For just about any other school system, these stories would be unbelieveable. DeKalb School Watch has been receiving emails telling us about the incredible, unorganized, insensitive, haphazard, and highly unprofessional RIF’ing and rearranging of school staff the week before they must report to work.
There are stories like the para who just received an email via First Class titled “Transfer,” and it informed her she was to report on August 7 to another school. She immediately called her principal, who said they had just gotten that email too. Principals have been on the phone for hours informing employees that they were RIF’d or transferred. For many teachers and paras, the principal’s call was their only notification. We wonder how many such notifications have been made callously via voice mail?
In addition, pre-K teachers are quitting, because their pay was reduced. Many of the kindergarten paras have been moved to Special Ed, so kindergarten classes have 25 kids, one teacher, no para. The media clerks have all been RIF’d, too.
We also heard from several Lakeside parents that only Spanish and French will be offered, and AP classes may be cut. And Terry Segovis, former area superintendent was, oddly, assigned as principal for two elementary schools.
Adding to the confusion, First Class has a “claw back” function, so HR has been pulling back emails, with no explanation, after sending mistaken decisions . Note to employees: Immediately print hard copies of all e-mail notifications you receive from DCSS HR. If possible, make sure the header on the e-mail is showing so it prints, too. This will be vital evidence if any legal action is taken.
Obviously, the ill-conceived cuts-by-attrition “plan” didn’t pan out. Then the board would not approve last-minute, additional cuts to the classroom requested by the superintendent. Atkinson is obviously in crisis mode — as is Tekshia Ward-Smith — the new head of HR, recently promoted to that position by Atkinson. Naming Ward-Smith to run HR was a very serious mistake. There is no more critical job in which to place a true, experienced professional. However we have Ward-Smith, an educator who learned HR under Jamie Wilson, also a former educator. We have said for a very long time that the egos of these “Educrats” are astounding — and insulting to the real world. These Educrats continue to believe that they are qualified to do ANY job, while no one else is qualified to teach or serve as a principal unless holding teaching “credentials” — regardless of which diploma mill they come from. A “real” HR person would not handle this like Facebook friending and unfriending.
We desperately need a majority board who considers themselves stewards of taxpayers’ money — all taxpayers. To begin with, a fiscally responsible board would not have voted on a list of budget cuts and called those cuts a budget. (Nancy Jester has been stating this issue publicly. She refused to vote on a “budget” that was merely a list of cuts and cost adjustments. Don McChesney and Pam Speaks also voted no, but the Block of Five ruled and classroom cuts were made without looking deeper or even revealing the full budget to the board.)
A fiscally responsible board would not have chosen to fund so many specialty programs along with special transportation to those programs over evenly funding all classrooms and schools.
A fiscally responsible board would not continue funding small, expensive programs and unnecessary programs like DOLA, along with too many SROs (school resource officers) — and paying them over the summer, even though they have nothing to do — instead of properly funding ordinary classrooms.
A fiscally responsible board would not have cut teachers when our students’ test scores are already in the tank because of the cuts made to the classroom under Crawford Lewis (now indicted under RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations]) and Ramona Tyson (un-indicted, so far).
A fiscally responsible board would have insisted on seeing an actual budget, not a list of cuts. A fiscally responsible board would have insisted that Atkinson make every single cut possible outside of the classroom FIRST before heading into the classroom. Atkinson and the Block of Five are harming the very children whose education is the board’s only mission.
DCSS is very obviously a system of haves and have nots — bigs and littles — insiders and outsiders — special and not-so-special — well-connected and “who?”. And, it has nothing to do with north vs. south or black vs. white.
The DCSS reality is black-on-black classism — the vast majority of the negatively affected students are black. Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups.
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