Archive for February, 2013

National survey: Both teacher and principal satisfaction down and stress up

downeyart0726 (Medium)MetLife released its annual survey of teachers and principals. It will be no surprise to readers of this blog that both groups of educators report lower job satisfaction and increased levels of stress.

From MetLife:

As major changes in education loom and cuts in many public school budgets continue, the job of running the nation’s schools has become more complex, challenging, and stressful, the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership (2012) reveals.

School leaders today say that key responsibilities are challenging, particularly those schools alone cannot address. The challenges include balancing budgets — more than half of both teachers (56 percent) and principals (53 percent) report that their school’s budget has decreased in the last 12 months — and addressing the growing needs of diverse learners and their families.

Many principals say their jobs have changed over the last five years (69 percent say the responsibilities are not …

Continue reading National survey: Both teacher and principal satisfaction down and stress up »

State board rejects DeKalb’s ‘deathbed repentance.’ Votes to suspend six DeKalb veteran members

After 14 hours of testimony, the state Board of Education voted tonight to recommend the suspension of the six veteran members of the DeKalb school board. The discussion was short and sweet, and the vote came fast. The recommendation now goes to the governor who is expected to quickly concur.

However, the matter may not end with the governor as the DeKalb board has filed suit to overturn the Georgia law that allows school board removals. There are court hearings scheduled next week, assuring that this drama will drag on for a while.

(At one point in the lengthy hearing, a state board member asked the DeKalb board members not to sue if they were ousted, but Gene Walker said he was not going to relinquish his constitutional rights.)

If you want to read the blow-by-blow on today’s hearing,  go to these three blogs: Morning, Afternoon and Evening segments of the marathon hearing.

Only a few state board members spoke prior to the 9:43 p.m. unanimous vote to suspend all six …

Continue reading State board rejects DeKalb’s ‘deathbed repentance.’ Votes to suspend six DeKalb veteran members »

Thurmond makes final plea: I need this board

So that blogs from this endless state hearing aren’t interminable, I am creating a third blog on the final hours. So, the entire day is spread across three blogs. Read them only when you time and coffee. There is a lot of staid stuff and cliche comments. I think textbook-gate has been cleared up, but not sure clarity was achieved in other areas.

If the taxpayers of DeKalb are paying the board attorneys by the hour, dig into your pockets for some change to spare. This hearing is going into hour 14.

The hearing is to determine whether the state board will recommend dissolution of the DeKalb board, save the three new members. (See first blog for how state is not looking to kick off those three newly elected members. The second blog features new school chief Michael Thurmond’s comments.)

The new Chief Financial Officer Michael Perrone is testifying. Interestingly, Perrone says he was never asked by SACS about the textbook spending controversy, which he could have explained. He …

Continue reading Thurmond makes final plea: I need this board »

Lunch and back to business: Should DeKalb board go or stay? Thurmond goes to bat for board.

Afternoon session of state Board of Education hearing on whether to oust the DeKalb County Board of Education. (See earlier blog on what happened in the first half of the day.)

Waiting again for Sarah Copelin-Wood who was on the stand when the hearing broke for lunch. I am listening to the hearing online and the microphones are picking up general chatter around the board table.  Some board member is complaining about how long Copelin-Wood is keeping them waiting. “No respect. No courtesy.”

DOE attorney Jennifer Hackemeyer is back to the email and whether it went to school employees. “Your earlier testimony was that you did not send to a list of employees. I have given you this email and ask that you take a look at it to see if it refreshes your recollection. It appears it was sent to at least one DeKalb County employee. Is that true?”

Copelin-Wood: “Not me, I did not send it. I didn’t sent it to her. Maybe, she was on her personal email. I never would have sent this to our …

Continue reading Lunch and back to business: Should DeKalb board go or stay? Thurmond goes to bat for board. »

An email so bizarre that I thought Copelin-Wood could never have sent it. I was wrong. And she is out on a limb.

Earlier this week, a reader copied me on an email that Sarah Copelin-Wood sent to some folks.

The email contains a long cut and paste job on the powers and duties of school boards vs. the State Board of Education. The pasted material focuses on the local board’s power to “manage and control” the school system and plays down the state’s power to intervene. I assume that Copelin-Wood sent the email to voice her displeasure with today’s reckoning in front of the state Board of Education, which is considering ousting her and five other DeKalb school board members.

But what floored me more than the body of the email was what Copelin-Wood attached to the email. (By the way, she signed the email, “Ms. Sarah Copelin-Wood, Board Member DeKalb Board of Education – District 3.”)

The attachment features an attack on SACS and Mark Elgart by longtime and vocal critic John Trotter, head of MACE and a frequent commenter on this blog where he has been quite open in his disdain for Elgart and …

Continue reading An email so bizarre that I thought Copelin-Wood could never have sent it. I was wrong. And she is out on a limb. »

Georgia ranks 12th in nation in seniors passing AP exams. Continues to chart improvement and growth.

From DOE:

Georgia has moved up to 12th in the nation in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher – a passing score – on Advanced Placement exams, according to the College Board’s “AP Report to the Nation” released Wednesday. Georgia ranked 13th in the nation last year.

This report measures progress of the Class of 2012. When results are broken out by subgroup, Georgia’s African-American students rank 2nd in the nation (behind Washington D.C.) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams. Georgia’s 10-year increase (10.1%) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams also shows impressive results, ranking 9th in the nation.

Georgia is also a national leader when it comes to public school students enrolling in AP courses and taking the exams. Only five other states in the country had a greater percentage of AP exam takers last year. The percentage of Georgia seniors who took an AP exam was 41.1%, compared to 32.4% for the …

Continue reading Georgia ranks 12th in nation in seniors passing AP exams. Continues to chart improvement and growth. »

State board hearing on DeKalb under way. Newly elected board members off the hook. Board attorney says SACS got wrong info

Updating State Board of Education hearing on whether to suspend DeKalb County school board:

The state Board of Education hearing on DeKalb opened this morning shortly after 8 with a statement from the DeKalb school board attorney Bob Wilson that his clients are challenging the constitutionality of the statue and objecting to the evidence on hearsay and relevance issues.

Wilson is the former DeKalb DA. He was one of the two people appointed by Gov. Perdue to investigate CRCT cheating. He is a noted attorney on education issues.

With DOE lawyer Jennifer Hackemeyer and Wilson making opening statements, the proceeding has the feel of a trial.

Before the formal start, a lawyer from the Attorney General’s Office takes up the issue of the lawsuits that DeKalb school board filed this week in both state and federal court.

She explains to the state board that the DeKalb Board of Education has filed lawsuits in both state and federal court. “The DeKalb Board believes the statute …

Continue reading State board hearing on DeKalb under way. Newly elected board members off the hook. Board attorney says SACS got wrong info »

Here are state’s AP merit schools: 20 percent of students took AP exams; half or more exams earned 3 or higher

Congrats to Georgia’s AP Merit Schools, which are high schools with at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams and at least half of all AP exams earning scores of three or higher.

Special shoutout to Fulton (9), Gwinnett (9) and Cobb (8) for having so many high schools on the list.

ALAN C. POPE HIGH SCHOOL COBB COUNTY

ALPHARETTA HIGH SCHOOL FULTON COUNTY

BERKMAR HIGH SCHOOL GWINNETT COUNTY

BROOKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL GWINNETT

BUFORD HIGH SCHOOL BUFORD CITY

CARLTON J. KELL HIGH SCHOOL COBB

CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL FULTON

CHAMBLEE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL DEKALB COUNTY

CHATTAHOOCHEE HIGH SCHOOL FULTON

COLUMBUS HIGH SCHOOL MUSCOGEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

DALTON HIGH SCHOOL DALTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

DECATUR HIGH SCHOOL CITY SCHOOLS OF DECATUR

DULUTH HIGH SCHOOL GWINNETT

DUNWOODY HIGH SCHOOL DEKALB

FORSYTH CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL FORSYTH COUNTY SCHOOLS

GREENBRIER HIGH SCHOOL COLUMBIA COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM

GWINNETT SCHOOL OF MATH, SCIENCE, & TECHNOLOGY GWINNETT

HARRISON HIGH SCHOOL …

Continue reading Here are state’s AP merit schools: 20 percent of students took AP exams; half or more exams earned 3 or higher »

DeKalb school board: Is it defending itself against ’smoke’ or concrete allegations?

The AJC’s Ty Tagami has an interesting story tonight on the challenges facing the DeKalb school board in making its case in 10 hours before the state Board of Education, which will be weighing the board’s ouster.

According to Tagami:

In the meantime, DeKalb officials must argue their innocence before the Georgia Board of Education without being able to cross-examine key witnesses and not knowing which documents support which allegations. Atlanta Attorney Warren Fortson said that task will be difficult given the vague nature of the 20-page SACS report.

“It’s predicated on anonymous sources,” said Fortson, who was general counsel for Atlanta Public Schools for more than two decades. “You can’t defend yourself against smoke.”

The report identifies sources as “interviewees,” “stakeholder interviews,” “artifacts” or “various forms of evidence.” “Interviewees described a feeling of hopelessness,” it says, and “based on evidence from numerous …

Continue reading DeKalb school board: Is it defending itself against ’smoke’ or concrete allegations? »

State names executive director of revived Charter Schools Commission — Bonnie Holliday

Bonnie Holliday is the new executive director of the state Charter Schools Commission, the agency resurrected by the November charter school amendment vote.

Bonnie Holliday

Bonnie Holliday

She had been with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

Here is her bio from the GOSA site:

Bonnie Holliday was appointed Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement in October 2011. Prior to joining the GOSA team, she worked for the Office of Planning and Budget as the Accountability Manager for the Race to the Top Innovation Fund and for the Georgia Charter Schools Commission as the Program Manager for Accountability. She also worked previously for GOSA as the Planning and Policy Development Specialist where she coordinated the implementation and evaluation of the agency’s education policy initiatives.

Holliday received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia. She is currently a doctoral candidate in UGA’s Educational …

Continue reading State names executive director of revived Charter Schools Commission — Bonnie Holliday »