Top level pay cuts and redefining jobs saves money — at APS

Guess what? APS is reducing their central office staff by 10% by reclassifying and reducing salaries, saving APS $500,000 per year.

This was done WITHOUT an outside consultant! It was done IN HOUSE!

Can you imagine?

Read more in the AJC here:

APS superintendent proposes changes in front office

Atlanta Superintendent Erroll B. Davis is proposing a reorganization of the district’s central office that he says will save the school system $500,000 and provide better support for teaching and learning.

“I have asked all of my units to take a hard look at how they are serving teachers and students and to deliver better services from this office and if we can, put more direct resources into the schools,” Davis said Friday morning. “This gives a sense of focus to the organization. And the focus is we are going to support, at every level, what the teachers do and do it systematically and in a silent-running manner.”

Davis said the $500,000 savings to the taxpayers would be the result of adjusted pay grades for the new positions.

I repeat, “Can you imagine?”

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17 Responses to Top level pay cuts and redefining jobs saves money — at APS

  1. Just Watch says:

    Davis has had his position a few months longer than Atkinson. I think she is interested in doing the same thing. Give her time.

    Also, as constituents, everyone needs to be emailing the entire board and reminding them that we expect them to support Dr. Atkinson as she trims (shears?) the central office.

    The kids are counting on us.

  2. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    I think we’ll have a better answer, when the contracts for next year start coming up. The next piece of the audit should answer a lot of these questions too. Even though a lot of us were not for Dr. Atkinson, at the start. She has my full support as she continues to learn how deep the F & F and GOB roots are inside the Palace.

  3. teacherwantingachange says:

    Given the board’s complicity (how many audits are needed? and how many students failing are too many?) and Steen Miles’s recent editorial, it is clear that Dr. Atkinson is up against many people who have prioritized jobs (many at obscenely high salaries) over education.

    What’s most shocking is the seeming ineptitude or unwillingness to re-direct much needed resources. How else does one explain the absence of any plan by any department in the central office to go back into the school building where instructional coordinators or supervisors, as small examples, would provide actual instruction to students? Why wouldn’t we take many of our high-paid deputy/area/assistant (I’ve worked-actually taught- in DCSS for more than a decade and I still don’t understand their distinctions or benefits to students) and house them in schools where they can run programs that would help many of the DCSS students who need to acquire necessary academic behavior, reading, and study skills before they can succeed in a “rigorous” classroom that asks them to do more than “discuss” something in a group and then “map it out.”

    This teacher can conclude only that these people either don’t know how to or don’t want to work with students-the very people we are all supposed to be serving.

  4. Kudos to Dr. Davis and APS! He is downsizing but keeping the expertise needed for him as a newcomer to APS to get the job done of educating the children. Dr. Davis is at a greater advantage than Dr. Atkinson. He is surrounded by experienced strong leaders who know the system as opposed Dr. Atkinson, who has brougt in a lot of new inexperienced folk at the top level.She may trust them, but can they do the job she expects them to do. A principal of only eight years coming in as Associate Supt. for Administration in a system as large and complex as DeKalb. Associate Supt. for Instruction with no track record coming from a consultant firm. I hope Dr. Atkinson will get it together but so for, I am truly concerned with the talent she is relying on. WE have wasted too many years already. It is time to make chances that will improve instruction throughout DeKalb. I will be happy to continue to support Dr. Atkinson when I see some positive results and a detailed plan, based on best practices, as how to get from A to B-from failure to success. I am becoming werry with promises for change and only see downsizing as an everyday move. The audit should be made public as well as all consultants (15) pay.Yet, for me , these things can wait a minute. GET INSTRUCTION GOING IMMEDIATELY And THE SUPPORT WILL BE THERE THROUGHOUT THE SYSTEM.

  5. Tuckerguy says:

    Dr. Atkinson should be able to easily triple that amount of savings with central office cuts and not decrease the amount of support the teachers see. Needless to say we don’t feel very supported at this time.

  6. Just Watch says:

    I am curious who you think she got rid of that has been proven to do a good job. (By the way, all the top deputies from Atlanta are long gone, so Davis certainly didn’t keep them.)

    Research a bit deeper into the background of the new Associate Supt of Instruction and I think you will be pleased. I do share some of your concerns about the Ass, Supt of Administration.

    Davis really has cleaned house, the difference is that most people in Atlanta understood the need. The Board has cooperated because everything there is so public and they understand the consequences of maintaining the status quo. In Atlanta, Davis would have been run out of town had he not made significant changes. These changes are also needed in DCSS.

    In DeKalb, we have multiple board members who feel invincible (Walker, for one) who clearly think the number one role of our school system is to be a jobs program. It is beyond sad for children.

    These people that you seem to be missing have been in the system for years and they have accomplished nothing. Many of them have worked for 3-4 (if you count Tyson) superintendent’s and so it can’t all be just about who the boss was. Halford was well known for promoting incompetent principals into the Central Office and to this day, several of those folks remain.

    It is time for a change.

  7. September says:

    I think Dr. A had no choice but to bring in her own people. Part of the problem in DCSS is the upper level management. That is not to say that everyone in a top position is a problem. Good leadership will certainly help. I agree with Just Watch. We need to remind the board that we are watching. We expect them to support Dr. A. We want a leaner, more effective central office.

  8. Just Watch says:

    I also think that it is important to remember that Dr. Lewis and Pat Pope have been indited, but most don’t believe the corruption stopped with them. From this point on, Atkinson will be held accountable. She absolutely must have people that she trusts surrounding her.

    Again, Davis did clean house, plus he removed all teachers and administrators, who were suspected of cheating, immediately. Some have been fired and some have been cleared.

  9. I agree, Dr. Atkinson must be held accountable and the finances must be completely transparent and on the web. We are the ones paying all of the HIGH TAXES. I also believe that there are a lot of good things going on in DeKalb. Leaders cannot lead if the Supt. doesn’t allow it and even halt it. Tally was here a long time with ABSOLUTELY NO LEADERSHIP. I don’t want to see this happen again at any level. I think employees shoud be evaluated, given a reasonable plan and time to improve and if they don’t , escort them out. Ninty days for an outside consultant to say who should go and who should stay is in no way full prouff. Let us just be fair. Yes, high level position pay should be adjusted, not to exclude folk Atkinson brought in. Let the audit be public and let us not overpay ANYONE. Put the money in direct instruction in the school house.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I fear she will be bullyed and stiff-armed into paralysis. And then painted as incompetent (it has already started). The most powerful person in the triade of bully/victim/by-stander is the by-stander. It takes guts for a by-stander to stand up to a bully. But, it will be very difficult for a by-stander (people who work in the Palace and for the Board who are witnessing the intimidation, etc.) in this situation. There is no authority to whom to bring charges of bullying.

    This Board polices itself. There is no real legal recourse. No law to invoke. No association to alert. No ethics commission. No higher authority to rule on their abhorent behavior. It’s a bully’s dream job. No wonder he wanted it so badly.

  11. no duh says:

    test

  12. Susan Curtis says:

    I like what you have to say about the audit being public. I agree that the majority of the money needs to go to the school houses in DCSS.

  13. Dekalbschoolwatch says:

    You passed no duh!

  14. anonmom says:

    The BOE supervises, hires and fires the Superintendent. What we (the “people” or the parents or the taxpayers) want from the school system, I’m afraid, is very different from what “others” (say, the majority of the BOE or the “power players” who are in ‘control’ — now or before) want is very different — what we want is for the children to be educted and to leave the system able to get jobs and to support themselves. What those “in control” want may be very different. If you read up on the history of public edcucation, say, for instance, “Weapons of Mass Instruction” by John Taylor Gatto, you may be surprised to learn that for the past 120 years or so the ability of our our schools to actually produce children who have learned anything has been intentional “hamstrung” by the “system” itself, intentionally and by design. Did you know that a century ago we had almost 100% literacy for both blacks and whites? Where are we now? Those in charge really only want was “jobs program” and a caste system that has lots of “purchasing power” to “consume” mass amounts of goods at high prices. His experince is in the upper west side of NY but all of his examples are just as relevant to the rampant corruption we have seen in good-ole DCSS. So, if Dr. A really thinks she is able to “do what’s best for the children” – the power brokers may just go about replacing her just as quickly as they did Dr. Brown and it may cost us tax payers just as much because this is the way it’s been for decades and the powers that be are very entrenched. I really think the only solution is to break the system into pieces and/or vouchers. SACS isn’t any help at all as it serves as judge, jury and prosecutor so it’s got major conflicts of interests with what it does. No one is really, truly, looking after what is best for the children. Really, read the book…. it’s very enlightening.

  15. Susan Curtis says:

    I just read these articles about effective school boards. I think we should develop an annual report card for our board based on something like these, and publish it annually. Help me come up with a rubric to judge our board members – maybe if their “scores” were published (like AYP scores are for schools), then they would feel a little pressure to improve!

    http://www.edutopia.org/five-characteristics-effective-school-board

    http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Public-education/Eight-characteristics-of-effective-school-boards

  16. No name says:

    If you take the school house and look at it as a business, then it’s purpose for existence and goals would be defined and easily understood. The school house you all dream of can only be constructed if it has been defined properly. In my opinion, the school house is no longer a school house. It does not operate as a teaching and learning environment. It is no longer safe from all of the social problems and greed that have been forced upon it.
    Dr. A must define the school house and it’s goals. Then establish processes to manage all of the social problems that would attempt to inhibit it. The school house should not apologize to the troublemakers. Voters can help change how problems are handled. We have places for the insane and demented, use them. You all discuss all of these failed government programs to help children learn. Stop using them. Go back to what you know works. If you cannot solve the problem, look at other school systems or open it up for ideas and parent discussions.
    I’d rather see Dekalb go backwards a little and get the enriched classroom back (reading out loud, instructing students and allowing them take notes in class, students at the board working math problems, teacher aides in the classroom, smaller classrooms, paper and pencil, writing journals, p.e. (modified by low impact walking options) everyday, classrooms run by teachers not problem student/parent, etc.).
    Dr. A would make enemies but just think of the benefits. DCSS is too far out in front of its ability to manage this mess. It is time to get surgical. A bloated heart will still pump but for how long. The surgery must be done. But, I digress…….

  17. no duh says:

    LOL, Dekalbschoolwatch. The cut rate was very low, however! 🙂

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