Clayton Accreditation Loss

Tue, 06/24/2008 - 7:31am
By: Just Saying

Today's ajc is quoting Clayton School Superintendent John Thompson saying "we have a very slim chance of maintaining accreditation at all". Does anyone know how FCBOE is planning to deal with the new students?

It seems to me that the college bound rising Seniors are most affected by the loss of accreditation. Assuming that these kids have worked hard and come from families that value education, does Fayette have a moral obligation to help these students?

It may be too late, but what if we proactively came up with a plan to meet their needs? Something like...
1. Set up a Clayton Senior Academy at the old Fayette County High School offering senior level classes only.
2. Clayton students could APPLY for admission and the top 100/200/250? would be accepted.
3. Charge tuition equal to the expenses involved.
4. No transportation, no sports, no extracurricular activities...just a bare bones, no frills opportunity for the top kids in Clayton to graduate from an accredited school.

Your thoughts?

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PTC_New_Native's picture
Submitted by PTC_New_Native on Tue, 07/01/2008 - 1:50pm.

The new Clayton County Superintendent John Thompson seems to fit in quite well with the Clayton County mindset. I have heard the following and I am determining the validity and authenticity. It is a little difficult due to the nature of the relationship that he has with the CCSB (Clayton County School Board).

He has hired his wife as a consultant for approximately 150$/yr.
He has mandated that all High Schools tear up the entryways to lay mosaics of the School Mascot.
He has purchased "Grey Hound" style luxury busses (2 for each High School) for the athletics department.
He has required diplomas to be reprinted with his name vs. someone who was on staff for almost 90% of the academic year. (Verified)

If you have other nuggets of his ability for a Turn-Around, please post. I feel real sorry for the deserving children in Clayton County. But I also feel a general disgust for the voting adults in Clayton Count.

The More I learn, the Less I know

Submitted by sageadvice on Tue, 07/01/2008 - 2:16pm.

I somehow doubt all your accusations, but even if so---they are exactly how Clayton County operates. They are the important things. Bling is also important. Field exibitions in the end zone are severely important.
Drum lines are extremely important. Rap is even more so.
Limos are critical.
All this testin stuff and low salaries for bosses is crap.

PTC_New_Native's picture
Submitted by PTC_New_Native on Tue, 07/01/2008 - 3:00pm.

I just got off the phone with a principle in Clayton County (friend of the family) and it appears that the Mosaic story is true. They didn’t tell me if the construction has started (the person is not a High School principle). If so and it is not challenged, we should see construction soon. I think I will take a drive by Mundy High next weekend.

I would expect something to be made public about consultants used and the cost associated to them. If anybody knows how to access that information. please post.

The More I learn, the Less I know

Submitted by wheeljc on Tue, 07/01/2008 - 2:49pm.

As hard as we might try, you just can't make this stuff up!!

....and some wonder why some taxpayers in Fayette County do not want to foot the bill for kids coming from Clayton!!

Submitted by boo boo on Fri, 06/27/2008 - 3:14am.

You can't help people that won't help themselves. Those children are in trouble but Fayette County needs to stay out of that MESS or we will go down with them. The state of Georgia needs to take over that whole County...Totally dysfunctional and very dangerous. This dangerous place is on our border and that is Scary and Sad at the same time.

JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Thu, 06/26/2008 - 11:46am.

Teachers unions and government education. Or, The DMV educating your children. Yeah, that sounds about right. Maybe we can get socialized medicine here too. That worked so well for Cuba, Canada England etc.

The problem lays with the educational leadership, not the children. The "We don't want em' here" mentallity will end up depriving all students involved. Let the state figure it out.
1. Fire all of the nincompoops
2. Hire teachers that give a damn
3. Have Clayton County pick up the tab.

No Brainer!

"The one constant in all of your failed relationships is you."

Submitted by jokerman on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 9:58am.

You know Clayton borders many other counties too. Not a Fayette County problem to solve. Good grief.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 06/26/2008 - 7:03am.

and Henry County is having the same problem with clayton county as it continues to implode.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 5:40am.

That's right let Fayette County run the whole thing - the Clayton County school system.
Think about it - why should Fayette scramble around to make space and gear up for extra students and why should everyone burn more gas commuting to school? And is it fair to leave some students behind to suffer in a non-accredited system?

Clayton has classrooms, buses and teachers in place. Let them go to their own schools. All Fayette needs to is expand their administration to cover Clayton - an assistant supeintendent, some staff and maybe replace some principals and teachers who don't measure up. For starters all assistant principals (the disciplinarian) would be from Fayette - either an administrator or a deputy sheriff.

We would have 100% control of their tax dollars, so it wouldn't cost us a thing. They would get their accreditation back immediately since they would be part of Fayette which is already accredited.

This way you have minimum disruption and you are addressing the real problem - the school board and chaos they have created. It is simple and classic - sort of like an occupying army in a foreign country. What's not to like.

DragNet's picture
Submitted by DragNet on Thu, 06/26/2008 - 11:51pm.

From my Fayettean perspective, Clayton and Fayette are like Mexico and the U.S., two different countries, two different mentalities on how to run things. The whole Clayton County government is a dysfunctional entity....a good chance to do "county building"....send in the troops!!!

Making you think twice......

Submitted by wildcat on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 11:13am.

It sounds great and, as a bonus, there would maybe be a job for the surplus spec ed teachers that we have in this county! What's not to like about it? When I worked in CC, they paid more than FC. How would that work? Would all pay revert to FC levels, or CC levels? Think about how much they're paying their new superintendent! They've got a ton of money over there, don't they? It's a win-win plan!!!

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 6:40pm.

Awsome idea! Teacher pay should be left where it is until the teachers who need to get fired actually get fired. After all, the Clayton taxpayers are paying for their own teachers if I understand the plan correctly, so if they overpay some incompetant layabout what do we care?

I agree - win-win plan!

RetiredArmyMAJ's picture
Submitted by RetiredArmyMAJ on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 5:30pm.

In some state, NJ for sure, if a district is decertified, the State comes in and manages it. That has happened in Newark and I think

"After more than a decade under state control, the Newark and Jersey City public schools have improved enough to be allowed to take back some of their fiscal and management operations as a first step toward regaining local control, state education officials said yesterday."

"The Jersey City school system, which was taken over by the state in 1989, has 30,000 students and is currently run by a superintendent appointed by the state commissioner. The elected nine-member Board of Education serves in an advisory role."

"The Newark Public Schools, the state’s largest school system with 43,000 students, has been under state control since 1995."

If it's good enough for NJ it's good enough for GA!

Fighting for truth, justice and the American way, while ignoring the ignorant!

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 6:40pm.

The State of Georgia should take over the Clayton County school system as you suggest. They obviously can't govern themselves, they are obviously Democrats, so the solution is indeed more government and less personal responsibility.

One thing that could be added to this solution is to have the State of Georgia Department of Prisons and Parole to be the one taking over. Think about it. Very efficient.

Submitted by wheeljc on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 5:48pm.

Given the testing problems the State has experienced; limited movement of test scores over the year in the state; and the backward progress of the States' 'K' programs, would it not be better to find someone like Mayor Bloomberg found -- outside the academic arena -- to
make some fundamental changes -- and probably a lot of house cleaning??

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 6:42pm.

See Robert W and wildcat's ideas above - much better

Submitted by buckstopshere on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 2:48pm.

it is not the responsibilty for Fayette County to bail out Clayton county public schools. It seems to me, that SB458 was a knee jerk response to the situation in Clayton County.Tahnk God that didn't pass!!! I've lived in Fayette county for over 10 years. Part of the reason our family chose Fayette over Clayton was the school system. Clayton has been a mess concerning schools for more than 10 years. Voters in Clayton County are reeping what they've sewn! yes, it is very unfortunate for the kids of Clayton County. The State of Georgia needs to step in and demand better for these kids. Until the state of Georgia takes a really good look at education in this state across the board and holds school boards accountable for their actions nothing will change.It is sad, frustrating and in this state is not a priority for the people in power.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Thu, 06/26/2008 - 5:33am.

Clayton is about to become our problem.

I agree we have no legal or moral obligations to Clayton County. I do have a twinge of sympathy for the innocent kids who are the ones who actually get hurt in all this, but that is completely beside the real point.

Obligation or not, there will be an influx of Clayton kids coming to Fayette. Some will come legally by renting an apartment or buying a house or even paying tuition if we allow that. Unfortunately, many who want to come legally won't be able to sell their home in this market - and the apartments are already filling up. We were approached by a Clayton family of 5 last week to rent them a house we have for sale in Village Park.

Many more will come illegally by using grandma's address or doubling up on addresses or my favorite - the old River's Edge scam that Arlene and Sam can't seem to figure out.

So, I would suggest that since they are coming anyway, why don't we be proactive and get ready instead of being real surprised after it does happen.

Or, we could actually be tough on the illegals and fine them and charge them the cost of tuition --- oh, wait that's an old idea that we sort of tried before and failed because of ---why was that it failed again?

I must mention the annual cost of educating 1 student in Fayette (legal or illegal) is over $8,000.

DragNet's picture
Submitted by DragNet on Thu, 06/26/2008 - 11:56pm.

One thing is sure and you have seen the future: hundreds of additional students to our Fayette school system coming from Clayton....using whatever it takes to fake their right to study is called survival instinct. We better get ready for this influx....sort of the Mexicans coming thru the border (excuse my metaphor)

Making you think twice......

Submitted by heatjam on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 1:24pm.

I feel bad for the students of Clayton County, but honestly not bad enough that I want them at our schools. We have enough on our plates here in Fayette County to have to deal with out of county students. And if we accept some, who decides who? If we accept the ones with the high test scores, what about siblings? Better to just accept none. Cold hearted? perhaps, but like someone has already posted, this didn't just happen overnight. If the parents and citizens cared, they would have been more proactive. Just my opinion.

Submitted by wheeljc on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 2:43pm.

Of the existing Fayette County BOE members, who will be first to find "humanitarian" reasons for allowing kids from Clayton schools to attend Fayette schools 'temporarily' while their 'challenges' are fixed? (Will bet that they have no kids in the Fayette School system!!) Any takers??

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 12:24am.

What I know of her, she wins, hands down!

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 11:58am.

I might have greater sympathy for the situation in Clayton were it not for several important factors.

1) This situation didn't develop overnight. It wasn't sudden and it didn't come out of the blue. It could have been addressed at one of a number of opportunities in the preceding YEARS but was not. As the old saying goes, "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."

2) Where was all the passionate interest and outrage during the elections for the board members who oversaw this development? Single-digit voter turnouts in Clayton County speak more to the true character of these outraged parents than their current actions. It's always easier to efface one's complacency with an outburst of moral indignation and condemnation. The qualifications of certain Clayton County board members are HIGHLY suspect and certainly should have received greater scrutiny during an election. But when less than 10% (or even 40% for that matter) of the registered voters ignore an election, it becomes very easy for unqualified people to assume office.

3) What has Clayton County offered Fayette County? It sounds contrived, but let's seriously ask what has Clayton County done for Fayette County- lately or ever? Bailing them out of their self-created educational crisis is no different than bailing out people who got in over their heads on a mortgage, failed to adequately plan their finances and now want a handout from those of us who are responsible and conscientious.

We are inviting a great many problems for ourselves as taxpayers and responsible people if we become embroiled in Clayton County's mess. It's their bed, they must now sleep in it.

Besides, if the state of Georgia does what I expect them to do, which is follow the lead of the state government of Florida in Duval County's similar education crises in the late 1960's, this will become a problem for which every taxpayer in Georgia will ultimately pay.

Submitted by wheeljc on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 11:52am.

If the prospective student were to come to Fayette for strictly academics, and was also gifted in other areas -- sports or the arts -- would think that the parents would look elsewhere. The same is true of those looking to go to various military academies, and are looking for leadership positions their senior year of high school.

Sadly, if left to the politicians, can assure you that they will screw it up, and you and I will pay about 150% of the true/total cost -- including travel (which the politicians will consider an 'entitlement'.)

Would like to hear what the prospective school board members have to say about how they will address Clayton youngsters coming to Fayette. When the 'dust up' regarding liberalizing kids changing schools arose in the Spring, one member suggested 'nothing could be done.'

Wonder if they all feel that way, and if so, should we be looking for new candidates??

Submitted by sageadvice on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 11:24am.

Well, to start with any Clayton student who has a good SAT score is likely to be able to get into college---in spite of not having a sanctioned diploma. He may have to take some make up math and language classes, but he can get in if his scores are good.
How do you think football and basketball players get in to the top schools? They have something else special!

Anyway a GED is as good as a diploma. It just takes hard work for a while. Anyone not able to do well on an SAT or unwilling to work hard for a GED need not go to college anyway.

I think you need not worry about too many Clayton students coming here except those who can do the work. The others will flunk out soon.

buZZard's picture
Submitted by buZZard on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 11:16am.

DeKalb, Fulton, Henry, Spalding, these other county’s also border Clayton, are they also in this dilemma along with Fayette to help these students?

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 11:00am.

parents that really care about the quality of education system in Clayton County.

As for the moral obligation, the burden should not be just on Fayette County.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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