Atkinson and Ramsey: Above The Law?

As regular readers of DeKalb School Watch blog know, DeKalb County Schools is highly resistant to following the law — especially with regard to Georgia’s Open Records Act.  Nowhere is this illegal resistance to following the law more apparent than with Superintendent Cheryl Howell Atkinson (including her predecessors Ramona Howell Tyson & Crawford Lewis) and Ronald Ramsey, recently demoted to Director of Student Relations and Safe Schools.

[NOTE: Ramsey resigned as Chief Legal Officer on November 15, 2012, asked to be reassigned to Director of Student Relations and stated that he will be taking the “reduced” salary of $114,487.00. We want to know: (1) what about the 40 days in the Georgia General Assembly for which he collects double pay?; (2) what about his DCSS car?; and (3) why wasn’t Ramsey fired instead of merely being forced to resign as Chief Legal Officer and allowed to pick his next job?  Very reminiscent of the Crawford Lewis-Pat Pope-Ramona Howell Tyson caper.]

Currently, Atkinson and Ramsey have been trying desperately to skirt the law by refusing to provide Atkinson’s text messages that relate to a RIF’d DeKalb County Schools employee.

As an example of how truly irrelevant it has become, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (including Maureen Downey) continues its “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” philosophy as it turns a blind eye to the corruption and wrongdoing in DeKalb County Schools. “Why?” we wonder. We are reminded of a quote from Alfred Lord Northcliffe (1865-1922), Britsh newspaper and publishing pioneer, “News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.” By that measure, the AJC is chock-full of advertising. [The above quote is sometimes attributed to the late, great Katharine Graham (1917-2001), publisher of The Washington Post].

DeKalb School Watch has obtained a copy of the resulting legal action with regard to Atkinson’s oh-so-private text messages. The Gipson Complaint is a public document.  It’s only 24 pages long (double-spaced), so please take time to read it and let us know your thoughts.

Here’s what we think: for every one of these stories and related documents that surface, there may be hundreds that never do because of fear of retaliation. Folks, these are NOT nice people.  It is time to stop giving them the same benefit of the doubt and consideration that would be provided to well-meaning people who have acted in error.

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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"
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76 Responses to Atkinson and Ramsey: Above The Law?

  1. Anne Shirley says:

    Love…Got Corruption…then we can add http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us

  2. No Duh says:

    She claims she broke her cell phone. Does she really think that’s where the text messages are? Sounds like Crawford Lewis saying he syphoned high-test gas out of the car because he thought it would damage the car. Dumb and dumber.

  3. You THINK she fired Turk. We don’t know that. We have asked repeatedly for the list of employees who were fired, RIF’d, etc. Nancy Jester has asked for the same thing — repeatedly.

  4. @just too tired teacher

    You and other frontline staff (classroom teachers, school secretaries, bookkeepers, registrars, etc) are the reason we do what we do at DeKalb School Watch. We are volunteers and we fit this blog in with our paying jobs, our families and our community involvement because we value you and what you do. We want to do our part!

    Atkinson, Dilligard, March, Howe and the rest of the crew are counting on the embarrassment factor to keep as much information as possible under wraps. It is time to hang out all the dirty laundry for all to see. Many of the frontline staff know about the people and the actions that make up the criminal enterprise that is DeKalb County Schools. How could that be true? Stop and think about it for a moment. Frontline, but much lower paid, staff are in the position to be “enablers.” So, you do what you are asked to do. And if it seems a little questionable … well … you can’t afford to lose your job. That’s exactly what the Wicked Witch, her Flying Monkeys and the Winkie Guard are counting on (think about The Wizard of Oz). But, when the you-know-what hits the fan you’ll be the ones standing there dripping with doo-doo while they pack up their bank accounts and move on.

    We encourage everyone who thinks they know about any DCSS wrongdoing to protect yourself first, as a whistleblower (see the information soon to be posted on federal and state whistleblower laws at the very top of the DCSS Files drop-down menu on the DSW blog). Then, please tell us what you know. We will keep your identity confidential. But, even the smallest thing may be the linchpin to the puzzle pieces we hold. Do you feel like you may have participated in or enabled some illegal activity? In addition to protecting yourself as a whistleblower, you probably need some competent legal advice. Because, we can assure you, your situation is not going to get any better and, if possible, you will be left holding the bag.

  5. We thought the same thing! But apparently Brantley lied for her if we read the Gipson complaint correctly. Incredible! Doesn’t he realize that Cheryl Howell Atkinson and her fat bank account will skip out of town — so fast! — and leave him holding the bag?

  6. Concernedmom30329 says:

    This is from Monday’s agenda. Which is interesting since the board has barely discussed bonds and the newest draft says 80 million in bonds.

    On November 8, 2011 the voters of DeKalb County approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for up to $645,000,000 or 20 calendar quarters beginning July 1, 2012, whichever occurs first, as well as the issuance of up to $200,000,000 in general obligation bonds, which would allow for the acceleration of some projects and which would be repaid by the sales taxes. The approval of the resolution will authorize the issuance of up to $162,000,000 of GO Bonds and the solicitation of competitive bids for the sale of the GO Bonds. The interest cost will be based upon the best bid received. A resolution ratifying the sale of the GO Bonds to the best bidder will be presented for board approval on the day of the sale.

  7. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    DSW
    All I can say is that Turk isn’t the CFO and a number of other Walker cronies don’t have their cush positions as you know.

    TheDeal2
    No mystery about the conspiracy between Eddie Long and Walker. Now how does Orson and Team Fernbank fit in? I’m just connecting the dots. BOE District #4 was gerrymandered to cut out 90% of Sagamore (Don McChesney’s supporters) in favor of whoever runs from Fernbank. Fernbank just finished a $10 million addition which will all be torn down in a couple of years for a brand new Fernbank school. Fernbank got what it wanted with attendance zones last year. They are getting the prime cuts of surrounding areas in this latest attendance rezoning.

    Fernbank is up in DCSD in a big way. Orson is now the District #4 rep. I’m deathly afraid of Team Fernbank cutting a deal with The Walker 5 on who the next Superintendent is.

    Nothing good can come from anything going on around here.

    Note to Orson, Powell, et al … I’m going to be on you like white on rice.

  8. Ugh. This is just never going to end. Below is the entire text of the AJC article shared by dekalbite2 above: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-education/major-school-system-court-case-postponed/nTPPK/

    Major school system court case postponed
    By Ty Tagami
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    The courtroom showdown between the DeKalb County School District and a former construction management company has been postponed until spring.

    The joint venture of Heery International, Inc. and E.R. Mitchell & Co. sued DeKalb for $478,000 in unpaid fees in 2007, after the school system fired the company. DeKalb countersued, seeking more than $100 million in damages and alleging mismanagement and billing fraud.

    Mitchell settled but Heery continues to fight, with tens of millions of dollars in legal bills and damages at stake for each side. The trial was scheduled this year but on Thursday DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger signed an order postponing the trial until April 29, two weeks after the start of a criminal trial for former superintendent Crawford Lewis, who fired the joint venture.

    What percentage of our school tax dollars do you all suppose is going to lawyers of some kind of another?

  9. I understand there are many employees within central office who are scared, sick, and tired of what is going on. Many of you have provided anonymous tips as confidential whistleblowers to me over the past three months and for that I thank you. The Georgia Whistleblowers Act and various other laws/policies apply to public employees. Joining your local Educator organization is a good idea to insure that you have paid legal representation in the event you suffer an adverse employment action. If you have a tip regarding unlawful activity that is occurring within the District, and you would like to confidentially disclose such information to me, I can be reached at 404-654-0288. My email is julie@goodgeorgialawyer.com.
    Julie Oinonen
    Williams Oinonen LLC
    http://www.goodgeorgialawyer.com

  10. @ DeKalb Inside Out — we don’t know what Turk is doing these days, nor do we know about Walker’s good buddies. You are making an unverifiable assumption. We are certainly not going to take Atkinson’s word or Walker’s word that these people are gone. Lying is second nature to Atkinson. It’s what she does. We also have been unable to find out if those people are still receiving their paychecks. We just don’t take what we’re told by DeKalb administration as factual these days. We double-check everything, and this one doesn’t yield any evidence. For example, there are a good many people working for DeKalb on contracts, but when we filed an Open Records Request for the tax reports to the IRS for the 1099s filed by DCSS (contracted service providers receive 1099s, not W-2s), we are told no, that information is confidential. Why is it more confidential than the salaries of regular employees? Answer: It’s not. It’s just another pile of information that DCSS does not want us to know.

    Secondarily to that point, you are correct that many Walker “cronies” have either been demoted or lost their jobs. However, Ramona Tyson is still there ironically. We think there is a power play at hand to oust Atkinson and reinstate Tyson, who would reinstate and/or protect that group again. While we are not at all happy with much of Atkinson’s initiatives, we are keenly aware that there is an energy afoot to go back to the days of Tyson. We think that would be an even worse scenario for DeKalb children. Remember, test scores under Tyson plummeted. She has no idea how to lead in education.

    We need a new board with clear minds who will do their number one job – hiring a superintendent – with the goal of improving the EDUCATION of 100,000 children. That number one job is simply to hire the most qualified educational leader they can find. One who will implement education-driven initiatives – not one who is simply there to advance the agenda of saving and/or creating jobs for the adults in the friends and family plan.

  11. another comment says:

    I was giving my example of what happened at the CDC and how the stupid and incompetent Black EEO Director was even involved in Witch Hunts. But then it went to far, she went all Ghetto ( or the same as all White trash only thing is White folks don’t get EEO promotions) and physically tried to choke out one of her EEO investigators. That combined with the witch hunt against my co-worker and myself. I can only bet their were others, finally sent at least one of the lower level people in the EEO office to call the Federal EEO office in Washington, DC. No one would have believed the craziness if it had come from a complaintant. It had to come from some one on the inside. Some one who actually saw it happen.

    My actual point is that some actual very unqualified and unstable people, who become desperate when exposed for who they are get promoted. Especially when the purpose is for to have a Diverse Work force. Or in the case of Governor Deal, when their are political payoffs and a patronage system. That is why public sector positions in particular should be filed by the merits of the candidate as the only screening factor, with no other determining factor. It shouldn’t matter if you are purple or a unicorn if you are a highly qualified candidate.

    I learned early in my career to use peer selection panels. I would first solicite questions from 2-4 of the experience, highly qualified indivuals in the position. I would then compose their questions and mine into a rating matrix. I would invite these same employees to sit on the panel interview. We would interview all of the employees as a group. I would let the expert employee ask their preselected questions. At the end of the interviews we would discuss. I would get each of the co-workers to give me their rankings of which individual to hire. The knew going in that I always had the last say in the hiring decision. We were a team, so and they were the subject matter expert, their imput was essential. They could immediately tell if some one was full of BS. Using this process, I ended up with buy in on hires, and senior co-workers feeling empowered. I knew instantly by head shakes and facial expressions of my employees which candidates they felt comfortable with. You also obtain diversity this way as well.

  12. another comment says:

    What really needs to happen, and I suspect it will is that the Dunwoody delegation will submit a proposal for an end to the cap on the artifical number of School Districts. With the near super majority in both districts I doubt that this will find a hard time making it’s self on the ballot. There are many from Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Smyrna that want to break away from these awful large districts. Many of us have grown up outside of Georgia and have seen that most of the better performing states have 1 high school with feeder school districts. That is local control. No more worries of constant redistricting. My family lives in an area that has not been redistristed since 1960 when an additional High School was created, and 3 towns were districted to that high school. You are able to plan where you live, and not move to follow the schools your kids might go to. You can stay in your house and not worry, that some administrator is going to change the attendance lines to make work for their job, and cost you thousands of dollars.

    What everyone seems to forget, is that the busing costs is huge for these huge districts. Small districts also have very thin administrations. Less waste, and area for corruption.

  13. You are superman says:

    Good Morning Everyone,
    I will be brief as I lost my initial post. Let us establish a task force to plan and execute the march on the Capital. I recommend that we consider the march to take place during the school break. This would maximize the potential for student participation. We would need to get communication threads out before semester break. However, the students are very adept at informing each other through social media net works. We have 99,000 students, another 10,000 employees, and many more thousands of parents, taxpayers, and concerned citizens.
    DSW, please share my email address with dcssfrustratedparent, teachermom, DeKalb Inside Out, plusone, just too tired teacher, Longing for Integrity, Anne Shirley, and PI. We are inclusive of all members who steps in and steps out in your role as Superman! Force Change we have the power and the authority!

  14. Anne Shirley says:

    It’s ok to just say DeKalb is filled with African American women, who may or may not be highly qualified to do their job. That is pretty much a true statement. I personally know of women promoted to positions they were not even minimally qualified for. If you we’re at the Dunwoody Cluster meeting with Atkinson and her team, you saw this. The principals were young African American women. There are three concerns:
    1. How much knowledge, leadership, and positive expertise are these ladies bringing to their school?
    2. Why are Caucasians not applying in DeKal?
    3. If Caucasians are trying to get into DeKalb, is it the infamous HR department that is keeping them out, which is a whole ‘nother bee nest,?

  15. Anne Shirley says:

    And allow me to clarify my statement…I am NOT implying that there arent qualified African American principals…I am however concerned about why the county isn’t more diverse in its employees.

  16. You are absolutely correct in your thinking Anne Shirley. In fact, the old DSW blog had several discussions about this. The fact is that now, it appears that our African-American leaders are definitely discriminating against other racial groups, including whites, Hispanics and Asians. However, you cannot convince them that this is true, because they just don’t believe it’s ‘possible’ for an African-American to discriminate.

    I’ve copied and pasted some of the relevant comments from Cerebration at the old blog dated Wednesday, April 29, 2009, here:
    http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/04/760m-in-federal-stimulus-funds-approved.html

    …..When it comes to DCSS, they only consider discrimination able to be against African-Americans. When they do the same things to Hispanics that they once called discrimination against African-Americans, they insist it just isn’t so.

    I’m saying – it is.

    Here are a few sections of the Supreme Court decision of 1992 – on the case that began in 1969 – when the black population was only 5.57% of the total. (As a comparison, the Hispanic population in the entire system is 9.44% of the total.) I find the similarities interesting and I’m concerned that our leaders don’t see it.

    DCSS has been subject to the supervision and jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia since 1969, when it was ordered to dismantle its dual school system. In 1986, petitioners filed a motion for final dismissal. The District Court ruled that DCSS had not achieved unitary status in all respects, but had done so in student attendance and three other categories. In its order, the District Court relinquished remedial control as to those aspects of the system in which unitary status had been achieved, and retained supervisory authority only for those aspects of the school system in which the district was not in full compliance. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed, 887 F.2d 1438 (1989), holding that a district court should retain full remedial authority over a school system until it achieves unitary status in six categories at the same time for several years. We now reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand, holding that a district court is permitted to withdraw judicial supervision with respect to discrete categories in
    which the school district has achieved compliance with a court-ordered desegregation plan. A district court need not retain active control over every aspect of school administration until a school district has demonstrated unitary status in all facets of its system.

    …..For decades before our decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (Brown I), and our mandate in Brown [503 U.S. 467, 472] v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294, 301 (1955) (Brown II), which ordered school districts to desegregate with “all deliberate speed,” DCSS was segregated by law. DCSS initial response to the mandate of Brown II
    was an all-too-familiar one. Interpreting “all deliberate speed” as giving latitude to delay steps to desegregate, DCSS took no positive action toward desegregation until the 1966-1967 school year, when it did nothing more than adopt a freedom of choice transfer plan. Some black students chose to attend former de jure white schools, but the plan had no significant effect on the former de jure black schools. In 1968, we decided Green v. School Bd. of New Kent County, 391 U.S. 430 . We held that adoption of a freedom of choice plan does not, by itself, satisfy a school district’s mandatory responsibility to eliminate all vestiges of a dual system. Green was a turning point in our law in a further respect. Concerned by more than a decade of inaction, we stated that
    “`[t]he time for mere “deliberate speed” has run out.'” Id., at 438, quoting Griffin v. Prince Edward County School Bd., 377 U.S. 218, 234 (1964). We said that the obligation of school districts once segregated by law was to come forward with a
    plan that “promises realistically to work, and promises realistically to work now.” 391 U.S., at 439 (emphasis in original). The case before us requires an understanding and assessment of how DCSS responded to the directives set forth in Green.
    Within two months of our ruling in Green, respondents, who are black schoolchildren and their parents, instituted this class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. After the suit was filed, DCSS voluntarily began working with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to devise a comprehensive and final plan of desegregation. The District Court, in June, 1969, entered a consent order approving the proposed plan, which was to be implemented in the 1969-1970 school year. The order abolished the freedom of choice plan and adopted [503 U.S. 467, 473] a neighborhood school attendance plan that had been proposed by DCSS and accepted by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare subject to a minor modification. Under the plan, all of the former de jure black schools were closed, and their students were reassigned among the remaining neighborhood schools. The District Court retained jurisdiction.

    ….Proper resolution of any desegregation case turns on a careful assessment of its facts. Green, supra, at 439. Here, as in most cases where the issue is the degree of compliance with a school desegregation decree, a critical beginning point is the degree of racial imbalance in the school district, that is to say, a comparison of the proportion of majority to minority students in individual schools with the proportions of the races in the district as a whole. This inquiry is fundamental, for under the former de jure regimes, racial exclusion was both the means and the end of a policy motivated by disparagement, of or hostility towards, the disfavored race.

    Keep in mind – in 1975, the school system was 17% black and 81% white. Today, it’s 74% black, 10.49% white and 9.44% Hispanic. Right now, 35% of HIspanics attend a high school that is majority Hispanic, even though they only comprise 0.05% of the total number of high school students. Could it be we have the same issue – but with different mixes of “race”?

    “A review of the record suggests that, from 1969 until 1975, DCSS failed to desegregate its schools. During that period, the number of students attending racially identifiable schools actually increased, and increased more quickly than the increase in black students. By 1975, 73% of black elementary students and 56% of black high school students were attending in black students. By 1975, 73% of black elementary students and 56% of black high school students were attending majority black schools, although the percentages of black [503 U.S. 467, 517] students in the district population were just 20% and 13%, respectively. Id., at 269-380.”

  17. Gonzales v. Board says:

    Kim was very polite in his condemnation of the scandalous conditions in the CK cluster. Ongoing discrimination there is one of the greatest, but largely ignored injustices in DCSS. How is it possible that, in 2012, schools can have a majority minority and significantly immigrant population yet be run by people who, besides often having very dubious qualifications, have absolutely zero crosscultural and foreign language expertise? There may be an exception here and there, but by and large the administrators in the schools of the CK cluster would never have gotten their jobs under normal circumstances. The sorority and fraternity mafia acts with impunity because it is schooled in using the race card to dismiss criticism. The same people who are unable to create equitable educational conditions for a largely brown student population would, however, be howling to high heaven if we were talking about black schools being run by white people. The only real solution is to break up the system. Only by allowing south DeKalb to go its own way can the root causes of the corruption be addressed. But since south DeKalb stand to lose substantial funding if and when this happens, the entrenched mafia will fight such an outcome tooth and nail. Sadly, Kim’s observations also ring true in that it is far from certain that people in north DeKalb will stand up and do the right thing by the mainly Latino public school population of the CK cluster. A long overdue first step in such a direction would be for the community to come together and insist on leadership in the schools that reflects the demographic make-up of the student population. Basically the same argument that the black civil rights movement started to make in DeKalb forty-five years ago.

  18. Anne Shirley says:

    We can also take it further and say that the powers that be also discriminate against other African Americans ….so many qualified applicants apply for internal openings and aren’t even given the opportunity to interview….I guess this is the family and friends benefit….it’s all riding the thin line of the law….it’s depressing that this is the county has become….and Atkinson is not the one to save this county….neither is March or Ramsey…

  19. Another comment says:

    Anne Shirley is absolutely correct. I for one have found that you can expose these groups. You can win reverse descrimination EEO cases. You can even win f they think they have out smarted you by putting one of their lackeys who is of the same sex and race as you. You can file a retaliation suit. You can file over age discrimination even if you are only 40 if they are promoting those in their 20’s or 30’s or giving your job duties away. if this leaves you vulnerable to job downgrade of RIF. The key is documentation, and take a copy home. But do not take “secret” files home as that is a crime. But you can provide those that show theft of federal funds directly to the FBI or Sally Yates Office as a Whistle Blower. Keep your mouth shut at work, you don’t have anyone you can really trust. Punch and cry into your pillow at home.

    Someone must stop the hiring practices that only promote those who must belong to the ping and green Soriety. The Pink and Green Soriety right on their web site clearly states you must be an African American to join. How is this not discrimination? How are these sorieties and Fraterinties allowed to Operate on the campuses of Federally funded Universities and colleges. This is blatant discrimination.

  20. You are superman says:

    The bottom line: Force Change instead of negative changes forced upon you! We have freedom of speech and have a responsibility to us it for good. I attended a community meeting hosted by the oldest African American community in DeKalb today. Many representatives from different government agencies attended. However, there was no representation from the School Board or its employee the Superintendent. This was not the first time that DCSS has shown the community their lack of regard to hear our concerns. When I shared the request for support from the other government entities, they were agreeable if our march was not political. As I drove home, I thought of everyone who is profoundly concerned and desperate for the educational needs of the children. My willingness to support forced change is not political it is personal.
    DCSS will play the game of hosting citizen’s comments and then tell us through their actions where to go. What happen to the previous long-range plans? What happened to the needs list for improvements for repairs? How much of those plan were implemented or completed? Furthermore, decimated regions outside of Stone Mountain will experience forced migration to an already overgrown north side. Most people in my immediate community enjoy our comfortable homes and large lots.The migration started several years ago but will gain in urgency.
    As stated, previously each one of us is our own superman. I practice my rights to freedom of speech. Anyone who desires to exercise this same right can email me at gets_services@yahoo.com. My volunteer role is to help facilitate the congenial March with the north side and Southside regions.
    The DeKalb County Community United March for Education Awareness Rally at The Georgia State Capital!
    We are not a political party we are a party of one community DeKalb County!

  21. dekalbite2 says:

    “k this deal to hire TWELVE PEOPLE just to avoid texts being opened is the actual proof that this is how this system works from the very top”

    So true. These highly paid non teaching Instructional Coaches represent a million dollars in student funding and taxpayer dollars.

  22. upsetwithdekalb says:

    Anybody know when the SACS report is coming out?

  23. True again Anne Shirley. We tried to opine on this recently — basically, corruption is just corruption. Race isn’t the key issue – power, greed and control is the issue, no matter who holds the key to the castle.
    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/when-adults-focus-on-adults-the-children-suffer-a-dsw-editorial/

  24. WSB reported on November 20 that the report would be released in 2 weeks. That deadline would have been Tuesday. This coming Tuesday will be 3 weeks.
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/accreditation-agency-says-be-prepared-dekalb-schoo/nTBy4/

    So funny to me that these “educators” expect students to produce work exactly on time or they get a ‘zero’, yet they never seem to make a single stated deadline. Including, apparently, the BIG deadline to send the report to the state for school funding!

  25. Anne Shirley says:

    An easy first step for us to educate parents about what REALLY is going on in DeKalb is to make business cards up with web address for this site….I am amazed that we don’t have more participation on this blog. There should be more public outrage….

  26. Murphey says:

    @Gonzalez vs. Board “A long overdue first step in such a direction would be for the community to come together and insist on leadership in the schools that reflects the demographic make-up of the student population.”

    I can’t agree with this. I agree strongly that it is very odd that there do not seem to be many Hispanic teachers and administrators but insisting that “leadership in the schools reflect the demographic make-up of the student population” sounds like a quota system.

    For instance, if you’re a highly qualified white or black administrator applying for a school with a high Hispanic population that doesn’t yet have a Hispanic administrator, you would be out of luck, based solely on race. That’s wrong, folks.

  27. ursokm16 says:

    “True again Anne Shirley. We tried to opine on this recently — basically, corruption is just corruption. Race isn’t the key issue – power, greed and control is the issue no matter who holds the key to the castle.”
    Absolutely–as I mentioned before (and I will try to find a more concrete way to articulate this)… The fundamental power structure governing DeKalb Government and School System’s black bureaucratic corruption is the traditional WHITE GOOD OL’ BOY Structure. Blacks can’t make a move without deference to the system of judges and lawyers, which in turn guide the financiers…which in turn pays off the contractors and suppliers. The system is enforced by the media (they makes sure black power stays in line or look for the next series of embarrassing articles and wreckage in public opinion).
    Also, what happens in DeKalb is inextricably connected to the Downtown Atlanta power structure (ex: connected via the leadership organizations and business clubs). The descendent connections between Candler/Atlanta and Candler/DeKalb remain.

  28. You are superman says:

    Once again, your communications go unchallenged concerning the unethical corrupt leadership of DCSS. However, you give too much pleasure at wasting time on this blog. You are equally responsible for what happening in this school system i.e., educating children and upward mobility for those worthy of leadership positions, regardless of their race or national origin.
    I am not a native Georgian but have resided her for 12 years. You speak of separating from the south side. I am in graduate school working on my MA in Organizational Management. I suspect my choice in degree is based my experience here in Georgia. I have written numerous papers on DCSS, which lead my last professor to make a passionate plea not to return to California but stay and help fight for change. As I shared with her, I am only one person and my last child will graduate in May. I have personally never needed other to fight for my needs. As I have always effectively used my strength, knowledge and power. I have not abused it nor have I neglected its purpose to do well.
    The bottom-line is knowledge is power but only if you use it. I wish all of you well and your families. However, I will unsubscribe to this blog effective this posting. The most high will not do for you what you will not do for yourself. Because I profoundly care about the least of us I cannot lose my strength on people who only blog. My one Caucasian principle called me an activist for the first time. She further stated that I was “different from everyone else because activist act”.
    I invited myself to communicate on this blog and I will respectfully uninvited myself.

  29. For anyone who cares, many of us who moderate and/or participate on this blog have worked for many years, with sleeves rolled up, directly in the schools, the system, the PTAs, the parent councils, the area councils, etc, etc, etc. You won’t see our names attached to buildings or special recognitions but we accomplished many things that made DeKalb County Schools among the best — once upon a time. Many of us DO participate, volunteer and continue to work very hard “for change.” The only difference is that our rose-colored glasses have cleared.

  30. Anne Shirley says:

    @superman….
    Well thanks for participating is all I can say…..
    I feel like Adrian Balboa in one of the Rocky movies, when she cried out to Rocky “you can’t win…” We are trying….but we all have different circumstances that may prevent us from just going all in as the young people say. The employees are tired, 95% haven’t had a raise in over five years….the parents are tired of wrangling with ineffective administrators who are influenced to do the bare minimum and keep it moving….
    Lets look at all the layers we have to fight….there’s a board of 9 individuals fighting their own fights, then there’s an arrogant super who is treading on thin ice with tax payers and the law, then they have 2 law firms waiting on deck to derail anything you may have gotten through….I forgot before you can even get to Atkinson, you must get through her defense who are the area supers….who also have a defense of their own called coordinators, lets not even discuss Atlanta’s media outlets, so as I said in the beginning I feel like Adrian Balboa….but I do believe this house built of hay will crumble, and then just maybe, our students will have a chance.

  31. Anne Shirley says:

    @urk….
    Without seeing color…here is my take on the African American version of the “good ol boy club”….
    They took it too far. Everyone had a grocery list a mile long of everyone they wanted to help. They were obligated to help too many….the church people needed jobs, the sorority girls needed jobs, the neighbors children needed jobs, and it kept going….then to compare further…in most “good ol boy networks” the people needing a leg in, at least were qualified….this was not the case in DeKalb….everyone’s goal was to get into the “county office” and that’s when we began the central office bloat….then the African American version had a cockiness to it never before seen, they “hooked up” husbands, wives, mothers, and daughters, aunts, and uncles, etc….with no fear of anyone asking questions…..and I am a very colorful person….just for the record…

  32. ursokm16 says:

    Anne Shirley:
    You are absolutely correct about the “black good ol’ boy club”–and if you are as aware of the white good ol’ boy club in DeKalb/Atlanta/North Georgia (and traditional patronage systems), then this should be a very interesting thread. What you consider overt arrogance (you said “cockiness”) of the “new” good ol’ boys is careless, overt and franetic compared to the “entrenched good ol’ boy SYSTEM”. Its as if the new “boys” have tried to do in 10 years what was patiently and organically built in 80 years by the REAL system. It’s missing a huge ingredient and …complicity by the media and Atlanta elite. All these guys had to do was “behave” (not get too greedy too fast) and the old guys would have been just pleased as punch to keep them in office taking their handouts. No revolution, like Vernon Jones naming a majority to the finance authorities and replacing all of the department heads.
    However, it has no staying power not only due to the greediness and stupidity, but also because theres a “perfect storm” of political and economic currents coming together which includes the fact that the Post War Democratic Party has lost Yellow Dog (conservative) support at the state level…and most interestingly, much of the black audience is turning away from the corruption and incompetence.The Dekalb vote on charter schools is the most notable example.

  33. Around the Water Cooler says:

    I like PlusOne’s idea of wearing a certain color on payday.

    “(December 7, 2012 at 10:20 AM plusone says:
    1. We need an attorney to tell employees ehat they can and can not do….i think the employees are a huge part of this corruption…they have been robbed of current pay and future monies…..wearing the same color on payday would be a great statement for employees to make.)”

    However, I remember a few years back we (the teachers) wore the same color one day to show solidarity for something. Wish I could remember what it was for! The majority of teachers at my high school dressed in the chosen color. Suddenly, there was an “emergency staff meeting” called immediately after school. We were told the principals had been told to count (and we assumed, document) which teachers had worn the “protest color.”

    Not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but teachers are trapped. Fingers crossed that something positive will happen soon in DCSS.

    A big “Thank You” to the parents and DSW for your help, encouragement and support! This website gives hope to so many hardworking people in the school house.

  34. midvaledad says:

    Around the water cooler,

    That coordinated color day was to protest Crawford Lewis getting a raise the week after it was announced nobody was going to get a raise. I don’t know at what school you were, but my school also had an emergency staff meeting.

    I like the idea of a march on the capital. We can’t march to the central office. The “palace guard” would block marchers at the gate. A good march needs a staging area, public transportation, and bathroom facilities. The staging area could be somewhere on the campus of GSU. Just as important as notifying the media (for whatever good that would do) the coordinator needs to notify the Dekalb delegation at the capital so they can show their support and speak to the media.

    What can be done to “save” DCSD? The only thing I can think of is a complete takeover by the state.
    Get the accounting system in order, create an on-line check book.
    Clear out the deadwood from the palace.
    Give teachers a raise. A big raise.
    Actually support the teachers and school level employees.
    Buy consumable materials for the students to use so parents don’t have to donate reams of paper in order for the teachers run copies of everything.
    Supply toilet paper consistently.
    Stop hiring consultants left & right.

    I could go on all night.

  35. Another comment says:

    @anne Shirley has a gift that she see’s everything so clearly. What the soriety sisters of the pink and green don’t get is that you have to check the ghetto at the home doorway as you leave in the morning. In fact you should have checked it when you went to college, and learned to be a civilized human being. This is the whole reason so many educated black men or black men like RJGIII have no interterest in Black women once they have left and become educated or financially stable. They don’t want to put up with the crazy and the attitudes.

    How many millions are the schools and the real taxpayers who live in the stable neighborshoods going to have to pay for the fraud and RICO perpetuated by the Black gangsta systems in Dekalb, Atlanta and Clayton. So far they have been kept off in Fulton , Cobb and Gwinnett. Does anyone have any wonder why Milton wants to split.

    We all need a constitutional amendment to get rid of the arbitrary limits on the numbers of school districts. School districts should be one high school large with their feeder schools. Then every two districts can share votech schools. Magnet schools can become charter schools. Special needs schools can become charter schools, their is already a proposal that is going to come forward for a 6-12 charter school for kids with autism and asberergers. ( I told my friend who has been paying close to $20k a year between Sophia academy and st Francis she will be first in line for a lottery for this school).

  36. Anne Shirley says:

    @another comment….

    Lets stay focused and keep it about the children…as I stated earlier if you read between the lines, I am a very colorful person. The comment regarding the football player and the choices he makes in regards to relationships is another debate for another blog. All women can be moody and messy. You are correct that in this county, the African American leaders are messy and are quick to retaliate. The fact that decisions have been made based on what alphabets you hold close to your chest is immature. Lets keep it about the children…lets not weaken our stance by digressing into racial debates….if we divide they will conquer…..stay focused….

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