Saturday, January 14, 2012

PDPs: Professional Development Plan or Bullying Tool?

We have been hearing from a lot of teachers who say that their principals and assistant principals are bullies. We have no evidence to prove or disprove this, but the comments on the blog tell amazing stories of sorority cliques, blackballing of teachers who speak out against preferential treatment and general mistreatment of teachers who are not part of these inner social circles.

It does seem rather arbitrary and easy for a principal to set their sights on destroying a teacher in DeKalb. One does have to wonder if giving principals more latitude is truly a good idea. Our teachers have little protection when it comes down to it. Remember the case of Kesha Lanier, the Georgia Tech educated math teacher who ended up without a job after refusing to change grades for a student when requested to do so by a high-ranking administrator. DeKalb lost a terrific teacher in that power play.

We came to possess what is commonly referred to as a "Professional Development Plan" or PDP written by a principal putting a teacher on some kind of probation type status.

Below are the principal's complaints about the teacher along with demands for "improvement". To us it looks more like a vaguely worded, difficult to quantify, condescending control mechanism. Let us know what you think.

Required Plan for Specific Needs Development

Specific Objectives for Improvement
1. [Teacher] will interact in a professional manner with students and parents
2. [Teacher] will work cooperatively with school administrators, special support personnel, colleagues, and parents.
3. [Teacher] will only use appropriate and research based instructional and discipline intervention strategies as directed by the DCSS Office of Teaching and Learning and the school's local administration.
4. [Teacher] will provide plans of remediation for failing students in a timely manner.

Activities and Timelines
1. [Teacher] will participate in two workshops during the months of X and X that focus on effective classroom discipline strategies and developing effective interpersonal skills through the Office of Professional Learning.
2. [Teacher] will schedule and have two conferences with the Assistant Principal for Instruction, [another AP] and the principal to discuss strategies for improving instructional practices and workplace communication and during these meetings, teacher must share success in this area prior to [date].
3. [Teacher] will research and summarize at least three articles related to appropriate communication with students, colleagues and parents. [Teacher] will submit to the principal by [date] a plan outlining at least three professional goals in these areas along with appropriate actions teacher will implement in the workplace/classroom to improve communication with students, supervisors, colleagues and parents.
4. [Teacher] will schedule and have a conference with the principal prior to [date] to discuss progress [teacher] is making and to receive feedback about areas addressed in this PDP.
5. [Teacher] will observe three model teacher-leaders in the building, complete a summary of those observations and implement the effective teaching strategies observed in [teacher's] own classroom. Evidence/usage of these strategies must be demonstrated when [teacher] is observed by county personnel, local administrators and/or the instructional coach.

Criteria for Measurement of Progress
1. There will be no documented instanced wherein [teacher] does not follow school policies and procedures (e.g. using unofficial hall passes, not standing at the door between classes)
2. There will be no documented instances wherein [teacher] uses an unprofessional tone when interacting with supervisors, students, colleagues and parents.
3. There will be no documented instances that required conferences or expectations as communicated in this PDP have not been fulfilled as set forth in this PDP.


Anonymous said...

What is the problem? Either you want teachers who are helping to increase student achievement or you don't. Every teacher at a school does not receive a PDP...only the one(s) who are not doing the job that they were paid to do. I bet if you check, the teacher in question has a lot of discipline concerns, and a lot of parent complaints...although you would not have access to this information because it is private. A principal is way too busy to just pick on someone who is doing a great job in the classroom. Very few teachers are terminated each written in several AJC articles.

As a parent, as I read all of these blog responses and wonder what are parents doing to support a school when you know that a horrible teacher is teaching your child? That is very personal to me and makes me very angry when my child has a teacher who is not doing what he/she is paid to do. I want to know that a principal is taking action to make the teacher do a good job, and taking my complaints seriously.

With all the negativity and speculation that is posted, what real proof do you have? You sound like a bunch of disgruntle employees to me. Maybe the real people who are posting are angry DeKalb employees who would not get promoted anywhere and just blaming the system on why you are not promoted. Take a look in the mirror and make sure you have sharp skills.

I want better teachers form my thank you Mr. or Ms. Principal for taking action!

Anonymous said...

@ 10:11

If only the teachers that shouldn't be in the classroom were the ones on PDPs. As a parent, you really have no clue of the how PDPs are used. I have never seen a poor teacher on one, but have seen teachers who do not put up with the AP or Principal's BS on them over and over again. PDPs are a way for principals and APs to get back at people that aren't on their side and won't tow the line.

I would be all for PDPs, if it was used to get teachers who should not be in the classroom out, but sadly, I have never seen that happen. Those teachers keep their heads down and mouths shut, so the principal will allow them to stay.

As a former DCSS, not wanting to send my child to even the "best" schools in DCSS, where I live should say enough. I am not disgruntled, I want my child to receive an education if I send him to school and know that those in charge do not have that same goal. As a parent, you can choose to think that everything is hunky dory, but the reality is that even our "good" schools need significant help and unless your child is in the gifted program, his chance of receiving a quality education in middle and high school greatly falls.

Cerebration said...

"Maybe the real people who are posting are angry DeKalb employees who would not get promoted anywhere and just blaming the system on why you are not promoted. Take a look in the mirror and make sure you have sharp skills."

That's very funny. But truth must be told -- no one - I repeat - no one who posts on this blog is a teacher or a current employee of DCSS. That said, we do get info from employees, but the blog moderators filter everything and only post what we deem relevant.

The purpose of this conversation was to inspect what we perceived as the vague nature of these PDPs. We could not figure out how on earth these requirements could be assessed in any way other than someone's opinion.

For example, what does one deem a "professional" manner for a teacher?

And it seemed this PDP hinges on the person being evaluated setting up and attending a variety of appointments and workshops. As a parent, I'd like to see some kind of mention of student performance, achievement and test scores. I don't really care if the teacher gets along with everyone as long as students are learning the material well.

Anonymous said...

DO they put those sorry or incompetent Principals and Assistant Principals on PDP's or do they promote them?

Anonymous said...

To me the PDP reads like giving instructions on the basics of the teaching "profession". Like telling a doctor or a nurse that the skin has to be sterilized before an incision is made.

Maybe DCSS should not have hired the person in the first place if he/she needs instructions like that. I often have wondered about the quality of DCSS teachers and the proficiency of the DCSS HR department that hires them.

Anonymous said...


" I have never seen a poor teacher on one, but have seen teachers who do not put up with the AP or Principal's BS on them over and over again. PDPs are a way for principals and APs to get back at people that aren't on their side and won't tow the line."

How do you know this since this is a private personnel matter? Are you some type of teacher representative?

I agree that there should be more focus on student achievement measures...but, what reliable academic measure could be put in place before recommending contracts are due?

Anonymous said...

The Professional Development Plan is a Bully Tool for adminstrators to use for teachers who whom they cannot control.The teachers who are incompetent are quiet and donot make a fuss because of their challenges. So the administrators leave them alone and many often suck up on a daily basis to keep their jobs.
The PDP (professional Plan is not used to assist new teachers or struggling teachers who really need help to grow professionally. Assistant. You are correct principals should be too busy to pick on teachers but they are not. They allow information from other teachers to dictate to them about other teachers.
There are administrators who never visit classrooms or make suggestions for improving suggestions. Yet, these PDP Bullies are the first ones to use the scare term during faculty meetings about placing teachers on a PDP and how your CRCT test scores may reflect your evaluation. Some Administrators will say, "Some of you will need a reference". This is another tactic.
The teachers are working hard on a daily basis, But when you pass by your administrators door and see these PLACED people just sitting idly and not conducting observations to improve student achievement, how dare they use the word PDP. If anything, use the PDP for every person in the building who is not being responsible in teaching children. This includes sorors, frats, church members, neighbors, cousins, and etc. When administrators show favortism and other teachers know this, it does cause a low morale.The REAL people posting are not angry and would get promoted if interviews were done fairly. Most of the REAL administrators are the teachers who are overlooked. Donot let your child's administrators fool you. And yes, this is reality in DCSS.
People have been over looked and black balled who would make excellent leaders, but since they were not part of a sorority, fraternity, or attended New Birth or another church where the so called ELITE of DCSS attend, then, there is no promotion for your.
To the tax payers who donot beleive this is taking place about the PDP, it is real and if you are a principal or assistant principal reading this BLOG, then good, it shows that the teachers in your building are on to your scare methods of BLACK BALLING good teachers and not placing your sorors, frats, church members and other in the I JUST LIKE YOU CLUB on a PDP. Sad but true!

Anonymous said...

I too am a parent with a child in the DCSS. However, I take issue with some of the points made by Anonymous 10:11.

“A principal is way too busy to just pick on someone who is doing a great job in the classroom."

“With all the negativity and speculation that is posted, what real proof do you have? You sound like a bunch of disgruntle employees to me.”

I in turn would like to know what evidence you have to support the claim that principles are too busy to pick on teachers that are doing a great job? You accuse teachers of being disgruntled employees when they express their experiences without supporting evidence. Yet, you have done exactly what you accuse them of doing. You come off as a disgruntled parent.

What's the the problem indeed? Did you finally come across a teacher that told you the truth about your beloved child? Did they let you know of real concerns regarding your child's academic, behavioral, social, or emotional needs? Did they break the typical pattern by telling you the truth about your child rather than the usual sharing of only “what your itching ears” wanted to hear?

I have had experiences with a couple of teachers that I questioned their effectiveness. However, I have had far more experiences with parents that are ineffective, and in denial about their children. I have even had parents attempt to solicit me in being a part of a team effort to cause a disliked teacher problems. The teacher was “old school" and expected students to be disciplined in their behavior as well as in a their academics. Yet, the parents wanted to make it personal and I would have nothing their antics. Fortunately the principle supported this excellent teacher as well.

My suggestion is that the same mirror you suggest teachers look into, you seriously look into it and reflect on your disposition. We can all, parents and teachers alike, benefit from a little self reflection right now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the sorority cliques and fraternity cliques run rampant in (south end)DCSS and most of the PDP Bullies are members of these organizations. Which is why they use the PDP contain teachers who donot fit into their scheme of sisterhood or brotherhood. Can you believe this?
The PDP Bullies(aministrators) donot place members of their organization on any type of professional plan. These PDP Bullies allow their sorors, frats, church members, to do what ever they please. They walk around dressed in their GREEK attire on Fridays as if they are still in college.
Teachers would like to know why administrators are not placed on a PDP. A lot of these PDP Bullies receive low evaluations and nothing happens. Some did nothing in the classroom as a teacher prior to being PLACED as an adminstrator in a building. And these same people (PDP) Bullies are still doing nothing but using the term PDP to contain teachers who will not bow down to them or take their crap.

Anonymous said...

"What is the problem? Either you want teachers who are helping to increase student achievement or you don't."

But a number of teachers have had problems with the administration when they refuse to change student grades. It is an ethics offense to force a teacher to change a grade, yet the one who ends up being let go is the teacher.

Do you really think a well connected teacher would be put on a PDP no matter how poor he/she is? I am a parent who has seen first hand how this is handled. It's all about connections.

Anonymous said...

Teachers donot object being on a PDP if it is done fairly. The point is' teachers who are connected through by their administrators by Greek connections are not placed on PDP's. These people (teachers) are connected!
The next point is; How can administrators place teachers on PDP's when they themselves are incompetent and their Area Director has not corrected challenges from their PAL evaluations that were conducted by teachers in their buildings.
The PAL and PDP's are suppose and should be used to promote growth not. Instead, teachers again who will not allow administrators bully them are often let go or not given a good reference. Administrators have verbally laughed about how teachers are given transfer papers without even having to put them on a pDP. The joke is from administrators is to; Just Ride em daily until they just leave your school.

Anonymous said...

Administrators on the south end of the county donot need anymore power. Dr. Atkinson really needs to rethink this one. We still have not cleaned out the family and friends mess. If this is ever cleaned up, then maybe it would work. But for now, it is a wrong idea for administrators to have any more power. These people donot understand the difference between managing a school and demeaning teachers.
Secondly, make them take training classes through the county on leadership monthly.
Thirdly, make them take training classes on how to use the PDP effectively.
Last, look at the morale in their buildings , leave the work desk, make your administrators be responsible for helping teacher along with them taking classes to become better assistant principals. Most administrators in positions now had no one to train them effectively, simply because they were just PLACED.

Anonymous said...

Cere, no teachers or employees post on this blog? Are you serious?

Anonymous said...


Teachers don't post. We comment on the posts.

Cerebration said...

Yes - I'm serious. I have complete control over the postings as well as two other admins who are both corporate people and DCSS parents.

Comments, however, are a whole 'nother thing. I have no way of knowing who ANYONE is when they leave a comment. Even if they use some kind of moniker. No way to know or track the comments. I do occasionally delete comments though.

Cerebration said...

If I may interject an opinion here -- I think a large part of the problem with teachers evaluations is that teachers in DeKalb have very, very poor representation. The Organization of DeKalb Educators (ODE) is a very weak organization - with literally no power. In fact, they never even attempt to exercise much power or influence over the administration. From where I sit, it appears that the ODE leader is ineffective. The website offers very little information, help, conversation or resources. In fact, a large portion of the membership is made up of administrators which is highly questionable to me.

If teachers want more cohesion, better support and representation, they need to find better leadership in ODE and other representative groups - since we have no teachers' union in GA. Either that or stop paying them dues altogether - looks like they do not spend much to help teachers at all.

Proud ODE member and teacher said...

@Cere - do you know what percentage of ODE is made up of administrators for you to say "a large portion?" I know at my school, 90% of the members are teachers and support professionals. Hardly "a large portion." This is not atypical for ODE. PAGE, maybe - check their history as the former DeKalb affiliate of NEA, but not ODE.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know the administrators involved in creating this masterpiece. 5 will get you 2 that they are known for not being the right people for their jobs. 10 will get you 1 that these administrators have connections to Clew and his gang.

Anonymous said...

12:31 sounds like a disgruntle employee to me.

For the record, my son has attended DCSS school since second grade, all on the south end of the county...and is currently a graduating senior. He has never had a discipline problem and never made a grade below a B (a total of 5) to include in the many AP classes taken. His ITBS, Cogat, CRCT, SAT, and AP scores have all been very high.

Why is it when a parent complains about the performance of a teacher does it have to be the fault of the child or a parent who think the child is a genius? Why is it that the parent has to be characterized as

"What's the the problem indeed? Did you finally come across a teacher that told you the truth about your beloved child? Did they let you know of real concerns regarding your child's academic, behavioral, social, or emotional needs? Did they break the typical pattern by telling you the truth about your child rather than the usual sharing of only “what your itching ears” wanted to hear?"

according to 12:31

My child has had many, many good teacher (thank you to them and their hard work)....and some subpar teachers along the way. If my child has a teacher who is not "not cutting the mustard" I want something done even if that means the teacher gets a PDP so that performance is improved.

Schools need the support of the parents both at home and at school.

Anonymous said...


It is possible to get certified to teach by only taking on-line classes. You do have to eventually pass the GACE, but in the meantime there are provisional certificates that allow you to teach.
I know two individuals that are in masters programs at on-line schools and cannot pass the basic reading, writing or math GACE. They are para educators. They blame the school system, the principal, the teachers and everyone else that they do not have a job as an educator.
I am a counselor. Attendance is critical in that job. There is a lady that averages 20 days absent each year. She is certified in counseling, but has not been able to get a job in the field. Again, she blames everyone else. People are against her. People are being unfair.
Hey, 'how about coming to work?'
Would you want someone who is unable to write a paragraph teaching your child?
Would you want a counselor who is absent at least 1 or 2 days each month taking care of the needs of your child?
There are individuals that have a doctorate degree that cannot write their own e-mails due to their poor grammar skills.
I have nothing against on-line classes. As a busy mother and a working adult, being able to take classes on-line was a tremendous help.
There has to be a better way to make sure that our educators have basic communication skills.
Please do not paint all situations with a board brush. There are people in all levels of the school system that need help.
We have some great teachers. I work with some each day. As in every field, there are also people that need help. I think one thing that has hurt all levels of education is that some of the on-line programs are too easy, (I did not say all of them) The doctorate degree is losing its meaning in public education,

Cerebration said...

@January 14, 2012 2:44 PM - Sorry, I was under the impression that a large portion of administrators hold memberships in ODE - if not, then I apologize. However, I don't believe ANY administrators should be members of a teachers org.

Are you happy with the leader of ODE? Do you feel you get your money's worth?

Here's the link to their website -- they are holding elections this month. IF you want to make a change - I suggest you give the current leadership a run for their money.
Organization of DeKalb Educators

ODE Official Call to Nominations for the 2012 ODE Election

The deadline for candidate nominations for the upcoming 2012 ODE election is 5:00pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Nomination forms are available for the following Executive Offices, Executive Board seats and elected positions:

• President
• 1st Vice-President
• 2nd Vice-President
• Secretary
• Treasurer
• Assistant Treasurer
• Elementary School Representative at Large
• Middle School Representative at Large
• High School Representative at Large
• Political Action Committee Representatives
• NEA-RA Delegates

Anonymous said...

This is from the ODE website:
"Membership has grown steadily for the past seven years. Today we represent approximately 1,700 DeKalb County School System employees including teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, bus drivers, secretaries, cafeteria workers and administrators. We are now the largest local teachers’ organization in Georgia."

Read on to see that when ODE was originally founded the DCSS administrators harassed it and its membership dwindled to 25 at one point. When they became a broad tent including administrators, bus drivers, etc. they had a dramatic gain in membership - well - no duh. Why would administrators be opposed to an organization they could join?

This is why moves by Ms. Tyson to outsource were so opposed by ODE. This is not just a teacher organization even though the AJC said it spoke for teachers when Ms. Tyson backed off of even considering some custodial outsourcing. It covers so many classifications of employees, I don't know how it could possibly advocate for any one group. Advocating for one group could easily bring it into conflict with another group.

Many teachers join this group for the legal insurance. For example, if a student should get hurt in the classroom (accidents do happen) then they will furnish legal representation.

Cerebration said...

Interesting. Only 1,700 of the 15,000 employees (about 6,500 of whom are teachers) are members of ODE.

Proud ODE member and teacher said...

There is a balance in ODE that administrators are very well aware of when they join.... lowest rung on the totem pole if it comes to member vs. member. Think of it this way, our building level administrators have the least amount of legal protection of any certified employee in the system. Teachers who have 3 years successful teaching experience have fair dismissal, and we all know how things go at the central office. I've seen times where central office has put pressure on administrators in the building, shouldn't they have someone to advocate for them? For what it's worth, yeah it wasn't smart (understatement, I know), but Dr. Simpson didn't break any policy at the the time with his books.....

Proud ODE member and teacher said...

@Cere - I'm sure there's a typo (I'll bring it to the webmaster's attention), ODE's membership is the largest of any GAE affiliate - at well over 4,000.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. Everyone knows that David Schutten is Eugene Walker's gopher and mouth-piece. ODE is a joke organization and teachers know it.

No Duh said...

It may be a joke organization, but boy do its members love to make school house administrators shake in their boots as soon as the teacher/member engages an ODE/GAE lawyer (over any little thing they are reprimanded for -- little things, you know, like not teaching the curriculum!!)

Organizations like these have a purpose, I suppose -- when it comes to collective bargaining(I know they aren't a union), but I have to say, I lose a lot of respect when the members can't even take professional criticism or guidance from their administrators without engaging a lawyer. It's usually when the member knows the reprimand came after parental input. These organizations help perpetuate the the "Us Vs. Them" mindset that pervails between teachers and parents. It's very sad.

No Duh said...

To clarify...

I'm talking about REAL situations where the teacher/bus driver has done something that needs to be corrected -- not this horrible stuff that's happening with abusive Principals and Asst. Principals targeting people they don't like.

I believe some administrators are out of control! Behind you on that!

Anonymous said...

@ Proud DOE member

" For what it's worth, yeah it wasn't smart (understatement, I know), but Dr. Simpson didn't break any policy at the the time with his books....."

That's not true. Ralph Simpson breeched the Code of Ethics for Educators legally established by the state of Georgia:
" The Code of Ethics for Educators defines the professional behavior of educators in Georgia and serves as a guide to ethical conduct. The Professional Standards Commission has adopted standards that represent the conduct generally accepted by the education profession. The code defines unethical conduct justifying disciplinary sanction and provides guidance for protecting the health, safety and general welfare of students and educators, and
assuring the citizens of Georgia a degree of accountability within the education profession."

The Professional Standards Commission, the group that issues and oversees all educator's certificates including teachers, administration, paraprofessionals, etc. suspended his professional educator's certification for an ethics violation.

Reviewing his certification online shows:
"Most Recent Ethics Actions: Suspension"

Having your professional certificate suspended for an ethics violation is very serious. When you go for a teaching job, you must state if you have had your certification revoked or suspended. How many teachers do you think get hired to teach students when they have had their certification suspended or revoked? Everyone I've ever known that went in front of the Professional Standards Commission (administrators and teachers) consider this a very big deal if their certificate is revoked or suspended.

Anonymous said...

@ No Duh

I don't believe the ODE gets involved with many situations like you describe. In the 30 years I taught, I knew quite a few teachers and some administrators that had some "disagreements" with their supervisors, and every one of them that had legal representation paid out of pocket for their own lawyer. Only in a very few instances did I think those teachers or administrators that got lawyers had "trivail" reasons.

A good example is the "grade changing" scandals that have gone on in DeKalb by administrators. Those teachers engaged their own lawyers. Maybe they weren't members of ODE, but I'm willing to bet that the ODE would not go up against Lewis. I saw too often what happened to teachers once the Office of Internal Affairs or the Associate Superintendents (don't know the new titles) got involved. You are talking about one person versus a billion dollar entity who spends tens of millions a year on the best attorneys Atlanta has to offer.

Many teachers will not step forward when they know how easy it is to lose their jobs. It's great to say you would do it differently in their situation, but the reality is that most people work in order to support their family. Standing in the unemployment line is not what most people define as taking care of their family.

That is one reason true collective bargaining would be good with a school system as large as DeKalb. I believe you were in favor of that.

Anonymous said...

"There will be no documented instances wherein [teacher] uses an unprofessional tone when interacting with supervisors, students, colleagues and parents."

This one seems particularly subjective. Is "unprofessional tone " referring to the language, body language, or tenor of voice?

This is a very poorly written PDP. The supervisor who wrote this PDP needs some guidance himself/herself in writing PDPs.

Anonymous said...

Administrators are out of control and do use the PDP tool for their own personal gain.
The point that teachers are making about the how administrators used this tool to cause havoc is true. Teachers for the most part are in their classrooms teaching while many administrators who should be assisting teachers are no where to be found. Assistant principals get agitated when they are asked to help teachers. Most principals or assistant principals never check lesson plans or visit classrooms to offer feedback. So, when teachers look up and see administrators in their classrooms with a pad and pencil , teachers are looking at these folks as outsiders. This is sometimes the first time that struggling teachers have seen some administrators all year except during faculty meeting or in the halls. Teachers are asking each other why in the world would Dr. Atkinson give these administrators more power to cause chaos? If she knew the track record of administrators in the DCSS, she would retrack that decision. Horrible administrators are also managing most schools and never receive a demotion due to their connections, friendships with area directors, and the list goes on.
Yet, these same incompetent administrators will use the PDP to bully teachers and spread lies to other principals and use their distorted truths to Black Ball teachers from being promoted using the PDP personal feelings,or evaluations. Now, who are the persons evaluating administrators?
Excellent teachers are rotated from grade level to grade level every year because administrators fail to document teachers who are horrible teachers. Why? It is simple, these horrible teachers are their sorors, frats, cousins, friends, and etc.
When people tried to tell taxpayers about CLEW, some folks came to his defense until the truth was produced. The same thing is happening now that teachers are exposing what is really happening in the schools where leaders are actually bullying teachers by using the PDP, Evaluations, and giving teachers poor references when they cannot or will not be controlled by incompetent administrators. The fireside chat gave Dr. Atkinson a picture of what teachers were seeing. But, a surprise visit would be like the I_Team and expose the truth.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, there are lots of teachers who deserve to be placed on PDPs. Many have tenure. New principals are, oftentimes, unaware of how to write and to monitor a teacher who needs professional interventions. All administrators on a school's team are, simply, not capable of writing a PDP. These are oftentimes, the Attendance or Discipline AP. The Principal has no role in chosing these critical team members. Yes, many are lacking in basic writing/speaking skills. The Instructional AP is, normally, more adept than the others and thus becomes the person who provides more assistance in the area of PDP issuance and monitoring. It appears that some people on the blog are overly concerned about sorrorities, fraternities, etc.! Get over it! If you couldn't afford to join one or didn't have what was required to be accepted, move on! Deal with the real issues! DCSS has many great teachers and administrators, notwithstanding their social affiliations. DCSS also has teachers and administrators who are challenged, notwithstanding their social or political affiliations. That's just keeping it real! Now, can and should something be done to alleviate the challenges? Yes!! If a PDP is the starting point, then a PDP should be in place.

Anonymous said...

The employment contract that a teacher signs in Dekalb, and pretty much in every other district in Georgia, is a bullying instrument.

All the duties and responsibilities fall on the teachers, the County only agrees to keep paying through the duration of your contract. In any other context, this would be a contract of adhesion because all the performance of the contract falls squarely on one party.

None of you, in a normal contractual situation, would agree to sign such a contract. There is no bargain.

Since "collective bargaining" is illegal in Georgia, and you could end up in jail if you try to engage in any type of union activity as a public school teacher, then you will be totally, absolutely, and submissively under the thumb of the district when you sign that contract.

The PDP is a more pernicious and punitive form of the Dekalb employment contract, and your being offered one for the next year may be controlled by a PDP that was begun for political or sororal (aka AKA) reasons.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:14 pm
"New principals are, oftentimes, unaware of how to write and to monitor a teacher who needs professional interventions. All administrators on a school's team are, simply, not capable of writing a PDP. These are oftentimes, the Attendance or Discipline AP. The Principal has no role in chosing these critical team members. Yes, many are lacking in basic writing/speaking skills"

If you are not capable of writing a PDP or lack basic writing skills, you should not be an administrator. The average pay for an Assistant Principal in DCSS is $92,000+ including benefits while the average pay for a teacher is $65,000 including benefits. For $92,000 an administrator should have basic writing/speaking skills. If you are making $65,000 as a teacher, you should have basic writing/speaking skills.

" It appears that some people on the blog are overly concerned about sorrorities, fraternities, etc.! Get over it! If you couldn't afford to join one or didn't have what was required to be accepted, move on! "

But "family and friends" connections are what have driven student achievement to the lowest level in the history of the county and the lowest level in the metro area. North and Central DeKalb students are not the ones being hurt by this. Do you not care about the achievement levels of the students in south DeKalb?

Cerebration said...

"It appears that some people on the blog are overly concerned about sorrorities, fraternities, etc.! Get over it! If you couldn't afford to join one or didn't have what was required to be accepted, move on!"

That's funny. I was not in a sorority. Actually, it really probably was due to the fact that I couldn't afford it (I paid my own way through college with tips from waiting tables.) But in reality, it just never occurred to me - or even remotely appealed to me. Many sorority sisters should know that there are millions of us who have chosen not to be part of these kinds of groups. No 'moving on' necessary...

That said, I am concerned about the rumors we keep hearing about sorority sisters hiring and promoting each other. However, truthfully, I wonder if it's hard to prove, as there are very few (one or two) African-American sororities. So it may appear as though they are getting special treatment, when in reality, they are simply in the majority. Sort of along the lines of membership in New Birth. That church is so incredibly large that chances are high an employee would be a member.

Hard to tell - but hopefully will be investigated by Atkinson.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the person speaking on behalf of administrators not being capable of writing a PDP is missing the point. This person must be an administrator and this hit home. Sorry but true. If a person cannot write a basic Plan of Action to assist a teacher with instruction, then how can you effectively manage a school? It seems to me that the AP and Principal should be able to assist each other in providing support to any teacher in his or her building. The county provides classes all year long to teachers or staff wishing to take classes.
Another point that appears to have struck a nerve was the statement about Greek organizations.
Once upon a time joining an organization on campus was fine, but on the south end of the county, being in a Greek organization has gone beyond being responsible for educating children. If you were to enter a corporate office, there would not be one item showing an bunch of frogs, ducks, elms, or etc, but what the company offers. Who cares if you are Greek. If that is what makes an educator, then maybe that person is in the wrong profession. As a matter of fact, more people are joining Greek organizations in DCSS because they see how easy the connections will allow them to move up the ladder, be liked by their sorority administrators, frat administrators, and etc.Be REAL, this is true and goes on everyday on the southside of Dekalb. The PDP is for administrators to use only on teachers who they cannot control not their sorors, frats, church folks or etc. Taxpayers, this is for REAL on the south end of the county. Watch the scores in April and this will tell the stories- Greek Administrators and Achievement.Sorry ,we know the truth does hurt sometimes, but the facts must be known about administrators who bully instead of leading.

Proud ODE member and teacher said...

@Anon 6:55 - I never said anything about code of ethics, I said DCSS policy.... that being said, do you remember what was the actual charge behind the suspension? I was looking at the PSC's website for ethics and there are some that could fit it, but I don't think that's what lead to the actual suspension... I don't remember though.... like I said, it wasn't the smartest move someone could have made.

Anonymous said...

I am happy with the job ODE is doing. They do the best job they can with the legal situation that exists in this state. When I had to call ODE about an employment issue, I received a prompt, same day response and got all the help I needed. Many people complain that the dues are too high, but I never want to be without the coverage ODE provides.

It is illegal for teachers to unionize in Georgia. Therefore, ODE is a professional organization. Teachers do not have collective bargaining rights. Contracts are not negotiated. The contracts that teachers sign are only valid because they are used in education. In any other employment situation in Georgia these contracts would be considered invalid. There is a nice legal explanation. Perhaps a lawyer would be willing to explain it for the blog.

As for PDPs many are written in such a way that the employee will not be able to fulfill the requirements. If you are an ODE member and receive a PDP, call the ODE office. ODE will provide assistance to you. While the PDP in this post appears to be highly subjective, some PDPs are solid plans that will help a teacher improve instruction in her classroom.

Anonymous said...

@ Proud ODE member

"I said DCSS policy"

DeKalb policy is irrelevant. DeKalb policy is not legally binding. Look at the number of times the DCSS BOE has gone against their own Board policies (e.g. when they suspended the Teacher's TSA with a year's notice - ODE's Schutten did nothing about that one but complain). The BOE just amended it when someone brought this to their attention. No penalties there. This adversely affected every teachers' retirement - particularly since they have no Social Security. Where was the ODE demanding teachers get to vote on opting back into Social Security?

The Professional Standards Commission is set up by state law to ensure that legal and ethical standards are upheld by teachers.

The suspension was for Ralph Simpson's book sales. June, 2010, the AJC reported that he had accepted a 10 day suspension for "selling a book he wrote about himself to five local schools, including two that were under his direct supervision....The suspension was negotiated and approved earlier this month by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the state agency that licenses and regulates teachers, Gary Walker, director of the PSC's educator ethics division, said on Wednesday."

This is on his certificate:

Most Recent Ethics Actions: Suspension

Effective date: 06/17/2011 Ending date: 06/30/2011

At $136,000 dollars a year in salary and benefits, Ralph Simpson is the HIGHEST PAID Assistant Principal in DeKalb County out of 276 Assistant Principals. In the 2010-11 school year, Ralph Simpson was paid more than 150 out of 154 principals who actually manage schools and do not have ethics violation. So maybe getting an ethics suspension by the state was no big deal to him in DeKalb County.

Now consider this - how many teachers would get have their certification suspended on an ethics charge and not only retain their job, but also be the highest paid teacher in the county? This is what is a big deal.

Anonymous said...

So where was David Schutten and the ODE as Lewis and Tyson cut 600 teaching positions in two years while leaving the rest of the teachers to take on extra students - thus degrading their work environment (which by the way is the same environment for students)?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the PSC looks at cases unless the system reports them.

Anonymous said...

ODE was probably the same place he was when the BOE handed out furlough days, made all 12 month employees including secretaries and custodians take the same number of furlough days even when school house secretaries and custodians are at the bottom of the pay scale, and when they took away the teacher workday between 1st and 2nd semester!

Truth said...

A PDP has been used in DCSS as a bullying tool for years. It has been used against Black teachers during the Clew yrs mostly aflter CLew and his inadequate cronies took office. When Black employees file complaints against incompetent, hateful, disrespectful supervisors, the administrator place false information in his or her file and tries to damage the reputation for life. The incompetent adminstrators @ the county office join in with most of the principals and bully the teachers.

To the parent:If you are one of the few parents who work with your child academically, well a hearty congratulations to you! There are a few parents who help with students. Most of them are high achievers. I have experienced many parents who are rude to teachers when they try to help their children, and they make excuses for their child's disgusting behavior when they are lazy, disrespectful, and disturb the learning environment. The students threaten to assault teachers, and damage their cars frequently. Nothing is done by administration. These children need help who are raising themselves.

These statements are shared because most of the children that have disruptive behavior usually bring it from their home environment. Parents do some with your child and yourself before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

When did Lewis and Tyson cut 600 teaching positions? I remember when the state board of education granted local school boards the authority to set their own class sizes without state approval back in 2009 or 2010. This eliminated the need to get a waiver, which was heavily used in the years leading up to this action. I remember hearing the slight increases in class sizes would help school districts balance their budgets due to declining property tax revenues. I also remember reading DeKalb's budget went down by over 80 million one year. Was DeKalb the only school district in Georgia or the country to do this?

Anonymous said...

This PDP illustrates the problem with our state's move to link teacher evaluation to student performance: Who is evaluating the people evaluating teachers?

1. Do the administrators-both principals and assistant principals-get evaluated to determine how effectively they created and implemented plans to have students attend school, behave responsibly or how weel they scheduled classes?

2. What type of experience do these administrators have teaching students how to read, discuss an idea, or solve a problem? Many of the APs I know were PE teachers. Others taught for only a few years.

3. How many of these administrators earned their "advanced degrees" on-line (an environment that lacks the face-to-face challenge in a high school classroom)?

4. How many administrators actually model effective methods? In my fifteen years teaching in DCSS, I had one prinicipal model one technique.

5. How is the administrative staff at the central office evaluated for its effectiveness? Why would one choose a computer program that does not flag or compile data so that teachers are not stuck in a paper era with "data notebooks"?

6. How is this same administration or the board evaluated for its effectiveness in offering an array of curricula options that prepare our students for college and for work?

Kim Gokce said...

The practice of abusing employees using the power of performance reviews or development plans is a time honored tradition in the private sector, too. I have seen top performing employees terminated by bosses who simply do not like them personally or that don't trust them for any arbitrary reason they choose.

Therefore, I do believe the only real remedy is corroboration. Having an admin with full discretion to destroy a teacher's reputation or standing is the problem. Without support from at least a department chair, no pdp like this one example should ever see the light of day. At least then it would take a conspiracy to bully someone/abuse the necessary process.

Cerebration said...

Below is a very insightful article highlighting the poverty and social challenges endured by American children and witnessed by teachers. The job of teaching, in many areas, is so much more than we think.

America’s Teachers See Growing Poverty Up Close

"If You Want to Know the Human Impact of The Current Recession, Ask America’s Teachers

One of the things I’ve discovered in recent years is that when it comes to education policy, the last people asked for input are America’s teachers. We have a President who holds an” education summit” that includes the nation’s top business leaders and foundation heads, but no teachers; we have billionaires lobbying to privatize education and break teachers unions; we have an organization that purports to work for educational equity that encourages its recruits to leave teaching after two years because they can influence policy more by moving into other, more prestigious careers, rather than spending a lifetime as a “mere teacher.”

The results are plain to see. After ten years of No Child Left Behind, three years of Race to the Top, and twenty years of Teach for America, we have seen no change in the global standing of America’s schools and no reduction in the test score gap between racially and economically disadvantaged groups and the rest of the population.

But we lose something more than an opportunity to improve our schools by excluding teacher’s voice — we lose a chance to understand the human impact of poverty and economic distress, not only those locked in inner generational poverty, but those made newly poor by the economic crisis. Students bring the wounds of poverty into their classrooms every day, in ways that break teachers hearts, keep them up at nights, and make the accountability protocols based on test scores that “education reformers” are now imposing seem totally divorced from reality.

Click the link above to read the rest...

Cerebration said...

BTW - the reduction in teachers in DCSS was not due to layoffs, it was due to 'attrition'. Teachers who left for one reason or another, were not generally replaced with a new teacher if possible.

Kim Gokce said...

Teachers: do you get regular performance reviews? In the private sector, a trend of positive reviews with a sudden development plan anomaly is a safeguard against abuse, too.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 6:16
"When did Lewis and Tyson cut 600 teaching positions? I remember when the state board of education granted local school boards the authority to set their own class sizes without state approval back in 2009 or 2010. ...Was DeKalb the only school district in Georgia or the country to do this?"

I said "Lewis and Tyson cut 600 teaching positions in two years "

Read this article which is a VERY detailed analysis of the figures of teaching positions Lewis and Tyson. The figures were derived DIRECTLY from the DeKalb website. There are links to the sources if you want to add them up yourself:

Other counties cut teaching positions as well, however, Dr. Lewis and Ms. Tyson did not have the luxury of maintaining the employment of non-teaching positions by not filling teaching positions as teachers left the system like more middle class systems did. DCSS has too many low income and low performing students to be able to take away their teachers and increase their class sizes and not expect student achievement to fall.

Suppose I'm a fourth grader with reading problems, and I sit in a classroom of 30+ students because Ms. Tyson did not fill the position of 1 of the fourth grade teachers when she retired. There were 4 teachers in fourth grade, but now there are only 3. Instead of sitting in a class of 23, I'm in a class of 30. How much additional help do you think my teacher can give me in reading?

Ms. Tyson can truthfully say that she did not cut teachers, but that still leaves that fourth grader with reading problems sitting in a class that is too large to give her the individual attention she needs.

Cutting teaching positions has EXACTLY the same negative effect for students as cutting teachers. There is no difference from a students' point of view. Student needs should have driven the process, but it did not. Dr. Lewis and Ms. Tyson did not understand the impact increased class sizes would have on the achievement level of low income students. Let's hope Dr. Atkinson does.

Dr. Lewis and Ms. Tyson should have cut, consolidated and outsourced in EVERY non-teaching area so that the "core business" of the classroom was protected.

Dr. Lembeck of Marietta City Schools has a school population almost identical to DeKalb except there are even more low income students in Marietta City Schools. Lembeck cut, consolidated and outsourced in the non-teaching side, but she would NOT touch the class sizes. She publicly stated this as she outsourced the custodial staff in Marietta City Schools.

Lembeck took a very different approach from Lewis and Tyson. Lembeck is Georgia's 2012 Superintendent of the Year..."credited her with achieving excellent student achievement results with a highly diverse student population, including a 16-percent increase in the number of elementary students exceeding standards on state tests and an 11 percent increase in the high school graduation rate."

DeKalb had the lowest rate of Title 1 schools making AYP in the past 2 years while Marietta City Schools had one of the highest rates of Title 1 schools making AYP (BEFORE and AFTER strict test monitoring). Lewis and Tyson did not protect the "core business" of DeKalb while Lembeck protected the "core business" of the classroom.

The budget was balanced for both DeKalb and Marietta City, but look how the differences in approach impacted students.

Anonymous said...

The person hit the nail about how administrators try to ruin teachers and other staff members life by using the PDP as a weapon. They (administrators) place information in teachers files in the county office, gossip on the phone to other administrators about teachers in their buildings, offer no support to teachers during parent conferences, never enter classrooms to offer suggestions, never sit in on grade level meetings to see what is going on. This week principals/ AP administrators have been walking the halls , entering classrooms for the first time during the school year,and mentioning during faculty meetings how Dr. Atkinson is Data Driven and talking about scores of students. If you are an administrator, common sense should have told you that in August 2011 when you met with your staff. Then teachers would be use to administrators looking for student progress.
Many of these principals have met with Adkinson and are now coming back to their buildings acting as though they are on top of their instructional game plan. It is too funny! Because teachers are sitting in your meetings looking at each other trying to figure out where has my administrator been all year. Many have gone into Adkinson's office (one on one) using the sisterhood sorority game of "Soror", hope Adkinson didnot buy this game plan. Many of these administrators for so long have use
these words, Soror and Frat so long until it is a common word in their buildings when greeting each other. Sad BUT True!
Dr. Adkinson needs to use the same tools PDP and the results of the CRCT scores within these principals and assistant principals buildings to place them on an improvement plan to boost scores,show how many times per week that they visit classrooms, what type of instructional support are they rendering to the teachers.
Most Assistant Principals are PE teachers, Coaches,and Band teachers and Lord Knows these folks have not a clue about instruction or helping teachers.
On the south end of the county and throughout the county, teachers are asking that Adkinson place competent administrators in our buildings to lead teachers without using their soror or frat connections to manage a school.But, to improve our test scores and really understand instruction because most of these administrators have not one clue about how to organize a winning team within their schools.Adkinson, teachers are saying, Please donot give administrators anymore power to hurt staff members because they have done this too long. This is why administrators keep saying how they want power to run their buildings to hire and fire. OMG, taxpayers this is going to be one mess of ligation now. Adkinson, these administrators need power to attend more training to learn how to be a REAL administrator and that is as much power they need; training to better themselves and to learn how to treat staff better and understand that walking the halls in January will not escalate your up coming CRCT scores if you have not had any interest in your school all year. Sorry, but TRUE
ODE is a fake! Use a real lawyer. These people in ODE tell administrators every detail of the plan.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kim. You are correct. Teachers are evaluated every year. Teachers are rated on a long list of tasks. I also agree that the same kind of abuse occurs in private industry.

There is, however, one difference. If I am fired from a job in private industry, I can probably get another job with a little effort. In education, once you are denied a contract by a school system, your chance of being hired by another public school in the state is zero. These principals who are making up evidence to get rid of a teacher aren't just moving that person out of their building, they are destroying that individual's career.

I'm not a disgruntled employee. This happened to a friend of mine in another school system. Everyone knows that, if your principal is encouraging you to take a transfer or is offering you a good recommendation to move on, you better take it. If you don't, the documentation will eventually begin and you will lose.

Anonymous said...

It appears that the thinking of some is that no one receives a PDP if he/she is affiliated with New Birth, a Greek Organization, or is related or presumed to be related to someone in the County Office or DBOE. How flawed!! There ARE poor teachers and poor administrators in DCSS and the bottom line is that they need to be discovered and removed!! If getting rid of every sorrotity, fraternity, or New Birth member would increase student achievement, there should be no further discusssion! That, my friends, is not the answer! Don't go on a witch hunt due to a person's affiliation with an organization. Deal with the facts! Someone in DCSS should be able to monitor, support, and evaluate for effectiveness all who impact student achievement regardless to associations. If Dr. A and her team cannot do this, the students will continue to suffer. I could give you a list of ineffective principals without any knowledge of their alignment with a Greek organization or church. Many others can do the same. So, where does the buck stop and the action on behalf of the students begin?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:14pm

" It appears that some people on the blog are overly concerned about sororities, fraternities, etc.! Get over it! If you couldn't afford to join one or didn't have what was required to be accepted, move on! "

But "family and friends" connections are what have driven student achievement to the lowest level in the history of the county and the lowest level in the metro area. North and Central DeKalb students”.

Thank-you. Your little diatribe has more than any other post, help to support the negativity and arrogance that some associate with these Greek organization. In these two short sentences you have alienated some and criticized others yet excluding your group. Can you not see this?

Anonymous said...

pdps are often bullying instruments; several years ago i was asked to teach half day at a middle school, though i had no training in middle grades education or in one of the two subject areas i was to teach; after one, and only one, observation, i was placed on a pdp, at which time i informed the principal (the observer and i later found out a notorious bully) that I had no text books for the course i knew little about (I had reported that earlier, also no teacher's edition or course guides, all of which i had requested more than once); her response? "Oh, I didn't know that." and "Oh, I wasn't aware of that." however, the pdp was filled out and given to me after just one observation. after i pointed out the lack of books, course guides, and teacher workstation, the principal said "well, you know, a lot of teachers look at a pdp as encouragement." I assured her (and I can assure you) i have never met a teacher in this school system who received a pdp who felt "encouraged." i fulfilled my requirements of the pdp although that principal managed to get rid of me (and the only other teacher she didn't get to handpick) before the school year was up (blessing in disguise). colleagues at that school told me of other teachers that should have been on pdps but were not. pdps could be a useful tool, but i've never seen anyone get one who didn't feel punished or "got."

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I was told by regular teachers that they have not been observed by administrators all year. I was told by one teacher, that she was on maternity leave and received a good evaluation. I was at a school last week and notice for the first time, while visiting the school,an administrator observation. She was in the classroom two mins. I know that it takes longer than that to evaluate a teacher or an employee.
One assistant prinicipal was very nasty to a substitute teacher. The sub just looked and respected the assistant principal by responding to her yes maam, no problem. I looked up the sub and her name on the certification (PSC)and she is certified in administration. She acted more as an administrator that the actual administrator. This is the Bullying Tactits that is being displayed by the current Administrators. This is all of the bullying that happened at APS that caused unfairnesss (BULLYLING).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:14pm

" It appears that some people on the blog are overly concerned about sororities, fraternities, etc.! Get over it! If you couldn't afford to join one or didn't have what was required to be accepted, move on! "

Talk about "Delusions of Adequacy"...

Anonymous said...

Bully Administrators run rampant in DCSS (south end) and as stated administrators take pride in damaging teachers careers. Once they (administrators) place negative information on PDP's, annual evaluations, and make negative phone calls to various principals within the county teachers do not stand a chance.
During their county wide meeting, this is where they discuss teachers in their buildings that they want removed or bargin to transfer out.
Many Bully administrators are the same people who once were in classrooms who did nothing in the form of instruction, never came to work on time, and just showed up. These same individuals are now enforcing rules that they broke on a daily basis and should have been on two PDP's.
Most were females who were protected and hired by CLEW; yet they demean staff and often forget how they climbed the ladder of success when making Black Balling others.
Teachers are truthful about their administrators not observing them the entire year. January 2012 is the first time some administrators have walked the halls of their buildings, observed teachers, or even picked up a lesson plan to see if a new teacher or struggling teachers needed any type of support. So now, many of them are playing the part of an administrator to complete the observation deadline. Please let Dr. Atkinson know this!
The teachers who were brave enough to share their stories about their horrible bully administrators during the fireside chat needs to be commended. Many wanted to, but were afraid because many Bully administrators sent spies in on that day to tell who said what.So, not wanting to be Black Balled from that long awaited assistant principal position or other promotion, guess what?
Before teachers could leave the parking lot, administrators' spies were calling assistant principals and principals sharing information about what and who told Dr. Adkinson what was going on in their buildings.
Repercussions from "Bully Administrators" will be forthcoming to these individuals by either; PDP, bullying, placing disruptive students in their classes, being ignored, not recommending teachers for jobs, evaluations with needs improvements, negative comments to other staff members and other administrators, enforcing transfers, moving teachers to other grade levels for the next year and etc to get back at teachers for exposing them.APS is not the only district who has administrators who enjoy bullying their teachers. DCSS is second place to APS in this contest.

Anonymous said...

Can the chair of the DCSS BOE support the change that is needed in DCSS under Dr. Atkinson if it threatens the employment of his relatives - none of whom are teachers? Already he is threatening Dr. Atkinson when she is trying to make charges.

Anonymous said...

Persons on the BLOG are exposing the sorority and fraternity cliques are doing a great job letting the taxpayers know what kind of foolishness these organizations are presenting on the south end of DCSS. Most people have what it takes to join a fraternity or sorority; which is money.
Try going up on the north end of the county and see if you will find administrators or teachers walking around with college Greek attire. The issue is true and again, being part of a clique is not important and when people take it personally, too bad. Taxpayers, it is happening on the south end and feel free to take a tour of DCSS if you donot believe persons on this blog. It started happening when CLEW moved his clique inside the county office and to administrative positions and it has gotten out of control every since.

Anonymous said...

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to know a man's true character give him power”
Abraham Lincoln. (Equally true for women)

This old quote seems to address very adequately the situation in the DCSS. Too many with questionable characters have been elevated and placed into positions of power. Once in these positions they seemed to have become ego driven rather than professionally driven.

Dr. Atkinson should look into the cases of teachers that were placed on PDPs by principles, and later through the appeals process were reinstated. Yet, these same principles still remain in leadership roles with a free reign to continue their unprofessional flexing of “their power.“

I would appeal to Dr. Atkinson to strongly reconsidering giving more power to principles. At this point in time she is not yet aware of their true characters, although the evidence of their lack of success should be quite clear to her.

For the record ,I have not ever been on a PDP, but I have witnessed the turmoil in some who may have been placed on a PDP without good cause or reason. I have also witnessed those that probably should have been placed on a PDP but for some mysterious reason they were not. Power can corrupt.

Dirty Administrators said...

Great session about PDP's. Where do we go from here?? This information need to go to the politicians so this PDP rule can be challenged and changed. It is not working. Let's tell it to our Congress/political people immediately. When you have a principal that refuse to provide books to the teacher,refuse to use the allocated funds to help children grow academicaly, something is terribly wrong. Are you aware that some principals pocket the money for themselves and say like Clew "It's all about the children." When they don't give a darn about the children.Teachers are afraid to expose this in DCSS because they are afraid of being Blackballed. How sad. Teachers are afraid to speak out for justice. How sad. Rhat is why they are abused. Dr. A, giving the majority of the principal any extra authority will work to your detriment. These people received their jobs from the county office gang of inept administrators who have destroyed this system.

Anonymous said...

"talk is cheap"

If all the "parents and community members" writing on this blog feel so strongly about how corrupt the DCSS is then go do something about it. North end parents organize all the time and fight for things they feel are not right, and they see they change they make happen. Southwest DeKalb parents organize and picket when they feel things are not right, and get the change they want to happen. If you feel and have proof (not gossip) that principals bullying staff members, are not good administrators, are stealing money then organize and do something about it. For your children's and tax dollar sake, you have an obligation to do more than just talk.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a "hotline" in DCSS now?

If you don't trust that, why don't you write to Maureen Downey at her Get Schooled blog? The AJC always protects their sources.

Here is Maureen's email and telephone number:
404 526-5445

When you are a teacher it is very difficult to go up against an organization like DCSS. Sometimes, it is better to go through the media. That's what many of the APS teachers did. The "system" was set to destroy anyone who questioned it.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything wrong with this PDP. If a teacher acts professionally and does his/her job, this is a walk in the park! The teacher evaluation instrument used in DCSS was developed at UGA over 20 years ago. This PDP is part of that instrument.
The problem, of course, is with the interpretation. In my opinion, all employees should have a PDP every year, just as other employees have a performance review to follow each year. DCSS has some of the brightest and the worst as does every profession. There has to be a method to weed out those who can't and stop defending poor performance.

Anonymous said...

"The teacher evaluation instrument used in DCSS was developed at UGA over 20 years ago. This PDP is part of that instrument. "

It seems very lazy and inefficient to be using the same employee evaluatives instruments developed over 20 years ago - IMO. It is the 21st Century, and social, economic, cultural, technological, and global changes have made our classrooms very different places to teach and learn in.

A instrument such as this should not be so outdated. How many other professionals are evaluated with 20+ year old instruments? None that I know of.

Anonymous said...

Then blame the Georgia Department of Education because systems are bound by the particular evaluation tools that are vetted and established for used.

However, change is coming because both administrators and teachers will be evaluation under new tools - Leader Keys and Teacher Keys. The change will take place across the state of Georgia next year. Right now, the tool is being vetted. The tool will take student achievement and student surveys for teachers and teacher surveys for administrators into consideration. Student achievement factors will count at 50% of the evaluation.

Anonymous said...

The hope for teachers and other staff is that Dr. Adkinson will not give these principals anymore power to hire or fire. The hiring processing will turn into a school system of teachers or individuals that ALL belong to the principal's sororority/fraternity or church or etc. This is almost true in most cases now on the south end and why bloggers are exposing this foolishness.
The firing process by these (female) administrators will be petty as most times they are.
As a school system, female administrators on the south end of the county have taken power to demean , transfer, fire and abuse other females who refuse to tolerate their cliques or their principals behavior. So, they make up lies, gossip all over the county about teachers , and worst, will place information in teachers personal files which they have no clue this damaging information is there. If most teachers knew that their principals were destroying them using their personal file in the county office, they could write their account of what happened and to give the reader or employer their side of the story.
Teachers and others who have treated unfairly and lied on by female administrators , please unite and let Dr. Atkinson know that these female administrators do not need any more power in their buildings to hire or fire any one because they will continue to abuse teachers at every level when they cannot have their way or teachers stand up to up to them in a professional manner. It is all about female control that female administrators want from Dr. Atkinson not improvement , but control over the female staff in their buildings.

Anonymous said...

"Then blame the Georgia Department of Education because systems are bound by the particular evaluation tools that are vetted and established for used. "

No surprise there.
The head of Curricuum and Instruction at the state level is a former DCSS Upper Management person.

If teachers are the ones responsible for student progress and are the only ones held quantitatively accountable, they should be the highest paid employees in the school systems. As a salesperson, I made more than my sales manager because I was the one who brought in the revenue. DCSS is becoming noncompetitive in the compensation realm. We must cut, consolidate and outsource in the nonteaching areas in order to offer competitive compensation to teachers, decrease class sizes for students, and adequately equip the classroom. Currently, teachers are among the lowet paid employees in DCSS. And students languish in classes that are so large their individual needs cannot be met.

Dr. Atkinson has her work cut out for her. Does anyone think the BOE will support cutting this bloated Security group? Realistically, would Walker let his son lose his High paying job if he should be one of the personnel cut? This is why it's so bad for taxpayers to have these conflicts of interest with regards to BOE members.

Cerebration said...

@Anon 9:46 AM

There is the new Whistleblower Hotline set up by DCSS for reporting all kinds of issues. We have a link to the confidential third party website on the right side panel of the home page (it's the picture of the red phone)...

Otherwise, the confidential phone number is

Anonymous said...

Under the new evaluation system (Leader Keys & Teachers Keys) starting next year, principals and teachers will be held account for student achievement. Student achievement will count for 50% of the evaluation for both principals and teachers....not just for teachers.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers can you believe that some principals especially on the south side of DCSS are just now speaking with their teachers about the progress of their students using benchmarks or assessments? Principals like these should be placed on a PDP or moved out as an administrator.
Question is: Why wasn't this trend discussed in August 2011? With how many more days before the CRT in tow.
Some are now just walking around and visiting classrooms and meeting with teachers to discuss students progress?
What kind of leaders are these?
No wonder schools on the south end fail to make CRCT. The test starts in April. So count the days left for REAL instruction.

Anonymous said...

"Under the new evaluation system (Leader Keys & Teachers Keys) starting next year, principals and teachers will be held account for student achievement. Student achievement will count for 50% of the evaluation for both principals and teachers....not just for teachers."

So how much of Dr Atkinson's salary depend on student performance? And Kathy Howe, Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning - how much is her salary dependent on student scores. My understanding is that Ms. Howe will be telling the teachers how to teach. If Ms. Howe and Dr. Atkinson tell the teachers how to teach, have them teach from a scripted learning program, and drive their lesson plans, then the responsibility for student achievement should rest more with them than the teachers. After all, the teachers will just be carrying out the script they have been given. If they teach the way they are told! and it fails to move students forward, more of the accountability need to rest with the Upper Management of DCSS.

Will the Parent Center personnel have their salaries tied to student achievement? That's the reason they have been established. The premise is that if you do a good job with parental involvement, students will perform better in schools, and the measure of student performance is test scores or AYP. Surely, the Parent Center personnel will be held to student performance standards just like the teachers. If there is no appreciable increase in student performance for the schools these highly paid Parent Center personnel serve (in the past almost all of their schools showed declines yet they still kept their jobs) then why not cut most of these positions and give DeKalb students teachers who will work with them every day in the classroom.

Are Instructioanl Coaches being held accountable? How much of their evaluation will depend on the scores in their schools? And how about those Instructional Coordinators?

And the Assistant Superintendents. They are overseeing the principals. I've not see one of them held accountable for poor student achievement. They tell principals what to do yet take no responsibility for student performance. In sales, a sales manager has a quota as well as the salesmen under him all the way to the CEO of the company.

These ancillary nonteaching personnel take up massive amounts per pupil funding with little to show for their efforts so far. Taxpayers need to know if they will be held accountable for student achievement as well.

There are hundreds of them, and they soak up tens of millions in per pupil funding so it seems only reasonable that we see what their responsibility and accountability for our children's student achievement is.

I suspect from your comment that there will be no accountability for these non teaching Instructional personnel who consume so many per pupil dollars. Taxpayers need to begin contacting their BOE members and Dr. Atkinson to ask why we fund so many Instructional personnel who have absolutely no accountability for student performance.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see anything wrong with this PDP. If a teacher acts professionally and does his/her job, this is a walk in the park! The teacher evaluation instrument used in DCSS was developed at UGA over 20 years ago. This PDP is part of that instrument. "

The criteria for measurement of progress is set to an extremely high standard. Especially, when you consider that any misstep, even a minor one, can be written up. Can your every action, comment, and facial expression be placed under a microscope? Ever had a bad day? Ever had a parent complain about something that didn't happen? Nobody is that perfect!

Anonymous said...

This PDP is a setup. Read the very bottom-no instances of improper passes?

I have been subjected to the bullying and VERY unprofessional behavior of a principal (unnamed but worked at a school that was closed). Yelled at and written up for very minor infractions (not attending the PTA meeting for example) And the people who had worse infractions (falling asleep during class) where part of the sorority crew and had nothing put in their file. This principal has tried to remove so many good teachers it's criminal. Most of these teachers won during their appeal process because the "infractions" where invalid.

I agree Kim, developmental plans are part of the corporate world, but like has been said before you don't loose your whole engineering career when you are told to move on. Teachers loose everything when a principal non-renews them.

PS. I'm not disgruntled. I love my job.

Anonymous said...

"If a teacher acts professionally and does his/her job, this is a walk in the park! "

That's the problem in DCSS. Doing your job has often meant pretending that you can not only track data- in an outmoded paper era- for as many as 150+ students but also create "innovative" lesson plans that edutain 30+ high school students (some with 6th and 7th grade reading levels).

When you ask valid questions about how you can achieve "rigor" (another word adulterated by many DCSS coordinators, coaches, administrators) and at the same time remediate 10-15 different students in a class of as many as 35, you are often considered rude (why waste your colleagues' time when everyone gets to leave the meeting earlier if everyone "respectfully" listens?) or even "unprofessional" (because it would seem the "professional" thing to do is "your job"-even if that means fulfilling tasks that actually take you away from teaching).

Doing your job has also meant that you don't question the continued use of instructional coaches instead of more teachers teaching intensive reading courses, you don't question why tardies, absences, and discipline infractions aren't managed by the attendance office or discipline office (like they used to be before we employed so many more administrators and acquired technologies like smartweb or esis that should make handling these things easier), and you don't question the increase in class sizes and decrease in curricula offerings (as DCSS's out-of-school staff has increased).

Anonymous said...

Then there is the principal who creates a hostile work environment. then calls out an employee who responds to the principal's hostility as "unprofessional." A complete set up. Recalling Mr. Blackwood's situation a year ago - the Yale-educated history teacher - he was simply smarter than his supervisors. He simply wanted to set high standards for his students and prepare them for college. But his supervisors were so THREATENED by him, they created bogus issues and cut him loose.

Anonymous said...

I've worked in DCSS for fifteen years, and I don't know much about PDPs (other than their use of getting rid of someone at my school).

Possible bullying aside, the bigger issue may be that DCSS lacks the ability to help teachers. Ask a teacher from the corporate world or the college setting how effective or helpful any of the DCSS "teacher training" classes have been. Ask any teacher who has had to attend "professional development" classes or meetings how instructive or innovative those have been. Ask a teacher when was the last (or even first) time he or she saw an administrator teach a class or even offer to teach a class.

I can't say I learned much of anything in the required education classes I took, but as long as there are such requirements for teachers, why aren't we working with GSU? It's absurd that DCSS pays its own professional development department to do what GSU already does (and probably a bit better).

Also, why aren't administrators required to teach x number of hours per year? Shouldn't the people in charge of instruction and discipline at a school be considered the "leader teachers" who should be able to create and model practices that all teachers, but especially those new to teaching, could use?

Anonymous said...

"Also, why aren't administrators required to teach x number of hours per year? Shouldn't the people in charge of instruction and discipline at a school be considered the "leader teachers" who should be able to create and model practices that all teachers, but especially those new to teaching, could use?"


Would love to see the so-called Instructional Coaches/Advisor/ whatever the slack staff of the Office of School Improvement actually teach each year, insetad of sitting in their office doing coursework for their masters degree from an online diploma mill.

Would love to see any Central Office administrators teach for one full day a year. The school system would improve overnight.

Teachers are the most valuable, most important employees of the school system, not administrators, not staff.

Anonymous said...

" Recalling Mr. Blackwood's situation a year ago - the Yale-educated history teacher - he was simply smarter than his supervisor"

He's at Cross Keys now and much appreciated. The loss was to SW DeKalb HS students. My daughter had an incredible English teacher at Chamblee HS (magnet program) who taught at SW DeKalb HS a number of years ago. This English teacher loved SW DeKalb, but the administration drove her to transfer to Chamblee HS. She was the English teacher who actually taught my daughter to be a fluent writer. I can't believe SWD HS lost her. I knew a wonderful science teacher who had run-ins with the SWD HS principal who packed his classes with 35 students (illegal and dangerous for labs). My friend ended up leaving DeKalb and became the Educational Liaison for Turner Broadcasting. He also loved his SWD HS students, but the administration did not value him. This school has some tremendous problems valuing top notch teachers and has had that problem for years. This is so sad for the kids. SWD HS has many wonderful students. It's never the kids - it's the administration that driving good teachers away, and they leave reluctantly because they always love the students. When will SWD HS get the administration that they deserve?

Anonymous said...

Our coaches model and teach lessons all of the time. All you have to do is Ask. I teach in a middle school and my principal has an elementary background. I don't expect him to teach because he is not knowledgeable in the content. I can observe in another class at any time or request a master teacher to model a lesson. However, my principal is supportive and handles discipline or other issues when needed. He is also very visible in the school. He seems to stay just as busy as the teachers are. Transfer somewhere better if you don't have a leader you respect.

Anonymous said...

"Teachers are the most valuable, most important employees of the school system, not administrators, not staff"

The teacher and his/her students are the "members of the classroom". The entire school system should revolve around the "members of the classroom". DCSS has lost its focus and does not understand this. That's the major reason our student achievement is so low.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:28 pm

Really, you want a central office administrator to come and teach for a day in your room? I agree everyone should be held accountable, but as the teacher hired to do a job, I am the most qualified person to teach my students.

Maybe central office staff can collaborate for a day in their area of certification (teaching).

Putting them to the test in a classroom is not the way to hold them accountable to do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:48

"Transfer somewhere better if you don't have a leader you respect"

But coaches modeling in the classroom is NOT the situation in most DeKalb schools. I have been in most of them, and this does not happen.

Modeling is the most effective way to implement staff development.

Many excellent teachers have ransferred from poorly run and staffed schools. This is a good suggestion for teachers, but you do realize this is a very bad idea for the students.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:17

"Putting them (Central Office administrators) to the test in a classroom is not the way to hold them accountable to do their jobs."

Of course it is. No teacher has any respect for someone who tells them how to do something when they can't do it themselves. Administrators who must demonstrate the efficacy of their edicts will think twice about those edicts if they are forced to demonstrate their effectiveness. The feedback they get on their theories when faced with the reality of the classroom will ensure they implement practical and workable procedures, processes and programs.

Anonymous said...

I can't see a pdp being used to bully teachers, but anything is possible.

The reason I say this is because a pdp is very labor intensive if implemented correctly. Central office will not support you in removing a teacher when the pdp is poorly written, isn't supportive of the teacher, not implemented with fidelity or monitored properly.

Most principals will avoid the headache of a pdp. When a pdp is finally done, it is because the teacher is REALLY REALLY bad and other teachers And parents are demanding that a person be removed.

Anonymous said...


You teach at a middle school and I teach at a high school, so we may have some different experiences. Nevetherless, I don't think DCSS's students need coaches to "model or teach lessons." They need more teachers teaching small groups.

I do respect my principal. I don't, however, respect the many in-school and out-of-school administrators that appear more interested in their titles and salaries than they do in helping students.

Are you seriously saying that a principal-someone that has at least two college degrees-should not have knowledge of middle school content? What, then, does a college degree guarantee?

Also, the perception of "busy" is part of the problem in DCSS. Looking busy or being busy doesn't mean that anything that woudl benefit students is actually getting done.

Anonymous said...

"I teach in a middle school and my principal has an elementary background. I don't expect him to teach because he is not knowledgeable in the content"

A principal with an elementary background has no business running a middle school if he cannot teach a decent lesson in the content areas. The lesson does not have to be that complex, but a college educated person shold be able to teach a short writing lesson or a math lesson or even a geography lesson. I took the 4-8 TCT (Teacher Certification Test - we used to have to take that to teach in the 1980s). It contained science, math, language arts and social studies content through 8th grade. I scored 100 in both science and math, 98 in language arts and 95 in social studies. I'm by no means gifted, but it's 8th grade information after all and I was a college graduate. And BTW - I was a 4th grade teacher. Surely any principal can teach a short lesson on a middle school subject. It goes to credibility when you are evaluating teachers.

Anonymous said...

My friend works in law enforcement and he says they get new majors all of the time. They are promoted based on the belief in their skill set to decrease crime in the zone. Some zones have higher crime rates than others and they seem to be demoted After three years because they were unable to lower crime rates.

My point is that the same should be done for principals. And it shouldn't be so bad to be demoted if you are unable to make a difference. This way people Are given a chance to prove themselves. This will take care of the ineffective principals protected by friends and family.

The same should be done for area assistant superintendents for repeatedly having ineffective schools in their area. They should be demoted back to schoolhouse as well.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:30

I agree. DCSS does not need coaches who do not teach. Students need more teachers teaching small groups of struggling students.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:19

Many excellent teachers have transferred from poorly run and staffed schools. This is a good suggestion for teachers, but you do realize this is a very bad idea for the students.

Having an unhappy teacher in the building is bad for students. My experience as a teacher is that the unhappy ones aren't happy anywhere. I need colleagues who are happy at work and care about the kids. When I close my classroom door, I am about the business of teaching. Professional and positive colleagues have much more of an influence on me than an ineffective administrator.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:36
Principals are qualified to lead a middle school due to certification in leadership, not having middle grades certification. A good leader is a good leader. I am sure my principal with an elementary background could teach a simple lesson, but not in my 8th grade math classroom. However, she makes sure the resources are there for us or utilizes those with needed skills. Now one of the APs has a high school math background, and I value her expertise, but not the principal and that is ok with me.

Anonymous said...

A college degree guarantees certification. Really, there are no guarantees. Even a college educated teacher is no guarantee of an effective teacher. Effectiveness comes with training and experience. An administrator will not be as effective as a certified math teacher in using tried and true methods to teach the content. Now if my administrator wants to share some of those strategies with me, I am ok with that. I don't need my administrator to prove that they work during one classroom lesson. Using data and research based best practices provides that expertise. I appreciate the administrator who is knowledgeable in what best practices are, so we can have some professional dialogues.

Anonymous said...

"My experience as a teacher is that the unhappy ones aren't happy anywhere."

That's not my experience. I tell young teachers to beware of going to a school just because they like the principal. There is no guarantee the principal will always be there. I have seen bad principals come into a school and wreck it. I have also seen good principals come into a school and turn it around. I had a principal who came into my school which was filthy and discipline problems were rampant. She made the custodians accountable. The grounds and maintenance were impeccable under her. She instituted strict but fair disciplinary measures, contacted parents, and helped organize the PTA so that money was raised that could be used in the classroom. It was like a different school after one year under her. Yes. I could teach under a bad principal because I had a lot of experience, but I was a better teacher with a good leader.

Some teachers are very sensitive to poor leaders. They can be intimidated by a leader who bullies them. They can be resentful when they have to take on extra tasks that a coworker should do but doesn't and the principal does not want to make the coworker responsible. They can be worried when a principal tries to intimidate them to changing a grade for a student who does not know the material and has failed every test (happens all of the time in DCSS).

A good principal can make all of the difference for a young teacher just starting out. You are obviously a seasoned teacher, but we have many young teachers that need guidance, scaffolding, modeling, support, honesty and integrity from their principals. There is nothing worse than to see a poor principal drive a young teacher who has the potential to become a good teacher out of the profession.

Anonymous said...

all I can say about this is, I have seen crappy teachers in action. Demeaning students is not a way to get them to learn. If a teacher gets called on the carpet for unprofessional behavior towards a student they should have to be monitored.

I am all for paying teachers to teach, letting them do whatever they need to do to get kids involved but the minute they start screaming and picking on a kid, I am done.

There are teachers like this in many of our schools. Women who have been there way too long and can't stand kids. Act like they are rats, turning their noses up at them. These old biddy's need to go. They don't like the new ways and I get it but don't belittle the kids. get out of teaching.

Leo said...

PDPs/PIPs whatever you want to call them (depending on whether you're in the school house or private business) can be extremely effective tools if used properly. In every instance, managers should view these documents as an opportunity to get an employee to perform to their potential or your expectations. It's usually less cost-effective to hire and train someone new. That being said, there are plenty of managers who view these types of documents as punitive instead of what they are. And, it is rare that a manager writes one that is sufficiently informative to effect change. Such documents should be coordinated with HR to ensure that they are effective. Tell the person specific examples of the behavior or performance that is unacceptable and give them concrete ways to improve. Telling someone not to use the same tone with others is useless -- personality issues are often the hardest to correct, but if you gave them an example of the conduct and identified the negative impact, you'll often find that people aren't even aware of how others perceive them. It's a shame and incredibly short-sighted for some administrators to use these tools incorrectly as claimed as ultimately you'll end up with low morale and lower preformace. Perhaps if admins were held accountable for the overall performance of their school in a more meaningful way, they'd use these tools the way they were designed -- to improve performance.

Anonymous said...

Let us see which administrators are going to be moved. How can a school make AYP for so many years and then when teachers are rotated to other grade levels, the school fails to make AYP.
Taxpayers, cannot wait to see the CRCT results this year not the excuses. We need to have administrators moved to other schools and rotate them around like they do teachers who cannot teach or manage their classrooms. Administrators (and assistant principals need to be enrolled in leadership classes on a weekly basis.
These PLACED individuals were horrible teachers when they were in the classrooms teaching, and now they are actually trying to manage a real school. Thank you current and former Area Directors for recommending these folks!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see administrative PDPs for these principals and APs who continuously get poor ratings on their PAL as well as excessive complaints from parents. Give them 9 weeks to improve before being demoted. DCSS needs to stop moving them to different schools and deal with the issues.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful Cross Keys teacher was placed on a PDP today. This teacher is completely dedicated to her students' success. She teaches ESL and her kids do very well on the EOCT. She loves Cross Keys and has gone out of her way to help students by doing extra tutoring. I think she's even gone to some of her students' homes!

You can bet other teachers will be getting their transfer papers in.

The CK principal is a bully. She needs to go!

Anonymous said...

Browns Mill L.Smith (AP) is using her power to send teachers memos as well this week. Hope she takes a look back into past as a teacher and Browns Mill and remember her own unprofessional behavior. Laughing and playing during faculty meetings, causing parents to rebel against sending their kid to Wadsworth, creating confusing over the school. Let's check her file,I bet she forgot to place a directive in her own file.
She even gave herself kudos on the BLOG for staying long hours at the school after everyone leaves. OMG!
Talks about her staff during her AP meetings,gossips about everyone she comes into contact with. Beware AP's! This lady is bad news.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see these sorry administrators placed on capital PDP and then transferred out once these scores come back in April. Oh, Happy Day! But, as usual, it will be the teachers and parents fault.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:34 Sadly this is what usually happens. The public doesn't understand that the PDP words are just that. It's a bully tool and rarely do the teachers who need help or need to go, get put on PDP. Instead it's used to get rid of teachers that the principal is threatened by.

Anonymous said...

Folks who don't understand how it works should listen to understand. PDP... turns out to be an instrument of torture for some administrators. A teacher routinely loaded down with an excess of discipline problems in class is placed on a plan?

Evenly distribute the challenging students instead of creating 'gifted' classes for friends where a majority of parents show up and homework is done. Then decide who is a good teacher.

At a first reading of some negative comments about South DeKalb teachers,(2009?) I was put out.

Some are not good. But many are caught in the middle of families and administrators who ignore their responsibilities in promoting discipline in school.

If teachers cannot use the procedures that work at home with their personal children in class at school, then someone needs to intervene when too many children continually climb on desks, yell out or insult classmates. Who can teach or learn in that? Assign a parapro to help.

Teachers are due more respect which is sadly lacking in DeKalb County. Perhaps teacher quality is not as low in South DeKalb as presumed. My child often complained of too many disruptive folks who did not come to learn. Should her teacher be placed on a PDP? Not if the class is purposely overloaded with the uninspired.

Administrators need to be prepared to actively lead and make tough decisions. There are many great families, children, and teachers who deserve better down here.

Anonymous said...

how long is a PDP usually put into place? half the year, all year?

Anonymous said...

I am in another school district in which PDP's are used to target and get rid of tenured teachers. A teacher can go from getting great test scores, kudos for doing extra stuff, but the next year put on a PDP because someone wants them gone. It's not about the teaching. That's why the remediation sounds textbookish and fundamental.

The real deal on PDP's is this: a principal is THE Educational Leader of a school. The Principal, as such, places a teacher on a PDP, creating more time away from tending to the business of educating students and toward something else, insuring that life gets difficult for the teacher and pushing them to quit. The principal designed PDP is administered by the principal for any length of time that the principal wants. It can go on indefinitely ... there's no specified limits. At some point, the principal will declare the teacher as unable to improve which is the excuse for giving a poor evaluation and justification for a non-renewal recommendation to the board.

The part that everyone seems to miss here is that a PDP is principal designed and implemented. If a teacher fails a PDP, the PRINCIPAL HAS FAILED TEACHING THE TEACHER!!!!!!! The PRINCIPAL HAS FAILED TO TEACH and the principal is the FAILED EDUCATIONAL LEADER of the school.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that the educational leadership never changes their approach and that the only change made is by teachers? Teaching is the only profession that demands constant, continual education and then tells the highly trained and qualified teachers that they can't teach? Everyone assumes that teaching is the problem of the teacher, but it is the problem of the EDUCATIONAL LEADER - a leader who has failed to teach!!!

This is why schools don't improve because the educational leadership isn't leading, they are controlling and blaming as they struggle to justify staying in leadership positions. It is rare to find a real planner. Most educational leaders simply act as appeasers, just trying to keep complaints down, not solve problems.

Anonymous said...

So I know of a teacher who had been paced on PDP by his principal. Very unsociable teacher, cannot discipline the children and was ultimately given an appointment at another school in the county.Why do you move these teachers around if they are of no benefit to the system or place them in non-teaching positions. How did they get into the system in the first place? And then he did all the PDP as required by his principal and is still a problem at the school he was transferred to. How do you fix that?

Anonymous said...

I am a new teacher and was placed on a PDP which was never explained to me or why? I'm amazed at this school system and the corrupt policies in place. My school is data driven and we test every month which has shown my students are making progress. I have complained about my principal and I know she is out to get me but why would anyone try to destroy a new teacher before their career begins? She is a bully and everyone knows it at the county office so why is she allowed to continue year after year? I became a teacher to make a difference only to find out it's not about the students at all! It's about the numbers (test scores)! Our school has a reputation in S. DeKalb and no one wants to work here so we mainly have either first year teachers or teachers from out of state. Oh by the way at least 60% of the staff leave every year!!!