What’s up with the NAACP?

deal_naacp03So, the Governor has dismissed 6 of the 9 board members and appointed a committee to interview candidates to replace them. But lo! The NAACP suddenly has an “issue” with what is going on in DeKalb Schools! Remarkably, they did not stand up for the majority black children suffering the inadequate educational system and low-level test scores that will hamper their futures. No – that’s not an issue – they don’t mind that up to 60,000 young black children will leave the DeKalb school system ill prepared for work or college – or that many will end up in jail. Yes, we do have pockets of good schools and many, many young black students from DeKalb do go on to college. But – many do not. We challenge the NAACP to advocate for them – for their “Advancement.”

Below is a comment posted to our blog by an African-American contributor from south DeKalb. The new generation will not tolerate this politically motivated group of “leaders.” They are demanding attention. They “get” it. They can’t be fooled and manipulated any more. People have begun to realize that the issue of inequity is not about race – it’s about class and access. When black leaders access power and money, they are no different than anyone else – they will keep others down in order to continue to fund their own agendas — even if those they keep down ARE supposedly their agenda.

“Where were the NAACP and LEGISLATORS when BOE members were hiring F&F who were making more than teachers? Where were they when they RIF’d innocent teachers, while leaving their favorites intact? Where were they when staff members were bullied, black-balled, and mistreated by the BOE and administers? Where were they when candidates were purposely overlooked and incompetent people were given positions due to their affiliations? Where were they when teachers were written up for taking off to care for themselves or family members? Where were they when administrators purposely gave gave teachers NI’s? Where were they when Special Education teachers were asked to cover classes? Where are they now, when schools in southern DeKalb are so out of order? Are they volunteering in the schools? Are/were they marching in the streets of DeKalb for our students and teachers to have a safe teaching and learning environment? Are they worried that teachers can’t teach, but are expected to deliver the same results as students in central and northern DeKalb? Are they talking to BOE members as to why teachers are exiting DeKalb in large numbers? Are there NAACP activities going on in Candler, Glenwood, Covington, Memorial? Where are they? Where were they when Eugene Walker sat on his throne like he was GOD at the BOE meetings? Where were they? Where are they now? They are advocating for people who couldn’t care less about their own people; the same people who throw race in the picture when someone exposes their misdeeds. The evidence has shown that we’re top heavy, yet every year they take more teachers away from the people who need their support the most–our children. To me, that is a breach of trust. This blog has done a lot to expose them. Their misdeeds have even made the news. They can no longer tell their constituents that it’s racism because our eyes are open. We may not get it right every time, but the voters in South DeKalb are now listening. We may not choose who those in North DeKalb want, but we will be very selective from this point forward. Further, this system has been a jobs program for F&F for many years. When Dr. Brown saw that, he ordered the audit and wanted to make changes, but once the audit came out, [showing millions in salary overpayments to administrators] he was offered a nice severance package of nearly $500,000. Along came Crawford Lewis, and well, we know the rest of the story.”

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19 Responses to What’s up with the NAACP?

  1. Amen. Nothing else to add. Well said.

  2. H.A. Hurley says:

    Alright! Well stated!
    NAACP has lost all credibility if 60,000 Black kids and 40,000 others can be harmed for years and they kept quiet? They look foolish trying to make a case to support some of the most incompetent BOE members, ever!! Where was the NAACP when E. Walker slept through an incredibly important meeting with SACS and the State Dept? GA had no other choice! The harm to all of our kids should have been a concern by DFACS and other agencies protecting children.
    Shame on the NAACP! DC citizens and children deserve much better from all of us who can make things better for children and teachers.

  3. no name says:

    We shall overcome
    We shall overcome
    We shall overcome narcolepsy

  4. you are superman says:

    I 100% agree with the comments made by the DSW2 and the contributor. John Evans only wants publicity for himself. I have personally shared DCSS concerns for years with him.
    What the Governors committee should seeking and obtaining for DCSS board and when selection time comes for a superintendent. However, the first step is identifying the right leadership team.
    The ideal characteristics’ of a learning organization are transformed through transformational leadership, agreed upon vision, old ways and routines are willingly purged, recognition that organizational functions, interactions with outside organisms’ can only be achieved through embracement of external and internal interrelatedness. Every member’s ideas and opinions receive equal attention regardless of position within the organization and there are minimal to no visual perceived subcultures to compete with each other. Thus, learning organizations focus is on the betterment of the whole.

  5. circa1980 says:

    I don’t know what’s up with this version of the NAACP. It sounds like the group takes issue with the removal process only because the majority of the removed members are black. If most of the board members were white, does anyone think the NAACP would have such an outcry? In any event, the removal process is the law on the books. Governor Deal didn’t just raise his specter and remove the board by decree. So the “he’s a dictator” sound byte from the NAACP ignores the background. The board members, through their collective incompetence, basically gave the Governor an invitation to remove the board. Instead of trying to keep the friends, family and race train (complete with segregated cars) going, the NAACP should focus its efforts on changing the removal law that it finds so offensive. To answer the poster’s question, the NAACP wasn’t present earlier because there weren’t enough cameras. I am rooting for DeKalb, but I intend to move ASAP. I am trying to find an area that’s less racially toxic, but still diverse. Wish me luck.

  6. howdy1942 says:

    I thank you South Dekalb African-American contributor. You have stated it so well. The focus on education was at the center of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for. I’ve seen many leaders in the black community speak to the college in which I taught – the emphasis always was the importance of education. It was difficult to watch this group representing an organization (NAACP) that has served minorities so well over the years to now fail to just once mention the needs of the children. In fact, this group referred to them as “just children” when Governor Deal stated that race was never mentioned during his meeting with a group of students last week. This group representing the NAACP failed to once mention the risk of losing accreditation or, for that matter, anything about accreditation.

    If there has been any injustice done to anybody, it has been done to Dr. Pamela Speaks and to Nancy Jester. They were both courageous and instrumental to surfacing the wrongs being administered to our children, their teachers, and to the residents of our County. I have attended numerous meetings of the School Board and listened to these two members speak and to ask searching questions of the staff and other board members. It is so sad and, indeed, unjust for them to suffer the fate of being suspended for doing the right thing. I sincerely hope that both Dr. Speaks and Ms. Jester will petition the State for reinstatement in their position.

    Again I say that had someone in Upson County done the same thing to Dr. Walker that he is doing to the children of Dekalb County, then he may well be Mr. Walker still living in Upson County. He can be very thankful that they did not. Further, he can also be thankful that the NAACP of that day was a lot bigger and more focused on the needs of the children of that day and their opportunities as future adults than the NAACP that took the time of our Governor to present its selfish, racist arguments that focused a few adults at the expense of almost 100,000 children. That was sad.

  7. TracyW says:

    It’s become the Negro Network in DeKalb. Be truthful! Call it Friends and Family to be polite.

    You had to be Black to get a Position of Power. It was always about the Race Card. Whites need not apply.

    Well, y’all got Black Power in the Schools, and the County at large as well. You continue to use the election controls from the 60’s to gerrymander even more bizarre and more convoluted voting districts to insure that blacks don’t lose a single vote and whites don’t gain one either.

    People, PLEASE wake up and realize that most all of us are WAAAAAAAY past those days and just want to get along as people. To insure that there are non-changing percentages of whites/blacks, we have dislocated our communities, our neighborhoods, and formed voting districts that have nothing in common other than the alleged color of our skins.

    Why are people who have one black parent and one white parent still considered BLACK instead of WHITE? Other than some constant reminder of slavery, at what point does one become WHITE instead of BLACK? At what point is one Hispanic? Native American? Why is anyone running around in the 21st century screaming of RACE?

    The hell with this. Let’s district this place based on geography. Forget what “color” you are supposed to be. Let’s do this based on the number of kids, forget what color or religion they are. Forget where they came from. Let’s educate ALL of them, let’s cut the bloat, let’s get back to basics. Get rid of the pompous administration. The effetely tailored elite. If you have been following the school situation here for the past ten years or so you know of whom I speak.

    Sadly, even though it is “required” that a school super be a “black” person, when said person does not participate in the DeKalb Network, that person is thrown into the dumpster.

  8. Deal said the leaders used the 90-minute meeting to focus on racial issues rather than the district’s accreditation woes. He said he told them that DeKalb students he met with were more interested in their academic future than whether the governor overstepped his authority. “Their response to that was, ‘These were just children.”

    Important to Note: Sarah Copelin-Woods is a member of the Executive Committee of the DeKalb branch of the NAACP. So is Zepora Roberts.

    Off topic a bit, but this new study is interesting:

    Most algebra classes mislabeled as rigorous: study

  9. Deal set to name 6 DeKalb school board members

    The governor plans to name the six replacements Wednesday, about a week after a nominating panel began poring through more than 400 applicants. Deal will choose from a list of 63 semi-finalists that includes former lawmakers, education experts and community leaders.

    Across the Capitol, several proposals that were prompted by DeKalb’s circumstances moved forward. The Senate Education Committee approved legislation allowing DeKalb students to qualify for the HOPE scholarship if the district loses its accreditation, and another piece that would forbid the board from using public funds to pay for its legal challenge to Deal’s suspension of six members.

  10. Funny – now Gov Deal is being criticized by SACS…

    SACS says Deal moving too fast to replace DeKalb BOE

    The head of SACS, Mark Elgart, told lawmakers Tuesday night that he believes the state is moving too quickly, but the governor said it is important to move fast for the sake of the children.

    “We believe at least six months, preferably a year, be granted, let the process work,” Elgart said.

    “This is not a show-me proposition, this is a get to work, do the important things that we need to do to fully restore accreditation so that the deserving young people in this school system will not in any way be affected by the consequences of adult actions,” Deal said.

    So – Is Elgart saying that the threat of losing SACS accreditation is not as serious as the Gov has made it out to be? Does Elgart think he is in the position of telling the Gov what to do? This is getting ridiculous!

  11. howdy1942 says:

    When you read the SACS Report of December 19, 2012, a reasonable person would conclude that this is a very serious matter that deserves priority attention. That report placed Dekalb on probation – the only one in the nation. It also gave Dekalb until December 2013 to satisfy those 11 action items. The consequence of not doing do was loss of accreditation, one having huge implications for our students.

    Governor Deal properly placed a high priority on getting rid of the failed board and replacing them with qualified people. The process by which the State Board of Education reached its conclusions spanned two meetings and allowed due process for the Board members to show why they should be retained in their positions. They did not do so, in fact, they did very poorly. The Governor acted swiftly on their recommendation of the Stated Board and created a very thorough process to select replacements. He reached out to Dekalb County and over 400 responded. They were thoroughly vetted and six appointed. We are now at March 13, 2013, and have but nine months to respond. Since most of the issues in the SACS report have to do with the Board, it must organize itself quickly and get to work. As important as the SACS report is, it is at least equally important that this Board begin to restore the faith and confidence of the people.

    I would have much preferred that the State had removed all nine board members and replaced all of them. Of the over 400 that applied, I believe that there were at least three more highly qualified candidates that would have brought no baggage. The SACS report cited at least one member of the Board that took office on January 7, 2013, as engaging in prohibited activities. Moreover, these three existing members have greatly alienated the community with their votes to approve funding for the suspended members to obtain legal counsel and the expenses associated with going to court. They also approved funding to bring in that law firm to provide “governance” training that could have been provided by a legal firm already retained by the County at no cost or from the State and a sharply lower cost to taxpayers. Third, they voted to approve the severance package of Dr. Cheryl Atkinson and we still do not know why they even terminated her. The Governor does seem to think highly of Michael Thurmond. However, I am troubled by the manner in which he was appointed, his qualifications for the job and, most importantly, his conduct since he was appointed as effectively serving as a lawyer and spokesman in defense of the suspended members. That conduct is entirely inappropriate for a superintendent. I have also been troubled by Dr. Melvin Johnson’s ringing defense of the suspended members. In short, these three have done a lot of damage with the public since January 7, 2013.

    I wish this new Board every success and will vigorously support them. I hope that they meet very soon and I hope that their first action will be to “defund” this lawsuit for Dr. Walker. That has incensed our community and I don’t think much healing with the community can take placed until that is done.

    Again, thank you Governor Deal.

  12. SWD Parent says:

    I think this is great start. I listened to Walker on WAOK today, and he is still planning to fight this decision. As soon as the new Board members have a working email address, we need to bombard them with emails. We need to tell them to stop funding the legal fight for the former Board members. They are no longer entitled to use taxpayer funds. If they want to continue this fight, they should use their own funds. We are still paying them a salary, so they should be able to pay for their own defense. This is a new day.

  13. Ella says:

    However, SWD Parent I believe as soon as the new board is appointed the old board stops getting their salary. Someone told me this that definitely should know.

  14. SWD Parent says:

    Ella, I hope you are right! They were fired so they should not continue to be paid. Regardless, according to Walker today he is intent on continuing a legal fight. Hopefully, it will be without taxpayer funds.

  15. howdy1942 says:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the previous board members were suspended with pay for the remainder of their “elected” terms – that would be through December 2014. That was one of Judge Story’s key points in his decision. He pointed out that Walker would not suffer any monetary loss, that he could appeal his suspension, that he could run for re-election, and that he would only lose the benefit of his position during that time. Judge Story found that any possible harm suffered by Walker pales in comparison to the possible harm that would be suffered by the students if we lose our accreditation.

    I wish that this were not true, but I’m afraid it is. I hope that there is someone out there to tell me that I’m wrong.

  16. No Duh says:

    I saw Sarah Copeland Wood AND Zepora Roberts in the background on the newsclips of the NAACP’s “meeting” with the Governor. Sarah can’t show up to the SBOE hearing on time, but can make it to the NAACP ambush of the Governor.

    Read George Chidi’s excellent analysis of why the NAACP is suddenly so outraged on the Parents for DeKalb Schools site. Very insightful.

  17. Longing for Integrity says:

    TracyW, well said! I moved here 15 years ago and couldn’t believe how segregated it is. I’ve never lived in a place that was so divided. I imagined Atlanta would have been a showcase of integration. Sadly, I have not found that yet – much as I had longed to see it. Little bits appear here and there, but overall…not so much. I spent 14 years at Chamblee HS. It was the closest thing to my vision of what true integration could be, here in Atlanta, and around the country. What a shame the palace was always trying to bring that school down in an effort to appease the voices of their constituency. I’ve never seen an entity that could make the joy of teaching and learning become a curse the way the county office could. The one thing I saw at Chamblee was parents that cared more about what their children could learn than anything else. They put in the time volunteering, getting to know their school and sacrificing their time to help. I worked with wonderful parents of all races and race wasn’t the issue – education was the issue. I applaude DSW and all of it’s contributors for keeping your eyes on the prize – education. With that goal, race can be replaced with something far more important – free thinking and a next generation that lives a life of freedom from such anchors! I just pray we can get past this and find a Board that will get back to what’s truly important and, beyond that, get rid of the overbloated egos at the county office. That place needs more thorough cleaning than the BOE. Just my opinion.

  18. Renee' Holmes says:

    The sentiments of all, very well stated! This should be seen by that politically-charged group and everyone else not privy to this site because it’s oozing with truth! That group has long been a sour taste in my mouth! It only rears its head when the media is involved. The “little people” (our children and innocent teachers) are helpless in this. They are supposed to help the helpless. Those board members have helped themselves for far too long, so they are in no way helpless! How dare they cry racism! We, the voters, hired them for a purpose. They failed at that purpose. We, the voters, fired them! End of story! Race isn’t involved!

  19. Grapevine says:

    Walker will fight this decision and he will win. In the end, the action the Governor took was unconstitutional. Of course, it will take a long time for the decision to be rendered and the old board restored. Until then, the leaders now in charge can make a whole lot of change happen. Change that will be very hard to undo.

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