School board agenda posted: more exits

It’s Sunday morning- and the agenda for Tuesday came out “early.”

The last of the internal candidates for Superintendent in the last posted position search, Dr. Greg Roberson is leaving. He’s the head of OEC- and is reportedly going back to Mt. Healthy where he was hired in from. Rumors have DEA chief David Romick asking for Roberson’s position.

David Lawrence was bought out. Rhonda Corr was paid off. Dan Schroer is now the Superintendent of Springboro- which is cool, calm and collected- and passed a levy for the first time on the first try. We’re now out of options for superintendents who applied.

Charity Earley principal Peggy Burks is retiring, immediately. DPS loses one of their most effective principals.

The director of payroll, Nicole Berkely, is leaving the treasurers office- after an internal squabble over pay for calamity days.

Dr. Venita Kelley is out after a year as Director of Strategic Communication and Community Relations, where there were no strategic communications and community relations took a dump.

Debra Corbin, the assistant principal at Ponitz is on FMLA Intermittent through the end of the year.

There are also some contracts for coaches for spring sports (hint: it’s already spring) while other districts have already hired their fall and winter sports coaches for the next year. The lack of respect for both coaches and parents in these last minute contracts is epic.

Tito Reynolds is hired in as the new assistant treasurer for $93K a year. He’s coming over from the Montgomery County Auditors office- where he’s been since 2013. Probably a dem party insider, strengthening the hold of the Mayor on the schools budget (which is considerably bigger than the city budget). Ostensibly, this is to fill the position of Brennon Hattery who left to keep his sanity.

There is no mention of the second reading of the new policies on public speaking in the agenda- but former Board member Mario Gallin who monitors things closely posted this on her FB wall:

So, without officially voting on it as a policy change at the next DPS business meeting as scheduled, the DPS website has already instituted a citizen participation procedure change mandating that anyone wishing to address the board must fill out a registration form and submit it 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. This is actually more draconian than the anticipated policy change requiring forms be submitted 5 minutes before. I am particularly offended by the hypocrisy in the first line. This is from their website Home Page to About Us to Board Meetings, then scroll down.

CITIZEN COMMENTS
The Board values input from the community and as such, the public is invited to attend board meetings and given time to address the Board during the public hearing portion of the business meeting. This is an opportunity for community members to share information, express viewpoints and concerns. It is not a forum for resolving disputes. Members of the public wishing to address the board, must complete the registration form in its entirety, and submit it to the board office representative no later than 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

This comes on the heels of changes to the ability of the community to use district facilities as promised during the levy campaign in 2002. Dayton citizens were told that if they agreed to fund the building of new schools, part of the reward would be the ability to hold community meetings, use the buildings for community events, utilize the gyms as a community space (particularly attractive as the City was closing rec centers). Not all neighborhood communities have taken advantage of this, but now it appears that they should not even ask. Several months ago, the District removed Building Usage Request form from its website, along with the guidelines for community use. Now, in order to make a request, you must create an “account” which requires you to upload a Liability Insurance form but has no instructions as to what that is or who to contact with questions.

Long term practice has been to offer these facilities at no cost, as long as the building custodian was on duty during the week, usually until 9 or 9:30 pm. Weekend use did require the users to pay for a custodian for 4 hours at $30/hour. Sundays were a bit higher.

That also apparently has been scrapped. Rumor has it that in addition to a security deposit, fees will be charged according to which room in the building is being used and what equipment is required. I did talk to someone who tried to find out what those fees are, and they were told that fees would be assigned after the application was submitted.

There has been no public announcement or discussion of these changes at all.

Thankfully- I’m not the only one paying attention to the board.

Turnover is a major concern in this district. Until a steady hand takes control, expect to see a lot more people leaving for greener pastures.

 

 

 

The DPS agenda, or lack of one vs the real agenda

It’s Saturday. DPS offices are closed. Yet, the agenda for Tuesday’s board review session isn’t posted yet. That’s pretty much par for the course. Sunday at 5pm is their target, as if they are all working away on weekends, getting everything right.

The reality is, they just don’t want to share with the public. They don’t welcome scrutiny, or respect the public’s right to know.

Looking into my crystal ball, I predict they’ll be accepting the retirement of Peggy Burks, one of their most talented principals, who has been paid all year not to work. Yet another embarrassing reality for this administration.

They are hoping to ratify a contract with the bus drivers. Because, if they don’t, they’re screwed come Tuesday.

They’ll be voting on other stuff in a review session, that they shouldn’t be voting on- because they can’t get their business done on a schedule with a business session. You know the ones where citizens and other interested parties get to comment.

So we wait.

But, in the mean time, the students of Belmont aren’t waiting. After Dr. Lolli came to campus a week and a half ago, read the riot act as she removed a principal a month and a half before the end of the year, and implemented draconian punishments only for Belmont- and not the other schools, the students have said they’ve had enough.

Come Monday morning at 8:30 the Bison of Belmont will be protesting the new policy of Saturday detentions for being late 3 times, and parents hauled into court if the detention isn’t served. Lolli also banned cell phones and headphones- only at Belmont. So much for equal punishment for all students at all schools. Isn’t this what got the district into a lawsuit with the OHSAA over a basketball fight? Thurgood kids all sat their mandated 2 game suspension- Dunbar didn’t.

The ice queen superintendent, who hasn’t a clue over anything other than the Marzano method and curriculum alignment is about to get a swift kick in the keester by some high school kids who still believe life is fair and that capricious rules should be protested and contested.

In the meantime, Dayton Public Prep is still signing up students, staff and teachers for a full-frontal assault on education by route with their alternative plan for running the district as a charter, focused fully on year round schools and creative empowerment in the classroom.

Reminder: If the bus strike happens, DPS will get a chance to beat Trotwood to the bottom of the state district rankings in one easy step. And if Trotwood manages to avoid state takeover with gains in Annual Yearly Progress- it’s probably because of the many talented DPS staff that left the district when Lori Ward was show the door. The same team that got DPS their last AYP A- the one Rhonda Corr got as a gift from the very person she shafted, David Lawrence who was the chief architect of the turnaround.

Wait for the conclusion to that drama when test scores are released in August.

 

If MLK was an activist today

50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. It wasn’t with an AR-15, but, it was a gun, protected by the 2nd Amendment.

My father told me he used to have lunch with King while they were both students at Boston University, on Thursdays. They’d argue. Dad was Malcom, Martin was Martin. They disagreed in the methods of effective change.

Being an activist then was hard, getting the word out required a lot more leg work, coordination, organization. There was no twitter, no Facebook, no meetups, no YouTube, no gofundme.

When King died, there wasn’t much of an estate, he’d even donated the money from his Nobel Peace Prize to the cause.

The following is fiction. What if MLK was magically 39 today, and still fighting the same battles, or slightly different ones. But, hadn’t won the Nobel, or gained a following. The scene is at the King household in Atlanta. Gathered around the table are his wife Coretta, Ralph, Jesse, Hosea, Joseph and Fred. They’re discussing their next move.

Coretta: Here’s some chicken from Popeye’s, fellas, dig in. Sorry, it’s the best we could do- money’s a bit tight right now.

MLK: It’s OK honey, the cause is more important than having a big fat bank account.

Coretta: I don’t know Martin, I’m looking at Brother Creflo, across town and he’s rollin in the dollars. You ought to spend more time in your church than out in the streets.

Fred: You know, that time you spent down in jail in Birmingham, maybe we should have setup a gofundme and taken that money and bought us a few new video cameras and a Sling- so we could broadcast live at every event.

Jesse: Video is so important these days. It’s not just the broadcast, but, if your channel has over 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours, you can monetize it on Youtube.

Coretta: He doesn’t even have 1000 followers on Twitter, it’s hard cutting through all that mess. Maybe you ought to antagonize the president and get him to tweet about you.

Hosea: I wouldn’t want to be associated with that fool. Porn stars, bankruptcies, walls, that revolving door on his office, how the hell did that fool get elected president. And why can’t we get our last president to come out and march with us?

Jesse: You know no one likes to march. It’s easier to hit the like button, or sign an online petition. Someone has to get shot these days to get people out in the streets- like those kids in Florida. Martyrs are in, marchers are out.

Fred: Maybe we should go back to just preaching, and politicking from the pulpit. The IRS is so overwhelmed with all those tax cuts they are never going to come after us for the Johnson Amendment- hell, they almost cut it out of the tax code last December.

Joseph: I keep looking at TD Jakes and think, dang, that guy could pay his people to march. We’re doing it all wrong.

Fred: Yep, aligning with the democrats and being their lapdogs, delivering black voters to the polls, why are we still doing that anyway? Lincoln was a Republican and he freed us. What has the democratic party done for us lately?

Coretta: Not a thing brother Fred, not a thing.

Jesse: I asked for their support when I tried to run for office. I didn’t get any help.

Coretta: Preach! You know there’s money to be made out there. You know how it works, the golden rule, he who has the gold, makes the rules. You brothers best get busy bringing in the Franklins.

Hosea: You know all those big time preachers have a book. Maybe we ought to write one together?

MLK: I wrote 5 already, had to self-publish. Amazon made money, I’ve got diddly. Money ain’t flowing in publishing these days. It’s almost as bad as the newspaper business, but not quite.

Fred: I’m telling you, we need to start our own TV channel. Those cameras would come in handy. Look, someone has to tell our story to the masses.

Joseph: I don’t think people really care that much. Half the countries got their noses buried in their phone all the time, half the countries high on medical mary jane, and their all watching Netflix or Hulu.

Fred: See, video is the key. I keep telling you.

Coretta: who gave you guys the torch anyway? Why should anyone listen to any of you. What makes you special? Nobody elected you to “lead the movement.” When am I going to be able to buy a G-Wagon like Mrs. Dollar? I wish you’d focus on your parish instead of on all this protestin and stuff. Ain’t no money in that.

MLK: If we can get a universal basic income everything changes. Then everyone can afford to put a little extra on the collection plate on Sundays honey. I’m telling you, for an old white Jewish dude, that Sanders guy was my choice for just that reason. Plus, with our four kids- college would be paid for. Instead we got this whack job.

Hosea: How many times we going to talk about the same thing? Ain’t going to change nothing. 50 years ago, it was the Klan killing brothers, now it’s overzealous cops. Maybe we should have listened to Malcom X instead of this peaceful route. We can go buy AR-15’s too. They aren’t that expensive.

Joseph: (laughing) Y’all now if we start showing up with AR-15’s in the street, they’ll start banning them in two seconds flat.

Coretta: Now you guys are just plum crazy. Stop all this nonsense about guns, protests and what you’re going to change. Nothing changes without the almighty dollar and between all six of you, you don’t have enough to buy this here chicken. Whoever heard of a political activist in the 1%. You hear about “activist investors” all the time. Now get outta my kitchen, so I can clean up. Martin, you best be hitting the streets tomorrow to find a real job that puts money in the bank account. Cell phone bill is due on Friday and we don’t have the money to pay it.

~fini

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told to either just leave town, or leave the politics alone. That making money matters more than following your principles. Monday, I lost a long time client over my politics. My friend Shepard Fairey wrote me about the post “Good post! A clear conscience is not possible with a purely capitalist mindset. The market creates as many problems as it solves. I’m very glad that you wrestle with that like I do.-S”

Yesterday I landed a new client that will bill considerably more.

And today, I found out that I’m the lead quote for the discussion of the media on the “Make me smart” podcast from American Public Media with Molly Wood and Kai Ryssdal; 56: “The best cure for hatred and ignorance”

Sometimes it’s just dumb luck who becomes the leader who is remembered in the history books. And sometimes, it only happened because they were too stupid to join the herd.

If there is one good reason to change the 2nd amendment, it happened 50 years ago today.

I can’t imagine what MLK might have achieved had he just lived to see 50, or what he’d say today about the shooting of Stephon Clark or John Crawford.

Stepping up for your principles has a cost. MLK paid the ultimate one for all of us.

 

Dayton Public Preparatory to launch Fall 2018

Starting Tuesday, April 3 2018 at noon, an alternative charter to Dayton Public Schools will begin accepting preliminary applications from parents of Dayton Public Schools students, and parents who have been choosing charters and parochial schools to avoid the constant chaos of DPS.

There will also be an area for DPS employees to privately register their interest in joining this new soundly run alternative to DPS.

When the sign ups cross over 60% of students, and 75% of staff, the alternative charter will ask the state board of education to place them as the primary operators of the district, accepting full responsibility for the failings of existing leadership to bring order to the district.

Dayton Public Preparatory Logo

The leadership team started organizing Dayton Public Preparatory as an alternative in the wake of the non-action to remove Dr. Adil Baguirov from the board even after his residency was clearly in violation of all board policy. The ridiculous glowing review of former Superintendent Rhonda Corr just previous to their buyout of Corr moved the timeline up from fall of 2019 to fall of 2018. Further actions, including the turmoil caused by incompetent communications surrounding the eventual announcement of the closing of one school was the final straw.

The team behind Dayton Public Preparatory is proposing a totally different approach to education in Dayton, very similar to the proposals in the video that I released in December of 2016: “There ain’t no “F” in Dayton”- to include only 2 bell times, transportation for all students at all grade levels, year round schools, longer school days with much shorter instructional time per-day, and higher expectations and standards. Details will be released on the sign up page on April 3rd.

The new organization will essentially take-over the existing district, with state support, instead of the previous interventions with power handed to other organizations that have no more experience than the failing districts had before- see Cleveland, Youngstown and Elyria for examples of State failure to improve schools via intervention.

While the organization will not have a public school board, much like the Dayton income tax supported “Learn to Earn” folks, they will fully comply with all requirements of the laws and rules governing public school systems, and will have a three year window to successfully move the district from failing to Annual Yearly Progress with a D average.

All union contracts will be honored, however, instead of working a 1080 hour school year, employees will be expected to work a standard 2080 hour year for the same pay. If the district moves to a C average, all pay will increase 25% for anyone at the building level. Administrators pay will remain the same.

The leadership team includes highly skilled and proven executives that are well known to the community. The superintendent will have had over 20 years experience in the district, the head of business operations and HR also has over 15 years experience with the district as well as at a much larger district and the DPP treasurer never had the turmoil the current treasurer has had in her last 2 years.

This new district management team promises top to bottom cultural transformation of the district, with in service training beginning in July of 2018 with school to open on the year round full-time schedule in August. This will not be public education like any other in the United States, it is set to be a new model for urban and

Their names will be released to all who have signed up as interested after the signups reach 5,000 students and 400 teachers, which is expected to take less than 2 weeks.

Sign-up at https://daytonpublicprep.org after noon on April 3rd.

There has been a major commitment of funding from several national educational foundations based on the boldness of this plan, totaling pledges of $62.3 million dollars to date. Additional funding is still being sourced and some is contingent at how quickly the new organization reaches its sign-up goals. A local philanthropist has been briefed and is willing to step in with additional funding anonymously, to match the funding of national organizations dollar for dollar when this team gets state approval.

National backers include:

Full disclosure, my firm has been involved in talks with the founders of this organization since January of 2017, 2 weeks after I released the video. We have not been compensated for our work thus far, but, have been awarded a contract to begin when the threshold for announcement is reached. The contract is for the same amount we bid to manage DPS marketing in 2017, but were rejected by the board and district for the highest bidder.

 

 

 

Foul mouthed “comic” comes to Dayton and Dayton embarrasses itself

I don’t know Mike Epps.

But, it doesn’t take long watching his youtube video “Inappropriate behavior” to realize he’s a walking time bomb.

He’s got a book coming out: “Unsuccessful thug.”

And, last night- there was inappropriate behavior by some unsuccessful thugs in the lobby of the Schuster Center. Go figure.

The two video’s I saw on Facebook this morning made the entire city look bad.

Brawling in the lobby, a woman kicking a guy in the head while he’s being held down on the ground and beaten. And it wasn’t just one fight. It was multiple fights.

At noon, Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald went on Facebook live to talk about it. She had Faith Daniels from WROU on with her. Faith was involved in organizing the show- which lost money. I respect Mayor McDonald for stepping up- but, it was all Faith doing the talking.

The event didn’t hire extra security. It didn’t have armed guards and metal detectors. And, yet, some people thought that was the problem.

The problem was the behavior of a few- that reflected poorly on the many.

That people were taking video instead of stepping in to stop the inappropriate behavior is the first problem. The second, is that we can’t seem to understand that when you listen to someone run their mouth using the “N” word over and over- it’s degrading to the entire community- never mind the foul mouthed idiot who is trying to profit by it.

I hear “nigga this, nigga that” non-stop in my barber shop (Fresh-2-Def on W. Third). I’m not allowed to use that word, but apparently, there are people who justify it. They let it slide. They don’t say- “you degrade us all when you utter that word.”

The discussion on Mary’s facebook live- was about the added cost of security- making tickets more expensive. The real answer is for those involved- to be identified- and be fined. And forced to pay for security for the next show. And stand there, in front of the community wearing a shirt that say’s “I’m stupid. I’m a menace to society. I’m sorry, I ruined it for Dayton” or something like that.

Public shaming works.

Bad behavior is bad behavior- and it should be universally frowned upon- no matter what the venue. We’ve had brawls and gunshots at funerals. We apparently don’t understand that this is unacceptable- everywhere.

The correct thing to do when seeing things like this is to either step in and stop it, or make sure everyone knows that they will be held accountable.

I’m waiting for all the “Black Leaders” in the community to speak up.

I’m waiting for the campaign against the “n” word.

I’ve said something about it at enough basketball courts in this city to know- we can do better.

It just takes people stepping up to do the right thing.

UPDATE

Is this a preview of what will happen at the Levitt Pavilion?

note: I’m sure I’m going to get crucified for this post. I’m sure I crossed some line. I’ll probably get called racist- even though I know we’ve got dumb white comics and stupid white folks who will fight too. But, the comment “this is why we can’t have nice things in Dayton” was used over and over by people commenting on the fights. I think we can have nice things in Dayton, once we set reasonable standards and expectations.