Innovate or inhibit: Are there flaws in DeKalb’s new charter policy?

DeKalb is a complicated school system, and its leadership is often viewed with suspicion, some of it deserved considering the spate of criminal convictions.

So, it’s not surprising the new superintendent’s actions around the district’s updated charter school policy are being scrutinized.

Dr. R. Stephen Green

Superintendent Steve Green says last week’s vote on DeKalb’s charter school policy was long overdue.

A week ago, the school board approved the district’s charter school policy in a 4-3 vote. Now, a blog by former school board member and now county Commissioner Nancy Jester raises questions about that vote. Jester’s former school board seat was won by her husband Stan Jester.

Nancy Jester says Superintendent Steve Green failed to provide the board with an eight-page review of the charter policy by the state. There was some debate at the school board meeting about delaying the vote to study the DOE concerns, but members voted after repeated assurances from the school system attorney the policy complied with state regulations.

The Sept. 11 DOE letter to Green from Louis J. Erste, associate state superintendent for policy, charter schools, district flexibility, and governmental affairs, makes clear the agency believes DeKalb’s new charter school policy requires revisions.

I asked Green today for a statement on the vote and DOE letter, which he provided:

The vote by the DeKalb County Board of Education on Sept. 14 to revise and update the District policy known as Policy IBB on Charter Schools was based on several important considerations:

•The current policy was last updated in 2011 and woefully out-of-date.

•The proposed changes had been on the BOE agenda for three months prior to the Board vote.

•The proposed changes had not been altered since June 2015.

District legal counsel assured the Board that the proposed updates were in compliance with all appropriate state law and regulations.

•Numerous and, on occasion, lengthy meetings were held with individual Board members and District legal counsel and District Charter Office staff to answer questions and consider changes.

An eight-page list of suggested changes by staff of  the Georgia Department of Education was received on the evening of Friday, Sept. 11. These changes may be considered by the Board at any future meeting. The DeKalb County School District is a leader in charter schools with 14 conversion and start-up charter schools. Indeed, the District has 48 schools that offer choice options in charters, IB, theme, magnet and Montessori.

I have requested a meeting with charter staff of the GaDOE and our attorneys and charter staff to discuss suggested changes to the District policy on charter schools. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for early October. We take seriously our public obligation to offer the best possible education experience for all of our 102,000 students.

Erste confirmed DOE will meet with DeKalb about the charter policy. “We are working with a new collaborative partnership with the new superintendent in DeKalb,” he said. “We offered our review of his rules based on the new state board rules and will be meeting with him this week and next week to follow up.”

Here is an excerpt of the DOE letter:

Dear Dr. Green:

Thank you for submitting the DeKalb County School System (DCSS) proposed charter school policy and regulation for our review. We sincerely appreciate the spirit of partnership you have demonstrated as we move forward together in ensuring that only high quality charter schools with strong academic results and well-trained and high-functioning governing boards that can and do ensure financial sustainability and legal and regulatory compliance are created and renewed in DeKalb County.

We have reviewed these documents for compliance with Georgia’s charter school laws, State Board of Education rules, and Georgia Department of Education guidance… We have identified several things in DCSS’s proposed policy and regulation that require revision. One of the major changes needed is to clearly state what DCSS charter schools are authorized to do, specifically as it relates to charter school governing boards making decisions related to personnel, finance, curriculum and instruction, resource allocation, and school operations. Charter schools cannot be truly held accountable by a local board of education unless the local board is, in fact, providing the flexibility, autonomy, and support outlined in Georgia law and SBOE rules/guidelines.

The list below includes 36 revisions to the proposed DCSS charter school policy and regulation. These changes are designed to provide charter schools with the maximum flexibility to which they are entitled by law.

Among the revisions sought by DOE:

Please remove “unique” and “innovative” from the initial paragraph of the proposed DCSS Policy in which it is stated that DCSS seeks to authorize high quality charter schools with “innovative, unique…academic programs” No state law, SBOE rules, or GaDOE guidelines require charter schools to implement unique or innovative programming that is not conducted elsewhere in a school district. Therefore, requiring “innovative, unique” academic programs in a new charter school or one seeking renewal places a greater burden on charter schools than is legally required. The goal in creating charter schools is to produce higher student performance in exchange for autonomy from the state and local district regardless of the academic model selected or the degree to which that model is unique or innovative.

The state quibbles with the DeKalb charter school policy from the first paragraph:

The DeKalb County Board of Education (“Board”), by the authority granted to it pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-2060, et seq., seeks to authorize high quality charter schools with innovative, unique, and effective academic programs that align to the strategic priorities of the District in order to increase student performance and achievement. The DeKalb County School District will enforce clear expectations for its charter schools and hold them accountable to the terms of their charter contracts. All locally approved start-up charter schools, conversion charter schools, and/or high school charter clusters, are subject to the control and management of the Board.

DOE criticizes DeKalb for the use of  “enforce” in that opening paragraph:

Please change the word “enforce” to “state” in the initial paragraph of the proposed DCSS Policy. It is not possible to enforce an expectation (a belief that someone will or should achieve something). The use of “enforce” (to compel observance of or compliance with a law, rule, or obligation) promotes the image of DCSS as a top-down, compliance-oriented organization with a Compliance Culture (where success is measured by simply achieving requirements) rather than as an Achievement Culture (where success is measured by achieving high expectations for all students). Eliminating this word may seem inconsequential, but doing so would highlight the importance of your initial and subsequent work to design and implement a transformation of DCSS’s leadership from a Compliance Culture to an Achievement Culture and dovetail nicely with the charter system application requirement that such a transition occur. As we have discussed, the key is that the district is truly transformed from being a “school command and control center” to being a “school support service center” where, instead of compelling school-level compliance, the district focuses on providing quality support and resources for the DCSS system of schools.

In her blog, Nancy Jester condemns the new policy as inhospitable to charters:

DeKalb has hard-wired into their policy the onerous requirement that a charter school must provide a “unique” or “innovative” academic program. I predict that DeKalb will use this requirement to deny any and every charter not connected to the “friends and family” that run the district…The school district also denied the Druid Hills Charter Cluster last year. Soon, the district will take up renewing charters for conversation charters, like Chamblee Charter High School. If the district isn’t a good charter partner with the state DOE, can we expect Chamblee’s charter review and recommendation to get a fair shake? And, what do these developments portend for DeKalb’s application to the Georgia DOE to be a “charter school district”? At this point, DeKalb asking to be a charter school district, seems a bit like, an abusive parent submitting their name for a “Parent of the Year” award.

Several folks have cited an email exchange between Green and Erste as further evidence of strained relations between the school district and the state. While some consider the emails fraught with tension, I agree with Erste’s own characterization of the comments as “normal back and forth.”

Judge for yourself:

Green responds to the state critique by writing:

Lou, I will give your suggestions and advice due consideration and will proceed in a manner that is in the best interest of students and families the DCSD. Thank you. Regards, Steve

To which, Erste responded:

Thank you, Steve. We are ready to help. Your response will be a good indicator of DCSS’s commitment to being a good charter partner. The State Superintendent and SBOE are as hopeful as we are that our renewed partnership will continue in a healthy fashion. Lou

To which, Green responded:

Lou, I assume that the principle you have outlined below applies to all involved parties. Thus, your response will also be a “good indicator” of your willingness to be a “good charter partner” as well. Steve

To which, Erste responded:

Thus our commitment in my email and in my letter to assist you and your team in succeeding as a strong local charter authorizer and, concomitantly, as a good charter partner. Onward and upward! Lou

I’m unclear why so much intrigue is being layered onto this board vote or the charter policy. Nor do I see an anti-charter theme in DeKalb’s policy requirement that charters be innovative. The definition of the word — introducing new ideas —  doesn’t set an impossible standard.

In fact, when the term “charter schools” was first uttered in Georgia, innovation was the key selling point.

It was way back in 1993 and the person introducing the concept of charter schools to Georgians at a press conference was Gov. Zell Miller, who proclaimed, “What I’m doing with this program is allowing schools the latitude to build innovative programs for learning — models for the future. This program allows our educators, the people on the front lines, to become the innovators.”

Reader Comments 0

87 comments
Cere
Cere

Ok Mandella, I can see why you might think I didn't answer. I DID put a comment up here about how Kim and I have advocated for years for the Cross Keys cluster - but I don't see it here now. It was apparently taken down. I had a link to a 2009 article called "one of these things is not like the others" showing the Cross Keys attendance lines.  We have been up in arms about this travesty for years. I don't know where my comment went - but it was here and now appears to be gone. Weird. 


Anyway, again, here is the link to the 2009 article decrying the outrageous gerry-mandering the school district does to keep the mostly poor, immigrant students together - segregated from the rest of DeKalb schools. 


http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/04/one-of-these-things-is-not-like-other.html

Mandella88
Mandella88

@Cere

It wonderful to hear that you are in support of Chamblee, Dunwoody, Druid Hills, and Lakeside zoning economically disadvantaged, ESOL Latino children into their attendance zone.  I'm sure that Stan and Nancy Jester will be in full support!!!


I do take pause with your posting's synthesis of how the cluster was formed the way it was.  If you think the school system's administration had anything to do with it, you are even more lost in your hatred of the district's central office than I thought.  The boundary lines were drawn that way because all of the members in the surrounding communities wanted to keep these families out of their schools, and the Board pushed the district to do it.  Period.  Even now, one Board member is talking about "academies" while mentioning nothing about attendance lines.  The lines won't be withdrawn, and it will be because of your neighbors that look just like you....

Mandella88
Mandella88

Maybe Lou Erste should send a letter to Fulton County to address issues with the use of the word "innovative" in their policy:

"The Fulton County Board of Education supports student success and public school choice by authorizing contracts with charter schools that will provide unique, innovative, effective, research-based and standards driven learning opportunities for students"


and APS:

"The Atlanta Board of Education supports student success and school choice by authorizing charter schools that provide innovative, high quality learning opportunities for students who reside in the City of Atlanta. It is the Board’s intent that by authorizing high quality charter schools, the district can learn from innovative and unique programs that advance student achievement"


and Marietta City Schools:

"The Board of Education hereinafter referred to as the Board, supports student success and school choice by authorizing charter schools that will provide unique, innovative, high quality, research-based and standards driven learning opportunities for students."


and City Schools of Decatur:

"The board of education supports student success and school choice by authorizing charter schools that provide innovative, high quality learning opportunities for students who reside in the City of Decatur." 


Or maybe Superintendent Woods should find something else for Lou Erste to do.  


Cere
Cere

For a good look at how DeKalb school leaders absolutely do not care about certain populations of students, check out just how over-crowded and out-dated they have allowed the Cross Keys cluster to become. Each school has at least a couple DOZEN trailers and are projected to continue to grow. Read all about it in their (more or less 'emergency' jerry-rigged) plan to cure what ails this cluster.  Not at all what they are entitled to - or even close to what say, Arabia, SW DeKalb, or nearby Lakeside and Chamblee have enjoyed :

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/cross-keys-cluster-over-capacity/wp-content/uploads/sites/50/2015/09/CrossKeys_English.pdf

Smoke and mirrors reflecting the greed and incompetence of the same behind the scenes players that created - or allowed - this mess in the first place.


What have they done with the over TWO BILLION collected in SPLOST construction funds? It's time for that in-depth forensic audit. The one that's never been done.


Mandella88
Mandella88

@Cere

Funny thing Cere(ration) is that not once during your tenure as the DeKalb Schools Watch Mafia did  you ever offer any solutions that still did nothing more than keep the Hispanic students corralled along Buford Hwy and the purposefully designed attendance zone lines.


Are you willing to publicly state that to better balance enrollment and provide support to this community that the attendance lines for Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside, and Druid Hills should be redrawn to better distribute the Cross Keys students and give them access to some of the buildings in these clusters?

Cere
Cere

@Mandella88

"None can be at peace while others wallow in poverty and insecurity" ~ Nelson Mandela

Cere
Cere

@Mandella88 

"Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark and grim, who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation and even defeat." ~ Nelson Mandela​

Mandella88
Mandella88

@Cere @Mandella88 

We can play the quote game all night.  It still doesn't take away from the fact that, like your man, Stan, you have dodged my question.


Again:

Are you willing to publicly state that to better balance enrollment and provide support to this community that the attendance lines for Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside, and Druid Hills should be redrawn to better distribute the Cross Keys students and give them access to some of the buildings in these clusters?

TheDeal2
TheDeal2

@Mandella88 @Cere Yes, as part of the solution, and Dr. Green said as much tonight.  But all of those schools are bursting at the seams, so that can't be 100% of the solution.

Cere
Cere

@Mandella88 Sigh. Yes, I did answer your question. Let me simplify it, "Yes" -- I completely agree that attendance lines should be redrawn and that ridiculous amorphic squiggly shape that defines the Cross Keys zone be deleted as the prejudiced harmful specimen that it is.

Cere
Cere

@Mandella88  ps. Did you even read the article from 2009??  Kim and I have fought for the Cross Keys students to be treated as well as the rest of DeKalb students for nearly a decade. They certainly could and should be rezoned to be a part of the rest of the schools in the county. Currently, these mostly immigrant students are corralled by their attendance zone into their own schools - which are busting at the seams and in poor condition. It's a travesty.  And it's not new.

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

@PatandMike 

I agree.  Green distorted Erste's required revisions by calling them "suggestions".  Nelson Mullins is just as nefarious.  It's all very curious as to why half the board was asking to see Erste's requirements and Green said only if the board instructs him to do so which can only be done by a vote.

You're well informed and should know that members of the board of education are restrained by what they can say or do.  The BOE is much different than any other elected official.

Green and the lawyers obviously got Erste's required revisions on Friday.  Green obviously didn't send them to the board.  Even though some of the board members may or may not have seen the revisions, they clearly had not been distributed to the board and were not on the table for discussion.  The board members were asking the superintendent to distribute the required revisions so they could be discussed.


I can't imagine the meetings Morley talked about happened over the weekend.  The meetings you're talking about should be on the web somewhere. 


Why is Green insubordinate?  If Green were fired, who would they put in his place?  The same 4 that voted for this policy would put Tyson or somebody much worse back in there.



An American Patriot
An American Patriot

JBBrown1968 13 hours ago

But, Public Schools and school taxes will never go away! They will go up, but not away! 


We don't want Public Schools to go away; however, what we do want is for everyone presently involved in the Administration of the DCSS "TO GO AWAY" and quickly before they can do any more damage to what is already one of the worst public school systems in the entire State of Georgia.  Beginning in the eighties, these people have taken one of the best public school systems in Georgia and have made it into what it is today.....a complete disaster.  GO AWAY, we never want to see you again.  Please, for the sake of DeKalb's children.

Cere
Cere

Luckily, community members have faith in these children and step in to help them succeed. Thank goodness there are others who try to pick up where DeKalb Schools drop the ball.  In south DeKalb we have early learning academy at the YMCA : http://oncommongroundnews.com/local-news/item/940-ymca-academies-of-south-dekalb-mark-20th-anniversary.html

North DeKalb - especially the Cross Keys cluster, could use such support.  DeKalb schools, however, rarely, if ever forms partnerships with others (except New Birth Church). If they could take off the protective armor and work for a greater good, wonderful things would happen. If the county and school system could work together - truly amazing things would happen. I have always advocated for a strong summer camp program using school teachers as summer camp counselors and county parks as venues. However, I have always been told by county reps that the school district will not even have a conversation. 

PatandMike
PatandMike

We watched the part of the most recent DeKalb County Schools (DCS) board meeting that dealt with DCS’ charter schools policy. Superintendent Green said that he had met with Lou Erste of the Georgia Department of Education about DCS’ charter schools policy. Green said that Erste just made “suggestions,” but the written copy, reiterating what Erste said in the meeting (with Green) "came in late" on Friday and he (Green) did not have time to look at it.


Green declared that DCS is compliant with state law and the State Board of Education (SBOE) Rules. He asked attorney Laura Lashley(of Nelson Mullins) to confirm that and she did. Lashley was asked several times if DCS was compliant with state law and SBOE Rules. Each time Lashley said “Yes.”


We were amazed that Lashley, as an officer of the court, was willing to put her legal career at risk and damage the credibility of Nelson Mullins by apparently lying.


Green, in possession of Erste’s list of required revisions to DCS’ charter schools policy, not only lied when he called 38 required revisions "suggestions," he was also insubordinate. Green knowingly lied, putting his career at risk, and he should be fired — no second chance, no severance. Green cannot be trusted.


Green was asked by each of the three board members (Stan Jester, Jim McMahan, Marshall Orson), all of whom ultimately voted against DCS’ charter schools policy, to provide a copy of the email from Erste. They also asked to postpone the vote until they could see and study Erste’s email.


Green declined to provide Erste’s email unless the DCS board directed him to do so. It was clear from the discussion that four board members (Erwin, Johnson, Morley and Turner) would vote against providing the board with a copy of Erste’s email and/or postponing the vote. Erwin, Johnson, Morley and Turner voted in favor of DCS’ apparently illegal charter schools policy.


DCS' "updated" charter schools policy could not have been voted on sooner because Green's own employees were dragging their feet. Green was in a hurry to get this new policy approved because he knew that Chamblee Charter High School and Peachtree Charter Middle School charter renewals were coming up for review this week.  


Green further knew that if CCHS and PCMS followed state guidelines (i.e., the law, O.C.G.A. Title 20, Chapter 2, Article 31 The Charter Schools Act of 1998, as amended), DeKalb County School Board would vote against approving their well-deserved charter renewal petitions.  If CCHS and PCMS followed the hurriedly approved, but illegal, DCS guidelines, the State Board of Education would not approve the CCHS and PCMS charter renewal petitions. 


BTW — Erwin has a daughter in a DCS charter school. He also voted against the Druid Hills Charter Cluster petition, which was well done. Erwin has repeatedly denied his constituents and the rest of DeKalb County public school students the same opportunity his daughter has for a quality education.


The next day we saw what Erste sent Green. Erste listed 38 specific required revisions of DCS’ charter policy, required by state law and SBOE Rules. It was easy to get.  Just email Lou Erste [ lerste@doe.k12.ga.us ] and ask. There were none of the Open Records Act hoops that DeKalb Schools always makes requesters jump through.


We also saw the correspondence between Erste and Green. Erste’s emails were fact-based and respectful. Green’s final paragraph in his last email was not; it was rude and offensive. Request a copy from GaDOE and see for yourself. It is easy to get.  Just email Lou Erste and request it:  lerste@doe.k12.ga.us  Use the same request to get a copy of the 38 required revisions in DeKalb County Schools illegal charter school policy


DeKalb County Schools is, indeed, a rogue school system. 

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

“Please define innovative in a way that isn't subjective, as it pertains to schools.” --@MoFaux

Isn’t subjective for whom?  You?  Me?  The man on the street?

Anyway, I’ll play. 

innovative: adjective.  forward-looking and/or ground-breaking, and rational; for example, continual improvement of public schools as a system.

Charter schools have turned out to be neither forward-looking nor ground-breaking.  The facts have been widely reported: charter schools do no better than public schools.  It would be innovative on the part of status quo ed reformsters à la charter school proponents to understand why.  Well, why?  Because charter schools are lead and managed by essentially the same methods as are public schools.  Thus charter schools necessarily have come to demand essentially the same kind and level of resources as public schools.  Charter schools now effectively spread and maintain the status quo-ness of public schools but with far greater destructive consequences for society’s well-being to benefit private and corporate interests; for example, regression to late 19th-early 20th century Taylorism.  Charter schools on the whole have failed, and will continue to fail, for lack of being innovative and, in Georgia, now are not at all required to be innovative.  Again, DOE: "The goal in creating charter schools is to produce higher student performance in exchange for [contractually rigged] autonomy from the state and local district regardless of the academic model selected or the degree to which that model is unique or innovative."

TheDeal2
TheDeal2

@EdJohnson This isn't a debate on charter schools.  This is a discussion on how the DCSD superintendent supposedly withheld information from the Board of Education before, during, and after they voted on the subject of the information he withheld and proof of his knowledge of the state DOE's desire to change DeKalb's charter (not the same as charter school).

MoFaux
MoFaux

@EdJohnson Well, maybe you don't think a foreign language immersion school is "innovative"; I do.  I know the McNair cluster is a clustermuck, and parents in that area would love to have a better option, before the State swoops in to try to save the day with OSDs.  I wasn't here to debate charter schools, although enjoy discussing that...I am merely pointing out the absurdity of the subjectivity inherent in assigning "uniqueness" and "innovation" to a school based mostly on its location.

JBBrown1968
JBBrown1968

So how many of you guys are willing to pay more taxes to support Charter and Public schools? Send your money to Atlanta now. Public schools are not going away and they will be supported. Whine, cry, segregate, or debate, start your local charter now. Pay who ever you desire to run it. But, Public Schools and school taxes will never go away! They will go up, but not away! 

MoFaux
MoFaux

@PatandMike @JBBrown1968 I'm for charter schools, in lieu of better public options...but even I have to admit that charter schools are essentially private schools.  They are run and governed by the private sector, not accountable to voters.  They hire and fire on their own with no input from the county.  I have no problem with them using public funds, although I would prefer they become private entities and a voucher system created.

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

Charter schools are essentially private schools?  Please give an example of what you are talking about.

Charter schools are governed by an autonomous non-profit board of directors.  They must adhere to all public school regulations.  Start-up charters have more autonomy and conversion charter schools are practically traditional schools.  The county is generally the HR for conversion charters.

PatandMike
PatandMike

@JBBrown1968 Charter schools ARE public schools.  Charter schools are funded by state and local taxes.  In DeKalb County, approximately 70% of local property taxes go to public schools. 


When a student moves from one public school to another they are counted in the student population of the school they moved to.  


Per pupil funds -- the amount of local and state funding provided to each public school based on the number of students in the public school (that includes traditional schools as well start-up and conversion charters because they ARE public schools) -- should be the same amount for each counted student (i.e., per [each] pupil).  


New state law allows school district central offices to withhold up to 3% of the per pupil funding for a charter school for services ACTUALLY PROVIDED to the charter school (start-up or conversion).

JBBrown1968
JBBrown1968

@PatandMike @JBBrown1968


I am aware of the propaganda. What I want to know is, when will it ever be enough for the entitled rich or poor? When enough students take the fte money to another school. The primary school will be labeled a needs improvement school and the state will spend thousands of dollars in remediation. The Charter school will decide that's not fair our computers are almost a month old, we need.......hand-out! It goes on and on and taxes will go up.

Respectfully, students with both parents involved in his or her child's life will do better in any school.

Respectfully, what makes a charter school better in your opinion? I am not against Charter schools if they improve achievement. I am just not convinced any have in the long run. Finally, I know many public school teachers (I am not a teacher)that work in public charter schools and It's only advantage one hundred dollars more per student and that does not go to the classroom.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@bu2

And I just don’t understand how you can with a straight face say “People get in by lottery if there is enough room.  Everyone in the district can apply” somehow equates to being “public.” 

Well, actually, I do understand: status quo ideology driven by a narrow concept of self-interest, economism and even Darwinism.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@DekalbInsideOut


Yep, charter schools are essentially private schools.  So let’s at least appreciate @MoFaux for being honest on that point.  Moreover, haven’t you heard Washington State Supreme Court rule “charter schools aren’t ‘common schools’ because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards” … and “money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools,” just as you say?

It’s amazing anyone would promote maintaining the status quo by spouting the “charter schools are public schools” ideology.

bu2
bu2

@EdJohnson @DekalbInsideOut


So there's no example.


People get in by lottery if there is enough room.  Everyone in the district can apply.  I don't know how you can with a straight face call International Community School or Tapestry Public Charter School "private" schools.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

The legislature could easily force systems to spend a certain large percent of Ed. $ in the classroom but they refuse to do it. Why? Maybe because that would limit charter profits.

bu2
bu2

@AvgGeorgian


Actually, the state does do this.  I think the figure is 65%.  DeKalb is below that and has had to ask the state for a waiver the last two years.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian @bu2 You are correct - just like Common Core Standards - if they are not enforced, they mean nothing,  Georgia should rigidly enforce the 65% rule, and if DeKalb does not comply, remove the Board members again.

PatandMike
PatandMike

@AvgGeorgian All charter schools -- conversion charter schools and start-up charter schools are public schools.


All charter schools -- conversion charter schools and start-up charter schools -- are NON-profits.  Check their listing on the Georgia Secretary of State's website.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@PatandMike @AvgGeorgian


Are you really ignoring for profit charter school management companies that manage non-profit? You do know non-profit is more of a tax term?

Mandella88
Mandella88

I challange Stan Jester to come here to this blog and publically state whether or not he had ANY knowledge whatsoever of the content of the emails between DeKalb's Superintendent and the DOE prior to the DeKalb Board meeting on September 14, 2015, keeping in mind that any open records request of the school board or DOE staff will show the truth.....

I know he and his wife read this blog, but I bet he won't post anything at all.

I wonder why?

Mandella88
Mandella88

Mr Jester, we are still WAITING FOR YOUR RESPONSE....


I'll tell you what - I'll give him 24 more hours, then I'm going to tell how you have all been fooled.  Maureen, hopefully, you will follow-up.....

PatandMike
PatandMike

@StanJester @Mandella88 Stan, are you kidding or what?  It very much looks like you are trying to dodge the question.  This is America, Stan.  Land of free speech.  Speak for yourself and just answer Mandella88's question:  

Did you or did you not have a copy of the required revisions in DeKalb County Schools "updated" charter schools policy prior to the most recent school board meeting?  If so, when did you get it?


We also want to know, did you or did you not know, prior to the most recent school board meeting, that what Green termed "suggestions" were required revisions to comply with state law?


WHAT did YOU know, Stan, and WHEN did you know it?

bu2
bu2

@DekalbInsideOut

This is all pretty disturbing.  Its hard to see how they can keep getting superintendents like that.


Maybe they should quit getting people who worked in Kansas City (Atkinson did also).  I have no idea why they think working at the worst school district in the country is a positive qualification.


We should find people who know what good school districts look like.  That is what I liked about the 2nd choice in the aborted search before Atkinson.  He had worked at several excellent school districts in addition to having inner city school experience.

StanJester
StanJester

@Mandella88 - Thank you for your thoughts.


The board chair, Dr. Melvin Johnson, speaks for the board.  I'm sure he would be happy to tell you what the board was and was not in receipt of.  You can reach Dr. Johnson at melvin_johnson@dekalbschoolsga.org


Superintendent Green can speak to what was and wasn't provided the board.  He can be reached at supt@dekalbschoolsga.org

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

The superintendent didn't provide the board the state requirements and the board was not able to go through them.  I'll bet you money the board chair and board lawyers had a copy of the state's required changes to the policy.

PatandMike
PatandMike

@DekalbInsideOut Board member Joyce Morley (aka The Luv Doctor) said publicly at the most recent board meeting that school board members had been meeting in small groups (Morley did not say who or how many) to discuss DeKalb County Schools' "updated" charter schools policy.  As far as we know, none of these meetings were publicized to the general public.


What did Morley and the rest of her cohorts know and when did they know it?

bu2
bu2

That "innovative and unique" was used as an excuse to deny the Druid Hills Charter Cluster even though the district wasn't doing some of those things in the area and wasn't doing some of those things at all, but merely planning it.

class80olddog
class80olddog

The goal of this policy is to make sure that no start-up charters are created that would not be under the strict control of DCSS.  Superintendents HATE charters - they have no control over them and they are a sign that parents are unhappy with the status quo.  Look at how the Cherokee County superintendent fought against charters - he said they obviously did not need them since they were perfect themselves.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog


Have the scores of the individual students that chose to attend the Cherokee charter school shown a marked increase  compared to their baseline scores? Has the charter school significantly outperformed the system controlling for student characteristics? Has Georgia lost jobs by sending tax money in the form of profits and operating expenses to USA Charter Schools corporation in Florida?


I bet you would pay $500 extra for a charter car vs. a regular car, though there is no difference except the name and, of course you would have a choice.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian @class80olddog  If my only choice was a charter car or a Chevrolet, and I had had a very bad experience with my previous Chevrolet, you can bet I would pay the extra $500. Most parents would spend the extra time to provide transportation for their kids if it meant a better education.  At least we would have that choice. No one is required to choose it.

PatandMike
PatandMike

@DekalbInsideOut Because Green is insubordinate and a liar.  The DeKalb County Board of Education is Green's employer.  Green should be fired.  No second chances.  No severance.  


We have already been down that road with the likes of Brown, Lewis, Tyson, Atkinson, Thurman, and their hangers-on, et al?  It is costly.  How many failed superintendents are still on the DeKalb County Schools payroll, feeding at the public trough and stealing from DeKalb's children?  Remember to count Tyson.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Sadly, there is no question that the "unique and innovative" language will be used to do exactly what Ms. Jester suggests - decline any application not connected via family or cronyism.  


Once again, the entrenched eduacracy proves that what it really cares about is control of the money - not new approaches that might help students actually be successful in life.


And I wonder why taxpayers have stopped buying into the eduacracy of "more money, and stay out".  

redweather
redweather

@dcdcdc I would not be surprised to learn that many charter applicants use that terminology whether they are required to or not. Nor should anyone be surprised to learn that they typically don't do much if any better than regualr public schools. So much for being unique and innovative. Buzzwords. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@dcdcdc


So funny - The charters are doing exactly that - demanding more money, no local control, and no transparency. Look up the salaries for the state charter schools and the amounts paid to their management companies - good luck.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian @dcdcdc  I do not know a one single charter that spends more per student than public schools.  If you want to see "demanding more money" just look on this blog about traditional schools.