question that had to be referred somewhere else. No one cares, folks.

Anonymous said...

Since it appears we are stuck with this horrible RttT money, let's use the money to really make a difference. I'm really scared about what I read this morning in the AJC because it is reducing students and teachers to tracking data. There are two distinct roles in a classroom - a teacher and the learners. I see hard working teachers every day with students who don't give a rat's rear end about the content. Maybe we need to look at getting these students into programs that will make them interested in their own achievement. I will say that the one part that scares me the most is the fact that student surveys are going to be part of the evaluation process for teachers. I guess I need to invest in Hershey's and become the cool teacher, right?

Anonymous said...

The sorority and frat mafia is awful and it all started with Mrs. Calloway. She has hired every member of AKA in top notch positions at the county level to principals and assistant principals. Out of all the instructional coaches are members of this organization. 98% of principals and assistant principals are members of this organization in every elementary school on the south end of the district.98% of the male principals are members of the organization that Simpson promotes highly on the south end of the county. Yet, most of these schools are in bad shape of management due to these organizations. If you donot believe me, do an audit check in each school or go by their offices and you will see pictures hanging proudly of their fraternity or sorority in their offices. Most of the retired principals are coming back from these sororities to help out their sorority sisters just drawing big checks plus their retirements. This mafia is big on the south end of the county. For every school on this end, it is managed by someone who is a member of AKA. All of this take over foolishness is a result of Frankie Calloway. It is still going on within the county even when she was fired then re-hired again. Aint that a mess!

Anonymous said...

When I moved here from the midwest I was stunned to find such a connection inside a school district with members wearing key chains showing off thousands of years ago of college socializing and rooting for members of special key chains to become leaders. When I shared this with administrators back home in the midwest they echoed why Georgia test scores were low due to favortisim and administrators who were not deserving of these positions but were given jobs based on the color their key chain, churches, family, and undergraduate connections. Nothing was based on fairness/ hopefully the new superintendent will be the one with the most educational experience and not the other two. When I read the one bio listing Delta Sigma Theta I cringed and said , we have enough sorority mess as it is, so why do you feel the need to tell us this. This quickly changed my mind about her mind set to lead. Still in college and holding on to memories of a sisterhood and not workhood. Let it go, and understand that these big organizations donot care about what frat or sorority you belong to. They are looking for expertise in productivity. Let it go ladies and men of the frats and sororites. Even the students in high school and middle schools on the south end are pledging instead of passing graduation tests and etc.South end administrators promote these students by wearing their greek shirts and organized stepping. This has taken away from learning and needs to stop. People in other regions are laughing at our school district known as Greek Mafia on the south end of the county.

Ella Smith said...

April 2, 2011 9:28 PM

It is a normal practice that principals get promoted to positions at the county office. Show me one school system in America that this is not common practice.

I would strongly disagree with your comments about Dr. Jamie Wilson. He is a jewel. I am extremely impressed with him as an administrator. I had him as a professor and I am extremely impressed. I have over 120 hours of graduate credit from Georgia State University, Central Michigan University, and Flordia State. I have my ED.S. from Argosy and it is not an online university. You spend week-ends in classes and then she spend your nights at the computer doing research, reading book after book and completing reasearch papers, online assignments and then the week-ends on presentations and listening to the professors at Argosy. You have no life when she do this type of program at all. All major colleges have similar graduate programs now.

Georgia is opening its first vitual school online and books will be dropped at the doors of students of all ages across Georgia. Special needs students will also be served in this way. Things have changed in education. Colleges are now becomeing more adult friendly.

I took a couple of classes during the week at Argosy and I was bored out of my mind after learning with the other model. Again, do not underestimate online education classes. However, Argosy is not just an online university at all. There are many out there but Argosy is not one of them. Dr. Wilson is on staff there and a fine teacher. I learned more than I ever learned from one of those graduate teachers at one of those other universities that some things are so great.

I would tell anyone how wonderful Dr. Wilson is. You cannot assume all the administrators at the county office are bad. I am sure we have many fine administrators at the county office. I agree changes are needed. But the change will come from the leadership of the superintendent.

I agree we should hire all three of them. Our children are worth every penny we would be spending. We have many administrators closed to retirement at the county office. Bringing in these three administrators to turn around the school superintendent in the superintendent's role and two assistant superintendent's role would be a good thing. Working together they may be able to make major changes.

Ella Smith said...

I left off the University of North Carolina. I have 30-40 hours at Argosy beside my other hours.

I can assure you Argosy is a good college. Many people do not pass the comprehensives after finishing their classwork. They are intense. I have taken a year off school after my comps. It was really stressful.

If you have not attended Argosy it is hard to judge. However, I understand that some of the online universities are fairly intense and maybe if you actually have not taken classes there you really are not a good judge of really how good they are. However, many of them are not research universities.

Anonymous said...

@ Ella 9:28
"It is a normal practice that principals get promoted to positions at the county office. Show me one school system in America that this is not common practice."

This is common practice, but it's not necessarily the best practice.

Principals and APs are commonly promoted to head many departments, but IMHO this is not the most efficient way to run a school system.

Most large corporations hire professional Human Resource managers who have a degree and years of experience in Human Resources. There are sound business reasons for this.

Most large corporations hire Transportation Managers that have a degree and years of experience in transportation, not the family member of a connected individual.

As pleasant as Ms. Tyson may be, most corporations would not have made her head of Business Operations and the number two in command for a billion dollar operation. MIS was not an efficiently run department the 5 years she ran it before becoming the Interim Superintendent. It did not serve the needs of the end users, the students and teachers. This is not a criticism of her as a person. Ask any teacher how efficiently MIS was run and continues to be run in DCSS.

Dr. Lewis filled the Central Office with personnel who do not have the educational or professional experience to perform their job functions. Just because he's not the only superintendent to do this is not justification for this practice. An effective principal does not necessarily make an effective manager for the highly specialized job functions that need to be performed in a school system at the upper levels. Look at Dr. Lewis. Does anyone think he was qualified for the job of superintendent (with the exception of the BOE members who hired him)? I hear he was an effective principal.

Central Office jobs should not be handed out like "plums" to well connected or even highly effective principals. This is one of the biggest problems we have in DCSS and in education in general.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 2:55
"The sorority and frat mafia is awful and it all started with Mrs. Calloway. She has hired every member of AKA in top notch positions at the county level to principals and assistant principals. "

Audria Berry is an AKA. I think this is less about Greeks and more about an organized way to band together and get ahead in school systems. Form a group and promote each other while excluding any challenges to your group. It's prevalent in other organizations, but DCSS has made it an art.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Greek Mafia is beyond awful and we can truly thank Mrs.Calloway for organizing a school system with members of her AKA sorority. Principals and assistant female principal dominate the administrative county level positions. It doesnot matter if they had a expertise in administrative leadership or not. Her goal was to put her organization into top notch positions . Even her kids are in top notch positions within the school district. The rumor mill is that she placed her AKA daughter in a preventive specialist position because she cannot pass the teacher test called the GACE. This keeps her daughter employed while other personnel are still struggling in lower paid jobs within the system.
Her son is not an effective leader at his son.
CFO Turk paid many bills for DCSS family and friends.Is he rally an accountant? (No) People Pleaser.
Does he attend New Birth or what fraternity is he a member of?
When will this madness end and someone come in without any connections to high polluting fraternity or sororites, church affilitations such as New Birth members, and etc and correct the problems that these incompetent leaders have created for taxpayers in Dekalb County.
These fired /retired adminstrators are taking up the bulk of the budget. When did Tucker receive a degree in investigation/ law enforcement? Ramsey's friend and neighbor .

Anonymous said...

I don't recall anyone dissing Jamie. Ella has said before that she has taken classes from him in the past year, which only made me wonder, how on earth does he have time to teach college courses? Shouldn't he be earning his $165,000 as head of human resources for DeKalb Schools? That's not enough? $$$$$

Anonymous said...

BIG QUESTION: What on earth was Francis Edwards doing at the superintendent interview meeting?

Anonymous said...

protecting turf as an interested guess is she likes davis.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Francis Edwards was looking for her son and daughter another position. Or, perhaps trying to figure out which candidate would continue to protect her family members if hired. You know blood is thicker than water.
The candidate wearing the red would be a Greek Mafia member protecting her sorors of Delta Sigma Theta. Can we please look outside of the United States? If we do this we could guarantee the Family and Members would disappear along with the Greek Mafia on the south end of the district.

Anonymous said...

I think people should be trained for their jobs, you cannot just put anyone in a school to be a principal over the school, well its is the same with human resources, transportation and other departments. That is why we need to find the Ernst and Young audit.

Ella Smith said...

I agree that some positions at a county office level may be filled with individuals who do not have education administration degrees. However, many of the jobs at the central office do need to be filled with individuals with Education and Leadership certification. If you do not have this certification you cannot fill many administrative jobs at the county office. There are some that can be filled with individuals from other areas.

Dr. Wilson just teaching a class a term and that means he spends a couple of week-ends a month on campus and also he communicates a great deal at night and on the week-ends with students. He is an excellent teacher and I learned a great deal about how personnel offices are run when I took his class. I learned a great deal about employment law and education law.

Again, I think he is extremely sharp. He moved up the ranks and I am extremely impressed with the knowledge he has. He always indicates as an administrator the first decision always is regarding what is best for the students.

If I had never had it as a professor I would have had no idea of how knowledgeable he is. If you have a degree in administration and leadership you have had many classes in dealing with employees and employee law. I think there is not enough clarity on what is involved in a administration and leadership degree.

Again, I have been teaching for 32 years know and I have never been in any school system in any state that did not move administrators up through the ranks. Some administrators are also hired from other locations. An AP, a principal, and a school superintendent has to be certified in Educational Administration and Leadership. They have to pass the GACE administration and leadership test. I just took it and I can assure you if you have not had amply education classes you do not have a chance in _________ of passing it. I would assume it is a best practice to hire someone in these positions who is certified in administration and leadership as I believe in most cases this is a legal requirement. Being certified in administration and leadership is definitely a "best practice." Hiring someone with amply educational administration and leadership experience to work at the county office is also a "best practice."

Anonymous said...

Prevailing theme in this entire thread. Fire everyone and start over. Let's start with the Guilroy's and Francis Edwards son. Anyone seen him lately?

Then the new super needs to can Turk, Berry, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell-Mayfield, Ramsey, Tucker and every other Clew crony and or family member.

Ms. Edwards was at the meeting to be seen by the three candidates. I'm sure Mr. Bowen pointed her out and said you do everything she says and make sure her kids stay hired. If not, you'll be out as fast as Johnny was.

Anonymous said...

This is the biggest April Fool Joke in the world. These candidates will sink on month one and the students suffer again. Please don't put us in a position of having to buy another Supt. contract. GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. Look for candidates who have had real experience in large metro systems and hire these candidates as Directors.99,000 students are at risk here. EXPERIENCE DOES COUNT!

Anonymous said...

Good comments by Ella. She is absolutely right, with few exceptions that is the was ALL school systems staff their administrative positions.

Culver and Cox both have high level administrative positions in large school systems. Culver has been a superintendent longer (10+ years vs. 18 months) along with exeprience in dealing with tough situations. This seems to make him the better candidate for DeKalb at this time.

Anonymous said...

Could we please start by putting principals in place on the south side who are good? Clewless hired week ladies because he liked them. Thedford was a joke. The ones at Lithonia and SWD are in over their heads. North end parents would never stand for it.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:47 AM

Asking for Good Principals in South DeKalb

Really? Really??

You say the North DeKalb parents would not stand for this. Then it is time for South DeKalb parents to "do their homework" and demand what is best for their children. South DeKalb has no one to blame for their school problems but themselves.

As long as you continue to return sorry BOE members to the BOE, you are getting what you deserve. Too bad it is not what your children deserve. But, it is up to you to put your children first and make the necessary changes.

Do you want some help from active North DeKalb parents? Then help us help you. Send this blog a directory of New Birth "members." Confirm the sorority and fraternity memberships -- and friends-and-family connections -- that have resulted in unearned promotions for unqualified employees. Write down what you know and send it to this blog at: You must include verifiable contact information (which will not be disclosed). You know you can trust DeKalb School Watch to maintain confidentiality.

So, here's the million dollar question, South DeKalb parents: Do you have the guts to do what is right?

Do you have to guts to free yourself -- and your children -- from being enslaved by a sub-standard education, black-on-black crime, and greedy DCSS administrators and BOE members who seek only to line their own pockets?

Do you have the guts to do what it takes to give your children a better life?

Cerebration said...

Ella, you are correct that most systems promote from within to the level of principal, APs, instructional leaders, even superintendent. However, DeKalb is notorious for putting educators in positions that require business people. Human Resources does not require a degree in education, it requires business-savvy. Transportation does not require a degree in education, it requires systems and logistics, running a television station does not require an education degree, it requires knowledge of television production. Construction should not be run by a former principal, it should be run by construction professionals. IT should not be run by people with education degrees, it should be run by people with high-tech knowledge.

Sometimes, I have to say, I get personally insulted at the level of self-importance educators who get PhDs have. They seem to think they are qualified to do anyone's job - however, they don't think anyone else could possibly do theirs. Businesses run very efficiently because they have specifically qualified people in exactly the right jobs. They have to - they have shareholders to answer to. Taxpayers are the "shareholders" in a public system - and we need to demand highly qualified staff in business-type jobs. HR is one of those.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 9:31 There is no reason South DeKalb parents should not protest if they are given substandard anything--leaders, buildings, programs. Document the problems, let the WHOLE Board of Education know, not just the ones who represent your school. Also let Maureen Downey of the AJC know.

It takes work and guts to be a squeaky wheel but if problems aren't disclosed except through rumor and blogging then they won't be fixed.

Anonymous said...

Most of the doctoral degrees held by DCSS educators are EdD and not PhD. There are HUGE differences between the two in: the standards for admission to the programs, the types of schools offering the degrees, the level of coursework, and the requirements for the dissertation.

Cerebration said...

South DeKalb has a pretty strong blog too -- I would think that people could write opinion pieces and the blog would publish them...

Check it out -

South DeKalb Blog

Anonymous said...

The top 3 candidates are the ones the School Board has determined they can best control, not the best individual for the school system as a whole.
They should provide information on the credentials of others who applied.
Are these 3 really the best they can come up with?

Anonymous said...

"Are these 3 really the best they can come up with?"

A marraige works if two people are committed to making it work. This 'work marraige' can only work if there is a match between the opportunity and those interested in it. That said, these may be the 3 best candidates that are mutually interested in this opportunity, taking the compensation package in consideration also.

I believe this is the 3 best candidates that are also interested.

Anonymous said...

I thought SW#D has a new principal. The other one was straight from friends and family.

Anonymous said...

I think Ms. Bethea is doing a GREAT job at SWD. She is a former students and is intent on restoring structure to the school. Some people, staff included, are not happy with that but it is being done for the benefit of the students.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Mrs. Bethea is probably the best fit for SWD since she is a SWD alumn. She has that added interest in seeing the school succeed. The substitute principal is also doing a great job making sure the students are developing a sense of urgency these last few weeks of school.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Tyson is more qualified than any of the 3 candidates. She has been in the fire and is aware of SACS, CRCT slander, Budget problems, the North/south divide, the difficult BOE, the many court cases etc.
I hope this BOE does the responsible thing and hire someone who is going to move us forward or at least make us desirable to top notch experienced candidates next go around.
A candidate from a sweet heart community of 5,000 or 10,000 students don't have a clue as to how to operate a large metro school district.
I hope the BOE does the home work needed and visit these sweet heart communities...then I am sure they will go back to the drawing board.
Can you imagine the embassassment when Atlanta, Cobb and Fulton can find qualified candidates?
How many times can we afford to mess up...Brown..Lewis...? No more please!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Brown was actually addressing many of the concerns that citizens are asking about such as the budget, instruction, and central office bloat. His undoing was a combination of a weak Board and envious underlings. Could their be another Judas that might betray our next superintendent?

Anonymous said...

@ 5:26 pm

"How many times can we afford to mess up...Brown..Lewis...? No more please!"

Brown was not a bad superintendent. He left us with a $17,000,000 surplus in the middle of a recession and instituted moves to cut the over payment of 2,500 non-teaching personnel to the tune of $14,800,000. Over 7 years that would be a $100,000,000+ savings precluding most of the cuts to the classroom that Lewis and Tyson made.

Tyson was head of Business Operations under Lewis and his personnel pick for interim superintendent.

If you want reputable links to any of these statements, just say so.

BTW - CRCT slander means that the state website showing only 50+% of title 1 schools made AYP AFTER strict monitoring to 80+% making AYP BEFORE strict monitoring. This is fact. Do you need the links to the state DOE website to see this?

Anonymous said...

Ella you seem like a very nice woman and I don't want to insult you, but Argosy is not a real university, the course work is sub par. I'm sure it does seem challenging at times, but going to classes a couple of weekends a month or whatever it is is NOT a real education. Our standards have just been dumbed down so far that we can't even recognize what an education is even supposed to look like anymore. I've known at least 10 people who've done that program and they basically did it with one hand tied behind their is a joke, like all online degrees. God help us if this really is the future of education. One clue to your idea of rigor is in your idea that no one on earth could pass the leadership GACE witout the courses. You are aware that most people take and pass the leadership GACE BEFORE they enroll in a specialist program? Most pass it after studying no more than a weekend. Not only is the system being raided by people with these bogus degrees, but the degrees do nothing to enhance their performance and they end up on the computer while they are on the clock collecting a DCSS paycheck doing their coursework. These diploma mills are the worst thing to happen to education in a very long time. At this point these fake doctorates are just a big red flag to me. Give me someone like Michelle Rhee with a good solid master's degree and hard work in the field. Time spent in an online classroom is time spent OUT of real education.

Anonymous said...

Again, how does Jamey Wilson find the time to teach college courses on top of his huge responsibility as head of HR for DCSS? What are his qualifications to be head of HR anyway? And why isn't his $165,000 salary enough??????

Anonymous said...

@ 7:02 Well said.

Anonymous said...

@7:02 pm

Your points regarding online degrees have some credence regarding rigor and peer review, however for many working adults this is a workable avenue for higher education. If you have a job and children you are raising, you may have no other way to get that education and degree.

I'm in my 60s. My father worked all day, didn't live near a college, and had two children. My mother also worked. In the 1950s while in his 30s, my dad took correspondence courses for almost 10 years in order to be a chemical engineer while he worked days at a manufacturing plant. My most vivid memories of him as a child are the hours and hours he spent on his studies as I did my homework while we both sat at the kitchen table at night. What a role model he was to my sister and I! He was a whiz with a slide rule, and I always went to him for help with my trigonometry and advanced math class. He made trig seem so easy. He carved out a successful career as a chemical engineer. I see what he did then as analogous to online education today.

My mom and dad sent me to a very good private girls college, and I had the privilege of obtaining two degrees in the classic bricks and mortar environment. I admired his efforts even more as I realized how difficult it must have been to master so much complex math and science content through a completely distant learning experience. I never considered my degrees as more valid than his.

I'm a believer in online education, and you might as well get used to the fact that most young people raised on the Internet are making online learning even more popular. BTW many of those young people have/will have the brains, background, and money to go to a bricks and mortar school but choose/will choose online.

As my father showed me - education is often what you make of it.

Online is here to stay even if "older" adults aren't comfortable with it. Tighten up requirements for this "new" way of learning and monitor it's effectiveness, but don't paint all online learning as bogus or think you can get rid of this different way of presenting and acquiring information.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:02

"Give me someone like Michelle Rhee with a good solid master's degree and hard work in the field. "

I wouldn't use Michelle Rhee as an example of a stellar educator. She is having the exact same "erasure" problems as Beverly Hall (perhaps you are a Beverly Hall fan as well). And scores have fallen precipitously in Washington DC with strict test monitoring - similar to APS and DCSS.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:20 I have one question (and I am not trying to be smart as I do not know the answer), were correspondence schools for profit entities?

The biggest problem that I see with the on-line schools of today as they are for profit. Having taken several courses on line to keep my teaching certificates in other states up to date, I have not found them rigorous or a valuable asset to my teacher knowledge. I have also found the work to be easy and not truly what I would consider to be Masters level course work. I feel that because they are for profit, that they lower their expectations, so that they can get more students and therefore more profit.

I have also seen a number of teachers with on-line degrees do their student teaching and they should not have been allowed in front of children. They were a disgrace to the teaching profession. The same goes for the principals that I have worked under as a teacher and with as a consultant.

Anonymous said...

Argosy, Walden, Phoenix, and the online programs are all "for profit" entities. Admission requirements are practically non-existent - anyone who can pay can attend. And the education they provide is simply not as rigorous as real education programs Emory, UGA, Ga State.

The GACE is super easy. The scary thing is that there are many teachers in our schools who have had to take the GACE multiple times before just barely passing. We simply must raise the standards for qualifying to be a teacher.

Cerebration said...

Not so fast on the blanket approval of Michelle Rhee. Apparently she has some pretty strong detractors - they went so far as to make a video story about her. Check it out on Maureen's blog:

Once upon a time: A cautionary tale or fairytale about Michelle Rhee

Anonymous said...

@ 9:38
"I have one question (and I am not trying to be smart as I do not know the answer), were correspondence schools for profit entities?"

I don't know, my dad's deceased but I'll ask my mom - she's in her 90s, but has a prodigious memory.

I know correspondence schools were not considered to have the educational quality of bricks and mortar schools, but that was the only venue my father had. The Depression, WWII, his father's early death, and eight siblings had precluded my dad getting a college degree in the conventional way. He was exceptionally gifted in math and chemistry, and knowing that, I'm very grateful he could pursue his passion for chemical engineering. He was an upbeat person who loved nothing more than tackling a math or chemistry problem - ALWAYS had that slide rule in his front pocket. He went on to head up some very interesting projects in the company he worked for. This was private industry after all, and what he knew was more important that how he obtained the knowledge. A love of learning and willingness to work hard will carry most people a long way when learning any body of knowledge or skill.

Online degrees should not be a way for DCSS personnel to complete a degree during the school day. If it's not a rule that you are not to be working on your degree during the school day, it should be and should be enforced. I know of many instances where employees worked on degrees during the school day. That's under the control of the DCSS administration, and they need to make these rules and enforce them.

The idea of quality control in the public arena with respect to online degrees needs to come from state legislatures. They need to use legislation to encourage more rigorous accreditation standards. The GACE is used because the Praxis was considered too difficult for many teacher candidates, most of which are not online college graduates. Many of our brick and mortar colleges have problems with rigor as well. Reinstating the Praxis would be a good idea IMHO towards ensuring our teachers are truly competent in their subject matter.

In some states where educational achievement is high - e.g. Massachusetts - ALL teacher candidates must sit for a 4 hour exam which measures their knowledge of spelling, grammar, and critical reading skills as well as write a fairly lengthy essay on a topic they are given. This includes math and science teachers. So they must be proficient in reading and writing expression as well as their subject matter (that's another 4 hour test). If they cannot demonstrate a high level of critical reading skills and also demonstrate proficiency in written expression, they cannot receive a teaching certificate.

Putting the proper checkpoints in place will encourage online learning institutes to improve and increase their rigor. After all, if they cannot get accredited or their graduates cannot pass more strenuous assessments and thus cannot get jobs, they will lose business.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm okay with Culver. I love Cox but agree with the folks that want her to replace Beasley. I also agree that there is more than likely someone who applied who is from a big system who was ruled out as probably "too strong to be controlled" by the BOE or of the wrong color or gender or something else along those lines. The BOE does not have a healthy understanding of what they really want or need in a Superintendant or of what their role really needs to be or is supposed to be. Further, I do not believe that the new Super will be at all successful so long as any of the "friends and family" of the Clew administration and the BOE that has been in place (and any and all nepotism that has existed under it) remain with their jobs at the time the new person takes over... there will be too much "control" by outside forces to maintain "friends and family" and not to spend the money wisely for the actual benefit of educatng children. I think that there are larger players in this game -- among them perhaps Ramsey and Long and Edwards -- and other smaller players but the house mmust be cleaned out-- sooner rather than later (and anyone with solid information should help....). I also believe that there is, perhaps, a financial incentive to keep weak and inexperienced principals in schools -- if you don't have experienced principals then you can't maximize your points at a local level and you keep more money in the general budget and at the central office. Just which pocket is paying for all those administrative expenses: the state funds? the federal title one funds or is it the property taxes? If there are expereinced principals at all the schools, then everyone would really understand the budgetting and missed points and it would be much harder to convenienty not fully fund the schools.... Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

yes!! Massachuseets has a much finer process for certifying teachers --it's almost as bad as the bar exam. Their teachers must be competent as professionals in so many different areas in order to become ceritified in the first place. It's truly wonderful. I bet many of our teachers would have a really hard time with their test but it would do absolute wonders to Georgia educaton if we could import their standards in certifying our teachers... (at a minimum at least require national certification and give up on the Georgia exam).

Anonymous said...

Ella, defending Jamie Wilson? Are you serious?

He has allowed and enabled nepotism hires. He has allowed and enabled promotions for those with little qualifications other than who they are related to or which sorority they were in.

When the school system was facing a $100 million deficit, Wilson and the Central Office did everything possible to save administration jobs.

Jamie Wilson is no better than those who have drug down the system (Ron Ramsey, David Guillory, Philandra Guillory, Bob Moseley, Robert Tucker, Frankie Callaway, etc.,).

Anonymous said...

They will be installing approx 15 new instructional coaches for the 2011-2012 school year. It is going to be much harder to redirect the funds because of this. Maybe they are doing more hiring knowing that there might be cuts from the new super and this is a way for them to maintain their positions (by giving up the latest round of hires) and appearing to compromise?

Anonymous said...

I once was going to hire a person. He wrote well.He did a great job during the interview. When he spent time at the school, it was clear. This person was not comfortable around the students. We both realized that this was not the right place for the person. Someone can be wonderful in many ways, but every situation is not the right one.
I graduated from a university in New England. I did my student teaching there. At that point, I realized that I wanted to work with students considered "at risk." I have spent my career in the schools. My advanced degrees are from GSU.
The finalist need to visit the schools. They need to visit a variety of schools. The staff should be allowed to speak with them.
I think Dr. Cox mentioned that you get the "brightest and the best" by being that kind of system. Leaving school based staff out of this process is not the kind of practice that is going to make strong staff members stay.
As excellent as this blog can be, everyone's voice is not heard. As an individual in the school, it does concern me that none of the finalist come from a large system.
Some may not realize this but, right now in the system is the first time that people have felt free to speak their opinions. We were not allowed to do that before without major problems.
Do not discount the things that Ms Tyson has done. She has made some good changes.
I also would like to know how many individuals applied for the job. Were there no individuals from a large system?
I know that names may not be released, but I would be very interested in knowing the demographics of the applicants.

Anonymous said...

" They will be installing approx 15 new instructional coaches for the 2011-2012 school year."

Is Ms. Berry and the Office of School Improvement trying to have even less Title I schools make adequate yearly progress?

This entire office needs to be replaced with personnel who don't make the same bad decisions for students.

That's another $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 down the drain.

Anonymous said...

The army of instructional coaches, all need to go. This larger number will make it more difficult for a new superintendent to get the district back on track. Since Ms. Tyson isn't helping the new superintendent by helping with cuts, the new superintendent will have to wake a year or two before he/she can do anything with the current budget.

The more people hired in unnecessary jobs, the more time it will take to put the focus on the kids.

Tyson needs to go as well and give back her raise, as she has done nothing to earn it. If she would have cut jobs and unnecessary positions than I wouldn't be so bitter about wasting even more of our tax money.

We can only hope that some day the school district will actually focus on the children, the only reason, anyone working for the district has a job.

Anonymous said...

Based on the the last few postings, it seems that the chicken hawks are at it again. Can anyone name any nepotism hires that occured since Jamie Wilson has been the HR Director? In fact, was there any law that was violated for any employee hired since Jamie Wilson has been HR Director? If you have that information, please share the names or law so that action can be taken to reverse that.

Does anyone take the time to read the mandates or regulations associated with Title 1 or RTTT? Probably not because it is much easier to be a chicken hawk and make accusations as though you know what you are talking about since you believe no one else knows how they work. Whipping readers into a frenzy with inaccurate information seems to be your mode of operation.

Anonymous said...

With all of the highest positions being filled by AKAs, these AKA principals also work to fill their schools with staff from the same sorority. Then this filters down to parents who are AKAs that get the most support for their children. This was the culture of Robert Shaw. That principal was then asked to lead another south dekalb school and continue this legacy. College graduates, include your sorority on your resume and you will surely be hired in south dekalb. Also, don't forget your car tag and t-shirt.

Friday spirit days were supposed to instill a sense of pride in school for kids and staff, with everyone weraring the school's logo, but it has turned into a day to wear your sorority/fraternity shirts as a sign of solidarity.

Anonymous said...

"Friday spirit days were supposed to instill a sense of pride in school for kids and staff, with everyone weraring the school's logo, but it has turned into a day to wear your sorority/fraternity shirts as a sign of solidarity."

Please tell me no DCSS employee actually wears his/her sorority or fraternity colors/gear on a spirit day.

If so, the inmates are truly running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

"Friday spirit days were supposed to instill a sense of pride in school for kids and staff, with everyone weraring the school's logo, but it has turned into a day to wear your sorority/fraternity shirts as a sign of solidarity."

Please tell me no DCSS employee actually wears his/her sorority or fraternity colors/gear on a spirit day.

If so, the inmates are truly running the asylum.

OH YES, They proudly wear the hat, shirt, jacket, purse, keychain and anything else they can find all in the same day!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:34 AM and
@ Anonymous 10:53 AM

Spirit Day Wear?

What we need are some recent photos of administrators in their sorority/fraternity wear on a School Spirit Day -- preferably one with a date printed on it. Anyone have any? Send it to the DeKalb School Watch blog:

Anonymous said...

The Chicken Hawks seem to be posting on the DCSW blog this week. Can anyone name one unqualified hire of an exiting employee hire since Jamie Wilson has been the HR Director? Can anyone point out the money that would be lost if the mandates of Title 1 and RTTT were not followed? Can anyone point to an annual audit of Title 1 that said DCSS was not using those monies as intended?

Bring some specifics to your accusations or take them elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

At a low-performing Title I high school in south DeKalb two years ago, the Teacher of the Year winner was a particular sorority sister (they wear red). At her TOTY installation in the Media Center, faculty were required to sit at tables by college -- with importance of the table determined by proximity to the front. Each table was a specific HBCU and radiated all the way to the back table that was for non-HBCU graduates (University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Agnes Scott, Emory, Georgia State, University of Pennsylvania). That is where all the white faculty (and the sole Indian) were expected to sit -- at the back. The two who dutifully remained shared with those who left how the affair turned into an HBCU sorority/fraternity throw-down. Can you spell "excluded"? How about "racist"?

In fact, the "sisters" of that sorority during the subsequent school year used high school students to push a cart around the school with gifts for the various sorority sisters who happened to work at that school. This happened monthly, and the sisters would leave their classes unattended to frolic and loudly talk up their particular sorority (they wear red) in the hallways. Sometimes they would have vocal confrontations with the other sisters of the other sorority (they wear pink and green).

Gotta love DeKalb County Schools!

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with sorority/fraternity organizations, but when a person is hired based on affiliation then that's something else. Greek organizations in DCSS can't be more obvious...see the pictures:

Anonymous said...

@ 11:40 am
"Can anyone point out the money that would be lost if the mandates of Title 1 and RTTT were not followed? Can anyone point to an annual audit of Title 1 that said DCSS was not using those monies as intended?"

The point is that DCSS Title I schools are not making adequate yearly progress at the rates of every other metro school system. More importantly, the percent of Title I schools dropped from 80+% in 2008-2009 to only 50+% making adequate yearly progress in 2009-2010.

For example, Clayton, Gwinnett, etc. had almost the same percent of Title I making adequate yearly progress in 2008-2009 (80+%) BEFORE and 2009-2010 (80+%) AFTER strict test monitoring. 100% of Clayton's schools are Title I. ALL of the metro area schools take the SAME tests and are under the SAME rules for Title I expenditure of funds.

This is not a question of legality (although the precipitous drop in schools making AYP proved so in APS). This is a question of competence. Title I and federal funds allocated to personnel and programs should be moving Title I schools forward, not backwards in making adequate yearly progress.

When the DCSS Title I schools (BEFORE strict monitoring) were making adequate yearly progress, the Office of School Improvement was taking the credit. Now that we have strict test monitoring, and we can see in reality how many Title I schools are NOT making adequate yearly progress, the Office of School Improvement must take the blame and be held accountable for a lack of student progress that is commensurate with the other metro systems.

There are many ways to meet Title 1 guidelines. Ms. Berry has chosen to meet the guidelines by filling the schools with highly paid non-teaching personnel and purchasing expensive learning programs. For example,she could use paraprofessionals or part time retired teachers to staff the Parent Centers freeing up more money for direct instruction personnel. She could be allocating more staff development decisions to the local schools who could then contract with educational experts that customize staff development to that schools' particular need. There are many ways to meet the guidelines. The ways she is choosing are NOT producing the results other systems are getting.

Here are the links for posters to see for themselves what's happening in Title I schools. The superintendent and the BOE need to be looking at the data:

DCSS Title I 2008-2009 (see Number of Schools by Adequate Yearly Progress Status) BEFORE strict monitoring of tests:

DCSS Title I 2009-2010 (see Number of Schools by Adequate Yearly Progress Status)AFTER strict monitoring of tests:

Clayton Schools Title I 2008-2009 (see Number of Schools by Adequate Yearly Progress Status)BEFORE strict monitoring of tests:

Clayton Schools Title I 2009-2010 (see Number of Schools by Adequate Yearly Progress Status)AFTER strict monitoring of tests:

Gwinnett Schools Title I 2009-2010 (see Number of Schools by Adequate Yearly Progress Status)BEFORE strict monitoring of tests:

Gwinnett Schools Title I 2010-2011 (see Number of Schools by Adequate Yearly Progress Status)AFTER strict monitoring of tests:

DCSS taxpayers want results, not excuses. Title I schools and their teachers and students deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Try this link. Can we please stop the sorority/fraternity mafia from getting promotions via networking instead of by merit!!

Anonymous said...

at the end of the link, make sure it has: Specialevents.html

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 11:40 am, since Jamie Wilson has been head of HR, despite not having any experience in HR, there have been a number of hires and promotions of relatives of DCSS administrators and BOE members. A number of principals have been moved into administrative positions in which they had no prior experience. I'm not going to name names here because I value my anonynmity.

Anonymous said...

Years ago a prospective teacher had to first interview with Dr. Cynthia Hill and then based upon her recommendation would this person be sent to interview with principals; This eliminated principals hiring family/friends/greek organization members.

Anonymous said...

Tyson needs to go! She was in charge of IT when the audit was done in 2004. I can't imagine an Ernst and Young report, costing the taxpayers over a half million dollars, just disappears. Another reason Tyson should be fired? Not knowing a former Board chairperson's son had not reported to his new position for 6 months, after a $15K annual raise. It took parents to expose this fraud. The good news? The son and Tyson still work for the system. Let's also not forget the same, former board chairperson's daughter and her husband make almost a quarter of a million dollars combined for the system!

It goes on and on and on. Until Tyson earns her raise, and start the tough job of cutting staff at the Palace, it was one of her reasons for the raise, she never said it right out but she certainly implied it, the new Super fails.

The new Super has NO shot at success until the entire Clew leadership is canned and the process of reviewing/auditing the entire Office of "Improvement" as well as Audria Berry's job begins. Berry should have been fired for tripping out with the former Super on a P-card.

Enough! Fire the current Palace guard and hire a new one or things will never change and the perception will linger longer for the new Super.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:40
"Can anyone point to an annual audit of Title 1 that said DCSS was not using those monies as intended?

Bring some specifics to your accusations or take them elsewhere!"

Let’s look at the figures for Title I schools after the retakes. For posters who don’t know what a Retake means, students can go to summer school and then retake the tests that measure AYP. If enough students in a school that failed to make AYP score in the Meets and Exceeds range, then the school is now considered to MAKE AYP.

In an effort to be more precise, let’s look at the percentage of Title I schools that MADE AYP after the 2010 summer retakes in Title 1 schools. Here is a comparison of DCSS with Gwinnett and Clayton.

AFTER 2010 summer retakes:
A. DCSS: 58% of Title 1 schools made AYP (2009 - 87% made AYP)
B. Clayton: 90% of Title I schools made AYP (2009 - 90% made AYP)
C. Gwinnett: 88% of Title I schools made AYP (*2009 – 100% made AYP)

Look at the computations:
DCSS: 58% of Title 1 schools made AYP
6 more Title 1 schools made AYP in 2010 with the retakes so…
46 schools making AYP on the original tests + 6 more making AYP on the retakes means 52 out of 89 Title 1 schools made AYP = 58%

Clayton: 90% of title I schools made AYP
5 more Title 1 schools made AYP in 2010 with the retakes so…
50 schools making AYP on the original tests +5 more making AYP on the retakes means 55 out of 61 Title 1 schools made AYP = 90%

Gwinnett: 88% of Title I schools made AYP (*2009 100%)
2 more Title 1 schools made AYP in 2010 with the retakes so…
34 schools making AYP on the original tests +2 more making AYP on the retakes means 36 out of 41 Title 1 schools made AYP = 88%

*Note that Gwinnett’s number of Title 1 schools increased 28% from 32 to 41 from 2009 to 2010 while Clayton stayed the same with 100% of their schools being Title 1 and DCSS stayed virtually the same with 76% of their schools being Title I).

Are Ms. Tyson and the BOE members looking at this data when evaluating the performance of the Office of School Improvement?

Ms. Berry has been over the Office of School Improvement for over 5 years. In 2006 Crawford Lewis asked the BOE to approve a new title for Ms. Berry and give her a salary increase. Look at the title change that resulted in a salary increase.

“Dr. Lewis recommended that the Board approve the following personnel recommendations:…Audria Berry to the position of Executive Director, Office of School Improvement (currently Director, Office of School Improvement)”

7-10-06 BOE mintues:

11:40 - is this specific enough?

Anonymous said...

@ 2:15 PM

What a drop! So DCSS Title 1 schools went from 87% making AYP in 2009 to 58% making AYP in 2010. It looks like the Office of School Improvement was not really improving student achievement after all.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 1:06 pm, you are posting under Anonymous. Why can't you name names, especially if the names you share are people that are unqualified for those positions? Can you name ONE person hired that reports to their relative because that is something that may be questionable. Having another relative in the school system is NOT nepotism unless you can show they were unqualified for the job they were hired for.

Every superintendent until Johnny Brown had relatives in the school system, some may have multiple generations still in place. That is a fact that no one can argue

Also, most principals hired have nor prior experience as a principal since they were probably promoted from an assistant principals.

You are a chicken hawk unless you can provide some names!! Not just ANY name but names of unqualified employees.

Anonymous said...

Tyson is a sorority member. Some talk openly of belonging to the sorority she belongs to.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 2:44

"Can you name ONE person hired that reports to their relative because that is something that may be questionable."

I'm not the Anonymous who has been posting about nepotism, but here is a question I have for you.

Can you find the nursing license of a BOE member's relative who is a nurse in a DCSS school? Per the state salary audit - 44 nurses are in DCSS schools, and looking at the Georgia Professional License website, 41 out of the 44 have RN or LPN licenses. This BOE member's relative is listed in the 2010 state salary audit as holding the position of Nurse and makes the same pay as the other 43 school nurses.

Here's the link to the Georgia State License site:

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 1:02
" "

That's a very interesting link showing how Greek-hood is promoted in DCSS schools. I can see why being in a sorority or fraternity would be advantageous in DCSS just looking at that web page.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 3:43

I can name the former superintendent's daughter who makes as much as some principals while serving as a secretary. Which situation is worse?

I also recall some para's serving as school nurses. Is a nurses license a requirement to serve in that position?

Anonymous said...

Can we get back on topic and keep it that way. My plea to the next Supt. please stay longer than 2 years, if you can.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 4:07

According to the postings on PATS, an RN or LPN license is definitely a requirement for the job. And looking at the 44 DCSS school nurses, I could find licenses for 41 of them, but not for the BOE member's daughter who is listed as a nurse on the state salary and travel audit. I could not find an LPN or RN license listing for her. She is not being paid like a para. She is making the same or more money than RNs in DCSS per the state salary and travel audit.

As an example, below is a copy of the DCSS PATS posting in November for a nurse at Panola Way. All the other postings for nurses have been worded just like this one. Tell me if you think this job requirement is for an RN/LPN. This would be terrible per SACs directives if a licensed nurse was passed over for an unlicensed person who was related to a BOE member.

"Comments: Panola Way Elementary is currently seeking a highly energetic and GA-licensed school (RN-LPN) nurse to work with elementary-aged students. The ideal applicant must be dependable, conscientious, and a team player. Duties include but are not limited to the following: conducting and/or coordinating school health programs, including screenings, assessment of immunization status, and testing for hearing and vision as appropriate; performing student health procedures and assisting students with administration of medications; assuming the responsibility for selection and referral of students in need of medical and dental care; reporting to parents, school personnel, physicians, and other health agencies on school health issues; and organizing and coordinating school health fair and other health related programs to benefit students, staff, and the community at large. The applicant must have a working knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and regulations affecting the delivery of school health services, normal and abnormal child development, and educational principles and approaches pertinent to children with various intellectual and learning disabilities, special needs preschool children, and principles of nursing. Additionally, the applicant must exhibit a kind and caring manner, be able to communicate effectively with children and adults, be flexible and organized.
Position Title Nurse, School (RN & LPN)
Qualifying Position Title(s):
Nurse - School (RN & LPN) ( 720551 )

Anonymous said...

I think we are on topic! If Tyson does not prepare the foundation for the new Super then DCSS will FAIL! The current system is NOT working. more and more students are failing and we are not holding the people in charge accountable.

We need the 2004 audit in the sunshine, someone has a copy of it. The we need to perform a new one. maybe the new Super need to ask for the resignations of everyone in the Central Office Leadership and the new Super should interview each and everyone of them and determine who should go.

However, Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell-Mayfield, Ramsey, Tucker, Beasley, Guilroys and others are wasting our tax dollars and they want more.

By the way, it was great seeing, former BOE chairperson Francis Edwards at the Superintendent Forum. I guess she was there to make the new Supers aware of her friends and family members working for the system. We can't have that Edwards gravy train of cash come to a halt!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 2:44 My understanding is that Dr. Beasley, Teaching and Learning Interim, is related to Johnny Brown. Am I incorrect?

Anonymous said...

"Having another relative in the school system is NOT nepotism unless you can show they were unqualified for the job they were hired for."

-Zepora's daughetr who's making $65k a year in the Parent Reource Center with no experience.

-David Guillory, head of Transportation, no experience.

-Philandra Guillory, head of DCSS TV, no experience.

-Steve Donahue, former principal, now head of Sam Moss with no prior experience.

-There are also some relatives now in asst. principal and principal positions despite little classroom teaching experience.

Nepotism is not just having a relative in a position where one reports to another relative. It undermines the public trust. There are plenty of school systems in the metro area. Someone tell the Callaway clan, the Edwards/Guillory clan, etc., to get a job at another school system on merit, not to get a DCSS job because of your family/sorority connection.

The lack of any professional ethics is astounding.

Anonymous said...

Does Jamal Edwards (son of Francis) have experience in IT or did he before getting the job in DeKalb that he didn't report to for 6 months yet collected a paycheck?

Anonymous said...

Did Jamie Wilson have experience in human resources before being promoted to head of that division of 15,000 employees?

Anonymous said...

How about the construction project managers? Aside from the people at Parsons, do any of the staff project managers have experience in construction? We know that Stan Pritchett did not and we also know how well that worked out.

Anonymous said...

That "name one name or take it elsewhere" post is so sad. As my mechanic sometimes says before a big bill, "There's your trouble." He's knows what's going on, we know what's going on, the unqualified friends and family know what's going on, but if I can't be caught, then it isn't wrong. You want to know what is wrong about the misuse of title one funds in DeKalb? Do you REALLY need someone to tell you that? How on earth do you sleep at night? These are children you are stealing from. Children. Of course when the Fed asks whether Title 1 funds were spent on Instruction, you can use your smoke and mirrors to claim that all these AKA sisters were technically working in "instruction" even though you have the evidence of thousands of hard-working employees on the ground begging, literally begging, for you to see that they do not help with instruction and in fact hinder it. It is a lie that you, for now, cannot be caught in. What scares me is that you do not know the difference between a lie you cannot technically be caught in, and a moral failing; theft from the most helpless element of society, poor children. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Pat Pope had construction experience and we know how that worked out.

Anonymous said...

April 5, 2011

Hello Community Leaders,

Please refer to the attachment for complete details regarding the three DeKalb School System Superintendent "Finalists."

If I can provide additional information, please do not hesitate to give me a call, at (404) 371-1490 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (404) 371-1490 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; or send an e-mail:

As always, thank you for your Continuing Support for our Students, Schools and Communities/Neighborhoods. "Our Children Are Our Only Future"

After reading the attached information, please send an e-mail to:, regarding your perspectives of the Superintendent Finalists, thank you very much for your valuable/important input.

Please "share" this information with other interested persons.



Sarah Copelin-Wood, Board Member

DeKalb Board of Education - District 3

(404) 371-1490

"The School Cannot Live Apart From The Community"

This was sent by sarah copelin via an email account with numerous email address for people at various schools attached.

Concerns me that school board members are soliciting info via a yahoo email account and not their dcss account.

Is this process on the up and up?

Anonymous said...

"Nepotism is not just having a relative in a position where one reports to another relative. It undermines the public trust."

I guess that means DCSS NEVER had the public's trust given that Jim Cherry had a host of relatives and friends working for the school district. He started this school system along with this tradition of family and friends. Everyone knew it then and it continued with subsequent superintendents along with other Board members and key employees.

If you tried to out all the employees that got jobs through family and friends, you might be surprised at how many families in DeKalb that would involve. Many are still in key positions behind the scenes and are really controlling those that think they are in power now.

Anonymous said...

I for one wouldn't mind the nepotism, if experienced people were being hired and our children were receiving a top notch education. The problem is that people are being hired without any skills for what they are being hired to do, and often getting paid more than a private sector worker in the same job to boot. DCSS seems like it focuses on being a jobs program for friends and family instead of focusing on the educating the children that live in the county.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:44
"Can you name ONE person hired that reports to their relative because that is something that may be questionable. Having another relative in the school system is NOT nepotism unless you can show they were unqualified for the job they were hired for. "

You're not correct. Here's the definition of nepotism from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Definition of NEPOTISM
: favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship

Here is what says:
Nepotism: patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics

Anonymous said...

@ 10:42, surely you are smart enough to realize that if a law were passed based on the definition of nepotism you provided, it could shut down half the organizations in this country. In both private and public organizations, HR directors PREFER to hire someone recommended by an existing employee, assuming that person is qualified. The rationale is someone wouldn't recommend a dud because it would not reflect well on them. That's why these friends and family accusations are baseless as that is the way of the world.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:09 pm
"In both private and public organizations, HR directors PREFER to hire someone recommended by an existing employee, assuming that person is qualified. "

I think you are confusing nepotism with cronyism.

Companies have a check for cronyism and nepotism. If someone is hired for a job because he is friends or family and he is a non-performer, he has a very good chance of being terminated or demoted. Not so in systems like DCSS. Non-performing friends and family can coast along for years.

Anonymous said...

Hiring a family member would certainly be acceptable if they also actually interviewed other people who applied for the job and gave others a chance. I can name several people who have applied online for DCSS jobs and gotten NO RESPONSE, even though they were highly qualified individuals. If you don't know someone in DeKalb, you can't get in, period. Not even a call-back.

Anonymous said...

"I can name several people who have applied online for DCSS jobs and gotten NO RESPONSE, even though they were highly qualified individuals."

Do you think every qualified individual that applies only for ANY job gets a response? Again, sounds like many of you need to talk to HR Directors to find out the truth about hiring these days.

It was not that long ago that many people were discriminated against in hiring because of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, marital status, etc. As mentioned in the AJC article this past Sunday, citizens should be more concerned about pension payouts for ALL government employees. Who and why do you think set those plans up in that matter without concern for future generations? Many friends and family hired during the Jim Cherry days are collecting from the pension and probably receiving far more than they put in the plan. Reform the pension plan and you may end the legacy known as friends and family.

Cerebration said...

Due to a large amount of spam, we are now requiring registration in order to comment. If the spamming goes away or Google gets better control, we will reinstate anonymous commenting. Until then, please log in using any kind of identifier you choose. Thank you for participating in the blog.

Cerebration said...

GREAT post at Maureen's "Get Schooled" blog written by DeKalb Technical College instructor Janusz Maciuba.

To the three DeKalb school chief finalists: Get out now or be eaten alive.

There’s a suspension of logic in every horror movie where the teenagers decide to explore the cellar. Several previously have gone down the stairs and disappeared but the plot needs someone to tread the groaning boards, brush aside the alien protoplasm and brave the brain-sucking monster.

The audience cries: “Don’t go down there! Get out of the house! You’ll be eaten alive!”

But sensible behavior would make a bad movie. ...

Click the link to read the whole post...

Cerebration said...


Speech pathologist indicted for fraud

A speech pathologist who provided therapy services to DeKalb County students has been indicted for Medicaid fraud.

A DeKalb grand jury this week charged Kenneth A. Thisdale for allegedly submitting false Medicaid claims for more speech therapy services than he actually provided and for services that he never provided, the state Attorney General's Office said. The indictment also alleged that Thisdale falsified patient charts to conceal the approximately $800,000 in fraudulent billing.

Now, I ask, how on earth could someone get away with this? It's SO SIMPLE to implement a system of checks and balances on services -- documents should be signed that time was worked and a correlating bill approved by say, a principal? A lead teacher? A parent?