Nancy Jester to host a web-radio talk show

Check it out! Nancy Jester will be hosting a radio show focused on education >>

“Mom with a Calculator and a Blog” Gets Her Own Radio Show

Guest Post by Tim Darnell

NancyJesterFormer DeKalb school board member Nancy Jester, who has been rumored to be mulling a challenge of state Sen. Fran Millar, is getting her own Internet radio show.

The self-described “mom with a calculator and a blog” will debut on America’s Web Radio beginning next Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 9 am, with a radio show about schools and education.

“I was interviewed by another one of their talk-show hosts and then approached about doing my own show,”

Click the link to read the rest >>
“Mom with a Calculator and a Blog” Gets Her Own Radio Show

Below is the email announcement from NancyJester.com >>

PEP Talk with Nancy Jester

Join me on America’s Web Radio for PEP Talk with Nancy Jester on Tuesdays at 9am [beginning tomorrow!]. We’ll talk about all things education with an emphasis on how politics affects what we teach and how we fund our schools.

Go to America’s Web Radio and click the icon of the radio to stream the program live Tuesdays at 9am [beginning tomorrow!].

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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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18 Responses to Nancy Jester to host a web-radio talk show

  1. concerned citizen says:

    I know Nancy will do a wonderful job of informing and helping many of us understand what is going on in DeKalb and the state.Can’t wait!

  2. Joint Education Committees to Hold Series of Listening Sessions
    Across the State
    ATLANTA


    House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman (Duluth) today announced that the House and Senate Education committees will hold a series of listening sessions throughout the state to gain feedback from the public about important issues related to education.

    These first three listening sessions will be held on the following dates:

    — October 1st, 2013 at The Center for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan
    — October 8th, 2013 at the Health and Natural Sciences Auditorium at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega
    Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at Georgia Gwinnett College in the Library in Building L, 3rd floor for the Superintendent and Board Meetings, and in the Student Center LVIS room for the listening sessions.

    The agenda for the meetings will be as follows: the day will start with a meeting comprised of local superintendents from 3:00-4:00 PM, local board of education members from 4:15-5:15 PM, followed by the listening sessions from 6:30-9:00 PM for superintendents, board of education members, teachers, parents, and other members of the community.
    The public is encouraged to attend all meetings.

    The Gwinnett event details:
    WHEN:Thursday, October 10, 2013
    3:00-9:00 PM
    WHERE:Georgia Gwinnett College
    Library, Building L, 3rd floor

    Superintendent and Board Meetings
    Student Center LVIS Room

    Listening Sessions
    1000 University Center Lane
    Lawrenceville, GA 30043

  3. howdy1942 says:

    Nancy, I wish you the very best on your new radio show. I certainly miss your well researched comments and questions while you were on the School Board. I hope that you will decide to once again run for the School Board – your district needs better and stronger representation than it now has. More broadly, Dekalb County needs your knowledge and intelligence on our School Board. From my perspective, I will work hard in the upcoming July 2014 election to support a candidate of the same mold as you. I believe that we can do that in what is now District 4 and hopefully we can also replace Orson. I can’t believe that his constituents are pleased with his representation. That leaves us with one more seat to get. If we can accomplish that, I believe that you would be a strong candidate for School Board Chairman and then we could get on with the process of refocusing our priorities on our students, our teachers, and our classroom.

    I’m disappointed that this current school board has chosen to renew Thurmond’s contract through 2015. He was selected as an interim superintendent based on what Orson saw in some meeting. We really need a leader who can set expectations, expect results, reward performance, develop or separate those who simply cannot do their jobs to meet expectation, one who can get a grasp on the budget and divert the attention of our school district away from the courtroom and lawyers. That leader would also begin the process of restoring contributions to the TRA that the previous board abruptly took away and the current board wants to keep them away. We need a leader who is all business and one whose integrity is impeccable. We need a leader who shows courage and is not afraid to make the tough decisions. As I’ve said, Thurmond may well be the best candidate for the job, but we will never know that until we have initiated and completed a search and the current board has done neither. I’m very disappointed in this current board.

  4. I find myself shaking my head that no matter what kind of ‘change’ is initiated, it always simply returns more of the same. Repackaged. Reiterated. Regurgitated. Rejected. Reassigned. Repackaged. Reiterated. Regurgitated. Rejected. Reassigned. … you get the point.

    For example, in relation to our new ‘strategic plan’ initiative, I direct you to the current posted videos at the PDS online homepage. There, you will be treated to Dr. Atkinson’s “Musical video highlighting the Superintendent’s five goals for achieving Victory in Every Classroom.” I guess that will remain until Thurmond posts a video promo of his strategic plan. This all follows, of course, Tyson’s Strategic Plan and 2020 Vision and Lewis’ “Premier DeKalb” strategic plans. All of this strategizing has only benefited consultants as far as I can tell.

    Sigh. It’s all so … repetitive.

  5. Fred in DeKalb says:

    howdy1942, your comment seems to imply that the school Board chair has more power than the other Board members. The chair is elected by their fellow Board members not by the citizens as an at large position. The chair primarily assist the superintendent in planning the agenda, preside over meetings, and sign documents on behalf of the Board. You may want to look at Board Policy ABB along with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-57 for specific information on Board member responsibilities.

  6. howdy1942 says:

    @Fred – I certainly am implying that the School Board Chair has more power than other Board members. I watched Eugene Walker time and again use his power as chair to rule other members out of order, determine when there should be no further discussion, set the meeting agenda, determine who would speak and who would not. He also determined when the Board would adjourn to Executive Session, a frequent happening when Walker was chairman. He controlled the button that controlled the microphones. Perhaps Eugene Walker simply abused his power, but that didn’t make any difference in the outcome.

    I also must take issue with your position about the elections by the Board. I was at the meeting where Melvin Johnson was nominated, discussions held, and a vote taken – all within a time of a whopping 4 minutes! Please don’t try to tell me that election followed due process. As I recall, MJ was nominated, Nancy Jester nominated Pam Speaks, Ms. Speaks declined, and that was it. that was a setup and not an election. That election was a sham and a shame to the residents of Dekalb County.

    Back to your main point, we need to elect a majority of the board who don’t have a predisposition to the way things are now. Again, that may be the best alternative, but we are very closed to exploring other alternatives. Johnson is a former administrator in Dekalb County. As long as he is board chair then things will remain as they are. Atkinson tried to shake things up and, in the end, that’s what got her crosswise with Walker and he was the last one standing, however brief. Until we can get a board and a superintendent who will bring an outside perspective to the board, we will be stuck with the same, sad situation. We buy cars for administrators and rob teachers of their retirement contributions. We pay lawyers and replace full-time teachers with substitutes and limit them to no more than 29 hours per week to avoid paying healthcare benefits. We take trips to Detroit and Chicago to recruit teachers while providing dismal working conditions that encourage existing teachers to leave. Fred, there are a lot of changes that are needed in Dekalb County and we need a board and a board chair that will begin the process of facing our issues and getting them fixed. A good chair person would be a great way to start.

  7. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @howdy1942, if you believe the Board chair has more power other than what I mentioned, that reinforces a point I made earlier about citizens elevating Board members to responsibilities greater than what they hold. Each Board member has one vote. If the chair votes one way and the other 8 members vote another, the majority wins. Everyone should move onto the next item after the vote. Those who hold grudges about the way the vote turned out are also part of the problem.

    Take a look at the Board policy I referenced earlier. It specifies the duties of Board members. Some Board members wanted to be involved in the day to day management which is outside of their responsibilities. Below is a link if you don’t know where to find it,

    https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/epolicy/policy.aspx?PC=ABB&Sch=4054&S=4054&RevNo=1.30&C=A&Z=P

  8. hopespringseternal says:

    There’s one-man-one-vote, and then there’s reality. The policy is very clear, and yes, the board chair has but one vote. But to Howdy’s point, there’s the intangible which can factor large: influence. Not just influence with other board members, but also influence with the super and upper administration, with the public and with the community. Think about it — the super, when someone approaches him with a potential agenda item, isn’t going to take up nine different conversations. He’s going to take up one — with the chair. He then leaves it to the chair to take the super’s position, along with the chair’s own perspective, to his board. Depending on the item, this little thing alone can graduate from a fine nuance to a major dynamic and can ultimately influence whether that item even ends up on the agenda. Also, it is the chair’s signature along with the super’s on major documents, the chair becomes the face of the board to the media, and the chair carries those intangible responsibilities — team building, etc. This is with all boards of any stripe. So you’re both right.

    We can’t forensically discuss the chair and duties, because a little thing called human nature factors in. That’s why it’s so important to elect all board members who have the qualifications and temperament for the task. Everyone who’s placed in a board member position isn’t necessarily qualified to lead it. We at least need a bunch of people, who if called upon to lead, can rise to the task. I recently posited this to my church leadership as I have found myself on a board of leaders. I immediately grew two heads. And half of the gawkers have said since they always wanted to discuss it but never raised the issue.

  9. @Fred: The chair and vice chair also participate in regular closed-door meetings with the superintendent. The chair has the power to choose to place an item on the agenda or not. The chair runs the meeting and maintains the pace – calling for the votes when the time is right. There certainly is a benefit to being the chair. Technically though, you are correct, when it’s time to vote on an item, the chair only gets one vote the same as the rest of the board.

  10. Well said, Hope. We also need a team of people on our Board who have the time to actually attend all meetings. And that does not mean that all meetings should be held on the same one day each month. They certainly have plenty to discuss that would warrant many more meetings every month. And as it is now, there are several who are so busy with their own jobs that they simply have not had time to participate in these once a month marathons – regardless of how highly qualified these board members are, they simply need to be present to make any kind of difference.

    (And, when you think about it, if they are condensing all work into one day, they are being paid about $2,000 for that day!)

    Tea Party blasts school board over pay
    In Georgia, only DeKalb County’s school board makes more, with all of its members receiving an $18,000 yearly salary plus an extra $450 per meeting, which comes out to about $25,650 a year based on 17 meetings.

  11. howdy1942 says:

    @hopespringseternal – Well said! You did a much better job than I did!

    @DSW – Your point about members of this current school board is well taken. They should be present in meetings. If they did not plan to get into understanding what is going on the system, to research the issues, to ask searching questions, to expect results, then my question is why on earth did they even apply and go through the interview process when there were almost 400 other candidates who had also applied?

  12. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @hopespringseternal, let me also commend you on your comments. This is turning into an interesting discussion. Several points have been mentioned by you and others that I’d like to add more on.

    **But to Howdy’s point, there’s the intangible which can factor large: influence. Not just influence with other board members, but also influence with the super and upper administration, with the public and with the community.**

    The personality of the chair becomes evident over time (Brad Bryant ably served in this position for many years). I still contend the it is citizens that may inadvertently elevate the responsibilities of the chair. The chair is supposed to be the representative of the entire Board not just themselves. I gave an example of a voting scenario earlier. If the Board chair had to speak about it, they would have to speak about the collective decision not their personal position.

    **We can’t forensically discuss the chair and duties, because a little thing called human nature factors in. That’s why it’s so important to elect all board members who have the qualifications and temperament for the task.**

    Excellent statements! The burden is on the citizens to do this. It is always interesting that citizens may not care for elected officials that they did not vote for yet that official may be beloved by their voters. We are seeing discussions of that now with this current government shutdown.

    Some commented recently they would will to put an education standard on Board members. Philosophically I can agree with that however legally I can’t. We’ve had a president who did not go to college (Harry Truman) and one of the richest people in the world did not finish college (Bill Gates although he did attend Harvard after making 1590 of 1600 on the SAT). I like the diversity and different life experiences citizens bring to a collective Board, regardless of their educational background. Given the makeup of our school system, I think a Board made up solely of college educated, middle to upper income people might lack the compassion needed to understand the challenges in educating children not from these backgrounds. Then again, maybe a Board makeup like this would listen more to the education professionals.

    If an individual voter wants to use the level of education for a candidate as a criteria, again I have no problem with that.

    **We also need a team of people on our Board who have the time to actually attend all meetings.**

    I may be taking this literally however what is the profile of an individually that can attend all meetings? Retired, self-employed or stay at home house parent? Seems like you are excluding many qualified citizens with this expectation. There are also some actions that require immediate attention, not when the meeting dates have been set. An example could be staff or student hearings, employment actions or purchasing decision. This requires flexibility and consideration for the lives of Board members. This is supposed to be a part time job but again, citizens have elevated to a full time one with part time pay.

    **In Georgia, only DeKalb County’s school board makes more, with all of its members receiving an $18,000 yearly salary plus an extra $450 per meeting**

    I knew of the flat salary. Does anyone have insight into the extra pay per meeting? Is that correct?

  13. @Fred: The salary statement came from the news report. I wonder if they were confusing it with the monthly expense stipend. This is automatically added to the board member’s paycheck every month.

    And yes, since we now have just this one day of marathon meetings, we DO need people who can attend. Perhaps if they are not stay at home, self-employed or retired, they work for an employer that agrees to give that day off. But they simply must be there – otherwise a whole area of interest is lost. And don’t say the board’s mission is to watch over the entire county, because that is not how it works in practice. If your area rep does not attend the meetings, your voice does not get heard and your needs are not met. Even so, often times as in the case of Cross Keys and others, your voice is never heard regardless.

  14. @howdy: I contend that most of the current board members applied for this job for the money, the notoriety and the ability to say that they were appointed by the Governor to save DeKalb schools.

  15. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @howdy1942 said,
    ** I also must take issue with your position about the elections by the Board. I was at the meeting where Melvin Johnson was nominated, discussions held, and a vote taken – all within a time of a whopping 4 minutes! Please don’t try to tell me that election followed due process. As I recall, MJ was nominated, Nancy Jester nominated Pam Speaks, Ms. Speaks declined, and that was it. that was a setup and not an election. That election was a sham and a shame to the residents of Dekalb County.**

    Following is Fred’s opinion of how that process went based on working with a variety of boards over the years. Board members acknowledged that the governor may remove at least six of them leaving the three recently elected members. Of the three, two currently work and have school age children while the other is retired. Based on this, they agreed to nominate Johnson as the chair, given he had more flexibility with his personal schedule. Between McMahan and Orson, it was determined McMahan should be the co-chair. This setup would permit school business to continue regardless of what happened (even though there might not be a quorum). Jester would nominate Speaks, who would decline based on the knowledge she may be removed and perhaps knowing she wouldn’t get the votes.

    Again this is my opinion. SACs likes to see near unanimous votes as a demonstration of unity. Sometimes Board members must vote the way their constituents would like them to vote, even if they disagree (always in campaign mode). A good example is what we are seeing with the government shutdown. I believe there are enough Democratic and Republican votes for a clean CR thus opening the government back up. We may not know based on the Hastert rule that Republicans typically abide by. All I am saying there are some back door deals made before public votes, in school boards, the Senate and House, even in church choirs. What you saw is not unique to DeKalb.

  16. howdy1942 says:

    @DSW – I agree with your point about the current board members. I’m sure that there were others that applied who were sincere and would have done so much more. I am reminded specifically of one mom who had kids in the school system and who seemed to possess a lot of Nancy Jester’s traits. She was interviewed on TV and was very impressive, but was not selected. Perhaps the availability of the applicants to perform the job should have been a more critical factor.

  17. Race was the dominant factor. But not gender… it’s still ok to discriminate against women. Nancy was replaced with a white male (with a baby – no school-aged children) That was acceptable to the Governor. Discrimination is discrimination.

  18. howdy1942 says:

    @dsw – I had forgotten about that! Yes, the Governor did take great pains to insure that the racial makeup of the board was the same as that of the former board. One thing that I do know is that all of us in Dekalb County lost so much we we lost Nancy Jester. She was a diamond surrounded by a bunch of, well, you know what!

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