Dekalb Commissioners Call For School Superintendent Search Committee

Posted on January 28, 2015 by FactChecker

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners calls for a “transparent, inclusive and credible superintendent search process.” (see video here)

This Monday (Feb 2), the DeKalb School Board will discuss and vote on the process for continuing the search for a superintendent.  Last month, the administration brought one search firm, PROACT, to the board.  The board voted to approve PROACT, and the board has had no input into the search process since then.  As discussed in this superintendent search update, PROACT and the administration have been working together putting together times and schedules for public engagement sessions.

Yesterday (Jan 27), the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners unanimously came together and approved a resolution to ask the “DeKalb Board of Education to adopt a Superintendent search protocol that includes a Selection Committee of parents, leaders, and community members, to manage, guide, and recommend the best qualified candidate to be the Superintendent.”

The BOC echoed sentiments expressed by CEO Lee May who sent a letter to the school board recommending “the creation of a selection committee that would interview the list of candidates offered by PROACT.”  DeKalb’s Parent Council United has called for a process similar to the APS Superintendent Search Committee Framework where the committee managed the search firm and process.

The DeKalb Commissioners went on to declare the qualifications they would like to see in the next Superintendent saying, “DeKalb Board of Commissioners believes that the best qualified candidate must demonstrate a record of improved academic achievement in a school district of significant size and complexity, across all disaggregated, socio-economic groups.”

As of the superintendent search update in December, the board of education is split on the idea of a Superintendent Search Committee.

Question: Will DeKalb Schools live what it preaches on its letter head, “The school cannot live apart from the community”

Below is the resolution passed by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners below.


The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners

Resolution in Support of a Transparent and Inclusive Superintendent Search Process

Whereas:            the DeKalb County School District is currently engaged in defining the parameters for the search for the next Superintendent; and

Whereas:            the DeKalb County School District has historically maintained as an official position noted on its letterhead that, “The school cannot live apart from the community”; and

Whereas:            the next leader of the DeKalb County School District must have credibility with the broad community in order to be successful.

Therefore be it resolved               that the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners supports and encourages the DeKalb Board of Education to adopt a Superintendent search protocol that includes a Selection Committee of parents, leaders, and community members, to manage, guide, and recommend the best qualified candidate to be the Superintendent.

Be it further resolved that the DeKalb Board of Commissioners believes that the best qualified candidate must demonstrate a record of improved academic achievement in a school district of significant size and complexity, across all disaggregated, socio-economic groups.

Be it further resolved that the DeKalb Board of Commissioners believes that the Selection Committee should consist of representatives from each Parent Council, a representative from the Georgia Charter Schools Association, a parent or community leader from each school board district, selected by the school board member, and a PAGE representative.

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7 Responses to Dekalb Commissioners Call For School Superintendent Search Committee

  1. Teachermom says:

    This is wonderful news. I am considering this progress. Progress in recognition by our county that we are all in this together. Bad leadership in the schools impacts everyone in our community not just teachers parents and students. Thank you Dekalb County Board of Commissioners for speaking out.

  2. Allyson Stone says:

    Why the emphasis on prior academic performance and experience. The most effective superintendent this county has had in YEARS comes from outside the system. The emphasis should be on organizational leadership, not necessarily in school districts.

  3. Now let’s see will they even consider and back a white candidate? An Asian candidate ? Or a Hispanic candidate. Or will the best candidate have their personal information leaked, for being white, like last time.

  4. GTCO-ATL says:

    Just making sure that everyone understands that the leaking of candidate information took place when a completely different BOE was seated. Completely different people who are all aware of the transgressions of their predecessors are now the ones we have in those seats. What we should be asking ourselves is how are our communities different today compared to that time frame when things were going down hill? What have WE learned? What should WE do differently this time around when the administration holds meetings such as the ones upcoming where we will be asked to provide input into a process that we know has gone terribly wrong before. The questions will likely be open-ended, so the real test of parental and community strength will be this: Can WE do OUR part to break out of this endless cycle of harm, hope and despair? Can WE provide something OTHER than the usual responses this time around? Here is a challenge for everyone who really wants to see the change, not just talk about it: STOP thinking about yourself, your child, your school and YOUR needs for just a moment. REFRAIN from providing ANY type of answer that would assist with the political subtext of this tragedy. STOP feeding the beast. Your challenge (anyone who is willing to try something different) is to REFRAIN from revealing your description of what would be IDEAL for YOUR OWN best interests. Instead, take the time you are allotted to ASK QUESTIONS of the system administrators who are there as participants in this discussion. ASK them what they are hearing from OTHER parts of the county. GET information, if possible, instead of giving the system more fodder they will simply use to divide and conquer yet again.

    ASK if THEY, the leaders, can describe for the table any of the actual people who may have expressed some kind of interest in the position. Are there any? Let’s talk about reality this time around, not some fantasy description that will more likely end up looking and acting like a Mr. Potato Head! In fact, start out by asking WHY are they conducting THIS search differently than the last one (which was in secret executive session only) and how did they feel that worked out? Many people have been very pleased with Mr. Thurmond’s performance, even the Governor himself. So, maybe that under-the-gun method that leaves out all the hopes and dreams of the various groups, sub-groups, official and unofficial, would be better.

    Are we looking for someone internally? Has the search firm brought anyone in for a preliminary interview? What has the School Board indicated that they see as the largest hurdles that the entire district will be facing over the next five years? Will the current Superintendent be assisting with the process? In what way? Have the teachers or principals provided feedback about what they need from district leadership? Has the school board’s appointed members noted any process changes that might help us avoid the “infighting” and “divisions” that SACS said were paralyzing this district? Has SACS been consulted about the potential changing of the guard here and what advice did they provide? How do the best districts in the country with large student populations allocated funds and delegated work?

    Do they really expect us to believe that they haven’t been working on this whole Superintendent search at all and they are only now going to start looking once they know exactly what we think about the whole subject? If there were not so many people in the up and coming ranks who are STILL willing to play these same games over and over again, selling out their own neighborhoods and dancing the stupid dance with these people, we would have been well on our way to a better day by now. Just remember, there are larger systems that do just fine and smaller ones that fail, but the biggest difference between them is not the paycheck they give to their Superintendent or what color the majority of the board members are. The difference is always with the involvement of the VOTERS (you thought I was going to say parents, didn’t you?)…. If people show up to vote in large numbers, even if they closed their eyes when they did it, there would be far too many unknown potential outcomes for the think tanks to calculate. They would not be able to control the votes and therefore they wouldn’t be so arrogant about cramming their own agendas down our throats.

    Get involved and pay attention and then just vote responsibly every time. Don’t go down the same road as the cattle that just went down it a few years ago. Don’t think that there can be anything better unless you have a clear understanding of what “better” is supposed to look like. Only then will you know if you have the right people in the right jobs.

    Don’t expect failure or corruption to win. It should enrage you and shock you every time it does. If not, you are becoming numb to it and that’s no way to be bringing up our children… in a system that has learned to tolerate what normal folks shake their heads at.

    We are in the driver’s seat. For God’s sake, grab the wheel. Remember… we ALL want the same things, so whoever they decide to hire will still have to answer to the unhappy masses. We (collectively) have accomplished great things by working together. Don’t let anyone slow that progress!

  5. So, once again, DeKalb School Watch offers our FOUR YEAR OLD 2020 Vision — and it’s FREE! [We have no more ‘discussion’ on the subject; this is our plan and has been for four years.]

    Our input is as follows >>

    Monday, February 7, 2011
    “Without a vision, the people perish…”

  6. teachermom says:

    I think most of the readers of this blog do vote. You are preaching to the choir. The LEADERSHIP involved in our school system is corrupt. Those of us who are speaking frpm the trenches have experienced false hope each time there has been a change in leadership. We are left with the impression that there are people working the machinery, just like the wizard of Oz. Reading that Ramona Tyson would be instrumental in leading the search for a new superintendent was just a peek at what is really going on behind that oh so not transparent curtain. We have gone through oodles of lip service stakeholder input meetings. We need a search committee that is made up of community members who actually make the decision to hire. The people HAVE spoken, and spoken, and spoken (see DSW Vision above). I can only hope that the Dekalb County Board of Commissioners can pull this off.

  7. Dekalb Inside Out says:

    “We are in the driver’s seat” … is that right? We are more like the children in the backseat that have given a nice and pretty pretend steering wheel to play with and pretend to drive.

    The Commissioners declared ” that the best qualified candidate must demonstrate a record of improved academic achievement in a school district of significant size and complexity, across all disaggregated, socio-economic groups.”

    I don’t think it’s too much to ask for somebody with experience as a Superintendent that didn’t suck.

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