Today is the day

The DeKalb school board will have their hearing with the state Board today at 1 pm. Tune in here to discuss as we get news of the event.

Ty Tagami at the AJC has written an update on the situation:
DeKalb school board tries to hang on to jobs

Members of the DeKalb County school board will ask the state school board Thursday to let them keep their jobs.

If they are unconvincing, Gov. Nathan Deal will get the authority to remove them from office.

For details about where the hearing is and how to get there, read our recent post:
Thursday’s State Board Hearing: HOW to Get From HERE to THERE

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5 Responses to Today is the day

  1. howdy1942 says:

    I have just learned that the State School Board has granted the Dekalb County School Board time to get its act together. There will be another meeting on February 21, 2013, to assess progress.

    I’m disappointed in the State Board’s actions. We have until December 13, 2013, less than 11 months, to demonstrate to SACS that we have effectively addressed its issues or we will lose accreditation. As a county, we are precisely where we were two years ago. SACS had defined the issues, we had responded, and yet we did nothing in the following two years. No progress cited by SACS – at all!

    The Dekalb School Board is not capable of addressing this situation. It has demonstrated that it does not have the “smarts” to do so and, accordingly, they are not capable of addressing the issues. What happens to Atlanta and, indeed, to Georgia when the third largest school system in the state loses its accreditation? What happens to job creation and job opportunity here? What happens to the children? What happens to the high school graduates?

    This risk to all stakeholders – the children, their parents, the county, the state – is just too great to place in the hands of this failed school board. On February 21, 2013, we will have less than 10 months.

    And I have not even mentioned the failures and ineptitude of the Superintendent. In her mind, plagiarism is just fine even if it is a violation of State law.

  2. Well stated Howdy. Feel free to post a comment in the article where we are discussing the topic. We posted a live blog report of the entire meeting in the comments at the link below. Feel free to read through them – it was fairly painful to watch and write.

    Thank You, Representative Scott Holcomb!

    On another note, we are now apparently going to have to fight for attention as we are being upstaged by the goings-on at the county —
    Vendors in DeKalb government probe earned millions
    Search warrant for county CEO’s home named 6 companies

  3. howdy1942 says:

    Well, we are where we are – not where I had hoped we would be. There are two things that the Board could do that could show progress:

    1. Terminate Cheryl Atkinson for cause. The situation in Dekalb County has grown much worse during her tenure. Moreover, her toleration of plagiarism is directly contrary to State law, it sets a poor example for our students as to professional behavior and ethics, and it is contrary to our values.

    2. Elect Nancy Jester as Chairman of the School Board. Eugene Walker is just pitiful – there is no other word to describe him. He is, on paper, well-educated but, as a friend of mine once said – “being educated is not the same as being smart”. He has no plan of action other than the broad generalities he gave at today’s State Board meeting. He said the same thing on numerous occasions. In fact, I’m not sure that he is able to even grasp what SACS did say. He doesn’t understand that he did anything wrong other than to say that “he must have done something wrong”.

    I would strongly urge this Board to plan to meet daily. It first needs to concisely list each of SACS’ concerns. It then needs to take these one by one and state specifically, in measurable terms, exactly how it would address these concerns. It needs to lay out a time-frame to address each item and allow plenty of time to respond to SACS. It needs to quickly make the audit that it referenced available. It needs to quickly find invoices that show the purchase of textbooks – if that was done. It needs to tell Atkinson to get to the bottom of the plagiarism case and remove that as an issue. It should state very clearly to her that plagiarism and all forms of cheated will not be tolerated or accepted by the Board on the part of anyone in the System – not even the first instance. It needs to order the Superintendent to sharply reduce the size of the palace. This is not meddling – it is planning for a major financial hit. Specifics need to be recorded – names and positions that left – not transferred. It needs to schedule interim meetings with SACS and to get tacit approval of what it is doing. The immediate goal needs to be to get a positive interim review from SACS.

    I wish that this Board had been removed today. But we don’t have time to wallow in our pity. We need to take action. It remains to be seen whether this Board can make any progress. I don’t think so, but I hope that I am wrong.

  4. @howdy1942: You make valid points, but these are the same points we’ve all been making for several years, over and over again. It’s Groundhog Day in DeKalb!

    Allow us to remind you of a bit of history so that you can bang your head against the wall:

    DeKalb Schools prepared to pass accreditation
    DeKalb County Schools will meet every requirement put to it by its accrediting agency by its October 31 [2011] deadline, according to interim superintendent Ramona Tyson.

    In her last official act as interim superintendent Tyson told the DeKalb Board of Education that they are ready for the test that could make or break Georgia’s third largest school district.

    “We are one month out before AdvancED returns and we are well underway,” she said.

    AdvancED, the parent company of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, put the district on notice last May that it could lose its accreditation if it didn’t address some serious issues.

    Last May… let’s see… that was May of 2011!

  5. ALSO: We reported live during the whole hearing and have a lively conversation going on at the post below that you might like to join:

    Thank You, Representative Scott Holcomb!

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