You go Pam!

Pam Speaks: We fully support you in your quest to clear your name and your good reputation. We all thank you for your years of service and our hearts are with you as you fight the forces against you. You were every bit as effective, qualified and respectful a board member as your replacement hand-picked by the governor’s personally selected committee.  We support you and wish you all the best.

Read the full report in the AJC (although you need the new “premium access” to read just about anything there these days.)

About dekalbschoolwatch

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"
This entry was posted in GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Georgia Education, Georgia State Board of Education, Pam Speaks, SACS/Accreditation, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to You go Pam!

  1. Dr Moore says:

    Now we can throw rocks and hide our hands…Pam was as much of the problem as she was not of solution. Do not be hood winked again……South DeKalb

  2. your are superman says:

    I totally agree with you Dr. Moore!
    This blog supports Pam Speaks because she voted with the Republican board members. She feels like she did nothing wrong because she rarely voted with the democrats, just like Tom Bowen. To quote Rev. Al “you did not think we were not watching Pam, But we gotcha!

  3. FWIW, school board seats are non-partisan. This is why the school board elections will be held in the summer – not in November, 2014.

  4. Betsy Parks says:

    I support Dr. Moore’s position. I believe you are superman’s position is as harmful as dekalbschoolwatch’s position and the North/South, Black/White, Republican/Democrat war in DeKalb continues. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke) However, not all is lost. This myopic thinking is good for private schools and the cityhood efforts.

  5. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    DSW2…yes, the board seats are non-partisan, but IMHO, they are being held in the summer to involve fewer voters. If they wanted more citizen involvement–and a less expensive election–they would hook on to the November date. The board election would appear without partisan bias in November, too.

  6. Dr. Speaks is an incredible woman who has always had the best interest of the CHILDREN of DeKalb county first and foremost. I Hate that she was put into this predicament. This is a woman of integrity, intelligence, and the ability to perform the job. She has always performed with the best interest for all .

    I applaud Dr. Speaks and I support her in her efforts to step up re-establish her presence and proceed in working towards a united DeKalb

  7. thedeal2 says:

    Pam Speaks hardly spoke a word in her last couple of years on the board. Maybe a nice person but a completely ineffective advocate for our kids.

  8. Embarrassed Employee says:

    The new members aren’t any child’s heroes either.

  9. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Deal, I agree. Being a part of the solution means standing up for what you believe in by voicing your opinion. Not just voting no. I never heard this woman speak out for/against much. Being quiet, in my opinion, is just as bad. Yes she voted the opposite of Walker, et al. but where did she stand? She gave up.

  10. bettyandveronica: Pam wasn’t loud and boisterous, but she definitely expressed opinions and asked questions. She got very angry when pushed by Walker and crew to only hire an African-American superintendent. She called them on their racism. She read her opinions out loud into the record. She fought hard against hiring Dr Atkinson – who will turn out to be the gravest of mistakes for our school system. The repercussions of Atkinson’s tenure will come to roost for years.

    Aside from all of this – we just have a deep concern that the governor is able to fully sweep out all members of a board – due to the behavior of a few key people on that board. How would you like to be fired because even though you work diligently, your department as a whole is full of a bunch of jerks – and the directors wanted to just clean house? How would you like it if you were assigned to work on a group project, and the group did not allow you to contribute anything to the project, then did a terrible job and you suffered an “F” due to the poor quality of the project? Or, as in Pam’s case you worked hard to follow the election rules, raised money, campaigned, participated in debates, won an election, did the job to the best of your ability, yet were fired due to the bad behaviors of your peers? Really – you all think it’s a good idea to be able to sweep out entire elected boards in one power play? Again, this is a slippery slope and we applaud Pam in her efforts to bring the possibly unconstitutional actions of the legislature and the governor to light. At the very least, she deserves some answers as to why she personally was fired.

  11. PLS says:

    In the WSB clip Pam asked what she did. She was a major part of the leadership team of a district that was placed on probation. The district, with her (and others), in a leadership position was headed in a failing direction. In my opinion, not enough leaders were removed. On occasion, when a house is in disrepair, it needs to be condemned. These were the dire straits our district was in. Exceptions should not be made for Speaks or any others. The best leaders bring people together.

  12. 2L82FIXIT says:

    How would I like it you asked (ha)……………you are asking a rif’d employee due to Pam’s silence and vote AND love of Ramona. Pam Speaks voted a lot of people out of jobs and slept well at night. She never called Ramona out on the 2010 rif nor Cheryl on the 2012 rif. And now this year, AJC quotes Thurmond as saying people should have never lost their jobs. Shut the FRONT DOOR. Pam saw the KPMG audit and did not produce it. Pam voted to help Ramona get a $70,0000 raise while laying off others. Governor Deal was and IS still RIGHT. I only wish his arm was long enough to reach Ramona and a few others.

  13. Just me says:

    Pam was fired because she failed our students. She was not solely responsible but she played a part. Now is the time for her to step up and take responsibility for her actions or lack of action on the behalf of our students. True leaders finds ways to get results. We needed leaders and Pam was not a leader

  14. Hopespringseternal says:

    Aside from the legal issue of whether a sweep (and granted it wasn’t even a clean sweep) is constitutional, and I don’t believe it is, there’s the thing which makes this not terribly different from Celebrity Apprentice. The team member can do everything right, but based on the actions of others including the project manager, you can be summarily fired. Happens in corporate America all the time. You see, when you decide to run for a board position, you’re by definition saying you want to be a team member. Not in the executive position, like labor commissioner or CEO. Therefore, you automatically become subject to the benefits and pitfalls of how that board operates. Board members of any operating body must put self last for the good of the team of which they are now a part. And the board member who bombasts, who is delusional, who always votes with a single faction, or considers him/herself above the fray and can’t find common ground with the others is someone who shouldn’t serve another day in that position. As we observe these ridiculous administrative hearings for the appealing members, we should remember that this is the danger of bad laws stacked on top of bad boardsmanship. We were never supposed to take the actions of a board and start picking apart individual board members. While the individuals are the ones who make up the board, it is the unit itself under the microscope — or should be. And the board member candidate, in reviewing his own qualifications to run for the position in the first place, should honestly ask himself the Boardsmanship question. We got here today because too many in the past took self-aggrandizing behaviors to a board. It’s no longer enough to say you’ll make a good board member just because you won’t embarrass yourself and your constituents. That goes for the bombasters and the so-called articulate ones.

  15. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    Wouldn’t your logic apply to the senate and house of representatives? According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll nearly 80 percent of Americans believe Congress is causing “serious harm to the country”. Perhaps we should summarily dismiss all of our representatives and let Obama appoint all new ones.

  16. concerned citizen says:

    Just how much longer must we wait for Ramona, Smith, Ramsey, and others who were so instrumental in laying off our teachers get the boot? I certainly mean Thurmond, too!

  17. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    So what has changed at the executive level of DCSS, the constants in the system have really never changed and they are the ones running the joint! Tyson, Ramsey, Beasley, Alice Thomson, and the rest of the Clew crew MUST be shown the door. Trust! Mr Thurmond. How can we, when the folks running the place never changed??? Now we have to get rid of two crews! The Atkinson crew and the Clew Crew! ENOUGH! WHAT IS OLD IS NEW AND IT IS DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN! UGH!

  18. concerned citizen says:

    Fantastic, Atlanta Media Guy! What else can we do to force the issue? Anybody????

  19. September says:

    @DeKalb Inside Out There’s always impeachment. Of course, the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” is open to interpretation and you have to have the votes to accomplish it. My point is that our Constitution does provide a means for removing an elected official from office.

    It is not the President who appoints temporary replacements to the Senate and Congress, it is the Governor. The right to decide who serves in the Senate and Congress belongs to the individual states. The writers of the Constitution were very concerned about the balance of power between the three branches of government. Allowing the President to temporarily appoint Senators or Congressmen would place too much power in one branch of government.

    It will be interesting to see how the State Supreme Court rules on the school board law. Once the ruling is made, we will either get our old board members back, or we will see this process to completion. Did the actions of our school board reach a level of wrongdoing sufficient to merit removing them from office? IMHO the financial mismanagement our board members presided over is a very serious problem. No matter what happens, we need to be sure that we elect qualified people to the school board in the future.

  20. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    If we get our former BOE members back, will we need an election for Nancy Jesters seat? She resigned, so any state legal folks know what the process would be? I think Gene would get to choose the person to represent District 1 until the 2014election, if the Supremes ruled in Genes favor. The nightmare would certainly continue!

    Thurmond had a chance to replace the crews, however I bet Gene Walker and him had a long conversation and Gene asked his old legislative pal to not make any Executive suite changes until the Supremes ruled. Tyson and Thomson have been running the palace since Clew was indicted. There is still no REAL audit, more long time DeKalb county employees being hired, like the CFO and no NEW leadership in the executive suite. Again, how can we trust OUR school system to change, when the same folks that got us in this mess get shuffled around and still NOTHING changes. Currently, DeKalb County has NO real leadership, just folks who are looking for a handout for the next election and the ability to get their friends and family a sweet salary and a lifetime pension. Hey Chamber of Commerce, how you going to spin the CEO mess and the FLAILING school system to businesses searching for a home in OUR crooked DeKalb?

  21. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Nancy Jester can’t be reinstated because she’s white. Walker et al are just dying for a chance to scream racism and if a white woman is considered for reinstatement that’s all the cause he needs.

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    Not in DeKalb County.

  22. Stan Jester says:

    Nancy Jester’s Resignation
    Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-53, Nancy tendered her resignation to the Governor.

    O.C.G.A. § 20-2-54.1. Procedure for filling vacancies on local boards
    If the vacancy does not occur more than 90 days prior to the date of a general election … the remaining members of the local board of education shall, by majority vote, select a qualified person to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

    To date, the Governor has not accepted Nancy’s resignation. If the Ga Supreme Court finds in favor of Dr. Walker, Nancy will return to her seat on the board unless the Governor decides to accept her resignation. At that time, Dr Walker’s majority will select Nancy’s replacement.

  23. Hopespringseternal says:

    Thank you @Stan for the clarification. Hopefully people won’t get ahead of themselves, and hopefully we can keep the incendiary remarks to a minimum. That sure is a lot of hoping.

  24. Stan Jester says:

    Thank you Hopespringseternal for your kind words. I advocate for open government and the proliferation of the truth. I also understand we are talking about our babies and these are emotional, economic and racial issues.

    Nancy – Reinstatement
    Nancy did did not petition to be reinstated under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 .

    Anti Bully
    Nancy has always been the anti bully. She voted ‘no’ on all the falsified and misleading HR reports as well as the fraudulent budgets. When Dr. Elgart told her to pipe down, she doubled her efforts to communicate the fraud. Ironically, the financial malfeasance in the SACS report, used to suspend Nancy and the rest of the board, was primarily based on Nancy’s reports. She voted ‘no’ for a board attorney and vocally opposed the filing of the legal action against the state. This is all to say, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nancy did not petition to be reinstated when all the other board members did.

  25. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    Stan, thanks for clarifying! I would love for Nancy to get back on the BOE, if the court ruled in Genes favor. Not sure if Gene would like that…lol. I still think SACS and Elghart owes Nancy an apology for the way she was treated by them and by the DCSS staff who could never get around to answering some of Nancy’s important questions. It is time the citizens take back our DeKalb government. The corrupt, sleazy politicians that got us in this mess are always trying to blame someone else, when they get caught. How many communities do you know, where the Superintendent of schools and the CEO of the same county have been indicted by a Grand Jury?

  26. Don't give up hope says:

    To be a passionate leader is what is needed in times of peril not just someone who says “well I didn’t vote for that.” I spent a whole year looking at almost every board meeting that Mrs. Speaks was apart of and I can’t remember any strong objections or fighting on her part to the many atrocities that were going on in budgeting, policies or anything else. ” I didn’t do anything wrong.” You see Mrs. Speaks the problem is that you did nothing. I am sure you may have done the best that you knew how to do but my personal motto is to do your best and have the willingness to grow and learn. Take a minute to step back and self-evaluate your role in what has happened or your lack of a role and then come back as a candidate after this self – assessment and prove to this district that you deserve it admitting what changes you will make. As a mother and educator, when a child comes out of their consequence, I ask them the question, what will you do to avoid these mistakes again? As adults, we need to re-visit this lesson. Complacency is not what we need.

  27. Au contrare, @ Don’t Give Up Hope.

    Below are a few snippets of reports from the old blog – and there are more from DSW2 – where Pam went out on a limb and made a public statement or voted against the grain. She did it with decorum – perhaps you would rather she had jumped on the dais?
    Pam Speak’s made a statement directly after the vote, highlighted in the August 29 post where she states, “The search for a new super has been an arduous and painful endeavor. I expected arduous, but not painful. I expected that we would interview highly qualified candidates. I did not consider that person needed to look like me. I will support Dr. Atkinson. I pledge my full support to her.” All three stated that if hired, they would support Dr. Atkinson fully.

    While Nancy and Don spoke, several of the other board members “walked out” of the board meeting. It was not recorded on camera, however, several print and internet news sources reported this behavior. At the next meeting, Donna Edler and Gene Walker each made speeches in defense of their actions and in support of the superintendent.

    Pam stood with Nancy and Don and publicly refused to endorse Dr. Atkinson (who turned out to be a disaster) and stated why they had fully supported Dr. Duron of Texas, who was sabotaged by their fellow board members.
    We are writing because we feel compelled to set the record straight on this candidate. We ran for our positions to do something and not be something. We believe that we must hire a leader from outside of our system. This is not to say that we do not have capable people within our ranks. We have many wonderful employees. Unfortunately, we also have real structural impediments to success combined with a lack of public confidence and a myriad of perception problems.

    She also stood with Don and Nancy when they voted down SPLOST IV:

    Open Records Request yields interesting information about SPLOST

    And Pam publicly called out other members of the board for pressuring her to vote for certain law firm contracts along racial lines.
    Alexander & Associates hold their contract with DeKalb schools only due to the racial outcry of Gene, Jay and others. In fact, Pam Speaks read a prepared statement at a board meeting stating that she had been pressured behind the scenes to retain the Alexander firm. Pam took the ethical high road and publicly stated that she would not be manipulated.
    Even today, sadly, the DeKalb County School Board appears to remain largely divided in terms of race. Dr. Speaks read a statement last night indicating that she had been bullied by other board members to vote along racial lines on the issue of contracting a law firm. Dr. Speaks however will not vote on racial lines. Dr. Walker indicated last night also that he sees black and white. He went to an all black high school so apparently race does matter.

  28. Don't give up hope says:

    Au contrare indeed,

    I get it! She is a hero because she sides on things near and dear to your heart and I am not saying these issues aren’t valid. Hear are a few close to mine:

    Crawford Lewis’s big raise despite his cuts to everyone else’s salary……..silence

    Approving a budget that included paying tens of thousands of dollars for lights for a district tv station that Crawford was very strongly fighting for probably because of his backroom deals despite the fact that we were in a significant budget crisis…… Silence

    As for as how people talk about racial politics . I want to explain something that I have observed in this county since I moved here. A lot of people like Walker grew up in a very racial discriminatory time. The remedy for that was to simply put more blacks in position on order to have the interest of that segment recognized. It made sense at the time but is an outdated approach now because I realize just because someone shares your skin tone does not me they have your best interest or the interest of good and fair governing but many older civil right workers still want to practice in this manner but it helps me to know the thinking behind it to realize that it comes from a good place, ill thought out or not but we are so quick to label people as bad instead of trying to see things from
    their viewpoint.
    For instance I would burn inside when I saw a confederate flag on somebody’s car. I mean why would someone celebrate a symbol that represented slavery and pain to so many but in my search to try to be open minded I researched that not everyone that has that is saying we hate blacks but for some people it represents southern pride however, I still feel another symbol would be more appropriate but who am I to think of the pain of others.
    My point is lets stay away from us and them and realize we are only a few decades from horrible racial atrocities and nobody is trying to live in the past or make people feel guilty but sweetie our past makes us who we are and we need to take baby steps to heal but lets start by understanding others before we yell and kick.

Comments are closed.