PROACT was hired as the superintendent search firm at the 12/17/2014 board meeting. PROACT gave an update at the 01/12/2015 board meeting. Since December, they have been working with DeKalb Schools Chief of Staff, Ramona Tyson, and her staff to identify key members of the community as well as identify locales, times and schedules for public engagement sessions.
Dozens of community meetings are being scheduled for the first two weeks in February. PROACT is also working with the central office to put together an online survey.
Various members of the community have asked that the administration step away from the process and follow best practices by letting a community search committee drive the search. Atlanta Public Schools had a successful superintendent search using a committee composed of stakeholders that included parents, board members, community representatives and business leaders. DeKalb’s Parent Councils United (PCU) has called for DCSD to use a similar method and cited the APS Superintendent Search Committee Framework saying,
“I just wanted to pass along the attached APS document regarding their superintendent search. One important note: they asked their selection committee to assist the BOE in managing the search firm rather than asking the search firm to manage the selection committee. This is also the model that has been successful for other systems across the country. “
THE ATLANTA BOARD OF EDUCATION
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH COMMITTEE
PURPOSE AND FRAMEWORK Purpose
1. To manage the Superintendent Search Firm
2. To create a timeline for the search process
3. Identify 3 – 5 candidates for the Board’s screening
4. Create an atmosphere for community input
5. Assist/guide the Board in introducing the final candidates to the community Composition
The Board agreed on a 13 member committee that represents an inclusive and broad population of stakeholders. 1. THE MAYOR OR HIS DESIGNEE (1) 2. PARENT ORGANIZATIONS ( ONE PERSON TO REPRESENT ALL OF THE PARENT ORGANIZATIONS) (1)
a. THE ORGANIZATIONS WILL SUBMIT ONE RECOMMENDATION THAT WILL REPRESENT THEIR COLLECTIVE INTEREST AND STAKEHOLDERS.
Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools (CINS)
– (Grady Cluster)
Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools (SEACS)
– (Jackson Cluster)
SW and NW Atlanta Parents and Partners for Schools (SNAPPS)
– (Mays, Washington, Therrell and Douglass Clusters)
North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools (NAPPS)
– (North Atlanta Clusters)
Embracing Mays Community and Cluster Schools (ECM2)
– (Mays Cluster)
3. TEACHER ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTATIVE (1) 4. HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL/GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE (1) 5. ATLANTA COUNCIL OF PTAS (1) 6 THROUGH 9 – MEMBERS CHOSEN THROUGH BOARD VOTE (4)
a. MEMBERS WILL SUBMIT 3 NAMES W/QUALIFICATIONS FOR RANKING AND CONSIDERATION REPRESENTING
i. DR. CYNTHIA KUHLMAN
ii. MR. ERNEST GREER
iii. DR. BEVERLY TATUM
iv. MS. ANN CRAMER 10 THROUGH 13 BOARD CHAIR’S CHOICE (4)
a. THE BOARD CHAIR WILL APPOINT 3 BOARD MEMBERS AND 1 AD HOC MEMBER
i. EMMETT JOHNSON, AT-LARGER SEAT 9
ii. CECILY HARSCH-JOHNSON, DISTRICT 3
iii. COURTNEY ENGLISH. AT-LARGE SEAT 7
iv. WILLIAM ‘BILL’ ROGERS, CEO SUNTRUST BANK
Our last constitution, ratified in 1983, is Georgia’s 10th constitution and our nation’s youngest. It allows all existing school districts (county and city) to remain but prohibits any new independent (city) school systems from forming. Georgia was left with 21 city districts, 159 county districts and no new districts allowed to form.
The motivation behind the prohibition on new districts was mostly economic in nature. The result consolidated bureaucratic power and effectively eliminated competition in education for the next 30 years. House Resolution 4 (HR 4) was submitted this year “proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality in the State of Georgia to establish by local law an independent school system;” The amendment will open the door allowing people to discuss whether or not they would like their city to have an independent school district. Important Changes
ANY municipality (city) in the state of Georgia (regardless of incorporation date) will have the opportunity to create a city based school system, should the need and desire present itself.
Independent school systems are defined as a school system that will exist within the boundaries of a single municipality.
The Benefits of School Systems of a Manageable Size Economic Development
School systems of a manageable size, on average, have superior graduation rates to districts that are either very small or are overly large.
An increase in graduation rate will lead to:
More students attending college, leading to an increase in the Georgia professional work force.
High school graduates are more likely to be employed and earn more with a high school diploma.
The above increases taxable state income and reduces stress on state dependency.
Strong school systems attract strong business partners.
Intelligent Resource Management (Financial and Material)
School systems of a manageable size are able to more effectively spend their financial resources and develop programs to meet the needs of their schoolhouses and students.
Student and schoolhouse needs are more easily identified
Wasteful spending on programs that do not benefit an individual school’s needs, but receive them none-the-less because of broad based administrative decisions, are virtually eliminated.
Schoolhouses that need specific and individualized programs are more likely to receive them, as they are not lost among the other schools’ needs within overly large districts.
School Systems of a Manageable Size Are More Responsive and Proactive
Systems that are “close to home” have more direct, continuous, and in-depth relationships with students, teachers, parents, and the community.
Parent engagement is increased.
A sense of community among the schools is built.
Teachers and school level administration build a partnership with district level decision making.
Students’ benefit from programs to support their individual needs.
Because the pulse of the individual schoolhouse and district is easier to keep a direct eye on, proactive decision-making can occur in order to support continued success and ward off potential failures.
Reduce administrative layers, making it more effective and efficient for all members of the learning community to work within.
Two of the eight large districts in the bottom 20% are located in metro Atlanta, DeKalb and Clayton County School Districts. These two mega districts service ~40% (148,000+) of the students out of the 36 districts who have the lowest graduation rates in all of Georgia.
Within DeKalb County is the independent city school district, Decatur City Schools. Decatur, at 4,200 students, has a graduation rate of 94%. DeKalb County School System, at 98,000 students, has a 59% graduation rate.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.” — Frederick Douglass
“Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”