And another one bites the dust. (And strikes gold.) Macon school chief out the door with hefty settlement.

Are Georgia school systems hiring the wrong leaders or are bad school boards driving out good people?

We’ve  seen a lot of school chief turnover of late, with DeKalb leading the pack.

And now the Bibb County school board voted 7-1 Monday to part ways with its controversial Superintendent Romain Dallemand.

The Macon Telegraph reports that the school system will pay Dallemand $350,000 to leave three years ahead of schedule.

Dallemand introduced the Macon Miracle, an ambitious plan to turn around the schools with a little bit of every sort of reform including Chinese. He has been a polarizing figure in Macon since he was hired in December, 2010.

According to the Telegraph story announcing his departure: (Please read the full news story before commenting.)

Talk of a possible buyout had rumbled for weeks. Last month, sources told The Telegraph that Dallemand approached board members in a closed session on Jan. 17 about a buyout, saying he thought it was time for him to leave the system.

Later, however, Dallemand told local media he planned to finish out the terms of his three-year contract, which was to end in December 2015.

Monday night, Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart said the school board now needs to move forward.

“I thought (Dallemand) came with a great idea, but he had to have the support of the board,” Hart said.

Since he took the helm of Bibb schools in February 2011, Dallemand introduced major changes across the 24,000-student system, often stirring controversy. His Macon Miracle plan, aimed at improving student achievement through sweeping changes such as Mandarin Chinese instruction for students and an extended learning day, passed in a 5-3 vote last March, but not before public outcry. The system’s expenses on new furniture, as well as the costs of Dallemand’s travel, also have drawn criticism.

The Dallemand administration also has drawn scrutiny over how it’s handled the state’s open records and meeting laws. A complaint from The Telegraph to the state Attorney General’s Office about open record requests prompted a visit from the office’s senior assistant attorney general in May.

Others have criticized him for not being transparent with the board and not putting enough of an emphasis on student safety and discipline.

Dallemand’s buyout is not the first time in recent years the Bibb County school board bought out the superintendent’s contract. The board approved a $198,000 lump-sum settlement with former Superintendent Sharon Patterson in February 2010.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2013/02/25/2370980/bibb-county-school-board-votes.html#storylink=cpy

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2013/02/25/2370980/bibb-county-school-board-votes.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2013/02/25/2370980/bibb-county-school-board-votes.html#storylink=cpy

44 comments Add your comment

living in an outdated ed system

February 26th, 2013
2:11 pm

yet another example of the sad state of public education in Georgia. When will everyone realize that Superintendents need to be more than educators – they need to be leaders!!

Macon is Next

February 26th, 2013
2:34 pm

The reason for the one dissenting vote was due to the fact that there are several pending lawsuits against Dallemand. The last BOE where Dallemand had a 5-3 majority, rushed through a contract renewal just before they left office. The new BOE with only a 4-4 split would have never agreed to renew his contract. He signed that renewal with full knowledge that he would be leaving in a few months. It was a departing gift from the former board and a $350,000 slap in the face to the Bibb county taxpayers, This man has been a disaster and will end up costing us around $30 million to pay for his programs. He never had any intention of staying longer than he did and pulled the same stunt in Rochester,MN before. His M.O. is to come into town, take them for all the money he can get, promise grandiose visions and miracles, then leave with his pockets full of cash and leave destruction and devastation in his wake. We still need to rid ourselves of the 4 idiot BOE members that supported this madman as well as try and undo much of the debt and devastation he caused in his two short years here.

Beverly Fraud

February 26th, 2013
2:45 pm

Are Georgia school systems hiring the wrong leaders or are bad school boards driving out good people?

Good people? HA HA HA HA HA HA. (Since Maureen is serving up a batting practice fastball, I’ll be glad to knock it out of the park)

-We should lament the loss of a guy who thought it was a good idea to spend $5000 on his own desk? (In his last system)

He joins a long line of morally reprehensible reptilian like creatures superintendents who had marginal at best results including:
-Beverly Hall? Need we say more?
-Crawford “Candy @ss” Lewis? Ok “Candy@ss” comes from Dr. Trotter, but one guesses he’d prefer Candy@ss to the (possibly) soon to be nicknamed “Convicted Felon”
-Barbara Pulliam? Of ClayCo, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on “positions” in ClayCo that she couldn’t even provide job descriptions for?
-Edmund “the Sarge” Heatley? Who spent $40k to track down a rumor?
-Cheryl Atkinson? “I love the smell of incompetence in the morning; it smells like…Victory! Victory in Every Classroom”

Need we continue, or should we just put this particular post to bed and hope it doesn’t cause yet another educational nightmare?

catlady

February 26th, 2013
2:53 pm

We need to put an end to these golden parachutes. Shoot them out of the sky!

Shrek

February 26th, 2013
2:55 pm

Tiring. At least MD makes a living off this madness.

TheGoldenRam

February 26th, 2013
2:59 pm

What a shame. Just imagine how many poor, minority students could have been taught Mandarin Chinese for $350,000.

mathmom

February 26th, 2013
3:01 pm

The credentials that are required for a superintendent’s position restrict the pool of candidates. Those credentials do not actually ensure that the candidates are qualified in any way to make sound educational policy decisions, sound financial decisions, or any other kind of intelligent choices in their work. Those credentials do, however, ensure that the candidates know all of the right buzzwords to use. There are undoubtedly dozens of very good superintendents in the state and more than a handful of excellent school superintendents – and I’m sure they are appalled when these stories emerge. The problem seems to be that in some school districts, the BOE members who hire the superintendents do not really know what they are doing and fall under the spell of whichever candidate can spin the best yarn. I personally filed an ethics complaint against a superintendent who lied (during public meetings and to the news reporters) about everything he had ever done, but the ethics committee of the Professional Standards Commission said their hands were tied because he did not actually lie on his application. Eventually, the man was found out and fired, getting one of those hefty severence packages…don’t know who his next victims were.

mathmom

February 26th, 2013
3:03 pm

sorry – severance

Cindy Loyd

February 26th, 2013
3:05 pm

It will take years to recover from the damage of Dallemand. Many of our best teachers and principals were run off by him and his henchmen. Not to mention our best and brightest students. It’s a shame this was allowed to happen so pockets could be lined. Surely the next place that interviews him will not be so easily bamboozled as our BOE5. A federal investigation should have already begun on all those involved in the Macon Debacle.

Mountain Man

February 26th, 2013
3:17 pm

He was an idiot. Hey, Dallemand, before you try to teach students Chinese, make sure they are able to speak ENGLISH (properly). Then maybe address getting students to actually come to school.

Mountain Man

February 26th, 2013
3:21 pm

But the most important question is: What race is Dallemand? Was he hired solely based on skin color?

Macon is Next

February 26th, 2013
3:30 pm

Dallemand the deceiver also lied on his résumé. He claimed he was a licensed therapist when in fact he never was. He also lied about many of his other accomplishments which is now in litigation. His academic credentials such that they were were from online universities like Argosy which aren’t worth the paper they are printed on and the BOE had to ask for a waiver from the state. This man was all smoke and mirrors. His biggest legacy will be the $30 million he committed to a Promise Neighborhood boondoggle where an old school was sold for $220,000 then leased back for $5M a year over 10 years. Not counting a $300,000 audit of the BOE emails of members that dared vote against him. Another $9 million for an unneeded new induction lighting. We will be paying for this man’s foibles for decades to come. His December contract was about to be invalidated in yet another lawsuit which begs the question why such a generous golden parachute?

Truth in Moderation

February 26th, 2013
3:44 pm

“He never had any intention of staying longer than he did and pulled the same stunt in Rochester,MN before. His M.O. is to come into town, take them for all the money he can get, promise grandiose visions and miracles, then leave with his pockets full of cash and leave destruction and devastation in his wake.”

Sound’s like Dallemand is a modern day MUSIC MAN!
ht tp://www.you tube.com/watch?v=TbBITrZa6Ok (delete spaces)

“How can there be any SIN in SINcere?” HOW PROPHETIC THIS MOVIE IS! MUST SEE!

Notice, the school board originally demanded that he PUT UP A BOND, before they would hire. WHY DON’T WE DO THAT NOW??????

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
3:50 pm

He claimed he was a licensed therapist when in fact he never was.

If this is true, why is Georgia so vacant on enforcing law on this type of fraud, and then paying the same an astronomic amount of money from the property owners and people paying income tax on their labor?

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
3:58 pm

State regulatory authority gone fish’ again? Georgia is a deceptively big state. Are there five people at the top of it who just sort-of don’t want to do anything most of time, and that is regulation, with loopholes to let anyone off the hook based on inability to fault “discretionary performance” after they have maraudered the system under a pay contract that rewards them as an exit strategy?

Hmm. “Should I go to work today? If I got to work, I get paid $275,000. If I don’t go to work, I get paid $350,000.”

The situation is especially tragic when you consider the poverty in much of Macon. From the perspective of a taxpayer, this is completely unacceptable, this “Game Show Star!!” job and payment system. It is absolutely crazy and abuse of the public monies. Every body else has to eat pinto beans and worry if their trailer roof if leaking. Heat for the trailer? Get another blanket. Eyeglasses for the kids? Oh you must be joking, now.

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:00 pm

I’d give a dollar to see this on the front page of the New York Times to let the world know what Georgia is made of. Probably the best business marketing for Utah there could be, except that Georgia is strategically located as an East Coast center of trade, which is probably part of the problem.

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:02 pm

“Forward the check to my account in Antilles, Caribbean. I’ll buy new furniture when I get there.”

Macon is Next

February 26th, 2013
4:04 pm

Private Citizen, Georgia couldn’t do anything since he claimed he was a therapist in Florida. The Florida state agency said this was wrong but also do little due to the statute of limitations. He was required to alter his résumé. A slap on the wrist at best. Nearly all of Dallemand’s degrees came from diploma mills and he never taught in the classroom himself. Amazing how a head hunting agency that the board paid over $200,000 to vet let this weasel slip through and recommended. Of course they are not interested in bringing the most qualified, or even qualified candidates, only ones from their list that are the hardest to hire to ensure they get their kickbacks. No one should ever be hired as a superintendent without a proven track record as a teacher and a principal first. Dallemand was neither.

Truth in Moderation

February 26th, 2013
4:05 pm

Citizens, the answers to your questions about hiring supers can be found in the fact that all school board members join the NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARD ASSN. (a 501c3 charity) and subject themselves to their unconstitutional rules so they can get insurance protection.
ht tp://ww w.nsba.org/About (remove spaces)

Most supers are hired who go through a special “training program” like The Broad Superintendents Academy, another 501c3 CHARITY.
ht tp://www.broad education.org/asset/488-100204tba2010class.pdf

I would say, citizens are dealing with a stacked deck. Home school.

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:06 pm

‘Probably go to Maryland or Alabama or DC for some more that executive mayhem. Or even better, get on the faculty at a university school of education and start “building a coalition.”

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:12 pm

Macon was Next and Got Nailed, He’s got “The Look.”

And I know at least one very excellent black male principal that got totally screwed about by the black female / white m/f school admin. mafia ( I used to work for this guy and I loved working for him – he cared and did good work) and they totally screwed around, so he went to work in another state and be able to work without people nit-picking him and denying support. In other words, if having “The Look” is a requirement, there is good talent out there. Why do they keep hiring these creepy “players?”

Oh, I know why. Qualification for Superintendent: Know who the important people are and take care of them and treat them as royalty, every time and all the time. For the public, make some charasmatic speeches to shield attention. That’s your gig. We’ve got nice pay for you. So go and “manage perceptions” for us and keep the public off our neck.

Truth in Moderation

February 26th, 2013
4:22 pm

Gwinnett went through this in the ’90’s. After their OBE pushing, ineffective super was terminated, they went through the official 501c3 charity channels for replacement candidates. The head hunters tried to unload a suspected super with sticky fingers and questionable business trips on the county. A handful of CITIZENS did due diligence in his home state of Virginia, AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, and released the dirt to the press. The Board was forced to call for his resignation. They decided after that fiasco to hire from within. That super is still in office. Not perfect, but better than these clown thieves we are hearing about now.

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:30 pm

NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARD ASSN. – Those are the people who publish bulletins to principals and booklets and instruct them in the methods of how to harass employees.

NSBA in cyrllic code, read backwards on a mirror says “SATAN.”

ha ha ha It’s more of that “We’re going to tell you what to do and how to think stuff.” http://annualconference.nsba.org/home/why-attend

Reading this page immediately made me think of the numbing political throw-away garbage being said by the DeKalb school board folk. All of this “priorities” vacant talk. In other words, how to make school board member speech:

Begin with: I will not be satisfied until

then, paste in something from the NSBA, such as: no other school-related factor has a greater impact on student achievement than the ability of the student’s teacher
_______________

Serious question, why is the NSBA selling a book on “How to Lobby Congress” and have posted political agendas they are asking their charges to become their followers and exert pressure on Congress to enact?

Serious question: Due to their stated political activity, Is it illegal for Georgia taxpayer money to be going to this organisation?

Richard Braswell

February 26th, 2013
4:32 pm

The perceived need for a superintendent in a school system is fantasy. Especially if the considered person for the position comes from the outside. I argue that instead of a a superintendent for each school system, there should be a SYSTEM OF REGIONS with school systems, systems with elected boards, with over site within the regions by the University System of Georgia, the education and curriculum standards set by the same, with ways and means for monitoring performance and adherence established as common standards statewide. At this point of the information highway, there is no doubt that there can be real time evaluations of student performance, and programs or logarithms that point to probable solutions for continued improvement or at least flag those students that need extra help. What is wrong with that? What is wrong with moving students around in a fashion conducive to success? What Georgia has now is a system of schools that are money pits preyed upon by people that are not qualified and use their dubious qualifications as merit badges. Change and qualifications are necessary.

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:32 pm

This is from their bookstore: https://secure.nsba.org/pubs/item_info.cfm?who=pub&ID=758

“How to Lobby Congress” for us on the matter that we direct you to do.

Weird stuff. Take note, peoples. Take note, taxpayers. Likely every one of your principals, schools and districts is sending your tax money to this organization.

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
4:39 pm

Attention! They’ve got their own political bill right there on their website!!! This is a political action committee organization!!! !!! !!! !!! Georgia citizen taxpayer money is not supposed to be paid out to a group that is doing political advocacy and agenda to the US Congress! http://www.nsba.org/Advocacy/Key-Issues/NSBA-Bill

Daniel

February 26th, 2013
4:59 pm

we had 2 candidates, 1 white, 1 black, the white was more than qualified for the job, but the only thing the boe5 was looking for was a black leader, so we got Dallemand…and look how that turned out

Bernie

February 26th, 2013
4:59 pm

mathmom @ 3:01 pm – If what you have written is true, then how did Dekalb County end up with Michael Thurmond? Mr.Thurmond the interm superintendent lacks even the basic qualifications and yet he is compensated at a rate, as if he meets all of the standard qualifications of a School Superintendent. Very strange indeed!

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
5:07 pm

I am guessing that somewhere in the Georgia Code it states that state tax monies are not to paid to organizations that are lobbying congress, section “Use of Tax Money.”

The “§ 48-1-9. Taxpayer Bill of Rights” doesn’t say anything about how money is to be spent. It only addresses taxpayers as objects of collection!!!

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
5:16 pm

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA
ARTICLE I. BILL OF RIGHTS
SECTION I. RIGHTS OF PERSONS

Ga. Const. Art. I, § I, Para. XXI (2012)

PARAGRAPH XXI. Banishment and whipping as punishment for crime

Neither banishment beyond the limits of the state nor whipping shall be allowed as a punishment for crime.
__________________

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
5:20 pm

Ga. Const. Art. VII, § III, Para. I (2012)

PARAGRAPH I. Taxation; purposes for which powers may be exercised

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the power of taxation over the whole state may be exercised for any purpose authorized by law.
_______________________________________________________

So… does this taxation “law” ever become specific? Is it okay to take tax money and send it to a political action organization that is advocating lobbying congress and has an agenda specific to their organization?

Private Citizen

February 26th, 2013
5:21 pm

Coming up with a big “zero” trying to answer this question by reading the Georgia Code and Constitution.

Mikey D.

February 26th, 2013
5:25 pm

My bet is that he’ll take a page from the Michelle Rhee playbook — When you’re outed as a fraud at the end of your term as superintendent, you simply start a foundation with a benevolent-sounding name (I mean, who could argue with a group called “Students First”?!?!?) and then you sell your BS to state legislatures who eat that garbage up! If he follows in Rhee’s footsteps, $350 grand will just be the tip of the iceberg!

Dr. John Trotter

February 26th, 2013
5:55 pm

MACE picketed Romain Dallemand two times this year, ending up in the media, including on television both times. I guess that MACE was right again…just like MACE was right about Beverly Hall, Crawford Lewis, Edmond Heatley, Joe Hairston, Barbara Pulliam, and others and will be shown to be right about Robert Avossa, Michael Hinojosa, Michelle Rhee, and Mark Elgart. It’s tough being right all of the time! Ha!

Macon is Next

February 26th, 2013
8:25 pm

This was just reported in the local newspaper. “The severance payment the Bibb County school system is giving its outgoing superintendent is more than twice the annual salary of Georgia’s state school superintendent and three times the amount the DeKalb County school district agreed to pay its superintendent to leave earlier this month.

The Bibb school board voted Monday night to give Superintendent Romain Dallemand $350,000 in severance pay. Based on that agreement and his employment contracts, Dallemand received at least $771,000 in direct payments, plus further benefits, during his two years on the job. That’s more than $385,000 averaged over two years.

The DeKalb school board, facing possible removal from office after the district was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, agreed to pay Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson a severance of five months’ salary, or nearly $114,600.

If the separation had not been mutual, her three-year contract called for her to receive a full year of severance pay, about $275,000, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

State school Superintendent John Barge earns $130,300 annually, plus travel expenses of about $27,000, putting his total cash payments at less than Bibb has paid each of its last two superintendents.

Bibb also paid Dallemand’s predecessor to leave, but not as much. Sharon Patterson, who had been superintendent for a decade, received a year’s pay — $198,0000 — when the board bought out her contract in February 2010 amid an ethics probe by the state Professional Standards Commission. (Coincidentally, Patterson’s last day on the job was Feb. 26, 2010.)

The contract stated that if the school board ended Dallemand’s employment before the three years were up, Dallemand would receive a full year’s salary, as well as $70,000 per year that he’d been on the job, and a year of health benefits.

The severance agreement approved by the board is actually even more favorable to Dallemand: It provides $12,000 more than the contract would have, and it extends health insurance through the summer of 2014 unless Dallemand finds a new job that offers health insurance before then.

The severance agreement also includes what could be an expensive perk: The Bibb school system will cover all of Dallemand’s court expenses and attorney’s fees related to lawsuits affecting him and the district. Three of them have already been filed, and their outcome — and the district’s eventual liability — remain uncertain.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2013/02/26/2372253/dallemand-severance-deal-far-outstrips.html#wgt=rcntnews#storylink=cpy

mountain man

February 26th, 2013
8:34 pm

“I guess that MACE was right again…just like MACE was right about Beverly Hall, Crawford Lewis, Edmond Heatley, Joe Hairston, Barbara Pulliam, and others ”

Too bad MACE can’t be right about Walker and the Dekalb BOE turkeys.

Georgia coach

February 26th, 2013
8:51 pm

Sorry John. Macon media paid little attention to mace. You indicated a need for more Macon members in order to get your help. In essence you are a bigger fraud than dallemand.

Truth in Moderation

February 26th, 2013
9:41 pm

Dallemand has proven his mettle….next stop: WALL STREET HEDGE FUNDS. Move over Jon Corzine!

Mandella1099

February 26th, 2013
10:45 pm

@ John Trotter

Guess what? Ha! You are – Ha! – not always right – Ha! – all the – Ha! – time because you – Ha! – post – Ha! – intoxicated – Ha! – and – Ha! – sound – Ha! – foolish – Ha! – when you – Ha! – type – Ha! – all of the – Ha! – time – Ha! – Ha! – Ha! Ha!

Private Citizen

February 27th, 2013
3:28 pm

Fresh News: Recently declassified Military experiment dropped a hypnosis dummy bomb on Macon directly over where they write the superintendent compensation contract.

Colonel Jack

February 27th, 2013
4:51 pm

Incredible. Simply incredible.

I propose a state law that mandates the following:

No one can be an assistant principal or principal in a public school unless they have ten or more years of classroom experience and a Specialist degree (NOT a Master’s degree with an administration add-on). This gets rid of those idiots who can’t cut it in the classroom and bolt for the administrative salaries…or at least makes them earn the right to advance in salary.

A principal or assistant principal can only serve in the position for two years, then MUST return to the classroom as a teacher for at least one year before returning to the administrative position. This reminds them of whence they came, and makes them have to live with the foolishness to which they subject their teachers.

No one can be appointed a school system superintendent without at least fifteen years’ CLASSROOM experience in the above scenario. This ensures that, no matter what, they never forget that the TEACHERS are the most important part of the school team. Not the Superintendent’s staff, not the Central Office flunkies, not the School Board members … the TEACHERS. The ones who have direct daily contact with students.

Thoughts?

Colonel Jack

February 27th, 2013
5:01 pm

@ Dr. Trotter … I can think of a Superintendent you could look into …

Private Citizen

February 27th, 2013
7:20 pm

MS Man

February 27th, 2013
10:17 pm

@colonel Jack. I like the intent, but am once tend that running a school district involves a lot more than just instructional chops, there needs to be some business acumen as well and I am not sure there are many talented veteran principals and teachers who also have a sense and or background in how o best manage a multi million dollar budget.