Update on the International Teachers contract

IN JUNE, we posted our concerns about two, one year contracts totaling over three million dollars for international teachers unanimously approved at the June board meeting. Not only did it stick in our craw that we are paying high fees to hire a teachers supply ‘agency’ to get teachers to replace those fleeing DeKalb, we continue to have deep concerns about the companies given the contracts.

CLICK HERE to read our original post about the June 2 Board meeting.

First, we raised an eyebrow at agenda item #8.

8. International Teacher Services Agreements
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

Our initial concerns were as follows:

Here is the link to the details:

Due to teacher shortages in the critical needs areas of Math, Science and Special Education, the services of Intalage, Inc. and Global Teaching Agency will provide the District with additional staffing resources for filling vacant critical needs areas. All teachers selected by the District are fully certified and will be interviewed and recommended by the Principal. To reiterate, this is only an additional staffing resource to provide high quality teachers to students.

Financial Impact
The amount of the contracts will not exceed $3,005,000 for up to 45 teachers and will come from allotted teacher positions in the General Fund.

Fee for Agency – $11,500.00
Average Fee for Employee Salary – $55,000

Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources, 678.676.0168



Note some of the wording in the contracts:

Unless sooner terminated as provided herein, the term of this Agreement shall be for an initial period of one year, commencing on August 1, 2014 (the “Initial Term”). The services to be rendered by Teachers shall commence on the first day of school for new teachers per DCSD’s school year calendar (the “Commencement Date”), and shall terminate on DCSD’s last teacher workday per DCSD’s school year calendar (the “Termination Date”). Prior to the commencement of a Teacher’s active teaching duties, DCSD shall arrange for the Teacher to have a minimum of one workday of classroom observation or non-instructional activities for which Teacher will not be charged a personal or sick day

This Agreement may be renewed for up to two additional one-year terms
(“Additional Term(s)”) by an affirmative vote from a majority of the DeKalb County Board of Education (“Board”).
Notice of such renewal by the Board shall be given at least forty-five (45) days prior to the expiration of the Initial Term and of each Additional Term. To the extent it is a multiyear agreement for the lease or purchase of services, this Agreement is governed by the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-506.b. Vendor agrees that, for any Additional Term, DCSD retains the right to review and reject the Services of any individual Teacher.

At all times while this Agreement is in effect, Vendor will ensure that each Teacher’s work visa remains valid.
- Vendor will assist each Teacher in obtaining, as soon as possible, a teaching certificate from the State of Georgia. In the event that any Teacher’s certificate is delayed or not obtained for any reason(such as, but not limited to changes in governmental policies, etc.), Vendor will refund to DCSD any fees paid on behalf of the Services of such Teachers on a pro rata basis. In any event in which the Teacher’s certificate is delayed or not obtained, for any reason, the Teacher will be released from duty.


Then Kirk Lunde posted two blog opinion posts at the Patch and we reposted them here:

The June 2, 2014 BOE meeting and International Teachers

Posted on June 6, 2014

My [2015 DeKalb Schools] Budget Concerns

Posted on June 22, 2014
Of note: Another example of a “data-disconnect” on the T Sheet is the appropriation for “International Teachers.” Last October the BOE approved an additional $1,755,000 for international teachers. As I pointed out in an earlier post, during the current fiscal year, three divisions and fifteen accounts have been used to pay for international teachers. Where was the $600,000 requested in the amended budget going? Why $600,000 when over $3.5 million was already approved?

Read Lunde’s posts. They are extremely relevant.

Moving on, we looked up Intalage, Inc at the GA SOS website, and almost gave up until we figured out the company is listed as In-Talage, Inc. (Scroll to the bottom to read the business documents.) The business address is listed as 3718 Sexton Woods Drive, in Chamblee (just down the street from the high school at the corner of Sexton Woods and Chamblee-Dunwoody.) So we took a field trip. And we took pictures. Below is the ‘corporate office’ of the company we just gave a multiyear multi-million dollar contract to supply teachers from overseas to teach our children.




(These were taken on a weekday. We have driven by several times and the place has been vacant every time.)


Officers for Intalage, Inc. and Global Teaching Agency

IN-TALAGE, INC. Current Name
Profit Corporation – Domestic – Information
Control No.: 0029476
Status: Active/Compliance
Entity Creation Date: 6/27/2000
Jurisdiction: GA
Principal Office Address: 3718 SEXTON WOODS DRIVE
Last Annual Registration Filed Date: 2/4/2012
Last Annual Registration Filed: 2012
Registered Agent
Office Address: 3718 SEXTON WOODS DR
Agent County: DEKALB
Title: CEO
Title: CFO
Title: Secretary

CFO: ASH CHANDLER 9069 Betony wood Trail JONESBORO Georgia 30236
SEC: ANDY DAKSHINA 965 Berkshire Rd atlanta Georgia 30324

7171 jonesboro road MORROW Georgia 30260
CFO: paddy sharma 9069 Betony wood Trail JONESBORO Georgia 30236
SEC: paddy sharma 9069 Betony wood trail Jonesboro Georgia 30236

Also see >>


Haque Tarique
In Talage Inc,
3718 Sexton Woods Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone: (770) 457-9654

Read More >> http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2008-10-27-voa48/404616.html

And more (on their acting careers) >> http://www.nripulse.com/CityNews/Love_Winkle_Free_Atlanta.html


Posted in Board of Education Meetings, Budget Cuts, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, DeKalb County, Georgia, Education in the South, Teacher Contracts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Early Election Results

It looks like we have winners … in most categories – state school super primaries look pretty close as of this writing.

July 22, 2014- DeKalb election results

And the primary runoffs for state school superintendent look like this >>

Georgia School Super runoff results 07-22-14

Posted in Charter School, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, DeKalb School Board Elections | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

DA, defense agree Crawford Lewis should get probation

Should Crawford go to jail? … The debate continues…

Read more here >> DA, defense agree Crawford Lewis should get probation

By Rhonda Cook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Though on opposite sides of on his guilt and innocence when former DeKalb County School Superintendent Crawford Lewis was facing criminal charges, the prosecutor and the defense attorney agreed Tuesday in a hearing before the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Lenora Grant and Lewis’ attorney Mike Brown agreed there was an agreement between the sides for probation for Lewis if he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction to avoid risking racketeering and theft convictions and up to 65 years in prison.

But Judge Cynthia Becker breached that agreement when she said the former educator should spend 12 months in jail instead of on probation, the two attorneys said.

“It was clear this (plea) agreement would work only if the trial judge was in agreement,” Brown said. “Dr. Lewis would not have plead guilty to a crime that involved jail time.”

DSW Note: This is not exactly news. This has been an issue in the court for quite some time. The DA and defense disagree with the judge. Stand by to see who wins.

Posted in Crawford Lewis, Criminal / RICO Trials, DeKalb County, Georgia | Tagged | 7 Comments

Accreditation agency keeps DeKalb at “warned” level

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Read the original article here.

The DeKalb County School District has made “material progress” addressing the concerns of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but the organization did not restore full accreditation after a recent monitoring visit.

SACS will keep DeKalb’s accreditation at the “warned” level, a couple of notches below full accreditation, says a July 2 report by the organization that DeKalb released Friday.

The district has completed work on nine of 14 “required actions” but faces important changes in leadership. The election this year, culminating with Tuesday’s runoff, will alter the makeup of the school board. Also, the district will need to find a successor to Superintendent Michael Thurmond by June.

“The work to date has managed to stabilize the system and set it on a path to continuous improvement,” the SACS report said. “However, the school system faces several critical challenges that can threaten the sustainability of the progress made.”


This is why the quest for dual accreditation for all DeKalb County high schools led by Terry Nall and others is so critical. Our schools in DeKalb that DO manage to provide a quality education for their students should not have to suffer due to inept leadership and challenges at other schools in the district. We cannot risk all of our accreditation on SACS alone. Our graduating students must graduate from an accredited high school. Dual accreditation (a second accreditation via Georgia Accrediting Commission) provides this safety net. Our school board approved dual accreditation beginning this Fall. I hope all of the school councils keep tabs on the progress at their respective high schools.

Posted in DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, DeKalb County, Georgia, DeKalb School Board Elections, Education in the South, GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Georgia Independent Schools, Michael Thurmond, SACS/Accreditation | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

From Atlanta Unfiltered: Valarie Wilson for superintendent: Late, missing disclosures

Leaders in the public sector have plenty of public resources to promote their political views, accomplishments and experience. Often the public record holds much more: personal and campaign finance disclosures, expense reports, and business, tax and court filings. Here’s what they show:

Valarie D. Wilson
Democratic Candidate for State School Superintendent

Campaign website


Wilson’s Democratic opponent for state school superintendent left required information off her personal financial disclosures for 2010 and 2011. Wilson didn’t file a disclosure at all in 2012 and filed her 2014 disclosure, due in March, on July 13 after Atlanta Unfiltered contacted her campaign staff to ask where it was. A staffer indicated Wilson had tried to file the 2014 report twice previously but did not respond to telephone messages seeking more information.

As of July 2014, Wilson owed the state ethics commission $575 in late filing fees.

Read more about Valarie at Atlanta Unfiltered >> transparency project
Valarie Wilson for superintendent: Late, missing disclosures

Posted in GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Georgia Education, Georgia State Board of Education | Tagged , | 3 Comments

From Atlanta Unfiltered: Rep. Alisha Morgan: Undisclosed pro-charter job

Leaders in the public sector have plenty of public resources to promote their political views, accomplishments and experience. Often the public record holds much more: personal and campaign finance disclosures, expense reports, and business, tax and court filings. Here’s what they show:

DSC_0367-208x300Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell)
Democratic Candidate for State School Superintendent

District 39 (Cobb County)

Campaign website


Alisha Morgan makes no secret of her support for charter schools or her affiliation with the pro-charter Black Alliance for Educational Options, noting it in several online biographies. But when she filed her personal financial disclosures with the state ethics commission in 2012, she neglected to mention that the alliance had been paying her.

Morgan joined the alliance’s board in 2010, stepping down in September 2011 when the alliance hired her for a salaried job as director of its Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute. Under her direction, the alliance announced, the institute:

“will work to recruit, train and support Black professional activists through its National Advocacy Fellowship and Emerging Leaders Education Action Network. Both programs will focus on recruitment and training of Black education choice activists; the latter will be aimed at college students and young adults under the age of 30. BSLI also will sponsor a yearlong fellowship to support the launch of Black-led education reform initiatives.”

Read more about Alisha Morgan at Atlanta Unfiltered >> transparency project
Rep. Alisha Morgan: Undisclosed pro-charter job

Posted in Charter School, Charter School Amendment, Education in the South, GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Georgia Education, Georgia State Board of Education | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The July 22, 2014 school board runoff election: District 4

Vote-ButtonThese are the candidates in the runoffs for school board seats up for election in a runoff election to be held JULY 22, 2014 >>

To recap: Below are the results of the May 20 non-partisan school board election, at which all seven school board seats were up for election (with the two super district seats being eliminated). Four seats were secured and three will continue on in the runoffs.

District 1: Stan Jester won unopposed
District 2: Marshall Orson won over Don McChesney (for a 2nd time)
District 3: In a five-person race for this seat, the result is now a runoff between incumbent Michael Irwin (a Gov Deal appointee) and Atticus LeBlanc (a parent and community member). Willie R. Mosley, Jr., Jarrod Jordan and Jerrie D. Bason were the other candidates.
District 4: After a four-person race for this seat, the result is now a runoff between two incumbents: Jim McMahan, who was originally elected by the district 4 voters, and Karen Carter, a Gov Deal appointee to the super district seat formerly held by Pam Speaks, and eliminated by the GA legislature this year. The other candidates were John Oselette and Ella Smith.
District 5: After a 5 person race for this seat, formerly held by Gov appointee David Campbell who chose not to run again, the result is now a runoff between incumbent Thad Mayfield (a Gov Deal appointee) and longtime educator Vicki B. Turner who serves as headmaster of a small private school.
District 6: Current board chair, incumbent Melvin Johnson won handily over Bridgeman Bolger.
District 7: Joyce Morley won easily with over 60% of the vote against two other candidates, Kim Ault and Lee V. Dukes.

To see the election results in detail, check here at Ballotopedia.com

Next up is the following insight into the the two incumbent candidates vying for the District 4 seat >>

Meet your candidates – DeKalb County BOE District 4


Two incumbents will compete on July 22 for the District 4 DeKalb school board seat: Jim McMahan, who was originally elected by the people of District 4 and Karen Carter, who lives in District 4 and was appointed by Gov. Deal to the Overlay District 9 seat (now eliminated by the GA Legislature).

Jim McMahan

Below are excerpts from interview questions posed by WABE 90.1, Atlanta’s National Public Radio Station >>

I have a background in Financial Services for the last 29 years. Investment Advisor with Dean Witter Reynolds & Morgan Stanley and since having children 14 years ago I have worked as a Residential Loan Originator currently with Amstar Mortgage Network. I spend hours reviewing the district financials every month and propose ways to increase transparency and create efficiencies.

I am a taxpayer advocate and parent who understands the challenges our teachers and students face each day in our schools. I am not a lifelong administrator as one of my challengers who voted against the Druid Hills Charter Cluster. I support local control and look forward to establishing a “Charter System” within DCSD.

Several issues challenge our district. Underfunded schools and teachers are first. The lack of local control of our schools and clusters and a Superintendent that is a strong, transformational leader. I am part of the team appointed to recommend the process to search for our next Superintendent. I suggest ways to increase funding to our schools and teachers and offer policy amendments to help move forward in creating a charter system.

To read the entire interview with Jim, click here.


Karen Carter

Below are excerpts from interview questions posed by WABE 90.1, Atlanta’s National Public Radio Station >>

I am an educator who has served in senior administrative roles in higher education as well as on the faculty. In these positions I have gained a greater understanding of coalition building, demonstrating compassion for others while working on challenging issues and engaging diverse stakeholders. I am also a licensed attorney with more than twenty years of experience working with non-profit boards as a trainer, board chair and member, I am a consensus builder and systems thinker who can see the big and little pieces of an issue and help others understand how they contribute to resolving the issue and moving the mission forward. I believe that these skills as well as my commitment to helping others achieve their best have allowed me to work with all board members to move this school district forward in achieving academic success and respect.

I was appointed by Governor Deal to serve the district last year and I believe I was selected because of the combination of my professional skills, history as a servant leader, and my diverse K-12 experiences. While the appointment allowed me to work with others to begin creating positive change for the district overall, the work is not complete. The short term successes we have achieved continue to fuel my passion for ensuring that all children receive a high quality education. I believe that what makes me unique in this group of candidates’ is that I am a non-parent whose life work has been the advancement of education. As such I represent the voice and vision of the reasonable citizen without children at home who still wants to make a difference. Like others, I support education through taxes, personal engagement and service.

To read the entire interview with Karen, click here.


To learn more about Jim McMahan, visit his website: VoteJimmyMac.com

To learn more about Karen Carter, visit her website: KarenForDeKalb.com

DSW Note: Many thanks to WABE 90.1 Atlanta’s National Public Radio station for taking the time to post interviews with the candidates. You may also like to reread our post about the candidates originally written for the May election, DeKalb County School Board Candidates up for election on May 20, 2014: A Review.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments