DeKalb School Board meeting to be held TONIGHT

From “On Common Ground” News…
Parents invited to DeKalb School District meeting tonight
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:59 | Written by OCG News Staff

The DeKalb County School District is hosting a meeting today for parents to review the district’s parent involvement policy.

The meeting will be held this evening, Oct. 22, 6 to 8 p.m., at the School Board’s headquarters, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain.

Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, executive director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning, will lead the discussion.

Parents are invited to provide input, suggestions and ideas on their children’s education and parent involvement plans.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:15

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24 Responses to DeKalb School Board meeting to be held TONIGHT

  1. Dekalb parent says:

    From: Dr. Tova J. Davis, Director for Employment Services
    Through: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer
    Subject: New Teacher Mixer
    Date: 21 October 2013

    The DeKalb County School District hired more than 800 highly qualified new teachers for the 2013-14 school year. It is our goal to retain these qualified individuals and show them our appreciation for choosing DeKalb. Our theme this year is “New Teachers, New Vision, New Direction”. The purpose of this mixer is to provide new teachers with an opportunity to share their experiences and discuss common topics such as classroom management, effective instructional strategies and more. Please see the flyer and save the date. Please come out and support our new teachers!!

  2. acheolus says:

    New teachers are forced to go to these. Instead of a mentoring program (which would work), DUMB has decided on pep talks and ice breakers at taxpayer expense. Of course, the new teachers get paid an extra $100 for going.

  3. thedeal2 says:

    800??????

  4. midvaledad says:

    You would not believe this policy. It has teachers going to homes for conferences, parents developing training for teachers and principals, parents being trained in how to use technology, and a very vague “Provide such other reasonable support for parental involvement activities as parents may request.”

    When are the students going to be trained to use technology? My Tucker Middle student has had to one student computer in each class room for 3 years now. Never has had training on using any technology other than a pencil sharpener.

  5. midvaledad says:

    Also noteworthy was Dr. Beasley blaming all the problems of the school district on the principals. He threw them under the bus after every comment.

    P.S. He would have you believe his sh^t doesn’t stink. Just “axe” him about it.

  6. howdy1942 says:

    @midvaledad – Thanks for your comment. I could not attend this meeting, but would take strong exception to Dr. Beasley’s comments about all principals. I have talked with the Principal of Brockett Elementary and I know that she is there early and stays late every day. I was stunned to find there at the school last Saturday as I walked my dog during halftime of the Georgia-Vanderbilt game – great commitment!. (I suppose that I should have kept walking my dog during the second half as Georgia had such a terrible time!). I am very impressed by this Principal as well as the commitment of the teachers at Brockett Elementary. Maybe Dr. Beasley and all of this administration should focus on “catching” our teachers and principals doing something great and express his appreciation individually to each of them. These teachers and principles are not just some number to be generalized but they are individuals that make so many individual contributions to our schools. Many of our issues would be dramatically improved if this administration would focus on our teachers and principals, recognize them, listen to them, and find ways to improve their circumstances. For one, we could drop that ridiculous lawsuit trying to defend the board’s breaking its commitment to pay into their retirement fund. Second, we could, I firmly believe, eliminate all furlough days and also provide some amount of raise, however small. If I were on the school board, that would be a top, very top priority. There are many others, but there is only so much space here.

    Disclaimer: I am not a school teacher nor am I a retired school teacher nor is any member of my family a school teacher.

  7. teachermom says:

    . It is going to take more than a mixer to retain these new teachers. Also, I know this sounds naive but who oversees the budget process for school systems? What is the accountability procedure? I know that irregularities seem to be the norm for Dekalb but I have yet to see any official calling out other than SACS. It seems to me that with this much money involved there would be some sort of official (governmental) oversight.

  8. Blindsided says:

    After 40 years as a DeKalb teacher, I can simply say that the system is very broken. The top-heavy county office is lead by incompetent cronies, whose fat paychecks are protected by the fraternal commitment to blame anyone but themselves for failure. The fine art of ‘top-down’ pressure from ‘the f#%*!ng PALACE’ maintains anxiety and fear of job loss at the building level. The ‘top dogs’ know they are untouchable, and simply continue the charade that the rest of us have, and are, paying so dearly for. Hugs to the new teachers….and condolences to the veterans who truly commit to their students.

    Real ‘POWER’ and ‘force’ are two very different commodities. My heart goes out to the DCSD educators who are ‘forced’, daily, to comply with ‘Palace Bull S**t, and long for leaders who truly understand that ‘POWER’, not ‘force’, is a by-product of selfless integrity.

    40 years and out.

  9. Dekalbite2 says:

    So per Ms. Ward-Smith DeKalb had to hire 800 new teachers for 2013-14. That must be dome sort of record. In addition, not all teachers that were retired in December were replaced with subs. The high school teachers were by and large replaced with regular ed teachers. Is that in this count on this 800 or is it in addition to the 800. After all, DCSS did have to hire many high school teachers in January and February during the 2012-2013 school year.

  10. Ella says:

    That is a great number of new teachers. That is not a good thing to have this amount of turnover in one year.

    This speaks volumes to have that many teachers leave in a year’s period of time.

  11. concernedmome30329 says:

    I am hearing that many teachers who are eligible to retire in December will be. As well as at the end of the school year. I wonder what the number of new teachers will be next year?

  12. Ella says:

    A little concerning.

    I am home sick. But I am looking at retirement also in the spring. Teaching is becoming such a hard job. I cannot work 12 hours a day anymore. I am too old to be doing this. But to do a good job I need to put in a great deal of time.

    The new trend appears to be to hire teachers for 7-9 years and work them so hard that they leave and bring in new blood. They are not looking for teachers who do this for a living over a long period of time. This way they keep the payroll down if they keep the teachers experience limited.

  13. dekalbite2 says:

    Regarding Ella’s statement:
    “The new trend appears to be to hire teachers for 7-9 years and work them so hard that they leave and bring in new blood. They are not looking for teachers who do this for a living over a long period of time. This way they keep the payroll down if they keep the teachers experience limited.”

    IMHO – teachers really need around 5 years under their belts to be master teachers. By that time they generally have mastered classroom management (discipline) – one of the most difficult parts of teaching and the very area that gets little attention in the Colleges of Education (particularly when you major in the content areas for high school). In addition, seasoned teachers have learned to balance the demands on their time (teaching, planning, grading, meeting with parents, mandatory training, paperwork requirements, etc.) and prioritize various functions they are required to perform. Developing lesson plans that are effective and ensure that the most students master the most content is not something that young teachers can just whip out, especially when they have so many other demands on their time – like actually teaching for example. How do they even know their lesson plan is effective unless they try it out on students, and since the composition of your classes tends to vary from year to year, you also need to find plans that work with disparate groups. Maybe one year you have all well behaved and motivated students, and the next year you have 6 children with attention deficit and 3 with specific learning disabilities. Another year you may have a group that has 5 or 6 Gifted students….and so on. Classes do take on personalities, and the dynamics of classroom are driven in great part by the makeup of the students you have to teach. Experience teaches you how to instruct all kinds of students with their varying levels of ability or behavior or interests.

    When you are in the business world, professional jobs usually require at least 5 years of experience as well. That’s why owners and managers like to hire salespeople, supervisors, analysts, accountants, computer personnel, marketers, etc. that can “hit the ground running”, require little oversight, and understand the mechanics of the tasks because they have mastered these functions already over time. For example, most inexperienced salespeople spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to develop prospects, qualify leads, obtain appointments, convey that they understand a customer’s needs, overcome objections and have a high close rate for their sales. While the inexperienced salespeople are trying to figure this out, their revenue production is low so the business owner’s net profit suffers. Is it any wonder that owners of businesses are looking for salespeople that have a proven track record of bringing in revenue? Few salespeople build a great track record in a year or two. By the 5th year, most have a decent track record or they would not be in sales.

    I’ve been on both sides – teaching for many years and selling for a decade so my opinion comes from direct experience. Again, IMO, most business hires are based on past experience that yielded benefits for past employers coupled with what the person who hires them sees as their probability of contributing to the success of the department and/or company during the interview process. A good principal will try to staff his school the same way – looking for seasoned teachers who have a good track record and have what he feels are the necessary components to fit well into his school.

    Teach for America is a good concept, but most of these teachers leave in a few years for “greater opportunities” in their lives than teaching. They are smart, well educated and many have great enthusiasm, but just like the salesperson – being smart and enthused is not any guarantee of success. I watched one large corporation I worked for hire young grads from top notch schools into sales to “fast track” them into management positions, and many did not have the necessary experience or inclination to sell. They got a little “experience” in sales and then were placed into another area to get a little “experience” in marketing or managing, etc. as they were being groomed for higher positions. In teaching, this is a totally unworkable situation for students and taxpayers. Remember all those Family and Friends who became APs, Principals, Coordinators, Managers, Directors and Specialists after they got 3 years of experience in a classroom? They then zoomed up the non teaching career ladder.

    Guess what – they are running our system today! And what are the results for students?

    IMO most certified personnel should be in the classroom teaching our children – not climbing a career ladder, and they should have a good deal of experience successfully teaching students.

    If mastery generally takes 5 years (Malcolm Gladwell says mastery takes around 10,000 hours for those of you who have read his book “Outliers” – interestingly – this is around 5 years in teacher experience), then how can our upper level administrators want to push them out a few years later if they are truly interested in academic progress?

    Ella is right. Teachers in DeKalb are primarily seen as “expense” items instead of investment in our children’s futures.

  14. firstgradeteacher says:

    @ Ella, I agree 100% with your statement. However, what the county fails to realize is that your experienced teachers know curriculum, behavior management strategies, and overall what it takes to run a classroom. In my opinion, it seems like you would try to retain your experienced highly-qualified teachers, because our test scores are low and behavioral problems at some schools are evident. I am currently finishing up 8th year and I am pretty sure I won’t be signing a contract at the end of the year… Good teachers have the option of leaving and there has to be a priority to retain them.

  15. concerned citizen says:

    Let me axe you something, Dr. Beastley. Why are you in charge of curriculum as you know nothing about the subject and have no interest in students’ achieving.? BTW, how is your house rental going? Any takers?

  16. Ella says:

    The school superintendent in Fulton County indicated this is the new trend.

    I suspect it is about the bottom line. Teachers with less experience make less money. The bottom line is important. School systems are run more like businesses now so it is about the bottom line.

  17. @ firstgradeteacher. As a dedicated teacher — because you put students and their needs FIRST — what you may fail to realize is this: DCSS doesn’t care. The board (1/3 of which was overtly named by SACS for misbehavior — in fact they were the ONLY board members named by SACS — but never removed by Governor Let’s-Make-a Deal), the faux superintendent and the Palace People don’t care. Good teachers are not a priority. Student learning is not a priority. Student achievement is not a priority. Behavior management and classroom management are not priorities. Understand this: DCSS is a cash cow and corruption is rampant.

  18. Dekalbite2 says:

    “School systems are run more like businesses now so it is about the bottom line”

    No really. For school systems the bottom line is an improved rate of student achievement. That is the only reason taxpayers “invest” their tax dollars.

  19. concerned citizen says:

    Repeat after me: DCSS does not care about students, teachers, and other staff. That’s all of the DCSS at the Palace. Gag, gag over the memo from HR(Smith and Davis) Ugh, ugh. This is the first time they have actually admitted that there are 800 new teachers! Can you believe 800?

  20. Ella says:

    I am a little concerned as to what I see happening.

    I do not like what I see happening all around me. It is time I retire.

  21. Stan Jester says:

    Cross Keys – Strategic Planning Event
    Tue 10/29 @ 6pm
    DeKalb Schools will be hosting a meeting at Cross Keys High School for public briefing and input on long-term, strategic planning.

    Message From Cynthia Brictson

    The DeKalb County School System is engaging in our five-year strategic planning process. This process will involve the development of district goals that reflect the ideas and opinions of our community relative to a Quality Education for all students. It is important to Superintendent Michael Thurmond and me, your Region Superintendent, that we solicit ideas from every community.

    You are invited to participate in a “Community Focus Group” on October 29,
    2013 at Cross Keys High School, at 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Your input is greatly valued. I hope you are able to attend.

    Ms. Cynthia Brictson
    Region I Superintendent

  22. Kim says:

    @Stan: Thanks for the re-post. For those not aware, the meeting is billed as a Region 1 public input forum. My input will include questions regarding the 2013 capacity and enrollment numbers for our area elementary schools: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151700624988062&set=gm.182407311950265&type=1&theater

    Why were the projections for growth in our CK elementary schools ignored in previous “Strategic Plans?”

  23. ” It is important to Superintendent Michael Thurmond and me, your Region Superintendent, that we solicit ideas from every community.

    You are invited to participate in a “Community Focus Group” on October 29,
    2013 at Cross Keys High School, at 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Your input is greatly valued. I hope you are able to attend.”

    Sigh! Although we do encourage folks to go – we have to wonder what ever becomes of our input — these continuous ‘stakeholder input’ meetings are getting old… we are so very weary of brainstorming and submitting our ‘input’ – over and over and over again – to no avail, as every time we do, new leadership is installed and we start this whole exercise all over again…

    It’s still Groundhog Day in DeKalb.

  24. concernedmom30329 says:

    Seriously, this meeting has been very poorly advertised. Not even on system website’ front page, from what I can tell.

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