DCSD - SACS Update with Mark Elgart (04/01/2013) 
6:14
 
Elgart: you can't have a dysfunctional board and high student achievement.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:14 Moderator
6:16
 
Elgart: The 3 most important things for a board are Vision, purpose and direction
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:16 Moderator
6:17
[Comment From nancy_jesternancy_jester: ] 
Hello - just signed on!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:17 nancy_jester
6:21
 
Elgart: Do you have the appropriate resources and distributed equitably. Equitable doesn't mean equally. It means where they are needed.

Data - Are you using data effectively? Are you using data to improve the quality of thesystem.

We come in every 5 years for an evaluation. Last year we came in. We put together a report of substandard areas. The system is expected to address those substandard areas.

Are there any questions?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:21 Moderator
6:21
nancy_jester: 
Moderator - I missed his first comments but note that you said Elgart stated that you can't have high student achievement and a dysfunctional board. I would add that you can have a "highly functional" board (by his definition) and very poor student achievement.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:21 nancy_jester
6:26
 
http://www.nancyjester.com/sacs/jan142013wsjriseoftheaccreditor.aspx

SACS put UVA on probation. That is top 3 public colleges in the country.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:26 Moderator
6:31
 
Elgart: When I talk to people, I have to talk to people differently than I would if I was a regular parent. The same goes for board members.

Why do you need to communicate with a system employee as a board member? It's not your job. Your job is to Govern.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:31 Moderator
6:32
[Comment From dcsw2dcsw2: ] 
One of our staff knew Werner Rogers, former state superintendent of schools. His children began at DeKalb County's Montgomery School and they graduated from Chamblee High School. Werner and his wife, Judi, were active parents in the schools. But, when Werner walked into the schools no one knew that he was the state superintendent of schools. He was simply a parent.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:32 dcsw2
6:33
 
I would answer that and say
A. Why would a citizen or parent need to talk to a system employee? Board members might need to communicate for the same reason.

B. The GA Constitution and OCGA says the job of a board member is to "Manage & Control". OCGA goes on to say that boards should not "micromanage", but it does not define that term.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:33 Moderator
6:35
dcsw2: 
Elgart's story about not going into his two daughters' school is interesting but irrelevant. He sends his daughters to private school. He is unbelievably arrogant and we really do not care what his agreement was with his mother when she was chair of the school board and he was a student representative to that board.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:35 dcsw2
6:37
[Comment From Just JanJust Jan: ] 
Elgart tells board members not to help people. Don't even take their issue to the administration for them. Wow! Does he not realize that the administration treats parents with contempt?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:37 Just Jan
6:37
dcsw2: 
Elgart is full of it. We can absolutely talk about parents who followed the ladder of authority to get serious issues resolved and got no response from Atkinson, Howe, March. Ziegler and the school principal refused to act saying they did not have the authority.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:37 dcsw2
6:38
 
Elgart: You have challenges with the barage of communication from constituency. If you solve somebody's problem, then you have to solve them all. This is not the right process. You need to tell them that you will pass their issues to the principal, Superintendent, etc...

Board members have been pitted against other board members discussing who's problem is more important. Student's trying to transfer for football (Jay Cunningham).

Use of financial resources. You're operating a system with debt. The decisions getting you here have been made over the last 10 years. You have more attorneys than any 3 systems combined.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:38 Moderator
6:39
Just Jan: 
@dcsw2 It's just horrible how the administration treats kids and parents. He doesn't care.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:39 Just Jan
6:40
dcsw2: 
All the faults that elgart is pointing out are true. however, he has known about these problem for the past 10 years. He hasd watched them grow and he has done nothing. He has refused to meet with community members who wanted to provide him with documentation. He has sent teams to "investigate" DCSS on what must have been an "all expenses paid" vacation because they did nothing serious and neither did Elgart.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:40 dcsw2
6:41
 
2007 Elgart gave DCSD high grades in their review
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:41 Moderator
6:41
nancy_jester: 
Not one report from AdvancED addressed the financial deceptions until I brought it up publicly.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:41 nancy_jester
6:41
[Comment From Paula CaldrellaPaula Caldrella: ] 
Hopefully we can have a meaningful conversation with regards to DCSS. I hate to see this become an "Elgart bash session".
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:41 Paula Caldrella
6:42
dcsw2: 
We think that AdvancED/SACS is obviously WAY too large and the U. S. Department of Education needs to be informed of that -- from your representatives to Congress. AdvancED/SACS is a monopoly and it is not run at all well, while it is sucking out money from school systems and damaging the communities those school systems serve.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:42 dcsw2
6:42
 
Paula, please help highlight Elgart's strong points. Thanks!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:42 Moderator
6:45
[Comment From I am hereI am here: ] 
Parents have been part of the problem. Left over from issues from decades ago, there are many in the county have a sense of entitlement. Cunningham was reelected because he caved into those parents.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:45 I am here
6:45
dcsw2: 
Elgart keeps saying that this has been going on for 10years. Yes. He has known about it for that long -- and probably longer. 10 years. That means that DCSS has sent 10 graduating classes -- almost a whole 12-year generation of students -- our into the world with a substandard education. Elgart, AdvancED/SACS do not take into consideration that students do not stand still waiting for the "process" to be fixed. Elgart should be red-faced embarrassed that he has allowed that to happen.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:45 dcsw2
6:45
 
Where are we with GAC accreditation with some of our High Schools?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:45 Moderator
6:46
nancy_jester: 
Good point Paula. I think people are frustrated. SACS said in 2007 that DCSS has "effective leadership at all levels". That very report is available on the website. It would be good if he'd accept some responsibility. People are rightly skeptical about SACS intentions to help DCSS. As the American Council of Trustees and Alumni has stated, "accreditors like SACS are more interested in protecting the prerogatives of faculty and administrators who benefit from the status quo."
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:46 nancy_jester
6:46
dcsw2: 
ABSOLUTELY!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:46 dcsw2
6:49
 
Elgart: The next most important thing you do is put together a budget. You will have to put together a budget that benefits the entire system and not just the special interests. Then you can work on building a cohesive team.

What are the major objectives for next year's budget? Thurmond should be providing guide posts.

Training - At the same time you should be getting training.

We don't expect improved student achievement by December. We will expect a balanced budget. We will expect the ability to align the resources with the needs of the district. Will need the ability to give the students and teachers a path for improvement.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:49 Moderator
6:51
dcsw2: 
Wait. We have lost at least 10 graduating classes. How about focusing on that?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:51 dcsw2
6:52
[Comment From I am hereI am here: ] 
What changed and madethe flaws so much more evident, was the change in the fiscal situation. On top of that we had a board unwilling to ask questions for the most part and the staff unwilling to answer questions asked. The problem was there wasn't a cohesive group on the board to change the culture.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:52 I am here
6:53
 
Elgart: Your first and formost responsibility is the service to the community, not just white and black communities.

There are 11 required actions. You should organize them by student achievement, fiscal, governance. I don't expect them to be solved by December. Given the time lost over the last few months, we understand. I do not expect to reinstate full accreditation by December.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:53 Moderator
6:54
 
Elgart: I commend you for your commitment to face these challenges. If you stay focused and balanced, you will get there in a short period of time.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:54 Moderator
6:54
nancy_jester: 
I'm curious how citizens feel about the governance paradigm that SACS mandates relative to how it insulates administrations from the people, the taxpayers, who fund them. What happens when taxpayers feel that their interests are not aligned with how the district is being managed by the administration? What if the administration acts punitively to some stakeholders? What mechanism does the public have for redress?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:54 nancy_jester
6:55
I am here: 
I like what Elgert said about the budget. The challenge the last two years has been unwillingness to make the difficult cuts and instead certain things were protected and classrooms suffer. I also think it is essential that staff is held accountable for their lack of knowledge at meetings and for being unprepared.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:55 I am here
6:56
Just Jan: 
Is Elgart telling them to hire more "outside" experts?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:56 Just Jan
6:56
dcsw2: 
An outstanding teacher with a real Ph.D. who has done amazing things for students and expects the best from students -- all students -- was just told today that his contract would not be renewed. This teacher has also been outspoken over the years and we think, but are not sure, that the teacher's wife spoke at the recent BOE meeting and was understandably critical about the manner in which DCSS is run. On Tuesday, an excellent teacher was told his contract would not be renewed.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:56 dcsw2
6:57
I am here: 
Should say few years, not two.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:57 I am here
6:58
dcsw2: 
Yes, Just Jan, that is exactly what he is doing. One of our staff has extensive experience with SACS. They also will expect these "experts" to come from various parts of the country, supervised by SACS, and it is an all-expenses paid play date for all of them. Very costly.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:58 dcsw2
6:58
Just Jan: 
@Iamhere - The one person who knew what to do about the budget was thrown out with the rest.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:58 Just Jan
6:58
 
Coleman: What do you mean by community involvement? How does the board initiate that without micromanaging?

Elgart: First, you must define the process. Hire an outside resource to help with this. The staff opinions are just as important as a teacher, parent, student or principal. You want to establish a core planning team with representatives from various interests. The core planning team assembles puts together mission statements, core values, etc. Then the community responds to that..
Wednesday April 3, 2013 6:58 Moderator
7:00
[Comment From DeKalbInsideOutDeKalbInsideOut: ] 
The board asked for a number of things at the last board meeting. I'm curious to see if the administration gets it. If not, what does the board do about it.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:00 DeKalbInsideOut
7:00
dcsw2: 
Our recommendation to contractors and anyone who is owed money by DCSS -- get it now. This school system is going out of business and Elgart and AdvancED/SACS will be greasing the skids while they have their hands in DCSS pockets. Get your money now.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:00 dcsw2
7:01
I am here: 
Neetsie, I think the problem in DeKalb is more complicated than most. Parents have become Used to getting their way and having board members intervene for every little issue. Therefore, the system has become bogged down and more inefficient than most bureaucracies.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:01 I am here
7:02
Just Jan: 
He's dodging the question!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:02 Just Jan
7:02
dcsw2: 
Don't you love it when they say, "Great question!"? What that really means is "Oh, sh^t! How do I BS my way out of this so I am not blamed? This is the response from Perrone, Brantley, Howe, March, Wilkins.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:02 dcsw2
7:02
 
Elgart: You are governing the school system. You're not the state legislature.

Dr Morley: How did this go for 10 years before it was stopped?

Elgart: You've been lacking a unified board and a good Superintendent. You need the right people on the board.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:02 Moderator
7:03
Just Jan: 
@Iamhere - The parents only need help because the administration treats them like crap.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:03 Just Jan
7:03
dcsw2: 
Oh, yes. He is dodging the question because he knows that SACS is responsible for so much of what happened.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:03 dcsw2
7:03
DeKalbInsideOut: 
If the administration doesn't help ... where can they go. Elgart just said that the board can't help individuals. Yeah, it'd be great if DCSD was helpful.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:03 DeKalbInsideOut
7:04
I am here: 
That should say Nancy. And for the last 12 years the system has had a superintendent who consistently caved to what individual parents asked. The evidence is throughout the county and the problems and complications of this exist today Exhibit 1 Arabia Mountain high school. I know it in healthier school systems there is a better balance
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:04 I am here
7:06
dcsw2: 
This from Elgart who pays about $4,000 a year in property tax and then sends his two daughters to private school.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:06 dcsw2
7:06
 
Elgart: DeKalb has a North/South - Black/White issues. DeKalb has schools doing well. Those schools have no incentive to improve. Other schools want to improve, but don't have the capacity. How do you get those schools to improve? Everybody needs to be improve. The schools doing well are fighting tooth and nail to protect what they have.

The board has been fighting these same battles. You can change that culture. Those that have it should fight for those that do not.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:06 Moderator
7:06
I am here: 
Just jan. That is the case sometimes. But often what parents are asking for is not reasonable, is not within the norms of what a school system should provide, and has an impact on the entire system.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:06 I am here
7:07
nancy_jester: 
Dr. Morley's question is really important. She was clearly asking why no one intervened. Where was SACS; where was the State DOE? I stated in a blog that DCSS was operating out of compliance with DOE guidelines (chapter 2 on financial operations). What did the state ever do about that? Nothing. There were no consequences for this. SACS never sent in a financial professional in all of the years of reviews. They did no analysis of budget versus actual. These variances were large and unsustainable.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:07 nancy_jester
7:09
dcsw2: 
SACS reports are written by educators for educators? What about writing them in understandable language for the folks who are paying the bills?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:09 dcsw2
7:09
 
Mayfield: Timeline and Strategic planning - Regarding the 11 requirements, you said there might be an extension. You mentioned academic performance would require 3 - 5 years for improvement. Can we get off probation before that?

Elgart: You can get off probation and move to advisement. There is a ladder you will follow.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:09 Moderator
7:09
Just Jan: 
@Iamhere - I have seen many more cases where reasonable parents are mistreated. Children are injured by the actions of these people. Look at how they assign principals.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:09 Just Jan
7:10
[Comment From Dunwoody SupermomDunwoody Supermom: ] 
Elgart just said it'll take a good 3 years before we get "accredited"...wow - glad DHS is working towards GAC accreditation asap - other high schools that are successful (despite the system's probation as a whole) should work on this, as well.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:10 Dunwoody Supermom
7:10
dcsw2: 
They don't write these reports understandably so that they can hide behind vague language.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:10 dcsw2
7:11
dcsw2: 
Capacity = lots of money. Incentive to improve = someone else must do the work.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:11 dcsw2
7:11
 
Elgart: Use of deployment of technology is way behind other systems of this size. Getting that in place is the first step. You need information to improve. Then you can instruct teachers on how to use these systems. Then you'll see progress
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:11 Moderator
7:12
nancy_jester: 
Re: Technology Elgart discussed how DCSS is far behind here in harvesting data and using it to inform teaching/decisions.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:12 nancy_jester
7:12
nancy_jester: 
That's interesting to me because the former interim superintendent was in charge of technology and is widely praised by SACS.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:12 nancy_jester
7:12
dcsw2: 
Let's see. Deployment technology. Harvesting data. That ALL lands squarely at Ramona Tyson's feet.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:12 dcsw2
7:13
nancy_jester: 
I do agree with Elgart though. It goes back to my thesis about DCSS. We only have 2 problems: (1) Incompetence and (2) Fraud
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:13 nancy_jester
7:14
I am here: 
It would be good for Thurmond to get rid of Tyson It would restore some confidence and those of us who are watching closely.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:14 I am here
7:14
nancy_jester: 
The system is mired in incompetence and nothing short of a massive change of personnel will fix this. I don't see that happening but hope springs eternal.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:14 nancy_jester
7:14
I am here: 
Dunwoody, He said full accreditation as in not being on probation or other levels of concern. He did not say we would lose accreditation and then take three years to get it back.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:14 I am here
7:14
dcsw2: 
Oh, yes -- Elgart has made it very clear that he thinks Tyson was/is competent and would be an ideal candidate for superintendent. He actually accepted all of the garbage -- 25,000 pages of it -- that Tyson put together before.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:14 dcsw2
7:15
 
Mayfield: Does SACS have a template for the deliverables.

Elgart: We have a template. You need to identify how you achieved these goals and give us evidence they were achieved.

Mayfield: do you have criteria ... can you quantifiy these achievements.

Elgart: yes. we have rubrics

Mayfield: Is it possible to get a copy of these rubrics?

Elgart: yes

Mayfield: Do you have people we can contact to help us?

Elgart: I have given Thurmond some contacts.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:15 Moderator
7:19
 
Coleman: budget is most immediate need. What evidence will tell you our process has been effective?

Elgart: One of the objectives you want to achieve is a list of high level strategic objectives. Staff will provide you a plan. You will need to question that. The first series of budget cuts need to happen far from the classroom. You should not increase class size or resources. You have to give the staff parameters about what cuts are and are not acceptable.

My opinion is that you have gutted the classrooms. You need to restore the classrooms. You need effective leaders in your school and effective teachers. You need the resources to compete for the good teachers.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:19 Moderator
7:19
Dunwoody Supermom: 
No, I am Here, he never said we'd lose accreditation...But if it will be 3 years before full accreditation, which is what he said, based on his ladder of levels, I still would prefer to have my successful school earn GAC accreditation individually, as a safety net. This will help to ease the minds of parents, businesses looking to locate in our area, as well as hopefully keep our property values from plummeting.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:19 Dunwoody Supermom
7:23
I am here: 
Nancy, I am guessing you can't say but I thought the deal was Ramona was supposed to be gone after the last supers first year?!?.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:23 I am here
7:23
dcsw2: 
Did anyone notice that Elgart is unaware that the election for BOE members is in the summer of 2014, NOT in November of 2014?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:23 dcsw2
7:24
 
Orson: Relationship between the central office and the school house. The boards turn over, but there is inertia with the administration.

Elgart: The Superintendent must establish the infrastructure. Think about the operation and not the person. Look to your neighbor systems to see how to right size your administration. How quickly can you then move to that structure? The board plays a role in restructuring. The Superintendent will deploy it. Don't get involved with imployment. Thurmond needs to objectively engage the board with the design of the system. Thurmond will then make the decision on who fills those positions. The board must stay out of the administration.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:24 Moderator
7:25
nancy_jester: 
I am here, if that was a deal, I wasn't aware of that. After her superintendent contract was over, her salary was to return to her previous salary. But there was no language or tacit agreement that she would leave the district.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:25 nancy_jester
7:28
dcsw2: 
But, Tyson's salary did not return to the previous level, did it?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:28 dcsw2
7:29
nancy_jester: 
It should have. The reporting to the state lags and is done on a fiscal year basis. It will take a couple of cycles before the open gov website reflects this. But you could open records request proof of this.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:29 nancy_jester
7:30
 
Johnson: How can we correlate the strategic plan and curriculum to improve student achievement?

Elgart: There are 2 or 3 things. Educating is your core business. Identify where are your greatest needs. Why are some areas successful and some not? You're an urban system and not segregated. What strategies are going to deploy? Some schools employ bring your own technology. Some schools provide all the students with technology. There is a growing technology gap. Kids don't know anything but the internet and technology. Technology is the greatest way to reduce that gap.

Equity is giving to the people that need it. Equal is giving to everybody whether they need it or not. Everybody doesn't need the same.

We want to see that you are having conversations like this. Are you ensuring equity. What can you do at the board level to support that.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:30 Moderator
7:30
I am here: 
It is possible that I am remembering incorrectly. I do remember the part about the salary. I think the common wisdom was that she would be wise to move on. Of course that never happened.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:30 I am here
7:32
Dunwoody Supermom: 
I have a problem with a script to communicate with constituents...if someone wants to reach out to their board member, they shouldn't feel like they're receiving a scripted response to their unique problem.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:32 Dunwoody Supermom
7:33
nancy_jester: 
Well, that wisdom would be an opinion but there was nothing in writing to that effect. I'm not sure that would be legal or congruent with state statutes.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:33 nancy_jester
7:33
 
Coleman: You said the operating environment was operating in deficit. I heard you say error on the side of caution. You're saying to be less engaged.

Elgart: You need to agree standard operating procedure for answering emails and phone calls. I recommend a script for the board members.

Agree on a standard operating procedure. You are not the vehicle for solving the problems of individuals. DCSD has enough staff to solve the issues of the community.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:33 Moderator
7:35
 
Dr Morley: We need to be realistic about North vs South. 10 years or more have built this culture. South dekalb doesn't have the economic capacity. Both might be lacking.

Elgart: Some areas need more than others. We can't compete for or trade for resources.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:35 Moderator
7:35
Just Jan: 
Dr. Morely is already saying that "South DeKalb" needs more. Aren't we suppose to get rid of north vs. south?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:35 Just Jan
7:37
 
??? Board member: How does a public trust that what we do stays in place with the next board.

Elgart: We need to strategize on how to keep these changes permanent. I have deep concerns with the next election. This districts best chance is for this board to stay in place.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:37 Moderator
7:38
Just Jan: 
Wow! Is Dr. Elgart talking about engineering an election? Does he not appreciate democracy?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:38 Just Jan
7:38
Just Jan: 
Why doesn't he just pick boards for life?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:38 Just Jan
7:38
Dunwoody Supermom: 
scary, isn't it, Just Jan...
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:38 Dunwoody Supermom
7:39
 
Orson: What are the components of capacity with struggling communities?

Elgart: Capacity isn't always financial. Design and the right people will affect capacity.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:39 Moderator
7:40
Just Jan: 
@Dunwoody supermom - yes it IS scary! It seems like he's saying that the community can't be trusted to make their own decisions about spending their tax dollars.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:40 Just Jan
7:42
nancy_jester: 
Just Jan and Dunwoody Supermom, I've said it before, we have a Soviet style delivery method for education. It isn't strange that we would hear this type of talk from someone at the top of the educrat compensation food chain. They are very dictatorial. That just isn't a sustainable model for leadership.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:42 nancy_jester
7:42
dcsw2: 
What is scary is that Elgart is alluding to and edging toward working out a situation where our vote will continue to be taken from us and he will manage to get the whole board appointed.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:42 dcsw2
7:42
DeKalbInsideOut: 
The feds have gone from $300/student to $1000/student funding over the last 5 years.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:42 DeKalbInsideOut
7:42
 
McMahan: Is there a timeline for training we need before June?

Elgart: It's going to be on the job training. Look to other counties and learn from their strategies for managing budgets. Gwinnet is a good example. They don't cut and hope. They made far fewer financial cuts. They reallocated towards the needs. Budget shortfalls are expected to grow.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:42 Moderator
7:44
dcsw2: 
Further -- Elgart is so insensitive that he does not understand that holding up Gwinnett as an example to DeKalb is painful as DeKalb is funding a lot of their budget. They never have to raise taxes and they can make plans because DeKalb's funding and funding from other counties will continue to flow into Gwinnett.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:44 dcsw2
7:46
dcsw2: 
Thurmond -- ever political.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:46 dcsw2
7:46
 
Elgart: The tax base cannot support education. The federal government won't support it. Cuts won't do the trick.

Mayfield: What counties have been successful in ....

Elgart: The counties have developed shared commitments in the communities. When county governments identify a way to share resources, they save money on both sides of the equation. Transportation, purchasing power. Reduce overhead. Dekalb currently has problems in the school district and county government which is a problem.

Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:46 Moderator
7:46
nancy_jester: 
That is true DSW2. The "equalization grant" issue should be addressed but the political will isn't there as a state. Gwinnett has a strong delegation (including the chair of the house education committee) and they aren't interested in changing the status quo.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:46 nancy_jester
7:47
nancy_jester: 
Gwinnett receives the largest amount of equalization grant money. It's sad because there are rural districts that are struggling.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:47 nancy_jester
7:48
 
Johnson : We need a strategy for communicating to reduce the anxiety and concerns to our stakeholders.

Elgart: There needs to be a plan and timeline for each action item. Steps for next year and each year. That can be put into a communication tool with the community. Some districts have a bar graph with a timeline online. Be transparent on your website.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:48 Moderator
7:51
Just Jan: 
Just what we need, more consultants. Wonder if Elgart gets a kickback?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:51 Just Jan
7:51
Dunwoody Supermom: 
Elgart the savior....
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:51 Dunwoody Supermom
7:52
Just Jan: 
The board should engage Elgart but parents can't engage with their board member. That's going to work well.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:52 Just Jan
7:52
 
McMahan: Define equity or equitable.
Elgart: Equity is targeting resources based on need.


Coleman: How do we engage you?
Elgart: I live in your backyard, so I commit to be available to Thurmond and the Governor's advisors. We will give you contacts that can also help you.

I also encourage the board to engage me like tonight. We need to build on meetings like tonight. The system depends on good leadership. This is the best contribution we can make.

You're not the only school with these problems - debt, student achievement, etc...
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:52 Moderator
7:53
dcsw2: 
Our thinking exactly. Elgart is dead wrong about providing names privately. He tries to remove himself from the requirements of Georgia's Open Records and Open Meetings acts. But, the recent Open Records law is specific about saying that Elgart and AdvancED/SACS MUST provide this information because they are paid with tax dollars.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:53 dcsw2
7:54
dcsw2: 
Elgart sounds like he is giving a valedictory speech.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:54 dcsw2
7:54
dcsw2: 
It's hard to commend people who never stepped up before and, as far as we can tell, have NO track record in working even as volunteers in the schools.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:54 dcsw2
7:54
Dunwoody Supermom: 
"Act as if all 9 of you are appointed"....how about, "act as if all 9 of you were ELECTED"?!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:54 Dunwoody Supermom
7:55
 
Elgart: Final Comments. Stabiliity is important. Focus is another important factor. Stay focused. A lot of people will be distracting to your focus. Stay diciplined.

You will achieve incremental results. Don't try to fix something overnight. Expect incremental and lasting results.

I commend you all for taking on this challenge. The old board needs to unite with the 6 new members. This board should consider themselves 9 appointed board members.

Make sure the vision for this district is right.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:55 Moderator
7:56
Just Jan: 
It is crazy that he wants them all to act like they are appointed. That means he wants them to think that they are not responsible to the taxpayers.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:56 Just Jan
7:56
dcsw2: 
We are convinced: Elgart is laying the groundwork for taking away our votes and making sure the DCSS BOE is fully appointed with people Elgart approves. We must let our elected representatives know that we cannot accept that.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:56 dcsw2
7:56
Dunwoody Supermom: 
Thurmond: "...a blessing for us to have this unique opportunity to get it right for the children of this county. Thank you Mr. Elgart...."
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:56 Dunwoody Supermom
7:57
dcsw2: 
WHAT are the 9 announcements Johnson won't read but that BOE members are expected to ahere to?
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:57 dcsw2
7:57
 
Johnson: Thank you for giving us direction and answers. Thank you audience for being a part of this.

Thurmond: Dekalb Chamber of Commerce is here. They will be an involved part of this process. We have the opportunity to mold a new system for the children of this county. I look forward to this challenge.

Meeting Adjourned.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:57 Moderator
7:58
DeKalbInsideOut: 
There are a number of very interesting comments made this evening.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:58 DeKalbInsideOut
7:58
nancy_jester: 
Thanks everyone! Time to get kids to bed. Good night!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:58 nancy_jester
7:59
Should the board have a script for phone calls and emails?
Yes
 ( 0% )
No
 ( 100% )

8:03
 
We look forward to seeing you on the blogs!!
Wednesday April 3, 2013 8:03 Moderator