Gwinnett: Superintendent Wilbanks Should Be Fired!


Gwinett County superintendent Alvin Wilbanks under-reported tens of thousands of incidents on the state-mandated discipline report. He offered the lame excuse that this was done unintentionally. Who believes this bunch of poppycock? Wilbanks apparently created a culture of repression within the Gwinnett County Schools. Principals apparently understood from the superintendent’s under-bosses that accurately reporting the disciplinary incidents – especially the ones dealing with violence and sex – would be frowned upon by the administration. Of course, this type of looking askance upon disciplinary referrals and reports are not peculiar to the Gwinnett School System. It’s pretty prevalent in most of the school systems throughout Georgia – especially the metro systems. The bigger the school system, the bigger the problem. (On the heels of the flagrant disregard for the state mandate for reporting the disciplinary incidents, it was discovered that the Atlanta system – where students behave worse than students anywhere in Georgia – had over forty schools that reported nothing. That’s right: zero reporting.) Superintendents are trying to fool the public into thinking that everything is "hunky-dory" in their school systems. They want all of the parents, business persons, and the public-at-large to believe that there are no problems at all in their school systems. It makes you wonder that if a school system is so intent on cheating on disciplinary reports, how far will the school system go in cheating or fudging on their standardized test scores? Hmm. No wonder that some schools’ test scores have "miracle growth" from year to year.

The once haughty and arrogant Gwinnett County School System (remember the "Gwinnett Is Great" mantra?) now has eighteen schools on the dreaded No Child Left Behind "bad" list. (Looks like Gwinnett "ain’t" so great after all.) The Professional Standards Commission has taken up the case against Gwinnett superintendent Alvin Wilbanks. Expect only a slap on the hand. There’s a special club for the superintendents. The "club" takes care of those who have been fired or who have gotten themselves into hot water – like ole Alvin. He’ll be taken care of. But, if it were a classroom educator who flagrantly falsified or omitted certain information on a state-mandated report, well, this teacher would be headed for the soup line. There’s a double standard for educators in the Georgia Public Schools – one for the classroom educators and one for the administrators. We at MACE understand this, and that’s why, unlike GAE and PAGE, we don’t allow administrators to join MACE.

Note: This past Saturday (9-13-03), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a headline article, announcing that the Professional Standards Commission (PSC) found no evidence that Alvin Wilbanks "intentionally" did not report over 40,000 disciplinary incidents to the state. Hmm. We sound like prophets. The above article was written in early August. The PSC should stand for Pretty Strange Conclusion (PSC): Administrators are exonerated and teachers are guilty!

August 15, 2003

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