Elgart of SACS responds to letter from three members of DeKalb School Board

Watch the video report above from 11Alive news [or click this link] which includes an interview with Mark Elgart. In this rare interview, Elgart appears very guarded in his wording and conservative in his responses leaving us to wonder what his plans are for DeKalb Schools.

For more information, related downloadable documents and a brief history of DeKalb Schools’ relationship with SACS, visit our resource link below:
SACS and DCSS’ History of Bloat and Waste

The deadline for the school system to respond to the most recent SACS letter is October 1.

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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"
This entry was posted in Don McChesney, Nancy Jester, Pam Speaks, SACS/Accreditation, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Elgart of SACS responds to letter from three members of DeKalb School Board

  1. Sick and tired of incompetence and little response by stakeholders says:

    I hope that the community will continue to write letters to SACS. This board has hired three superintendence who failed in their jobs. Hiring Atkinson should be the final straw for this school community. She is successful in demeaning our staff by taking their jobs and giving them to her friends. Dr. Johnny Brown did not bring in a truckload of outsiders. I bet Atkinson gave them money to relocate here. While no companies are paying relocation fees in this economy
    . It was the greed of a few board members that kicked Johnny Brown out. DCSS school board was not ready to practice ethic cal business practices. It was their need for greed that has the system plagued with disaster at every decision they make. It’s just like Speaks to try and hide behind others tails. She has been a silent participant of the unjust practices of this board from day one of her tenure.
    My question is when is enough, enough DeKalb County Community? After all of your best employees have quit or been fired? Your academic measure is already pitiful. So when do you stand for what is right and put this board, Atkinson and her OUT!
    Rumor has it said that SACS is very familiar with Atkinson in that every system she worked in SACS had to intervene.

  2. @Sick and Tired. While your frustration and anger is understandable, your comment is chock full of misinformation and rumors. First, Johnny Brown most certainly did bring in his own staff. In fact, his hand-picked right arm was Abbe Boring who implemented virtually all of his mandates. There were many more new hires as well as a reduction in force. Johnny Brown also conducted a salary audit and found many employees being paid for job titles that did not remotely describe their job duties. He also found excessive pay in many areas. It was when he began to act on these findings and streamline that he was kicked out. And his 2004 audit was buried. Dr. Lewis was brought in to serve and protect the old guard and built up a jobs program at the administrative level like none we had seen before. Tyson continued that protection and all the while student achievement plummeted. You see, our board has NEVER been about student achievement – they are about protecting jobs for adults. How many times did you hear former chair Tom Bowen proclaim “No Jobs will be lost!” vs “Student Achievement must improve!”

    Also, there were at least three other candidates for superintendent who were sabotaged by leaks from Executive Session discussions. Imagine had we hired Dr. Duron or Dr. Cox as was once in discussion, but negotiations destroyed by ‘someone’ at the closed door board meetings. This was the subject of the angry public letter at the time written by these same three along with Paul Womack, decrying the leaks. Board chair Bowen vowed to ‘investigate’, but never did. So here we are. The process was manipulated to hire Atkinson, and now, it seems to us that those same power players are trying to manipulate the process to push her out as she is not serving the historic jobs program as they had hoped.

    Further, we have no idea exactly who has been RIFd or fired or quit, as we still do not have complete HR reports in hand. And although Jamey Wilson was fired, the employees in charge of HR are long-time system employees – not new replacements. The HR department needs a thorough investigation.

    We did the best we could to report on the poorly constructed HR budgets and reports here:

  3. Fred in DeKalb says:

    When you bring in someone from outside to *clean up or reform*, they will always want to bring in people they have worked with in the past for key areas. This is not unusual in fact the norm. The community indicated through a series of interviews with the search firm that they wanted someone from the outside that did not have ties to DeKalb. Community members also wanted the senior leadership removed or reassigned and with few exceptions, that has been done.

    Dr. Trotter has stated several times that former Rockdale superintendent Dr. Sam King (former superintendent of the year) was interested in the DeKalb job but he worked here early in his career. As a result, that disqualified him based on community feedback. Some have pointed out the good job that the Marietta Schools superintendent, Dr. Emily Lembeck, has done working with a large Title 1 population and having student performance success. Not sure if outreach was done to her.

    Make no mistake, if Dr. Duron or Dr. Cox were hired, they would want to bring in their own people and would have the same problems that Dr. Atkinson if facing.

  4. Fairer and better says:

    Johnny Brown brought his people with him, but things were much fairer and better under Johnny Brown.

  5. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    Nancy Jester (http://whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com) is going public with everything regarding the SACS letter. She has released Dr Atkinson’s response to SACS along with her comments and the other board member’s input.

  6. teacherwantingachange says:

    Thanks to Jester, Speaks, and McChesney for sharing the draft and their responses.

    Am I the only one noticing a specious claim of the elimination of 330 central office employees? I thought it was more like 140 and the other positions eliminated or rif’d were the paras, interpreters, and media center specialists. And the superintendent “massaged” the audit, so that the district lost only 11 of the 110 assistant principals determined too many.

    Yes, the study of salaries was approved. But do we have a published list of positions and salaries like more functional school districts?


  7. @ teacherwantingachange We agree. DSW has made several open records requests that, if answered, should provide HR information to show the actual number of employees who were let go or otherwise left and the new employees hired (or re-hired as the case may be. To look at the Open Records Requests we have submitted to date, go to the DCSS Files tab on the blog, click on it and then click on “Open Records Requests” in the drop-down menu.

  8. Regarding the budget – some of you may wish to attend this meeting:


    The DeKalb Board of Education’s Committee on Budget, Audit, Finance & Facilities will hold a meeting on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 10:00am in the J. David Williamson Board Room in the Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center, DeKalb County School System’s Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain. The purpose of the meeting is to review procedures and policies related to finance.

    The agenda for the committee meeting can be accessed online by going to: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us, click on Leadership, eBoard Home Page, then click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.

  9. The Deal says:

    Here’s all HR has to do. Publish the old org chart. Then publish a new org chart overlaid on top of the old showing hirings, firings, and moves. That is all we are asking for. Why can’t they do that?

  10. another comment says:

    The response says nothing about the Board Member’s running the systems. About the board members and the Friends and Family hiring selection. It is clear SAC’s is asking Deal to replace some members of the Board. Let’s see, Eugene, Sara, Jay, and the rest of the block of 5.The new birth crew, the pink and green Sister’s and the Frat. Brother’s.

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