Our in-box is full of concerns from parents at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, as well as people concerned about Towers High School. Recently, we were all shocked and appalled when our interim superintendent, Mr. Thurmond, appointed Ralph Simpson, as the new principal of Towers High School. Simpson had previously been demoted from Asst. Superintendent to Asst. Principal by Ramona Tyson, after selling the school system over $15,000 of his own books.
Towers boasts one of the highest per pupil spending, at $9,506.00 Total Per Pupil AVG, yet scores near the bottom in achievement. Where is all of this money going? One on one and small group, intense, professional teaching and tutoring should be the order of the day.
Now, parents are up in arms at MLK over the latest principal appointment – done without parent input whatsoever.
This is from a flyer passed out at an MLK parent meeting last week:
DID YOU KNOW THAT MLK HAS HAD?
6 Principals in 12 years,
14 Asst. Principals in 12 years
13 new school counselor in five years,
85 or more teachers have left in 5 years
6 Science and 6 math teachers to leave 2012-2012 (COMMON CORE AREA)
5 Years of not making AYP 2007 -2008-2009-2010-2011
DID YOU KNOW THAT MLK?
Scored 59.5% College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) (we rank 3th or 4th from the bottom)
DID YOU KNOW…?
PRIORITY schools are the lowest performing 5 percent of the public schools in the state of Georgia;
FOCUS schools represent the 10 percent of the schools just above them
Martin Luther King Jr. High School Is the ONLY high school in the FOCUS SCHOOLS which is in the lowest 15 percentile of the state Georgia
Human Resources seems unable to seek and secure quality staff for either of these schools. Several held job fairs, yet the comment below was posted on the school system’s Facebook page, from a prospective teacher who attended the fair, with the hope of applying for a job with DeKalb:
I drove 5 1/2 hours to attend the job fair at McNair that I was not informed about even though I have applied for several jobs on PATS. The so called job fair was at best was false representation. The jobs were not for DeKalb county but were specific only McNair high school. There was little direction about the entire process. Candidates were herded a gym and interviews were conducted by a single person behind a desk in the same room. No numeration process for interviews. The candidates were left to consider the order of the interviews. Disgusted by the process I left without participating and drove 5 ½ hours home. The entire DeKalb County Schools job seeking experience has been at best mediocre. I spent nearly $1,000 on a last minute flight a few weeks ago for an interview at Towers High school only to be told by the principal that the secretary made a schedule mistake and that he was not allowed to conduct interviews for AP jobs as this is a district function. The principal was nice enough to placate me for a few minutes. He took my resume’ and placated me some more (probably tossed my resume’ in the trash). Of course follow-up emails were never answered by anyone including Area Superintendents in DeKalb County. The whole experience has left me with an EXTREMELY negative view of DeKalb County Schools. My wife had an interview scheduled with the district that she is cancelling because of these experiences. My prayer is for the children and stakeholders in DeKalb County that the Interim Superintendent will continue to work hard to produce leadership in the district that does not to continue the mistakes of the past. Have a super school year.
Why is DeKalb leadership showing such careless treatment to these very high need schools? Their focus should be finding and quickly securing the very best teacher-leaders they can find to boost student achievement at these schools (at all schools!) Like the writer mentioned above, MLK is a Race To The Top Focus school – securing extra federal funding in order to implement creative approaches to improving achievement. These students need the help and support – and they were awarded federal dollars toward that support. We are completely disappointed in Mr. Thurmond’s inattention to those who need him most.