Clayton County school officials were warned Tuesday that their system’s accreditation could be back in jeopardy because of school board infighting, micromanaging and grandstanding.
In a letter to departing school Superintendent Ed Heatley, Mark Elgart, head of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting agency, said some of the recent actions of school board members “could put your school system’s current and future accreditation in jeopardy.”
In 2008, Clayton lost accreditation, becoming the first school system in the country in nearly 40 years to have that happen. The system regained accreditation in 2011 and since has gained 4,000 students. Thousands of students fled the system after the district lost its accreditation, fearing their diplomas might not be recognized.
Clayton is the second metro Atlanta school district to draw SACS scrutiny this month. A SACS team will visit DeKalb County Schools next week to investigate how its board operates after complaints the board was interfering with administrative functions.
Clayton school board Chairwoman Pamela Adamson could not be reached for comment Tuesday. District spokesman David Waller said he had not seen a copy of the letter from SACS.
“We welcome their investigation and their interest in our system,” Waller said. “If they determine there is a problem, we will — as we have in the past — move as quickly as possible.”
Clayton school board members have made some progress since SACS’ last intervention, including better budget controls, Elgart told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview late Tuesday.
But he said the Clayton board members appear to have resumed some of their former problematic ways, particularly as Heatley’s departure became imminent. Heatley’s last day on the job is Friday.
In recent weeks, Elgart said, SACS has received reports about “divisiveness among board members and influences from the outside.”
Board members also can’t agree on a process for searching for a new school superintendent and are looking at conducting the search themselves “when they don’t have the ability, the skill,” Elgart said.
SACS required the board to have a national search conducted by an outside firm when Heatley was hired three years ago.
“And we haven’t changed our view,” Elgart said.
SACS has given the school board until Jan. 15 to report on the progress of its superintendent search, he said.
The board also will have until then to say “what they’re doing to address the divisiveness that is starting to rear its ugly head again,” Elgart said.
Elgart said the letter was sent to Heatley as a “proactive” move.
“This is giving them a heads-up,” he said.
Elgart said the accreditation agency has heard reports of individual board members threatening to sue each other, refusing to comply with board policies and berating school system employees in public.
He said this is “grandstanding, more or less” and “not necessary.”
The actions of some board members are “designed to create a line of controversy and center the attention on the individual board member,” Elgart said. “They are turning into seven individual political entities, rather than a board. If you go back in Clayton 20 years, every time you have a superintendent change, this same type of thing happens … the same people come out of the woodwork.”
Wyclef claims Lauryn tricked him into believing her firstborn son was his, when, in fact, the father was Rohan Marley.
“In that moment something died between us. I was married and Lauryn and I were having an affair, but she led me to believe that the baby was mine, and I couldn’t forgive that,” Jean writes in “Purpose.”
Unfortunately, due to circumstances that I can't control, we've had to cancel this leg of the Madea Gets A Job tour.
Here's why. I set a ticket price for the show starting at $25. The reason I set the price so low is so that everyone could get a chance to come out and see the show. I know how tight things are right now. I GET IT! I do not tour to make a living, I tour because I love staying connected to all of you. I love seeing your faces, hearing you laugh and seeing you enjoy yourselves. It gives me great joy. Even though it's a lot of work, I really don't mind doing it. Because of that, what I do is make sure that the promoter sets a reasonable ticket price and the prices are $25, $45 and $65. Even though I set these prices so that they are affordable, fees are added that are out of my control and the price of the tickets can almost double. Add to that, when you go online looking for tickets, IN LOTS OF CASES, you are being led to a bootlegger and you don't even know it. There are a lot of ticket bootleggers and scalpers that buy lots of shows and sell them to the public for double, sometimes triple the price. I've been dealing with this for years but now with the internet I've never seen it this bad.
Also, there are some horrible people who are pretending to be me or representing me on Facebook and charging people money to do a meet and greet on the tour (I posted a picture below of what they are doing). They are telling people that they are me or working for me and charging them $150 for a meet and greet after the play. DON'T FALL FOR THIS!! That's not me.
This is so frustrating! Why are people so evil? Why can't people just get legitimate jobs and stop trying to do the wrong thing all the time? If they put the same amount of energy into doing the right thing as they do in doing the wrong thing they could make it. It's so sad.
To all of you who have bought tickets and made plans to be there I am so sorry. I really am but my hands are tied.
This was the last live Madea tour and I'm super sorry that you won't get to see it live. All refunds should be given back to you.
At a recent film festival in Locarno, Switzerland, I was asked by the press if I thought that the world was better off today than during the civil-rights revolution of the ‘50s and ‘60s. I responded by saying that there was little doubt that our movement changed the world, as we knew it. Dr. King and the nonviolence revolution altered the global landscape. I told them that in the goals we set for ourselves in our movement, we never lost a battle. Martin Luther King Jr. knew and revered the artist. Even as he enriched our legacy with his own storytelling, he knew and believed that the service rendered by artists was critical to our movement and, among other things, would inspire while filling the well of knowledge needed for the children of generations to come.
The press interviews lingered awhile on questions of artists and activism, and in responding to inquiries I, at one point, identified some of the artists I most admired as activists. Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Mike Farrell, Susan Sarandon, Alfre Woodard, to name but a few. But then the exchange began to focus specifically on high-profile African-American artists. Because they sit at the top of the list, I was asked in particular about Jay-Z and Beyoncé. I made the point that the absence of high-profile blacks in the political struggle concerning the issues of race, poverty, and the disenfranchisement of the poor is disappointingly evident. From the highest pinnacles of Wall Street to the kings and queens of entertainment, to the gods and goddesses of sports, never before at these levels have we boasted such large numbers of black participants. All this at the same time black America is condemned to be the harvest of the largest prison population on the face of the earth, the most destroyed by the diseases of poverty, the most undereducated, the most diminished for lack of self-worth and the most punished by the prejudices of an unworthy justice system. The list goes on.
I have no animus for those who are touched by such heights of fame. I was one of them. But as history has evolved, our individual and collective indifference to the vast suffering of our fellow beings is, for me, unconscionable. The gift of art is a gift of opportunity to change the landscape. Artists can do remarkable things.
Robeson entertained us by inspiring us as all great artists do. With 21st-century technology, we can now reach the farthest regions of human habitation and through our art learn to love the quality and abundance of our diversity. Artists are the gatekeepers of truth and we should keep open its gates forever.
According to Perry, just last night he and his promoter decided to postpone his tour in an effort to stifle bootleggers from tripling the cost of show's tickets.
Exclaiming, "I set the the ticket prices at $25 dollars, $45 dollars, and $65 dollars. Nobody can get tickets for those prices. The bootleggers come they buys the tickets, they mark them up."
Perry expressed his frustration saying, "I don't want people out there spending $150 dollars per ticket, people can't afford it."
The tour has just eight weeks left and Perry says it would have been his final tour, "that’s why I had to postpone the tour until we figure out what to do."
Going on to say, “I’m really, really upset about it and very disappointed because there are a lot of people.. who I was looking forward to coming out to see it and this is the last tour I was going to do.”
|Knighthawk (from left), April Hanson and her husband Harley Hanson, members of the International Keystone Knights Realm of Georgia, perform a traditional Klan salute along the portion of highway they want to adopt allowing them to put up a sign and do litter removal near Blairsville on Sunday, June 10, 2012|
The penalty phase begins Thursday in the death penalty trial of Tracen Franklin, a 20-year-old man convicted of murdering Bobby Tillman two years ago — a crime that drew national attention because of its randomness and viciousness.
The Douglas County jury delivered an unexpectedly speedy verdict Wednesday. Jurors were sent to deliberate around 2:45 p.m., and about an hour later asked the judge to again go over the definitions of malice murder and felony murder, the two charges against Franklin. By 4:30 p.m. they had made a decision: guilty on both counts. They rejected the option of convicting Franklin of the less serious crime of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a punishment of one to 10 years in prison.
So far, two men have been convicted of murdering Tillman — Franklin and Emanuel Boykins, who pleaded guilty last spring to throwing the first punch to avoid a death penalty trial.
Two other suspects, Quantez Devonta Mallory and Horace Damon Coleman, have not yet gone to trial for murder. Douglas District Attorney David McDade is not seeking the death penalty against them.
Franklin was an 18-year-old student at Alabama State University in 2010 when he took part in killing Tillman.
Prosecutors will present evidence Thursday to support their contention that Franklin should be sentenced to death. And Franklin’s attorneys will call witnesses in hopes of persuading the jury to recommend either life with the possibility of parole after at least 30 years in prison or life without parole. source