Here’s to peace on earth and on the blog — at least through the holidays

Folks, I hope everyone has a good holiday. The debate over the fate of Dr. Smith and Deerwood Academy has been lively, to say the least.

I have to agree with some posters here that no leader is ever beloved by every employee. I do not find it strange that Dr. Smith has both detractors and admirers.  That is to be expected in any school attempting new programs and ideas.

The only point that I want to address in Michael Smith’s letter is the notion that the AJC went after certain schools in its series of CRCT scores that didn’t add up.

Our investigative team produced its list of schools with improbable swings in CRCT scores based solely on data from the state.  There were schools throughout Georgia on the list. However, APS had the greatest number of schools. The Atlanta schools get most of the attention here because most of us on this blog live in metro Atlanta.

At this point, I think we need to await the findings of the outside experts hired by Dr. Hall to review APS scores. (I know that some of you are doubtful, but I am impressed with the two experts and don’t believe they have been co-opted by APS.) There is more to come from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement as well. I understand that some of  you are also skeptical of that agency, but nothing I have seen indicates to me that the office has a hit list of  schools. Again, I think that GOSA is only going where the data gaps lead it.

Rest over the holidays and let’s come back refreshed for the Legislature. I don’t expect too much meddling in schools this session as money is tight. But I think there will be the usual assortment of well-intended bills, most of which will not pass because they add stress to already over burdened school systems.

In the meantime, enjoy family, friends and time off, if you are lucky enough to have some. I will be back at my desk Monday morning after taking my teenager to get his wisdom teeth out. I will check the blog for spam over the weekend. (I just freed about 50 people.)

11 comments Add your comment

why closed?

December 24th, 2009
9:28 am

Maureen,
Could you let us know why the Husband of Dewood Principal blog was closed to comments while the other one was left open?
Happy Holidays!

catlady

December 24th, 2009
9:28 am

Best wishes to all the caring, thinking people who respond to this blog with their experiences, insights, predictions, observations, and thoughts.

I am afraid I don’t share your positive outlook on the legislature, Ms. Downey. I think they will do even more damage than they have over the last 5 years, conveniently blaming it on the “economy” when they shortchange the children of Georgia.

why closed?

December 24th, 2009
9:29 am

that’s Derwood-sorry for the typo

jim d

December 24th, 2009
9:31 am

Ms. Downey,

You certainly have demonstrated an ability to fire folks up on your blog. I, for one have certainly enjoyed the read. Keep up the good work and may you and yours have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

jim d

December 24th, 2009
9:38 am

why closed,

try a double E :)

Merry Christmas all

why closed?

December 24th, 2009
9:44 am

oops…Thanks…Jim D…
Can they put an edit feature on this blog?

jim d

December 24th, 2009
9:47 am

why closed,

they prolly could—but I like it this way—–much more entertaining!! ;)

Reality 2

December 24th, 2009
1:37 pm

I remember right before Maureen was to take over this blog. I think many of us will have to admit that she has proven us wrong.

Happy holidays, everyone. [Just in case, there are those who are upset about people using this phrase in stead of "merry Christmas," as far as I can tell, there are several holidays in these few weeks. So, why not offer best wishes for all of them.]

ScienceTeacher671

December 24th, 2009
4:54 pm

I’m with Catlady on the General Assembly – I’m not optimistic that they plan to do anything but further gut public education.

I do wish all here Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Maureen Downey

December 24th, 2009
10:59 pm

Why closed, I did not shut down comments. I was on the road for two days and could not monitor so it may well be that an editor above my pay grade made the call based on the nature of the comments. Reading over all comments, there seems to have been a great deal of calling out employees by name, even folks long gone from the school.
It seems folks strayed from the topic, which was whether the principal was rightfully held responsible in this case.
Maureen

Justice in ATL

December 26th, 2009
1:17 pm

The principal was rightfully held responsible in this case and I am interesting in knowing if Tabeeka Jordan the summer school principal will also be working with pay ($85,000.00) at the central kingdom with Dr. Hall pending her appeal or will she remiain in administrative hiding with pay.