When money runs out, line up the usual suspects: Arts, music, PE and counselors

Remember those warnings that next year will even be tougher for schools than this year? It appears they were accurate.

The drastic reductions in staffing and programs under consideration in metro area school systems reflect the ongoing fallout from a bad economy. Clayton was considering one of the region’s most extreme responses: Cutting its school year by 37 days and adding two hours to each day. Instead, the county will lay off more than 75  elementary school art, music, physical education teachers and counselors despite opposition from parents  — the lost positions represent half of the arts, fine arts and PE staffs.

“I don’t see a way of saving a five-day school week and arts and music at the same time,” said Clayton Superintendent Edmond Heatley.

About 600 Clayton parents showed up at a meeting this week, most to protest the elimination of the positions that they say are essential to provide children with a well-rounded education. The superintendent says aggressive action has to be taken to deal with a $49.2 million budget shortfall expected over the next two years.

As newly elected Georgia school chief John Barge has said at almost all his public appearances, educators have to do more with less.  His  take on the financial constraints — that tough times don’t have to dim opportunity — may not assuage the disappointed parents whose children will lose orchestra or art.

We can expect similar parent frustration as other systems begin their budget cutting.

According to the AJC:

  • Atlanta Public Schools is in the midst of early budget preparations and expects a shortfall next year, though no firm figure in available yet. Last year, APS finalized a $589 million budget that cut annual spending by $67 million. Austerity measures included bigger class sizes, involuntary furlough days and a system-wide pay freeze.
  • Fulton County school officials are expecting a “tough, challenging” budget process for fiscal 2012, said chief financial officer Robert Morales. Between reductions in proposed state budget and a 5 percent reduction in property tax revenues, Morales’ office projects a budget reduction of $43.4 million. Last August, the system approved its first tax increase in over five years to balance the 2010-11 budget.
  • Gwinnett County is anticipating a revenue shortfall of about $75 million, though a recommended budget won’t be finalized until late March. Anticipated cost-saving measures include cuts in school staffing allotments, continued hiring freeze at the district level and more division/operational cuts at the central office of at least 5 percent. No layoffs of full-time workers is anticipated.
  • Cobb County, the state’s second largest district, was originally expecting a $20 million to $35 million gap, but new estimates put the figure closer to $40 million to $50 million, district spokesman Jay Dillon said. The district is planning for a shorter 175-day school year, five employee furlough days and no salary increases. They don’t anticipate teaching positions will be cut. The district plans to present the board a draft budget in late April or early May.
  • Unlike other districts, DeKalb officials said they do not expect a shortfall due to deep cuts made in previous years. They also plan to cancel furlough days for some workers and cut back the number of furlough days for other workers.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

106 comments Add your comment

PatDowns

March 10th, 2011
2:57 am

So how do you propose the school systems make up for the shortfalls, Maureen? Raise taxes? Rework pension plans? Increase medical copays? Cut bloated mid/upper level paper pushing bureaucrats? Please, your opinion as the AJC’s “Get Schooled” expert blogger.

Tired Teacher

March 10th, 2011
5:43 am

Notice carefully that as more of the fine arts that are eliminated in our schools, the lower all of the other test scores go. It has been proven in reliable data that the study of fine arts enhance learning in the other disciplines. We need to educate our children and not merely train them.

ScienceTeacher671

March 10th, 2011
5:53 am

Yet I heard on the news yesterday that state tax revenues are up considerably over last year’s…

Tucker Guy

March 10th, 2011
6:05 am

@PatDowns, I live in Dekalb County and I can only speak to our school system, but we could cut the waste in the administration and balance the budget. (not really, but it seems like it)
Dekalb County is paying the legal fees for the former administrators who stole from the school system. That is the level of logic at which the school board is operating.
Just the other day the school board rejected a plan that would save over 15 million dollars a year for one that would save around 12 million.
I don’t understand why they think money is free to them, but the teachers have to suffer.

Elizabeth

March 10th, 2011
6:11 am

Teachers and students have had to “do more with less” since Sonny Perdue became governer. I don’t know how many more miracles I can perform. But I do know that, as Tired Teacher said, that art amd music do make a difference in test scores. And cutting counselors means that children who need help through difficult situations will have no resource. And I do mean that they will have no resource. I cannot take on the jobs of these people, particularly counselors. I am not trained for this nor do I have time. I am too busy teaching the test. And if Clayton County cuts art and music positions ( my niece teaches art in Clayton County), then media center services will be cut again because art and music teachers have been using their planning time to help shelve books in the media centers where parapros were cut last year. Media specialists at the elementary level teach classes every day. Will they be able to continue to do so now? It has also been demonstrated that schools with strong and active media centers also affect test scores.

I can’t do this kind of “more with less”. In times when the state had RESERVE FUNDS, PERDUE WAS STILL CUTTING EDUCATION TO FUND HIS PET PROJECTS. There is no more “more” for most teachers. Who will be the biggest losers? Students, of course. Not only now but when the economy picks up and teachers have other choices. Watch the exit numbers then. Many are already looking. I am one of them.

MS Man

March 10th, 2011
6:35 am

I think it is essential to talk about the metro districts differently than the rest of GA as well. I am stunned that a district like APS can have a budget of 589 million and serve 50,000 students and feel the pinch, but a district like Henry can serve 40,000 students and have a budget of less than 300 million. It would seem that APS is getting nearly 2x as much money to serve only 10,000 more kids. It is frustrating when districts across GA are struggling to get enough money to pay salaries for teachers, but then APS has this astonishingly huge amount of money and gets no results. It is these examples that make researchers say that more money doesn’t help schools get better performance. I know my school could use some money to buy copy paper, wax for the floors, and maybe a modern computer or two for kids to use. I would be really interested to see a chart from Maureen that put total annual budgets with number of students of served up for us. I know that the per pupil expenditure charts are supposed to show the same thing, but those are misleading. You may say that we spend about 7500 per child in GA on average, but the average is a misleading statistic. I would prefer to see the specifics of annual budgets and number of kids served and then compare. If the numbers are right, Henry must be doing something more fiscally responsible with its budget.

Kteacher

March 10th, 2011
6:42 am

Maureen-I always thought PE was a federal mandate. Is this not the case? We always joke that 2 things will always happen at school (elementary)-kids will go to PE and we will eat lunch!

Gunluvr

March 10th, 2011
6:43 am

Finally, the money shortages have hit home and reigning in and eliminating unnecessary school programs has started. If the parents are so upset with their children losing their art classes do what the rest of us do; pay a private tutor or go the route that most athletic programs have gone, pay to play; if it’s that important to you.

Sounds_Fishy

March 10th, 2011
6:43 am

“No layoffs of full-time workers is anticipated.” So says Gwinnett…but hundreds are “displaced.” Where are they going? Last year there were “no layoffs,” but teachers with good evaluations were non-renewed for “performance concerns.” No one could tell them what those concerns were, though. Too bad people believe what they read in the paper instead of digging around for the truth.

How Do they Do It

March 10th, 2011
6:51 am

Build numerous boat ramps around the state, fly helicopters from city to city, open the closed swimming pools, build a 4 lane highway to Reynolds plantation, build Atlantic Station . . . all the while draining education funds. Georgia is sure to remain on the bottom in education for ever.

Goal Digger, Ph.D

March 10th, 2011
6:53 am

““I don’t see a way of saving a five-day school week and arts and music at the same time,” said Clayton Superintendent Edmond Heatley.”

Cut some of the fat at the central office. Some of their salaries are equal to that of 2 or 3 teachers.

“No layoffs of full-time workers is anticipated.” So says Gwinnett…but hundreds are “displaced.” Where are they going?”

*Lightbulb*

Cherokee

March 10th, 2011
7:14 am

Art, music and PE are not core subjects, no matter how much we love them. Start a local co-op and get them done in an extracurricular setting.

jarvis

March 10th, 2011
7:16 am

That school system is a nightmare. I urge all parents to move out of Clayton County.

Dr NO

March 10th, 2011
7:16 am

Couselors and para-pros…absolutely. YEEAAAHHH!!!

Inman Park Boy

March 10th, 2011
7:37 am

If it is not the positions you mention, then it is regular classroom teachers, i.e., math, reading, science, etc. All classes are important, but some are more important than others. But there is a deeper problem, that being the insanely high cost of education now. Much of that is due, I believe, to unrealistic federal paperwork flowing from the useless “No Child Left Behind” laws and the armies of bureaucrats (local, state, federal) who have to be hired to keep up with it all. Simply nonesense!

JW

March 10th, 2011
7:38 am

Elizabeth’s comments at 6:11 are right on the mark. If I hear one more politician or bureaucrat tell teachers to “do more with less” I think I’ll scream and/or puke – especially as those same politicians increase their own staff numbers and staffs’ salaries.

Unfortunately, it is time for more than just the classroom teachers to make sacrifices when it comes to education cuts. There comes a time when folks need expect to “get less with less.” Maybe then parents and voters might wake up to what is really going on in Georgia (but that might just be overly optimistic).

Inman Park Boy

March 10th, 2011
7:39 am

By the way, I heard that the budget for the U. S. Department of Education for the next fiscal year is $69 BILLION! Do you think local school systems might use that money better, more wisely? Yep, me too.

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
7:43 am

here here cherokee! In much of the rest of the world, they focus on the core subjects in their schools, and school days are shorter than here. Yet, they are beating us. Hmmm…
They do math, science, social studies english. The parents (yes, I know) give them extra if they want.
So – um, we can’t teach math/reading at all – why do we need to focus on the arts? I would love it if they could keep it (my kid has orchestra in his school, it’s GREAT, but decatur schools don’t have music – yet they are supposedly pretty good). I would love for them to have arts, etc, but if they can’t read, what’s the point?
Of course, my solution would be to get rid of at least half the administrators who aren’t adding much of anything. I’ve been saying that for probably 10 years. Let the teachers teach, they don’t need city/county/state/AND federal rules to follow. They, um, have teaching credentials, let them teach. And, um, if you get rid of many administrators, you could probably pay the teachers MORE which is the right thing to do – and you could do it even in this economy.

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
7:49 am

Inman park boy: um, the federal govt should just get rid of the Dept of Ed. It doesn’t do anything good, and only makes us more dependent on the federal govt.

East Cobb Parent

March 10th, 2011
7:56 am

Do we really need all the area supervisors, counselors in ES and MS? . Cobb has a lot of Central Office Bloat. I would like to see that they start there when trying to balance the budget. Most of us knew the 20 – 35 million was not accurate. It will be another tough budget year. I only hope Cobb doesn’t follow last year’s poor example of not renewing contracts and losing some of the best teachers.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

March 10th, 2011
8:10 am

How often do public school systems bring in competent, disinterested, out-of-state organizations to perform comprehensive performance audits? How often are the results of such audits released to the media? How often are the recommendations of such audits implemented?

By the way, SACS does not qualify as a competent, disinterested, out-of-state organization. If you’ve been in some of the school systems it accredits, you understand why.

RJ

March 10th, 2011
8:11 am

Actuallly @atlmom, if a kid can learn to read music, they will definitely improve their reading and math skills. Also, you can’t compare us to other countries. I can assure you they don’t have the same issues we do.

Put the money where it should go

March 10th, 2011
8:11 am

So why are art and music extracurricular? These are two of the most thriving industries in the United States, even if we look at graphic art and media production. Simply shows you how this world is reduced to thinking of “skills” as being a paper pusher.

James Palmer in SE ATL

March 10th, 2011
8:16 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/04/arts/design/04stud.html

Interesting article that describes a 2000 study that concluded that arts education did not improve students’ overall performance (to paraphrase from the first paragraph). Yet, the study’s authors still make a very forceful argument that arts education should continue to be a priority–regardless of its supposed affect on student achievement in other areas.

I have to say that this is an argument I can agree with. Arts education DOES indeed have a benefit to students–irrespective of their performance in other areas. It promotes critical and creative thinking and encourages students to solve problems using a different part of their brain. To me, this is exactly the flip-side to the “teach-to-the-test” formula that so many schools seem to have adopted. And since critical thinking and creative problem-solving aren’t championed as a part of the “core” curriculum, students are left without a way to stretch those very important mental muscles.

Regarding the financial angle… Certainly the financial argument is persuasive and I can see the value in parents/communities creating co-ops for arts education as a supplement. Still, I worry about the message it sends to students who tend to be more creatively-inclined. Whenever students see schools cutting arts and music as a way to cut “waste,” what is the message being communicated. That placing value on the arts is “wasteful?” That because they might be more inclined to be artistic that those interests don’t have merit or value because the school has labeled them expendable?? It’s just troubling to me–especially when you consider that there might be some more “creative” ways to trim money from other areas (central office staff?) before people IMMEDIATELY look to cutting the arts.

DeKalb Educated

March 10th, 2011
8:18 am

If you look at many of the large urban school budgets, you will see a huge amount that could go to having a first class educational system. Yet, in DeKalb, money is wasted on “Coaches” and “PR” and way too many legal fees for corrupt employees. The past and current BOE has used the school system as a hiring program for family and friends. Many of the high paid staff do not even put a toe in a classroom and have no impact at all upon educational achievement of our students. In the land of obesity and diabetes, we could use PE everyday in our schools. ART, MUSIC, DRAMA – all enhance our children’s education and enjoyment of school. For many schools, the PTA will step in and raise money. We did that at my children’s schools for Spanish and French instruction. For schools with limited PTA funding and resources, that won’t happen and the gulf of inequity will grow. Then those without will complain of racism and elitism rather than go out and raise the funds. They will look to the BOE to rectify the situation. The BOE will not do the hard work and cut Central Office staff or legal fees to corrupt former employees and our children will once again (along with teachers) get the short end of the financial stick.

Call it like it is

March 10th, 2011
8:20 am

Sorry Art, Music, PE, while they may be nice and its great to have an understanding of them, there not going to get you a job. If your child has an interest in these things, then you will need to find the resources for them. In reference to counselors I never met one in highschool that gave me any kind of information that I couldnt have obtained myself. I dont want to see anybody get canned, but cuts have to be made.

If you really want to stir the pot, how about we go old school, people “save” for college or get a job and we put the HOPE money back into our schools. And let the flame wars begin.

momofboys

March 10th, 2011
8:40 am

My son’s class sizes jumped dramatically this year in APS. He went from 16 kids last year to 25 this year. His gifted class went from 9 last year to 20 this year. His teachers are beyond stretched. I hate to see what we will be facing next year.

A Conservative Voice

March 10th, 2011
8:41 am

•Unlike other districts, DeKalb officials said they do not expect a shortfall due to deep cuts made in previous years. They also plan to cancel furlough days for some workers and cut back the number of furlough days for other workers.

Yeah, right……If you believe this, George Strait has some Ocean Front Property in Arizona he’d like to sell you :)

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
8:46 am

@east cobb parent: Seriously! why is the first thing they do cut teachers or put them on furlough? CUT THE ADMINS. If you don’t see a student, you could be on the chopping block. The teachers are the ones who are actually with the kids…

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
8:52 am

@rj: oh, yes, I am aware. but we can’t teach math right…so maybe we need to go back to the basics.
Momofboys: I’ve been looking at some of this and from what I see, class size doesn’t seem to be that big of a factor.
I think a bigger factor is being able to get the worst kids OUT of the classroom – i.e., the ones who are disrupting everything so no one can learn…and I mean put them in a military style place, not just out on the streets. it has come to this and we need to take responsibility for doing it.

old school doc

March 10th, 2011
8:55 am

I agree that these are not core subjects, but I am still sad that they will be cut. Obesity will continue to be a huge issue (pardon the pun) as physical activity in the schools is not encouraged. I still wonder how we can afford to subsidize 50 mil/year to our state private schools under HB1133, and in the same breath ask public school teachers to yet again to do more with less. It is shameful.

Joy in Teaching

March 10th, 2011
8:59 am

@ momofboys You are actually complaining about your son being in a class of 20 students? And there was ony 9 in his class last year? I thought I had it easy with my smallest class only having 29.

Wow. Just….wow.

Metro Coach

March 10th, 2011
9:02 am

How about cutting foreign language? Our kids need to learn to speak English before they learn to speak French. Let them take foreign language classes in college. Yes, I know its a “requirement” for getting into college, but that can be dealt with as well. There’s no reason to force high school kids, who can’t speak or write proper English, to learn another language. Add that to the extra admins and the central office paper pushers, and you’ve really got some savings.

☺☻ Black & white smiley faces

March 10th, 2011
9:14 am

Art is not really necessary. It won’t prepare your kids for dealing with the real world, prepare them for college, or help them get a lucrative job.

It’s fun, I’m sure, but not a priority.

Lynn43

March 10th, 2011
9:22 am

Call it like it is, You are evidently not aware of the millions of people who have great jobs and make a fantastic living in the Arts. Yes, these studies will get you a job if that is where your talents lie. How interesting do you think movies would be without sound effects or music? Almost (maybe all) homes are decorated with some sort of art. It may be a reprint, but someone painted the original. What about photography? Think about newspapers with no pictures.

I could continue naming examples. I have had an incredible career as a musician whose flame for the Arts was fanned and nurtured in public schools. I have several college degrees in music, and, one more thing, my school system will not be losing Fine Arts or any other teachers. Why? Because I am the Chairman of the Board, and I love teachers and students whatever subject area they are in.

Teacher

March 10th, 2011
9:26 am

In the past two years, teachers have had to increase what they pay for healthcare and deductibles and co -pays are at an all time high. Class sizes are 35-40 in a high school. When we cut the arts and PE, we stop catering to an entire population of students. In the high school setting, arts programs or PE are some of the reasons that some students come to school and are successful. It is their hook to learning. Teachers where I teach have had to triple their after school duties and triple the time that they work them. So 2 3 hour duties have turned into 3 6 hour duties. We already have to do counseling duties because the counselors cannot. I do not know what the solution is but I can say that teachers are at a breaking point. I have seen several good teachers leave the profession because of all of this. I do not know how we can do more with less since we are at a breaking point as it is. PE and Art and Counselors are a necessary part of the school. There also have been studies that students who take 3 or more years of a foreign language score higher on both the verbal and mathematic portion of the SAT and ACT. When you cut these types of programs, you cut your test scores. There are subjects that help to develop certain part of our brain to make it more effective for learning Math and English. Art, Music, French, and Spanish can all help with this development. There has to be a better solution. I am as always perplexed as to how we can have so many people working at the district offices. It seems to me that that would be a good place to start to cut.

HS Math Teacher

March 10th, 2011
9:26 am

When school systems have cut deeply enough to consider letting PE & Art Teachers go, maybe it’s time to consider raising local taxes.

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
9:27 am

@metro coach: *sigh* unfortunately, you’re probably right, even if you might be being sarcastic. They start a language in my kid’s school in first grade, and he’s in third right now – so only 1/2 hour a day, four days per week, and he’s got an incredibly good grasp of the language. Learning when they are young is infinitely better than when they get older. Seriously – learning in college, they might never become fluent, but my son can speak spanish NOW.

Art is necessary, but when you can’t read or do simple arithmetic, well, something’s gotta give. My son uses art to help him deal with his feelings, and let me tell you, it is much preferable to him having a tantrum. He’s incredibly creative, and needs that outlet. Yes, at 5. I’m a huge advocate of art. but again, when our kids don’t know anything about history, perhaps they should spend more time on it.

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
9:31 am

teacher: how about getting rid of more than 1/2 the administrators. that would help y’all out and give you more money and then we could hire back more teachers.

What can we do?

March 10th, 2011
9:32 am

When will it be the time we take action?

Ed Johnson

March 10th, 2011
9:51 am

“Arts Education for Minority Children Drops”
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/03/09/23arts.h30.html

Just think of the degradation in what it means to be a human being that’s to come. Just think how especially “minority” children in APS will be further disconnected from their humanness. Already, some APS students know themselves as “urban” or “African American” rather than as human beings.

momofboys

March 10th, 2011
9:51 am

@ Joy in Teaching: I said his gifted class went from 9 to 20. His normal class jumped to 25. The larger number in the Challenge class has without a doubt affected the quality of the program this year. It has been very watered down and the teacher is stressed out. His 4th grade teacher is doing a beautiful job with the larger class size and I don’t think it has affected him at all in there.

A Conservative Voice

March 10th, 2011
10:05 am

@momofboys

March 10th, 2011
8:40 am
My son’s class sizes jumped dramatically this year in APS. He went from 16 kids last year to 25 this year. His gifted class went from 9 last year to 20 this year. His teachers are beyond stretched. I hate to see what we will be facing next year.

How in the world do you manage to cope with this situation, momofboys??? I bet you’re just pulling your hair out all the time……lady, you need to come back from la la land and face reality…..you’re living in a fantasy world…..I would suggest you see a professional

Metro Coach

March 10th, 2011
10:19 am

atlmom-I’m serious about everything I posted. I still fail to see why we teach our students, at any age, foreign languages. English might as well be foreign to most of them. They cannot, or will not, speak it or write it correctly. The number of admins needs to be cut, and most certainly the number of central office people, but so do foreign language departments. I’m all for keeping art, music, and pe, those are important outlets for many students, but foreign language should be a choice, not a requirement for graduation or for college entrance. Who gives a rip if a kid speaks fluent Russian if he can’t write an essay correctly in English, the language spoken in the country he in which he lives and works. I hate for teachers to lose their jobs, but foreign language needs to go.

atlmom

March 10th, 2011
10:27 am

@metro coach: I totally agree re: knowing english. No question about it. But knowing a foreign language is extremely important. Probably shouldn’t be a requirement for a high school degree, though. however, the colleges can require whatever they’d like. If you want to go there…you have to have them. Not much the high schools can do about it. In my house, growing up, I was required to take a foreign language. That was my parents requirement. I do think it really helps the kids (it is said to be like music in that it helps math skills…i sucked at foreign language, but I think it might have had to do with how it was taught, I don’t know – and I’m pretty good in math). I hated foreign language…and i didn’t take it my senior year since my parents didn’t force me to. But it is extremely helpful because these kids are going to need to know more languages in order to compete in this world. AND it’s easier to teach to children. AND they learn so much more than a foreign language – they learn about another culture, too.

Curious @ Edmond Heatley

March 10th, 2011
10:34 am

Isn’t this the same problem that Edmond Heatley had in Chino Valley, California? He was in a heap of mess over budgetary problems, right? Was trying to close lots of schools, right? Didn’t John Trotter and MACE warn the Clayton County Board of Education about Edmond Heatley but the board was determined to follow Glenn Brock’s recommendation on hiring him? Weren’t board members Alieka Anderson and Pam Adamson singing Heatley’s praises? I am curious.

It doesn’t appear that the people, parents, or teachers of Clayton County are happy campers now. Can’t we blame this on John Trotter, AJC? He warned the people in Atlanta about the systematic cheating and abject corruption in that system…way before the traditional media got involved. Same thing in the DeKalb School System, calling it a “gangsta school system” on TV…again, way before the traditional media got involved. He warned the different school boards in Clayton County about hiring Barbara Pulliam out of Minnesota, about hiring John Thompson from stints in Tulsa and Pittsburgh, and about hiring Edmond Heatley from Chino Valley, California. I guess he was right again. “He”? What do you mean? I’m not Bob Dole. I am John Trotter, and now you know the rest of the story. Ha!

Maureen Downey

March 10th, 2011
10:39 am

@Curious, Given what Dr. Heatley walked into and the high foreclosure rate and the collapse of the housing market in the county, I don’t think we can blame him for Clayton’s financial crisis.
The Times had a story about the wealthy enclave of Bronxville, N.Y., where the average annual property tax bill is $43,000. Even that millionaire’s haven is now struggling with school budget cuts.
Maureen

Hans and Franz

March 10th, 2011
10:58 am

PE should be the last thing that a school ever cuts out. Too many obese kiddies, too many girlie men that need to be pumped up.

Dr. John Trotter

March 10th, 2011
11:01 am

Oh, yes, by the way, I warned the Clayton Board of Education about hiring the late William (Bill) Chavis in 2003 as superintendent, but the board members would not listen to me…and yet I was supposed to be the Puppet Master or Svenghali at the time. I didn’t think that Dr. Chavis was capable of running the school system. He wasn’t. (I liked Dr. Chavis and he was a good man, but he just wasn’t cut out to be the superintendent, in my opinion.) We have to be fair. But, when that Clayton Board of Education hired Dr. Chavis, I was blamed immediately. Who was I for? Dr. Jim Williams, the classy Deputy Superintendent in DeKalb at the time. Did the DeKalb Board of Education choose him when Dr. Freeman retired? No, they chose a man by the name of Crawford Lewis. I met Dr. Lewis the very first day that he worked at the DeKalb Central Office. No comparison between him and Dr. Williams. Dr. Williams is a man of integrity and gravitas. Perhaps this is why the DeKalb County Board of Education did not want to hire him. He could not be manipulated…like Crawford Lewis apparently was able to be manipulated. ‘

Damn! I’m good at this stuff, right?! Maybe the school boards ought to call me and get my take on things after paying thousands and thousands of dollars to search firms (and Glenn Brock) to give them the latest “savior” like Edmond Heatley. Ha! Search firms have an incentive to unload one of its “finds” (from the Broad Foundation) to the naive school boards.

I hate to be right so much, but I suppose that it just comes with the territory. It’s part of my shtick, my public persona. I enjoy seeing school board members, educrats, and partisans getting so mad and irritated with me — even on this blog! I feel like Dusty Rhodes wrestling as a heel with Dick Murdoch as the Texas Outlaws back in the early 1970s! It’s nothing like watching a good bad guy work the audience. The marks work themselves up into a frenzy. Ha! Good morning, fellow reprobates!

RJ

March 10th, 2011
11:05 am

“Sorry Art, Music, PE, while they may be nice and its great to have an understanding of them, there not going to get you a job.”

@call it like it is, that is far from true. I have several friends that perform professionally as a career. I also have friends that are music therapists and engineers. But this isn’t about creating professional musicians, artists and athletes as much as it is about providing students with a well-rounded education. In the end, this generation of kids will suffer.