DeKalb superintendent finalist: He can shake a leg. Can he shake up a system?

What’s the thinking thus far on DeKalb’s choice to replace Michael Thurmond? R. Stephen Green certainly has the education background that Thurmond lacked.

As the AJC reported:

R. Stephen Green, the superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools, is expected to take over the top job for the DeKalb County School District, according to more than one person with knowledge of the search.

Green is currently in the middle of a five-year contract with Kansas City, which includes a three-year contract and two one-year extensions that would keep him there until June 2018. He started with the district in August 2011 as interim superintendent. He took the job permanently in 2012.

Here is Green’s official bio:

R. Stephen Green, Ed.D., was named superintendent of schools of Kansas City Public Schools by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors in April 2012. At that time, KCPS was unaccredited by the state of Missouri. 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 what the school district earned in 2013, and a 54.5-point leap from the 2012 results. In August 2014, Missouri’s Board of Education recognized the gains made by the school district by granting KCPS provisional accreditation.

R. Stephen Green

R. Stephen Green

Green received a Bachelor of Science in English Literature and Composition and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Ball State University and his Principal’s Certification from Butler University. He received a doctorate degree from Indiana University in 1995 with two majors: curriculum and instruction and education administration; and an honorary doctorate from Northwest Missouri State University.

Green is the 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, Green was the Superintendent of Community School District #28 and a Local Instructional Superintendent in Region 3 for the New York City Board of Education. In this role, he provided 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 142 schools in the region.

Green also served as the 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 the National Executive Director of the CollegeEd Program for the College Board, Green’s leadership focused on helping middle school students understand the importance of a college education and exploring the options available. He has served as the National Executive Director of School-Level Services, as the National Director of the Pacesetter Program, and as Associate Director for Pacesetter Planning and Development for the College Board. He also served as Assistant Superintendent, as High School Assistant Principal, and as Middle School Assistant Principal for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indiana. He taught high school and college-level English literature and composition for 13 years at Pike High School, Indiana University, and Butler University. He has served as the Director of Minority of Student Affairs at Butler University and as an Instructional Superintendent for the New York City Board of Education.

As this video shows, Dr. Green is not afraid to shake a leg. The question for DeKalb is whether he will be willing to shake up the status quo. His exuberance in this video reminds me of APS school chief Meria Carstarphen who clearly loves being with students.

 

 

 

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93 comments
ShowMeTruth
ShowMeTruth

Re: test scores: Another fact to consider is that Missouri recently passed collective bargaining - I think in 2007. This attracts smarter teachers who are better educated and more highly qualified to stay or apply. I know, because I have taught in MO & GA! Never in Missouri did I work alongside colleagues that clearly should not be in the classroom. Green is coming to Dekalb because he has family in the area, but if he is honest, and truly interested in quality educational programs, he will not work here for long. Does he even "get" the GOP's involvement/interference in Georgia's public schools?

WhyorWhyNot
WhyorWhyNot

It's interesting that so many of you are so concerned that the superintendant is black. How many black superintendants has Fayette County had? Cherokee County? Forsyth County. My guess is the answer is zero.  I'm sure you're all losing sleep over racist behavior.

insideview
insideview

You  all are  so racist.  I know  I  know,  you will  claim  you're  not, but the mere  fact that you are complaining  about  his  race proves you are  racist 

Pianoman63
Pianoman63

Surprise, surprise, surprise

He satisfies the only standard that Dekalb County has to be Superindendent.. high melanin content.

popacorn
popacorn

Apparently, one reason these Superintendents keep slithering from place to place is that the educators are so very easily impressed.

BTW, I have a video of the Loch Ness Monster if anyone wants to see it. And Sharknado is real.

bu2
bu2

Actually, based on the numbers in the AJC, there is no KC success story, let alone miracle.

Graduation rates have gone up from 50% to 63%, but performance has declined. 

3rd grade

2011 below basic language arts 23%

2014 29.5%

2011 basic 57.9%

2014 54.5%

2011 above 13.2%

2014 10.9%

2011 advanced 5.9%

2014 5.1%


The results shown for 8th grade math were similar.



bu2
bu2

DeKalb needs performance, not just someone who dances and talks well.  I'm curious what he did that got Missouri to name him superintendent of the year.  It certainly wasn't test scores.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2  Your words ("dances and talks well") indicate built in bias. 


Please watch the entire interview with Dr. Green, below, if you have time. If you do not have time, please, at least, listen to his data facts of improvement in the KC Schools, from minute 4 through minute 9 within the following video. The points from 8 minutes to 9 minutes show that Dr. Green knows instruction in great detail, especially in the diagnostic/prescriptive ways which I have tried to relay to others on this blog:


A 2013 interview of Dr. Green (posted initially by dsw2):    https://youtu.be/e4TeMN7zdeg

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @bu2 


"Built in bias?"  You must be spending too much time on Bookman's blog.  Atypical for you, you have been trolling the last couple of days.


I guess if I have a preference for someone who plays a good game and doesn't just talk a good game, that could be considered bias.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


Your bias is blind because you are assuming that Dr. Green just "talk(s) a good game," and does not "play a good game."  You do  not know that to be true, if you are honest with yourself.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


Thank you for the link. Here are also comments from that article which you did not share:


"When Green, 61, took over Kansas City Public Schools in 2011, he became the fifth superintendent in less than 10 years for the system dealing with financial mismanagement, frustrated teachers and students with bad attendance and worse test grades.


The Kansas City district just celebrated its third consecutive clean financial audit. Student attendance is up, and so are many test scores.


'I like his experience, his management style, how he clearly understood the role of the superintendent and the board,' Johnson said Wednesday. 'When he went into (KCPS), he had to assess a situation and provide an improvement plan that has proven successful every year. That’s what I anticipate him doing here.' ”

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2


More information about Dr. Green's selection by the DCSS, given in the MyAJC link you provided:


"If Green and the board agree to a contract in the near future, he would take over leadership of the third-largest school district in the state.


With work still to be done for DeKalb County Schools, what Green has done in Kansas City has impressed local board members.


Johnson said someone willing to work with the board was a must.


'I wanted to make sure that we have someone with excellent management skills to be transparent, that we operate in a collaborative way,' he said. 'Be fiscally responsible, transparent and holding each board member accountable for serving the board. In order to do that, you have to have a superintendent who understands the role he must play in carrying out the policies, visions and goals of the board.


Board member Vickie B. Turner, who credited Thurmond with balancing finances and putting the district on the right path when it comes to accreditation, said the immediate goal of Thurmond’s successor is to tackle issues affecting student achievement.


'What I was hoping to find (in the superintendent candidates) was someone able to hit the road running and be able to come in and deal with curriculum and instruction,' Turner said. 'That deals with student achievement. We need a strong individual to deal with that to stave off state takeover. We need to address that first first thing out the gate.'


Green 'comes with the experience and I think he’s well able and equip to handle those challenges.' ”

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @bu2 


If you are honest with yourself, you would re-read my first post and see that I didn't assume that and that you were just displaying some kind of predisposition of your own.


bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @bu2 

Thurmond balanced finances and put the district on the right path towards accreditation.  That is not the skill set that DeKalb needs.  It needs someone to go beyond that.

eulb
eulb

The Dekalb public school system needs a miracle. But after Beverly Hall's Atlanta miracle turned out to be fake, it's pretty hard to believe Kansas City's is real.  

So Dekalb's school board had this choice: They could hire someone who appears to have done an impossible feat.  Or they could hire someone with a more believable but mediocre track record.


This much we know:  Dr. Green is a very personable man with great credentials.  I hope the school board vetted him well, that Kansas City's test results are valid, and that Dekalb's students will thrive under his leadership.

Is there a way to find out what the board's vetting process was?

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@ MaryElizabethSings

"Typical cliched thinking from you, BB.  Your blindness and your arrogance in the face of it, like that of Astropig, are laughable."


Mary Elizabeth, your distemper with everyone who disagrees with you clearly identifies you as a old-line teacher. No one is quite so testy with disagreement as a former educator.

In 3 years we will be having this conversation again after Stephen Green and Maria Carstarphen have departed for new and more financially remunerative challenges in professional education, leaving APS and DCSS in the toilet as they now are. Or perhaps Stephen Green will be retired at 64 on a fat pension from the Teachers' Retirement System.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@BurroughstonBroch


I don't show "distemper with everyone who disagrees with me."  I, however, will not let inane and gratuitous put-downs of me go unaddressed. You got what you deserved to hear from me from what you had FIRST laid upon me with your arrogant tongue. There is too much mendacity in the air.  I dislike disingenuous falsehoods.  I simply will clear the air with a modicum of truth. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@BurroughstonBroch


And, don't kid yourself that this has been a "disagreement" of ideas.  This interaction has been plain ole, inane name-calling, started by you and Astropig and directed at me.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@BurroughstonBroch


Examples: 


(1) "Is your belief founded on anything other than hope, or do you have actual facts to support your belief?"


(2) "You seem to be an easy sell. I've got a video of some lovely mountain land for sale in central Florida you should see."


(3) "When you find yourself in a well (especially one of your own

making), you should stop digging."


(4) "Mary Elizabeth, your distemper with everyone who disagrees with you clearly identifies you as a old-line teacher. No one is quite so testy with disagreement as a former educator."

__________________________________


Name-calling can be implied as well as overtly stated.  You are a master of the implied insult, BB, which Astropig quickly picks up upon and carries the insulting ball to 3rd base.  


Also, I have learned over the years that you will not stop posting, once a negative conversation begins. As a result, this is my last post to you in this series. 

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@MaryElizabethSings @BurroughstonBroch  I expected you could not identify any credible instances (because there were none) and you did not disappoint.

Your 4th citation occurred after you accused me of name calling, and it's hilarious. Only you would consider "old-line teacher" as name calling.

You've dug your well deeper.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

I'm surprised, not really, the search team didn't open up the search to include non-black candidates so that the position might be filled based on merit. Of course, maybe they did. If that's the case than Green may be a rock star in that whites out number blacks by 5 & 1/2 times meaning that his choice beat superior odds. If he's not a rock star, but only the best available black, then the Democrats chose the Baltimore solution. By now, everyone should know how that turns out.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Has anybody started the office pool on how long this joker will hang around before he bolts to greener pastures?  Put my name on the 2y-8m square.


@Maureen says the average big time super is out in three years.  That kind of organizational disarray is a root cause of many of these school districts problems.  I love it when these gypsies arrive with their "Five Year Plan" knowing all along they will be out way before the damage they caused can be assessed.

Astropig
Astropig

@Lee_CPA2


Correct-a-mundo. Teachers should be up in arms at this.While they have to fight and scrape for a puny raise, these guys salaries ratchet up continuously.

dsw2contributor
dsw2contributor

Maureen, can you comment on the AJC report titled "DeKalb school board member Jester submits to background check"?  

The title says one thing, but the article text only says that Mike Thurmond "cleared" Jester.   The article does not say which police agency actually performed Mr. Jester's background check.  Did the school district just accept the background check that the Dunwoody Police Dept did, or did the Dekalb Schools police department run their own check on Mr. Jester?

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@dsw2contributor Marlon Walker is on deadline. But I have sent him your questions. He may post his response to you on his story since you also posted there. I will share them here as well.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@dsw2contributor From Marlon tonight: 


There were portions of the national test that needed to be complete before Jester could be granted access to his board member amenities – pay, email account, district-issued laptop – and I was told he submitted to those. Never got an answer today on whether he did it through the district – which he felt was a conflict of interest – or another entity.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

I'd like to know about his performance in Kansas City.  What has he accomplished? I can't opine on the candidate, despite the solid background, until I know more about his track record in education reform.

Teacher Reader
Teacher Reader

@living-in-outdated-ed His district does not have accreditation.  Mr. Thurmond has made better progress with DCSS than Mr. Green even though Mr. Green has held his position longer. 

Astropig
Astropig

@living-in-outdated-ed


After just staying a couple of years, what kind of performance can we reasonably expect?The first six months on the job are done with the leftovers from the previous regime,the last six are spent looking for another gig... These mercenaries always seem to get outta Dodge one step ahead of true accountability.

Starik
Starik

Remember, there are several constituencies in the DeKalb schools - poor blacks, well-off blacks, whites and immigrants.  Will he be good for all of them? 

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

He will be 61 this year ( one year younger than Michael Thurmond) and is probably planning his exit strategy. A key to his strategy is how sweet DCSS makes the deal.


He has an active business on the side that will pose a conflict of interest plus take time away from DCSS:

President and CEO Green Enterprise Works, Inc.

June 2011 – Present (4 years)Kansas City, Missouri Area

1. Executive Coaching for School Leaders, i.e., strategic planning, thought-leadership, civic engagement and public relations

2. Personal Business Advisor, CEO and Owner, providing business ownership opportunities for C-level executives

3. WSI Franchise Owner, providing digital marketing services for business owners


He is identified as the sole candidate one week after DCSS fires their search firm.


He bails out of KCPS after recently signing a 2 year extension of his original 3-year contract.


This doesn't pass the sniff test. In fact, it reeks.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@BurroughstonBroch


If you are against Dr. Green, then I support him based on the content of your previous posts over a 3 or 4 year period.  The point is that neither you nor I can vouch for Dr. Green's "integrity."  However, I trust that the DCSS's Board of Education has researched his credentials enough to make that call rather than simply depending upon a few "facts" which you have gathered and posted on a public blog.


Moreover, if Dr. Green is able to put the DCSS on the right track within the next 3 years, then his services to the DCSS will have been invaluable.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@MaryElizabethSings @BurroughstonBroch  I am not supporting him - I am questioning his suitability based on information I easily found in a few minutes.

His side business details are from his own Linkedin account and were furnished to LinkedIn by him.

As far as trusting the DCSS Board, I don't trust them based on past performance, and they will have to earn my trust. The fact that they fired their search firm (after very negative information about the firm became public knowledge) and then one week later announce Green as the sole finalist is ridiculous.

I would have to know a lot more about Green before I could support him. I doubt that information will be forthcoming from the DCSS Board. I believe in trust - but first verify.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 



I have done critical thinking regarding Dr. Green's possible selection before I responded to BB.  It's just not the typical, run-of-the-mill kind of critical thinking "copycats" use, over and over again, with one another - so that their analysis becomes programmed thinking, after all.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig


I also read and digested the article, here, regarding Dr. Green which included his bio.  Of course, you would have only noticed that I saw a video and, typical for you, you would have assumed - incorrectly - that that was the extent of my analysis simply because I remarked positively on the video. - a limited understanding by you, as usual.

Astropig
Astropig

@BurroughstonBroch


"He is identified as the sole candidate one week after DCSS fires their search firm"


So they vetted him for one week. I'm sorry, but I'm going on record here as saying that this whole process of high priced superstar- free agent- superintendents is BS.If these people don't stay anywhere for long, break contracts at will and get limited scrutiny in the hiring process,then the system stinks.There's no continuity if they succeed-they just leave again soon for a bigger payday - and there's an easy excuse for failure-they weren't here long enough to implement their plan.The very same hypocrites that decry the "business model" of education are on here praising this process to the skies.


MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@dsw2contributor


Thank you for posting this video link which gives Dr. Green's thoughts on educational improvement.  For those who do not have the 23 minutes of time to watch the entire interview, I suggest that you start watching it at the 4 minute point through the 9 minute point on the video.  The points from 8 minutes to 9 minutes show that Dr. Green knows instruction in great detail, especially in the diagnostic/prescriptive ways which I have tried to relay to others on this blog.