News Release • 13 May 2015

Stephen-GreenThe DeKalb County School District has a new leader — R. Stephen Green, Ed.D., 61, superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri, will become DeKalb’s superintendent on July 1.
Dr. Green is credited with leading KCPS back to provisional accreditation within two years of being named its superintendent in 2012. He had previously served as KCPS interim superintendent for several months. Under Dr. Green’s leadership, KCPS earned 92.5 points towards the state of Missouri’s school achievement standards in 2014. That was 8.5 points more than the school district earned in 2013, and a 54.5-point increase from the 2012 results. In August 2014, Missouri’s Board of Education recognized the district’s gains by granting KCPS provisional accreditation.
Earlier this year, he was recognized for his achievements by being named Missouri’s 2015 Pearce Award winner – “Best Superintendent of the Year” – by his peers the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
Dr. Green says he has had a great experience serving the stakeholders of KCPS, which makes the decision to leave for DeKalb difficult.
“I have had a unique and wonderful opportunity to make a difference for a deserving community and work with a great team at KCPS,” Dr. Green said. “I wish them all the best as they rise to success. I know they have the talent, focus and grit to make it happen.”
KCPS Board of Directors Chair Jon Hile thanked Dr. Green for his service and wished Dr. Green well moving forward.
“Kansas City Public Schools greatly appreciates the contributions of Dr. Green has made toward improving the educational experiences of the 15,000 children in our district,” Mr. Hile said. “The administration’s focused efforts, under Dr. Green’s leadership, have garnered attention and praise from Kansas City parents, community and civic leaders, education officials and state and local elected officials. He is leaving KCPS in better condition than when he found it and we will continue to rise.”
When DeKalb County schools approached Dr. Green about the position, the timing, opportunity and location were right. Two of his four children live in the DeKalb County region, along with three of his four grandchildren. One of those grandchildren is 3 years old and will be attending a DeKalb school.
“I am looking forward to helping lead DeKalb schools to new elevations and to being able to spend a lot of quality time with my children and grandchildren,” Dr. Green said. “These opportunities don’t come around very often and I simply could not pass it up.”
Green replaces interim superintendent Michael Thurmond who was appointed in February 2013. Thurmond took leave from the Butler, Wooten, Wooten & Peak LLP law firm to fill the temporary role and said – at the time – he had no interest in holding the position long-term.
“After a comprehensive nearly six-month search, the board has selected an experienced, well-suited educational leader to move the district forward under his successful innovative approaches to teaching and learning,” says Board Chair Melvin Johnson. “Dr. Green brings an impressive record to DeKalb not only from Kansas City, but also from New York, New Jersey and Indiana. He was a stabilizing force in Kansas City and will do the same here in DeKalb County.”

“Dr. Green is excited to come here,” Dr. Johnson says. “He has children and grandchildren here so for his family it is sort of a home coming.”
Green is former president and CEO of Kauffman Scholars, Inc., an access and graduation program aimed significantly at increasing the number of college graduates from Kansas City’s urban schools. Kauffman Scholars is a comprehensive academic enrichment and scholarship program that provides coordinated, intensive, tutoring and life skills support to students beginning in middle school and continuing through the college years.

Before joining Kauffman Scholars, he was superintendent of Community School District #28 and a local instructional superintendent in Region 3 for the New York City Board of Education. He was responsible for providing instructional leadership and support to the 34 schools in the district, and worked with a team of school administrators to ensure instructional improvement among the region’s 142 schools.

He also served as president and executive director of the New Jersey Teaching and Learning Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization founded to provide ongoing technical assistance, high quality curriculum-driven professional development, and advocacy for local and state policy reform – all toward the goal of improving teaching and learning in New Jersey’s districts.
As national executive director of the CollegeEd Program for the College Board, Dr. Green’s leadership focused on helping middle school students understand the importance of a college education and exploring available options. He has served as national executive director of school-level services, as national director of the Pacesetter Program, and as associate director for Pacesetter Planning and Development for the College Board.
He was also an assistant superintendent, high school assistant principal, and middle school assistant principal for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence (Ind.) Township. He taught high school and college-level English literature and composition for 13 years at Pike High School, Indiana University, and Butler (Ind.) University. He has served as director of Minority Student Affairs at Butler University and as an instructional superintendent for the New York City Board of Education.
Green received a Bachelor of Science in English Literature and Composition and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Ball (Ind.) State University and his principal’s certification from Butler. He received a doctorate from Indiana University in 1995 with two majors: curriculum and instruction and education administration.

Quinn Hudson

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  1. A Nov. 22, 2014 article, titled “Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) earns third straight clean audit”:

    An excerpt: Superintendent R. Stephen Green, added that sound finances are one of the basic pillars of a great public education system. Having an accurate diagnosis of the financial health of KCPS allows the administration to allocate resources so that they have the most valuable positive impact on students.

    “We have to have the trust of families, business leaders and organizations if we are going to achieve our goals,” Green said.

  2. Check out this snarky line in the Press Release:

    “Thurmond took leave from the Butler, Wooten, Wooten & Peak LLP law firm to fill the temporary role and said – AT THE TIME – he had no interest in holding the position long-term.”

    I was surprised to see that in a release signed by Quinn Hudson, who served as Michael Thurmond’s Communications Director during his unsuccessful 2010 bid for a Georgia U.S. Senate seat:

  3. Dr. Green had better be ready to jump in with both feet. Not a lot of time to ramp up. No time for “fireside chats” or visiting the ‘stakeholders’. Just roll up your sleeves – as someone who is being touted as knowing what they’re doing – Dr. Green should be able to quickly assess the situation, make a plan and get to work. We started a ‘to do’ list for Dr. Green. Add your additions in the comments.

    — One of the first orders of business of course, is the school district’s choice as to what type of operating model it will choose. (Status Quo, Charter or IE2) Read more here >>
    — Another one – work with the Druid Hills community. Mend that damn fence ASAP. This county is about to break into several pieces and this is our one last chance to salvage most of the whole.
    — Sit down with teachers. Form a teacher liaison committee – advisors to the top. And their first order of business? Settle the lawsuit and reinstate their annuity contributions or return them to Social Security …

    Here’s the latest on that issue >>

    After several early victories for the plaintiffs at the trial and appeals court levels, they suffered a major setback when a different trial judge, Marc Anthony Scott, was assigned to the case and last fall ruled against the plaintiffs’ efforts to obtain class certification, siding with the school district’s numerous arguments. The plaintiffs appealed his ruling, and on March 30, 2015, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that many of the numerous grounds cited for denying class certification were invalid, but nevertheless upheld the denial of class certification on three points where “the plaintiffs failed to meet the exacting standards for class certification.” (Judge McFadden’s concurring opinion, joined by Judge Phipps). However, there is a silver lining in the concurring opinion whereby the court emphasized “that on remand [sending it back to the trial court] the plaintiffs will have an opportunity to revisit those issues in light of our opinion.” In other words, the Court of Appeals recognized that the plaintiffs could possibly remedy the three highly technical deficiencies and directed the trial court to provide the plaintiffs such an opportunity. As Judge McFadden stated at the opening of his opinion, “I concur fully but reluctantly. If every there was a question that ought to be resolved once and for all, it is whether this school district shortchanged these teachers unlawfully.”

    Needless to say, the lawyers for the plaintiffs are addressing the issues to remedy the identified deficiencies. At some point, there will be more proceedings in front of Judge Scott related to these matters, and eventually a further ruling from him. It will likely be several more months before these issues again come to a head.

  4. Giving Michael Thurmond a bit of credit for caving to the AJC investigation on this one >>

    Atlanta, DeKalb schools announce changes to foreign teacher contracts
    11:14 a.m. Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Two of Georgia’s largest school districts are altering their approach to hiring international teachers after an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution into how these foreign teachers are treated.

    DeKalb County and Atlanta Public Schools each have said they plan to reduce their reliance on recruiting firms. DeKalb superintendent Michael Thurmond said the district will start by rebidding its annual contract, with additional language meant to bring greater accountability, while moving toward less use of recruiting firms. APS said it will discontinue use of the firms entirely.

    Neither district offered any guarantees for the teachers currently in its classrooms, a continuation of the arm’s-length approach districts have used with international teachers. That means teachers hired by recruiting firms currently in the districts likely will find themselves looking a new job in another district. If they can’t find one, they and their families may face deportation under the terms of their work visas.

    Read our old posts on the subject >>

  5. Also, read this:

    There was a critical piece of information left out of Quinn Hudson’s overblown PR piece about R. Stephen Green:

    “To verify the “unprecedented gains” in test scores of the which the release” [from the Missouri Association of School Administrators] “boasts, I checked one high school at random, Central High. Here is what Green’s “laser-like focus” has accomplished.

    “In 2011, 21 percent of the Central students were rated proficient in the Algebra I section of the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test. In 2014, that number was 9 percent.

    “In 2011, 8 percent of the students tested were proficient in biology. In 2014, that figure was 7 percent. Over the three years of Green’s tenure, the scores declined as well in government, biology, and English II.

    “The only subject that showed improvement was English I, but the take-away from that test is that four-fifths of the students at Central are NOT proficient in English.”

    Keep in mind that there are only about 15,000 students in Kansas City Public Schools. Go here to read the original:

  6. DunwoodyOwl says:

    Fascinating article, but he provides no direct citation for the data, Further, he has a statistical sample size of… school.

    When you look at the data – see and select choice 19 in the sidebar on the right, you see that the performance in the entire state drops off significantly in 2014.

    Dr. Green may be fantastic; he may be horrible; he may be middle of the road. But comparing 2011 to 2014 at one school without referencing the overall pool of datapoints or the intervening years is poor statistical analysis.

  7. Green was not responsible for the whole state of Missouri. He was responsible for improving the academic performance of the 15,000 students in Kansas City Public Schools. One high school in DCS would be a too-small statistical sample. However, Kansas City Public Schools has only four neighborhood high schools. There is also an International Baccalaureate high school grades 6 – 12; a high school for the performing arts, grades 7 – 12, that requires passing an audition to enroll; and a high school that appears to be limited to African-Americans and/or is Afro-centric in its studies; it occupies a campus with one of the neighborhood schools.

  8. downtown dekalb? says:

    Readers should be aware that Missouri is one of eight states to have state standards that most closely meet the stringent standards evaluated by NAEP testing. It also appears as though the 2014-2015 was the first school year Missouri had fully implemented Common Core and CC-aligned testing.

    Nice to see that Georgia leads the nation in the width of the gap between what its CRCT-tested standards deemed proficient and what NAEP deemed proficient. Way to set the bar, Georgia!

  9. September says:

    As much as I want the school system to contribute to the board sponsored TSA as promised, I hope Dr. Green will move quickly to improve teacher morale. We are losing good teachers to other counties. Salaries and working conditions need to be addressed.

  10. dsw2contributor says:

    Region 1 Superintendent Cynthia Brictson has been promoted to a curriculum position.

    The email announcement, send out on Friday evening, did not specify what happened to the person who was in the position Bricston was promoted to. For background, here is the DSW2 page on DCSD’s Curriculum & Instruction department:

    Before coming to DCSD in 2012, Brictson was Assistant Schools Superintendent of the Greene County Georgia School System. She had also been the Principal of Roberta T. Smith Elementary School (Clayton County) for five years:

  11. The Brictson situation is interesting. Seems to us that Michael Thurmond is going to try to do a last-minute shake-up (perhaps trying to make the staff appear more competent?) The leaders in the curriculum department are Beasley and Howe. What will happen to these two? We predict a last-minute major promotion or raise for Beasley (who applied to the superintendent job and THANKFULLY did not get it). We predict absolutely nothing for Kathy Howe from Michael Thurmond. Kathy Howe has the misfortune of being a white woman. Beasley is Thurmond’s fave. We predict he will get a very nice parting gift from Michael Thurmond. Stay tuned.

    We are hopeful that although the new superintendent is African-American, he will not make decisions based on race and he will not protect incompetence strictly because he is protecting jobs for African-Americans. Only time will tell.

  12. teacher reader says:

    How much vetting of Dr. Green or the situation of the school district he is running was done by the board? Seems that there are ties to SUPES and the Kansas City (MO) school district that Dr. Green is coming from.

    How can I find better information than what the board has about this candidate and this school district? How are these connections acceptable in a candidate? Why the rush for this candidate? Why wasn’t the process of hiring a candidate followed? There were no 3 finalist candidates interviewed and the community committee never met with this man. This man also never had a final interview, only the initial from reading between the lines in the press conference.

  13. dekalbteacher says:

    The deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction appears to be higher up the organizational chart than the regional superintendent. Will Thurmond be appointing all regional superintendents before Dr. Green arrives? Region 3 has an interim since Pringle’s departure, and now Brictson is moving. That leaves two positions to be filled. Is Ziegler still in Atkinson’s phd program? If so, when does she finish and does that matter?

    Anyone else have any information about recent announcements or plans from curriculum and instruction? My guess is that people might be concerned about Dr. Green’s curriculum and instruction background. If you look at what our school district offers (along with the audits Atkinson had conducted three years ago), you’ll see it isn’t much. I still don’t understand what any of these edu-leaders do other than organize groups of teachers to do the work or provide numerous email links. I’d think anyone working for this department would be producing lessons, materials weekly. However, I can’t find one thing curriculum directors or Howe or Beasley has produced in their tenure. Am I missing something?

    I hope everyone encourages Dr. Green to implement the same strategies the Kauffman Scholars program seems to provide. If he is really serious about improving the school district, then I imagine we’ll find many more people working with students rather than working in offices in school buildings and at the central office. I’d like to see the experts in professional development applying their supposed expertise to real teaching situations with students. I’d like to see the administrators put in their positions because of their supposed knowledge and skills showing teachers what real teaching and classroom management looks like. I’d like to see these people making double and triple what we teachers make doing things that justify their salaries. If they are supporting us, then I’d like to see things my students and I can use in and for the classroom.

    If the school district will already be a charter system by the time Dr. Green arrives, then I trust all these highly paid experts will have created the innovative plans so vaguely described in the charter application. Will Dr. Green or Mr. Thurmond be deciding the governing bodies of each school that are required of this charter system?

    Unlike the many people celebrating, I’m concerned. In addition to a new superintendent taking over after a budget determined by someone else has already been decided and many of the school house positions have been determined, we have a new charter system that allows for too much “flexibility” or “abuse.” I just don’t understand how one month (of four-day work weeks since the district has an abbreviated work calendar) is going to allow for all these changes and improvements. Dr. Green starts work on July 1, and we come back to work on August 3.

    Maybe Stan can explain how much the board has discussed these things, the job performance measurements (we teachers have evaluations) of the district administrators, and time-lines for getting things accomplished.

  14. @dekalbteacher: “I imagine we’ll find many more people working with students rather than working in offices in school buildings and at the central office.”

    That, in a nutshell is ALL we’ve been asking for. Why is it so very hard to attain?

    Follow the money.

    One common thread has occurred in our recent history: Superintendents and others hired from the outside have recognized that we have a true leadership/competency vacuum. Atkinson tried to resolve it by giving away Educational Leadership doctorate degrees. Brown tried to resolve it by hiring his own team from outside. We are all very well aware of what became of each of them.

    Dr. Lewis, on the other hand, celebrated incompetency – and in fact, incompetency grew exponentially under his watch. He promoted his own, personal (African-American) favorites right over the tops of the leaders that were in place. ie: Everyone who had a job as a “Director” suddenly found themselves with a new boss, an “Executive Director”, promoted by Lewis from other areas and given astronomical raises ($165,000 comes to mind). And of course, we are all painfully aware of Lewis’ actions to move all Title 1 money into the Central Office – creating a very large fiefdom for his lover at the time, with whom he used his taxpayer-funded P-card to travel to the Bahamas and the Ritz Carlton.

    And Ramona Tyson, in her complete, utter incompetence, was very destructive – destroying the budget – decimating classroom funding – yet keeping every bit of administration intact.

    There is still much to be dismantled. We are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Will Dr. Green do what is necessary to improve outcomes for children or will he bend to the incredible pressure from his own top tier ‘staff’?

    Only time will tell, and sadly, so many children do not have much time – many have already spent over a decade with dysfunctional leadership and undue pressure on their teachers and school support staff, while the Central Office administrators have enjoyed exponential increases in salary. Will it stop or will these controlling, overpaid, under-qualified administrators find a way to push Dr. Green out (with a lovely parting gift of cash, of course)?

    Read more here >> The DCSD budget is still nothing but a shell game

  15. concerned citizen says:

    Was Brixton “promoted” or demoted? Oh, can you imagine the scramble for the two vacant area supts? All big-time dummies, of course.

  16. Frustrated says:

    Brictson is replacing Howe, supposedly only as interim. a Principal is taking Brictson’s area 1 job again, only as interim.

  17. What happened to Kathy Howe?

  18. ^ The announcement did not say; it just said that Brictson was promoted to the position.

  19. Public Budget & Millage Rate Hearings
    The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold public budget hearings to solicit feedback from the public regarding the 2015-2016 school system’s budget. As prescribed by law, two public budget hearings will be held following the presentation of the Superintendent’s proposed budget for 2015-2016 and prior to the adoption of the Board’s budget in June. The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold the following public hearings on Monday, June 6; and Wednesday, June 17.

  20. This post at Maureen’s blog exemplifies the absolute frustration we have at being able to make any progress whatsoever in education in this state.

    New report: Georgia telling parents tall tales when it pronounces their kids proficient
    May 14, 2015

    A new report by the national education advocacy group Achieve finds Georgia sets the lowest bar in the country for student proficiency in math and reading.

    The study compares the percentage of Georgia students scoring proficient on the CRCT in 2013-14 against those attaining a proficient level on the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as NAEP.

    Considered the gold standard, NAEP sets its bar for proficiency much higher than most states, but no state has as large and as consistent gaps across grades as Georgia.

    A national test given to select students in every state, NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.

    Because students across the nation take the same NAEP assessment, state-to-state comparisons can be made.

    “Proficient” on NAEP means a student is performing at the top levels of what could be expected for the grade. The discrepancies between the performance of Georgia students on NAEP and the CRCT could be due to several factors. NAEP could too hard, although that wouldn’t explain why students in some states do well on it. It could be the CRCT is too easy or the cut score for proficiency is set too low in Georgia.

    Achieve says there’s an honesty gap in what states tell parents about their students’ preparedness for college and career and how well those students really stack up to peers around the country based on NAEP results.

    Based on how many Georgia kids judged proficient by the CRCT end up scoring below proficient on the NAEP, the state wins the whopper of the year award.

    Georgia leads the nation in the gap between what it deemed proficient in 8th grade reading and what NAEP defined as proficient; there was a 65 percentage point difference between Georgia’s reported 2013-14 proficiency levels and the state’s 2013 NAEP proficiency level.

    It also has the greatest gap in 4th grade reading, 60 percentage points.

    In 8th grade math, Georgia led the nation with a 53 point gap. In 4th grade math, we had a 43 percentage point gap, the second highest in the nation after Louisiana.

    Click here to read the rest >> New report: Georgia telling parents tall tales when it pronounces their kids proficient

  21. howdy1942 says:

    I have been following this situation very closely, but have made no comment for over a month. That was at a time when Stan Jester said that the DCSS was on the verge of hiring a very qualified superintendent. I sincerely hope that Dr. Green will prove to be very qualified and begin to move our school system forward and make some of the changes that are long overdue.

    It has now been one full year since 10% of our registered voters elected this new school board. I’ve long believed that if we want serious change in our schools, then we need to start by electing a competent, qualified school board and the chances are very good that everything else will fall into place. Every since the last school board was appointed by Governor Deal and, for the most part, that board was re-elected, we have had one debacle after another. The same administration remains in place. The same “interim” remains in place. Dekalb ranks at the bottom of the 14-county Metro in student achievement. It does not break the list of the top 100 school systems in the State. It asks residents for input, but then utterly ignores that input. It issued bids for a school search firm and then changed the terms so that only one bid was submitted. It selected that firm only to “fire” it for corruption at the top. Teachers still do not have their TSA contributions restored. It seems that the Law of Averages would almost make it a certainty that this board would “screw up” and get something right.

    Over this past year, but more-so during the last three months, I’ve given up on the Dekalb County School System. In one recent edition of the AJC, a front-page article talked about the tight supply of houses for sale in the Atlanta Metro Area. In many areas, houses that were listed in the morning had multiple bids by noon. Sadly, that is not the case in Dekalb County. That is true despite the fact that you can buy the same house in Dekalb County for $200,000 that you would pay twice that in areas such as Lawrenceville, Alpharetta, or Sandy Springs. That difference would pay for a lot of private schooling.

    I am amazed to even begin to grasp why, at a salary of over $275,000, we cannot attract someone who has a stellar track record of building a very school school system. I am very concerned that the school system at which Dr. Green serves is not accredited. At a minimum, any candidate for the Dekalb position should come from an accredited system. I am well past 70 years old, but it just seems to me that we would want someone younger than 61 – he has at most four years left! And who will pick up his pension? It just seems to me like there are many candidates with good track records who lead an accredited school system of around 40-50,000 students or serve as a deputy superintendent in a very good large school system. Why can’t we even issue a Request-for-Proposal that would attract multiple bids from firms that have a demonstrated record of placing very good superintendents? Why can’t we, with all the financial resources that the Dekalb County School System has, not pay our teachers salaries that outstanding teachers deserve, recruit excellent teachers, fix our buildings, and foster excellence? Why do we have such a high turnover rate and depend so much on “international” firms for teachers? Why aren’t people actively seeking to live in Dekalb (after all, Dekalb is close-in and offers sharply lower driving expenses)?

    I have often cited what I have considered a racial bias in the DCSS, but were there any white candidates even considered? At least we had three finalists the last time around and at least one of them was white and another was Hispanic. We’ll see what happens because we have no other choice. It’ll be interesting to look back a year from now and see what has changed.

  22. concerned citizen says:

    So which principal is taking Brixton’s place as an interim?

  23. Dr. Kathy Howe has been reassigned to another position to best support the students of the DeKalb County School District. To ensure coverage of the day-to-day operations within the Curriculum & Instruction Division, effective immediately, I have assigned Ms. Cynthia Brictson as the Interim Deputy Superintendent.

    Ms. Brictson currently serves as the Regional Superintendent for Region I.

    We will temporarily assign Ms. Rebecca Jackson, retired administrator to support the day-to-day operations in the Region I office.


    Michael L. Thurmond


  24. Michael Thurmond, still officially the superintendent, is entitled to move anyone wherever he cares. We have to wonder WHY he is choosing to make such important personnel changes just about one month from leaving his post and turning things over to our new superintendent.

    FWIW – they’re having another meeting >>


    The DeKalb Board of Education will hold a called meeting at 4:00pm, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in the Cabinet Room, in the Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. The called meeting will adjourn to an executive session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter.

    Meeting information can be accessed online by going to:, click on Leadership, go to eBoard Home Page and click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.

                                            Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair
                                            DeKalb Board of Education</i>

  25. dsw2contributor says:

    The board really needs to put Mike Thurmond on leave, from now until his contract ends.

  26. dekalbteacher says:

    I can’t figure this out. Why is Brictson being promoted now? According to the organizational chart, she and Beasley are now in charge of curriculum and instruction.

    Does the board have to approve such “promotions”? If so, the board can prove its serious by delaying any such movements until Mr. Green arrives.

  27. WSB-TV is reporting that an arrest warrant has been issued for Champion Theme Middle School Math Teacher Quinton Wright:

    A parent alleges that Wright was “allowing the students to have sex in a storage room of his classroom”.

  28. Wait. Middle School? God help us.

  29. Latest editorial in the AJC –

    “There was a rush to make this happen,” said DeKalb County Board of Education member Joyce Morley, who said she won’t take part in votes on the matter because of her concerns with the selection process. “There’s no clear succession plan” for outgoing Superintendent Thurmond. “All of a sudden, there was this person. And it happened so fast.”

    Parent Dawn Forman raised concerns about similarities to previous processes that have not fared well long-term with the district, including the hiring of Thurmond predecessor Cheryl Atkinson, who had been superintendent of a small district in Ohio that had a history of low achievement among students. Green, 61, oversees about 15,000 students in a low-achieving district.

    FWIW, Ms. Morley and Ms. Forman skip over the GIANT FACT that Michael Thurmond – who they tout as doing a great job [sic], was hired behind closed doors – with the public completely unaware that Cheryl Atkinson had left her post and had no intention of returning. The old board – the one dismissed by the Governor – along with McMahan, Johnson and Orson who were on the old board but not dismissed, hired Thurmond with great secrecy about a week before they lost their jobs [with only Nancy Jester and Pam Speaks disagreeing]. Thurmond then spent a great deal of his energy immediately pleading to keep that board in place. If you have a problem with the process, you can’t exactly then turn around and say that Thurmond was a great hire.

  30. The effects of Georgia’s testing hoax, using such low cut scores on CRCT’s ects…, is on full display this week at Fresh Market’s Deli. This week Fresh market is rolling out new computerize scales in the deli department, in the Buckhead / Sandy Springs Store ( the screen looks like an I-pad screen. ) Today, was the second day of the roll out. The deli workers who appear to be from about 20- 60 in age ( some of them are the sweetest ladies that make the best backed Mac n cheese, and deli sandwiches custom for you), were totally befuddled by the new scales. They were all running over to one that did not have the I-pad screen below, but then that one was also an upgrade off the old model. They could not figure these out. Looking over the counter, you could see that they were pretty self explanatory. I asked the one younger lady if she had any training, she said no. She came in today and found the scales had been swapped out. The other Buckhead customers and I were discussing that it was obvious that their was a literacy issue with these workers not able to use this new technology.

    On my way out, I found the manager and I asked him if they were going to get any training for the employees. He said they already realized it and had a trainer on the way for this afternoon. I told him that my observation, as previously being a supervisor at a Dekalb county Federal Facility of hundreds of blue color workers, in low skill positions that the Georgia work force has some real literacy issues. I told him that I found it not only with those who had been in the desecrated schools of the old south, but in 22 year olds who had been given High school diplomas. I told him I created reading exercises on the interviews, such as asking a Gardner to read the direction of a can of two stroke motor oil and tell me how it instructs the mix for a two stoke lawn mower, or a weed wacker, etc..

    It looks like Fresh market may have to raise pay to find more qualified workers who can use the new technology. Sadly, more workers who are illiterate or marginally literate won’t be able to qualify for some of these jobs anymore.

  31. The AJC is reporting that a plea is expected today in the case of former Cedar Grove Middle School Principal Agnes Flanagan, who is accused of instructing teachers to cheat on state tests:

    Perhaps this was the “personnel matter” that was the subject of the called board meeting, held last night?

  32. Former Cedar Grove Middle School Principal Agnes Flanagan pleaded guilty to a total of six charges and was sentenced to five years probation. She must also pay a $6,000 fine and complete 200 hours of community service:

  33. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    Dr. Green appears open to charter schools, as long as he has the support of the board. This article also emphasizes the importance of board elections.

  34. Reasonable40 says:

    The hiring tactics since Vermin Jones was CEO are the following: 1. The candidate must be black (no exceptions). Because you know slavery happened and all. I once attended a county commission meeting where an older black woman went to the podium and declared that “God has given DeKalb to the black people”. This attitude is part of the reason the northern part of the county has been largely ignored for going on 2 decades and are forming cities so that they will have a government that is not bigoted toward them. 2. White people will not be hired, nor will they be promoted (remember Vernon Jones was convicted of this and the county had to pay dearly. And don’t forget how there was a white woman (oh the horror) that was a finalist for superintendent the last time (that the incompetent prior superintendent Atkins was hired instead) who’ information was leaked regarding her agreement with the County by a member of the former board (that was removed by governor Deal). This underhanded tactic is what caused Atkins to be chosen and the school system to almost lose accreditation.

  35. howdy1942 says:

    While I am very troubled by the process by which Dr. Green was selected and by the fact that the school district which he has led for two years remains unaccredited and by the fact that he has grandchildren living in Dekalb County (very convenient) and by the fact that he is 61 years of age (four years until retirement), it appears that he will be the next superintendent.

    I have some recommendations for him:

    First, he needs to really, really think about how he is going to reach out to Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Druid Hills, and other communities primarily in North Dekalb and begin to restore the trust of those communities. Druid Hills wants to leave the Dekalb County School System altogether and become a part of Atlanta. The top priority of the senators and representatives from Dunwoody and Brookhaven is the creation of their own city school systems. The alienation of those communities has accelerated under the current school board and the current “interim” superintendent. Lose those communities and the budget for the Dekalb County School System will be sharply reduced. Perhaps Dr. Green should seriously consider living in one of those communities.

    Second, he needs to really place a very high priority on being honest with and responsive to all residents the the County, but especially to those areas which are now so alienated. Michael Thurmond made promises, but never bothered to respond. If you say that you will get a response to a question, then make sure that you do it. Nothing tells someone that they don’t matter like simply being ignored.

    Third, make changes at the administration. It has long been bloated and this has long been a deep concern in so many areas of the County as well as the State and AJC, but nothing has ever been done. Failed administrators have for too long simply been moved to a “new position” and others promoted or appointed to fill the “vacancy”. For too long, taxpayer dollars have been squandered on this bloated bureaucracy.

    Fourth, and closely related to the third, make some serious changes in Human Resources. Something is obviously very wrong in HR. Teachers are leaving or retiring in droves. Dekalb has one of the highest turnover rates anywhere. Outside firms (such as that little white house in Chamblee) are being paid substantial sums to find teachers who are largely coming from outside the County. It has been four years since the County’s TSA contributions were abruptly terminated and no action has been take to restore those cuts (the DCSS attorney did shut Stan Jester down when he attempted to discuss the matter). Both the State and the National economies have recovered and there is simply no excuse or reason why these TSA cuts cannot be restored immediately.

    Fifth, choose qualified people for jobs from ALL races and from outside the ranks of the so-called “friends and family” ranks. Just as the County was poorer when it discriminated against African-Americans, it is just as poor when the reverse is true and that is simply what the numbers show.

    Sixth, listen (and I mean really listen) to the people who live in Dekalb County and pay taxes to support the school system. Work with them. Incorporate their ideas. Involve them. The are, in fact, you real boss.

    Finally, restore the emphasis to the classroom. I was struck by a previous comment that cited the skill deficiencies in a food market where iPads were being implemented. I recently had a similar experience at a local fast food. They were having problems with the registers and the young lady who was assisting me had difficulty in counting change. My tab was $7.61. I gave her $8.11 and expected to receive 50 cents in change. She finally resorted to pencil and paper and I was silently intrigued at what happened. I spoke to the manager on the way out and suggested some training or supervision only to learn that this young lady was graduating from high school. If we cannot better prepare out students to perform the basic functions, how on earth are they ever going to find jobs in the rapidly changing workplace where our graduates will be competing with and international job pool?

    Some thoughts.

  36. dekalbteacher says:

    Anyone else concerned about the silence from the school district this last week? A board member goes on the record to say she will not vote for the new superintendent and that she doesn’t agree with the process. The charter school district designation is days away. We teachers have only two more working days, but many school house positions go unfilled while Thurmond appears to be moving palace people around.

    I’m not seeing anything to suggest that anyone is aware or able to understand the changes and challenges facing us in August.

  37. Bucky Rogers says:

    Rumor is that there will be some high-profile school-level leadership positions switched around on June 1, too. Thurmond may be planning a major personnel shakeup as his legacy.

  38. sawyerbrown68 says:

    D-teacher and B-Rogers,

    Mr. Thurmond, like John Wayne on Iwo Jima, must clear the decks for Dr. Green if Dr. Green is to have a smooth transition. We have to believe that Dr. Green will bring ( if not from Kansas City then from his rolodex) trusted and competent assistants to help him survive this nest of vipers. My feeling is that Stan Jester is a supporter of Dr. Green and we all know that Stan and Nancy are very much anti the Crawford Lewis left-overs.

    To paraphrase John Wayne: ” Life is hard. Life is even harder when you are stupid!”

    In the interest of a peaceful transition, I pray that the Tysons, Beasleys, Ward-Smiths, and Ramseys, fully understanding that Dr. Green is an experienced and successful administrator whom they will be unable to confuse with their usual nonsensical edu-babble, quickly exit stage left. It’s high time for these four horsemen of the Dekalblypse to retire or sell homes and find other school systems to degrade!

    Typically, administrators are promoted, demoted, or recycled on June 1. Perhaps the Board should gift Mr. Thurmond the 30 days of June as a bonus and allow Dr. Green to start on June 1?

  39. kirklunde says:


    I need to point out that people in the southern part of the county don’t trust the district administration either. Dr. Green needs to, very quickly, do something significant to restore trust with the whole county.

    My suggestion would be to make public a version of the 2015-16 budget that shows the revenues earned by each school so there can be an apples to apples comparison of how each school is funded. This needs to include all funds so the total earned by each school can be compared to the total amount “budgeted” for each school.

    Everyone would then be able to see how much is kept at the central office. Also, there would be no more south side/north side division.

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