We are so thankful for Antoinette Tuff

We are so proud of you Antoinette and so grateful to God for placing you in that school, in that office, on that day to protect so many beautiful children!

Thank you Antoinette!

Click here to listen to the 911 call.

Read more >>>

School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons

Antoinette Tuff hailed as ‘real hero’ for handling Georgia school gunman

Atlanta school shooting averted; clerk Antoinette Tuff describes confrontation

Georgia school shooting averted by a brave bookkeeper – and prayer (+video)

Georgia school gunman to employee, police: ‘I’m off my meds’

MSNBC: Listen: 911 call from Georgia school shooting. How a staffer saved lives

McNair Bookkeeper Talked Gunman Into Surrendering

Antoinette Tuff hailed as ‘true hero’ for handling Georgia school gunman

President Obama thanks McNair bookkeeper for courage, calm

Antoinette Tuff’s 911 Tape: What We All Can Learn About School Shootings

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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"
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39 Responses to We are so thankful for Antoinette Tuff

  1. Just another reason why school level personnel are the ones that matter most. They are the ones dealing one on one with our children. No one from the palace will ever be in a position to do what Ms. Tuff did. We are so fortunate to have employees like her.

  2. concerned citizen says:

    She is just wonderful and so smart and so courageous. She is the heroine of the situation.

  3. Why the heck would anyone “thumbs-down” decaturparent’s comment? Got some haters trolling this blog.

  4. info says:

    Ms. Tuff is amazing. I am so grateful that she was able to protect the students, staff, and local community.

    I’ve read the three messages our superintendent has sent through first class. I can’t find any specific mention of Ms. Tuff. Instead, I’ve found specific praise of the principal’s and regional superintendent’s “leadership.” How is this possible?

    And I am still concerned that the school system isn’t prepared for such situations. I know we can’t live in fortress and I recognize that things will sometimes happen, but I can’t understand how we can have meeting after meeting about the implementation of SLOs or benchmarks or the redundant verification of our employment but nothing other than a list of the three levels of lockdown for times of crisis.

  5. According to CNN, President Obama called Tuff to personally thank her!

    This ending is thanks largely to Tuff, said McCray, the woman who fielded her 911 call. Echoing President Barack Obama — who called Tuff on Thursday to thank her — and many others, McCray described Tuff as a “true hero” for being courageous, calm and personable.

    “You did a great job,” McCray said, shortly after the two met in person for the first time Thursday for an exclusive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “You made my job a lot easier.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/21/us/georgia-school-gunshots

  6. @info — are you a school employee or a teacher? Are you saying that you really don’t have the level of training stated by our new communications director? Teachers and staff out there — please leave a comment on this blog stating the kind of emergency training you are receiving. When is it given – by whom – and how? We’d really like to hear just how much emergency planning is happening – for example – are there really a lot of drills – are they “often and extensive” as Mr. Hudson stated? Or — since he’s only been on the job about two weeks – could he just be parroting what he is told to say by those who need to cover their tails? How about Thurmond? What does he really know about it? He’s also only been on the job about 8 months. How about the new board? None of them seem to know the details about much of anything — Who exactly is informing them? Ramona? Ron Ramsey?

  7. Here’s the comment from another thread regarding Quinn Hudson (our brand new communications director – who served as Thurmond’s communications director for his failed 2010 US Senate campaign)…

    Quinn Hudson told CNN:
    “Tuff had training in how to deal with such a scenario.
    School staff regularly train for dangerous situations involving trespassers and emergency protocol, school district spokesman Quinn Hudson said.
    Tuff and two other staff members — a cafeteria manager and a media specialist — were specifically trained in hostile situations. The training is so often and extensive, they thought it was a drill” at first, said Hudson.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/21/us/georgia-school-gunshots

    However, in her wsbtv interviews Ms. Tuff says that she knew this was not a drill, and she gives the training credit to her pastor who has started teaching on Anchoring and how to anchor yourself in the Lord. She used the principles she was learning in church – consulting people when they are bereaving. She is a remarkable person who let her strong faith guide her. How many people would live their faith to the extent she did? The idea that she kept this young man close to her and in the office so that he would not harm others shows how she lives her faith every day.

    The wsbtv interview is well worth watching as she describes how she works her way through this crisis.
    http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/bookkeeper-talks-about-coming-face-to-face-with/v9ZDM/

    I hope Mr. Thurmond and the Board honor Ms. Tuff in a memorable way, and I hope the community can be there to show how grateful they are to her.

  8. Former teacher says:

    DSW@7:28
    The only training I had in 12 years in Dekalb was how to respond to “intruder alerts,” which I suppose is where this incident would fall. We would respond to an announcement on the loud speaker by checking the hallways for any students and quickly securing them in our rooms, then locking the door and waiting for an “all clear” announcement. We did have drills every now and then to make sure halls were cleared when an alert was given.

    I never heard of anyone being trained to directly deal with hostile individuals. I never saw any protocol for dealing with an intruder who actually entered my classroom. I would guess that the SROs have this sort of training, but a bookkeeper–no way!

  9. North Dekalb Teacher says:

    Info is correct…..fire drills and 1 tornado drills. Occasional intruder alert drills but no training beyond that, at least in my school.

  10. dsw2contributor says:

    I wonder if Antoinette Tuff has been invited to the “Academy of Educational Excellence Awards” dinner that is being held at the Evergreen Conference Center? It is being held at 6:30 PM tomorrow (Saturday, August 24, 2013) to recognize “Teach of the Year winners & Auxiliary Honorees”. That is not a typo – the official DCS calendar (http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/calendar) says “Teach of the Year”. Scuttlebutt says that the dinner is a blacktie/formalwear only event.

    My guess is that DCS did not invite her — being a school schoolbooker, she would know how much of the shindig was charged to McNair and other individual school budgets!

    DSW Comment: Sarah Copelin-Wood was spotted at this event!

  11. info says:

    In the more than fifteen years I’ve been teaching in Dekalb, I have not received any training that sounds remotely like the training Hudson describes. Like former teacher and North Dekalb teacher, I have had intruder alert “training.” I have never heard of any teacher in my building or other Dekalb teachers receiving training for “hostile situations” unless that training means keeping students locked in the classroom and not unlocking the door until directed to do so.

  12. howdy1942 says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. After what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I would have thought that protecting our students from such a tragedy would become the top priority. It doesn’t seem to me that such a plan would require hundreds of pages – perhaps just one or two, but it should have become a top priority. There must have been numerous conferences and classes that emphasized the prevention of such a terrible event. Did anyone from Dekalb attend such and event? If so, what happened as a result? What exactly was done in Dekalb?

    I watched Ms. Tuff’s interview on Anderson Cooper 360 last night. She swept Cooper off his feet with her “Everything’s gonna be alright, baby” and her “Pass through the pain” and the many other simple lessons she learned from her pastor and his wife. Time and again, she praised what they had taught her and how she had learned from them. It was also apparent that she had once been at a very low point in her life, but she has done a remarkable job of doing something about it. I’ve tried to picture how I would have responded were I confronted by someone armed with an AK-47 with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. We are very fortunate to have had someone with the calm demeanor that Ms. Tuff had as well as someone with her ability to “reach” this young man with her personable skills. I hope that the courts will show some mercy to this young man for following Ms. Tuff’s instructions and sparing so many people. After all, he was in charge of the situation and he could have started looking for people and begun shooting.

    Whatever one may think of President Obama, I greatly admire him for calling Ms. Tuff and personally thanking her for what she did. That obviously meant a lot to Ms. Tuft.

    It would be very interesting to learn exactly how our administration had prepared the schools for this moment. I simply want an honest answer. If they did nothing, then say so and do something now. It seems to me that you could learn a lot from the folks at Ronald McNair Learning Academy. From my perspective, it appears that Ms. Tuff and others at McNair were truly outstanding in their response as well as the 911 operator who communicated with Ms. Tuff as well as the law enforcement personnel from Dekalb County. To all of these, I say thank you. Magnificent job very well done!

  13. ShooShee says:

    Isn’t God amazing? He must really believe in Ms. Tuff’s pastor’s message. He gave her the opportunity to spread the same message to so many more! Good for you for serving God as you were directed Ms. Tuff!

    What Courage!!!

  14. dekalbemployee says:

    I would also like to comment that the only training staff at my school receive is what the three levels of an intruder alert are. I don’t know what training Hudson is referring. Yes, we definitely need to have this type of training. I would also like to bring light to one scary security issue that I am sure is repeated at many schools. The front doors to my school are unlocked 30 – 45 minutes before any security personnel or administrators are at work. They remain unlocked and ANYONE could enter the school, place dangerous devices, hideout and wait for students, set fire to the school or whatever else one can think. Why do all schools not have the electronic pads and “buzzers” at the entrance doors and issue staff cards to enter the building? Once security personnel is present, the doors could be unlocked to allow students to enter the building and then locked again and stayed locked so that visitors/late students would have to be buzzed in. I know that this would not solve all issues but it is a start.

  15. DCSD FOR DUMMIES says:

    Has anyone heard that subs will only be allowed to work 16 days per month this year. When positions aren’t filled, teachers will have to cover at $15.00. I smell problems, especially in South DeKalb. What happens when a teacher refuses to cover?

  16. dekalbteach says:

    A few things- I know our building is locked to outsiders until 7:00 (staff has key card access) when students are allowed to enter. This has been the policy for a number of years. I, too, can say with 16 years in Dekalb that the only training for intruders is the yearly drill. A new aspect is the three levels of intruder alert, with level three asking you to gather students away from windows/doors/etc… An intruder alert doesn’t always mean there is an intruder; we have done it for neighborhood shootings, etc… I have heard that subs can only work 3 days a week, but not the part about teachers having to cover classes. What exactly does this mean? Are resource teachers going to be pulled from their class duties to take on a homeroom for the extra pay, or are the students going to be split amongst other grade level homerooms with everyone getting $15/each? My understanding was it had to do DCSD not wanting to pay subs for healthcare, which they would have to if they worked over 29 hours in a week.

  17. howdy1942 says:

    Again, I want to sincerely thank and praise Ms. Tuff for what she did. I also appreciate those teachers and employees who have commented above regarding a plan to address incidents such as those at McNair last week.

    I want to give Mr. Thurmond a word of advice – back off! Every time I read an article in the paper, listen to the news, or read an article, you are there talking. You don’t need to be seen with Ms. Tuff every time she speaks nor do you need to be quoted in the newspaper in every article talking about Ms. Tuff. It does sound like you need to get to work on a plan to prevent or address these incidents. If we have one, the above comments indicate that not too many people know about it. Perhaps it is just has too many pages – staffers sometimes justify their jobs by the quantity of their work and not the quality. Anyway, this is Ms. Tuff’s moment – she earned it and you need to stay out of it.

  18. jbgotcha says:

    Thurmond is a buffoon! I hope people can see through this nonsense. Once again, I’m heartbroken and embarrassed for Dekalb County. I’m so sorry that the administration is trying to use Ms. Tuff to make themselves look good. Her light is so bright all of these pests are attracted to it. We need pest control badly in this school system. They have been selling teachers and students up the river for far too long. I would love to see parents from all over DeKalb picket in front of the palace.

  19. concerned citizen says:

    Every school person KNOWS that fire, tornado, and intruder alert are the only training in place. You either go outside, sit down curled up against the wall, or sit inside a locked classroom. That’s it! That’s the training that Hudson knows nothing about. Nor does Thurmond or the board. Hudson has a big mouth, too – like his boss, and he is lying.Howdy, you are too correct. Shut the *&^%up and quit trying to work the crowd, as you were described on the national news. This magnificent woman does not operate at your level. Thank God.

  20. DCSD FOR DUMMIES says:

    Ditto to what my DeKalb colleagues have said: We’ve only had practice with intruder alerts. There was one time when the DCSS talked about how our cell phones should be turned off during school hours. Well, this is one reason why we need them turned on. Further, can we all agree that the district is riding Ms. Huff’s coattail for fame and notoriety. Besides, they have done a crappy job in areas that they’ve had to handle themselves.

    Back to the substitute issue…the last time I checked DeKalb wasn’t contributing anything to our healthcare. Is Obamocare gonna change that? I’ve even considered dropping mine altogether because it’s too expensive. Limiting the amount of days that substitutes can fill positions will definitely put a strain on teachers as they will have to take up the slack by either dividing students or having teachers cover during their planning. Pulling exceptional ed teachers and asking general ed teachers to cover goes against school law policy. Personally, I do not want to cover “ANY” class for $15.00 a class period. I’d rather utilize my planning to “PLAN”.

  21. thefacts.com says:

    Not to take anything away from Ms. Tuff, because she did a very great job calming the intruder down and being a true hero for McNair elementary, but here are the facts:

    the facts is that the Principal was at district meeting (they ended the meeting once the heard what was going on)
    one or both of the Assistant Principal’s were in a scheduling meeting, leaving no administrator in the building. I know at my school a paraprofessional made the announcement regarding lock down and made sure everyone was in their rooms . Who was in charge at your school?

    another fact, McNair elementary had high turnover due to the new leadership in the building. Many staff members transferred to other schools are just left the county. This includes the 12 month secretary, which position still is not filled which is why Ms. Tuff was by herself in the office.
    Why do we keep leaders that run good teachers away?

    As far as safety, Dekalb eliminated a lot of departments and positions as well as trained people in this area. Based on the the report that Dr. Ralph Taylor wrote Safe Schools/Student relations was created which they go around and do Safe School Audits. When they came to our school, we were just told that we must have ID or we would be sent home. They give each school a score and make recommendations. Never saw what else they did and we did not practice an evacuation (lock down is basic)
    Who are these people in the department and what are their credentials……Old campus supervisors who really has no experience and school safety and the director who was transferred from Magnet School coordinator (wow a lot of experience)
    Last but not least, the fact that this guy entered the building and had a weapon is a serious concern. What if he just went straight in the building and starting shooting at everyone and did not want to talk to anyone. Thank God he did not.

    Wake up DeKalb…..be PROACTIVE and stop being REACTIVE.

  22. concerned citizen says:

    And what’s going to happen after this week when 15 sub days are gone? So, those subs who have had to carry the burden of teaching will keep the system from paying long-term pay to subs! Another wonderful cost-cutting measurement. Forcing teachers to cover classes for any amount of money is horrible and unacceptable. HR MUST hire teachers. There are too, too many teaching positions not filled. Do HR and are supt not care the least little bit about our children? I see the same thing that happened last March-May happenng: cost-cutting on the teachers’ and substitutes’ backs. Oh, you wicked and slimy administration. Get those fat %$#@ out of the central office and in fact all the way to the top in the classrooms where they belong. I include Turmond, Ramona, Beastley, Ramsey, Smith, all the central office and all the regional supts. Work ’em! Let them earn their money.

  23. Dekalb training teachers to handle hostile situations? Pure horse hockey! This was something fed to the new PR guy by a mouthpiece from the administration who just made it up out of the nice cooled air in the Palace.

    Schools may have one lockdown drill per semester. I believe that there are regular monthly fire drills. But a lock down drill and a fire drill are radically different scenarios.

    Many people I know did not know what Lockdown Levels I – III were until the event at McNair.

    I was told that some other schools in Dekalb found out about the McNair situation as it unfolded from the local news media.

  24. ShooShee says:

    What Shakes and What Remains and Consumes
    Thoughts on the McNair shooting and the things that make us “shake”
    by Amy McDaniel
    http://htmlgiant.com/power-quote/what-shakes-and-what-remains-and-consumes/

  25. @dissonance – allow me to repeat again what was posted at the AJC the day of the McNair incident —

    Contact info: School officials do not have a hotline set up for parents. Check back at ajc.com for updates.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/students-are-heading-to-pick-up-site-at-wal-mart/nZTWk/

  26. info says:

    A few more things that bother me about this McNair thing.

    1. This situation took place less than a year after the Sandy Hook shooting, and Mr. Thurmond’s AJC but published today says he/leaders will pore over all details. Seriously? Only now? Please also remember that Dekalb’s plagiarizing “Safe Schools” leader was still ‘working’ last December.

    2. Our school district/system (it’s so hard to keep up) seems to have hired a record number of teachers new to Dekalb. Also, we have many teachers who transfer and some newly renovated buildings or trailer additions. Has the superintendent, or his regional supers with more power this year, ensured that all staff tour the school building in which they work? If I remember correctly, some of the Sandy Hook teachers hid their students in closets, etc…. How many new teachers or teachers in “new” buildings would even know where these places are located?

    3. As justthefacts said, principals were in a meeting (at central office, I believe). How is it possible that the person in charge isn’t even in the school building during a school day? Principals work after we teachers leave in May and before we teachers return in August. The superintendent should be making sure that such meetings do not take place during school days. If principals must have these meetings during the school year, then the superintendent should restore work days or bring in the many supers or directors to serve as substitute principals.

  27. Dekalbite2 says:

    We cannot spend $20,000,000+ on non teaching Coaches and Coordinators and then beggar our classrooms and have no money for real teachers (see state Salary and Travel report for this data). Parents need to be emailing Mr. Thurmond and the BOE members to ask them to cut the non teaching Coaches and Coordinators in order to ensure our students have reasonably sized classrooms with highly qualified teachers directly instructing our children in the content mastery of math, science, social studies and language arts. Teachers will be taking time off when they are ill. Students should not be penalized because politically connected highly paid personnel do not want to pitch in.

  28. Excellent info, info!

  29. Dekalbite2 says:

    95,000+ DeKalb students need 98 teachers while Gwinnett’s 165,000+ students need 21 teachers. Parents/taxpayers need to ask Mr. Thurmond to fund the classroom teachers so that our children can have personnel directly instructing them in the content of math, science, social studies and language arts.

  30. Dekalbite2 says:

    I thought it was common knowledge that many Security personnel are posted in locations that do not have students (multiple officers in many instances as they work in shifts). But perhaps the public doesn’t understand how dramatically this negatively impacts our children’s safety as well as the budget and the class sizes teachers and students are dealing with. This has long been the department that is most out of line in expenditures as compared to ALL of the other metro school systems:

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/dcss-spending/the-cost-of-security/

    DeKalb gives the state of Georgia a breakdown of the different titles that work in the school systems – e.g. Teacher – 1st grade, Instructional Specialist (that’s the non teaching Coaches), Principal, Clerk, Security, etc.. This comes in the form of a spreadsheet, and contains the name and title of every employee and the salary associated with each of those employees.

    The state of Georgia publishes this spreadsheet online at the Open Georgia site:

    http://www.open.georgia.gov/

    This spreadsheet is downloadable as an Excel csv file. It is easy to sort for all of the Security personnel – just sort by title. Copy and paste the rows for the Security personnel in a new workbook file. Using Autosum you can see how much is spent on Security. Add 20% for benefits (these are not in the spreadsheet – only the salaries). The figure is around $10,000,00 with benefits. In addition, you can see that tere are close to 200 rows of names so that means that we have close to 200 Security personnel.

    Ty Tagami at the AJC said:
    “In 2012, DeKalb spent more than $3.2 million on 57 school police officers. They patrolled elementary schools but were stationed at high schools and middle schools.”
    Evidently, Mr. Tagami did not look at the total spent on Security in DeKalb.

    CLEARLY we spent close to $10,000,000 in 2012 and had close to 200 employees in 2012, yet only 57 are devoted to schools.

    Taxpayers/parents need answers as to why so little of the Security budget is spent on students.

  31. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @Dekalbite2, a few weeks ago, you shared a link to the new organization chart. Thank you for that. You have said many times that the central office is bloated and recently suggested the superintendent funds his and his administration’s pet projects and departments. What specific positions, pet projects and departments do you believe are excess?

    Also, everyone is in agreement that smaller class sizes result in the best learning environments. The AJC shared last month that DeKalb has some of the smaller class sizes in the metro Atlanta area. Knowing you like statistics, you may want to take a look at the following link from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is part of the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. According to this from the 2009-2012 school year, the student-teacher ratio was 14.92 to 1. I question whether this simplistic representation accurately reflects the reality in our classrooms however it does show that one can get statistics to show a variety of things. It requires additional investigation to determine what the numbers mean and the factors that went into the derivation.

    Check out the link at,

    http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/

    Supplying the district name and state helps with the search.

  32. Wow. Fred. No doubt you are worth what they pay you! Good twist on the facts. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time at all you would know that our pet peeve is inequity. So your wonderful stat about average class size actually is our pet peeve as that ‘average’ comes from averaging very large classes in ‘regular’ schools with very, very small classes in specialty, boutique schools like DSA, Kittredge and others and charters like Leadership Academy and Destiny. Those schools are known to have 15 or fewer students per class while kindergartens at regular schools have 25-26 and high schools have 30-40 in ‘regular’ classes while the ‘gifted’ classes have fewer than 20. As usual, the broad stroke number is misleading – the devil is in the details.

    Good try though!!

  33. This same kind of ‘averaging’ works with test scores too… we often see our ‘average’ test scores at schools as posted to be in the 70s, but when you drill down, you will see that it’s actually a bell curve, with very few scores falling in that ‘average’ zone. Most scores are on the edges – in the 90s or in the 40s. Believe me, as a parent and a PTA officer, we drilled these numbers at several schools.

    The problem is, our administration is not all that concerned about the details. They care about the ‘image’. They have to. It’s what drives their personal job security.

  34. Stan Jester says:

    Class Sizes
    The 8/5/2013 Board Meeting approved a resolution to keep class sizes over the state regulated maximum sizes. The class size maximums for DeKalb Schools for normal K-12 classes ranges from 24 – 39 students.

    The current class sizes are absolutely not acceptable. A 2013 study by Georgia College’s Ben Scafidi, Ph.D., showed how the growth in administrators has far outpaced the growth of students. In Georgia, from 1992-2009, we saw a 41% increase in students but a 74% increase in administrators.

    It is not our job to locate the bloat. The Interim Superintendent has that job and is paid handsomely. The board’s job is to hold the Super accountable. It is my job to point out that they are doing neither.

    –Stan

  35. Dekalbite2 says:

    @Fred
    If the class sizes were as small as you say, why would Ms. Tyson have asked the BOE to increase the maximum class size to 37 in the content areas and 39 in the other areas? That is still in effect and Atkinson and Thurmond are still packing our classes to the brim. Walk down the halls of any of our high schools and count how many classes you see with 14 students.

    There are many inefficient areas and this blog has published data over and over again.

    How about we tackle the non teaching Instructional Specialists (also known mainy as Coaches) and the non teaching Instructional Supervisors (also known primarily as Coordinators and Driectors)? We spend literally TENS OF MILLIONS a year on these folk along with millions more on non teaching Special Ed personnel with worse outcomes than demographically comparable school systems.

    Why is our Security and Maintenance so out line with other school systems? Why do we have close to 200 Security personnel for $10,000,000 a year while our elementary schools are “on their own” with a buzzer system?

    Why is Mr. Thurmond bringing back the Parent Centers which had almost all the schools they served experience a decrease in achievement rate when compared to demographically similar systems? We spent $4,500,000 a year on these centers – way more than other demographically similar systems (while they had much better student achievement outcomes than DeKalb).

    Why did Mr. Thurmnd increase the budget this year for Fernbank Science Center (approximately $4,000,000 a year), an outmoded and crumbling edifice that has 20 admin and support personnel for 20 science teachers who are rarely even at the Center? Meanwhile, our science achievement has fallen to an all time low. Science teachers can’t conduct labs with students due to lack of equipment and too many students puts the students’ safety at risk. Yet we continue to direct $4,000,000 a year to Fernbank.

    Why are we still spending approximately a million a year in travel expenses?

    Please don’t say Title 1 demands these expenditures. Much of the pay and benefits for the non teaching personnel who are certified to teach comes out of General Funds as do their benefit costs.

  36. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @dsw, you may want to re-read what I said in the second paragraph. After sharing the statistic from the NCES, I said,
    **I question whether this simplistic representation accurately reflects the reality in our classrooms however it does show that one can get statistics to show a variety of things.**

    I’ve long said that statistics can be taken out of context unless you can additional insight about the numbers. I agree with your comment about averaging and have pointed out that was *part* of the reason behind NCLB, to make sure those on the left side of the Bell curve didn’t get left behind those in the middle and the right side. Unfortunately the good intention lacked reasonable remedies for addressing the problem, almost to a point of penalizing average to good students.

    My point in the comment was that Dekalbite2 shares a lot of statistics and takes them out of context. Everyone should know that the ratio shared is a simple equation of dividing the number of students by the number of teachers. That is not reality in classrooms in most school systems.

  37. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @Stan, thanks for sharing the report! It will take reading it several times for it to sink in as there is so much information provided. It is interesting that several states have far worse rates that Georgia with respect to the Administrative staffing surge

    I question Criticism #3 regarding the impact of IDEA. I’ve stated before that given we are a very litigious society, many parents filing lawsuits and leveraging IDEA to get dedicated resources for their children. I recall a parent speaking at a Board meeting last fall who indicated she got a dedicated para for her child. Who knows how many situations like this exist in DeKalb.

    One thing the report did not mention was the impact of the increase of ELL students since 1992. I’d be curious to see some type of analysis factoring this in as I’m sure it has had an impact on non teaching staff also. It also would be interesting to see the impact of the added bureaucracy from government mandates, some which are unfunded.

  38. Dekalbite2 says:

    @Fred
    Data is data. Present your data and let readers and commenters decide. Perhaps the idea that in 2012 there were only only 57 security personnel for $3,000,000 + (DeKalb administration’s figures for the AJC) don’t correspond with the actual 2012 expenditure of $10,000,000 for around 200 security personnel struck a nerve.

    FYI – many times I have commented on the inefficient state of security in DeKalb elementary schools. Here are two examples:
    On February 3, 2013 here is a my comment:
    “dekalbite2 says:
    February 3, 2013 at 7:24 PM
    @ Mr. Bates
    Are the children in DeKalb safer than the children in Gwinnett, Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, Marietta, Fulton and Rockdale because we spend so much more for security? DeKalb spends $114 per pupil a year for Security. Rockdale spends $17 per pupil a year for Security. Are Rockdale students less safe or is DeKalb less efficient? DeKalb has no security personnel in the elementary schools. They depend on the same buzz and enter system as the Sandy Hook school. Why is Security a 12 month job even when students are not in the building all summer? Why are there security guards in all of the administrative offices in DeKalb that have no children while the elementary schools full of children have none? Does anyone really think DeKalb’s schools are the safest in the metro area?”

    And here is another one:
    “dekalbite2 says:
    February 3, 2013 at 10:59 PM
    Actually, the cost of security versus the safety of children has a lot of bearing on the subject. DeKalb has around 200 security personnel and around 120 schools. Over 80 of those schools (elementary) have no security guards. Yet the Central office, the Bryant Center, Sam Moss, etc. where only adults are housed have security guards. Security, like any other cost center needs to be held accountable for providing good value (keeping all students safe) for the money. With 200 security personnel and only 40+ middle and high schools receiving security guards, it appears that our tens of thousands of elementary students and their teachers are indeed “on their own”.”

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/dcss-spending/the-cost-of-security/

  39. Great news!!!

    From “On Common Ground News”

    Decatur hero Antoinette Tuff riding tidal wave as celebrity

    A few weeks ago, Antoinette Tuff started out having an ordinary day at McNair Discovery Learning Academy, doing the work that bookkeepers usually do. But now the Decatur resident is making plans to help needy kids through a new foundation that has raised more than $100,000 in her honor in seven days.

    Over 2,000 people have donated to the online host site, gofundme.com

    Tuff’s fame is ever growing. Supporters have created an “Antoinette Tuff the Hero” Facebook page, and her own personal Facebook page has grown to 2,404 friends, with words of encouragement coming from as far away as Belize

    I know one thing — you can count us in as fans!!

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