Decision day for DeKalb: State board considers fate of school board Thursday

The state Board of Education will hold a hearing Thursday on the fate of the fractious DeKalb school board, which was the subject of a devastating critique by the district’s accreditation agency.

Last month, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accused DeKalb officials of engaging in bickering and nepotism while letting district finances collapse. SACS placed the district on probation. The probation could lead to full loss of accreditation if the many problems found by SACS in its six-month review are not corrected in one year.

But the school board may suffer more immediate repercussions from the probationary status.

Under a new state law, the state Board of Education can recommend that the governor suspend members of the DeKalb school board and appoint temporary replacements. The state board will hold its hearing at 1 p.m. in the Twin Towers in downtown Atlanta.

Historically, DeKalb has suffered from cronyism, nepotism and racial and economic divides. The current reality of fewer resources has exacerbated those divides, and some board members have exploited them to their own political advantage. The “friends and family” policy — in place long before the current administration came to power — has led to questionable hires and inflated titles.

The constant political gaming has created deep suspicions among the DeKalb parents who pay attention to the board. Those parents, well informed, data savvy and vocal, now question everything the board does or says. The parents do not trust the people running their schools. And the people running the schools have come to view those parents as adversaries rather than partners.

The SACS report outlines clear instances of school board meddling and poor governance. Anyone reading the report would believe that this is a system in decline rather than on the rise even though DeKalb can point to a few positive trends in its academic performance.

While the DeKalb school board doesn’t serve the citizens well, voters keep electing people who are not qualified to run the state’s third-largest district.

That said, I question the SACS stance, also reiterated in its reports on other districts, that school boards should  speak with a united voice on most issues. Board members have a right to question and a right to disagree.

Board decisions don’t have to be unanimous. However, those decisions, no matter the vote tallies, ought to be well reasoned and based on what’s best for the entire system. That is where DeKalb falls short.

Serving on a school board requires that elected officials sometimes put aside the desires of their  constituents, the people who live on their street and belong to their church, for the betterment of the system as a whole. That challenge is more pronounced in DeKalb where the county divides into north and south factions, each contending the other earns favored treatment and more resources.

Here are some of the most damning passages from the SACS report:

Evidence supported a finding that board members intimidate staff and attempt to direct the activities of staff members. There is a general feeling that many of the board members feel that principals within their respective voting districts are “their” principals, and they treat them as such. In addition to the previously cited example, one instance includes an employee leaving work crying and distraught after an explosive interaction with a board member

Interviews revealed that there have been instances where promotions have been given to individuals who are highly favored by a board member and not on the basis of merit or qualification. Instances have been cited where Human Resource policies and procedures, including salaries, have been implemented in an inconsistent manner leading to distrust and suspicion across the school system. Various forms of evidence confirmed that there is Board interference in hiring considerations.

One example includes an email dated August 24, 2012, from the board chair to the Superintendent containing the subject line: Candidate for TAPP Program. The email from the board chair to the Superintendent read in part, “This is the individual I referred to the program that I asked you about, with his strong background and personal demeanor I feel that he would be a great candidate to work with our kids in our schools while filling one of our critical needs areas. Please know that I have met this young man and he is the brother of one of our Board… I would appreciate any assistance that you could provide.” This email confirms and supports the common belief of many stakeholders that there exists a problem with nepotism and preferential treatment in the hiring practices of the DeKalb County School District.

Based on evidence from numerous interviews, several board members continue to make harassing calls and visits to schools. There was frequent mention of board members who make special requests of district office staff, bus drivers and teachers, making threats to fire them if they do not comply with their individual requests. It was reported that individual board members have made requests to place people in certain positions, hire who they insist should be hired or provide allowances for certain parents.

These interviewees used terms like fear, harassment, and intimidation to describe the behaviors of board members. In one interview, the individual stated that one board member threatened a teacher with getting him/her fired, quoting the board member as saying, “You don’t know who I am.” Those interviewed consistently expressed that board members have created a level of animosity, and that both teachers and principals operate in fear.

Interviewees described a feeling of hopelessness across the district that it is useless to bring issues to the Board and expect fairness and professionalism, when they witness behavior from board members who routinely exhibit unprofessionalism and unethical behavior.

Here is the AJC story on the SACS report:

Students in DeKalb County have to study using worn textbooks held together by glue. Meanwhile, school employees are getting promotions they haven’t earned because of who they know. Such allegations — contained in a damning report by a school accrediting agency — illustrate the dire state of DeKalb school finances coupled with the “extreme dysfunction” of the culture that created the situation.

In the 20-page document, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools threatened to strip the system’s accreditation a year from now, likely damaging the local economy as well as students. “The most important thing to me is the ineffectiveness of the board to govern the system, ” said Mark Elgart, president and chief executive of SACS’ Alpharetta-based parent company, AdvancED.

Should the district lose accreditation, it would be the first time that’s happened in metro Atlanta since Clayton County in 2008. Clayton was the first system to suffer such a severe sanction from SACS since Duval County, Fla., more than 40 years ago. It was a major blow for Clayton, with 3,200 students leaving the district, and surely exacerbated the effects of the economic recession. As many as 20,000 people moved out of the county, the unemployment rate rose and housing values plummeted.

Gov. Nathan Deal has authority under a new state law to remove the DeKalb school board if that’s what the state board recommends. The state board has 30 days from Monday’s release of the report to schedule a hearing on the matter. (That hearing is Thursday.)

The DeKalb system’s budget drew scrutiny in the SACS report. The system routinely has under-budgeted for expenses such as utilities and legal work over the past several years, contributing to its current deficit. (State education officials recently confirmed a $14.5 million deficit at the June close of the fiscal year.)

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

184 comments Add your comment

T

January 13th, 2013
10:37 am

My wife was a Dekalb county teacher in the early 90’s. This stuff was going on then. The Governor needs to shake up that corrupt organization and put the children’s needs first.

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:38 am

the only hope for the citizens and students of DeKalb is to completely nuke the current board, overhaul the criteria for qualifying and serving on the board, create and ENFORCE penalties concerning abuses of position, especially in regard to nepotism, cronyism, and blatant violation of the rules.

otherwise, same old same old

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:42 am

concerning the stupid emphasis on speaking in one voice:

horsepoop. the right, the need to be able to offer a dissenting opinion is vital to the health of any organization. SACS just wants all the noise to go away so no one looks behind the curtain at the mighty and powerful SACS

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:45 am

this sort of foolishness will continue to go on until the state creates a watchdog/advocate agency -with power- that joe sixpack can turn to when this crap occurs.

mountain man

January 13th, 2013
10:45 am

Get rid of them all!

Dunwoody Mom

January 13th, 2013
10:48 am

It’s sad and disheartning to hear that school officials consider parents “adversaries”. No, we are not “adversaries”, we are your employer. We are supposed to be your “partners” in the education of our children. But, we have been dismissed, threatened and ignored. Those days are over. The BOE and the Administration brought this on themselves. We will not rest until the way the DeKalb School district is run and managed has changed. Eugene Walker actually had the audacity to blame “disgruntled parents” for the current woes. This school system will not survive with his present BOE and administration.

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:50 am

note to Fran Millar

how about fixing your own damn house before inflicting yourself on the rest of the state?
based on the SACS report, you appear to be more of the problem than a solution.

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
10:50 am

Here’s the litmus test: If Nancy Jester is booted, Deal is more interested in making deals than he is having real integrity.

One read of Nancy Jester blog will bear that out…

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:52 am

@ dunwoody mom

1-great job in illustrating why we don’t trust parents
2-you are not our employers any more than you are the Falcons. get over yourself.

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:53 am

@ Beverly

did you really use the words Deal and integrity in the same sentence?

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
10:54 am

“Serving on a school board requires that elected officials sometimes put aside the desires of their constituents, the people who live on their street and belong to their church, for the betterment of the system as a whole”

@Maureen I hope that isn’t a veiled criticism of New Birth, and its leader Bishop Eddie Sandusky.

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
10:55 am

btw: the exact, and I mean exact same crap happens at GPC daily. the apple has not fallen far from the tree

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
10:55 am

Ooops…that should read Bishop Eddie Long. No idea where the name Sandusky came from.

Sincere apologies.

Eddie Hall

January 13th, 2013
10:56 am

It is this type of BOE that allowed the Charter amendment to pass. I believe in the people having a choice. We put requirements on specialized offices, Jane that should be considered in systems this large. At any rate, the Gov should take advantage here, appoint a good working board, and maybe the voters will learn something.

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
10:57 am

@bootney, those two words together in print do look rather foolish don’t they?

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
11:00 am

please keep in mind to date, this is EXACTLY the sort of system the citizens of DeKalb want. they went to great lengths to put it and keep it in place.

they want to be racially, economically, and socially divided, so they can get their hook ups, or get some sense of fulfillment because the crook from their district looks just like they do

so I have little sympathy for the “outraged parents” of DeKalb. this is what you wanted, worked for. and for decades have promoted and protected. like unprotected sex, stupid votes have consequences.

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
11:01 am

@ Beverly

freudian slip?

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
11:05 am

what’s really painful in this is that in the late 60s thru the mid 70s, DeKalb was the gold standard in Georgia. even in the poor/black areas. people who wanted their kids to have the best possible education moved to DeKalb from all over the state. people moving into Georgia moved to DeKalb for the same reason.

and look at it now

living in an outdated ed system

January 13th, 2013
11:05 am

I am pleased that we have enacted certain legislation to allow the Governor to intervene on failing schools. I would like to see this taken to the local level, where local mayors also have this power. This is part of a larger issue around school accountability and when intervention can happen. I would also include parent trigger legislation in this discussion. Unfortunately, the current soundbites from Lindsey indicate a miscalculation on the intent of such legislation. It is NOT supposed to be about the automatic explosion in charter schools. Read the CA legislation and you will see that it is about schools that are failing and that parents could petition for various OPTIONS, one which is a conversion to a charter school.

Should make for another spirited debate in the Capitol.

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
11:08 am

@ outdated

odd as this is to say, I completely agree

AnonMom

January 13th, 2013
11:10 am

“unified voice” only works well in small systems with no ‘variety’ — in a system like Dekalb — with issues across the board and students withe 180 degree ‘diversity’ on everything — from economics to ability to language, goals, family situations, etc. — “unified voice” is an insane goal — it it crazy – the board needs to be able to flush through all of the issues and agree on policies that make sense for the funds in place that benefit all of the 100,000 children with all of these vast variety of needs — the goal doesn’t fit the situation — this is insane! Further, there is nothing in what SACS does that requires or reviews forensic audits, budgets, tax returns (not required by the state or the feds even though the budgets are in the millions with tax payer money) — that looks to see that the budget is used as proposed for the actual benefit of the kids and as promised to the taxpayer… There is nothing to look and see that the salaries being paid are “consistent” with salaries paid in other “similarly situated districts; that “policies” are consistent (e.g. for “charitable” donations to various organizations or payroll deductions or for releasing open records requests….) with that that are done in similarly situated district in state or out of state or that what is being done with the money actually benefits the children — yet, taxpayers have been spending billions of dollars a year on the school system and re-elect pretty uneducated board members to continue with the charade. No one pays careful attention to the total picture and the state doesn’t come in to scrutinize what really happens with accreditation — which a system like DCSS has been paying over six figures for year after year for decades (to be accredited and for advice to maintain said accreditation). What’s there for the kids?

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
11:13 am

@bootney, turns out there’s a “New Life Church” in Sandusky, Ohio. My best guess (admittedly a guess) there may have been an news article on them that mentioned the town “Sandusky” hence the connection and confusion.

Apologies.

living in an outdated ed system

January 13th, 2013
11:32 am

@Bootney, I am smiling. Perhaps we are making progress at forging common ground :) That is a GOOD thing!

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
11:38 am

Want to really fix things? Why not a “trigger clause” for teachers to get rid of incompetent administrators?

No, no one believe that only 1% of teachers are “ineffective”, By the same token no one believes that 75% are either.

So if a full 75% of competent teachers (let’s protect the administrator by making it a high number, so the administrator isn’t cut off at the knees) feel an administrator is incompetent, why not a trigger clause in the best interest of the school?

bootney farnsworth

January 13th, 2013
12:20 pm

@ beverly

regardless if its a trigger clause as you suggest, or a official advocate as I suggest, the obvious thing is a desperate, crying need for an independent checks and balances system for Georgia government

if Nathan and red meat Fran will put one in place …..but that would require putting the state ahead of a political hobbyhorse

bu2

January 13th, 2013
12:21 pm

In fairness, 4 incumbents have been beaten in their last election and 1 chose not to run. 2 in at large districts, which are the most expensive to run in, defeated novice candidates with fewer credentials who didn’t run good campaigns (for example, Speak’s opponent apparently sent robo-calls to North Dekalb talking about how North Dekalb was taking resources from South Dekalb). So its really just Woods and Cunningham winning that really make the county look bad. For the most part, the most recent board members who have failed the district have been beaten.

Lee

January 13th, 2013
12:34 pm

“That said, I question the SACS stance, also reiterated in its reports on other districts, that school boards should speak with a united voice on most issues. Board members have a right to question and a right to disagree.”

There is a time and place for everything. Yes, board members have a right and a duty to question and disagree. They then have the right to vote yea or nay according to their wishes and the wishes of their constituants. AFTER the vote is taken, they THEN should support the decision of the board.

I think that is what gets a lot of individual board members in trouble, they dissented and were on the short end of the vote. They then harbor resentment and try to undermine the decision at every opportunity.

Dunwoody Mom

January 13th, 2013
12:35 pm

And 2 of the new board members have for years been right smack in the middle of what is wrong with the current way the DeKalb school system is run.

Dunwoody Mom

January 13th, 2013
12:36 pm

And one of the new board members and his “community” are responsible for Eugene Walker be elected to the BOE. So, no, this new BOE is the same as the old board.

Concernedmom30329

January 13th, 2013
1:06 pm

bu2

Speaks’ opponent was bad news — hand picked by Walker etc to try and get rid of Speaks. Her robocalls and mailers weren’t bad strategy — they reflected how she believed. Do you think DCSS would have been better off if she had been elected?

Understand that DCSS has constantly had new board members. This isn’t Gwinnett were the Board Members serve forever. The problem is the culture of DeKalb County. We need strong board members who can resist the pull to serve only their constituents. We also need parents who understand there is a big picture and the system cannot continue to serve only a small portion of its students well at the expense of others.

A good example is that in healthy school systems with strong boards, a board member can understand that some of his/her constituents might not like a redistricting plan but still understand that it needs to happen and be able to convey that to the voters. We don’t have that, and I am not convinced that McMahan or Orson will be willing to stand up to their constituents and say, “hey Livsey needs to close” or “IB is too expensive and needs to change.” Can you see either of them doing this?

catlady

January 13th, 2013
1:11 pm

bootney, your 10:42 is EXACTLY correct! Just send in your money, folks!

Concernedmom30329

January 13th, 2013
1:15 pm

I also want to add that Donna Edler is no jewel. She consistently votes in questionable manners and she supported the hiring of an under qualified superintendent. She is unlikely to punch a reporter, so that makes her better than Zepora Roberts was plus I don’t think Edler has any family members working for the system — score another one.
However, during the budget process she expressed much more concerns about adults losing their jobs and parents losing transportation for choice programs than she did about the overall impact of budget cuts on students and teachers.

crankee-yankee

January 13th, 2013
1:31 pm

bootney farnsworth
January 13th, 2013
10:42 am

You are absolutely correct in your assertion dissenting voices must be heard but I have a differing read on how to interpret the “one voice” comment from SACS. I believe what they are saying is that any dissenting arguments should be worked out by the board in session, ALL voices should be heard during board meetings, but board members should not be using the media to advance their agenda. Once a board member speaks out to the media, they should be representing the board consensus. If the board cannot reach consensus, that unfortunately underscores the problems that seem to be prevalent in some of our counties.

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
1:57 pm

“I believe what they are saying is that any dissenting arguments should be worked out by the board in session”

If that’s true crankee, why did, according to this very paper (correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) Markie Mark Elgart met in private with an Atlanta Public Schools board chair and try, along with Kasim Reed to strong arm him into resigning his position in order to give the chair back to the board member shown by this very paper (correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) to have actively conspired with Beverly Hall to cover up evidence of cheating?

“Once a board member speaks out to the media, they should be representing the board consensus”

Really crankee? If 8 board members back in 2001 decided to ignore the AJC’s Paul Donsky’s groundbreaking report on cheating in Atlanta, Jean Dodd the only board member with actual teaching experience who knew cheating was the only legitimate way to explain Donsky’s work, should have stayed silent, because 8 others were willing to go along with the “bidness” community’s preferred narrative?

Really?.

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
1:59 pm

Can we please stop pretending that, just because DCSS in FUBAR SACS is a white knight in shining armor that has only the best interests of students in mind?

ron

January 13th, 2013
2:28 pm

Most corrupt board and the state’s worst schools as far as disciplinary in the southeast portion of Dekalb County.Too many administrators with assistant principalship positions need to be reviewed by the state board of education.Eliminating a significant number of these positions will save the county millions yearly. The state board need to investigate the nepotism and the purchasing of books written by staff/administrators.

Tucker Guy

January 13th, 2013
2:28 pm

The SACS report only looked at the BOE. Does SACS also examine administrations?

There are millions of dollars that can not be accounted for and the BOE does NOT spend money.

The issues with Dekalb County Schools are multifaceted. The BOE is dysfunctional and needs to be replaced. The administration is also dysfunctional and needs to be replaced. Dr. Atkinson and all of the people she brought into the system need to leave it ASAP. Also needing to leave is Ramona Tyson and any high level people left from the Crawford Lewis cabal. Central palace salaries need to be severely cut to reflect the current financial realities.

DCSD needs to implement an accrual accounting system with an on-line check registrar so everyone can see where the money is being spent. Administrators need to start following policy regarding purchases.

With all the money saved all the school house employees should be given a raise. They are the ones who work with our children.

Beverly Fraud

January 13th, 2013
2:55 pm

To put it in football terms, if SACS were to “investigate” the NFL for covering up what the knew about concussions, they’d threaten to pull the NFL’s accrediation…if the NFL didn’t take steps to make sure each team’s shoelaces were uniform in length.

And once the NFL did that they would give the NFL a “good governance” award and thereby absolving them of any responsibility for the concussion issue.

And speaking of football, the new blog formats on the sports pages could not possibly be anymore visually unappealing.

crankee-yankee

January 13th, 2013
3:02 pm

Beverly Fraud
January 13th, 2013
1:57 pm

To your first question, not a clue, I wasn’t there.

To your second question, yes, really.

A properly functioning board meets in public session while the media reports on the goings on. Dissension is aired in the public board session (only exception being when employment is being discussed), the public is then informed of the meeting by the media and has an opportunity to weigh in. Maybe that is pie-in-the-sky but it is the gold standard. What you speak of in reference to Jean Dodd was NOT a matter of board concensus. The very fact that Jean Dodd did NOT agree with the way the board was handling/accepting what was happening proves concensus had not been reached. Dodd was stuck between a rock & a hard place with how to handle it, a perfect example of a dysfunctional board which is NOT what I am describing. If we read between the lines, SACS is outlining how a board should function in its dealings with the media. If only the principals will heed it. Do I think SACS is the end-all authority? No.
But do I believe they are trying to point out the problems so grossly apparent in highly dysfunctional boards? I think so.

indigo

January 13th, 2013
3:14 pm

DeKalb county’s school situation is a real mess.

Unfortunately, it seems the majority of Georgia’s voters will elect any old nitwit to office, providing they are Republican.

So, look for more of he same for the foreseeable future.

crankee-yankee

January 13th, 2013
3:15 pm

indigo
January 13th, 2013
3:14 pm

Hear, hear.

Im Just Saying

January 13th, 2013
3:41 pm

Beverly Fraud, the corruption of the Dekalb county school system has nothing to do with new birth or Bishop Long. Your comments demeaning and frivolous. You really need to do your homework before making silly accusations and slip ups. The real issue at hand is getting the DBOE back on track and back to the business of serving our children.

The Deal

January 13th, 2013
3:49 pm

I don’t think this is the board that DeKalb wants at all. I think it’s the board that SOME of DeKalb wants. I am tired of churning through board members where we care and still being stuck with a majority of idiots in the other areas. I am furious that me, my children, and my tax dollars are held hostage by a system that is too large, too corrupt, and there is nothing I can do about it except turn over my one board member.

Private Citizen

January 13th, 2013
3:52 pm

in the late 60s thru the mid 70s, DeKalb was the gold standard in Georgia :-)

RCB

January 13th, 2013
3:55 pm

Georgia overall may vote Republican, but Dekalb has been run by Democrats for 40 years. Good luck with changing that, unless you’re going to split the county in two. A full 64% of my property tax is for education, and look what we get. The admins don’t need more money, they need ethics and integrity. Some of them could use a refresher course on the English language, too.

Moderation

January 13th, 2013
4:03 pm

@ crankee-yankee

I think that your interpretation of what SACS was stating might have merit, but
SACS can’t complain about the abuse of media attention and lack of unity in
board positions publicly, when they repeatedly respond to charges brought by
people that disagree with the direction of school boards.

I find it troubling that the will of voters can be discarded with appointments from
the governor,without mandating a recall election.It is not appropriate to have a
state system of elected officials for school boards only to circumvent that system
in isolated counties. If the state of Georgia has demonstrated proof that Dekalb is
not functioning within state guidelines, it should appoint an auditor to run the schools
until the next election takes place. I have noticed a disturbing trend of people using
SACS to push through their agendas on school boards where their positions were not
the prevailing positions adopted.

Moderation

January 13th, 2013
4:05 pm

Sorry for the format of the previous post.

Pete Moss

January 13th, 2013
4:24 pm

I am a classified employee (para-professional) in the system and am proud of my work along with the effort of most of my colleagues. It is important to note that the problems in our system are not rooted in the rank-and-file workers but in the overpaid, and in some instances, under-qualified, administrators and school board. There are so many things that are skewed but one of the major issues rarely gets any mention from the board or the media. The discrepency in pay for those of us who instruct and assist our students everyday is ridiculous. The fact that campus supervsors, many with little to no college training, make 10 to 15 thousand dollars more than us demonstrates the misplaced priorities of DCSD. It seems that many of these individuals were hired through the so called “friends and family” program and are typical of the mismanagement that have dominated the system for years. Additionally, the socio-economic and racial divides that SACS mentions only addas to the mess. Those calling for splitting the system up or seeking a charter designation only aggravate the problesm we face. The fact that adults can’t be mature and dedicate theselves to the well-being of our children should not be wielded as a sword over everyone’s head.

LOGIC

January 13th, 2013
4:41 pm

An almost $1B budget and 98K students warrants SOME expertise. Shame on the Administration, SACS, the State Dept of Ed and this ridiculous school board for allowing us to get in this mess. First, this entire board needs to go. PERIOD. Jester’s lobbying to save her own hide is not disguising her greater ambitions. Walker would like to hide behind state auditors because one of his dear friends lost his CFO job for being completely inept. Cunningham and Wood are elected because they do care about the kids, but have no earthly clue what to do about helping them out. Now, we have a member of CLew’s old guard, Melvin Johnson, who is directly connected to New Birth. After the governor suspends the Board, he needs to clean house at the Palace and gut the Central Office. Our administrative costs are ridiculous and unfounded. Atkinson shuffled the deck chairs after the audit and just moved people around. Administrators became principals without salary decreases?? That is not saving money in case anyone was wondering. We need to get to a place where the schools are run with a commitment, a budget and with leadership. Seeing that Atkinson has been on the job for a little over a year and has already had to hire legal counsel to represent her shows we have more of the same and that she needs to go.

Yes, Dr. Walker, DeKalb Parents are the adversaries because this county has smart, self-made and well-educated residents who know crap when they see it and really resent paying for it. We are done watching you and your cohorts drive the poorest schools into deeper ditches and ruining the communities and taking away the educational rights of children.

All I can say is “GAME ON” – there are parents, community members and business owners who are tired of watching a group of 9 corrupt and self-serving individuals hold the county hostage because they can. Time for all of you to leave and we know that none of you have enough class to do the right thing and leave on your own.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

January 13th, 2013
4:45 pm

Beverly-I don’t know if you ever read this post on the Standards for Teaching and Learning and how President Obama has said several times that they are the real Common Core. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/

These standards, which include Whole Language and constructivist math are what APS was piloting. The poor results that led to the cheating scandal are what happens when you implement these classroom practices without changing how you measure what is to constitute student “learning” and “achievement.” Neither means what most people think. What happened in APS got covered up for so long precisely because these Standards for Teaching and Learning were being nationalized. No one wanted Hall to get in trouble because she was in fact doing precisely what SACS wanted. Piloting those standards.

Remember SACS is a sub of AdvancED. Another sub is North Central in Chicago. It was the accreditor when those standards were created and piloted. They are its baby too so to speak. Dekalb has simply become too criminal in its operations for SACS to overlook its conflicts. But by and large if a school district is pursuing Dewey’s vision for transforming SACS ignores the remaining sins.

Conflicts of interest is what education uses to ensure few at the administrative level can get better compensation or terms in any other profession.

Connecticut is another state that has limited to hiring and firing super and overview of financials what the school board can do. There is thus virtually no oversight of most administrators or the accreditors as they all live well off of tax revenue.