Tag Archives: Clayton County

Again, Clayton County School Board Doesn’t Need Help

The New Mr-Fix-it Superintendent barred a group of volunteers from clayton county public schools for either (1) their agreement to provide service expiring (2) their need of background checks (which the school system provides free for volunteers or (3) according to some members of the group-the membership of some volunteers in a recall effort to boot board members (who hired the superintendent).

These volunteers are men who provide an example, a father figure and, for lack of a better phrase, life coaching for kids who grow up in less than encouraging homes. These men take time out of their schedules to help children in need-for FREE. The program began initially in one middle school and grew to include nine other schools. Superintendent Thompson needs figure out his priorities. The volunteer program IS NOT on your agenda. Have the background checks run, as you do on all volunteers, but SACS did not list the volunteers as an issue. Get to work on your checklist. Time’s ticking away… 

 

UPDATE:

Why did Superintendent Thompson SHRED all the diplomas in advance of distribution to graduates of Clayton Co Schools? Because the name of his predecessor appeared on the diplomas. How much to replace these coveted items? $25,000-$50,000. Seriously, these students do not know him. They’re just really happy that their diploma is worth the paper it’s written on. Hopefully, the new diplomas will be issue before the school is no longer accredited. Mr. Thompson’s priorities appear to be out of order. Fix the school system, don’t worry with the small stuff. But, hey, the Clayton Co School Board made its bed hope they enjoy lying in it. 

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Progress in Clayton County?

Clayton County, Georgia (Again)

Apparently, the new chair of the school board believes that the Board must follow the mandates of the SACS (Accreditation Agency). Her first step on that agenda, NO not resignation, the deal with ethics complaints. Although one board member believes that the ethics rules should be suspended in this time of crisis. According to the ajc.com, Lois Baines-Hunter, indicated that the ethic policy should not enforced because of the crisis.

Violations of ethics policy and state regulations are the reason for the crisis. The ethics policy along with the oath taken by each board member and the logic carried by each person walking this earth are in place to insure that the rules and regulations of our civil society are acknowledged and followed. This school board has shown itself to be unable to comply with the rules of civil society. The Board members care more for the “status” as an embattled board member than for the children whom they were elected to serve.

Again, I pray: Give up. Step down. Let people who care take over the crisis.

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What’s my fascination?

As the imbroglio continues, I wonder why am I so fascinated by the soap opera unfolding in Clayton County, Georgia? I do not live there, I do not know any children/families who live there.

But the School Board sinks deeper into the quagmire. When last I wrote, the School Board considered firing their attorney because he advised them to resign (sound advise). Instead of firing him, the Board chose to hire a superintendent against all advise and indications from the Accrediting Agency (the folks who will pull their accreditation on September 1 if 9 criteria are not accomplished) and their appointed advisers from from the State School Board. The people who will take the school’s accreditation told the Board not to hire the candidate. Is none of these people rational?

Following the superintendent selection, their attorney fired the Board as clients (Amen!). Also in controversy at this meeting, the procedural rules may have been violated when the Board offered the contract to this man. The AJC filed a grievance about the rules violation. (Why aren’t citizens filing complaints?) Also, the chair of the Board is stepping down in few days due to an alleged romantic controversy: possible inappropriate contact with an employee of the school board. (Is this really happening or did I just turn on “As the World Follows the Guiding Light”?)

That was Thursday. Yesterday, while sitting in a class, I was drawn in yet again but statements published that this ‘new superintendent’ intended to take over Monday morning to get things turned around…But was he legally hired? At that point, no one on the Board seemed to care.

Today. Today’s report compels me to write about this AGAIN. The link is below if you’re interested.

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/clayton/stories/2008/04/25/claysacs_0426.html

My humble attempt at a summary follows: Someone said that the board scheduled a Saturday special meeting. Board policy requires public notice of such meetings. Meetings can only be called by Board chair or by superintendent. Neither person takes credit for calling such meeting. The attorney (presumably with different responsibilities than the attorney who fired the board) and vice chair “refused to say who called the meeting” per the AJC article. A board member said the Vice Chair called the meeting in an effort to rectify the problem with the vote to hire the superintendent. Also, there was an unpublished meeting on Thursday. Also, the two State School Board members appointed to guide and advise the County School board announced in the paper that accreditation cannot be saved (throwing their hands up and shaking their heads, I imagine).

Amazing.

Still why the fascination? This group could be a study on what not to do in government office. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the accrediting body, listed one criteria for avoiding SACS’s imposed sanction as “following board policies and procedures” already in place. How is it that this Board cannot even schedule a meeting pursuant to its own policies and procedures? The Board voted to hire a superintendent without even placing the item on the agenda much less publishing the agenda item, and thereby notifying the public.

This group of elected officials lack the basic understanding (or perhaps care) for HOW government works in this state and in this country. For decades, citizens complained about smoky, backroom meetings where elected officials decided how “best” to run state and local governments. Open meetings and sunshine laws are in place to hold elected officials accountable: this Board wholly ignores those laws. These elected officials will decide what’s “best” in spite of sage advice and direct statements by SACS of how to avoid the School system being suspended.

State government needs to take action. The impact of this soap opera will have a ripple effect on the state. Fayette County (neighbor to Clayton) is already bracing for the unplanned overcrowding on September 1. Other counties would be advised to do the same.

This soap opera is entertaining to watch, but these people actually exist and this fiasco is actually happening. And all anyone can do, it seems, is sit in front of their newspaper, television or computer screen and watch.

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Not Fated, but Destined

Dateline: Clayton County, Georgia

In this suburb of Atlanta, an imbroglio continues unresolved that will harm children because the school board members are too proud to own the mistakes and errors in judgment made in recent years. The public school system will lose its accreditation on September 1, 2008 if clear and specific changes are not made before that date. See http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/clayton/stories/2008/04/23/claylaw_0424.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab#comments

The experienced attorney who represents numerous school boards, according to reports on ajc.com, advised all of the elected board members to resign. A resignation would expedite the reelection process, already set for July election, by possibly forcing a special election earlier. Tonight the Board will consider firing their attorney because of his advice that they resign.

The pride of these board members jeopardizes the education of children. Children. Regardless of any positions held about even the existence of public schools, all can agree that children do not make the choice of where to attend school and what delivery system is used for their education. These board members choose their pride and their “status” as an embattled board member over the education and future of these children. Didn’t they take an oath before becoming board members? Should that oath have included a promise and duty to insure proper education for these children?

The parents and voters of Clayton County are not without some blame here. Mount a recall effort. Make your voices heard for the sake of your children. Unfortunately, the vocal minority, the interested, concerned parents, have yet to determine a means to motivate the already apathetic and unmotivated parents in that community to act. For the majority of parents, public school is just 8 hours of day-care and a potential lawsuit-windfall waiting to happen. These parents care not if their children receive an actual education. Daycare remains their primary concern.

Until Clayton County concerned parents and students find a means to motive the unmotivated parents and the School Board listens to their attorney, this school system is destined to fall apart. The Clayton County Board already failing its students, will fail the whole county if it’s not careful.

This destiny can change if change occurs QUICKLY. If the School Board swallows its collective pride, overcomes what I hope is ignorance, and not stupidity (ignorance can be repaired, stupidity is permanent), these schools and these children will have a chance to improve, not just maintain status quo ante.

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