Jay C makes his case for reinstatement

Today is the deadline to file for reinstatement: Jay, Sarah, Donna and Pam haved filed.

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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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22 Responses to Jay C makes his case for reinstatement

  1. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    I just have to say, they should have listened to Nancy, Don and Pam. Had they hired Dr. Duron as superintendent, they simply would never be in the current situation. However, they were bound and determined to hire an African-American and the one they found was obviously not the best choice – in the end, she took them to the cleaners and got them all fired!


    I have noticed that PDS-TV 24 will not replay the SACS report with Mark Elgart, that occurred April 3rd. Many citizens may have missed the viewing. It can only be replayed online. Why is that? The have the COW Budget Report that was recorded April 16th playing tonight at 10:00. Again, so why not the SACS report????


    It doesn’t matter what race the SUPERINTENDENT is. What matters is competence. The bottom line is that Atkinson and Lewis were not the right individuals to lead this district. As far as the BOE is concerned, I don’t think that one needed to hold a degree to serve, but they must be knowledgeable on issues and be able to hold a simple conversation. This system has been a jobs program for F&F for far too long. Where have these these appointments gotten us. I am afraid that if this board doesn’t act now, it will continue to be MORE OF THE SAME. If Thurmond intends to furlough teachers, they should ALL vote “no”. They have a wonderful opportunity to float this sinking ship. By the way, the old board would never hire anyone other than someone black because they wanted s/o that they could control and make suggestions regarding appointments to positions throughout the district.

  4. concernedmom30329 says:

    Since Jay began on the Board, the SAT scores at Lithonia High have dropped 60 points. Same at MLK. These are the people that elected him. Oy.
    I just read in another post that the leadership at Lithonia High isn’t good. Cunningham has meddled incessantly in the hiring of principals at those schools.

    Earlier this school year, his wife* was on WSB TV complaining about all the principal turnover at MLK. However, that is all because of her husband. * Note that the Cunningham’s children have all graduated, they don’t have children at MLK anymore but she is PTA president. Bizarre.

  5. murphey says:

    According to the GaDOE website, you can see that about 30% of MLK graduates are HOPE eligible. Less than 30% of Lithonia High School graduates are HOPE eligible. In 2010 at MLK Jr. High School, 81 of their 338 graduates (24%) were honored at school for being accepted to college.

    While I would be discouraged and perhaps even embarrassed at these statistics, it’s possible that this is acceptable to that community, which in turn elects Mr. Cunningham. From reading this blog it seems that many posters are connected to high schools in the northern part of the county. We simply have a great divide in hopes and expectations. When those with much lower hopes and expectations run the show it is unlikely that student achievement will prosper.

  6. hopespringseternal says:

    We also have a great divide in living conditions. When you’re unemployed, underemployed, just getting by, recovering from something catastrophic, single-parented, etc etc etc, then the living conditions — yours and all those around you — factor in. Before the great cacophony begins, SO NOT trying to make this be about why this is — just that it IS. Living conditions directly impact learning conditions. Thus, the learning conditions (apparently to include high expectations, something MLK would surely balk at) are lowered. Is it any wonder that we celebrate a 25% college acceptance rate among seniors, if that’s true? Apologies now to all the experts who have studied this, but geesh — I live right here.

    Certainly not all families are in this situation. And certainly not all struggling families have abandoned the high expectations they were raised with. But when you have a majority of your community in this fix, it is telling in the schools. It is very telling.

  7. If I had been the reporter interviewing Cunningham, I would have followed his statement, “I stand by my record,” with “Do you mean your criminal record?”

  8. no name says:

    An update on Atkinson’s plan to spend about $345,000 on Ph.D.s for eight DCS administrators, as described in this AJC article:

    “Buh-Bye!” says one of those lucky administrators. He has taken a job outside the school system.

  9. ella says:

    These individuals have every legal right to ask for their jobs back. It will be very interesting to see what happens.

    I am shocked to not see Dr. Walker’s name on the list since he is still fighting in court. I would be shocked if he does not ask for the same thing.

  10. I tend to agree with you Ella. Especially since 1/3 of the voters in DeKalb have NOT been disenfranchised – and actually DO have their elected Board representation – Marshall Orson (Druid Hills), Jim McMahan (Lakeside) and Melvin Johnson the Board CHAIR and former DCSS administrator (Stephenson, St Mt, and leader at New Birth who signed the $100,000+/year lease between the school system and the church). These three have a heavy tip in the scale of power – they know the system, they know the schools, they know their community’s wants and needs and they know how to get what they want — especially considering the rest of the Board has no idea and no background on DeKalb schools. If placed in an election debate for their seats today, they would each certainly find themselves very challenged. We are going to watch very carefully to see where the money flows over the next year.

  11. DeKalb Driver says:

    @DCSD is right. The old board eliminated the strongest Applicants– they wanted a weaker player from a smaller system, one who would be indebted to them for the job, one who would let them continue to run things after Crawford / Tyson washed out, they wanted a Super that they could cajole and dominate. They got a 2nd tier leader from a 2nd tier system –and look how that worked out. Atkinson quit MIDYEAR and jumped to her biggest corporate SPONSOR after her wild Open Records and Plagiarism scandals. SACS and the Governor were forced to remove the blatant incompetents before DeKalb lost accreditation. Goodbye and good riddance to those nitwits!

  12. concernedmom30329 says:

    So far when you watch the meetings, it doesn’t seem like the three recently elected ones have a hold on anything. Even Melvin Johnson’s suggestion that we should be spending less on individual SPLOST projects (ie overspending on new construction) could be seen as counter to Orson’s interests. And every other question of McMahon’s makes even less impressed with him
    I have been impressed with the new board. They have tabled things when the staff didn’t have the information they wanted. They were insistent that the staff get them the information, in a unified voice.
    DeKalb Driver is on the money about why the system has had such poor superintendents.

  13. Interesting 30329. What did they ask for more info on with a unified voice? What exactly did they table? I missed it… I know Thurmond once asked to table the Success For All program expenditure so that he could do some research. Has that issue come back around? From my perspective, they have pretty much approved everything Thurmond has asked for – even if a question or two was asked during discussion. Elgart likes this kind of Board unification and endorsement of the superintendent.

  14. Speaking of meetings – here are a few of them coming soon:


    The DeKalb Board of Education will hold the following meeting\hearing on

    Monday, April 29, 2013:

    5:00pm Called Meeting to adjourn to an executive session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter
    Cabinet Room
    Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex
    1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
    Stone Mountain, GA 30083

    6:00pm Public Budget Hearing
    J. David Williamson Board Room
    Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex

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

    A second Budget meeting will be held May 8 at the J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain. The third date will be announced at a later time.

    The hearings will be broadcast live on PDS-TV24 and streamed on the DCSD website, [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us ]www.dekalb.k12.ga.us.

    The public is encouraged to share feedback by emailing:


    DCSD originally posted the wrong date for the South DeKalb Parents Council meeting:

    Redan High School, 5247 Redan Road, Stone Mountain

    We’re told Mr. Thurmond will attend but we don’t have that confirmed.


    The Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents Council will hold its Final meeting of the school year on May 1, and DeKalb County School District Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond will be the guest speaker.

    Thurmond, former Labor Commissioner, was appointed to serve as interim superintendent by the DeKalb County School Board in February.

    The meeting will give parents an update on DCSD overall.

    Thurmond said at his first board meeting in February, “I do not have a magic wand, but every day we will come with one goal in mind: to become better and to inspire and educate our children.”

    The group will meet from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. in the theatre of Dunwoody High School on May 1.

  15. midvaledad says:

    Don’t forget the BOE Meet and Greet on Tuesday, April 30, 6:30pm at Redan High School.

  16. concernedmom30329 says:

    There were several items at the last meeting, mostly related to maintenance type contracts for technology and phone systems. In addition, during the budget discussion the majority pushed the HR woman to get the reports they wanted, which had to do with comparison of data with other systems. (This was at the recent called meeting.) She kept giving excuses as to why these reports wouldn’t matter, but many members of the Board pushed back.

  17. So, midvale, the entire Board will be at Redan? That’s really not a good idea as it forms a quorum…..

  18. I’ll have to go back and watch the videos of the new board’s meetings – they haven’t had too many. I don’t recall them tabling anything – even if it was discussed. Ms. Ward-Smith in the past, generally gets asked for reports (esp by Nancy), which she claims she will provide ‘going forward’, but never does. Discussion is just that – discussion. If they actually tabled something due to a lack of information, I’d love to know exactly what it was… that would be a very good thing. But I haven’t seen that happen.

    @concerned: Below is a list of the official Board meetings available to watch at PDS. Could you let us know which one will show the Board tabling or at least strongly questioning agenda items?

    Work Session: (1 Apr 2013)
    Meeting with SACS: (3 Apr 2013)
    Business Meeting w Citizen Comments: (1 Apr 2013)
    Combined Meeting: (20 Mar 2013)
    Called Meeting: (8 Feb 2013)

    There were also two called meetings of the Committee of the Whole. Perhaps it was one of these, however, they aren’t on video online at PDS that I can see:
    4/16/2013 4:00:00 PM Called Meeting (Committee of the Whole)
    4/3/2013 6:00:00 PM Called Meeting (Committee of the Whole)

  19. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Just in case you were wondering about the timeline for the budget From the Dekalb Website:
    Budget Process for 2014 Budget

    1) 1st Public budget hearing. Monday, April 29, 2013 (6:00 p.m.)
    2) 2nd Public budget hearing and Superintendent to present a preliminary budget for Board discussion. Wednesday, May 8, 2013 (6:00 p.m.)
    3) 3rd Public Input Hearing & Committee of the Whole (input hearing to receive final comments from stakeholders & committee of the whole for Board to make final decisions on the budget. Wednesday, May 15, 2013 (3:00p.m.)
    4) The Board of Education will adopt the Tentative Budget (15 days prior to adopting Final Budget). June (TBD)
    5) Combined Meeting: Board of Education adopts tentative property tax millage rate, and adopts Final FY2014 Budget for fiscal year July 1, 2013 to June 20, 2014. June (TBD)

  20. Concerned Citizen says:

    But, what have they done to build a budget?

  21. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Haven’t you called MT and given your opinion of what should be in the budget? Not sure why they are asking but it’s kind of a novel idea. Wonder if they asked the teachers? Wonder if they will actually use any of the suggestions. According to the schedule on their website (and above) the meeting on May 8th they will fire up the overhead projector and give us all a glimpse of the new budget…get ready for the fireworks!

  22. hopespringseternal says:

    Public budget hearings have always been held and I believe are required by law. In the past decade, at least one input meeting was scheduled much earlier in the budget season, typically at the end of January. In the beginning very few people showed up for them, even after clamoring to be heard. In truth, by the time the public hearings are held the budget is fairly well developed; except for debacles like last year very few changes are made at this point in the budget cycle. One reason it was always difficult to make changes is because contracts were already out. Lately though, with the way teachers are treated, it doesn’t seem to make a difference if contracts are out or not; it’s almost like budget decisions will be made and the final amount left over will be retrofitted into teachers’ contracts. Just my perspective.

    One thing I’d like to know is the exact point at which property tax info from the county is handed over to the school system — and how those estimations are going these days. I don’t have a guess as to where things are headed with tax assessments (and collections). I’m also not sure if enrollment is projected to stay the same, increase or decline. This may have been published somewhere and I missed it.

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