Registering for Kittredge lottery. There has to be a better way and Thurmond ought to find it.

Update: Superintendent Michael Thurmond issued this statement in response to complaints like the one below from a DeKalb parent trying to use the online lottery registration:

On behalf of the DeKalb County School District, I apologize for any inconvenience or delay experienced by parents attempting to utilize our online school choice application process.

During the first day of registration, yesterday, we experienced a significant increase in choice applications. Despite technical problems we were able to process more than 500 online applications. This large volume of traffic combined with the integration of a new online choice system caused some delay and confusion for some parents.

Today, we processed another 700 online applications by 10 a.m.

The IT Department and the School Choice Office are working around the clock to resolve the issues that have been reported. In response, we have implemented an enhanced technical assistance and support plan.

We have already put in place the following to assist our parents:

  • A Parent Support Center is staffed with 10 telephone lines including 678.676.0035 and 678.676.0205.
  • The Support Center is available daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Contact information for the Support Center is posted on the District website (http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/school-choice) and on the District ePortal.

We will continue to provide our parents with updates and support on the District website and social media outlets including @DeKalbSchools for Twitter and Instagram and /DeKalbCountySchoolDistrict for Facebook.

Michael L. Thurmond
Superintendent
DeKalb County School District

Here is the original blog from yesterday:

If I were DeKalb Superintendent Michael Thurmond, I would copy the letter below from a frustrated DeKalb parent trying to access an online lottery form for Kittredge Magnet School and send it to the appropriate employee with this note: “This is unacceptable. Fix this today.”

When school systems botch simple stuff like this, it makes you wonder how well they handle the big things. While this note is from a DeKalb parent, I have had my share of problems with parent portals and online registrations.

The first line of defense from school systems is usually the parent did something wrong. I am sure parents mess up, but I have run into problems caused by glitches in the system.

Here’s a simple rule: If you are going to have online registration of any sort, make sure it works. (The President can share his experiences from the disastrous roll out of his healthcare sign-up page. Obama’s famous joke on that debacle was, “In 2008 my slogan was, ‘Yes we can,’ in 2013 my slogan was Control, Alt, Delete.’”)

BarryMaguire.NewsArtFrom the DeKalb parent:

I would like to share with you the experience my wife and I had this morning trying to register our third grader for one of the DCSS magnet programs. After receiving his scores from the latest battery of tests, we learned he was eligible for the Kittredge Magnet program lottery. Wanting all options available to our child, my wife and I decided to sign him up for the lottery.

Information sent home from his school initially stated the online lottery registration system through eportal would be up and running in late January. Then, in late January some more information came home saying that it was supposed to be up and running by Feb. 2. Then a notice posted on the DCSS website stated that it would be ready by the 10th.

My wife got a little frustrated by the delays, but I work in IT so I understand how complicated these things can be to get right. I told her not to worry — they just want to get all the bugs worked out before they went live.

So this morning, anticipating smooth sailing, we log on to the eportal system, click through the required clicks to the page where it says:

“If your child is a current DeKalb County School District (DCSD) student, please click the student number of your student on the “Not Registered” box.   This option will assist you by filling in 90% of the Application for you!!”

Two exclamation points!!

Our son is listed there along with his student number, so we click on the number and….we get a blank form, nothing filled out. OK, so maybe they didn’t get all the bugs worked out. No matter.

We love our son, so we will just take the extra time to fill out the online form manually. The first drop-down on the form is labeled “Student Type.” We click on it and are given the following options: “Private School,” “Home School” and “Another District.” DCSS is not listed as an option. We try filling in some of the other fields in the form, but none of them work and we keep getting a pop-up prompting us to choose one of the options under “Student Type” first.

Crap.

Now my wife and I are both frustrated. After a lot more clicking we finally find a phone number to call (678-676-0035, in case you would like to try it yourself.) First five times we try it is busy. Finally, lucky No. 6, it rings… and rings… and keeps ringing for what seems an eternity (maybe 15 seconds) until finally a recorded voice says that there is no voicemail set up for this number so we can’t leave a voice message.

Crap!

Last ditch effort: We try the main DCSS website and search for a number or email address to contact about issues with eportal. But the only mention we find about assistance with any kind of online system is this statement under one of the IT department pages:

“Our software engineers do not provide direct technical support for the eSIS applications, their primary responsibility is to:” and then it lists a bunch of stuff nobody cares about.

Crap!!

(FYI: eSIS is the Parent Portal – different than the eportal – that was recently replaced by the Infinite Campus Portal.)

We decided to enroll in the lottery the old fashioned way: print out a paper form, fill it out and take it down to DCSS office.  Will let you know how that goes.

Reader Comments 0

66 comments
Kimbermanny
Kimbermanny

We are fast approaching the deadline (Feb 27th) and this still isn't fixed.  I have been told that if you’ve already started an online application, you cannot submit a paper one. Also, I, and many people seem to have online applications that are showing their children as “ineligible” due to errors with the system. I got through on the phone today, and was told that if your child is registered but showing as “ineligible” there is nothing to be done -- they looked at my applications and agreed my children were eligible but that the errors were due to problems with the system, and the applications couldn't be fixed. They say they are going to go in and clean it all up between 2/27 and the actual lottery date, but they can't give you any kind of documentation to verify this. I don’t trust this at all! 

This is far from a fair lottery system at this point, and something needs to be done to reassure people.

Jen07
Jen07

Just tried to access the online eportal to apply for Magnet School Choice and did not make it past the Log In. I am able to access his account on Infinite Campus with no problem so what's the deal?? The log in is the same...

ChrisD1234
ChrisD1234

I just tried to get on the Portal again to register our child and it seems that nothing has changed even though they worked over the weekend to try to fix technical issues.  The site looks and functions EXACTLY the same as it did last week which is to say it does NOT work at all!!  This is ridiculous.  I am about to give up and just drive my paper application out to HQ and just hope that the paper application doesn't get lost.

fam4atl
fam4atl

It really is a mess.  I had issues with the school choice portal last year with having incorrect test scores loaded for my 3rd grader.  This year, I cannot even get logged in to the site, and get this "informative" message...'There was some problems processing your request. An e-mail with details has already been sent to the administrator.'  The horrible part of it all is the daily questions that the front offices of the elementary schools are having to field because of the mistakes rolling out this new online process. Because of the previous errors with incorrect data, I am wary of submitting a paper application without having an update or confirmation of the application status.

ChrisD1234
ChrisD1234

I am having the exact same problems while trying to register for general-inclusion program at Coralwood ES.  This is the most confusing, convoluted process I have ever seen!  This is my first exposure to DCSS and, let me tell you, it is not a good one!  My child is rising pre-K.  You would think when they give a list of phone numbers to call that there would real live people there to assist you...hah!  The instructions are duplicated/inaccurate/conflicting and no one seems able to help.  What's the deal, DCSS???  Get your act together!!  This is not giving me 'warm fuzzies' about my kid attending any DeKalb school.  

Kimbermanny
Kimbermanny

The message from Thurmond is just baffling to me, because if you walk into the office on Lawrenceville Highway, they are being very open about saying that the eportal registration system DOES NOT WORK, and not to try it at all until next week.  And they will tell you that while you can submit a paper form, if you do, you will not be able to track your child's progress in the lottery  (the woman in charge was openly saying that while you could do what you wanted, if it was her child, she would wait for e-portal to work.) But that they have no idea when the e-portal will be repaired.

Additionally, the school choice website (not the e-portal, or infinite campus - just the DeKalb informational website that does not allow or require log-in) now has a public message under the parent technical support link that says: "Your application has been processed! The application will be reviewed and the status updated.
You will be contacted after February 27th if additional information is required."  WHAT?  I can imagine someone less technically inclined could read that and misunderstand, and miss the cut off.  http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/school-choice/


I have two children who are new to DeKalb, and entering them in the lottery has been a truly bizarre process.  I feel like the website should just be the text of Franz Kafka's "The Trial". In December, I went through the process to get them registered, which required two trips to the office on Mountain Industrial (the first was to bring required paperwork, the second was to explain why my 3 year old doesn't have previous school transcripts, which is because he is 3 and has not started school yet.)


Then, I registered for infinite campus, which is required to be able to log-in to e-portal.  And my children's information didn't show up.  I called the office in January, and was told that it wouldn't show up until it was time to register.  But come Feb 2, then Feb 9, it still wasn't there.  I went to Lawrenceville Highway, and they made me put in a new request, which I was told would take 5 - 7 business days to process.


And, on top of that, now that all of the info is finally in place, the e-portal isn't working.  There are 6 numbers you can call for support, but all of them give you a different pre-recorded message stating things that I already know, and not giving any kind of technical support.  And when you actually drive down there, they'll just tell you THE SYSTEM IS DOWN, DON'T EVEN TRY.  So, why isn't that being widely publicized, instead of this weird message from Thurmond???

TheDeal2
TheDeal2

@Bernie31 @Kimbermanny He may have political skills (in some people's opinions), he obviously fails at the operational part of leadership.  The bigger problem is that if he were to try to push this problem down to the IT department, he will quickly realize the problem that we all already know.  That there are many people in that department who are under-skilled and overpaid.

PatandMike
PatandMike

The School Choice Lottery for DeKalb County Schools concerns many more schools than Kittredge.  It is true that Kittredge was created as a part of the federally mandated desegregation efforts.  [Do keep in mind that all schools in Georgia were segregated by state law before the feds came in and decided to make an example of DeKalb County Schools which had no choice in the matter of segregation.]  Kittredge is a school for "high achievers." To get the proper 50-50 mix of Black to White-and-other, the minimum test scores for admission to Kittredge were 75th percentile.  As far as we know that has not changed.  In the early years of Kittredge, every elementary school was allowed to send only two students -- one Black and one White-and-other (i.e., Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, etc).  


Kittredge is only one of many School Choice schools in DeKalb County Schools.  But "Kittredge" and "lottery" are sure to grab attention and increase readership.  If you have read the AJC lately ... well ... enough said. 


In addition to Kittredge, there are 45 other school choice programs in DeKalb County Schools:  There are 12 other magnet programs, most offering an excellent "regular" education along with their so-called magnet programs.  There also are 9 International Baccalaureate (IB) programs; 2 regional school choice programs; 7 "theme" schools; 2 schools offering Montessori programs; and 13 charter schools.  


There would be an additional charter high school and 6 other additional charter schools in 2015-2016 if DeKalb County Schools could recognize a well-written, well-researched charter proposal when they see it.  Of course, most of the board did not even read the outstanding Druid Hills Charter Cluster proposal and admitted as much. 


For the people who have been questioning the motives of Matt Lewis and the Druid Hills Charter Cluster committee, please remember they did not dream up a Druid Hills Charter Cluster (DHCC). They weren't trying to create an elite enclave like Arabia Mountain High School.  A charter cluster like a charter school takes all comers to the limits of its facilities.  The opportunity to form charter clusters composed of a high school and its feeder middle and elementary schools was granted in 2007 through a bill [O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2063] sponsored by former state Senator Dan Weber. 


To determine how much money would be available to educate children in the charter cluster, DHCC used a State Board of Education-mandated spreadsheet with all the formulas already filled in by the Georgia Department of Education.  The real problem wasn't a concern about how the money would be managed to provide needed educational opportunities to all the students in DHCC.  The real problem was that Thurmond and his sidekicks did not want to give up control and the power ceded to them by our tax dollars -- monies that should be used to educate our children, but aren't.  


Don't believe us?  The spreadsheet is online.  Use it to do a rough estimate of how much money your child(ren)'s school(s) should be receiving. Most of the information you need can be found at the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.  You'll be shocked when you compare what the spreadsheet says your child(ren)'s school(s) should be receiving compared to what they are really getting.

OnlySoMuch
OnlySoMuch

Tech issues? Try being a teacher in DeKalb. You cannot count on your computer or the networks cooperating, nor someone competent enough to fix things in a timely manner. For all the tax dollars citizens pay, theres a big hole in a bucket somewhere, draining into God knows what. Stuck in last century. Time for some dinosaurs to go away, in large numbers.

SaveTucker
SaveTucker

@OnlySoMuch We couldn't even get a new photocopy machine at our elementary school in DeKalb County.  And when it went down, the  paper newsletters the teacher sent out weekly had to stop.  There goes our primary link between parents and the classroom.  I suggested the PTA start a collection to pay for ink  refill cartridges for computer printers, which they did but it was cash only and we never did get another newsletter.  Hmmm, wonder where that money  went.     

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

 DeKalb Superintendent Michael Thurmond issued this statement in response to online registration problems:

  On behalf of the DeKalb County School District, I apologize for any inconvenience or delay experienced by parents attempting to utilize our online school choice application process. 

During the first day of registration, yesterday, we experienced a significant increase in choice applications.

  Despite technical problems we were able to process more than 500 online applications.This large volume of traffic combined with the integration of a new online choice system caused some delay and confusion for some parents.  

   Today, we processed another 700 online applications by 10 a.m.

   The IT Department and the School Choice Office are working around the clock to resolve the issues that have been reported. In response, we have implemented an enhanced technical assistance and support plan.

  We have already put in place the following to assist our parents:

·       A Parent Support Center is staffed with 10 telephone lines including 678.676.0035 and 678.676.0205.

·        The Support Center is available daily from 8:30a.m. to 7:00p.m. Mon.-Fri. and Sat. 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m.

·        Contact information for the Support Center is posted on the District website (http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/school-choice) and on the District ePortal.

   We will continue to provide our parents with updates and support on the District website and social media outlets including @DeKalbSchools for Twitter and Instagram and /DeKalbCountySchoolDistrict for Facebook.


Michael L. Thurmond
Superintendent
DeKalb County School District

Don't Tread
Don't Tread

@MaureenDowney 1,200 online applications accepted by the computer in 2 days (or as DCSS says, a "large amount of online traffic")?  Are these people uploading videos or something?  Text data stream from 1,200 applications is minuscule by today's standards, even if they're writing a thesis in each application.


But I can see how it would be a challenge for someone hired on some basis other than merit.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@DSW2 

I don't know when the Kittredge lottery started and why, but I do know about the DeKalb School system desegregation order which was instituted in 1969 and lasted, overtly, until at least 1997. In 1969 the federal courts determined that DeKalb County, among many others, had an institutionalized pattern and practice of racial discrimination in the DCSS. At the time the courts held that only a de jure practice of racial discrimination justified such a desegregation order, since the "remedy" otherwise would violate the 14th amendment guarantees of equal protection.

As a consequence, similar orders were issued in many states and districts and we've come to accept such discriminatory edicts in the name of "equality." Now, the jurisprudence has "evolved" so the constitution now allows government discrimination, not as a "remedy," since segregation by law ended at least two generations ago, but to achieve a compelling state interest in diversity and the glorious putative benefits that flow from the practice. Social engineering at its worst with horrendous unintended consequences, a system of failing schools, in general, where parents stampede to get their children into the few good ones. DeKalb was once a great county. Looked at it lately? Only Rockdale makes it look good by comparison.

dsw2contributor
dsw2contributor

"There has to be a better way and Thurmond ought to find it."

Ha-ha, good one Maureen!

Meria Carstarphen visited more schools in her first WEEK on the job than Michael Thurmond has in his TWO YEARS as "Interim" Superintendent.



DSW2
DSW2

Obviously, this is not news to us. We have long said that this is simply one way to ensure that only select people have access to the quality areas of DCSS. We are never sure if it's due to incompetence or if it's actually purposeful and more along the lines of fraud.  What we do know is that DCSS is highly inequitable in the distribution of student funds. DCSS also offers classes, programs and schools that are nowhere near equitable from school to school and district to district. The only way to access anything resembling a decent education is to be 'in the know' as to the steps you need to take - and even then, with a lottery held and controlled by central office staff, we have little confidence that it is a fair lottery. 


Also, to Mandella - we are not a "mafia" and the comment you quoted was from someone who simply left a comment at our blog - which we have removed. In fact, that same commenter leaves comments here at the Get Schooled blog, however, you fail to call the AJC a 'Mafia'. How funny. 


If anyone has an issue with any comment left at our blog, please feel free to email us at dekalbschoolwatch@gmail.com - we are highly responsive and wish to maintain an open dialogue. What Mandella is posting here is called trolling - bringing anger into a conversation and taking it off track. We don't allow it at DSW2. That's why he or she comes here to work their trolling assignment from under a bridge.

SaveTucker
SaveTucker

@DSW2 Well, you have been known to post some inflammatory remarks about people whom previously were regular posters on your site, just because they were no longer supporting your mission, which has changed from wanting a better school system to wanting your own school system.  And, you have often commented about the impact of South DeKalb's voting patterns that returned the same people to office time and time again.  But, your own district didn't even put anyone up against the removed board member's husband, showing that you support both a return of the old way of doing things as well as a friends / family connection.  And, you once were known for pointing out the system's favoritism of a particular  high school and the power of its community to get everything they wanted at the expense of others, yet you now fully support a city that would be formed in this same image, by the same people.   It's not a mafia, but its no longer a blog intended to correct the problems in order to help all the children at all the schools.  It may be understandable, but it is still a shame to see you turn on those who were once your supporters.  

Mandella88
Mandella88

@DSW2

Here are some more things that you are going to find "funny":


1.  Just because someone disagrees with you, it does not mean that they are a troll.  There is absolutely no "open dialogue" on DeKalb Schools Watch II because anyone that says anything beyond the official party position is labeled a troll or is identified as a school system employee (see the response to one of my posts further down in this thread as a classic example).  There is no dialogue among the mafia.  Only a single position that anything done by the DeKalb School System is bad.


2.  You consider yourself to be "highly responsive" and removed a post that was offensive. Really?  Not more than two posts below Another Comment's post on your blog was a comment from an individual saying that she found the posting offensive.  Why did you not care to address the post from Another Comment then?  Easy.  Because until the comment was noted here and you were called out for what you really stand for, you were going to keep it intact as a posting on the MLK holiday.  You removed it today, but not quick enough to have a little light shined on the mafia.


3.  The Get Schooled blog IS an example of an open dialogue.  All opinions are allowed here, there is no rigging of the "like/dislike" counts, and if you disagree, its okay.  Furthermore, even Ms. Downey complements the school system when it does something correct.


4.  And finally, while others do leave comments on your blog, you are totally in control of your own.  Also from the MLK holiday thread on DeKalb Schools Watch II and posted by you, DSW2:


"In reality, the breakdown of the family unit among African-Americans in the U.S. [for a whole host of reasons] is mostly to blame." 


Wow.  Throwing an entire race under the bus as if all African-Americans have no family unit whatsoever.  Family unit as defined how?  Two heterosexual adults with biological children?  

YOU wrote this sentence, and it shows who you really are. 


Is that all "funny" enough for ya?  How ya like them apples, DSW2?


People, like I said below, don't fall for their hateful posts towards the DeKalb school system and be wary of those that support them....

DSW2
DSW2

@Mandella88 @DSW2 FWIW, you only quoted one sentence in a 3 paragraph comment ... below is our entire comment in full... for others to read (we understand there is no way you will ever refer to us as anything other than a 'mafia') 


... In reality, the breakdown of the family unit among African-Americans in the U.S. [for a whole host of reasons] is mostly to blame. So many young men and boys have been or are being raised by second or third generation single mothers and are missing key lessons in the importance of fatherhood. This is a whole different issue – it’s economics and access, not necessarily race as there are many more families in the U.S. in the same situation. Parenting should be taken much more seriously, right from conception. We are in a quagmire of public policy on the issue, as we continue to reward women for having more children, but those children suffer the ills of poverty throughout their lives – a poverty that has become nearly impossible to escape, as the middle class dwindles.

Education is key. We have the money necessary to lift young people out of poverty through education. We have the ability to teach trades, economics and family planning. We have the ability to enlighten young people as to how to forge a healthy, successful life and to be true to your own family as your highest order. These notions used to be taught in American schools, however, political correctness has put an end to it. In reality, what we refer to as ‘political correctness’ is only good for politicians – and is terrible for those it pretends to protect.

Take a look around – successful children – regardless of race – by and large have family support in every aspect of their lives. Every day. Parenting is a job. Parenting skills and the value of family (rather than money) can and should be taught to children in school. Waiting until they are adults and their own children are already in school is far too late.

Mandella88
Mandella88

@DSW2 @Mandella88

Yet you still chose to single out African-American families in your opening statement.  Why?


FWIW - I look forward to your feeble attempts to explain the other three points as well


DSW2 = EPIC FAIL!

kudcom
kudcom

Wow. Maybe the school district is just too big.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

Interesting comments on Facebook on this issue including this one from a mom:

We did the school choice lottery a few years ago. I got frustrated with the portal and went to an administrative center for help. The person assigned to help me couldn't figure it out.

Back to me:

As to citing Kittredge: No devious plan to drum up hits. This parent sent me a well-written essay on his experience and I used it. 

Someone on Facebook said his family had the same experience with Coralwood School so I think the problem transcends one school lottery.


bu2
bu2

@MaureenDowney 


They've had real problems rolling out their Infinite Campus website this year.  At our school, it finally got totally working in January (we think).

Alsch
Alsch

Ahhh. It's time to pick on Kittredge again. Isn't this a system wide problem for ANY parent trying to register their child for school choice? Are Wadsworth parents magically finding the system works. Nice job putting Kittredge in the headline. Perhaps some personal bias Maureen?

SaveTucker
SaveTucker

@dontstereotypemeyo @Alsch Actually, it would be interesting to find out where this particular portion of the IT Department is located... is it Central Office or at the Brad Bryant Center on L'ville Highway?  Reason being, one is located at the Administration Building where they probably want to keep their jobs.  The other is located in what would be the new city of Lakeside, where they  want to start a city based on their school attendance zone while forcing the reconstruction of school zones for Tucker and Druid Hills, their biggest nearby competition for both school accolades as well as homebuyers.  

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

DCSS has been trying to rid itself of Kittredge for years because Kittredge's results are normally head and shoulders above the other elementary schools. This reflects poorly on the other schools and DCSS prizes mediocrity above all else.

It's like the old Japanese proverb, "The stake that stands up will be hammered down." This incompetence is part of the hammering.

Motheroftwins
Motheroftwins

Sadly, this isn't a problem unique to DeKalb.  I have had similar experiences with Fulton County Public Schools and Georgia Perimeter College.


Wascatlady
Wascatlady

This is rather funny (not for these parents, of course) that this is printed here, where bloggers plead frequently for the AJC IT department to fix things.  Now,these are people PAYING for the service. Daily, bloggers ask for IT to insert room so that the first blogger on the page can be responded to.  Daily, links to an article are clicked, to be met with the message "This page does not exist." And frequently when you click on an article you find yourself at another article, because the headline has been switched!  Not to mention spelling errors that routinely appear (probably not from IT), but SOMEONE ought to catch them, so the AJC does not seem to be peopled by rubes who don't know correct spelling or homonym usage.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

The DeKalb parent's experience mirrors those I've had on countless government sites. Contacting government offices by phone isn't much better and mail often gets lost or misplaced.

Face to face is always best. 

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@FIGMO2


Countless government sites? Yes. But they tend to be run by the same government, don't they?

Astropig
Astropig

This didn't have to happen.If we would only give DC schools just a little more power and fully fund them, Michael Thurmond would make his school system the envy of the world.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Astropig  Like the Washington DC schools, the crown jewels of public schooling.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Michael Thurmond does not have time to fix issues in his school system - he is too busy fighting Druid Hills. As far as all those highly paid administrators at the Taj Mahal, it's not their job.

SaveTucker
SaveTucker

@class80olddog In all fairness, he wasn't planning to fight, only asking to put aside the money if there is a fight initiated by the other side, which would cost the taxpayers quite a lot just in the loss of the buildings themselves, not to mention the contributions of the property owners to the tax base and loss of jobs for those school house employees.  Should DeKalb just allow its assets to be picked off one by one?  Is it really time to start looting from our own empire?  Should we just sit back and watch others stake their claim, fair or  not, and simply let them head to the nearest exit?  


Why give up when what we, the people, were actually doing was WORKING??  WE called out the corruption and the leaders were going to trial, going to jail and being looked at more closely every day.  WE finally got the attention of SACS and even the Governor's office.  WE  caused the P-card policies to change and the lobbyists to spend less influencing our leaders.  The  people have the power, but not when they agree to divide themselves into smaller pockets that have to compete against one another rather than work together.  It is hard to see the corruption when  you don't have the other side of the fence willing to point it out to you. 


What the school system should do is launch a full investigation into why these registration problems took place and fire some people if their mistakes could have been avoided.  Was it an outsourcing issue or an internal problem?  Who is overseeing the paper portion of the registration lottery?  How can the public be reassured that their applications have not been lost and their child's chances, once given up to chance, are not being hindered by some other forces at work behind the scenes.  This issue could be used to reassure the public that everything is under control and new policies are working to their benefit - or it could be kept quiet which will allow doubt and mistrust to grow just like  it did in the past.  


The timing is quite curious, isn't it?  Almost so perfect that it seems like it could have been a plan all along.  Or a last ditch effort to regain something that the people of this county finally rejected.  Communities at war with one another cannot possibly benefit themselves in the long run because they are never focused on forward progress, only on the current battlefield and keeping score.  



Lexi3
Lexi3

This is a typical outcome for a government run monopoly which most people are compelled to use. The lottery scheme  itself, as a device to distribute government services, is repulsive. Wait 'til the government distributes health services that way. It's coming.

SaveTucker
SaveTucker

@Lexi3 @dontstereotypemeyo There are liberals who can afford private schools?  Wow, if you listen to the GOP you would think they all were in their conservative  camp and still bitter over Mitt Romney's loss, wouldn't you?  Now, which policies specifically are you against?  Because the biggest one that we can think of that has caused the most problems is one that  your hero Bush, Jr. came up with.  No child  left behind.  Should have been called No child gets ahead or maybe No Teacher Gets a Raise.  

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@Lexi3


No, this is not typical for a government-run monopoly. Cobb County schools are not like this. Rockdale County Schools are not like this. Fulton County Schools are not like this. Gwinnett County Schools are not like this. Forsyth, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, you name it. At most school systems, maybe you can criticize the curriculum or pedagogy but most people fundamentally care about their jobs, take pride in their work and have some degree of initiative and ambition. The problem is places like DCSS where this is absent.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@dontstereotypemeyo 


One of my favorite stories about a capable math teacher in the aforementioned school system concerned her "correction" of the child who kept saying "tangential." The "correction" was "tangenital," which I always thought was something nudist sunbathers got.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@dontstereotypemeyo @Lexi3 


Right. I bet 75% of public school students in the systems you named would flee if they had the opportunity, and I agree that the system had some very capable and dedicated teachers and a few fewer administrators in that category. But, there's a reason public schools fight tooth and nail against competition--they are deathly afraid of it.

Our children started in a system you named and, thankfully,  we rescued them in time. One sweet irony is that a very large fraction of wealthy liberals send their children to private schools to escape the consequences of the policies they whole-heartedly embrace--for other people's kids.


APS?

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

" but I work in IT so I understand how complicated these things can be to get right."

Wrong. This type of thing is something that students at SPSU or Georgia Perimeter (two great institutions that our state decided weren't needed anymore) can - and actually frequently do - build for their mid-semester class project. Seriously ... go online for the IT coursework at most community colleges and vocational schools and look at the syllabi. You will see "build an ecommerce website" as one of the projects. 


This is beyond incompetence. It is an "I don't care because I know that I will never be held accountable" type of attitude. The folks in that office do not care about you, the kids in DCSS or even their own jobs and professional development/advancement. They are merely drawing a paycheck. 


It is easy to blame Michael Thurmond, but it is institutional, from the bottom up. You would have to clean house, from the bottom to the top, to get different results. And for that to happen, the voters who live in DeKalb County have to start caring.


Sorry folks, but if you want different results, you are going to have to either support a charter school movement or simply move. These folks do not care about  you, because if they did, they would never have chosen to work for DCSS in the first place.

SaveTucker
SaveTucker

@bu2 @dontstereotypemeyo And, we need to find out who is overseeing this paper-application process as well.  If there is any chance that students and parents will have their application data leaked to, perhaps, potential start-up government groups wanting their own school systems who are willing to find out where they might make inroads in terms of unhappy parents in their potential new attendance zone ...  there will be an extremely ugly battle whereby the well connected will be pulling out all the stops in order to bilk their own neighbors out of their tax dollars for the NEXT 10 years just like they did over the LAST 10 years when while they ran the board.

bu2
bu2

@dontstereotypemeyo 

Thurmond kept all the old lieutenants in place.  And he is not an educator.  So the same failed administration is running the schools while he merely manages.  We need a new superintendent that will demand accountability and start by replacing the top level of management. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

I Love the line that reads "If I were Michael Thurmond"....LOL! Rofl.  There is so much to be said with that one line alone. But i will try Not to go there. However, If I were to GO there, I would say to YOU.  Mikey has his HAT in Hand and A Check in his Pocket that says " I Done GOOD"  )).


That is an issue that  will be up for discussion for the next few years to come. You can count on that one. MO, surely  You cannot possibly still Take MIKEY seriously on ANYTHING!


Mikey has YET to provide that Promised WRITTEN DETAILED PLAN , Mikey promised to the Parents, Town Hall Meetings,School Board Members (past and present), Parent & Teachers Association, The Community Lucky Gene Pool Club Members as well as YOU, Maureen.  Upon Mikey's arrival and signing of the contract there were a LOT of Promises Made with good intent by Good ole smiling MIkey. Mikey had the "Awww Shucks" routine down pat.  I must say it was a winning strategy fer Mikey...not so much for the Taxpayers of Dekalb County and even less for the Kids. 

The sad Part of ALL, is this.  ALL of YOU!  Gave Mikey a PASS! No one Demanded any accountability or held Mikey responsible for any of  Mikey's stated promises of intent of action.

I would be willing to go as far as to step out on a limb and say while the situation in the Dekalb County School System has not worsened from where it has been. Neither, has it IMPROVED MUCH  under the lack luster stewardship of Michael Thurmond.


If You were Honest with yourselves and each other....You too! would agree with that read, that is about RIGHT!


With that said, how can anyone seriously think the issue mentioned here will be resolved by Mikey in a timely or responsible manner to meet the needs of the Parents and The School System?


It Ain't gonna Happen..... Not at this Late stage of the Game.

I would be the First to say  the Expense and Cost of Michael Thurmond  as interm School Super has not been worth the amount of Money  spent.  Nor anywhere close to to the Value of the MONEY Spent on this Politician turned School Administrator.


This is what happens when UNQUALIFIED Politicians are elected to serve in the capacity of a School System with a Budget the size of a small City.


Success cannot be achieved going in with a failing formula...... You pay fer what yer GET!  Keep in mind, Mikey's contract calls for Full Pay to Mikey for (90) Ninety Days after Mikey is officailly Out the DOOR!  Now that little Pill should taste pretty Nasty going down. You can bet Mikey will go on Long Vacation with a smile, laughing all the way to the Bank. Calling all of YOU, Suckers!


Your only Hope and Prayer Now! is what's coming is not Worse than MIKEY Thurmond. I would suggest all parties to securely Fasten yer  Seatbelts. The ride is about to get a little Bumpy in the months to come 

Hopefully one would think Lessons have been learned.....But Deep inside We ALL know...Nothing has or will change. iIs the nature of the Beast.

 

uh..huh.