Again, we ask, “Where’s the Plan?”

Inspector+Clouseau-300x220Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond was given an extension by the Board to April 30 (today) to submit his 90-day plan. Has he done so? Hopefully someone will ask about it at the meeting at Redan tonight – all members of the Board will be there. Please post in the comments if you find out there is a plan!

Read our original post here>> So, where’s the plan?

U90-day-plan-THURMOND-04-30-13-1PDATE!  The Plan was released to the public today at 6:30 pm.  Download it here. Or under the DSW files tab on the page titled “Thurmond Files”.

BTW: Below is the original photo from the DCSS website that is on the cover page of Thurmond’s plan. Interestingly, the two white girls on the left were cropped out for Thurmond’s report cover.


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36 Responses to Again, we ask, “Where’s the Plan?”

  1. Anonymous Dekalb Employee says:

    Yes, there is a plan. It was sent out to Dekalb employees at 5:14 today.

  2. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    Does that constitute a quorum, if all members of the board are present? And does that mean anything?

  3. Edugator says:

    The plan is out. Nine lovely pages of fine ideas. Call me when it works.

  4. Retired DeKalb teacher says:

    Did we really expect him to have it ready? The new board is really quiet! I want the list of Palace workers’ salaries, names, and titles…then I want to see a list looking for jobs elsewhere.

  5. thedeal2 says:

    The plan has been emailed and posted. It’s a list of “duh” moments. Nine pages. 1500 words. We’re paying him $275,000 for 9 pages in 3 months.

  6. Curious says:

    At least he says he’s going to “evaluate senior level personnel before contact renewal.” He also seems committed to better communication.

  7. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Construct “multiple pathways” to success for DCSD graduates who choose not to attend
    two or four year liberal arts institutions

    I loved this nugget . Why is that the responsibility of the school system? if a child and or his/her parents choose such or are unable to send their kid to college then why in the heck should DCSD be responsible for provding and paying for a “pathway to success”? Are they talking vocational schools here? This is so ambiguous. Leaves lots of room for programs to be brought in that cost bazillions of dollars that may or may not have any success.

  8. One foot out the door says:

    Lots of nice platitudes here. He should have been able to produce this in less than a week on the job IMHO.

  9. @Concerned. The Board addressed the issue of a quorum at Redan’s meeting:

    April 29, 2013


    In keeping with the State of Georgia’s Open Meetings Act, this
    notification is to advise that members of the DeKalb County Board of
    Education have been invited to participate in a Meet and Greet hosted by
    the South DeKalb Parent Council at 6:30pm, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, Redan
    High School, 5247 Redan Road, Stone Mountain. While a quorum of Board
    members will be present, no action will be taken.


    Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair
    DeKalb Board of Education

  10. Just another day in Paradise says:

    Sigh. Double sigh. Ramona’s fingerprints are all over this plan, just like she was all over Atkinson’s plan. All of Atkinson’s documents were well known as “Tyson Documents”. This 90-Day Plan smacks of the SACS plan that she was also in charge of. Exactly WHAT are we paying Thurmond for? Is he answering his own e-mails yet or is that still under her job description? Why, exactly, did the Board even bother to hire someone else if they were just going to let the employee making $245,000 (last year) and possibly $164,000 if they actually did reduce her salary, make all of his decisions?? At some point, this has to stop. If they hired someone new, he needs to make his own decisions and produce his own products.

  11. concernedmom30329 says:

    Actually, I thought most of Atkinson’s documents were “copied” from her previous jobs/systems. In particular, Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

  12. DeKalb Driver says:

    The word “teachers” appears twice, on page eight. What does that tell you about the plan?

  13. Personally, I find it ironic that there is NO mention whatsoever of finding or even beginning the search for a highly qualified, permanent superintendent – as originally promised by Thurmond when hired and which would bring about the best chance for stability going forward.

    Thurmond will be paid the same $275,000 salary Atkinson got, and will receive three months’ pay if the DeKalb board replaces him before his year-long contract expires.

    He said he had no interest in holding the position long-term. Thurmond said the search for a permanent superintendent would begin immediately and he would leave as soon as one is found.

  14. Wrecker says:

    I e-mailed the blog with a more detailed comment on the plan, but wanted to put this out there, just in case my post was not deemed newsworthy. The picture on the top of this new plan is a great example of a diverse student body. The only problem is that the picture is a cropped version of a picture of Evansdale students that deliberately omits two young white ladies. Does Mr. Thurmond’s vision of DeKalb County Schools exclude some groups?

  15. Refugee from DCSS says:

    This report reminds me of “From Remedial to Remarkable” that the school system paid for. Empty page, few words, hollow platitudes. It just keeps going on and on.

  16. politimom says:

    The better communications bullet was disappointing. Should have specified online check register, improved open records request delivery, release of all audits and other big ticket items the public has been rightfully demanding for ages. To win back the respect and trust of the parents they need to make big moves (firing palace cronies) showing they are willing to make the politically tough changes and be more transparent than all predecessors. I sure hope this new communications dept takes a course on crisis communication, and not from jeff dickerson’s shop. If his name shows up on any of this you will know it’s just more of the same.

  17. Concerned Citizen says:

    It’s actually worse than I imagined, As bad as it is, Thurmond never wrote it.. In other words, he’s taking us for fools, again.It sounds like a bunch of mumbo-gumbo rode hard and put out to dry. I don’t accept this level of work. AS someone said, no mention of his leaving and only a slight mention of teachers. Several references to Melvin Johnson – does he truly believe help is coming frrom ol Mel?The vocabulary in this “document” is hacked up and trite! Who plans on telling him? We surely don’t have any good thinkers or writers in the CO and/or a bunch of books chopped up and typed up where they fell? How much of it is copied/ I’ll bet about 8 of our posters could have done better in four working days! Thurmond, you are a poor thinker and writer? Come on, now, tell us, who wrote this? AUTHOR! AUTHOR!!

  18. John Dewey III says:

    There is no urgency about classroom size, step raises or annuities. Teachers are some sort of funding liability, an annoyance, an afterthought. Nepotism and cronyism is not addressed, thus, swept under the rug. More of the same DOES NOT cut it…………….

  19. former dekalb parent says:

    let me know how the hand holding and singing “kum bayah” works out…..

  20. curious says:


    I, too, noticed that there seem to be only two white kids in the pictures included in the plan. Maybe that’s because white kids make up only 10 percent of the school population? Strange.

  21. We would like to direct our readers who have never read the bloggers version of a 2020 Vision to please read it. Ours was written by volunteer parents, bloggers and community members. It has been shared with every new superintendent since it was written in February, 2011 and we think it is a very strong document. We stand by it and refuse to reinvent the wheel and restart the same discussion over and over again. We have our opinions and our ‘plan’ already posted in print form and have for quite some time – only to fall continually on deaf ears.

    Read it here>> “Without a vision, the people perish…”

  22. Wrecker says:

    Curious: Maybe the school system as a whole is only 10% white, but the school at which this picture was taken, Evansdale Elementary, is 48-50% white. So the uncropped picture was better representative of the school. Is your contention that the picture should be modified to show the ratio of students of the County as a whole? I was just surprised that Mr. Thurmond deemed it necessary to crop out the two white girls from a picture that has been on the DeKalb County website’s front page for several years.

  23. Don McChesney has a very detailed, informative, new post at his blog called, “Budget Realities”. It’s a good read and very enlightening.

    Read it here>>

  24. plusone says:

    Regarding cropping out the caucasian students….did anyone ever think that the parents said. NO to having their children on the fave of this document? I don’t know the countys answer but it just shows how quickly we digress to race. Stay focused on the board the budget the palace the 3 supers we are paying for….not. photoshop.

  25. The full sized photo is on the home page of the school system’s website. Nothing too upsetting here – just an observation. It was pointed out by a couple of readers.

  26. dekalbite2 says:

    From Mr. Thurmond’s Plan:

    “GOAL #1: Address AdvancED/SACS action items and work to achieve unconditional accreditation status”

    ” We have established an AdvancED/SACS response team charged with the responsibility of developing action plans and completing the work required. This team is comprised of representatives from each DCSD division, principals, and support staff. ”

    Where is the teacher input into this “plan”? Why is it that EVERY educational plan that DCSS develops completely leaves teachers out of the “team” when teachers are the ONLY ones who can implement the plans and the ONLY ones who actually ensure students master the content that the school system is responsible for delivering?

    Mr. Thurmond has set DCSS up for failure (and students in the process) if he does not include content and grade level teachers as the main developers of this plan. Does he not understand who delivers the content to the students? Who is advising him? He MUST get new advisors or students will be the ones who lose out in his plan.

    Mr. Thurmond must be made to understand that improving student achievement is his MAIN responsibility – not satisfying SACS. He MUST Understand that he is responsible if our rate of student achievement is less than demographically comparable school systems.

  27. Embarrassed Employee says:

    This is a stepping stone for Thurmond. He is not taking this seriously…at all…month after month we are paying this talkster to talk. He does not CARE one iota (sounds like a word from his vocabulary) about what teachers think or FEEL. He has no one reason to care how this turns out. He nor the new board has anything invested in this hot mess. The new board is a joke and I need someone one to vote NO and ask more questions. This extended day 90 day program is a farce. He committed to nothing so he can’t be held accountable. He will be known for the shyster that got a board of elected officials removed…that’s it people …..take a bow ….show over….exit stage left….

  28. Allow me to repost an earlier quote from a comment. Thurmond has misled the people of this county by stating that he was only going to hold the reins until a true professional superintendent could be hired, which would be quickly. As far as we know, no one has made a single move to even attempt to look for a professional superintendent (you know, one with a license – as suggested by SACS).


    Thurmond will be paid the same $275,000 salary Atkinson got, and will receive three months’ pay if the DeKalb board replaces him before his year-long contract expires.

    He said he had no interest in holding the position long-term. Thurmond said the search for a permanent superintendent would begin immediately and he would leave as soon as one is found.


    Oh, by the way – Dr. Duron, the candidate that our Board chair and his crew of lackeys refused to hire back when we had the chance to really get someone superior has recently been chosen as Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration for the Texas Education Agency.

  29. We’ve also heard a report that Melvin Johnson sat in on a staff meeting for Thurmond. Can anyone confirm?

  30. Shortly after the plan went out, Patch met with Thurmond, who said: “Did you see the plan? Every day things get a little better, but every day you find something else that’s wrong. It took years to get that way, and will take a while to fix.”

  31. politimom says:

    at DCPC yesterday Thurmond stated he did not read blogs, would not commit to eliminating furlough days and said he would only “consider” not applying for class size waivers. In other words, more of the same. Says he wants to put resources in classroom but in the next sentence won’t agree to two most basic items to improve classrooms. Disappointing but not surprising.

  32. concerned citizen says:

    I’ve suspected Thurmond does not read blogs; he is entirely ignorant about what the community thinks. He doesn’t know and doesn’t care as long as he gets his money. Yes, I’ve heard Melvin Johnson sat in on a staff meeting but can’t confirm. Any names we can follow up with?

  33. Maureen Downey wasn’t impressed much with the ‘plan’ either:

    DeKalb school chief unveils 90 day plan

    The nine-page document fleshes out each of those goals a bit, but it’s pretty boilerplate stuff, including “expand gifted and advanced placement offerings and opportunities, decentralize decision-making authority by redefining the role and responsibilities of regional superintendents, review the instructional program, practices, curriculum, and support materials for improving student achievement and career readiness with a specific focus on English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and special education students and construct multiple pathways to success for DCSD graduates who choose not to attend two or four year liberal arts institutions.”

  34. SRO says:

    I have my own version of a 90 day plan for DeKalb schools….Over the next three months…teachers will flood the internet and job boards trying to leave the wasteland that DeKalb has become….I haven’t heard a thing from Michael Thurmond that changes my opinion about the way these people operate. The teachers can definitely count on this – you are going to be given more busywork to do next year. You will spend your time completing more useless surveys, more useless staff development, more useless mandates from the overpaid, egotistical, big wigs in the county. Mr. Thurmond can save all of the down to earth, folksy, home-spun platitudes as I personally find them self-serving and an insult to my intelligence.

  35. dekalbite2 says:

    Mr. Thurmond is proving to be a major disappointment. He has no idea that the classroom consists of a teacher and his/her students. If the classroom environment is not an optimal situation for low income students, student achievement will not improve. Walker and the old BOE knew exactly what they were doing when they picked him. It’s like the powers that have gutted the classroom to supply lucrative jobs for their friends and family have a stranglehold on the students and taxpayers.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Thurmond seems to fit in quite well as he continues to rely on the same high level administrators that have brought student achievement in our low income schools so low. Mr. Thurmond must adequately fund the classroom and then use what is left over for admin and support or nothing will improve for students. He obviously does not have the will to do this.

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