CCPS policing itself a good thing!

While I wasn’t happy about school board member Jessie Goree (District 3) having to be censured by her colleagues, I was glad to see that action was taken so that Clayton County Public Schools doesn’t relapse.

As per the AJC, on May 12 Goree was said to have violated six board policies and a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools mandate that requires board members to respect the superintendent’s authority. Recently, our Board of Education voted 7-1 (with Michael King (District 4) casting the lone dissenting vote and Trinia Garrett (District 7) absent) to censure Goree because of her actions.

Before someone inevitably asks, no I do not believe that CCPS’s accreditation will be at risk because of this. Why should it be? The BOE seems to have handled its business on this matter relatively quickly, and that should be a good thing in the eyes of SACS and Clayton residents.

But I did appreciate Goree admitting wrongdoing and taking her licks (although no fine or punishment was administered), which will allow the system to move forward and not turn this into a side show that possibly could affect accreditation.

And while I sincerely hope and pray that, according to the resolution, e-mailed criminal allegations Goree made against Chairwoman Alieka Anderson (District 8 ) and policy violations allegations made against Superintendent Edmund Heatley are false, I also hope that whatever issues Goree had with those she verbally attacked will be worked out.

“SACS is watching us,” said BOE member Dr. Pam Adamson who is up for reelection in District 1. But technically we should ALL be watching and paying attention since our children’s education and property values are directly affected.

Did the BOE do the right thing by censuring Jessie Goree? Why or why not?

62 comments Add your comment

The board's job

June 25th, 2010
10:38 pm

Duties of the board

Hire/Evaluate a Superintendent-if they don’t hire someone who will address the discipline necessary for student success, then yes, the board is culpable for test scores

Set policy for school system-if the current and former teachers on the board, who know full well the importance of discipline, refuse to adopt even a single policy with real teeth to it, that provides a direct, tangible effect on holding principal’s accountable for supporting the teacher’s authority, then yes, the board is culpable for test scores

Maintain the budget-if the board supports a budget full of administrative bloat, which takes away resources from the classroom teacher, then yes, the board is culpable for test scores.

They hire the superintendent, they set the policy, and they maintain the budget, all essential elements in student success, and since student success happens more often than not despite the dysfunction of CCPS, and not because the function of CCPS, that falls on the board.

But since the citizens really don’t want any better-look who doesn’t even bother to show up to vote-the citizens are getting what’s coming to them.

I hope they are enjoying it

Political Spectator

June 26th, 2010
1:19 pm

@the board’s job: I am in agreement that the board can and should impact test scores by hiring and holding the SUPERINTENDENT accountable for test scores (Hire/evaluate the superintendent). I am in agreement that the board (not individual members) can set policy that includes accountability measures (set policy). I am in agreement that the school board can make better budgetary decisions regarding curriculum issues that will impact test scores(maintain a budget). And if that includes better decisions about positions at central office, I have no problem with that.

What I do not agree with is the blanket statement that the board needs to fix test scores. I believe this will encourage individual board members to interfere with the day to day operations of a school (as GOREE is inclined to do). The board needs to set out to impact test scores as a group through the PRIMARY FUNCTIONS of a school board: Hire/evaluate superintendent, set policy, maintain budget.

Have you attended or watch a board meeting online? I am embarrassed that the most VOCAL members of the board are inarticulate and unprepared for meetings.

They remind me of that old saying. “if you want to hide something from African Americans, put it in a book”. After attending several meetings, I left thinking if you want to hide something from Goree and Garrett, put it in the board packet.

THEY NEED TO READ the packet in its entirety before attending all board meetings.

One last thing, why is GOREE so defensive? Remember, this is not about personal agendas, this is about the children of the school system or it should be.

I have no ties to anyone. I am truly a political spectator. I call it like I see it!!!!!

Trotter admits BnB is right

June 26th, 2010
10:41 pm

I rest my case. Trotter.

Rest your case BnB

June 28th, 2010
12:03 pm

BnB, you rejected your chance to restore discipline to CCPS. You rejected your chance to restore accountability to the dysfunctional central office. You rejected your chance to stop the parade of out of town snake oil salesmen pretending to be saviors who will deliver a world class education to CCPS. You rejected it, and you got exactly what you wanted.

Now open up your wallet, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the world class school system you asked for.

BnB

June 28th, 2010
5:04 pm

The county did get what they said they wanted and needed. A good tough administrator who can make the tough decisiona – not a peacock (Thompson), not a wheeler-dealer (Pulliam), not a test-cheat- enabler (Duncan),not a BOE puppet (Chavez). We also got a complete new BOE who, (except for the occasional issues from, Michael King, Trinia Garrett, Jessie Goree), are doing their best in a very difficult situation. And I do thank the school system for my child who is now headed off to college.

Yes – discipline is still lacking, yes – more needs to be done. But until we can figure out how to make the parents suffer for the actions of their unruly kids, it won’t change. The school system is dealing with damaged goods, because of ineffective or non-existant parents. The system does not have the support of the parents and apathy rules the hearts of the parents of Clatyon students.

Tell us BnB

June 28th, 2010
5:35 pm

Yes BnB you got “the Marine”. Now that we have common agreement that too many parents don’t parent-even parents who do parent have to admit there are too many in Clayton who don’t, let’s ask this:

What has Heatley, or this board comprised of current and former teachers who know better, done to promote policies that would give teachers more authority in discipline, and hold school level administrators accountable for supporting teachers by enforcing these policies?

In a word, nothing. The tough talking “Marine” has done nothing to address it. The current and former teachers on the board, who have first hand experience in knowing how essential it is, have done nothing about it. And if they won’t address that, what they will address really doesn’t amount to squat, does it?

All they’ve done is create a facade of acting more “professional” which in the absence of dealing with the discipline problems in Clayton, has been about as effective as throwing a new coat of paint on a burning building.

BnB

June 29th, 2010
4:09 pm

Can you think of actions that could be taken that would not lead to lawsuits from these moronic parents who have no control of their kids? Or worst civil rights accusations. Can we really afford to kick out 20% of our kids – or fine or otherwise punish the parents? Cut out the middlemen and take these parents and kids to jail.

Please enlighten us with actions you feel could be taken at the school level. We wait with eager anticipation. Or are you just all talk? Nice to see you engaged again, tho it is the same old schpell.

Start with this BnB

June 30th, 2010
12:12 am

2 things BnB

Start with putting real teeth into a policy already on the books in Clayton.

If a teacher, in their professional judgment feels a student is disrupting class, that teacher has the right to remove that student for a period no shorter than the rest of that school day.

Now add some real teeth to it. If a school building administrator knowingly refuses the request of a teacher to remove a disruptive student, that school building administrator is to be suspended for one day without pay, and it is to be noted in their personnel file.

You don’t think that might quickly improve some learning conditions in Clayton BnB? Now you want to add a check and balance to it so teachers don’t abuse it, fine:

Every teacher is required to have a progressive discipline checklist and, in the absence of an immediate threat to the safety of students or staff, is required to have attempted at least three strategies before asking that a child be removed from class. There’s your accountability for the teacher to do THEIR job.

Next: If a student is suspended from school, that student cannot return to class until the parent comes to the school and the parent and student sign a behavior contract with specific consequences spelled out for misbehaviors. State law now requires employers to grant parents time off without penalty for school visits, so there is no excuse for not having this.

Now put some real teeth in it. If an administrator knowingly allows a student to come back from suspension, without a meeting with the parent, that administrator shall be suspended for a minimum of one day without pay.

Now if “the Marine” wants a real paradigm shift in Clayton, there’s a place he can start. And why would any good administrator object to it, if they were in fact doing their job?

BnB

June 30th, 2010
5:33 pm

Very good start. I defer to you on these ideas. They are definitely worth trying. If people don’t like it – Fulton, Henry, Fayette and Dekalb are just a few miles away. Gotta try something – what we are doing now doesn’t work. We can only cross our fingers and hope – the civil rights angels don’t descent upon us.

Well BnB?

June 30th, 2010
6:25 pm

You asked for it BnB. Real policies with real teeth to make a REAL difference in what happens in the classroom. Or are you just happy with the status quo of praising a board for following Robert’s Rules of Order, while ignoring the real problems in the classroom?

One more thing BnB

June 30th, 2010
10:45 pm

When I say “the board” has failed to act in such a way as to have REAL reform, I am saying that about ALL NINE of them.

BnB

July 1st, 2010
8:54 am

This BOE is still a hell-of-a-sight better than the last 2 in which you had influence in. Which at least makes them a few steps ahead of those boards, those boards that could not help but with their (me – me) attitude, the infighting and the cowtowing to the “outside influence”, led to the accreditation loss that our children did not deserve.

But I must say – worthy ideas can come from the darndest places, you.
God Bless you – and keep you busy, someplace other than Clayton.