DeKalb school board has forfeited right to office

Two rules of good governance:

Rule No. 1) It is never a good idea to let unelected people sit in judgment of and even remove officials who have been put into public office by the vote of the people. The practice contradicts the entire concept of self-government and undermines accountability. If voters elect bad officials, they ought to live with the consequences of doing so.

Rule No. 2) In case of a true emergency, Rule No. 1 can and must be broken.

The DeKalb County School Board is the perfect case study of why Rule No. 2 exists. The board and the district that it is supposed to oversee are not merely dysfunctional; they have been dysfunctional for years. Superintendents have come and gone, often walking away with nice payoffs and in one case with a corruption indictment. Studies and audits have been authorized, conducted and then buried. Pledges have been made that this time, things will finally change, and time and again the change has been for the worse.

Millions of dollars in taxpayer money have been wasted. Precious years have been wasted. More important, tens of thousands of students have passed through a school system that did not treat their education as its top priority. There is too little sign that is changing.

Quite the contrary. Since December, when the DeKalb school system was notified that its repeated misbehavior had put its accreditation in danger, board members have made it more clear than ever that their top priority is maintaining their own power and authority. They have hired outside legal counsel, at considerable taxpayer expense, to protect their own jobs. They have filed state and federal lawsuits, again at considerable expense, challenging the state’s right to remove them.

Had they shown similar initiative and energy in fixing the district’s problems, they would not find themselves in this situation.

In another step to deflect criticism, the board has hired former state legislator and labor commissioner Michael Thurmond to serve as its interim superintendent. Thurmond is a good man and is generally well respected by both Republicans and Democrats. By nature and experience, he is well-suited to bridge the geographic, racial and economic divides that make DeKalb such a complicated place to govern.

In a marathon meeting of the state Board of Education on Thursday, Thurmond committed himself to changing the district’s direction and leadership.

“This is the job of a lifetime,” he said to the state board, telling them that he would not have been lured out of his private law practice by anything less than than the opportunity to solve a major crisis.

Thurmond also vouched strongly for the current DeKalb board’s willingness to help him. The problem is, as an employee of the DeKalb board, he cannot fix the board. His own competence, reputation and experience have no real relevance to the board’s fate. Furthermore, it is unfair and inappropriate for the board to use Thurmond as a mouthpiece to plead publicly on their behalf. His job as interim superintendent is to improve the education being offered to DeKalb students, not to preserve the jobs of the board members who hired him.

Last night, the state board voted unanimously to recommend removal of most of the DeKalb board. Sadly, the district’s issues are too profound to be solved by that step alone. But if Gov. Nathan Deal ends up following that recommendation, and if the courts decide that he has the authority to do so, progress can begin.

– Jay Bookman

601 comments Add your comment

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
7:27 am

I know very little about this kind of thing, so at the risk of seeming stupid, are the board members required to be educators?

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
7:28 am

And by the way, Happy Friday to all y’all!

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
7:29 am

Doggone/GA

February 22nd, 2013
7:30 am

“I know very little about this kind of thing, so at the risk of seeming stupid, are the board members required to be educators?”

Since they are elected, the answer is probably no

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
7:44 am

Thanks, Doggone,
I was hoping that, even while elected, there was some sort of condition that you had to know something about education.

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
7:45 am

corbin, here’s a link to the board’s own bios, if you’re interested:

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/AboutBoard.aspx?S=4054#35452

The chair was a teacher back in the 60s; far as I can tell, though, only Pamela Speaks ever taught more recently than that. The rest all have some kind of business background.

A Simple Man

February 22nd, 2013
7:47 am

Good stuff. There is no doubt they should go, or be forced to leave. If they really cared they would have resigned a long time ago. Sadly, like many politicians, it’s all about power.

alex

February 22nd, 2013
7:49 am

The board hired a former labor commisioner to be superintendent of a school system,does he have experience in the education system or was this another example of the boards incompetence. Glad I don’t live in dekalb and have my children in public schools …AJC article says somehting about race, what does race have to do with the school board?

Doggone/GA

February 22nd, 2013
7:53 am

“I was hoping that, even while elected, there was some sort of condition that you had to know something about education”

I would suspect that at least part of the reasoning is the same as civilian oversight of our military…which is why the President is not required to be either an active or retired military person

Seriously Folks

February 22nd, 2013
7:55 am

And yet another county’s school board problems are tied to egos of the elected people there to “lead” (and I use that term lightly).
DeKalb and Clayton now share the dubious distinction of having school board members removed (or recommended to be removed) from a Governor. And in both instances, we hear the cry of “someone is out to get us.”

Here is an idea. Education is NOT a partisan issue. Period. This isnt about being a Dem or a Rep…its about waking up each day as an elected school board member and asking yourself, “what can i do today that will offer a better opportunity for our children to learn.”

These Boards need to hire competent, proven Superintendents, give that person direction, goals, benchmarks and accountability to meet those, then GET OUT OF THE WAY in how it is implemented!!!!

It is truly sickening to me that both these counties pay “lip service” to educating the kids in their counties. If they were to best schools in the country, then by all means, keep behaving how you behave…but they are NOT.

Time to go!

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
7:59 am

AJC article says somehting about race

Are you familiar with the “ctrl-C” and “ctrl-V” keystroke shortcuts? if so, you might consider actually quoting what this “something” might be and sharing with us.

alex

February 22nd, 2013
7:59 am

@ Doggone, don’t know if your example rises to the needs of an education system , but clearly if the board is charged with running the “business” of education , then some “business” minds would be necessary. A superintendent might have different duties and thus an educational backgroung might be more important and given the hiring practices of the board’s history,Thurmond is suspect….

alex

February 22nd, 2013
8:03 am

@ stands go to lead article on the ajc website about this and go about 80% down and read the quote by Melvin Johnson yourself. It would be informative to get other info (than Jay) on this subject…

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
8:07 am

YES!!!!!!!
kick out all those conservative republicans who have ruined education in dekalb

they need to put in some good progressive reforms to solve the situation

and spend more money

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
8:07 am

Stands,
Thanks for that. Am I the only one who thinks that a career in education should be a prerequisite for the job?

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:07 am

ok, alex, actually linking the article like this and quoting the bits about 19 grafs down might make a little more sense, yes?

The school board’s new chairman, Melvin Johnson, said removing the board would “erode” public confidence. “They believe in the individuals they voted on,” he said. The former DeKalb schools administrator said race differences may be causing some of the division, and the county needs to have an honest conversation about it.

“Race is something that some of us deny,” Johnson said. “Some of us won’t put it on the table.”

Michael Thurmond, the former Georgia labor commissioner recently named DeKalb schools’ interim superintendent, also said race was an issue, and said he wanted the chance to address it. He appealed to the state board not to vote for suspension.

So, there it is. Nothing real surprising about it, to me, kinda dog-bites-man really.

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
8:09 am

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
8:07 am

If it means a better education for our kids, then YES, by all means, spend more money…wisely. It’s not the amount of money spent, it’s how its spent. With oversight, spending does work.

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:09 am

Am I the only one who thinks that a career in education should be a prerequisite for the job?

I guess it’d depend on how you’d define “in education.” If you’re a member of the Bush Crime Family scamming public schools, one could say he works “in education,” after all.

independent thinker

February 22nd, 2013
8:11 am

Amend the state’s archaic sovereign immunity laws so that school board members can be sued for abuse of power and resulting financial consequences.That will bring an end to this kind of nonsense,

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:12 am

YES, by all means, spend more money

but Corbin. We’re “broke.” remember?

Also too, Southernomics.

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:14 am

archaic sovereign immunity laws so that school board members can be sued for abuse of power and resulting financial consequences

interesting angle. Are there other states that’ve had success correcting abuses through civil cases? not a “gotcha”, I’m genuinely intrigued.

Doggone/GA

February 22nd, 2013
8:16 am

“Am I the only one who thinks that a career in education should be a prerequisite for the job?”

Probably not, but I’m not one who agrees. Even though I don’t have children I would think it’s important to have at least some of the board members be simply parents…again, draw a line throught the requirements to be President in reference to the military.

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
8:19 am

YES
RAISE MORE TAXES IN DEKALB TO PUMP INTO THE SCHOOLS

THAT WILL SOLVE IT

THEY NEED TO BUILD MORE NEW SCHOOLS AS WELL

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:20 am

I’d put the chances of Nathan Deal and his cronies having read an account of the downside of such state takeovers like, say, this one, at approximately zero percent.

On January 20 the progressive think tank Michigan Forward and the Detroit branch of the NAACP sent a joint letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder expressing concern over Public Act 4, the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act. Signed into law in March 2011, it granted unprecedented new powers to the state’s emergency managers (EMs), including breaking union contracts, taking over pension systems, setting school curriculums and even dissolving or disincorporating municipalities. Under PA 4, EMs, who are appointed by the governor, can “exercise any power or authority of any officer, employee, department, board, commission or other similar entity of the local government whether elected or appointed.”

What are the qualifications for such a powerful office and the six-figure salary that accompanies it? Not much: PA 4 requires “a minimum of 5 years’ experience and demonstrable expertise in business, financial, or local or state budgetary matters.” Last year the state held a pair of two-day training sessions for EMs, both run primarily by companies that provide outsourcing services to municipalities and school districts. Yet PA 4 made the emergency manager the single most powerful person in the city.

Results were swift. In April the Benton Harbor EM, Joe Harris, decreed: “Absent prior express written authorization and approval by the Emergency Manager”—himself—“no City Board, Commission or Authority shall take any action for or on behalf of the City whatsoever other than: i) Call a meeting to order, ii) Approve of meeting minutes, iii) Adjourn a meeting.” The move in effect abolished Benton Harbor’s elected City Commission and replaced it with an unelected bureaucrat, perhaps the first time this has happened in US history.

The implications went beyond Benton Harbor. “Since the beginning of your administration, communities facing or under emergency management have doubled,” Michigan Forward and the NAACP wrote to the governor, citing a “failure of transparency and accountability” in the process of determining which jurisdictions need an emergency manager. The financial review team assigned to Detroit, for instance, had recently met in Lansing, nearly 100 miles away—“a clear example of exclusion and voter disenfranchisement,” according to the authors. On February 6 an Ingham County circuit judge ruled that the Detroit team’s meetings must be held in public.

Of Detroit’s 713,777 residents, 89 percent are African-American. The city of Inkster (population 25,369), which recently got an EM, has a black population of 73 percent. Having EMs in both cities would mean that more than half the state’s black population would fall into the hands of unelected officials.

alex

February 22nd, 2013
8:20 am

@ Stands, we’re trying to have a decent conversation, non political about education and you just have to go ahead in your pathetic ,adolescent way to be obnoxious and pull in “Bush Crime family..’, whatever and I’m happy you read the article yourself. The discussion is about the education system not you…Pathetic …

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:22 am

MORE TAXES IN DEKALB TO PUMP INTO THE SCHOOLS

Here’s a modest proposal–

Next guy who bitches and moans about spending money on Those People gets ground up and fed to dogs.

Just the next guy. Not every guy. I’m fair like that.

Would it be effective? Well, I’d wager it’d be more effective than anything Nathan Freaking Deal and his larcenous crew are going to cough up, but I could be wrong.

anyway, I had best self-deport, lest I go somewhere truly dark. right now I’m all sweetness and sunshine.

/drive-by

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
8:24 am

I SAY LET THE TEACHERS UNION RUN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM!!!!

THEY WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEMS

stands for decibels - Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:24 am

oh and alex, do spare me about your “decent conversation.” You’re the one bitching about a comment made about race nineteen freaking paragraphs down into a story and trolling for a reaction. Well you got one. Give yourself a little pat on the back already and get over yourself.

/really gone-daddy-gone now.

TaxPayer

February 22nd, 2013
8:24 am

How in the world would you implement a requirement that a group of elected representatives from across a county end up being comprised of a pre-defined mix of former educators, parents, financiers, etc.

tm

February 22nd, 2013
8:28 am

Can Rule 2 apply to all elected officials? or just school boards?

GT

February 22nd, 2013
8:33 am

Education is not valued in this state; it is the ugly sister of football. The board of education use to be a voluntary position that attracted truly interested highly qualified individuals from the community. The school use to be community, look at the resumes of these board members or any in this state, no rhyme or reason. No public school is knocking it out of the park. Education in the state as a whole in not what keeps elected representatives awake a night, illegal immigration, turning down free money for healthcare that could go to education and on and on. In my parents day they would have rioted if their tax dollars were spent this way. Education was important, only a fool left home without one. Dysfunctional, should be in our state seal, it would explain a lot more than peaches about what we are.

JohnnyReb

February 22nd, 2013
8:33 am

The school board is just one of Dekalb’s problems.

They have some kind of setup where county employees can buy appliances through the county. I don’t know the details, but it’s not something the county should be doing. It’s an indicator of how looney the whole county governance.

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2013
8:33 am

oh and alex, do spare me about your “decent conversation.” You’re the one bitching about a comment made about race nineteen freaking paragraphs down into a story and trolling for a reaction.

Post of the day. Tone troll is obvious.

indigo

February 22nd, 2013
8:35 am

“race differences may be causing some of the differences”

And yet, had that not been said, and had I said an all white board is needed, many of you would have hurled charges of “racism” at me.

This is just another example of something that is not going to go away just because you don’t want to talk about it.

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
8:38 am

IDEA

lets use LOTTERY MONEY………… to spend on computers for kids that CANT READ, WRITE or do MATH!!!!!!!!!

then lets spends more LOTTERY MONEY to put middle class white kids into college on something we will call a DOPE SCHOLARSHIP

why spend ANY LOTTERY $$$ on K-5 in DEKALB or the STATE……… we have the best computers that kids can’t learn on and a lot of rich white college kids partying their tails off

gadem also known as Benghazi

February 22nd, 2013
8:39 am

Jay,

Do you think there was a difference in the way that the state handled Clayton County accreditation versus Dekalb County? And if so, why?

Outer Perimeter

February 22nd, 2013
8:39 am

It has been my observation through the years that school board members frequently have hidden agendas that they don’t want to divulge until they finally have to.

Butch Cassidy (I)

February 22nd, 2013
8:40 am

UNCLE SAMANTHA – “a lot of rich white college kids partying their tails off”

WEALTH ENVY!!!!

Mr_B

February 22nd, 2013
8:44 am

“I SAY LET THE TEACHERS UNION RUN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM!!!!

THEY WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEMS”

Unlikely, since at least in GA, they don’t have any bargaining ability, and therefore zero power.
But then, where they exist, they are actually made of of people who are trying to educate our kids.

BTW, Sam, the cost of keyboards has come down dramatically in recent years. Try Walmart. They can fix you up with one that doesn’t have a stuck cap key for very little money.

Or, are you just trying to be rude?

Bob

February 22nd, 2013
8:48 am

Friend of Hamas! 8:09 am ” Am I the only one who thinks that a career in education should be a prerequisite for the job?”
I guess it’d depend on how you’d define “in education.” If you’re a member of the Bush Crime Family scamming public schools, one could say he works “in education,” after all.
SFD at it again with Bush bashing even thought this is another story about a democrat run school board running the system into the ground. Was the Clayton County school board failure Bush’s fault as well ? Was Bush responsible for Beverly Frauds test cheating scam in APS ? You leftists are running the schools that are having the most problems but can’t admit you are at fault so you blame Bush. You say you love the children but look at the pathetic state of leftist/democrat run school like Chicago, Detroit, Clayton County and now DeKalb. But with you, the buck stops with George Bush.

JamVet

February 22nd, 2013
8:49 am

Good morning, all.

Corbin and stands, you are dealing with a screaming nitwit, what do you expect? Intelligent, adult discourse?

Is it possible that the culture of substandard education in Georgia, Dixie and the American southwest is so entrenched and so longstanding, that high quality education (the kind that rivals northern and Midwestern states, see top 20 below) for most of our children is no longer possible? From what little I know about this subject, the dismal results apply equally across the board, from all black urban schools to white rural ones?

There’s good news and bad news about the state of education in America. According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s newly released KIDS COUNT Data Book, we’ve made progress and have had some setbacks. Academics and health have improved in most states, but our children’s economic well-being continues to decline.

From the period of 2005 to 2011, there was an 11 percent reduction in the rate of high school students not graduating in four years; and an eight percent reduction in the proportion of eighth-graders scoring less than proficient in math. More kids are attending preschool, and elementary school kids are reading better. On the downside, from 2005 to 2010, the number of children living in poverty rose by 2.4 million.

http://www.takepart.com/photos/5-worst-and-5-best-states-educate-your-kids

Massachusetts
New Jersey
Vermont
New Hampshire
Connecticut
Maryland
Minnesota
Pennsylvania
Colorado
Wisconsin
Virginia
Kansas
Montana
Iowa
Nebraska
North Dakota
Illinois
Ohio
New York
Rhode Island

Ronald Reagan Parkway

February 22nd, 2013
8:50 am

stands for decibels – Friend of Hamas!

February 22nd, 2013
8:20 am

Thanks for the info. There could be a pattern forming with other Republican lead governments across the U.S.

GT

February 22nd, 2013
8:51 am

The real problem in Georgia is just like how they act on a federal level. They cannot compromise or get along with anybody. I get the feeling the very white state government enjoys watching DeKalb, it makes the state look normal and displays in their mind the problem at hand. Black people can’t govern themselves. The right has figured obviously they don’t need the black vote nor can they get it to win statewide election so they have no obligation. Listening to the country English spoken by most of the state elected officials not much time has been spent on their personal education either. Funny I have noticed the nation treats Georgia the same way Georgia treats DeKalb, ignores them. You have a very hard time getting businesses into the mess called Georgia. This is where the full might of some powerful person should be not some side issue like immigration or gays getting married.

kayaker 71

February 22nd, 2013
8:56 am

Ever lived in Germany? You give a German “official” a fancy hat and a rubber stamp and he becomes the king of the world. Some people don’t handle power very well, especially when there is a racial axe to grind. Obvious system failures are overlooked, lies are accepted as truth and no one says anything, especially their fellow board members who are supposed to take their jobs seriously. The taxpayer becomes fed up with a system that feeds on itself and who suffers?….. all of those kids.

alex

February 22nd, 2013
8:57 am

@ GT, what is it about a region that values college football more than the education of a university, that donors give millions to a coach, but leave the english dept. wanting, I don’t get it.

@ Uncle, you rave, I don’t disagree, where do you suggest the lottery money go. Keep in mind that many studies argue that pre-k education does not improve educational outcomes (a controversial subject, no doubt)

FUN GUY

February 22nd, 2013
8:58 am

SPEAKING OF RACE

This is great. I have been wondering about why Whites are racists, and no other race is……
Michael Richards makes his point……………………
Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point.

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points…

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

And then there are just Americans.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you.. so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?
You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.

You have the NAACP. You have BET. If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

If we had White History Month, we’d be racists.

If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that??

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships… You know we’d be racists.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US … Yet if there were ‘White colleges’, that would be a racist college.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.
You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

I am proud…… But you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists??

There is nothing improper about this message.. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don’t think many will. That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won’t stand up for ourselves!

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!

It’s not a crime YET… but getting very close!

Cosby

February 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

Government Schools at their best…Teacher unions at their best…time for vouchers AND PARENT RESPONSIBILITY….but I do wonder who is paying for the lawsuit the board members filed to keep their positions ( not jobs)

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

Keep in mind that many studies argue that pre-k education does not improve educational outcomes

Please name one of these “many studies.” Have you read them?

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

If there are no criminal violations involved, then the Board members should stay.
The people voted them in, and they may vote them out.
.
If I remember correctly, DeKalb voted Obama in by something like 112 %.
Same thing.
.
The people HAVE to learn……..the hard way………..elections have consequences.
.
Forward Democracy.
.
lol

Sad day in DeKalb

February 22nd, 2013
9:03 am

How can a board that is appointed by the Governor have power to remove a board that is elected by the people? The more things change, the more they remain the same in Georgia. After watching this video and listening to the rhetoric beginning at …18:44, it foretells the direction that this state is headed…Nathan Deal and the Republican Administration has too much power. The DeKalb Board probably should be removed but only by the citizens of DeKalb and not by cronies of Nathan Deal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9ACS4PgDFA

JamVet

February 22nd, 2013
9:03 am

FUN, interesting.

To the extent that sophistry lacking in any context or understanding of American history could be…

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
9:03 am

GM Starts Hiring for North Fulton IT Innovation Center
Between GM, EndoChoice and HP, North Fulton could be adding 1,400 jobs.

Ernst & Young plans IT center, 400 jobs in metro Atlanta

OH YOU IGNORANT LIBERALS………….. JOBS ARE COMING TO ATLANTA…….. THEY JUST AREN’T HIRING DEKALB OR APS STUDENTS………
SO MUCH FOR JAY’S DEFEAT OF T-SPLOST DRIVING JOBS AWAY

TaxPayer

February 22nd, 2013
9:07 am

Jay,

How were the problems in Dekalb and Clayton Counties identified and these methodologies being utilized to evaluate the remaining counties?

Hoof Hearted

February 22nd, 2013
9:07 am

Independent Thinker: I seriously doubt removing the protection of sovereign immunity from school board posts, thereby exposing elected officials to PERSONAL liability for actions taken in their official capacity is going to encourage better-qualified folks to seek out those positions. Face it, those positions don’t pay enough money to attract somebody qualified and devoted enough to really do the heavy lifting needed to repair DeKalb’s damaged schools. They’re not full-time positions, and basically, somebody who has a career and/or a family will be hard-pressed to find the time and energy to devote to such an endeavor. That is not to say that there aren’t such people who run for these positions; I just believe there aren’t a whole lot of them. That leaves you with folks who are either retired, unemployed, bored, or simply seeking some prestige or power. Again, there’s nothing wrong with being retired or unemployed (or even bored), but those might not be the ideal qualifications for these positions. Anyway, making the position less attractive (by eliminating sovereign immunity) is not going to encourage more qualified people to run for school board.

TaxPayer

February 22nd, 2013
9:07 am

Oop! “are” these

kayaker 71

February 22nd, 2013
9:08 am

Someone has to wake up before long and realize that NO respectable company is going to hire someone with his pants down around his ankles and covered with tattoos with his baseball cap on sideways speaking some kind of dialect that only his buddies can understand. It just ain’t gonna happen.

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 22nd, 2013
9:08 am

alex

February 22nd, 2013
8:57 am

@ Uncle, you rave, I don’t disagree, where do you suggest the lottery money go. Keep in mind that many studies argue that pre-k education does not improve educational outcomes (a controversial subject, no doubt)
======================================================================

Alex
All the lottery money should go to K-5 to underperforming students to teach reading writing and arithmetic…… THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF EDUCTATION…….

we all know the school systems where a good percentage of the students cannnot even do these 3 basics……….. INSTEAD OF MORE MONEY FOR ALL…

TARGET MONEY IN PROGRAMS AT K-5 TO TEACH READING WRITING AND ARITHMETIC

kayaker 71

February 22nd, 2013
9:09 am

Fun Guy, 8:58,

Post of the day.

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2013
9:11 am

There is nothing improper about this message.. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on.

Why are white people so stupid? They cut and paste long forwarded e-mails, can they not compose a simple paragraph in English? I pay taxes so they can sit in school and these people don’t even appreciate the opportunity they’re given, to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and learn at least one language.

Maybe if white people weren’t so busy popping out welfare babies and selling drugs they could learn to “axe” their own questions.

Granny Godzilla

February 22nd, 2013
9:11 am

FUN GUY

February 22nd, 2013
8:58 am
.
.
.
.
Insecure Much?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 22nd, 2013
9:12 am

If our all caps screamer had half a brain to learn how to post without screaming, I would point out that those jobs are being created in places where MARTA runs and these areas are obtaining jobs because Roswell and Alpharetta have extension fiber optics networks and other infrastructure that have been created over the years. The very same type infrastructure that some fail to see the need for continued investment. But that kind of response takes an ability to have intelligent assessment and an operational functioning brain. Something those who scream are incapable of doing.

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 22nd, 2013
9:12 am

if it can be fixed, Mike will fix it.

GT

February 22nd, 2013
9:13 am

I think there is a huge opening for a Democratic Party candidate not only in the senate race but the governorship next election.

Seven Republican governors have walked away from their refusal to take money for healthcare from the federal government; our brain trust is not one of those seven.

This education is our second national crisis after healthcare. We need a state leadership that can live as a member of this country not a rebel without a cause. Lord if we had any results from this isolation and immature conduct of our leaders I would get out of the way, but it has been a complete failure in every definition of the word.

I always get a kick out of the local guys talking about immigration and how if the feds can’t handle it they will. What outside football has this state handled correctly in decades. We need the federal government and we need a group of leaders than can act like adults and work together with the country we live in. What we as a state hate and lie about in facts is the cure to most of our problems or at least a start. Progressive is a dirty word but when you are in the mud and not getting out, staying the same is even dirtier.

kayaker 71

February 22nd, 2013
9:13 am

Granny, 9:11,

I would say the insecurity lies somewhere else in the equation.

Erwin's cat

February 22nd, 2013
9:13 am

kinda makes a good argument for charter schools eh?

Peadawg

February 22nd, 2013
9:14 am

FUN GUY
February 22nd, 2013
8:58 am

*polite gold clap*

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

February 22nd, 2013
9:16 am

Well, DeKalb and Clayton use to have good schools. Then Those People took over running the schools and turned schooling into politicking. I’m not suprized. Not that I’m a rascist or anything like that.

Have a good Friday everybody. I’m out here dodging raindrops and trying to get my stores and bars stocked up so you drunks music lovers can swap weird songs. Be sure and take advantage of it. With the new blogging thingie about to hit us, it might could be the last chance you have to have a real FNM. It won’t be the same when we have to cut and paste a innernet address in our browser.

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2013
9:16 am

I would say the insecurity lies somewhere else in the equation.

I’m sure you would, but unfortunately you’re hobbled by a passive-aggressive mumbling style where you don’t have the b@lls to say what you mean.

Paul

February 22nd, 2013
9:18 am

“Since December, when the DeKalb school system was notified that its repeated misbehavior had put its accreditation in danger, board members have made it more clear than ever that their top priority is maintaining their own power and authority. They have hired outside legal counsel, at considerable taxpayer expense, to protect their own jobs. They have filed state and federal lawsuits, again at considerable expense, challenging the state’s right to remove them.”

I read that and I thought “whaaat?!!? All that effort to preserve their position on a school board?!!?

Then I remembered some of our fellow bloggers and how fixated they are on what constitutes the high points of their lives.

Ain’t no ego like an insecure ego.,

Jay

“Thurmond also vouched strongly for the current DeKalb board’s willingness to help him. The problem is, as an employee of the DeKalb board, he cannot fix the board. His own competence, reputation and experience have no real relevance to the board’s fate. Furthermore, it is unfair and inappropriate for the board to use Thurmond as a mouthpiece to plead publicly on their behalf. His job as interim superintendent is to improve the education being offered to DeKalb students, not to preserve the jobs of the board members who hired him.”

In your opinion, does Thurmon really think he can improve the education of the students in spite of the board?

JamVet

February 22nd, 2013
9:20 am

71, Fun and Peadawg demonstrate the prevalence of the “Negro problem” in the American right wing, especially in the Deep South. (Wonder where that came from?)

Stay segregated, cons.

It’s working out great for you…

Erwin's cat

February 22nd, 2013
9:23 am

71, Fun and Peadawg demonstrate the prevalence of the “Negro problem” in the American right wing, especially in the Deep South. (Wonder where that came from?)

I think that is a bit of a stretch…if anything your comment furthers their point

Peadawg

February 22nd, 2013
9:24 am

JamVet
February 22nd, 2013
9:20 am

If I had a nickle for everytime I’m accused of being a Liberal Communist or a Con each day I’d be rich. It’s sad, really.

Bob

February 22nd, 2013
9:25 am

Aquagirl ,
February 22nd, 2013,9:00 am,
“Keep in mind that many studies argue that pre-k education does not improve educational outcomes”

Please name one of these “many studies.” Have you read them?

Here is one story Aquagirl and if you wanted to know the truth you could have found it yourself since this study was widely covered.
“It is now 45 years later. We spend more than $7 billion providing Head Start to nearly 1 million children each year. And finally there is indisputable evidence about the program’s effectiveness, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services: Head Start simply does not work.

According to the Head Start Impact Study, which was quite comprehensive, the positive effects of the program were minimal and vanished by the end of first grade. Head Start graduates performed about the same as students of similar income and social status who were not part of the program. These results were so shocking that the HHS team sat on them for several years, according to Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, who said, “I guess they were trying to rerun the data to see if they could come up with anything positive. They couldn’t.”

Maybe Bush did this study and he lied. Maybe all those head start kids are really college grads right now right Aqua ?

GT

February 22nd, 2013
9:27 am

Aquagirl you rock!

I think if we in this state decided everything we do we are now going to do the exact opposite; you would see Cinderella going to the ball. We hate now we love, we isolate now we cooperate, we exclude now we include, it works other places, why not here. Stop wasting money on too stupid to success programs start recognizing our failures and start doing something about them. Takes guts and not being selfish, but when you hit rock bottom which we have it is easier to find guts and maybe a little common sense.

AmericaShrugged

February 22nd, 2013
9:29 am

How many of those board members are Democrats? All or most I would guess, which explains the incompetence at anything but lining their own pockets with taxpayer money.

JamVet

February 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

No cat, that virulent racist Richards deserves no voice, WITHOUT decent people declaiming his disgusting, bigoted and frankly childish, positions for what they are. And moreover declaiming the lowbrows that glamorize him as some sort of well spoken hero of intellect and morality.

He is neither.

It strikes me as odd that you do not see that. “Segregation yesterday, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” is still VERY alive and well in the GOP.

But understand this, I LOVE IT.

It merely spells an earlier demise for the racists…

Welcome to Georgia

February 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

Georgia has had 10 Constitutions since 1777.

The current Georgia Constitution was adopted in 1983 and has been amended 70 times.

JamVet

February 22nd, 2013
9:31 am

Peadawg, YOU are the one who applauded that racist nonsense.

And as you are in the kitchen, you WILL feel the heat…

saywhat

February 22nd, 2013
9:33 am

“Stay segregated, cons.”

The top 5 ranked states are:

1. Massachusetts
2. New Jersey
3. Vermont
4. New Hampshire
5. Connecticut

Interesting demographics.

Thug

February 22nd, 2013
9:34 am

This culture of BS this country has transformed fundamentally into is hard to stomach sometimes. Wow, if it wasn’t for Chicago & New Orleans
the ATL would be the corruption capital of the land. With the bad cop scandal,dysfunctional government at all levels and Lefty wants us to believe this is progress? choooooooo this stinks

Seriously Folks

February 22nd, 2013
9:35 am

As the old saying goes, “all politics is local.” And the deal with our crumbling schools is a non-partisan issue. Yes, we all have differing opinions on HOW to implement changes in educating our kids, but at the end of the day, I am of the mindset that if its broken, then FIX IT. WHO cares who gets credit, since the end result is a better opportunity for ALL the kids in Metro.

What the students and their families CHOOSE to do with that opportunity is another issue entirely!

saywhat

February 22nd, 2013
9:36 am

Check them out for yourselves. With the exception of New Jersey, they are predominantly white and liberal.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 22nd, 2013
9:36 am

seriously? – ‘kinda makes a good argument for charter schools eh?’

‘kinda’ in the same way King Textiles argued that poisoning the
water down here prevented overfishing

kayaker 71

February 22nd, 2013
9:36 am

Aquagirl, 9:16,

Balls are not the problem. A lot of us post our opinions on this blog on a regular basis but if our comments don’t fit a certain pattern where we ignore the obvious, we are considered some kind of white cretin. Racial identity is a very important commodity. It tells you something about yourself, lets you separate yourself from the mainstream and generally, gives you some self-respect for who you are. But if that identity gets in the way of good common sense, like getting a respectable job, raising a family responsibly or paying your bills, it runs into conflict with the rest of us who work for a living. You might be really comfortable going out and buying some rust bucket and putting a set of chrome wheels on it and it might give you some kind of “identity”, however the mainstream, you know, the ones that do the hiring, might not look upon that as a qualification for employment. Neither do they favor someone who can’t put two words together and make a sentence. Makes for a bad company image. Most of these misfits are products of some kind of DeKalb or Clayton County education, run by a bunch of power hungry, self-serving black people who were educated about the same way. Does that tell you how I really feel?

Peadawg

February 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

JamVet
February 22nd, 2013
9:31 am

It’s very sad that it’s come down to that. It happens to me everyday on here (from lefties and righties alike). Very sad. I guess I’m just weird for not marching in line on every issue and being a good liberal or republican. If I agreed with “the other side” on something, I’m automatically “one of them”. :roll:

Peadawg

February 22nd, 2013
9:38 am

I take pride in being able to think for myself. Something A LOT of people on this blog can’t do.

GT

February 22nd, 2013
9:38 am

AmericaShrugged you keep doing what you are doing. Your club house is burning down, our’s is getting bigger. You isolate the state then you isolate the counties, what a recipe for success. Most of the blue states are far more successful than what we are. It doesn’t take much, fog a mirror as they say but I would keep my pointing to a minimum if I were you.

Simple Truths

February 22nd, 2013
9:40 am

DeKalb, racing to the bottom. But still way ahead of Clayton County.

clem

February 22nd, 2013
9:40 am

michael thurmond will try, but one year not enough and then they will have to start again. no continuity. only way for system to improve is tough medicine for kids, parents and teachers. all need to give more effort but hard to do in today’s culture of sitting on your arse and letting someone else or the tv do it.

willie lynch

February 22nd, 2013
9:40 am

You can’t argue with results. If the system is in a shambles you have to start with the leadership. In the words of John Mclaughlin- Bye Bye!

Class of '98

February 22nd, 2013
9:41 am

Jay, I’m surprised you didn’t just find a poll saying that X% of people think they should be removed.

You have clearly demonstrated that the rule of law is unimportant to you, and what really matters is how a majority of people answer a poll question.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 22nd, 2013
9:42 am

Aquagirl, I am not sure if K71 is telling you that certain races need to act more white or it they have to learn their place. But it sure do paint with a broad brush of racial ignorance.

barking frog

February 22nd, 2013
9:42 am

Welcome to Georgia
Georgia has had 10 Constitutions since 1777.

The current Georgia Constitution was adopted in 1983 and has been amended 70 times
…………………………………………………………………………………
Etch-a-Sketch patterned their product on the Georgia constitution.

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2013
9:43 am

Maybe Bush did this study and he lied. Maybe all those head start kids are really college grads right now right Aqua ?

No Bob, the problem is not Bush, it’s you—are you one of those white people who don’t speak English? I asked alex if he’d read the study. Your response was to post pieces of articles you read about a Head Start evaluation.

If you can’t distinguish between a study and a news article, this doesn’t say much for your reading comprehension or reasoning skills.

What is wrong with white people, are they all this uneducated and confused?

Now if you actually read the study you’d have noticed it said nothing about how Pre-K doesn’t work, it was not designed to answer that question.

You’re also missing critical thinking skills when you don’t notice Head Start =/= Pre-K.

Maybe Mr. Cut ‘n Paste Racist is right, white people need more educational opportunities. You could certainly benefit from help escaping your anti-intellectual culture, where reading and intelligence are derided.

Paul

February 22nd, 2013
9:45 am

Bob

It’d be nice if you’d cite where that Head Start analysis came from.

Personally, I don’t think whoever did the article was familiar with the purpose of Head Start or other remedial-type early education programs. They wrote “According to the Head Start Impact Study, which was quite comprehensive, the positive effects of the program were minimal and vanished by the end of first grade. ”

In other words, Head Start did what it was supposed to do: prepare children to function with their peers so they wouldn’t be behind at the outset – kindergarten and first grade – so the schools didn’t have to hold the kids back or spend resources to bring them up to par. So of course the results ‘vanished’ by the end of first grade. They were supposed to!

straitroad

February 22nd, 2013
9:46 am

FUN GUY

February 22nd, 2013
8:58 am

Your post is accurate but you must know that the majority of folks on this board are incapable of reason or abstract thought. I’m afraid the programming they have received from birth is irreversible.

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 22nd, 2013
9:47 am

GT

February 22nd, 2013
9:48 am

Balls are the problem in this state. I see very educated people who don’t want to risk the personal economic downturns of not going along with a lynching. You come in wet but refuse to admit it is raining because you may piss someone off and not be invited to join something or lose a client. Stupidity such as FOX is a way of life down here and I am telling you half our reality suffers because of it. But some country bullies live better because they have a smug mob running things.

Buzz Belle

February 22nd, 2013
9:48 am

UNCLE SAMANTHA – I urge you to listen to this. Money is not always the answer, but it sure goes a long way in education.

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/22/172674083/commissions-report-outlines-education-priorities

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 22nd, 2013
9:48 am

“Keep in mind that many studies argue that pre-k education
does not improve educational outcomes.”

oh they might ‘argue’ just not successfully

yeah, that’s AM radio GOLD right there mon. See how they worded that?
It even sounds pseudo-learned to the rubes.
We enlightened rogue savages call that “speaking with forked tongue.”