We admit – we have been lying down on the job! As stated before, we all also work at ‘regular’ jobs and have all been very busy this fall. Forgive us. But our wonderful readers continue to send us news items via email and we have been collecting them. That said, it now appears that we have a plethora of news bits, issue updates and documents to share.
First, in a couple of public news items, it appears that the state is taking a look at the possible inequities in school discipline. State Sen. Emmanel Jones initiated a study committee to review the type of punishments imposed by local boards of education, the time spent in alternative schools by students in various school systems, and the high rate of expulsion of students. He will also use the study committee to identify any operational disparities between students of different racial backgrounds.
Oral arguments were heard on the teacher lawsuit regarding the budget-cutting decision to end contributions to Teachers Retirement Annuities in lieu of Social Security that was promised to teachers and paid for decades until 2010 when Dr. Lewis cut it completely. Ramona Tyson, Dr. Atkinson and Michael Thurmond have continued the cut to teachers’ retirements. The lawsuit continues and could end in a very large settlement if the teachers win their case.
And we have a new lawsuit filed by a couple of teachers. Read more on it here >>
Georgia Teachers Claim They Were Strong-Armed
Oddly, (to us anyway), it seems that Dr. Ralph Simpson was voted as “Principal of the Year” at the gala celebration hosted by the district at the conference center at Stone Mountain last week. We see this as odd, because this is the guy who wrote a small book about his life and then ‘sold’ thousands of dollars worth to his own school! We never could find an actual person who received an actual copy, but he was forced to take a (obviously temporary) demotion and repay the money (which again, we have no proof occurred). Now — he is suddenly such an upstanding bloke that he is Principal of the Year!
Personally, we would have selected Principal Norman H. Thomas, Jr. at Meadowview Elementary, who increased literacy rates by 55% at his school! That is measurable – and for us – deserving of recognition.
And, have you all heard? We can now vote on Sunday in DeKalb…
Sunday Voting Plan Causes Uproar
DeKalb County’s plan to roll out Sunday voting—a new quest to boost voter turnout—has sparked an uproar among Republicans who say the move will give Democrats an unfair edge.
DeKalb, particularly South DeKalb, is largely Democrat and many say the Sunday voting day will prompt a surge, especially if pastors urge congregations to go to the polls.
Second, many of you may have attended one of the meetings focused on DeKalb’s plan to submit to become a charter district with the state. The state has set a deadline of June 15, 2015 for all school districts to choose whether to continue as a “status quo”, or convert to a charter system or what is called an IE2 (Investing in Educational Excellence). CLICK HERE to download a very good “Nuts & Bolts Comparison” created by the State DOE.
CLICK HERE to download the presentation and documents presented by Trenton Arnold at the community meetings on the topic.
CLICK HERE to view the September 8, 2014 discussion on the subject at the meeting of the Committee of the Whole. Forward to about 17:00 to watch Marshall Orson question the decision.
Also, just last night Michael Thurmond made a “State of the System” address to the Parent Councils United and community members at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston.
He covered a plethora of topics including the Heery lawsuit, accreditation, new legal representation, the Bridge Initiative, budget ‘enhancements’, SPLOST, planning and communications via PDS Comcast 24.
CLICK HERE to download his 18 pages of information delivered. There was also a Q&A session which covered teacher pay and other issues. If you attended the meeting, please add what you recall from the Q&A to the comments in this post.
We were pleased to see that the dual accreditation initiative through Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC), shepherded by Terry Nall, Dunwoody City Council member, for all of our high schools is underway and proceeding according to plan laid out to the school board in May. Page 6 of Thurmond’s address lists these dual accreditation activity items (both completed and planned):
* September 11, 2014: District meets with GAC consultant to discuss plans
* September 24, 2014: District leaders meet regarding how to provide documentation to each high school for the accreditation process
* October-January: District leaders assist individual high schools with compiling evidence of compliance
* January 26-28, 2015: Site visits to the high schools by GAC consultants
* March 2015: Accreditation is agenda item for GAC Board meeting in Macon
And for updated data mining, CLICK HERE to view and download an all new, interesting chart showing enrollment by school.
That’s it for now! We will check in with you again at the next Board Meeting – which has been changed from Monday, October 6 to Wednesday, Oct. 8.
Keep on sending us your emails!