DeKalb fires school chief search firm amid disturbing revelations. Going final mile alone.

From Maureen Downey’s blog at the AJC >>

DeKalb fires school chief search firm amid disturbing revelations. Going final mile alone.

At the same time it’s reporting progress on efforts to replace outgoing school chief Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb County School District fired its superintendent search firm ProAct Search after troubling revelations about the CEO in a Chicago newspaper.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that CEO and former educator Gary Solomon was forced out of an Illinois high school where he worked because of allegations of racist comments and “immoral and unprofessional” conduct, including kissing a teen and sending suggestive emails to students, including “What are you favorite turn-ons?”

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14 Responses to DeKalb fires school chief search firm amid disturbing revelations. Going final mile alone.

  1. Victor Hill for Super says:

    “immoral and unprofessional” conduct? I’d say he would fit right in with the crew at the palace.

  2. No shocker… It is fortunate that this news came to light in the past few days, but does seem to mirror DeKalb’s system of ineptitude very well, especially the shadiness of the friends/family connections that were going on with Solomon’s previous venture. While it is certainly OK to begin a business with those close to you, hiring unqualified individuals for lucrative positions should never take place in a large business such as DCSD. That is a sure way to run it into the ground. Hire qualified people and get professional results. Go figure.

  3. thedeal2 says:

    The only firm that will let us pay them for work is so corrupt that we have to fire them. You can’t make this stuff up.

  4. @thedeal2: We know for a fact that Ray & Associates submitted a proposal. They were ignored.

    Also, there appears to be an executive session today; certainly they will be discussing the “search”…

    Wednesday, May 6, 2015
    Cabinet Room
    Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex
    1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
    Stone Mountain, GA 30083

  5. DavidS says:

    The most encouraging words in Maureen’s blog are “outgoing school chief Michael Thurmond.” I just hope that’s not wishful thinking.

  6. UPDATE: The Executive session will be held tomorrow. They need to give the required 24 hour notice.

  7. The school districts press release:

    The DeKalb County Board of Education is pleased to announce that it has interviewed its semi-finalist candidates to be the next Superintendent of the DeKalb County School District. We are impressed by the depth and breadth of their expertise.

    The Board is also aware of some disturbing allegations that have come to light regarding the CEO and owner of ProAct, the search firm hired by the Board to assist with its Superintendent search. While these are allegations only, the DeKalb County Board of Education is committed to ensuring that the individuals representing us reflect our values and those of our community. To that end, the Board has elected to end its relationship with ProAct and continue the search independently.</i>

  8. I think everyone is overlooking the most important implication of firing the search firm: The central office (“Palace”) Administrators who are supposed to directly report to the Superintendent now get to control the search for that Superintendent!

  9. melaniestef says:

    I just hope they can find a Supt. who has some experience as a teacher and administrator. Instruction cannot continue to suffer the way it has over the past few years. We teachers deserve an instructional leader.

  10. Weary Worker says:

    The entire process is broken. Some other method must be developed for guiding the operation of public schools. There is too much money involved and too little oversight. A cage full of hamsters would be better at running things.

  11. Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal was in a Dekalb ES this morning, promoting reading.

    It’s funny how we never hear about Superintendent Thurmond doing anything like that himself…

  12. former dekalb parent says:

    because he does NOT care– he is in this for himself for this to be a political stepping stone. He has turned the budget around, but at what long term costs? I am once again happy to be a former DeKalb parent as my children have been in a better environment, and we have no idea the LONG TERM costs this mess of a school system will be. We will have years of students who have suffered under this system.. They will be the workers out there in the future, and knowing that makes me afraid for my later years.

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