Friday, July 15, 2016

DeKalb County School Board of Education
Fallen Back Into Old Ways?



One of the items on the 7/11/16, DeKalb School Board of Education Agenda was to vote on naming of the new elementary school that will be constructed on the site of the former Skyland Elementary School:

It is requested that the Board of Education waive the 5-year waiting period, and approve the naming of a temporary school to relieve overcrowding in the Cross Keys Cluster as John Robert Lewis Elementary School in honor of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District’s Congressman John Lewis.  The school will be temporarily located at 2383 North Druid Hills Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, until the construction of the new replacement elementary school has been constructed in the Cross Keys Cluster.  The name will move with the school to the permanent location. 

On the surface, this request and approval appears to be a “no-brainer”. I admire Rep. Lewis and I cannot imagine many people would not support this request. 
HOWEVER, it appears that this whole process was done in violation of Board of Education policies adopted in 2011 with regards to renaming facilities within DCSD:
https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=FDC-R(1)&Sch=4054&S=4054&RevNo=1.01&C=F&Z=R

You can read more about this debacle over at Stan Jester’s blog: http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2016/07/6643/
But, alas, the failure to follow Board Policy is not the only issue at hand.  Board Member Stan Jester began to ask questions to ascertain whether policy was followed and was met with a vile, invective, accusation of racism from fellow Board member Joyce Morley, in total violation of Board of Education Policy BH: Board Code of Ethics: https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=BH&Sch=4054&S=4054&RevNo=1.93&C=B&Z=P.

This was also covered by the AJC: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-education/dekalb-school-named-for-john-lewis-debate-sparks-r/nrxGm/

I had mental flashbacks to Board of Education Meetings of old, when these type of disrespectful BOE meetings were a normal occurrence…you know, one of the reasons DCSD was put on probation, the inability of the BOE to act in an adult, professional and respectful manner.  From the October 2012 AdvancedEd Special Review Report:  (Note:  DCSD was placed on probation in December of 2012, and only regained full accreditation on January  28, 2016).  

If you need a refresher of the issues that led to DCSD being placed on probation by AdvancED, you can read the October 2012 AdvancED report at the following link:

Now, a sane individual would believe, or hope, that this Board of Education would have taken note of the issues that brought DCSD almost to the point of losing accreditation - the bad behavior of past Boards of Education. Perhaps this BOE needs a reminder of the consequences of their actions as DCSD is "not out of woods, yet".  AdvancED will be issuing an accreditation report for DCSD for the 2016-2017 school year. 
From Advanced letter notifying DCSD of full accreditation:

“Although the Institution Progress Report provides evidence of the progress to date, it is incumbent upon the school system to continue to sustain the progress accomplished by engaging in the AdvancED continuous improvement process. The accreditation expiration date for DeKalb County School District is June 30, 2017. In order to maintain accreditation, the system is expected to conduct a thorough Internal Review in preparation for an on-site External Review to be held during the 2016-17 school year.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/dekalb-county-institution-progress-report-letter.pdf

Hey, DCSD Board of Education…

GET.IT.TOGETHER

2 comments:

  1. I share the concern about the importance of following policy. BOE member Marshall Orson, who chaired the school naming committee, acknowledged that his committee did not include the required minimum number of members, nor did it meet the required minimum number of times. The committee also decided that the 5 year waiting period wasn't important either.

    What policy will be ignored next? Will it be the hiring by DCSD of friends and family? Will it be moving funds around without proper notice? Will it be showing favoritism when the eSPLOST projects are named? Will it be showing favoritism when the recommendation for the Secondary Schools Facility Planning and Feasibility Study are announced next month?

    It's a slippery slope once the BOE decides that it can simply ignore its own policies, and ridicule anyone who wants to follow the rules.

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  2. Agree totally! Once members of the Board of Education decide to ignore the very policies that they adopted to govern themselves, the Board follows the same path as the previous corrupt, inept, destructive Boards of Education that preceeded them. The results were devastating to the students and teachers of the DeKalb School District.

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