Questions and Answers
Cobb and Fulton recently had teacher job fairs. Cobb and Fulton are each reporting they need to hire roughly 700 teachers.
Question 1: How many teachers will DeKalb need to hire before the 2016-17 school year starts?
Answer from Dr. Leo Brown: The District typically hires approximately 500 to 600 during the summer months. As of 4/14, we need to hire approximately 450 teachers. As in the past, we anticipate this number to grow during the summer months as the resignations increase during this period as well.
Question 2: What are we doing to find highly effective teachers?
Answer from Dr. Leo Brown: The Division of Human Capital has established multiple partnerships with colleges and universities in Georgia and other states. The recruitment team has participated in over 50 job and career fairs where we began offering jobs early to capture the top talent. Additionally, HCM has embraced over 50 pre-service teachers currently working within the district to extend offers to those who are highly effective. We are hosting our annual job fair this Saturday April 16, 2016 from 9am-1pm at Peachtree Middle School. We currently have over 700 applicants pre-registered to attend.
Mr. Leo Brown – Chief Human Capital Management Officer
Good afternoon. You have the Human Capital Report for April 2016. We hired 35 new contracted employees, 33 of which were teachers. For non contracted employees, we hired 148. We had 120 resignations. Of that we had some teacher resignations. 70% of the teacher resignations were for death, illness, moving and family responsibilities, so they had to leave. We terminated 1 person. We didn’t hire anyone related to a board member or director level administrator or above.
Appended to the report is the posted teacher vacancy report as of April 18, 2016. As we mentioned in the previous board meeting, this number would go up and so this is a reflection of that number going up.
We did, however, have a very successful job fair this past Saturday. We had 950 attendees to the job fair. We offered 172 jobs on Saturday. So that number would go down to 119 and a half, on our April vacancy report.
It is our request that this report is moved to the consent agenda.
Dr. Joyce Morley – DeKalb Board of Education – Good afternoon. Of the 172 offers we made, how many were certificated
Brown – All of them.
Morley – Are we looking in other areas? Do we have numbers for other areas … those not certificated? Are we doing anything for paraprofessionals and the like.
Mr. Leo Brown
We did have some paraprofessionals that were there who were in the process of their certification. So, we allowed them to come through. We’re going to work with them to get them in. I spent some time speaking with our paraprofessionals and substitutes who are certificated to get them full time jobs working with us.
Throughout the year we had other avenues by which we were able to hire some non certificated employees who are non contracted.
I’m happy to report that in the next school year and this Summer we’re going to be doing some different things as it relates to recruitment and retention. Not only for teachers but for employees.
Dr. Joyce Morley
Dr. Green, we’ve talked about this. The TAP program is still moving strong. What are we doing to recruit people, some of the best and brightest, not that we don’t already have some of the best and brightest already working. What are we doing to invite some of those other best and brightest to go through the TAP program in order to be sure we are part of that grooming process to get them in a position and we can see them through as they complete their education, and the encouragement for them to be in education.
Mr. Leo Brown
In the next school year and next cycle of recruiting, we are going to work with the top 10 colleges of education from across the country and do early offer so we get them before they even graduate. I spent some time speaking to Deans of College of Education as well as Deans of College of Science. Some people don’t realize they want to teach until their in their senior year and their Biology majors. So, we can take them through the TAP program and get them on board.
If they want to teach and they realize this at the end of their time. I’m a biology major and I want to teach instead of being something else, we can get them in and on board. It’s very vanguard for a school district.
Dr. Joyce Morley
Teach For America has been doing that for quite some time. It behooves [sic] me to understand why districts have not taken upon that same penchent to say we are going to look at people who might not have the credentials but they do have that degree. Can we groom them and get them there?
There’s been a lot of writing, and even in the AJC, but then I got my The Crisis Magazine over the weekend. There was a story about the lack of males, especially males of color. Where children are not seeing males who look like them and I think males in education and I mention the young male teacher, the kindergarten teacher over at Toney that used to be the trash collector and always wanted to work and the Principal worked with him and now he’s teaching over there. What are we doing to begin to try to recruit males?
I think a lot of what is happening today is that many of our children who might not have a father at home. But if they could have a male figure somewhere, especially in the school, that they could look up to. I was talking to my daughter where my grandson was at school and the whole school there are only females. Nothing wrong with females, but most certainly it would be great to be able to have schools where children are seeing males performing in roles such as teachers and they’re not just athletes. And they see that education is important.
So, do we have anything that we begin to look at recruiting males, especially males of color so that our children would have some role models, so that people would be able to see and say that nothing is wrong with education.
Mr. Leo Brown
Absolutely. We visit the top historical black colleges and universities from across the country and we strategically look for males to come and work. At the job fair on Saturday, I was identifying males of color and ask them what they want to teach, well let me take you to the school. So, I talked to the principals in advance and found out what they need and found males of color and partnered with them.
I’m glad to say a lot of them walked out with offers on Saturday. So, I think we’re moving in the right direction. It’s always a moving target. It’s always an uphill battle, but at least were moving uphill. I’m will to take the push.
I also read that Crisis article.
Jim McMahan – DeKalb Board of Education
To coat tail on the male empowerment story, Saturday May 7th is our Male Empowerment Conference. I plan on attending. From that conference and our leadership, the empowerment begins.
Stan Jester – Board of Education – Are we allowed to actively recruit by race, age, or gender?
Mr. Leo Brown – When there is a shortage identified we don’t necessarily in our job postings, we want black males of color.
Stan Jester – Right, we might get in trouble with that.
Mr. Leo Brown
Yes. And I don’t like to wear stripes. So we definitely won’t be doing that.
However, when we have an open job fair that’s open to everyone and is inclusive of anyone that wants to come, if I know that we have a shortage in our schools, we have a shortage in the nation. There’s research to prove that. And I see somebody who is a black male or an Asian male or anyone and I know we have that shortage and they want to come work for us, absolutely I’ll be more than happy to speak with them and say what can I do for you.
I actually offered a black male who is graduating from Georgia State University in May, who is a student teacher, a product of DeKalb. He graduated from Stephenson High School. He walked through the office. He was talking to somebody else, saw me and said sir you look important. I said I’m really not, but what can I do for you. He said he was a product of DeKalb, graduated from Stephenson, graduating from Georgia State and I want to teach science and math and I’m already student teaching.
I said come to my office. I interviewed him on the spot, and i told him do you want a job. He said yes. I told him to come to the job fair, so he could partner with some of the principals. He walked out of there on Saturday with a job.
I didn’t necessarily say I want a black male to come and work at our schools, but if I see … of course I’m going to reach out to you.
Stan Jester – Understood. Products of DeKalb are always excellent employees.
Dr. Joyce Morley – We have some great products of DeKalb. Just want to say, Mr. Jester, one of the things we want to do is make sure that we have a diverse pool of talent of people. We have a diverse population, so we want to make sure that our teaching staff, administrating staff, is reflective of the students we are reaching out to.`So, we’re not just out there stopping, tapping people based on their color, but we have to be realistic.
Sometimes when people don’t see someone that looks like them, on many occasions we talk about the achievement rate. It has an emotional and psychological impact on one’s growth and development academically, socially and otherwise. So, to be able to have people that look like them on many occasions.
And we want to also be careful that we’re not being exclusive and not inclusive. So, our efforts to able to do that from the Human Resources department is very crucial that we begin to look at that and that’s very important.
Stan Jester – Agreed. I just want to make sure we’re doing that for all the races. I would imagine we might be low on Latinos and everybody else and we’re not just recruiting black people.
Dr. Joyce Morley
No one ever said that we were just recruiting black people. I don’t think the word black came up that we’re doing that. The bottom line comes down to if you have the credentials and worthy of doing it, the same if somebody’s credit worthy, we’ll get the house, get the car supposedly.
The bottom line is, Mr. Jester, wherever you go, people know whether you’re black, white, green, Latino, or whoever you are. We are going after people who are great, good, going from good to better to best. I don’t care what color they are. So, to sit here and say we’re just looking for black people. If they happen to be black and they’re the best, we want them. If they happen to be green and they’re good, we want them.
The bottom line is can they do what we need to have done and get it done. We’re not saying to go in one particular area. So, we have to be careful again of the things we are espousing, the things we’re saying. We want Latinos, we want Asians, we want everybody.
We have children, we look over at Clarkston, over a hundred and sixty something different languages, a hundred and sixty something different countries. Those people need to have people that look like them too and can talk like them. It makes a difference.
The whole bottom line comes down to, no matter where you are, what color you are. What’s going to help us be successful? When I was a teacher, I had a rainbow of kids. And they didn’t look at it. We’re the only ones that get caught up with that. I look at the best, the brightest and the boldest and who can come and do what needs to be done.
But, nobody is out there saying, no one ever said that. I think that we have to be careful that we don’t excuse some things and that’s not what was said. But, make sure that we do it in the right vein. What do we want? We want well educated children. We want children who are holistically. We want to reach the total child. And what do we have to do, by any means necessary.
Martin Luther King said when a fire is raging, the fire truck doesn’t stop at the red light and it doesn’t stop at the stop sign. It runs through it. Right now we have a crisis in America and we begin to look at it. Who’s dying, who’s not getting through? We need to look at the crisis in education at the bottom and the base of everything that comes about.
I don’t care what color they are. Let’s get ’em.
Stan Jester – I completely agree with that. But you started with black males, so that’s where I was going with that. Thank you for clarifying that.
Dr. Stephen Green – DeKalb Schools Superintendent
I assure this community and board that DeKalb County School District is an equal opportunity employer. And that we are keenly aware of where our shortages are and we are aggressively recruiting wherever those shortages may be.
As Dr. Morley said, regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity, our focus will be on addressing the balance that reflects our population and where our shortages are and shoring up those shortages wherever they may be.
Vickie Turner – DeKalb County School Board
I just want say I want to caution you, Mr. Jester, that you are not insensitive and disrespectful. We do recognize where we live and what our challenges are. But, I do believe that we have empowered Dr. Brown to do his job with the consideration of what we need.
I don’t believe Dr. Brown would do anything different from what has been done 30 years ago. In other words, they went out with a desire to fill positions and sometimes it skewed a certain way. We are in a better position now that we have ever been where consideration is given to all man kind who bring credentials to the table.
I like men involved in schools, qualified and credentialed men. Dr. Morley, from what I understood, is that men of color would be good. Men of color, as well just men who are qualified and credentialed to be an example in front of our children who need that model.
So, I want to thank you for a job well done. I think you are moving in the right direction. I think that Dr. Green is giving a consensus of what is going on. I trust that leadership. I think that every time we get together we have to come to the same consensus. Do we trust …. I don’t believe these men would get us in trouble with looking for just black men.
I believe these men have an awesome awareness that their responsibility is to educate children and to put the right people in front of them who are credentialed.