Ah...Surely Not "Premier" DeKalb!
Superintendent "Candy Ass" Crawford Lewis Must Go!   
     Students actually need remedial tutoring when they arrive at college?  Ah, come on.  Surely this is not happening in places like DeKalb County.  Let’s just look at DeKalb County since it is well-represented when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s staff examined schools where students made A’s for the course but flunked the End-of-the-Course Standardized Examination.  Yes, DeKalb was well-represented on that list as it is now well-represented on the list which shows the percentage of students from metro Atlanta high schools who need remediation in their first year enrolled in Georgia public colleges.  DeKalb has four (4) high schools in the top ten; ten (10) high schools in the top twenty; and fifteen (15) high schools in the top thirty.  I’d say, “DeKalb (Houston), we have a problem.”  Your graduates cannot hack it in college.  You must have a lot of grade inflation taking place...like this is news to us.   The teachers get the message…they know that they are expected to just give students good grades, whether they earned them or not.  One of the criteria for No Child Left Behind is the number of children who fail.  Therefore, DeKalb’s glorious administration under the dubious “leadership” of Crawford Lewis has apparently decided to make sure that students do not fail…again, regardless of what the students do or don’t do.  (Might I suggest that the same thing takes place each day in the Atlanta Public Schools, but we all know that some cockamamie committee “named” Beverly Hall as “Superintendent of the Year.”  Hmm.  I suppose I too could be named a Soviet Cosmonaut.)  The teachers know that their jobs literally hang in the balance.  Just give out grades like a neighborly spinster gives out Halloween candy.  If you don’t, then lo and behold! You find yourself being written up for the most minor occurrences by mean and nasty administrators (those adjectives were not chosen lightly).  Angry and abusive administrators start writing you up…first on classroom observations (wow, it’s so easy to bubble in a “Needs Improvement” on “Building for Transfer”), then you are put on an onerous Professional Development Plan (PDP), and you are eventually given an “Unsatisfactory” (again, any nitwit can bubble this in) on our Annual Evaluation.  You are on your way to being corporately executed…all because you did not have enough sense to understand the winky-winky given to you by the administration.  They want you to give out good grades.  Enough of this principled (no pun intended) teaching with integrity!  This is a liability in the public schooling process, especially in school systems like DeKalb.   Well, perhaps Crawford Lewis will wring his hands and act like he has never heard of grade inflation or was ever even suspect of it.  Who wants to believe this fanciful notion? We met with a teacher not long ago who told us that she was getting much pressure to give out grades (grades which the students had not learned).  We showed up at her school, and the administration evidently backed off of her.  Just this past week, we were representing a teacher from Clarkston High School in a grievance.  When the Central Office Staff (under the “leadership” of State Senator Ronald Ramsey) got wind that a salient feature of this teacher’s grievance was his contention that systematic cheating was taking place, all of a sudden, the good Senator apparently did not want the grievance to go forward, and the teacher had every right to have the grievance to go forward.  The grievance law (OCGA 20-2-989.5 et seq.), passed in 1992, is very easy to read and understand.  “…the complainant is entitled to be heard, to present relevant evidence, and to examine witness at each level” (OCGA 20-2-989.8[4]).  What is it that the good Senator could not understand?  Perhaps he understood that his boss, Crawdaddy Lewis, did not want to hear any more bad news.  The administration in “Premier” DeKalb seems to be supersensitive to criticism at this juncture, especially in light of the fact that a Fifth Grader recently took his own life apparently because he was not getting any relief from bullying at school.  Perhaps this “Premier” DeKalb administration does not like the anti-bullying statutes on the books as well.  These administrators obviously do not like the statutes dealing with teacher grievances.  Well, MACE has some special ways that it deals with “candy _ss” administrators who are afraid to go by the law.   I do indeed believe that “Premier” DeKalb (as it laughably calls itself) administrators sweep flagrant and egregious disciplinary problems under the proverbial rug.  The discipline (or lack thereof) borders on the criminal side.  I heard last year that a gang came off the street and into one of the DeKalb high schools and gave a “premier” pistol-whipping to a Ninth Grader.  The DeKalb schools are just not safe.  But, the administration apparently had rather sweep serious matters under the rug…kids beating up and bullying other kids, administrators making teachers grade the tests of students who have been caught “red-handed” cheating (like they apparently do at Clarkston High School), kids cursing out and roughing up teachers, etc.  Remember:  DeKalb is “premier” because it probably paid untold thousands of dollars to an ad agency to come up with the laughable “Premier DeKalb” designation.  I can call myself “Dale Carnegie,” but I am still John Trotter.   Perhaps Mark Elgart and his “crack investigators” will cast their long and ominous shadows across I-285 and into “Premier” DeKalb.  There’s no telling what the boys and girls from SACS will find if they turn over a few of those Stone Mountain boulders.  Personally, I think that the DeKalb County School System is rotten to the core and that Superintendent Crawford Lewis should be given a one-way ticket out of town.  DeKalb County Schools, under Lewis’s rocky tenure, is getting worse.  Right now, it, along with the Atlanta Public Schools, are the two worst-run school systems in Georgia – and perhaps even in the Southeastern United States.  They are much worse than the Clayton County Schools, but for some inexplicable reason, Mark Elgart and his SACS minions decided to pick on Clayton County alone.  It probably stems from the Mark Elgart connection to Dan Colwell (Clayton superintendent who was fired in January of 2003) and Ericka Davis (who apparently wanted to use Mark Elgart and SACS to get her way, especially when she began losing power).  But, if these disparities in the grades and the standardized test scores (and the inordinate number of students who have to get remedial help in Georgia public colleges) do not get Mark Elgart’s attention, then perhaps that Fifth Grader taking his own life allegedly because he got no relief from school officials (even after his mother registered a complaint) will touch his cold Alpharetta heart.  Or, does Mark Elgart (of SACS) just want to keep using Clayton County as his token? ©MACE, May 4, 2009

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