DeKalb parents will get chance to quiz school chief finalist. They have lots of questions.

There will be a meet and greet with the DeKalb superintendent finalist on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. at the DeKalb administrative center at 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd, Tucker.

Here is her candidate file online.

Here is her pending contract, which lists the salary as $275,000. It  gives her $2,600 for monthly expenses. It allows her $750 for her car/gas/travel each month. It gives her $2,000 a month for temporary living/relocation costs during her initial six months on the job.

Here is an interesting provision considering that the past school chief awaits criminal trial:

With respect to criminal actions, whether they involve misdemeanor or felony charges, the BOARD may, but is not required to, reimburse the SUPERINTENDENT for some or all of her defense costs if the SUPERINTENDENT is acquitted or the charges are dropped.

Here are the details from the district:

The DeKalb County Board of Education is pleased to announce that the board’s finalist for superintendent, Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, will visit with parents, community members and others on Saturday, Aug. 27. Dr. Atkinson will share her vision for the school system and meet with parents, community leaders and other DCSS stakeholders.

“We’re pleased to introduce Dr. Atkinson to our community of parents and concerned citizens,” said Thomas Bowen, chairman of the DeKalb County School System. “It was Dr. Atkinson’s desire to come immediately to share her vision with our parents and citizens, but she is rightfully focused on the start of the school year in Lorain, Ohio, where she remains superintendent.”

Dr. Atkinson will give a brief overview of her vision for the school system and answer questions submitted by community members. “We are confident that once DeKalb residents get an opportunity to hear directly from her, our parents and community members will be impressed with her creative approaches to increasing academic performance,” said Bowen.

I had raised questions earlier this week about why DeKalb parents were concerned about the selection of Atkinson. Several sent me long, thoughtful e-mails explaining their concerns with the process and the selection.

Here are some of them:

I do not care that she is from a smaller district (she’s had experience in larger districts before Lorain); however, the fact that there is some evidence that more scores have gone down rather than up in her district is incredibly concerning. There may be excellent answers to these concerns, but if we do not get a chance to ask about them, then it seems as if something is being covered up. I am very open to hearing what some of these answers might be. She may truly be the best candidate, and I’m open to learning that.

And here is another:

We need change and we need it now. Not four years from now or 48 years from now if you consider that it took Dr. Atkinson 4 years merely to improve a district some 12 times smaller than our own in a single category. We cannot afford to hire someone who will maintain the status quo with regard to nepotism and cronyism. The only highlights I have heard or read about Dr. Atkinson’s career are that she brought in laptops and e-textbooks for grades 6 through 12 and that she built a controversial new high school in her Lorain district.

I saw that one of your readers who claimed to be from Lorain listed an interesting and compelling list of her accomplishments. And if those are true, Dr. Atkinson instantly becomes more appealing as a potential leader for DeKalb. However, if those accomplishments are true, why then, can’t the members of our Board of Education give us a single reason they want her as our new superintendent rather than accusing parents of racism and being unsupportive of our elected officials?

I and most of the other parents I know are very open-minded and we welcome dialogue about this issue with our elected officials. However, they refuse to engage with us in this discussion and that, I fear, is the most troubling sign of all that Dr. Atkinson, while I’m certain a very nice and sincere individual, is not up to the task at hand.

And this final one:

When we make inquiries as to Ms. Atkinson’s specific qualifications from the BOE’s perspective, members should be able to provide justification for their own support of the candidate. So far, I and parents that I know have been directed to a Lorain newspaper piece, the same one you published in your column, as a matter of fact. Did you know that the author of this article is listed as one of Ms. Atkinson’s references on her job application?

The very reason that many people doubt this candidate is because of where her support is coming from. The two board members who have written letters of opposition were the same two members who last Spring brought unethical behavior by other board members to light. They were subsequently publicly chastised by the board chair, Thomas Bowen while the members who were actually accused of acting unethically and leaking confidential information to the press about another candidate were not. So you see Ms. Downey, when those same unethical board members support a candidate and cannot provide even a basic rationale for why it is that they do when pressed about it, it causes parents to doubt the candidate. Then when Mr. McChesney & Ms. Jester speak out in opposition, it causes even more doubt. When we attempt to get more information about this candidate, such as her employment contract and other evidence that she is qualified and none is produced, it causes even more doubt.

In a perfect world, we as Dekalb taxpayers would trust our school board to back a highly qualified candidate for superintendent, but as you well know, Dekalb county is far from a perfect world. We have a board who has run amok. They have no ethics code and no accountability for behaving badly.They are completely out of control and do not feel that they owe their constituents anything. We have less than 10 days left to impact this decision. The board is forcing our hand. We have no choice if they refuse to cooperate with us and justify this recommendation than to oppose it.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

105 comments Add your comment

Ernest

August 18th, 2011
9:59 pm

Let’s see, her candidate file and contract are both online. A meet and greet has been scheduled. Items that residents expressed concern about are all available. It will be interesting to hear what the next objections will be.

Has there ever been a superintendent candidate in GA that has endured what Dr. Atkinson has gone through this early in the 14 day state mandated period?

Ethical Mirror on Community

August 18th, 2011
10:12 pm

The meeting should reflect upon the code of ethics and accountability
of the community to respectfully listen,question, and give input regarding
the direction of the DCSS. I hope all community members conduct
themselves in a respectful whether they support, or oppose the hiring
of the Dekalb superintendent finalist.

Ethical Mirror on Community

August 18th, 2011
10:13 pm

I hope all community members conduct
themselves in a respectful manner whether
they support, or oppose the hiring of the
Dekalb superintendent finalist.

Mandella1099

August 18th, 2011
10:32 pm

@Ethical Mirror – Would love to see it happen as well, at least to give her a chance and get DCSS restarted down the right road……but, I doubt it will happen…..

harold@Distractions in DSW Disguised

August 18th, 2011
10:39 pm

Enter your comments here

Dekalbite

August 18th, 2011
10:46 pm

I think that the opposition to Dr. Atkinson has more to do with opposition to and distrust of the DeKalb Board of Education than opposition to this candidate. They want a guarantee that she will “clean house”, bring accountability to upper management, and replace the decision makers who have proven so inept in DCSS. Dr. Atkinson may or may not do this. Only time will tell.

Flabberghasted4sure

August 18th, 2011
11:01 pm

@ Ernest: It is her candidate file that has people concerned. It raises many questions – some of which Jester and McChesney addressed – that no Board member supporting her is willing to address despite repeated requests. If they are proud of their selection, shouldn’t they be bragging on her accomplishments and giving us reasons to jump on board? Doesn’t their lack of public marketing feel a little strange? I can’t think of any business that would promote a new product this way.

Contract Link

August 18th, 2011
11:11 pm

suavez

August 18th, 2011
11:23 pm

She may be a fine candidate, but does anyone believe she would have been offered the job if she was non-black? Is she the best candidate for the job or is she the best black candidate for the job? Non-blacks need not apply in DCSS.

amazed

August 18th, 2011
11:54 pm

@Ernest
Well from the board itself before they even got to the 14 days:
Cox
Culver
Duron

Has there been a public so put upon by their school district board and administration ? (alright-maybe next door in Atlanta-but at least they could hire a superintendent).

Smoke Rise Mom

August 19th, 2011
12:13 am

Ernest, if you were on the board (and I wish you were), what would be your argument in support of Dr. Atkinson. Besides she’s personable and nice and gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, what facts or data lead you to believe she is our best choice? What do you make of the number of job changes she’s had? What kind of stability do you think she could offer us? What do you see that makes you believe she can improve student achievement? I’m asking because I truly value your opinion.

howdy1942

August 19th, 2011
12:16 am

It appears that Dr. Atkinson is really trying to find another job – she had interviewed in Cleveland, Ohio; Atlanta; and now Dekalb. Those are the ones that I know about. Is it possible that the folks in Ohio have told her to find a job? You’re right – I don’t trust this school board! Given the millions in legal fees they have racked up, not knowing about and/or not knowing about the activities of Dr. Lewis and Ms. Pope who have both been indicted, having led the district into serious straits with SACS, having embarrassed the county in the public media – why would anyone trust them?

We should follow the course of Atlanta – find a reputable, strong interim until we elect a seven-member board next year and then let them find a new candidate. This school board is hopelessly divided and inept. We can only hope that the people of Dekalb County we vote this bunch out next year and let’s start again. Of those on this Board, only Jester seems to have the least idea about what they are doing.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

August 19th, 2011
3:33 am

What are this controversy, the APS test-cheating scandal. and the Clayton County BOE fiasco doing to erode further the confidence of business and military leaders in the quality of public education provided children in Atlanta and the rest of Georgia?

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
6:23 am

Now we have the highest paid superintendent in the state, based on base salary…. And Hinojosa has lots more experience than Atkinson

Cobb County’s new superintendent Michael Hinojosa will earn a base salary of $237,000 and perks that exceed $28,000 annually, a pay cut for the Texas transplant but in line with what other metro Atlanta district chiefs earn.

● Fulton County’s Robert Avossa, who started last week, will collect $238,000 a year for three years, an $800-a-month car allowance, moving expenses, a housing allowance for six months and about $40,000 in retirement benefits.

● J. Alvin Wilbanks, who heads the state’s largest district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, is one of the region’s highest earners with a salary of about $272,249, not including perks.

● DeKalb County Schools interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson earns $240,000 along with $2,000 a month for expenses and $500 a month for transportation.

And Wilbanks has tons more experience than she does.

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
6:29 am

Ernest

I generally respect you but your inability to admit how bungled this process has been is just plain sad. Lets look at the number of meet and greets the new super for Cobb had before being finalized (Three)

http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/communications/news/2011/20110606_SuptApproved.aspx

And look at the quote from their Board chair

This is an exciting day for the Cobb County School District and we are thrilled to officially approve Dr. Hinojosa as the new superintendent of schools,” said Board Chair Alison Bartlett. “For the past two weeks he has met with the community on several occasions and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and that is obvious when you see him interact with parents, students and district employees. The Board believes it has found the right person to lead our already outstanding schools to even greater success, and we look forward to working with him to accomplish that goal.”

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
6:36 am

And let’s look at Fulton…
http://miltonga.blogspot.com/2011/04/meet-and-greet-opportunities-are.html

They had two meet and greets, but also he toured schools etc. Wonder if Atkinson has done this?

Us — We are having one and only because of those parents who you are upset about their behavior demanding one. And it is on the day the Board could officially take a vote.

This time next year — how many of the problem employees will still be with DeKalb. Because Atkinson can’t do this alone and our Board won’t let Tyson fire people, will they let Atkinson?

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
6:42 am

@Smoke Rise Mom, good question! The honest answer is I don’t know enough about Dr. Atkinson at this time simply based on her resume. All resumes highlight the accomplishments of a candidate, for any job. The Board has met with her and in my opinion, that is when you really get to know a candidate.

It does mean something that she was a finalist for two superintendent jobs this year. When you consider the likely number of candidates and scrutiny performed along with comparisons to the other candidates, that means something. Admittedly, that is not a hard measure.

She obviously was one of the initial applicants yet did not make the first cut of 3 finalists. It is possible she was in the next list of 3 to be considered. We don’t know because this was discussed in executive session.

I have to ‘trust’ our Board that she is the best candiate available that also has mutual interest in the job that can also get a majority vote from Board members. To speculate about candidates that were not presented as finalists serves no purpose, in my opinion. Dr. Atkinson will also fail if she is not given support and the opportunity to succeed by the Board and community.

I look forward to the meet and greet on Saturday, August 27th.

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
6:49 am

Write Your Board Members, I agree that the Board has bungled this process. They might agree that is true also. There should be a blueprint on how to handle introducing the finalist to the community during the 14 day period.

I will say with the exception of dissent, communication has flowed through Bowen, the Board chair. You see similar for Cobb in your post above. Does anyone know the final vote for their superintendent?

One can only speculate that given the hiring timeline that we understand from the media, Dr. Atkinson may have had some personal conflicts that prevented her from being her sooner. Nonetheless, community meeting expectations should have been set or discussed during the interview process.

Dunwoody Mom

August 19th, 2011
6:50 am

Ernest, you know much I respect you, but come on now. Parents in this district have begun to mobilize to demand a quality education for our children and now we are being criticized because we are starting to hold this board accountable? I’m disappointed.

Doris M

August 19th, 2011
6:51 am

Hey DeKalb, don’t follow in the footsteps of the DeSoto ISD down in Texas. You’ll soon be buying out the contract and looking for another superintendent. Heed the concerns of the community.

Cindy Lutenbacher

August 19th, 2011
7:01 am

Dr. Atkinson may be wonderful. It’s hard to tell.

Two things cause me immediate concern, and one has been noted, already. She’s changed jobs or location about every two years, with a stint or two of four years. As someone who has been at my institution for twenty-two years, I confess that I don’t understand such constant change.

My other concern is that her résumé and list of accomplishments speak to someone who seems to really buy the company line. For example, implementing “Success for All” is a terrible choice, in my opinion. SfA is a fine example of a make-money-off-tax-dollars scheme that is glitzy and boastful, but honors almost nothing of what we know about children, learning, literacy, and authentic assessment. Also, she’s a Broad-trained superintendent. Eli Broad and Bill Gates have proven themselves and their dollars to be true enemies of children.

So, I’m open to her possibility, but also skeptical about the directions she might find worthy for our kids.

Dunwoody Mom

August 19th, 2011
7:01 am

Dr. Atkinson will also fail if she is not given support and the opportunity to succeed by the Board and community.

My guess is those of us who do not support this hire will be the ones to step up and support her the most. It is our desire to see a turnaround in DCSS that will require us to make sure Dr. Atkinson does not fail.

IMO, many DCSS parents place a greater value on education than several board members.

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
7:05 am

Success for All is a big red flag, similar to America’s Choice. But Ms. Copelin-Woods is supporting her even though she is the one board member from S. DeKalb who consistently decries all these purchased programs.

Go figure — think she has looked at more than Dr. Atkinson’s picture?

Cindy Lutenbacher

August 19th, 2011
7:09 am

I know this is off topic a bit, but I always wonder what anyone does with a quarter-million dollars (or more) a year (plus expense allowances) if he/she is not supporting half a dozen college students, two elderly parents, and one or two special needs kids.

No, I’m not a communist, but I am sincere in these questions. Why do we accept such high salaries for public servants, when our schools are hurting so badly?

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
7:16 am

Dunwoody Mom, the respect for you is mutual! Dr. Atkinson should be vetted and scrutinized. I don’t disagree with that. My point is Maureen has offered 4 blogs on Dr. Atkinson since this announcement was made, one on the objections made that had over 200 posts. There have been over 800 posts on the AJC alone regarding this candidate, several posted by myself. We have many engaged citizens in DeKalb yet everyone should be able to acknowledge that we did not see the same level of discussions for the candidates in Cobb or Fulton. It does make one take a step back and wonder.

Dunwoody Mom

August 19th, 2011
7:20 am

Ernest, neither Cobb nor Fulton is in near the crisis mode DCSS finds itself in. As I said earlier, if this were a different time in DCSS, Dr. Atkinson may be a perfectly appropriate selection for the job. But, can we afford to “find out” if she is capable of going from a small school system with 1 high school to a school system with 22 high schools, most of which are struggling academically?

As I said, Dr. Atkinson will have my support, because there is no other option.

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
7:52 am

The Governor of New Jersey has talked about capping superintendent salaries. Atkinson was already making a really high salary for the number of students in Loraine.

Atlanta Media Guy

August 19th, 2011
7:52 am

Dunwoody Mom and Ernest, Awesome posts! I’m glad we have a meet and greet next Saturday. This process has been long and arduous for the stakeholders to watch. Except for the much expected racists comments of a few, the discussion has been spirited. I’ve also been told that Dr. Atkinson requested this meet and greet herself! Maybe she is reading our blogs and understands our frustrations. I certainly hope so.

I am going to give her a chance, however if we see the friends and family plan continue at our Palace, then we might find ourselves in this predicament 2 or 3 years from now. You know something is happening in DeKalb when Dunwoody Mom, Ernest and I agree with the vetting process of this candidate for Super.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
7:55 am

As Dunwoody Mom said, Fulton and Cobb can’t even be put in the same poor class as DeKalb. They are both in GA and both needed new superintendents and yet that is where the similarities end. It is worth noting that Fulton goes through superintendents like some women go through purses, but student achievement doesn’t suffer. That is probably because the people in the middle and the leaders in the school houses are all pretty high quality. DeKalb is SO NOT THERE.

I too will support Atkinson. For the children, I hope she can clean house and do what is necessary. If not, DeKalb, especially S. DeKalb, will continue to sink.

funny

August 19th, 2011
7:57 am

i think a more important topic is what happened to Dr. Barge and the math. during his campaign he wanted to do away with it and now Barge seems to be inline with the good ole boys and became a whipping boy of them. just when you think you vote and get a person elected for some real change and common sense solutions; they go off and stab you in the back

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
7:58 am

Dr. Atkinson will also have my support and I will do what I can to inform and mobilize those in my community to do the same. I can acknowledge that the level of parental and community engagement is not where is should be, for many of the schools in my community. Regardless of who is selected the superintendent, those challenges will still remain.

I did speak to someone yesterday that assured me that as Level 1 students are identified, small group sessions will be recommended with coaches. These coaches will provide direct instruction in the small group setting allowing the classroom teacher to work with Level 2 and Level 3 students. After school tutorials have also begun in several schools for Level 1 students. Usually this may not happen until October. There will also be checkpoints every 4 weeks regarding the progress of Level 1 students, so if different strategies are needed, they can be implemented. I see a concerted effort to address this area that needs the greatest amount of remediation.

Caring Mother

August 19th, 2011
8:00 am

An ounce of proactive action would have gone a long way here. My concerns for this candidate were born of the cryptic way that the board has handled this situation. DCSS is paying Cohn & Wolfe, a large PR firm here in Atlanta, $260,000 per year and have one in-house employee. If they’d consulted the PR agency, I feel certain they would have been advised not to announce the candidate at 11pm on a Fri. night, to have her credentials outlined clearly and accessibly, to share the criteria the board used to determine her qualifications and to have several meet & greet dates established at the time of announcement.

These small actions would not have put the parents of Dekalb so much on the defensive as the feeling that this candidate is being crammed down our throats. It likely would have allowed for the board to maintain a tight-lipped front, which seems to be what they agreed to do.

I’m very disappointed with the way they went about this, but not surprised at all.

Question

August 19th, 2011
8:27 am

“The Board has met with her and in my opinion, that is when you really get to know a candidate.” That’s right and two of them feel strongly that she is not the right person for the job.

“It does mean something that she was a finalist for two superintendent jobs this year.” I see your point. It also means that, in the end, these other systems did not think she was the right person for them.

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
8:33 am

At least one additional board member has just given up and is giving in. That is what I was told by this person. Dr. Walker is getting what he wants — based on his main criteria and I suspect his secondary criteria of being able to control the person.

Dunwoody Mom

August 19th, 2011
8:37 am

Will I be surprised come October if SACS puts DCSS on probation? No. Despite this hiring of Dr. Atkinson, the behavior of this board is as toxic and dysfunctional as APS.

Write Your Board Members

August 19th, 2011
8:39 am

You are right Dunwoody Mom, but for some reason Elgart turns a blind eye to the antics of DeKalb.

Cindy Lutenbacher

August 19th, 2011
8:45 am

I’m going to exit for a while, but I just want to say how very much I have appreciated this e-conversation, in no small measure because of the civility of the dialogue and the specificity of postings.

I confess to feeling ignorant about the “board’s behavior.” I can see some mistakes that the board has made in this whole hiring process, but I would like a lot more information about what others see in terms of the various actions of the board and its members. (With specifics, please.) Because today’s dialogue has been so calm and thoughtful, I would hope that such a conversation would maintain this ethos.

Maureen, does my question belong in a different day’s blog? Probably so.

Moving Fast - right out of here

August 19th, 2011
8:48 am

I agree with Maureen, it is really our distrust and total lack of faith with the DeKalb BOE for our scrutiny of this candidate. So much underhanded tactics to sink the other candidates has taken place. No punishment for the unethical behavior of board members. I wish we could have a total recall of the entire board, hire a super who could come in and clean out the mess at the Central Office. Our schools in DeKalb are hurting. The lawyers are making a killing off the mismanagement of DeKalb’s resources. Our teachers are not getting the support they need. Look at their pay and then the super’s pay and perks. If they do select this candidate, I hope everyone can get behind her and support her as she takes on a tough job. We have to support her if she is going to do the work that should be done – standing up to the board, cleaning house and raising academic standards.

Atlanta Media Guy

August 19th, 2011
9:00 am

Ernest, are the “coaches” you speak of certified teachers? I hear there are some coaches who do not have certification. I want teachers teaching our kids not coaches. If someone is uncomfortable using the term teacher at DCSS, then maybe we can call them a tutor? Coaches coach sports!

I know I’m caught in the semantics of it all. But at DCSS, teachers should teach! Tutors should tutor and coaches need to help our kids excel at athletics. Any title 1 coach of our Office of Improvement, who is not certified, should be given a chance to get certified, if their not certified within the year they should be let go.

Atlanta Media Guy

August 19th, 2011
9:04 am

Correction: In my last sentence I used “their” instead of “they’re”. My apologies to the English TEACHERS.

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
9:18 am

Atlanta Media Guy, as I understand those coaches are certified teachers. I’ll admit to getting confused during parts of that conversation. It was explained there are certain coaches that can only provide professional development to teachers. There are other coaches that can be used be a local principal to provide assistance in the classroom with small group settings. I don’t recall the designation for these coaches.

I did clarify that the after school tutorials are funded by Title 1. I recall a conversation a while back about the use of these funds and that prompted me to ask what role those funds played in the remediation efforts.

Citizen

August 19th, 2011
9:34 am

I think this is great that she is coming to speak. @ Ernest, I agree with what you have said. DCS has a lot of active parents in its system. This shows that Dr Atkinson may be up to the job ahead by proactively seeking a meet and greet before the final vote.

Dunwoody Mom

August 19th, 2011
9:40 am

Anyone have an idea who the “community members” are that get to ask the questions?

William Casey

August 19th, 2011
9:42 am

Has anyone considered that the “Board of Education” model of school governance itself may be an outmoded, antiquated method of leadership? The process of having a highly politicized “Board” choose a professional leader seems to me a throwback to the simpler school days of a hundred years ago. The fact that superintendents seldom remain in a job more than five years seems to indicate that the entire process is flawed. Even the best possible candidate would need five years to BEGIN changing the direction of a massive modern bureaucracy such as a suburban school system. This certainly isn’t a problem limited to DeKalb County. I watch the revolving door that is the superintendant’s position in Fulton County and simply shake my head in wonder. School leadership has become a bizarre “shell game” of failed slogans and panaceas that evaporate in the harsh environment that is modern public education.

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
9:44 am

Write Your Board Members, to the point of your post at 7:52, that is a situation worth following. To put things in perspective Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett are among the top 40 school districts in the country, each with over 90K+ students. We also have several 1-2 high school districts in the metro area. If you look at the salaries for the superintendents in the metro area, you will see they are relatively close. This despite wide disparities in the number of students in each of the school districts.

Should a superintendent’s salary factor in the number of students in the school district? Using simple math, we can see that if you look at ‘cost per student’ as a measure, the large school districts are getting a bargain when compared to smaller school districts. I realize you also have to consider the cost of living for that particular school district also. I’m throwing this out more for a discussion point than anything else.

Dekalb taxpayer

August 19th, 2011
10:04 am

She shouldn’t have any trouble finding an affordable house in Dekalb. The state of the school system has contributed, I believe, to the decrease in home prices in the county.

Lee

August 19th, 2011
10:07 am

Is Atkinson the right hire for Dekalb? Sorta like Pelosi and Obamacare (we’ll just have to pass it to see what’s in it), we really wont know until a couple of years down the road.

My guess? Given this lady’s past work history, as soon as the ink is dry on the contract, she will be shopping around for another school system that pays more. Her very action of signing a contract extention while looking for another job speaks volumes to her integrity.

Atlanta Media Guy

August 19th, 2011
10:12 am

Ernest, Great discussion points! You know this talk of salaries makes me chuckle. It was just 3-4 years ago, that our former Super was screaming for a raise. But as we all know, it would have been bad optics for the Super to be getting a raise, while teachers were giving up retirement promises made by DCSS. It was just weeks before the indictment came down that the BOE agreed to a salary increase. If you ask me, bad optics all around!

Salaries in all facets of education, all over the country, have risen exponentially over the past 2 years. All facets but one, TEACHERS! How about we start giving our teachers, what we promised them, first. Then we should give the teachers what they deserve, before we add another Palace dweller or any current Palace Dweller gets a raise. I’m just saying…….

Wally Ernest

August 19th, 2011
10:19 am

As a resident of Lorain, Ohio, I would be very glad to see Dr. Atkinson leave our school system. For the past six months, she has tried to leave but, failed to get hired . One was by the Cleveland, Ohio school system. She insisted that she wasn’t hunting for a new job and this circus wasn’t affecting her job performance. I would suggest that if one wants to learn more about her, read the local newspaper, The Morning Journal can be read in a limited fashion, on line. Another newspaper is the Chronical Tribune, located in the community next door to Lorain, Elyria, Ohio.
The general feeling is that Atkinson is a carpet bagger, that will leave any system for a raise. Yet, she claims that she has the children’s interest at mind. Yeah, right. Our wish here is , for the board here, to let her go now. Here it is a week before school starts and we don’t know if we are going to need a new superintendent or not. Let her go, and continue with the business of educating our kids.

DeKalb Mom

August 19th, 2011
10:24 am

Really, what this boils down to, is a PR failure. Had the DeKalb Board brought Dr. Atkinson in for a “meet and greet” prior to naming her Superintendent, rather than making an 11 p.m. announcement they thought would fly under the radar, this might not have happened. Parents might have had a chance to get to know her first and have embraced her and her enthusiasm as an educator and have then been willing to focus less on the few negative tidbits about her that we’ve been fed. Unfortunately, this Board is so corrupt and used to hiding their misdeeds that they feel the need to hide and mask everything they’re doing, and immediately get defensive when called out on it.

What they need, in addition to some ethics training and guidelines, is a strong PR person to teach them how to deal with the public in an honest and forthright manner.