He Said, She Said. Jester and Elgart face off.

It sure seems odd that the President of AdvancEd, Mark Elgart, is so bothered by a Dunwoody housewife and stay-at-home-mother, albeit one with a calculator and a blog. He’s focused some very unexpected and unwarranted venom towards Nancy Jester. What’s his beef? Apparently, he is bothered by her claim of being a whistleblower.

A reporter on WSB reported that during a telephone interview, Mark Elgart claimed that Nancy Jester is no whistleblower. Ms. Jester replied that she has been digging and reporting since 2011 on, what she calls, a “budget based on deception”. What proof did Elgart offer to demonstrate that Nancy Jester didn’t uncover and report the poor budgeting practices that led to our deficit? Nothing. Zip. Nada. We know that Nancy has been on top of the budget problems for a long time. She’s documented it. We’ve reposted much of it here.

Other than the report released in December 2012, has AdvancEd ever drawn our attention to budget problems in DeKalb? A quick check of the last report issued in October of 2011 finds no mention of any concern regarding the financial situation of DeKalb (http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/sacs-casi-accreditation/advanced-dekalb-report-(2011-10).pdf ) .

Dr. Elgart seems a tad defensive here. Why doesn’t he offer his sincere thanks to Ms. Jester? It takes a village, right? Sadly, as much as we are all happy to see something, anything shake-up DeKalb schools, we should heed the classic Latin phrase: Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes – Beware of Greeks bearing gifts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeo_Danaos_et_dona_ferentes ). There’s always a price and it is often destruction.

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42 Responses to He Said, She Said. Jester and Elgart face off.

  1. Ella says:

    I listened very closely to the expert put on the stand today about SACS. SACS is actually a body who basically looks at procedure and governance issues as to how they affect the students in the school or school system.

    I also thought it was interested that DCSBOE or the central office decided who in the school system SACs interviewed and who in the community SACs interviewed.

  2. I think the emotions of this situation have caused a lot of people to over-react to statements being made in the media right now. It feels like everything is happening so fast, but really this has been such a long-time coming. Elgart cannot possibly give Jester credit as a hero in this scenario because then their system of rules and consequences would have a fatal flaw – not preparing for the scenario of when a board member chooses to blow the whistle on their own group. They likely never anticipated that would happen. And, if there are really 50 or more other letters to SACS that added to the decision of Probation, then he is also right to protect their identify but at the same time not allow one public person to take call of the credit. Plus, this decision could become a model of “what not to do if you want to remain accredited.” He can’t have Jester being the champion because then there would be board members all over the world wanted to do the same thing.

    Just as we all agree that SACS should lighten up on Nancy, it is also possible for all of us to lighten up on SACS. If not for their “process,” regardless of what you call it, then none of these issues would have been met with a consequence. They may have even gone without notice for another 10 years. We should appreciate SACS for the role they have played so far and part ways with them later if we are still upset. But, for now, it really doesn’t matter who blows their whistle. What matters is that we all keep blowing it loud and clear until we finally get someone to take some action!

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