This is directed to Nancy Jester, Pam Speaks, Jim McMahan, Marshall Orson and Melvin Johnson:
Yesterday, Michael Thurmond [more Friends-and-Family] talked with reporters when leaving the Palace where he had apparently been interviewed to be DCSS superintendent. Behind closed doors. With no advance notice. Boldly flouting the law.
We have a growing suspicion that the Board, led by Gene Walker, has done NOTHING at all to prepare for the next meeting with the State Board of Education … NOTHING at all to begin to resolve AdvancED/SACS complaints (vague and un-substantive though they may be) … in short, the Board has done NOTHING to save our children.
We also have a growing concern that the Board, led by Gene Walker, has stupidly decided to challenge state law, the SBOE and the Governor in court. If that is the case – and we pray that it is not – you are going to face stiff opposition. You will be putting our children’s needs on hold while feeding your egos. It’s not like you, as a board, have accomplished anything worthwhile.
Let Sumter County spend the time and the money to challenge the state. DeKalb County Schools has neither.
You, as a Board, have overseen the greatest decline in DCSS test scores ever. In fact, you, as a Board, have implemented and overseen the greatest decline in DCSS ever. You, as a Board, have done NOTHING to create transparency. You, as a Board colluded with AdvancED/SACS – an organization with a financial interest in having things go their way in DeKalb County Schools – to select an incompetent superintendent, who cares nothing for quality work, whose first response to everything is to lie her way out of it and then hire an attorney to protect her at taxpayers expense. Now that same incompetent superintendent – your ONLY employee – apparently has abandoned her job. You, as a Board, have done NOTHING to recommend that you should keep your board seats.
We cannot support you in your quest, Gene and others, to keep your Board seats so you can keep your “walking around money.”
Don’t even think about using public money to challenge state law, the SBOE and the Governor. You have already bankrupted this school system through inept budgeting and bloating the Palace by approving incompetent and unnecessary employees. Our children have damaged lives and uncertain futures because of you, as a Board.
Nancy and Pam – we recognize, value and appreciate your service to DeKalb’s children. We know you gave it your greatest effort. But, you are only two people. As Mark Twain said, “Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” We believe the greatest service you can do for DeKalb’s children is to step outside the charmed circle and, like Don McChesney, tell us the truth. You can petition the Governor to be returned to the board if and when he chooses to act – and we would support that. Get out now before you are tarnished by association.
Jim, Marshall and Melvin – you are brand new to the Board. Do the smart thing. Leave, before you, too, are tarnished by association. As Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” You also can petition the Governor to be returned to the board.
Perhaps if you 5 do the right thing — and you know resigning from the Board is the right thing — the other 4 will follow. At the least, we believe that your resignations and accompanying statements, disavowing legal action against the state by corrupt and ignorant people who have failed badly and have no right to expect any more chances, will pressure the Governor to act. Surely you don’t want to assume personal financial responsibility for suing the state. And, there is no way that DeKalb County Schools can afford the time or money to sue on principle by a group of people who have brought DCSS crashing to its knees.
To boil it all down to a few words: “Stupid is as stupid does.” [Forest Gump]