Did Clayton board make the right decision?

Good decision to fire John Thompson by our board of education. They identified a cancer and cut it out before it spread and caused more damage.

Given his reputation before being hired as corrective superintendent last spring, it’s no surprise that he was difficult to work with. But Thompson wasn’t supposed to even consider taking this job permanently as per his contract with the ousted board. Although he spent (wasted?) a lot of time telling anyone within earshot that he was technically the superintendent per Georgia law, he was hired specifically to help get accreditation back and then leave.

But don’t cry for Thompson. He walks away with a nice chunk of change at our expense in salary and benefits. All he’ll do is trash CCPS in general on his next interview and probably get hired eventually.

SACS’ Mark Elgart was right on about our BOE changing direction and the way business is done. Slowly but surely, it is happening and the purging of bad decisions made by the old regime is almost complete. Of course CCPS and the BOE are not perfect and there are still problems to fix. But things are looking up, so keep up the great work CCBOE! Let’s just pray that our next superintendent will be an improvement and helps CCPS continue to move onward and upward.

Do you agree with the BOE’s decision, or should they have let Thompson finish out his contract? What qualities should the BOE look for in our new superintendent?

111 comments Add your comment

Reginald Stalworth Jr.

March 16th, 2009
9:12 am

HOORAY! Finally, a new day for Clayton Public Schools! Good job BOE!

Oh please

March 16th, 2009
9:12 am

The heavens have opened up. Rays of light are piercing through the clouds, and the days ahead look so much brighter. Of course, the BOE has made the right decision. Now they must stay the course, and hire someone with not only the right qualifications, but the right attitude as well. Someone that knows their place on the org-chart. Way to go, BOE!

kevin

March 16th, 2009
9:18 am

out with the old clown in with the new.nothing will change

WTF?

March 16th, 2009
10:47 am

For the first time in a very long time, I’m proud of my BOE! Good step in the right direction.

ESR

March 16th, 2009
10:53 am

Had they fired him earlier perhaps they could have saved the $85,000. He is not worth 85 cents. The saga will continue.

Nice move

March 16th, 2009
11:09 am

Nice move by Mark Elgart of SACS to get rid of the snake oil salesman Thompson. What, you thought the board acted independently? HA HA HA HA HA!

Oh please

March 16th, 2009
11:18 am

I’d rather they just go ahead and pay him than for him to file another lawsuit against the school system. He did have a contract and the system was required to pay him regardless of whether we continued to take advantage of his “services” or not. Just give him the money and wash our hands clean of the remnants of the previous BOE’s debacle.

John Stewart

March 16th, 2009
12:03 pm

Kudos to the board for de-feathering this peacock. A salary worth nearly half a million if you factor in all the perks, living in Lake Spivey. This man had it made. Now no favors to old board members or current elected officials. A big door has been shut behind us and now we have a bigger door of opportunity ahead of us.

It's all about timing

March 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Of course most people, willing dupes that they are, are too busy praising the BOE for something Elgart told them to do, that they don’t even realize the BOE literally scratched Thompson’s back all the way out the door.

When did the SACS report go out? The 13th, and with Thompson’s signature on it. When did the BOE fire him? The 14th. So the BOE practically hands Thompson a golden parachute, allowing him to add taking full credit for restoring accreditation to his snake oil collection.

Yep, there’s no politics with this new board.

Concerned Parent and Homeowner

March 16th, 2009
1:47 pm

To: “It’s all about timing”

If we get our accreditation back, I DON’T CARE WHO TAKES THE CREDIT!!!!!!!!

Oh please

March 16th, 2009
2:15 pm

And seriously, who cares if Elgart advised the board to get rid of him or not. Elgart is the person who determines whether we get back accreditation so if he did advise them on the issue, then the BOE is doing what they are supposed to be doing.

taylor

March 16th, 2009
2:38 pm

You are all missing the big picture here

The right thing…probably. The right time … NO!
It doesnt make any sense to fire someone before their contract is over
and have to hire someone else and pay them also. This just sounds like the typical petty stupid crap that will keep Clayton County from getting their accreditation back

If?

March 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

There is no if, Concerned Parent. This BOE could do the Jonesboro Dance routine down at the Pink Pony, put it on YouTube, and make a DVD called BOE Gone Wild, and Clayton would still get accreditation back.

Do you really, really think there’s a snowball’s chance in you know where that Elgart and Sonny are going to let the sons and daughters of their politically connected friends graduate from an unaccredited school system?

Did you not notice that they didn’t take accreditation away until after last year’s seniors graduated? And the same politics dictates that’s exactly why it will be restored before this year’s seniors graduate.

Think people.

Slick Elrod

March 16th, 2009
3:39 pm

Firing Thompson was a good first step.

Concerned Parent and Homeowner

March 16th, 2009
3:51 pm

IF?:

You are wrong. We were accredited through the 2008 school year. Regardless of when the decision to revoke accreditation came down, the 2008 graduates still would have graduated with an accredited diploma. That kinda pokes holes in your conspiracy theory. Point blank, we had a “disfunctional board”. Have you actually ever attended a board meeting? It’s like night and day compared to the way business was handled by the old board. Now, I’m not saying that the new board does not have it’s problems, but they definitely are an upgrade from the old one.
WE NEED TO STOP BLAMING OTHERS (PERDUE, ELGART) AND START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS (WHO WE ELECT SERVE). AND BE AN “ACTIVE” PARTICIPANT IN WHAT’S GOING ON IN OUR COMMUNITY AND SCHOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

If?

March 16th, 2009
4:19 pm

Concerned Parent thank you for making my point. ClayCo was accredited through the 2008 school year and Elgart did nothing to change that, even though it was totally within his power to do so. My guess is you are one of the willing dupes who will congratulate the BOE for restoring accreditation, even though people have pointed out, before this board even started serving, that this was politics and accreditation will be restored before this year’s seniors graduate.

Do you really, really, think Concerned Parent that Elgart and SACS are going to let the sons and daughters of politically connected ClayCo citizens graduate from an unaccredited system? You can possibly be that naive, can you?

You make the common mistake that so many on here make. You think because the last board acted foolish and ignorant, that everyone else, Elgart included, has acted totally above board. You probably even think that ClayCo will become a quality school system once accreditation is bestowed by King Elgart.

You might want to consider one thing. Other than Clayton, what do the other 20 lowest performing systems in Georgia all have in common? The are all SACS accredited. I guess performance isn’t a mandate.

catlady

March 16th, 2009
4:33 pm

I think Clayton County is too big a mess to even hope for. They must have lots of money down there for something besides the education of their kids. Any possible respect for them will hinge on whether they get a competent superintendent. I don’t know how good their search team is. Let’s pray for them. It is about a whole lot more than SACS accreditation!

Huh?

March 16th, 2009
4:55 pm

Nobody is saying Elgart is above board and anyone with sense knows that taking accred. away was a political move. If they didn’t take it away, would those last four boe members have EVER left? Probably not and they needed to go! Do you expect CCPS or Clayton to take on SACS and Elgart now? Why bother, we need to keep cleaning our own house and try to stay out of SACS range so we don’t ever have to deal with this again.

Black Woman in Clayco

March 16th, 2009
6:53 pm

I don’t care how the decision was made, I’m just happy CCPS seems to be getting on track for the kids’ sake. They really didn’t need to have worry about accreditation on top of all the other stuff going on in public schools today. Letting Thompson go was the best decision, he never should’ve been hired, really.

If?

March 16th, 2009
8:10 pm

It’s not even that people are saying great things about Elgart. It that it doesn’t even occur to them to pose the question. They simply don’t think past the headlines in the AJC, so they think the only reason the school system is bad is that the board acted ignorant and Clayton lost accreditation. In their mind, they actually think this board is accomplishing something to restore accreditation, when the reality is each board member-male and female alike-could use school funds to impregnate themselves with octuplets and Elgart would still give CCPS accreditation.

As they all collectively worship the god of SACS, no one even thinks for example, just what does accreditation mean as far as a quality school system, when you consider each and every one of the twenty lowest performing school systems outside of CCPS are accredited by SACS?

If the majority of people do have some sense, they’ll think about these questions and demand some accountability and tangible action from the BOE on issues that affect day to day teaching. But most likely, most people, compliant sheep that they are, will go back to sleep, all the while the system will continue to rot from within, as nothing is done to address the core issues that affect teaching and learning in the classroom.

Sad really.

Bud Light

March 16th, 2009
10:18 pm

This whole thing is a JOKE!!!!

Bud Light

March 16th, 2009
10:22 pm

This is crazy!!!

If?

March 16th, 2009
11:19 pm

And that’s the problem Black Woman in ClayCo; no one cares how the decisions are made, thus no one understands why the decisions are made. They are made for politics, not for the sake of your children. None of this has been for the sake of your children; it’s been for the sake of politics.

If SACS was really investigating CCPS for the sake of the children, they’d ask questions as to why there is an open gang presence in the schools, and there is an institutional history of not addressing discipline problems, and worse, why laws concerning policies such as tribunal hearings for cases of threats and assaults are routinely ignored.

But trust me, the actual learning environment of your child’s class is not, and will not, ever reach the level of a mandate. It’s just not that important, compared to bidness and politikin’

Rev. Seymour Butts

March 17th, 2009
1:42 am

Val Lee is just warming the seat for Sam King.

Thinking

March 17th, 2009
7:06 am

Nice format change on this blog host.

When I first heard this news I was a little perplexed but after some thinking it might just work out. Now if some other individuals could be moved out and yes that means paying out their contract it would be a good thing. I wonder how many other central office staff members will be exploring their options?

Dim bulbs in the light factory

March 17th, 2009
12:40 pm

Why does one get the feeling that the same people who actually believe their favorite professional wrestler “wins” the WWE title, are going to be the same ones praising the BOE when it “earns” accreditation back?

Both are scripted. The only difference is one makes a mockery of athletic competition, and one makes a mockery of the education process.

SynamonSays

March 17th, 2009
2:08 pm

Kim I love your new format and it is good to know that it will be monitored. We should be able to have some good intellectual exchange in Clayton County on your blog.

SynamonSays ….What do you say? http://www.newroadsvideo.com Friday@8PM

Friday night’s episode is not for adults only. Teenagers should sign on as well for an evening of enlightenment with J. Tom Morgan, author, “Ignorance Is No Defense: The Teenagers Guide to Georgia Law.” J. Tom is a former Dekalb County District Attorney. He is committed to using his expertise to educate teenagers about Georgia Law. Adults and teenagers need to hear what Attorney Morgan has to say. Turn off the TV and go online.

Ignorance of the law is causing our teenagers to lose eligibility for financing of higher education, loss of job opportunities and the right to vote. Education, Employment and Enfranchisement (right to vote) are necessary for our youth to become contributing citizens in American society. These are rights that are being taken away as a result of lack of knowledge. We must educate ourselves and our teenagers about Georgia Law.

See you online http://www.newroadsvideo.com Friday night at 8pm. Remember the show is interactive and your questions and comments are welcome. SynamonSays!..What do you say?

Happy St. Pat's

March 17th, 2009
2:54 pm

Thompson’s contract included many paid vacation days plus days when he could be working for someone else. How many actual work days were left between now and contract expiration? The board gave up very little and gained much. The chain of command is less likely to be muddled with the boss out of town all the time. And potential superintendent candidates now see a clear field, with no internal candidate who is the odds-on favorite to get the job. That will attract more candidates, probably improving the pool. The board has been handicapped because Thompson has controlled so much of the board’s information flow, including the board’s access to legal counsel. Now the board may actually get some independent advice. In short, this looks like a good move, as long as the board’s actions were consistent with legal requirements.

Bud Light

March 17th, 2009
9:32 pm

The Board handled all nine mandates at once, by getting rid of Thompson. Now to pleasure the pallid the board must to bring in an ivory superintendent to replace him, two Ex-Clayton supers are their only choices. That’s all you get for 7000 bucks.

New day

March 17th, 2009
9:34 pm

Praise John Thompson

March 17th, 2009
11:43 pm

What a sad day that the board felt so diminished in the presence of such greatness, that the only way they could compensate is to remove that greatness from the county.

And talk about stabbing someone in the back. The very day after they submit the SACS report that shows how Thompson, true to his word, led the charge to get accreditation back, they dismiss him, so they can take the all the credit for his accomplishments.

Has there ever been a more selfless leader than Thompson in Clayton? He single handedly saved the college chances of thousands of graduates last year, with his decision to shred the diplomas. What unbelieveable courage Thompson showed; he knew he would get blasted in the media, but he put all that aside for the children, so they would have a valid diploma with his name on it.

One could say so much more about this great, great man. You have to feel so sorry for the teachers, so many of them who must be emotionally devasted to lose the man who restored morale to the system, who backed his teachers one hundred percent by letting the students know the old days of misbehavior were over.

You have to feel sorry for the students as well, who many say revered Thompson as if though he were their personal Obama.

Though is tenure was brief, Thompson will go down in history as the one who single handedly led Clayton though its darkest days, and through whose courage and leadership, restored accreditation and gave Clayton hope.

Thank you John Thompson, Clayton is forever in your debt.

Earl of Ft. Liquordale

March 18th, 2009
1:53 am

It looks like that the Sam King train is winding down the track. All of my buddies who are still in Clayco or who worked with Sam in Clayco say that he is a jem. They say that he is the closest thing to a modern day Earnest Stroud with a little more diplomacy. Actually, a lot more diplomacy. I hope that the school board will not all of a sudden nut up by going on a missiah search. The odds now on Abe’s and Eli’s gambling card is 80% to 20% that Sam King is the next superintendent. It’s 1% to 99% that Bob Hartley becomes his Special Assistant. Lieka, you are Westside Fab! You, Go Girl! Actually, you pleasantly surprised me. You showed mettle in taking out that Pimp-dressing Thompson. I told his boys that they didn’t process the grievance filed by a teacher against Ben Moore, Principal at the Clayton Alternative School, with all due alarcrity. Process the grievances according to State Statute or your a– will be terminated. Yes, Thompson the Terminated. Thanks, Alieka Anderson. You and Pam Adamson are the greatest! Uh oh, the Mrs. is calling me. She says that Abe, Eli, and I are in love with Lieka! We are the original Lieka Likers!

Oh please

March 18th, 2009
9:26 am

Regardless of how you feel about the new school board, things are getting done to improve the school system. If the new board falls into the same cycle as previous boards, hopefully the public will now be more aware and can take preventitive action. So even if this has all been political (and I think we all can agree that it has) then good can come of it. Despite voter turnout at election time, the issue has brought our community together and strengthened it.

Praise John Thompson

March 18th, 2009
9:36 am

Since Thompson in his short time was able to restore credibility to the system, restore integrity to the system, and most importantly lead Clayton back to accreditation, shouldn’t one of the news schools being built be named after him, to honor all that he has done?

Reginald Stalworth Jr.

March 18th, 2009
10:29 am

Good Riddance!

Black Woman in Clayco

March 18th, 2009
10:50 am

What exactly has John Thompson done and/or accomplished that he deserves to be honored in any way, shape, form or fashion? He got paid over a quarter million dollars for less than one year’s work and that doesn’t even include all the benefits and perks he received. I think Clayton has given him more than his fair share and more than he deserved. Good riddance is exactly right, don’t let the doorknob hit ya on the way out Thompson.

whatever

March 18th, 2009
11:27 am

I see no reason to Praise John Thompson.He is leaving Clayton County Public Schools the same way he has left every Superintendent job he has been in. FIRED! And Clayton County is left the same as every other place he has been employed. BROKE! HE puts the EGO in egomaniac. In baseball terms the man is batting zero. He has managed to almost totally destroy every school system that he has worked for. Where is the need for praise in that? But I think that Clayton County might be the place that finally drives the stake into this blood sucking Vampire for good. One can only hope I am correct.

stanthefireman

March 18th, 2009
2:07 pm

Since Thompson in his short time was able to restore credibility to the system, restore integrity to the system, and most importantly lead Clayton back to accreditation, shouldn’t one of the news schools being built be named after him, to honor all that he has done?

OMG

You have to be kidding ??????

stanthefireman

March 18th, 2009
2:19 pm

love the new format

Praise John Thompson

March 18th, 2009
5:10 pm

Is Clayton not well on its way back to accreditation, thanks to John Thompson? Has the discipline situation ever been better, thanks to his strong presence? Even the board waiting until the report to SACS was sent off before firing him, because they knew how rock solid his reputation was.

Clayton was truly on its way to being a world class school system. You could tell it as soon as you walked into a school, so orderly you thought you were in an exclusive private school. Who knows if Clayton will ever have that opportunity again.

Omnibusman

March 18th, 2009
7:00 pm

Now!!! Here comes a 30 day media silence about Clayton’s School system until the politically motivated accreditation restoration! In whole or in part!

Joe the Politico

March 18th, 2009
7:12 pm

Look at the Demographics, according to School District Spokesperson the Clayton’s school system’s current data show the ethnic breakdown of the student population to be 77.54 percent black; 14.74 percent Hispanic; 4.36 percent Asian or Pacific Islander; 4.19 percent white; 2.75 percent multi-racial, and 0.09 percent American Indian or Alaska Native.
Why do we care so much about this school system? I know!! $$$$$$$$$

Slick Elrod

March 18th, 2009
7:31 pm

When is Sam King going to arrive? Rev. Bourbon called me this morning inviting me to a breakfast for Sam at the 138 IHOP on Saturday with the ministers at the Monthly Ministerial Meeting (MMM). Our guest speaker will be Bishop Buck Haralson. Rev. Seymour Butts and his wife Ophelia Butts are responsible for the program. Sam will be escorted to the restaurant by Bob Hartley and Victor Hill. We will be auctioning off some of the wardrobe that Thompson wore in his short tenure in Clayco. “Clayton County…A Graveyard for Superintendents” will be theme for the meeting. We have to have a good superintendent who will leave happily on his or her own after a prosperous and fulfilled term of service. The last ten superintendents (literally) have left under duress (or defeated when they used to be elected for the job). We deserve a decent superintendent, and that why Rev. Bourbon says that he is pushing for Dr. Sam King for the job. What’s going to happen to Julie Lewis? Glenn Brock will use every trick in the book to become the next school board attorney. Not.

Can'tBeForReal

March 18th, 2009
8:00 pm

Praise John Thompson must be Thompson praising himself, or his wife praising him. Name a school after him, that has to be a joke. Raised the morale of teachers, that must be another joke. Backed the teachers – which teachers. The joker has been fired. Let him take his $85,000 and go back to where he came from… bye bye.

RU4Real

March 18th, 2009
8:24 pm

Praise John Thompson, either you are just writing that nonsense to incite the bloggers or you are delusional. Maybe you are in fact John Thompson himself showing your delusions of grandeur. If that is the case, you got paid handsomely now go away.

raja

March 18th, 2009
11:19 pm

Praise John Thompson

You must Thompson momma.

raja

March 18th, 2009
11:20 pm

Praise John Thompson

You must be Thompson momma. Only his mother could so highly of him.

Jborodawg

March 19th, 2009
8:22 am

Slick….you are slick! LOL. I guess most are glad to see Mr Thompson go. On the other hand, we’re paying him for nothing now. Also, could his firing be considered “micro-manangement”? One of the reasons we lost accreditation. What’s to stop them from hiring another super, let him/her serve a year or two and fire em again? Do we need a strong super or a strong BOE?

Concerned Parent and Homeowner

March 19th, 2009
8:54 am

Joe the Politico,
What does the demographic breakdown have to do with “why we care”?

HLS

March 19th, 2009
9:47 am

If this is to be monitored – can we at least not see the juvenile comments from the likes of J. Trotter with the coments using names as Seymour Butts and Ophelia Butts – Is this guy not a grown man – or is this just his own little Fantasy Island.