Thursday, May 30, 2019

Time To Ponder And Wonder

Time has come for Green to flee the scene and it is a time of reflection about what went wrong. This time. Perhaps it is time to get past the immediate sting of what Dr. Billboards has done to us with our own money and consider that this master of PR is not the actual problem but is merely our most recent representation of a system structured for failure. We have a billion dollar business with bookkeeping and accounting practices designed to promote financial malfeasance. We have embedded incompetence that has not been removed or even weakened by law enforcement, who has tried, or by management, who really hasn't. The ecosystem is even worse. We seem to be surrounded by delusional parents who will vote for any eSPLOST under any circumstances because someone lays out the platitude that "it is for the children." How's that working for you?

This is NOT the time to look for a replacement who will "clean house." Instead it is time to examine this dilapidated structure starting at the very foundation creating a plan to build the system we need, the system we would build if we had nothing. Then and only then can we identify the qualities and capabilities needed to lead these schools to that destination.

Dr. Green is not the problem and his replacement is not the solution unless and until we step up to the plate and fix a broken system.

Monday, May 27, 2019

DeKalb Summer Youth Employment

Sounds good right? GIVE kids a summer job. That's right. They don't have to compete for the job. They don't have to earn it. Just another handout wrap-around service. To what end? Well, Michael Thurmond is quoted as saying [emphasis added]:
"In addition to receiving a paycheck, these youth are being introduced to job skills and a work ethic ..."
Really? Introduced? To a work ethic? Old enough to work, surely been in school and this is their first exposure to a work ethic? But guess what, these kids are all but guaranteed a diploma--apparently without without demeaning themselves by doing any work.

It isn't clear if the AJC is trying for a "save" or just don't know when to put down the shovel when they add:
participants receive softskills training, in which they learn about punctuality, conflict resolution, presentation and other important job skills
Say what? Is this to say they STILL don't actually practice punctuality they just learn about it? Is this like watching Jurassic Park and instantly being ordained a paleontologist? You watch things like this unfold and you wonder if reality is mimicking a Cascade commercial: what does our public school system do?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Failed Experiment

Sandy Springs, the poster child for Three-Pee-UhOh, is doing an about face by bringing much of the City's services in-house abandoning the over-hyped "run government as a business" concept. Seems vendor stickiness along with constant price increases was headed towards the level of bloat and excess that is the exclusive domain of governments. No amount of back room deals or no-show jobs for friends and family can make up for trespassing on government sovereignty. Hopefully they've calculated the risk of in-sourcing: previously hidden operations will now be subject to transparency and open records requests. What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, May 20, 2019

It Isn't Easy Being Green

It seems that the DeKalb School system simply cannot get its act together. Every now and then there is a ray of hope, sometimes enough to sneak through yet another eSPLOST, then, without fail things fall apart. Quickly. Badly. Completely.

This round, with Dr. Green, is arguably worse than usual as he never really seemed to have his act together. He bloated the administration with his buds from KC, a somewhat objectionable but common practice that would have been OK had he actually rooted out pre-existing problems and ejected incompetents from previous regimes. There have been non-stop questionable hires and churn even amongst his closest staff. Given the relative short tenure of the average urban school superintendent it is appalling to find a leader that cannot retain his own hand-picked lieutenants. And then there is the cultivation of teaching staff who are not equipped with a teaching certificate.

Now the state's Professional Standards Commission is investigating Dr. Green. Maybe next time we should have the PSC investigate candidates BEFORE they're hired.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Grade Inflation And Pay To Play

It is interesting that the local kerfuffle around AP grade inflation came hot on the heals of the pay-to-play admissions scandal. The grade inflation was exposed as it so often is: the no-work-straight-A kids took the AP exams and failed miserably. The parental terror is that this may eliminate all hope of getting a slot in one of their, or their child's, first choice schools. Now that you must earn your way in this is serious business.

Taken together these events say much, none of it good, about parents, children, schools and the entire education industry in America--and in your local neighborhood.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Emergency PR

The rules state that any purchase of $100K or more made by DeKalb Schools must be bid out and receive board approval. Assuming Dr. Green can read he must surely know that. There are loopholes to these rules with these requirements waived in the event of an emergency. Perhaps Dr. Green is seeing non-stop reports of his systems failure on every front as an emergency demanding some PR triage.

Some are saying we need money put into classrooms and not billboards. What this ignores is that DeKalb Schools have not, cannot and will not find success in the classroom and no amount of money will change that. What the Green Team can do successfully is put up billboards on 285.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dyslexia Is Not THE Problem

The governor recently signed legislation directing the state to address dyslexia through teacher training and early, perhaps more accurate, detection. In their promo-piece the AJC dropped this nugget:
'Only a third score "proficient" or better on reading tests by fourth grade, when the skill becomes essential for learning.'
This is a vein rich in mineable material.

That only a third score proficient or better means that two thirds fall into whatever self-esteem-boosting category the educrats have crafted to carry the meaning "illiterate." You could put the little buggers in the school auditorium and tell them "look to the left; look to the right; only ONE of you is literate." And yet 99% of the parents are certain that their darling is not only IN the literate third but very likely at the top.

We're also fed the notion that 'round 'bout fourth grade reading becomes "essential for learning." Really? Words are cheap but actions, those are what we should examine. What are our rather expensive public schools doing to address this failure of two thirds of those under their care? Are they being retained until they achieve proficiency as one would expect in a meritocracy where advancement is earned through achievement? Does remediation start in fifth grade and continue all the way through college? No, not at all. What happens is what has happened in K-4: they are passed along to become the next grade's, the next teachers', the next schools' problems.

And dyslexia legislation? That is just a way to further bloat administrations, to bolster the financials of colleges of education and pump out more teachers who just don't have the time to master subject matter. Hell, they may not even be able to read. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Facebook And The FTC

The FTC has found Facebook guilty of violations

The FTC is deliberating the appropriate penalties

The FTC is split along party lines with three Republicans favoring harsh penalties and the two Democrats pushing for leniency

Chuck Schumer's daughter works at Facebook

Thursday, May 2, 2019

It's Baaaaack!

Just cannot keep that Blue Bag Rag down. Or out.

Seems another local outfit, Appen Media Group, scooped up the Dunwoody Crier just before its expiration date. Perhaps out of nostalgia, new owners have stepped up to the plate, maintaining the operation. What they have not maintained is the preachy propaganda of Dunwoody, Dunwoody, uber alles and the George Will wannabe obsession with sports. Instead it looks as if we may be treated to the Joe Friday treatment: the facts ma'am, just the facts. Objective. Refreshing. And worth giving a try.