Gov Deal appoints Michael Thurmond to State Education Board

(Press Release)

Governor Deal Selects Michael Thurmond to join other leaders on Education Advisory Board

Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal appointed Michael Thurmond to join 13 other school superintendents and education leaders including principals, teachers, and school board members from around the state to the Education Advisory Board. The Board will meet with the governor and his staff over the next year to “provide input on education policy issues facing the state.”

The Board’s first meeting is scheduled for Wed., Jan. 7, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at the State Capitol.

“I am honored to serve on the Governor’s Education Advisory Board and take seriously the Governor’s mandate to ‘help our state continue to strive for educational excellence,’” said Mr. Thurmond. “The DeKalb County School District has made significant progress in addressing critical issues facing Georgia public education from fiscal management, academic growth and achievement, school safety, diversity, and poverty.”

Mr. Thurmond pointed out the District’s achievements since Feb. 2013 when he was appointed by the Board of Education:

      Eliminated $14 million deficit and created a $40 million reserve fund with no tax increase
      Improved school safety with the only dedicated resource officers assigned to elementary schools
      Established three of the District’s four STEM certified schools including the first STEM middle school in the state
      Placed three elementary schools in the top 25 of the state’s more than 2,000 elementary schools for academic achievement
      Improved graduation rates by more than five percentage points over two years

“I applaud Gov. Deal for including our Superintendent in a broad cross-section of education leaders from around the state to offer first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Georgia’s public school system,” said Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair of the DeKalb County Board of Education.

Contact: Quinn Hudson 678.676.2848
quinn_hudson@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

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14 Responses to Gov Deal appoints Michael Thurmond to State Education Board

  1. nannerpuddin39 says:

    Is this a joke or not? HIm advising on education! What a laugh. Very disappointed in Deal’s decisions concerning education in DeKalb! Certainly cannot expect any help from our “gov.”

  2. Refugee from DCSS says:

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  3. Teachers Matter says:

    I teach in this county and have seen absolutely no improvement since Mr. Thurmond took over. So, what in the world does he have to add to the discussion when the county he is in charge of is so broken? Teachers in DCSD are not respected, haven’t been in a long time, and the future does not look promising.

  4. howdy1942 says:

    You’re kidding! This isn’t April Fool’s Day yet – it’s Christmas! We really must have a thin bench in Georgia.

  5. So, because he (more specifically his financial “guru”) found misspent/misplaced million$ and took dekalb from red to black financially, that qualifies him after 18 months in the education field as being an educational leader in the state, passing up many who have been in education their whole lives? Very political…guess we’d expect nothing less from the gov who’s only qualification is his wife’s teaching career (15 years I think). Looking at the district testing data would reveal little gains and wouldn’t that be the biggest key to showing success seeing as we are already below state averages in nearly every major test? I guess Deal wants the views of those below the line who can balance a budget. Congrats to Mr. Thurman for finding his way back into the georgia political arena. I’m supposing this is a step toward whatever is next on his agenda. I will change my tune if teachers are paid respectable/comparable wages in the next year and dekalb performs above Georgia average on the new GA Milestone. The jury is still out.

  6. dsw2contributor says:

    Stan — I am pretty sure this claim: “Improved school safety with the only dedicated resource officers assigned to elementary schools” is an outright lie.

    AFTER Michael Brandon Hill shot up Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, DCSS assigned a school resource officer to it. As far as I know, no other elementary school has a ‘dedicated resource officer assigned to it’.

  7. kirklunde says:

    This appointment is window dressing for both the governor and the superintendent. I doubt it actually means anything. The story does need to be put into perspective.

    Two years ago, EVERYTHING was dysfunctional in DeKalb County Schools. We had a corrupt superintendent, a corrupt board of education, and a central office that wasted money and did not support the schools.

    2-out-of-3 of those things are better; not great yet, but better.

    In January, the BOE will be different. The loss of Mr. Mayfield is a heavy blow to those of us who want to see more accountability. Stan Jester’s joining the BOE will even that out. I consider it a wash.

    In July, there may be a new superintendent. That is an unknown.

    However, until the central office stops wasting money on contracts to friends, excessive travel expenses and an ineffective human resources department, and starts doing things to support the schools, DeKalb County schools will continue to fail its students and teachers. What is missing is a leader who is willing to get rid of the friends and family.

  8. concerned citizen says:

    This is such a joke. If only I could laugh…but I can’t. We see nothing in Georgia education but crap and its devoted friends and family. There is no doubt Deal loves Thurmond! Of course – how could he not? Both of them are just trash.

  9. Weary Worker says:

    Smoke and mirrors, nothing more nothing less. One shameless magician is tipping his hat to another.

  10. sawyerbrown68 says:

    I agree with Kirk Lunde. It’s a shame that Kirk is not a Lakeside parent.

    Dekalb County’s friends and family plan assumes that sons and daughters of retired principals make good principals or that retired administrators are owed continuous employment for their adult children.

    The current Lakeside principal is the son of a retired administrator. He seems to have benefited from the friends and family philosophy in many ways.

    Dr. Atkinson selected him for the Mercer doctorate program funded by federal dollars.

    Mr. Thurmond appointed him as principal while still occupied with completing the Mercer doctorate.

    Kirk, things are still dysfunctional at Lakeside. It’s dysfunctional from the top. The dysfunction is evident when you look at the teachers hired since June ’13. The dysfunction is evident by the 120% turnover in assistant principals since the current principal took office.

    Competent new or experienced teachers and assistant principals should think hard before coming unless Lakeside is given a decent new principal.

    We, as a community, made a mistake in advocating for the appointment of the current principal. We should correct that mistake by contacting the offices of Mr. Thurmond and Mr. Arnold with our concerns.

  11. thedeal2 says:

    Sawyer Brown, don’t blame yourself in advocating for the appointment of the current principal. If the central office wanted Lakeside to have that principal, you were going to have that principal. Plus it’s not like there’s this pool of incredible applicants pushing each other aside to get into DeKalb County Schools. Our school system has reached the point where everyone knows it is a big, stinking pile of garbage. We are not going to attract any good candidates from outside of DeKalb for the Lakeside principal job, the superintendent job, or any other job until there is a massive shakeup (that will never happen).

  12. You are correct. A massive shake-up in DeKalb County Schools will never happen. The tangled tentacles of corruption go too deep. Expecting DeKalb County Schools palace administrators and school board to care about educating children doesn’t work. They don’t care. Public complaining and shaming certainly doesn’t work. They have no shame and they have learned they can “wait out” people’s short attention spans.

    So, we have some serious questions for those of you reading this:

    (1) Why do you think that the Palace administrators and school board members — all of whom are overpaid to care about successfully educating our children — don’t care and have zero interest in anything other than keeping their overpaid jobs and using and abusing the power they get by maintaining the Friends-and-Family Jobs Program?

    (2) What action steps need to be taken to reverse and resolve this situation?

    By Monday, December 15, please send your answers to one or both questions (above) to DeKalb School Watch’s e-mail, dekalbschoolwatch@gmail.com.

    We will compile all answers into an unattributed list that will not personally identify you or put you at risk — and publish those answers.

  13. dsw2contributor says:

    Above, I posted this: “I am pretty sure this claim: ‘Improved school safety with the only dedicated resource officers assigned to elementary schools’ is an outright lie.”

    I asked around about this and found out that it is not really a lie. Thurmond has actually assigned a school resource officer (SRO) to cover ALL the elementary schools in a region. So there is now a single SRO assigned to cover all the 15 elementary schools in Region 1, another single SRO assigned to cover all the 18 elementary schools in Region 2, a single SRO assigned to cover the 16 elementary schools in Region 3, etc. McNair ES apparently continues to have a dedicated SRO.

    So, what Mr. Thurmond really meant is that he “Improved school safety by having only SIX dedicated School Resource Officers assigned to cover ALL DCSS elementary schools, with one of those SROs spending all day at McNair”.

    Before Thurmond’s move, elementary schools were covered by the SROs based at nearby middle and high schools. It seems to me that way would make for faster response times
    and more effective policing, since the SROs could keep tabs on children as they moved from ES to MS to HS. However, I am not a cop, so I don’t really know which way is better.

  14. “So, what Mr. Thurmond really meant is that he “Improved school safety by having only SIX dedicated School Resource Officers assigned to cover ALL DCSS elementary schools, with one of those SROs spending all day at McNair”.”

    As you have discovered, it may not be a lie for Thurman to say there are dedicated school resource officers assigned to elementary schools, but it definitely is a half-truth. And a half-truth, with the intent to mislead, is the same as an outright lie.

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