Category Archives: Michael Thurmond

Michael Thurmond is the Interim Superintendent for DeKalb County School District.

#TBT – Superintendent Search

A DeKalb School Board member said at the last school board meeting, “[The Emory Lavista Parent Council] wants the board to understand the history of Superintendent searches in DeKalb. All of which have gone extremely well from what I’ve heard.”  This #ThrowBack Thursday will pay homage to our previous Superintendents and the searches that brought them to us.
Current Superintendent Search Status
At the April 1 2014 Board Meeting, the board announced their plans to commence a superintendent search. The current Superintendent, Michael Thurmond, intends on completing the 2014-2015 school year, and the new Superintendent will start sometime in the summer of ’15.
At the September 8 2014 Board Meeting, we learned that on August 21 2014 an RFP for a national search firm was issued. The proposal deadline was Sept 16. Between now and the Oct 6 board meeting, the school board will conduct interviews with a list of finalist search firms picked by the administration.
#ThrowBack Thursday – Superintendents & Searches
2004: Superintendent Johnny Brown is replaced with Dr. Crawford Lewis with no formal Superintendent search.
2007:  Midst the racketeering and fraud, SACS fully accredits DeKalb Schools declaring, “Effective leadership at all levels”.  Superintendent Crawford Lewis is subsequently fired and charged with racketeering and theft.
2007-2011: DeKalb Schools is run by Lewis’ senior administration.
2011:  At the behest of SACS, DeKalb Schools begins a new Superintendent search.
The search for a new Superintendent, according to Don McChesney, is “the most arduous and difficult task I dealt with while on the Board”. The original search criteria, as McChesney goes on to say, was a superintendent with a track record of raising student achievement and removing central office bloat.
The board offered Dr. Lillie Cox a contract. That effort was thwarted by members of the board, according to 11 alive, “after details of her negotiations, including her requests for vacation time, severance and salary, were leaked to the media.”
Aug 2011: In the end, the board majority “lost focus on the students”. The board brought back Dr. Atkinson, whom they had passed on earlier. You can read letters to the public from McChesney and Nancy Jester about their thoughts on that decision.
Dec 2012: A lawsuit is filed against DeKalb Schools, “[accussing] the school system of violating the state open records law in failing to release Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson’s text messages”.
Feb 2013: DeKalb School Board approves by a vote of 5-4, a separation agreement that pays Atkinson $115K to leave.
Facing removal by the Governor, the board skips a formal Superintendent search and on the same day votes (7-2) to bring on Michael Thurmond as interim superintendent until a permanent Superintendent is found. The AJC reports, “Thurmond said the search for a permanent superintendent would begin immediately and he would leave as soon as one is found.”
Why Thurmond and whose idea was it?  Marshall Orson said, in the same AJC article,  ” he’s the one who brought up Thurmond’s name”. He had seen Thurmond speaking publicly and in small groups over the years, and was impressed.  Thurmond’s lack of a track record in education or any educational experience at all “seemed an asset”, said Orson.
Sep 2014:  The process of selecting a permanent Superintendent has begun.  The new Superintendent should take office in the Summer of 2015.
Superintendent Search Docs
Superintendent Search
Search Process Timeline for 2014-2015

DeKalb Schools 2014-2015 Testing Calendar

Below is a list of dates when DeKalb students will take national, state, and system assessments during the 2014-2015 school year. Attendance has a direct influence on student achievement. As a result, it is important that students are present in school every day, especially on test days. Attendance on designated test days give students an opportunity to show what they know, providing teachers with valuable information that will help to improve teaching and learning.

Elementary School testing Dates Grades
Oct. 6 – 10 Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 1, 3, and 5
Oct. 14 – 24 Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) 1, 3, and 5
Jan 20 – Mar 3 ACCESS for English Language Learners (ELLs) K – 5
Apr 21 – Apr 30 Georgia Milestones (EOG) 3 – 5
May 18 – Jul 24 Georgia Milestones (EOG) – Retest 3 and 5
Middle School Testing Dates Grades
Oct 6 – 10 Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 7
Oct 14 – 24 Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) 7
Jan 20 – Mar 3 ACCESS for English Language Learners (ELLs) 6 – 8
Apr 21 – 30 Georgia Milestone (EOG) 6 – 8
May 4 – 11 Georgia Milestone (EOC) (Carnegie Credit Courses) 8
May 18 – Jul 24 Georgia Milestone (EOG) – Retest 8
High School testing dates Grades
Aug 8 – 22 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth 9 – 12
Sept 8 – 12 Georgia High School Graduation (GHSGT) Retest 11 – 12
Sept 15 – 25 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth 9 – 12
Sept 24 – 25 Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) Main Administration 11
Oct 14 – 17 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth 9 – 12
Oct 15 PSAT 9 – 11
Oct 30 – Nov 21 International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams 9 – 12
Nov. 3 – Dec. 19 CTAE End of Pathway Exams 9 – 12
Nov 10 – 14 Georgia High School Graduation (GHSGT) Retest 11 – 12
Nov 17 – 21 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth 9 – 12
Dec 8 – Jan 23 Georgia Milestone (EOC) Winter Main Administration 9 – 12
Jan 20 – Mar 3 ACCESS for English Language Learners (ELLs) 9 – 12
Jan 20 – 23 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth 9 – 12
Feb 9 – 13 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth/Retest 9 – 12
Feb 25 – 26 Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) Retest 11
Apr 20 -May 19 CTAE End of Pathway Exams 9 – 12
Apr 29 – May 26 International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams 9 – 12
Mar 9 – 13 Georgia Milestone (EOC) MidMonth 9 – 12
Mar 16 – 20 Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) Main Administration 11 – 12
May 4 – Jun 5 Georgia Milestone (EOC) Spring Administration 9 – 12
May 4 – 15 Advanced Placement (AP) Exams AP Students
Jun 15 – Jul 17 Georgia Milestone (EOC) Summer/Retest Administration 9 – 12
Jun. 17 Georgia High School Graduation (GHSWT) Retest 11 – 12

Student Learning Objectives

Students must participate in SLO Pre and Post Assessments for all courses where there is not a state required test Pre-Assessments must be administered within the first 10 days of a student entering a course and Post-Assessments must be administered at the end of each course and no later than May 15, 2015.

Universal Screener

Students in grades k-9 are required to participate in the three main Universal Screener Windows. All schools have the capability and may administer the screener to all students to support instruction.
Local Schools will communicate testing dates within administration windows. Contact your local school with questions. This calendar is produced by DeKalb County School District’s Department of Research, Assessment, and Grants.
**This calendar is subject to change pending additional and timely information from the GA DOE during the transition phase to the new Georgia Milestone Assessment System