Archive for the ‘dekalb’ Category

Suspended DeKalb school board member: SACS distorted our record and DeKalb’s performance

Deposed DeKalb school board member Eugene Walker continues to challenge his suspension and the reasons for it. The matter has now moved to the state Supreme Court.  Walker says the new appointees named this past week deserve support.

However, Walker maintains the decision to suspend him and five other board members was not only illegal but based on distortions by the accrediting agency. Walker says the record needs to be corrected, on both the performance of the school board and the district.

By Eugene Walker

‘The governor made the unilateral decision to replace six duly elected officers of the DeKalb County Board of Education. As our constitutional challenge makes its way through the courts, these appointees, along with the three elected officers allowed to stay, are in charge and everyone should be supportive of these stewards until the matter is resolved. I agree with the governor that there is a lot at stake and I urge the public and the media to stay involved as we move …

Continue reading Suspended DeKalb school board member: SACS distorted our record and DeKalb’s performance »

Here are bios of the six new DeKalb board members. Impressive credentials by any standard.

Here are the bios of the six new board members from the governor’s office.

Both these bios and Gov. Nathan Deal’s comments at the press conference that just ended indicate that the selection focus was on a fresh start and on a board that could work together. Deal noted that several of the appointees have experience in mediation.

The board will be sworn in at 1 p.m. today, so DeKalb can now hold meetings and take action.

As I noted in my first blog on the six, I have seen Thad Mayfield in action; he headed the 20-person citizen panel that reviewed school enrollments and recommended closings three years ago.  I thought he did a good job, and the panel was fair and efficient. (That the school board didn’t act on its recommendations is fodder for another day.)

The statement and bios:

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the names of the six new DeKalb County school board members.

“I tasked the nominating panel with finding excellent board members who will put the school system back on …

Continue reading Here are bios of the six new DeKalb board members. Impressive credentials by any standard. »

DeKalb set for its own version of papal white smoke to rise today. Deal to announce six new school board members.

Millions of Catholics are waiting for the white smoke to rise from Sistine Chapel, signifying their church has a new leader.  Thousands of DeKalb residents are waiting for their own version of white smoke to rise today from the Capitol.

Gov. Nathan Deal  is scheduled to announce new leaders for the DeKalb school board at 11 a.m. Those new board members will be sworn in today, according to the AJC political reporter Greg Bluestein, who already talked to the governor this morning at a breakfast event.

When the smoke clears today, DeKalb will have a functioning school board. The district may also have residual bitterness from those who feel that Deal overstepped his legal bounds in ousting six legally elected board members. Those board members were elected by as much as 72 percent of the voters in their districts.

The newly appointed board members can best overcome that ill will with competent and quick action. The six Deal appointees, culled from an applicant pool of more than …

Continue reading DeKalb set for its own version of papal white smoke to rise today. Deal to announce six new school board members. »

Here are folks interviewed for the DeKalb school board

Here is the list of 63 people interviewed by the governor’s panel and the districts for which they were under consideration. (The districts are the numbers next to their names. Remember, DeKalb has two super districts.) The governor is scheduled to announce six board members from this list tomorrow at 11 a.m.

“I am overwhelmed by the extraordinary group of people in DeKalb County who stepped forward to try to help their community,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “I greatly appreciate the nominating panel’s hard work and the difficult choices the members faced when narrowing down a field with so many excellent candidates. These individuals have worked with the best interests of DeKalb’s children in mind, and I’m proud of the progress we have made. Protecting the opportunities of our youngest generation is a sacred trust; I want DeKalb’s parents, students, teachers and homeowners to know, it’s a trust I will keep.”

The list:

Ophelia Mims 5,9

Melvin Mitchell 5,9

Cheryl …

Continue reading Here are folks interviewed for the DeKalb school board »

Breaking news: Governor will select new DeKalb board members tomorrow

AJC political report Greg Bluestein is reporting that Gov. Nathan Deal expects to announce six new DeKalb County school board members on Wednesday at a mid-morning press conference. Deal met today with the nominating committee he assembled to review the candidates.

According to Bluestein:

Deal said the five-member panel interviewed about 60 applicants and then met with him Tuesday morning to discuss their findings.

“I’m very encouraged by the names I saw. And I think everyone will be encouraged when they see the qualifications that the individuals that have been interviewed bring to the table,” he said. “It’s a commentary on the citizens of DeKalb County that we’ve had so many very qualified people.”

Deal suspended two-thirds of the DeKalb school board last month after an accrediting agency placed the district on probation. The Republican said he was wary of intervening in an overwhelmingly Democratic county, but that he took action because he feared metro Atlanta’s economy …

Continue reading Breaking news: Governor will select new DeKalb board members tomorrow »

Where are the voices of teachers in DeKalb mess? Here is one and he’s not holding back.

downeyart0726 (Medium)A DeKalb teacher sent me this piece, noting that none of the blog commentaries on the crisis in DeKalb have come from teachers.

I suspect teachers all over the country will agree with his comments about the lack of respect for the profession. (At his request, I am not using his name because of his concerns for his job.)

This teacher is responding to a recent DeKalb commentary on the blog  by Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall, but his essay speaks to the conditions facing teachers in many places:

I’ve seen so many commentaries over the weeks about the plight of the DeKalb School Systems – from interim superintendents to possible ex-board members to concerned politicians. The blaring omission of a teacher voice rings louder about our current state of affairs. I’ve shrugged all of them off and kept-calm-and-carried-on as has been the trickle-down mantra for years in DeKalb County.

Then, l read I read Lawrence M. Schall’s “wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing” commentary.

His …

Continue reading Where are the voices of teachers in DeKalb mess? Here is one and he’s not holding back. »

Are Dunwoody parents interested in education or economics in proposal to flee DeKalb schools? (Or both?)

Jeffrey Dorfman is a professor of applied economics at the University of Georgia. Here is an interesting piece he wrote on the economics of Dunwoody breaking away from DeKalb and forming its own school system. (Such a move would require a statewide referendum to change the state constitution.)

That topic is likely to come up Sunday night when interim DeKalb school chief Michael Thurmond meets with the Dunwoody Homeowners Association.

By Jeffrey H. Dorfman

A local educational and political issue is brewing in metro Atlanta that provides a great example of the inherent dangers of complicated schemes designed to avoid charging the customer for a service.

Government loves to construct mechanisms so that some people get the service free, some at a discount, and others pay much more to make up the difference. Public education is a prime example of such free lunch programs as nobody pays directly; instead we all pay taxes that are used to fund education, but the level of taxes paid …

Continue reading Are Dunwoody parents interested in education or economics in proposal to flee DeKalb schools? (Or both?) »

Questions for DeKalb school board candidates: Vision, inspiration, student achievement

Here are the questions sent to the 400 applicants for the DeKalb Board of Education. (AJC)

Here are the questions sent to the 400 applicants for the DeKalb Board of Education. (AJC)

Continue reading Questions for DeKalb school board candidates: Vision, inspiration, student achievement »

Governor releases list of 400 who want DeKalb board seats. Several former state officials and top employees are on it

Take a look at the list of candidates for the six open seats on the DeKalb school board, which I have put in a Google doc. There are plenty of folks on it from across the political spectrum.

There are many parent activists and former school board candidates. Donna Edler’s name is on the list as well; she is a suspended board member.  However, Edler told the AJC today that she did not submit her name but plans to seek reinstatement through the channels open to her. Since it was email submissions, I assume someone could fraudulently submit someone’s name.

Two people on the list worked closely with Sonny Perdue when he was governor, Joy Hawkins, his former policy analyst and deputy chief operating officer, and Kathleen Mathers who led the CRCT cheating probe as head of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

And there are other familiar names from state government, Melanie Stockwell, former director of legal services for DOE who later worked for state Sen. Eric Johnson, and …

Continue reading Governor releases list of 400 who want DeKalb board seats. Several former state officials and top employees are on it »

DeKalb board chair: Supports reducing legal fees but no details on spending to fight suspensions

Posters asked some good questions on the funding of the litigation by suspended board members. I sent some of questions to the three standing board members of DeKalb and have already posted the responses from Jim McMahan and Marshall Orson on the blog.

This morning I heard from the DeKalb board Chair Melvin Johnson.

None of the three has been particularly forthcoming on the issue of how and why the board approved the contract with Decatur attorney Bob Wilson’s firm, who voted for it and whether they  support continuing it. Did they approve open-ended funding of ongoing and escalating litigation or was the intent to pay for representation primarily at the state Board of Education hearing?

The AJC continues to look at the circumstances under which the DeKalb school board approved the money for this legal challenge as there are a lot of questions about whether it met Sunshine law requirements. I believe DeKalb needs a serious refresher course in what permits them to  duck behind …

Continue reading DeKalb board chair: Supports reducing legal fees but no details on spending to fight suspensions »