Superintendent Crew – Positive Public Feedback

According to DeKalb School’s Public Relations firm, public feedback is very positive regarding the announcement of Superintendent Rudy Crew.

“Today’s announcement of Dr. Rudy Crew as the sole superintendent finalist for DeKalb County Schools has garnered significant media coverage so far, both in the metro Atlanta region and nationally, achieving 100 percent neutral-to-positive mentions in traditional media and 94 percent neutral-to-positive sentiment on Twitter.”

Please continue to share your thoughts with the Board of Education and media directly and through social media channels.

Porter Novelli
In January this year, DeKalb Schools hired public relations firm Porter Novelli for $200K to assist with the national superintendent search. One of their stated directives is to “Assist with building excitement about and confidence in the candidate selected.”

Porter Novelli Update on Candidate Announcement
This is today’s Porter Novelli update to the Board of Education regarding the announcement of Dr. Crew.

Today’s announcement of Dr. Rudy Crew as the sole superintendent finalist for DeKalb County Schools has garnered significant media coverage so far, both in the metro Atlanta region and nationally, achieving 100 percent neutral-to-positive mentions in traditional media and 94 percent neutral-to-positive sentiment on Twitter. So far, in total, there have been 45 stories published about the announcement, including the AP, AJC and major Atlanta news stations. We expect to see that number grow within the next 24 hours. We are pleased with the results, particularly during an extremely busy news day in Georgia. You can find complete lists of traditional and social media coverage attached.

Traditional Media
The two most prominent stories are an AP piece (which has been syndicated to 28 outlets so far, including The News & Observer, the Houston Chronicle, the PostStar in New York and the Bradenton Herald) and two stories in the AJC, one using our advance interview with board chairman Marshall Orson. Here are a few significant quotes we pulled from those articles.

• From the AP story:

“The DeKalb County school board members on Thursday named Rudy Crew as their sole finalist to lead the suburban Atlanta district, which has 96,000 students. Crew has had success in New York and Florida, but also has experienced significant controversy in those roles, something not unusual for the leader of a major school district… The move may reflect the desire of DeKalb school board members to hit a home run with their new hire. The district often suffers in comparison to other suburban Atlanta districts, and has been beset by financial and administrative turmoil in recent years.”

• From Marlon’s interview with Marshall:

“[B]oard chairman Marshall Orson said the board was impressed by Crew’s track record of innovative thinking, saying it brought significant growth among student outcomes that district leaders here have put high on their wish list in recent searches. Crew’s past controversies ‘do not distract from the positive leadership we think he’s going to provide for DeKalb County,’ Orson said Thursday morning. ‘Some of the reforms he’s introduced were called cutting-edge, or seen as innovative. We’re confident he will lead us with the kind of thoughtfulness and attention to detail we need.’”

• From Marlon’s article on the announcement:

“Not every board member praised Crew during the meeting. Board member Stan Jester said he had concerns that the district could lost progress made under Tyson in the last six months, and questioned Crew’s history, which include allegations of questionable spending and obstructing a sexual assault investigation when he led New York City school. Board member Michael Erwin did not speak on Crew during the meeting. ‘I understand history can be our teacher if we allow it, but I hope we can look forward to the future,’ Board vice chairwoman Vickie B. Turner said. ‘You can’t live in this life and not have experienced some challenges and some negative things. It’s a part of life. But I believe it is incumbent upon us to come together not just as a district but as a community and take us to the next level.’”

Additionally, several local outlets ran the press release, including:
11Alive: “They announced on Thursday Dr. Rudy Crew, who brings decades of experience and most recently served as president of Medgar Evers College, a public college in New York City, for seven years.”
WSB-TV and WSB radio: “The decision is the result of a five-month search that included 68 applicants and was informed by community feedback collected in focus groups and an online survey.”
WABE: “Crew began his career as a teacher. He taught middle school and served as a high school principal in California and Massachusetts before working in district administration.”
CBS46: “The DeKalb County School District said Crew brings decades of top-level K-12 experience to the role.”

As expected, our normal array of DeKalb-focused papers also ran the press release, including The Champion, Reporter Newspapers and Decaturish.

Social Media
From a social standpoint, the announcement of Dr. Rudy Crew as the DeKalb County superintendent finalist resulted in 46 mentions referencing the news. Mentions peaked between noon and 1 p.m., corresponding to when the news broke. 54% of these mentions were retweets from DeKalb County Schools, Marlon Walker and WSB-TV, including live tweets during the board meeting, calling out board members’ input on the finalist.

Top mentions include:

48 responses to “Superintendent Crew – Positive Public Feedback

  1. Not surprised

    I noticed that none of the negative info about Crew was mentioned.

  2. Color me shocked

    So, what I’m hearing is, DCSD is paying a public relations firm mega-bucks to hide any negative press about the only candidate for the job.

  3. I my gosh! Someone is pushing him so hard! Shocking how they spin it! That’s the US today:((

  4. Just don’t understand!!!

    No, that’s DeKalb. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  5. Despina Lamas

    I’m incredibly disappointed to hear that a 70 year old man who took 9 weeks of paid vacation at his last job and who has a checkered history (from my google searches) is our candidate.

  6. Somethings Rotten in Dekalb

    Stan, if I’m reading this right we need to directly email the other 6 BOE reps and post to DCSD social media?

  7. You should reach out to the board members individually through email and social media channels. Ask them what they think and let them know what you think. Do the same with the media.

  8. A lifelong resident taxpayer

    I am always hopeful and yet always end up disappointed.

    In my opinion, not keeping Michael Thurmond was a huge mistake by this board. Not only was he local, he had an ethical history with no hint of scandal. He saw problems in many areas and implemented programs to address those problems. I have no idea if those programs still exist but I am sure the problems do.

    Through past decades, Thurmond has been the only one who managed the district’s budget, with responsibility to our children and tax dollars, only to turn it over and have it depleted again. The last superintendent spent way too much money bringing in cronies from his past position and paying one who went AWOL. Now the BOE has hired someone with questionable spending and you wasted 200k on the most ridiculous PR program I have NOT been impressed with. I was in PR with Stone Mountain Park. I know how to spin junk. these press releases are ridiculous. I have not seen ONE positive thing he has accomplished in his past positions, only what others have written. I sure want to know what is in his contract.

    What I expect to see is a detailed and comprehensive plan for covid-19 in place by August 1. This is serious and our children and teachers are a major concern. This pandemic is not over and will continue to disrupt lives and their education. This has been a disaster for our kids. Not all can do online learning due to lack of equipment and internet access. I know this was an emergency situation but now that we know what will happen–PLAN FOR IT.

    A plan for Covid-19 disruption needs to be front and center–over meet and greets from July 1. The new superintendent does not need receptions, tours around Atlanta. Let him come do that on his own from now until July 1. The entire BOE needs to get busy. I already have one grandchild in online school and he has thrived but misses his friends. I would like to see he and his twin brother go to middle school with their friends but DCSS NEEDS a detailed, workable plan. We don’t need BOE meetings talking about how we “need” a plan. We do need a list of what needs handling and who is going to implement what. What equipment needs purchasing and how is it going to be distributed. How and who is going to instruct teachers on how to teach remotely. Assess how the meal distribution was handled this time and does it need changing and improving? Will those in Central Office be willing to take on other responsibilities to implement all the details to take care of our teachers and students and make a good, learning experience for our children? PLAN NOW.

  9. dekalbteacher


    FY2021 begins the day Crew’s contract begins. Is the outgoing interim superintendent deciding on the budget for the new superintendent?

  10. Ticked off DCSS Parent

    Critics of Crew inevitably point out what has become somewhat of a trademark for the highly scrutinized superintendent. Similar to what happened in his previous posts in Tacoma, Washington and New York City, Miami-Dade showed drops in test scores and a 400 percent increase in “F” schools under Crew’s watch.

    This is just the type of leadership we have in DeKalb County Schools.
    He should fit in quite nicely with the rest of the pathetic school leadership.

    Vegas has set the Over/Under on his being fired or under serious investigation at 26.5 Months.

  11. I agree that if you are 69 years old and have spent your career in education you are bound to have made some controversial decisions. That’s not my concern.

    But it’s perfectly reasonable to have spent a career in education and NOT to have made at least two decisions that swept under the rug student rapes that occurred in schools.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to have spent a career in education and NOT to have government reports list multiple improper purchases using public funds to furnish your house. (At least I haven’t read that he used public funds to fill up his work vehicle twice on one day, a la Crawford Lewis…)

    My concerns are not about controversial decisions that Dr. Crew made in order to better serve students and teachers.

    My concerns are about Dr. Crew’s integrity and character. Surely there is a candidate out there who doesn’t have this baggage.

    This isn’t normal. This isn’t good for our kids or our tax dollars.

  12. DeKalb County fails again.

  13. Marion Payne

    Go to Miami news time bad apple rudy crew

  14. Marion, please cut and paste the parts of the story you are referring to. A link to the story would also be nice.

  15. This and That

    It is on the Rudy Crew – DCSD Sole Finalist comments.

  16. DSW2Contributor

    ^^ Wow. Fifth paragraph: “A picture has emerged of a poor chief executive who will do almost anything to enhance his image as an education reformer, even if it means protecting corrupt but loyal administrators or firing those who expose misconduct.”

  17. escapeefromdekalb

    Even Richard Belcher had a story on WSB about Crew’s money management and $$ spent on redoing an office that was allocated for another use for children– sounds a lot like the Lewis/Pope fiasco. Since Belcher could not be bothered to follow up back in the day, surprised he has already started beating the drum on Crew.

  18. Frustrated DeKalb Parent

    escapeefromdekalb, do you have a link to this story?

  19. WSB-TV – Some question the track record of DeKalb School’s sole finalist, Rudy Crew

  20. DSW2Contributor

    A July 1, 2019 article “Amid rumblings of palace intrigue, Medgar Evers College says current president Rudy Crew is staying”:

    Sounds to me like he was told his contract would not be renewed and he used his last year to find another position to land in.

  21. DSW2Contributor

    A rather damning article about his 1-year as Oregon’s chief education officer:

    “During his year as Oregon’s chief education officer, Rudy frequently traveled out-of-state for reasons that had nothing to do with improving educational outcomes in Oregon. Instead, again and again, he flew first-class to give speeches, often for pay, to audiences drawn by his charisma and the national reputation he built when he ran New York City and Miami schools.”
    “Amy Wojcicki, spokeswoman for {Oregon Governor Kitzhaber], said it is expected that Oregon’s chief education officer will travel, so the governor and his staff did not notice signs of a potential problem until spring. Kitzhaber then took steps to rein in Crew’s travel, including placing an experienced state manager as his chief of staff and creating a board subcommittee to monitor travel, expenses and performance of Crew and all subsequent chief education officers, she said.”

    The article also lists 41 days (in a 5-month period) on which he was out-of-state doing work for other organizations and interviewing for his next job.

  22. DSW2Contributor



    The sharp rise in test scores in Tacoma, Wash., that shot Chancellor Rudy
    Crew into the national spotlight was an “educational fraud” resulting from
    heavy test-coaching, a new book says.
    The book – “Standardized Minds: The High Price of America’s Testing Culture
    and What We Can Do to Change It,” by Peter Sacks – includes a revealing
    investigation into why Tacoma’s test scores “miraculously” jumped while Crew
    was schools superintendent, then plunged soon after he came to New York in
    the fall of 1995.
    It concludes that no miracle occurred – that a charismatic Crew played a
    “numbers game” that fooled Tacoma and cheated its kids to advance his own
    “The Tacoma story wasn’t about student achievement,” Sacks, a former
    college instructor, economist and reporter, writes in a chapter of his book
    obtained by The Post.
    “This was political theater featuring an ambitious and dynamic Rudy Crew
    and a school board hungry to prove that its schools weren’t a mess.”
    Sacks dug up an unpublicized 1997 study, funded by the U.S. Department of
    Education, that examined the Efficacy Institute, a controversial
    teacher-training company that Crew brought to Tacoma and New York.
    The book suggests that Tacoma’s short-lived gains were the product of
    “blatant teaching to the test,” raising questions about Crew’s performance in
    New York, which is now under scrutiny by the Board of Ed.
    In his early years here, Crew trumpeted test-score increases and won a
    $50,000 raise, boosting his salary to $245,000. But those gains came on
    familiar, outdated tests. Student scores have plummeted on new, tougher state
    and city tests.
    “It seems there might be some similarity to what happened in New York over
    the last few years,” said Ray Damonico, education adviser for the Metro
    Industrial Areas Foundation, a civic group that works in low-income


  23. DSW2Contributor

    “The DeKalb County Board of Education ended its meeting Friday without a new superintendent, a surprising twist after two weeks of members signifying support for finalist Rudy Crew, despite public outcry over his selection.”

  24. Stan Jester

    The Superintendent and the Board Chair set the agendas. The current superintendent isn’t involved in this, so bringing this to a vote is all on the chair. The Board Chair did not bring the Superintendent to a public vote yesterday. Orson has the option of doing that on Monday. Feel free to let Gevertz and Orson know on social media your thoughts.

    Another philosophical discussion point. Ziffer seems to support Crew and doesn’t like that I am the sole naysayer and oppose the board on Crew’s appointment. I can either go along with the original consensus or go against the board and build my own consensus. What kind of person do you want in this seat?

    Ziffer’s support of the general consensus to bring on Crew

  25. Stay strong Dekalb

    Stan, please continue the opposition of Dr Crew. Dekalb doesn’t need a leader that has that much negative/questionable baggage. I agree, most any leader has dealt with difficult situations and may have some opposition, but the types of issues Crew would bring will be detrimental to Dekalb.

  26. Concerned Parent

    Please continue to oppose the hiring of Dr. Crew as the Superintendent. There are too many questions about his past. Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, and we certainly don’t need his type of behavior in DeKalb County. Our children deserve better.

  27. Stan Jester

    @Paul. Good question. Ask them on social media.

  28. DSW2Contributor

    Most of the Palace already knew Dr. Crew *before* the board announced him — that’s because Dr. Crew does a lot of networking on the education conference circuit.

    Stan, please only vote “yes” if his contract stipulates that he has to be 100% fully devoted to Dekalb. Crew’s contract must stipulate that he will do NO traveling to education conferences; he will not participate in any webinars, zooms, virtual meetings, etc., with outside organizations (other than GA DOE); he will NOT serve on any boards of organizations; he will NOT do any consulting for other people or organizations, etc.

  29. DSW2Contributor

    NY Post article “Ex-NYC schools honcho Rudy Crew left dangling in Georgia superintendent bid “:

  30. Stan Jester

    Ex-education czar Rudy Crew racked up tons of travel, expenses, vacation, records show

    “During his 52 weeks on the job, he took more than nine weeks of paid time off”

    I believe this is how Rudy Crew rolls. As the sole naysayer, it’s been an uphill battle with the board. The communication from the public has been immensely helpful.

  31. Ben Greenwald

    Is the Superintendent’s schedule a matter of public record? Would it be possible to make it so as a way of making the Superintendent more accountable. There is nothing like putting a spotlight on something to encourage good behavior.

  32. Stan Jester

    Superintendent email and calendar are subject to open records.

  33. DSW2Contributor

    Here’s an article describing what Oregon thought they were getting when they hired him:

    Williamette Week, March 29, 2012 – “Kitzhaber Will Hire Rudy Crew as Chief Education Officer”

    And here is a series of articles describing what Oregon actually got:

    Williamette Week, April 16, 2013, “Murmurs: When a Quarter Mil of Your Money Isn’t Enough”:

    Williamette Week, July 16, 2013, “Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Ex-Schools Chief Violated State Travel Rules – Rudy Crew’s Frequent Trips Came Under Scrutiny”:

    Williamette Week, July 16, 2013, “Where Rudy Crew Flew – Records show Oregon’s ex-education chief violated state expense and travel rules.”

    The Oregonian, July 16, 2013, “Ex-education czar Rudy Crew racked up tons of travel, expenses, vacation, records show”:

    The Oregonian, July 20, 2013, “More details emerge on ex-Oregon education czar Rudy Crew’s frequent travels, lack of focus on Oregon results”:

    Keizer Times, July 26, 2013 “Rudy Crew’s short and sad tenure”:

    Willamette Week, August 26, 2013, “Clackamas ESD Slams Rudy Crew in Letter to Kitzhaber”:

  34. DSW2Contributor

    A Letter to the Editor that Willamette Week published on July 23, 2013:

    Wow, this guy Rudy Crew, the superb bullshit artist of all time [“Where Rudy Crew Flew,” WW, July 17, 2013]. The only thing this man is capable of is excelling at a level of arrogance; he has raised the arrogance bar far beyond the reach of most mortals.

    —”Willie J”

  35. Stan Jester

    Be sure to forward your thoughts to Orson and Gevertz via email and social media.

  36. Ben Greenwald

    Stan, thanks for your feedback on the Superintendent’s calendar being subject to an Open Records request.

    I would suggest that with a goal to more transparency, the Superintendent and Board should commit to just publishing it online via the DCSD website.

  37. Frustrated DeKalb Parent

    Stan, just curious why you say to be sure and forward thoughts to just Orson and Gevertz. Are some of the others no longer supporting?

  38. Stan Jester

    It’s always a good idea to reach out to the elected representatives and let them know what you think.

  39. DSW2Contributor

    ^^ Gevertz and Orson are the only two board members who have been quoted as saying Crew is awesome, for example:
    School Board member Allyson Gevertz sounded frustrated at the criticism the board has received over its choice. At her request, I waited until after the press conference with Crew before writing this editorial.

    “We as a board, we’re not stupid,” she said. “It’s not like we’ve never heard of Google. We knew everything that everybody knows. We had the benefit of the resources of a search firm, attorneys who are able to dig and talk to people. We also had the benefit of spending a lot of time with him and hearing what was not printed in the stories.”

    I too wonder about what was not printed in the stories, but for entirely different reasons.

    Gevertz was unequivocal about her admiration for Crew.

    “He’s awesome,” she said. “He’s smart and innovative and visionary. … He makes decisions and sticks with them. His decisions are based on what’s right for students, not rights for adults. That’s what I’m personally telling people that are reaching out to me.”

  40. What’s next, Stan? Does the firm continue the search and bring the next candidate? Does the board pick their own person? Thanks for making the difficult decision. I think you made the right choice.

  41. Confused new teacher

    Wow!!!!! I understand why the board did not vote for him, but if the county spent money on a search firm, isn’t their a second ranking candidate to consider. If you are just going to find an interim for next school term, that money could have been saved for teachers or instructional items for the students.
    Choosing a interim during this budget crisis, will only save the family and friends at the county office. Please get the county’s money worth out of the search firm, find the next best candidate, and do the google search before you announce the candidate.

  42. Ben Greenwald

    Only the Board knows if there is a viable back-up candidate. Having been involved with employment searches in the past, it is really hard once you have chosen “your candidate” and it doesn’t work out to go back and settle on someone that you had already previously decided was not the right choice for the position.

    This is also complicated by the fact that we have a school board election in June. It seems like winners of that election would want to have some say in who will be the next Superintendent. In District 1, I can easily see how a School Board candidate views this hiring process as being a difference maker for some voters. I had previously said that I would work to defeat any candidate who was for the hiring of Dr. Crew.

  43. If you look at who voted no, one isn’t up for election this year, 2 aren’t running for reelection, and the fourth is unopposed. There wasn’t any electoral risk by doing the right thing here. As a teacher in DeKalb, I had concerns. As a taxpayer in DeKalb I had other concerns. I thank the four members of the Board who voted no.