Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students.
~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
Here's to Dr. Cheryl Atkinson. We are wishing you the best with your very difficult new job!
The task will be difficult on the south end of the county.Administrators must come from else where in the region. Elementary principals are notorious for treating their staff like children. For example, they use teachers that they like to serve as chairpersons and in the acting positions of internships.The intent is to cause division and it does. These poor teachers are fooled by their administrators that they are headed to AP positions. Few cases this happens . Middle School Principals and High School Principals have no clue. Many are band teachers with no experience in leadership. This trickles down the pipe to pooor CRCT scores. Please let us pray that Dr. Atkinson will allow outside persons to come in announced on the south end to see what is going on. She will be very surprised at the outcome. Merry Christmas and let us see which school will make the cut with the CRCT for 2012.
Assistant P. L.Smith has caused so much confusion among her staff...and is not even certified as an administrator. She even told one teacher to take their argument outside of the building.. OMG! You talk about students bullying each other...what about administrators who walk around black balling teachers because they are not afraid to let administrators know when they are wrong.Welcome to the south end of DCSS, Dr. Adkinson,, where the test scores never rise.
Teachers are surprised that A.Smith would even recommend L. Smith as an AP. During L.Smith time as a teacher in the same school, she was rude, didnot follow any policies and procedures and now, she is sitting in the throne as an Assistant Principal. This lady is a sad example of leadership and it was noted during the fireside chat with Dr. Atkinson about Browns Mills. let us hope that both are moved elsewhere.
Principal A. Smith starts off conferences with teachers by saying; "I heard that you said". When teachers first commented on her lack of experience and bullying, her statements took us back to kindergarten. What professional administrator would call teachers in and confront them with; "I heard that you said'. Only on the south end. Who trained this administrator, or was she just pushed in by her retired mentor from Wynbrooke
The main problem with administrators in our schools, is that very few of them have enough classroom experience to have maturity. They are still in college/sorority mode. They also do not have enough classroom experience to really understand what is needed to improve student achievement, or how to even go about it. I firmly believe that APs, principals, Area superintendents, and superintendents all need to have at least 10 years of true classroom experience, not music, gym, business, but teaching a class where they are responsible for student achievement and can show that they were successful and explain how they improved student achievement. I'd love to see at least 15 years, but they really should have no less than 10 years. Also, every AP, Principal, area superintendent, superintendent, and anyone making curriculum decisions should have to teach at least one class each school year. I do not mean one class day, but an actual class from start to finish, so that they remain understanding of the students, their achievement levels, and if decisions that they are making are in deed working. These classes should be with average students and should change locations each year for anyone above the principal level. And no, their salary should not increase for this "extra" work.New blood is needed throughout the school system-APs, Principals, Area Supers, and on up. Until all old blood are out of the school system, the district has little chance to get better and improve. There are too many working against the children and getting them a better education.I hope that Dr. Atkinson is up for the task, but unless huge changes happen in the upcoming months when contracts come out, our school system will continue to sink lower and lower and it will have an even more difficult time to improve in the future.
The south end? Check out the east end of DCSS, incompetence is thriving. You can expect transfer requests in abundance. Hhhummmm, that in itself may be an indicator. Dr. Atkinson, that may be the very 'gift' you need to solve some of the challenging problems you're faced with. Use that information to swap, that is, move principals around to see if the problems migrate or dissolves. Now you could be onto something. It's time to revamp DeKalb.
I like the idea of asking system administrators to actually teach a class. It would allow them to see how their policies and procedures are working on a daily basis. The only way that you are going to find out how bad the discipline problems are, what is working, etc., is to be in the building long enough for everyone to stop "walking on egg shells." I know that there are some administrators that we really don't want in a classroom, but I suspect that we would also find some strong, creative teachers. School administrators need to get back in touch with the mission of the school system, educating students.
You are so correct in saying that most of the principals are still in sorority mode. This is why our scores are down and until Dr. Atkinson remove these principals that were hired by Calloway, CLEW, Audria Berry and others are moved to other locations, then we will continue to have these problems with incompetent female leaders in DCSS.This is ongoing apparently on the east and south end of the county. When did a school system shift into a sorority mode and everyone thinks it is okay? Grown fifty year old women parading around in college greek wear and stepping. This shows that being Greek is more than having your school make AYP. Dr. Atkinson, please make this era vanish and bring in new blood for our teachers and students on the south and east end of the county. It is awful!
I TEACH in DeKalb. I am in a sorority. I DO NOT step or parade around focusing on sorority life at work. I TEACH. Not every sorority/faternity member behaves in the manner discussed in the earlier posts. I have too much teaching, shopping for additional resources for students, and nurturing to do. Don't sterotype. It's not fair!
The morale is low in school located in the south end of the county. A huge amount of confusions comes from the female principals, and female Assistant principals. They lie about teachers to other incompetent female principals and AP's. But, they often forget to tell how they made it to the mountain top or climbing on their backs. They talk about teachers with other teachers and share personal information, often forgetting to tell their own. Then when CRCT test scores arrive, they hold a meeting trying to save face. Please let everyone hope that Dr. Atkinson really heard what teachers presented to her during our fireside meeting. These female administrators on the south end needs to go! They also say change is good when trying to get rid of teachers using the transfer system, now let them see how good change reallly is.
Most administrators could not teach a class when they were in the classroom. Remember now, these female administrators moved to the top because of their sorority affiliations, church memberships, college connections, and backstrokes.So, let us hope that Atkinson will move them out the door and please not in a classroom. This is why the south end cannot make AYP.Please thank, Calloway, Debbie white,Berry, and Lewis for the mess on the south end off DCSS.
January -February is evaluation time for administrators using the PAL. Teachers, once you return in January, your female administrator will show changes of improvement until the PAL is completed. Donot be fooled by this ploy.These female administrators must be exposed or they will continue to black ball teachers or give poor recommendations to keep you from advancing and then laugh about it with the other incompetent administrators. Black balling teachers is a way of life for female administrators on in DCSS.
Teachers fill out the PAL year after year hoping our feedback will be used to fire, transfer, or train the principal to be a decent leader and nothing ever happens. We're convinced the results get put in the circular file if they are not what the friends and family supervisors want to read.
We (the teachers working for one these "Friends and Family" women principals) looked forward to filling out the PAL survey. Once the day finally arrived, her “pet intern” (who, four years later, is still not an administrator) handed out the surveys and waited with the packet for us to return the forms. No way to turn in comments with him watching us like a hawk, while hovering over the envelope for the completed surveys.To add insult to injury, an hour later when a few of us went to sign out for the day, he AND the principal were both in the office. He had the completed surveys with him. What a letdown.The principal has since been “reassigned” – DCSS-speak for moving the incompetence around. The teacher is still a teacher. Don’t know if he ever figured out he was played. I'd really like to know what happens with those PAL surveys. . .
"Also, every AP, Principal, area superintendent, superintendent, and anyone making curriculum decisions should have to teach at least one class each school year."Amen, Amen, Amen!
I might be remembering another evaluation but weren't these evaluations done online last year? If not, teachers should be given the option of sending in their PAL surveys without handing them to someone in the building. The other problem is that hand-written comments make it easy to identify the writer.
The PAL should not be collected by anyone within the building nor should staff have to sit and fill it out under someone's watchful eye which sends the message that we either can't be trusted or they want to do the "intimidation" thing. Why can't we take it home To complete and mail it to the region office to the area asst. Superintendent or area coordinator?
The PAL is not supposed to be touched by an administrator. Every administrator I know has left the room if they are being evaluated. In addition, they place an envelope on a desk and ask the teachers to put the PAL in the envelope in order to secure privacy.
"Also, every AP, Principal, area superintendent, superintendent, and anyone making curriculum decisions should have to teach at least one class each school year."This may be helpful for the APs, Principals, etc., but I certainly wouldn't want my child to be taught by someone who only teaches one class per year and who is distracted by all the responsibilities and issues of his/her regular position. I agree that these administrators need to keep in touch with the classroom, but not at the expense of the kids that might be unlucky enough to get one of them as a teacher!
First SWD, then Arabia and now the gift that keeps on giving.DCSS will now have Probation Officer making the rounds and walking the hallowed halls of our high schools!That will sure help sell the idea of attending our DCSS high schools.This is a marketing and branding coup!Merry Christmas to us!We're hosed!
Here's the link:http://www.ajc.com/news/probation-officers-move-into-1275861.html?cxtype=ynews_rss
@ 7:39:Seems we were already hosed if we needed to even contemplate probation officers in the schools. As a parent of a child in a school which may have its share of students requiring the services of probation officers, I for one am glad to see this, albeit saddened that we've come to this point. An added bonus to me is that the more 'outsiders' are in the halls of our schools, the more they'll see the challenges we're up against -- and will, with the cooperation of the district, pitch in to help. I agree with those who say that students cannot learn, and teachers cannot effectively teach, until order is restored in the classroom. And if there is even a chance that the probation 'customers' are the ones causing classroom disruption, then sure -- let them see and act on it. Let them all see.I've noted over the years that the topic of 'school discipline' is one we have a hard time wrapping our minds around. Not teachers -- they're well familiar with what the term 'discipline problem' actually means, I'm sure. But with the decline in parental standards, I'd love to see a district discussion, complete with a re-vamping of the Code of Conduct, which allows the flexibility to deal with students who are not over-the-top, but rather with the majority of 'discipline problems' who don't bring weapons, don't blow up the school and don't assault people. I'll bet that we'll find, in ALL parts of the district, that it is the garden-variety smart-ass little punk-types who actually take minutes off the teaching/learning clock during the school day. And who actually take up much of the time of the staff who have to follow up with discipline referrals. Hearings, staff devoted to hearings, court reporters, administrators pulled away to participate in the hearings, blah blah. If any of this can be quantified (complete with budgetary impact), it'll shock us all. All because it is hard to walk the fine line with how a child should respect an adult and his peers. At THAT point, we can go back to parents/guardians, many of whom write the property tax checks and complain about waste and bloat in the system, and let them know that through their own abdication of responsibility, they are direct contributors to said waste and bloat. "The right of the learning student to have an uninterrupted day..." Sigh.
@DinoMomBut principals in schools in the past used to teach a class. And in some private schools you will find this as well. Personally, I think all certified personnel outside the classroom should be rotated into the classroom every 3 to 5 years. I know it would be somewhat disruptive on the administrative side, but the perspective they would gain would be extremely beneficial to students. When your environment is linked with the students' environment, you will try to improve the classroom environment. An administrator should be able to demonstrate he can move students forward and manage a classroom. If he cannot do this, how can he tell others how to do it?
@Anonymous 9:17If you mean that every 3-5 years, each administrator would be rotating in as a full-time teacher and would be giving his/her full attention to the kids, then I would agree. However, I was objecting to the proposal that every administrator teach one class per year. In a system that is in constant turmoil like DCSS, it's hard to imagine that the kids in those classes would get anything approximating the full attention of the administrator who has many fires to attend and many "emergencies" to handle.
@ 9:48 Administrators teaching classes is done at many of the best private schools. It's what gives administrators a pulse on the school and the students. Those teaching a class are counselors, admission officers, people making curriculum decisions, etc. Having taught at DCSS, the problem is the friends/family, but also those that making the decisions on curriculum and discipline have not a clue of what is happening today and how our kids are. Also having these administrators responsible for a class will also show parents the "talents" of those making the big bucks in the district. All too often, those making the decisions that effect the education of our children were piss poor teachers, and parents and tax payers have a right to know this, and not have these individuals elevated into higher and higher paid positions making weaker and weaker decisions that make the school district undesirable for parents who want their children to receive a quality education.Yes, administrators have fires to put out, but it's called professionalism. As a teacher, I had things going on at home, but I didn't bring them into the classroom with me. I left that at my home and focused on my class and providing my students with a quality education. The amount of money that these administrators are paid, if they can't be professional and do a quality job of teaching one class each year-not a full teaching load-just one class, than they really have no business being an administrator making big bucks, making important decisions that affect many, and dealing with children in any way. It's really time that we expect more from our administrators from the AP to the top superintendent and get them into the classroom to see how things have changed even a few years ago. If they don't like it, let them leave. If they can't teach, throw them out. It's very simple.
"This may be helpful for the APs, Principals, etc., but I certainly wouldn't want my child to be taught by someone who only teaches one class per year and who is distracted by all the responsibilities and issues of his/her regular position."If a system administrator, principal or AP is not up to the task of teaching a class, they should not be in the position of supervising teachers. It is actually reality check because these people would have to produce the same lesson plans and do the same prep work that every other teacher does. If it is part of the job, you make the time in your schedule.
Administrators teaching would be a great idea. Keep in mind that these administrators were given positions . Most of them did not come to work when they were in the classroom, could not discipline, and was a sorry case for being a teacher. But, when CLEW, Berry, D.White, and Calloway came on board, these people hired their sorors, church members, cousins, and family members in administrative assistant principal, and principal positions. Most are still employed or pretending to be in charge until the CRCT scores arrive. Placing these people back in the classrooms would set students back further.As for the PAL, most of these administrators think and know that the PAL is a joke. Most of these administrators are looking for a good pay check and staying in the loop with their friends on staff even when these people are not doing a good job.They will not touch their church members, friends, neighbors, or Greek friends. The saga continues. It will only stop when Dr. Atkinson remove these administrators and make surprise visits to the schools. This will open a can of worms. Can you imagine, Dr. Atkinson walking in the back door and just sitting in classrooms without the administrators or teachers having a warning? This would put administrators on BLAST and maybe, open Dr. Adkinson's eyes to really see the mess that CLEW, Berry, Calloway, and D. White created on the south end of the county. Taxpayers, it is sad to see what kind of learning your kids are receiving.
That is so true and sad about how the teacher who thought his female principal had his back. Maybe, some where down the line he was black balled and cannot get back into the loop. You know, black balling from female principals are common scare moves on the south end. Female staff members who will not be intimidated or controlled by their placed administrators stand no chance of being promoted. Remember the Delta Cohort and Alpha Cohort and who all were let in. This was black balling at it's best. Some of these same administrators are still playing the same ole games. Remember, when it is your turn for payback, take your medicine like a big girl. Ask the sorors, Dr. Berry , White,and Calloway.
Why o' why does DCSS pay rent to New Birth for a school on their campus when there are so many shuttered old DCSS schools?When will the supt. or the BOE say "Enough", New Birth will no longer hold sway over our school system(and no more Calloway's on DCSS payroll)".http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/new-birth-christian-academy-1276758.html"New Birth Christian Academy closing"
DCSS is still in denial about NewBirth. So many of the elite attend this once affluent church and would stop speaking with or to you if you didnot say nice things about the Bishop.Renting of the building from New Birth still helps their soror Calloway continue to get richer with DCSS taxpayer's money.Plus, many, many of the family, friends, frats, and sorors of DCSS still attend New Birth and cannot accept the fact that the public has exposed all of the illegal ventures within the church and DCSS.A lot of DCSS so called elite administrators send their precious kids to Calloway's charter school and Arabia Mountain.Once upon a time it was hard to become hired in Dekalb. After, Calloway became Associate Super, she opened a flood gate of corruption with Greek ties from within her sorority and every since this county has gone to the dogs. Females are running rampant to pledge into Calloway's organization because, most will become assistant principals or principals in 24 hours and tear up an entire school. Little girls walk around talking about pledging Ms. Calloway's organization and some of these future young ladies can barely read. But, this is what the message in most adminstrator's office display, not one mention of the CRCT or educational quotes, bullentin boards adorned in Greek colors, grown women advertising Greek wear on a daily basis, yet, your school cannot even make AYP. Something is very wrong with this picture, soror Calloway, white, and Ms.Berry. Rest in Peace, DCSS.
Principal Malone is a tyrannt and teachers are planning their exit and transfers by the numbers. The stress is too much which is causing teachers to actually Pass out where the ambulance is called to assist.Keep in mind, this is another female administrator special friend of CLEW who moved up by backstroking over night.
You're right no one wants to work under this female administrator (principal, Malone) She has very special closed ties with CLEW if you can read between the lines.There are so many more on the elementary, middle, and high and county office. Audria Berry was not his only main friend to move up the ladder. There are other special friends of a certain sorority (AKA) that did a lot of after hours backstroking.
What a tremendous shame it is for this incompetent oppressor of a leader,( Malone) to be in a position of authority! Is abuse / bullying (of any degree - to anyone) permissible?? Solution: As an effective organization, we must set a positive example for students and ALL stakeholders. Dr. Atkinson, please address this "very real" concern so that Dekalb will indeed be considered a safe and orderly environment to perform productively!
During one AP meeting, L. Smith, assistant principal ) bragged about she bullied down a teacher at her school with other administators laughing at her comments.That teacher (assistant principal) now is a great person compared to L. Smith. (Browns Mill) She was black balled each time she applied for a job.In January, let us hope that both administrators at BMS are moved.Yet, Dr. Adkinson gave administrators power to hire and fire people. Look for lawsuits in 2012 from teachers and other staff.
Principals in general can be problematic w/o regard to gender. With it now being 2012, we need a fresh start.I think I understand the sorority/fraternity comments in many cases. PRIVILEGE seems to be 'employed' (pun intended) within the DCSS ranks as opposed to procuring true potential and actual leaders. It is a culture running amuck with perks and benefits causing the bottom line to climb (since the late 1990s). A bunch of egocentric frauds in places they don't belong, whom believe are empowered to run the business of our public schools--having ZERO management skills, and controversial as any STEPIN fetchit.
Overall female principals are problems compared to men. Female principals wants to be placed on a throne with all the servants casted around them. While most of the female servants wait patiently to be acknowledged by their principals (Queen.(In most cases, they are never truly acknowledged, often looked over for promotions and then here comes to big fallout at the palace.The Principals (Queen) dangle promotions over the poor servants heads on a daily basis. Some will not even speak to the female servants when they anger them.Causing the female servants to withdraw and often look for another palace because she is no longer wanted in the palace.Welcome to the organizational structure of the leadership of female queen principals in dekalb.
As a former parent of children at Browns Mill, I am very saddened by the comments that were made about Assistant P. L. Smith (see December 26, 2011 @ 1:34 p.m. and December 26, 2011 @ 1:41 p.m.). I too, like many of you, am an educator and I am well aware of the long and tedious hours and days it takes to lead a school. Based on the long hours and the vision of BMS and the new superintendent, L. Smith has surpassed the former leadership of BMS beyond words. I have passed the school on many of days after school hours and on the weekends and see L. Smith’s car at the school. Its disheartening that administrators like L. Smith never get the credit they deserve. I can recall conferences and meetings that I have requested because of the marginal teachers at BMS. L. Smith has always defended the teachers of BMS and always speaks highly of them in meetings throughout the county. It is quite obvious that these posts were posted by a disgruntle teacher from BMS. If you are unhappy with the leadership and direction the school is moving, you always can request to transfer instead of airing out your dirty laundry on this blog. I encourage you to be thankful for your administration because it could be worse. L. Smith, my hat goes off to you for all that you do for my children and the other children of BMS.
L.Smith, the teachers say, thank you for your comments on the BLOG about the long hours at Browns Mill. You have caused havoc to the entire school at Browns Mill.You sit in AP meetings and talk about your staff and make offensive comments about everyone in Dekalb.When it was time for L. Smith's daughter to attend Wadsworth, she reunited a group of parents to cause confusion and rallied parents against each other.The following year, she had the nerve to enroll her daughter in Wadsworth.The teachers at Browns Mill remember how you behaved unprofessionally at faculty meetings, and etc.... why A. Smith hired you, the jury is still out.You may spend the weekends at Browns Mill, but this time should be in spent in a leadership class learning how to become a leader and not a tyrant. As a teacher at Browns Mill, you were not respected because of your unprofessional behavior and as a leader it is worse. Let us hope that Dr. Atkinson transfer you or move you out the door.
L.Smith has caused so much chaos at Browns Mill from the time she was a teacher and even now as a administrator. Long hours mean nothing to the teachers that you have harmed. I mean teachers.A. Smith, what could you have been thinking to appoint, L. Smith as an AP.
You are correct about the confusion L. Smith created when it was time for her daughter to attend Wadsworth Magnet School's new location in Decatur. She round up parents to talk about the school being in the Ghetto and how she would not send her daughter to that mess. The next year, she sent her daughter to Wadsworth after the fact that she protested the location and community.So, you see, this administrator talks about everyone. These are not disgruntle teachers at L. Smith would like for the community to believe. These are teachers who shared with Dr. Adkinson about the leadership and the how teachers are mistreated by an AP who broke every RULE in DCSS, now has the nerve to be an Assistant Principal enforcing the very same rules that she broke as a teacher at the same school where she was given the job as adminstrator. Why? Is the million dollar question that the teachers would like answered. Did Dunson review her PAL last year, it was the truth; UNSATISFACTORY in ALL area. We hope that Adkinson will move this AP and Principal.
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