Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Is Needed In A New School Superintendent In The DeKalb County Schools

A new superintendent for DeKalb County must have a viable vision, be able to work collaboratively with the community stakeholders and make a workable strategic plan. He or she must be the type of leader that can lead DeKalb County into the 21st century and turn its school system around. The superintendent must be a future-focused leader who has a thorough understanding of the trends that will profoundly affect education and the whole society in the 21st century. The new school superintendent must understand the affect of these trends for the operation of our educational system. The superintendent and his or her staff must be able to analyze the affects of these trends and work with the school board to make decisions to meet the needs of the students in the 21st century. The superintendent will provide the leadership to the BOE in implementation of the districts and school board’s vision, mission and goals. The superintendent must be able to complete the following indicators if DeKalb County is to move ahead:

1. Collaborate with the board in the preparation of long and short-term operational and instructional goals to improve student achievement.
2. Provide system data and leadership to the board in its adoption of board and district goals to improve student achievement.
3. Develop action plans with expected performances to achieve the agreed upon goals to improve student achievement.
4. Under the board’s delegated authority the superintendent either personally or by delegation through other staff members must evaluate the adopted action plan or make revisions as needed.
5. The school superintendent must oversee the planning and evaluation of curriculum and instruction.

However, I believe a committee of stakeholders should begin the process of what DeKalb needs in a new School Superintendent. Then the DeKalb County School Board should review the recommendations of the committee and make the final recommendations. I do believe it is the job of the school board to hire the school superintendent but I think this is an appropriate time to get feedback and involvement from the DeKalb teachers, parents and students, Chamber of Commerce, County Commissioners, and County Georgia Delegation to assure involvement from all branches of county government and all other stakeholders. The next DeKalb County School Superintendent is too important to leave in the hands of just a few. Getting feedback from all stakeholders will help get these stakeholders back involved and onboard with the new school superintendent’s agenda to move the school district into the 21st century.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


What will be the answers given by the DeKalb County School System to SACS?

SACS requested DeKalb provide:

• Policies and procedures for effective management, including hiring, whistle-blowers, nepotism and conflicts of interest.
• Information on staff and school board training.
• Information on the board’s role in fiscal oversight and monitoring the district, along with how the board uses closed meetings and how members avoid micromanaging.
• Description of the checks and balances to make sure the board is following hiring and firing policies.
• Information on how the board follows procurement procedures and awards bids to avoid conflicts of interest.
• How the district enforces policies and prevents breakdowns in checks and balances.
• Information on the superintendent search. The board terminated its superintendent in May.

As a parent, a taxpayer, an educator and a candidate for district 9 school board position, SACS intervening in any manner with the DeKalb County School Board bother me deeply. This intervention brings me to face the reality, as it should to all taxpayers and voters in DeKalb that some things really do need to change in the way the DeKalb County School Board does business.