Open letter to Dave Huddleston, WSB Reporter

Dear Dave,

Obviously, you are unaware of all of the truly newsworthy events going on in our crumbling school system evidenced by your choosing to make your biggest news story on DeKalb County’s broken and corrupt school system one about Don McChesney’s email last year in which he invited a group of well-known men in his district to a roundtable discussion with the new superintendent – a fruitless discussion that fell on deaf ears anyway. Have you hosted or even attended a candidate forum for the school board race? Did you read the candidate profiles compiled by the League of Women Voters printed in the AJC? Do you have deep knowledge of the serious issues confronting our $1.2 billion school system?

Please read the desperate comments by teachers and staff fearing for their jobs. This is newsworthy.

Please read Nancy Jester’s comments about the budget cuts – being approved by a board that had not yet been shown an actual budget. This is newsworthy.

Please review the absolutely horrific test scores turned in by our students showcasing the steady freefall in their educational outcomes. This is newsworthy.

How about the fraud, corruption, missing money, misspent construction dollarsmillions spent on legal fees, SACS sanctions, etc, etc…?

If you need more leads on reports that are worth reporting – worth investigating – and that will make a positive difference in the lives of children, please email the moderators at the DeKalb School Watch [ ]. We have researched and reported on the serious issues in DeKalb schools – as volunteers.  We try to share our findings with the mainstream media hoping that their deeper pockets and greater access will yield better results. However, we are crushed to find very little support in our efforts to untangle the web other than from Ty Tagami at the AJC.  DeKalb schools is first, and foremost, a jobs program for adults in the county – evidenced by Donna Edler’s request to only hire DeKalb residents at a recent board meeting.  Students – and their learning outcomes are very much on the back burner of the leadership’s agenda.  You have the power to help make the change we seek by focusing on the serious educational issues in this system.

President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans yesterday. I hope someone invites him to research and discuss the spiral of failure our leadership has instilled for our DeKalb schoolchildren – almost 80% of whom are African-American. They deserve so much better. Please choose to help them. Really help them. You have that power.

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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13 Responses to Open letter to Dave Huddleston, WSB Reporter

  1. dawg93 says:

    Bravo. Thank you.

  2. SRO says:

    Excellent and very well written

  3. justwatch says:

    No idea where to put this, but here is our 5th area superintendent.

    Atkinson had previouisly introduced someone from Chicago I thought (at the principals’ meeting a while back) but apparently he was a no go.

    She is from the midwest, though appears to have worked in GA for the last few years. She worked in Clayton County for a while, so at least she has had some exposure to the dysfunction that is DCSS.

  4. Just another day in Paradise says:

    The Chicago guy (originally from North Carolina, with connections to March (she’s been trying desperately to find his wife a job in the central office …shocker!!!) is the 4th Regional Superintendent. This one completes the set. And gives them some diversity. Kendra was scrambling to find some in the district, but no one would bite.

  5. Dekalbite2 says:

    So Ms. Napier wants McChesney to resign. LOL – how convenient for Marshall Orson. How inconvenient for DeKalb students

  6. Why all the negativity about this post?

  7. A response from Nancy Jester:

    It has been a privilege for me to serve with Don over the last year and a half on the DeKalb Board of Education. Don is a true gentleman and an effective advocate for children and taxpayers. You can visit his website, to read more about his work. He is helpful and generous with his time. Don has always valued my perspective as a mother and a fellow board member. His character and regard for women; indeed all citizens in DeKalb County, is beyond reproach.

    We have many areas in the DeKalb County School District to work on together. There are so many newsworthy matters to discuss. I am disappointed that, with all of the important issues before us, that a candidate would try and exploit minor but divisive issues for political gain so close to election day. Our children deserve better.

  8. Retired DeKalb teacher says:

    It is sad with all the problems we are facing in DeKalb County School System, this lady chose to speak so loudly concerning this matter! Think of how that voice could have been used to help students and teachers….Wonder if she is aware of these bigger problems? Makes you think not!!

  9. Nancy Jester is the District 1 board rep. It was Nancy, Don, Paul and Pam who voted down the original budget cuts as well as additional job cuts to teachers in the classrooms recently requested by the super. Nancy is certainly aware of the big problems and one of the few school board members who question staff regarding these problems and costs. If the rest of the board – or even the majority of the board – would think more like Nancy, perhaps we could get on the road to better schools. Sadly, the majority of 5 on our current board is merely focused on non-teaching, but high-paying jobs for adults and appeasing the noisiest constituents in order to keep control of those jobs.

  10. JustSaying says:

    Nancy, you are right our children deserve better…. that is why I am voting for Marshall Orson. Anyone who is so dumb as to put something in an email is certainly not willing to bring people together to address the issues nor are they smart enough to address the issues facing our children. How can you exclude women from the discussion? Has anyone looked up if this is a violation of Title 9?

  11. Laurel says:

    1. Tyson and Atkinson share the same maiden name (Howell), a striking resemblance and are rumored to be related.
    2. Atkinson’s consultants are making a killing off of the system. Look up or request open records for the salary of her consultant and long time friend Dr. Gilligard (spelling?)

  12. Retired DeKalb teacher says:

    I was referring to the lady speaking to the WSB reporter. I am behind Nancy Jester 100%. Guess I should have made myself clearer!! I wish that lady would speak that loudly for the poor students and teacher/paras who still have not heard if they have a job. I personally know a couple para watching the mailbox each day!

  13. Oh! Right on! Thoroughly agree! It’s long been our frustration at this blog – we see ‘advocates’ come and go here all the time. But they only get interested when something effects their own child/school/neighborhood. Then, after they get what they came for, they disappear and the have-nots continue to not have… We see this over and over and over. It’s what the administration counts on.

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