Corr goes vindictive

Why would one of the most senior principals in the district not be in her school?

Is it because Superintendent Rhonda Corr read a mention in this blog and looked for someone to pay for not abiding by her “loyalty oath” unwritten policy?

A principal with enough seniority to retire twice- (almost)- says, “If she stays, or Roberson is made superintendent, I’m out. Bring back Lawrence, Brathwaite and I’ll stay”

Source: In the lifeboats as the DPS ship sinks – Esrati

Shirlette “Peggy” Burks isn’t in her building- Charity Earley Girls Preparatory Academy opened up with Stacy Williams, an experienced assistant principal at the helm. Now, a month after school started, the district wants to swap her with Louise Troy Principal Karla Goins (sister of Thurgood Marshall Principal Sharon Goins).

Why this disruption a month after school starts? Staff at Charity Earley are not happy.

Burks isn’t talking, but her facebook profile says “worked at Dayton Public Schools” instead of “works at.”

With the loss of Horace Lovelace, the other single sex school principal, is this an attempt to shutter the single sex school programs?

With staff turnover at over 20% annually, it’s hard enough to keep competent people.

Apparently, this is how half a century of service is rewarded under Rhonda “Chaos” Corr.

 

Dayton’s International Man of Mystery, Adil Baguirov, has ties to Russian “Laundromat”

American’s don’t understand the relationships between Azerbaijan and Armenia- or that an Ahiska Turk is more Russian than Turkish, but, let’s just say between the Azerbaijan and Armenia may as well be the Hatfields vs the McCoys, or the Union vs the Confederacy.

Dr. Adil Baguirov, recipient of money from the Azerbaijani Laundromat

So you found out I got a questionable quarter million dollars? Vote for me! Dr. Adil Baguirov

We outlined the crazy dealings and shell companies of Dayton School Board member Dr. Adil Baguirov back on Aug 5, 2017. Our main complaint, which every official organization refused to investigate, was that Dr. B didn’t reside in the district, and should be removed from the School Board.

In that research, we uncovered a cornucopia of shell companies, many unreported, some of which he quickly shut down, to stop questions about possible improprieties and conflicts of interest.

Two things stood out: For a guy who has endless time to draw out public meetings, and all the answers on the dealings of the district, he has no debt, and seems to be rolling in cash.

And, that his pedigree was many pay grades above his current position.

We deduced he was his DPS seat as a stepping stone to higher office (he “won” his seat in an uncontested election) and is now starting that bid for the State Rep seat coming up next year.

Within three hours of publishing the piece at midnight, I got a warning via Facebook messenger from a friend:

You must have him investigated. He seems to be a total fraud. I cannot imagine no one checked where he lived…

This is juicy story. Be careful, they will come behind you with big guns.

We published the names of all his shell companies in that initial post. As with most investigative pieces, some parts come into focus later.

An Armenian journalist Emil Sanamyan, reached out to me two nights ago, with the missing link. There has been an international scheme uncovered by The Guardian and the the Danish newspaper Berlingske where large sums of money have been moved around to buy influence or lobby for Azerbaijan and Turkey. The investigation is calling it the Azerbaijani Laundromat:

Azerbaijan’s ruling elite operated a secret $2.9bn (£2.2bn) scheme to pay prominent Europeans, buy luxury goods and launder money through a network of opaque British companies, an investigation by the Guardian reveals.

Leaked data shows that the Azerbaijani leadership, accused of serial human rights abuses, systemic corruption and rigging elections, made more than 16,000 covert payments from 2012 to 2014.

Some of this money went to politicians and journalists, as part of an international lobbying operation to deflect criticism of Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, and to promote a positive image of his oil-rich country. There is no suggestion that all the recipients were aware of the original source of the money. It arrived via a disguised route….

The scheme has been nicknamed the Azerbaijani Laundromat. Confidential banking records were leaked to the Danish newspaper Berlingske and shared with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Guardian, and other media partners. The data covers a 30-month period. It may show the tip of an iceberg.

Source: UK at centre of secret $3bn Azerbaijani money laundering and lobbying scheme | World news | The Guardian

In the list of all the companies that received this “dirty” money- we find a connection to our minor league politician, Dr. Adil Baguirov- who has a “consulting company” Turbillion– which received: $253,150 USD from HILUX SERVICES LP of Great Britain for 1311125026365614 PAYMENT TO THE CONTRACT N 121 DD.01.11. 2013, exactly four days after Dr. B was elected as the first Azerbaijani to an American office.

Most of the funding came through the British company Hilux Services LLP and its account in an Estonian bank from Baktelekom MMC, a limited liability corporation in Azerbaijan. A reporter for OCCRP discovered that the Azerbaijani company is owned by a businessman with ties to that country’s first family. The payments, prosecutors allege, were made in exchange for Volonte’s efforts to mute the European body’s criticism of Azerbaijan’s human rights record.

Source: Businessman suspected in Italian bribery case linked to Azerbaijan’s first family

So, we’ve got a human rights apologist winning election to the Dayton School board? So what? And who cares if he got a quarter-million for being a mouthpiece for some foreign government? According to fellow school board member Sheila Taylor “he’s done more for this board than anyone.”

I can’t verify anything the Armenian journalist writes about Adil’s lineage, other than his wife is most definitely the daughter of  Turkish Ambassador to the United States from 1979-1989. Mr. Sanamyan has no problem stating publicly that there is more to Dr. Baguirovs lineage:

Of course the KGB and the NKVD don’t publish their membership lists, so I’m deferring to the journalist that speaks Russian.

The fact that Baguirov worked for lobbyists and Federally elected officials, and received foreign money is kinda one of those things that would usually get you into trouble in this country, but, all bets are off since President Trump took office.

Baguirov went to the Trump inauguration, and of course, there is a Trump/Turkish investigation going on,

The German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian criminals with ties to the Kremlin, the Guardian can reveal.

Source: Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam | World news | The Guardian

If you want to read more than you ever wanted to know about how money flows to foreign terrorists and questionable deals that look more like payola, look at the New Yorker article “Donald Trump’s worst deal” and realize this was being structured while Dr. B was building his political lobbying chops in D.C. And that the same people fingered in the “Laundromat” which sent his consulting company money, were the people who were financing the Trump deal in Baku; all connected to “Ziya Mammadov, the Transportation Minister and one of the country’s wealthiest and most powerful oligarchs. According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Azerbaijan is among the most corrupt nations in the world.”

Surely, there will be an investigation of Dr. Adil Baguirov now…

Ah, hell no, this is Dayton, where we only prosecute drug dealers and sex offenders and cops shoot photo journalists by “accident.”

What we do know is that Dr. B is gearing up for his next election:

www.adilbaguirov.net

www.adilbaguirovblog.com

www.adilbaguirov.org

and the start of his run for OH-40- funded by CrowdPac.

And, one other thing, in light of his four different sites, is his Website development being handled by the Internet Research Agency?

Now will someone look into this?

 

 

The rest of the Pete Pullen story…

How does DPS hire 2 people to run PR, pay them $180K a year, and the way the community finds out who’s the new head basketball coach at Dunbar- is on my blog?

Way to welcome new coach, Chuck Taylor to Dunbar.

The job was posted, Chuck applied, came prepared to the interview. He’d passed on other coaching positions- waiting for the right job, right time. He’s no stranger to the Dayton basketball community- having run his own AAU team for 20+ years. A Dunbar Roth grad, he lead Roth to a basketball state championship as a point guard, before Roth’s program moved to Dunbar when Roth closed. This was his chance to “come home” and lead.

The other part of the story that’s missing, is that Coach Pullen did a cardinal sin in a very petty district- he dared to apply for the Wayne High School coaching job, although he was never called for an interview. Just like the Trump administration, in the new DPS, where “Great things are happening”- it’s all but an unwritten rule that you sign a loyalty oath. Any deviation from devotion to the Corr machine- and you are out. Got questions? See the Tom Archdeacon story in Sunday’s Dayton Daily where the celebrated soccer coach at Belmont of last year, Julie Raiff, was replaced this year, because she dared to go to Northridge for more money as a Special Ed teacher. The district line for her- we want a coach who is in the building.

Which brings us back to Dunbar’s new coach- who has a full time job as Judge Gehres’ bailiff. He may be the new direction for Dunbar, as what Principal Crystal Phillips told her 63 year old coaching stead as she unceremoniously turned him out to pasture, but Taylor won’t be in the building either.

Coach Pullen had already retired from teaching the year before last, but still taught two PE courses last year. This year, he’d opted out, but is also currently recuperating from major surgery- and did his interviews in a wheelchair- which probably also didn’t help his case for keeping his job.

Phillips also said that Pullen didn’t have a good rapport with college coaches as a reason for not keeping him, yet the fact that there would be seven college coaches at his practices says volumes.

In PR, the secret is always getting ahead of the story. In this case, considering the smoldering smirch on the district of the Dunbar/Belmont football fiasco last year, the new PR fiasco of the announcement at an emergency meeting about the new academic eligibility standards, you’d think the PR wizards on staff would have made sure that this change wouldn’t be yet another target for tomato tossers- but, they failed.

In the end, Dunbar will do fine in basketball. The question again, is why is this change being made this late? Would Dunbar have lost two star players, DeVon Baker and Caleb McConnell, to SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio, for their senior year? Other districts know that parents of star athletes choose to enroll their kids in schools because of the coaches, not necessarily because of academics. If your ticket to college is being punched because you can play hoops- that’s the first thing you look for.

However, I sure wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the coming Dunbar parents and alumni storm- which all could have been avoided had this been handled properly.

DPS fires a legend

September First is a little too close to basketball season to be firing a coach, especially when it’s your legendary leader of your most successful basketball program. But, nope, last minute is the way DPS sophomore superintendent Rhonda Corr rolls.

Former Dunbar head basketball Coach Pete Pullen confirmed at 4:33 am this morning that he had been dismissed from coaching duties. Facebook posts suggest that the new Dunbar coach is former Stivers assistant coach Chuck Taylor. Pullen had lead Dunbar to amazing domination of State Basketball championships- 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012. NBA champion Norris Cole came through his program as did Daequan Cook who played in the NBA.

Instead of firing rookie district athletic director Mark Baker, who was firmly in the middle of the Dunbar/Belmont fiasco last year, they instead hastily extended Baker’s contract for 2 years- which brought the wrath of the Ohio High School Athletic Association upon the entire district. Pullen, had resigned as Dunbar’s AD, accepting his failure in the gpa calculation/playing of an ineligible football player, and just wanted to go back to coaching his beloved men’s basketball team into his retirement. Now that dream is dashed, we’ll see if the rest of the story comes out, since the district had a hole card on Pullen’s allegiance until yesterday.

Pullen is an interesting guy who started coaching women’s ball before taking over the men. This is probably part of his success formula at Dunbar. Women’s coaches have to coach a different game, one not centered on shear athleticism, dunking, and speed. Dunbar mens teams benefited from his approach to playing a complete, well disciplined game.

My first experience watching Pullen and his posse, was probably seeing them at a game in Trent arena soon after it opened. Coach Pete and his 4 assistants could be described as either a group of morticians, or blues brothers impersonators. All with black suits, white shirts and black skinny ties. And, while I found the costume entertaining, the game he brought was outstanding. There is a reason why Dunbar had the “x” factor working in their favor- Coach Pete created it.

This year wasn’t going to be as fun as previous years, for any of the Dunbar coaches. Robbed of players who used to be able to go to any charter school, including DECA and play at Dunbar- they were restricted to student/athletes who lived close to the school. The women’s team had 9 DECA kids. Now?

The timing of this dismissal couldn’t be more wrong. Late in the pre-season, and just before a three day weekend where DPS administrators can hide and let it blow over.

Parents will be outraged, as well as community leaders (some who sent their own boys to play for him) and Dunbar alumni. Old men, who’ve given their lives to a program that’s done something few others have, deserve a more dignified and gracious exit from a program they’ve built to set the standard in the district.

There will be more to this story, but, remember, you read it on Esrati.com first.

a few notes added 6pm same day.

Coach Pete’s record: 12 years. 261-51, 6 final fours, 4 state championships.

Chuck Taylor- Works for Judge Dan Gehres for a full time job. Judge Dan is the lazy political judge who took 9 months to add two lines to my lawyers brief and call it a “decision” on the mask case- thereby pushing the legal timelines to give the city a chance to appeal after I filed the civil suit. Not saying anything bad about Taylor- but, his boss is one of the people that’s part of the system that’s screwed the pooch in Dayton for a long time.

 

DPS PR machine is still not doing its job

First rule of public relations: be honest.

Second rule of public relations: be proactive. Be in front of the storm, not in the middle of it, or after it passes.

Third rule of public relations: be trustworthy, which is an extension of the first two rules.

Despite hiring 2 PR professionals for $180K a year, in addition to an “ad agency” for $345K a year, Dayton Public Schools continue to soil themselves through inept public relations. It may have absolutely nothing to do with any of the people who are hired to do PR, because this school board and superintendent are totally tone deaf and sabotage their own positions of authority at will and often.

Here is some backstory of how the move from the 2.0 to 1.0 gpa for athletics began, long before the Dunbar vs Belmont eligibility fiasco last year. (btw- I went to the rematch on Thursday and watched Belmont annihilate Dunbar 42-0). The story comes from “the man who would be superintendent” if it wasn’t for a board that doesn’t like strong black males with better community ties than they have. David Lawrence, the former Chief of Innovation for Dayton Public Schools, before he was bought out for big money to go away by this incompetent school board, told me he proposed this lowering of standards plan to former superintendent Lori Ward over 3 years ago. Note, he was a DPS athlete who went on to play D-1 sports. He still holds track records at Welcome Stadium.

His reasoning made sense. First, there are other districts, albeit ones that aren’t failing in all academic categories, that use this standard. Not that Oakwood or Centerville has to apply it to as many students, but they will allow kids to participate. But here is the kicker, he put the blame squarely on the teachers in this district, who sometimes would only give a midterm and a final, with no quizzes, tests, or other evaluation items like class participation, attendance, homework, etc. This meant some kids were being discriminated against- because some teachers don’t really try to work with the dumb jocks and take great pleasure in ambushing them.

Dang.

Didn’t see that one coming at all. But when you have a district with a horrible graduation rate, failing at all levels of academic success, this story seems more legit than the one coming out of the PR machine days after a seemingly secret meeting pops this change on us like a magician pulling an elephant out of a hat. We expect a rabbit, not an elephant.

First issue is why was this done, without proper public knowledge in advance, at an unscheduled meeting? That’s a guaranteed sign of “we’re being sneaky” instead of “we’re being strategic.” Proper PR handling would have made sure this issue was out in public long before and well explained and discussed before hand- as well as having proper answers for the board members who voted against or abstained. That way, it doesn’t feed the fires of the public who sees this as yet another lowering of standards.

I still posit that part of this policy is driven by fall out from sanctions imposed on the district after the Dunbar fiasco. The board had to lower standards in a hurry because most high schools wouldn’t have had enough players to play this year after athletes from DECA and other charter schools could no longer play for the program of their choice. In other words, the district was reacting instead of being proactive. Yet, none of that is in the explanation being circulated on Facebook by new media relations head Marsha Bonhart:

Lots of discussion about Dayton Public Schools and the sports policy – and a lot of confusion. As director of public relations and media at DPS, please allow me to help everyone understand the bar is NOT being lowered – it’s being raised. Student athletes who carry a GPA between 1.0 and 1.99 will have to raise their grades each quarter AND pass five classes to remain eligible to play any sport. They must be involved in an hourly, Monday – Thursday academic improvement program that includes tutoring. They have to remain in the program for a year until their GPA raises at least to 2.0. If they do not show quarterly improvement and do not pass the classes, they will not participate in any sports. If their grades slip the next year, they are back in the program for the entire year, again.
The deal is, improve your grades, pass five classes or you don’t play. This is for grades 7-12, girls and boys. Questions? 542-3023 (937)

Note, this is on her personal account, not on an official district channel. The post on the site, which most people can’t navigate, is here, posted Aug 26th (the decision was made and announced Aug 22):

FAQ for New Athletic Eligibility Policy

DPS to encourage athletes to perform better in the classroom

To Our Parents and Community,

There has been lots of discussion about Dayton Public Schools and the new sports policy – and a lot of confusion.

As director of public relations and media at DPS, please allow me to help everyone understand the bar is NOT being lowered – it’s being raised. Student athletes who carry a GPA between 1.0 and 1.99 will have to raise their grades each quarter AND pass five classes to remain eligible to play any sport. They must be involved in an hourly, Monday – Thursday academic improvement program that includes tutoring. They have to remain in the program for a year until their GPA raises at least to 2.0.

If they do not show quarterly improvement and do not pass the classes, they will not participate in any sports. If their grades slip the next year, they are back in the program for the entire year, again.

The deal is, improve your grades, pass five classes or you don’t play. This is for grades 7-12, girls and boys. Questions? (937) 542-3023

Marsha Bonhart Neilson

Director of Public Relations & Media, Dayton Public Schools

Source: News | FAQ for New Athletic Eligibility Policy

Maybe the big news is that Marsha has a new last name?

Or that she tries to legitimize the lowering of standards as “he bar is NOT being lowered – it’s being raised”- which is straight out of a 1980’s style PR textbook, where you try to reframe the truth. This is a complete and utter #FAIL, days after the fact. If this is the best spin DPS can put on this dead on arrival PR nightmare, Marsha and her new boss should be next on the chopping block. See the three rules at the beginning of this post.

My main questions still remain: why is this study table policy limited to athletes? The district is in academic emergency, shouldn’t all students getting less than “C’s” be getting mandatory help? And, besides the discriminatory nature of this plan, last I heard, we didn’t have money to pay teachers more, so who is paying for these professionals to help guide our dumb jocks up to a 2.0? The district is claiming volunteers? Is that really the answer?

As with most cases DPS, we have to look at the root problems: poverty and low expectations. If you believe in expectancy theory, this lowering of GPA requirements reinforces a problem that the district is already fighting to overcome. The timing of this announcement should have been made before school started as well- which means, once again, we’ve started a school year out with controversy- much like last years RIF. This kind of leadership is only reinforcing perceptions of a district in turmoil. Competent leadership would know better- but we don’t have competent leadership.

No PR machine on the face of the earth can fix stupid. At this point, only voters can. Yet, even though he was the lone vote against this change, Joe Lacey still shouldn’t be on this board, he’s part of the problem that made this fiasco happen when he hired Rhonda Corr, which is the real reason this district has been mired in controversy for the last year.

 

Worst school district lowers academic standards for sports

How do you raise the bar for a failing district? You lower the eligibility grade for athletic participation of course! Only Dayton Public Schools would do this, without any warning, without notifying the public, without public discussion, at an emergency meeting last night. Why? Because, the district is run by an incompetent school board who hired an untested, rookie superintendent, who hired an AD that flunked eligibility 101.

Dayton Public Schools’ existing policy required students to earn at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in order to play. The new policy will allow students between 1.0 and 1.99 to participate — if they enroll in their school’s Athletic Academic Intervention Program.

In order to remain eligible, those students must “remain enrolled for at least one calendar year, must attend all study tables, and must make satisfactory progress toward the established goal of a 2.0 GPA each academic quarter.

DPS attorney Jyllian Bradshaw explained that last item. It means if there is any quarter where a sub-2.0 GPA student-athlete sees their cumulative GPA decline, the student-athlete will immediately be academically ineligible for the next quarter. But a student with a 1.3 GPA who increases it to a 1.4 will be eligible for the following quarter.

Source: DPS lowers GPA for sports eligibility, adds mandatory tutoring

Board member Joe Lacey, actually had the brains to vote against this- saying a C average isn’t that hard to maintain. Dr. Adil Baguirov abstained. The other four (Ron Lee was absent AGAIN)- thought this was a good idea. This is why they all need to be removed.

First of all, athletics, like academics, requires discipline. If you can’t be disciplined enough to get a C average, why is a D ok, with a study table?

And, why, are only athletes being given access to “Academic Intervention Programs”- shouldn’t ALL students who don’t have a “C” average have this right?

But, what we’re really doing is allowing for mediocrity- something this district is already well acknowledged as a leader in. That’s why we fail (that’s with an “F” grade- every educational standard by the state- except for the manufactured  stat “annual yearly progress” which we got an “A”).

There isn’t a single athletic scholarship available for a student with lower than a C average. Why should we not set the bar at that level?

And, what does this do to the reputation of all the athletes that have come before? Will people think that Commissioner Joey Williams was able to play high school ball with a D average? Or Norris Cole? Give me a break. Give us all a break. If the board thinks D’s are acceptable at any level, they need to resign.

Need to see what happens when you coddle athletes based on physical skills over academic ones? Head over to Netflix and watch Season 1 and 2 of the documentary “Last Chance U” about the football program at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba Mississippi, population 732.

The story is of athletically gifted losers ending up at a junior college trying to redeem themselves to go back on track for D-1 or possibly the pros.

It’s a story of fantasy. Much like a focus on educational excellence at Dayton Public Schools.

Is this new lowering of academic standards a last chance attempt to boost enrollment that is dropping due to the threatened strike? Or, because new rules stop charter school kids from picking which athletic program they can attach themselves to? Why was this enacted in a hurry- without public knowledge, after the start of school? What’s the new enrollment figure?

You want the answer? Here’s the new district tagline to sell this brilliant move:

“Dayton Public Schools, where losers can still play.”

It applies to the administrators that thought this up, as well as to the student athletes who play because of this new lowered standard.

This will be a litmus test question for any candidate running to replace Lacey, Baguirov, Rountree and Lee.

It should be grounds for removal of Walker, McManus and Taylor.

If you aren’t up in arms about a failing district already, this should be a clear indication that academics aren’t a priority in Dayton.

 

DPS: Special meeting coming. Corr going?

In an almost unprecedented show of foresight and planning, Dayton Public Schools sent out a notice of a special meeting yesterday at 1:44 pm.

In accordance with Section 3313.16 of the Ohio Revised Code and File: BD of the Handbook of Policies, Rules & Regulations of the Board, I hereby call for a special meeting of the Board of Education of the Dayton City School District, Montgomery County, Ohio, to be held on Tuesday August 22, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. Room 6S-115 of the Administration Building, located at 115 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow the Board to vote on recommendations from the Policy Committee. Following the vote, the board is expected to go into executive session to discuss matters of personnel and the sale and/or purchase of real estate.

The media is being advised of this meeting in compliance with the Ohio Sunshine Law.

More than likely, the discussion of real estate sales is Baguirov’s last chance to sneak a deal by the stooges before we have a new superintendent. Any action on the Patterson Kennedy site on Wyoming without a proper auction at this point should be investigated as criminal.

As to personnel, the only thing to discuss is if Superintendent Rhonda Corr resigns, is fired for cause, or is just plain bought out. This board is embarrassed by the teachers no confidence vote, yet doesn’t want to seem as if they are “reacting.”

Let’s go back to last month- when I called for them all to R-E-S-I-G-N, at the business meeting. Baguirov responded by asking the auditor up, but, then Corr called HR chief Judy Spurlock up to respond to my claims of mass resignation. If you watch carefully at the beginning, as Spurlock begins to hobble on crutches with a open laptop in hand, I go to her to offer to carry the laptop for her and was rebuffed. Then she stands at the podium and says we’ve only lost 93 teachers this year- and 89 this year.

So we went and tried to build a spreadsheet from the HR reports over the last year from Board Docs- but, they didn’t post the spreadsheets. So we did a public records request- and had a CPA analyze the data.

Comprehensive for School Year 2017.

The breakdown is neither pretty, or sustainable. Total resignations of staff is 600. Workforce of around 2400- which means 25% turnover. No professional organization can survive that.

Spurlock said 89 teachers left.

Our count: 187.

Here is the break down by position:

Adjunct4
Adjunct staff11
Administration30
Clerical18
District support staff5
Mental health tech3
Nutrition2
Nutrition srevices7
Occupational theraphy assistant1
Occupational therapy1
Operations29
Paraprofessional59
Psychologist2
Security resource officer6
Teacher187
Temporary162
Transportation73
Total600

And, of course, I’m also including the entire spreadsheet. working Human Resources COMPREHENSIVE 06-30-17   

Because, Rhonda, these are F-A-C-T-S.

Note: we had to correct a lot of issues- likely, keystroke errors, with names not quite matching. When we broke things down by schools- school names didn’t match, etc. If the board knew how to run an organization, they’d have asked for this report themselves, complete with pivot tables on which schools lost the most, and tried to interpret what’s been happening. But, no, even taking Spurlock’s word of half the true amount, didn’t set off alarm bells. If Corr isn’t gone by Wednesday, maybe a judge will see past their incompetence and criminal neglect of duty to manage our district properly.

 

The Elephant in the Dayton Public School Board meeting last night

I didn’t speak at public comment.

Neither did DEA chief David Romick.

Why speak to a board that doesn’t listen, doesn’t respond, and brought on the chaos and confusion that has ruled their last year- the reign of Rookie Superintendent Rhonda Corr?

The union voted almost unanimously to send a message – no confidence in the school board, no confidence in Rhonda Corr. There was no discussion of this. Just a lot of glad handing themselves and passing out participation trophies to each other for having a first day where kids got picked up and delivered by buses that ran on time. Seriously- every other district in the country can do this, only the worst district in the state can’t get this right.

So what should have happened?

After the vote to accept the contract, the issue of the no confidence vote should have been brought up.

The board should have responded with a public vote of confidence or no confidence in the superintendent- so the public can know where they stand.

Although this can be done in executive session, this is a litmus test vote to let the people they represent know how they feel about the performance of the superintendent. It’s a hard decision- but a necessary one. Sticking your heads in the sand is not an option. A no confidence vote is a serious issue considering the entire DEA is half the districts workforce- and without them- there is no district.

Another scenario- John McManus, the only functional member of the board, should have said immediately after the ratification of the DEA contract, “while we are patting ourselves on the back for settling this contract at the last possible minute, may I remind the board that there are 10 other bargaining units, and none of those are settled. Our Superintendent, although claiming to be a master negotiator, cost us over $150K to Huffmaster for nothing. We let this happen. I am hearby promising to tender my conditional resignation to the new board members when they take office in the spirit of healing and recognition of the failures of this board in the past year to guide this organization in a way that would have earned the respect of the professionals we employ.

I would also ask the other two board members, Dr. Walker and Ms. Taylor to join me in this move.

To the four existing board members who have earned this vote of no confidence, I ask that you pledge to resign the day after the election results are finalized and make way for the new board immediately so this process of healing can proceed at the fastest possible pace.

As to the no-confidence vote in the Superintendent, I voice my own opinion of her performance and ask that each of you do that now. It’s time to clarify to those we represent what we think of her performance in light of this move by the DEA. If there aren’t four votes of confidence in her favor, I ask that we work to negotiate her separation from this district to be effective immediately, and Dr. Lolli be asked to serve as interim superintendent until the new board is in place.”

Of course, since McManus is the quintessential southern gentleman, we can’t expect him to go out on a limb and do the right thing.

As to the other 6, they have no clue what the right thing is.

I will be organizing a candidates forum soon for the 7 challengers. I don’t think there is any reason to give Mr. Lacey an opportunity to speak at this forum, since it’s been quite obvious that he’s had plenty of time to speak- including last night, and didn’t. The voters want change, and there is no reason to even consider his re-election.

If you disagree with not allowing him to participate- please rewatch this video:

 

8 Certified to run for DPS board, 7 options, 4 seats

thumbnail of November_7__2017_Certified_Candidates_8_15_17

Click to download complete PDF from BOE

From the Montgomery County Board of (S)Elections today, the complete candidate list.

For Dayton Public Schools there are 8 candidates for 4 seats, and seeing as one is an incumbent.

Which is an odd coincidence- if the current board, with the vote of no confidence in them and the Superintendent did the right thing- there would be 7 seats available.

  • Mohamed Al?Hamandi 26 Hawthorn St. Dayton 45402
  • Paul Bradley 227 Green St. Dayton 45402
  • (Mario)  Ann Marie Gallin 40 Gebhart St. Dayton 45410
  • William E. Harris Jr. 1125 Cornell Dr. Dayton 45406
  • Joe Lacey 207 E. Sixth St. Dayton 45402 (incumbent)
  • Jocelyn S. Rhynard 107 McDaniel St. Dayton 45405
  • Jo’el T. Jones 33 W. Babbitt St. Dayton 45405
  • Karen Wick?Gagnet 222 Warren St. Dayton 45402

There is another issue, with my filing of candidacy for the Montgomery County Educational Service Center board. Despite it being mandated that DPS purchase services from the MCESC, and that they are the first people the State turns to in a state takeover, somehow, despite it being THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY ESC- I’m not eligible to sit on the board, although people in Brookville and Trotwood are (which both have city school districts).

There are some other questions about the legitimacy of the oversight of this organization- including how much involvement it has with the Issue 9 money and Learn to Earn. I am consulting with State legislators and my volunteer legal team to challenge this strange taxation without representation.

The same three people have run un-opposed before- and we know what happens there.

In other DPS news- the board will vote to accept the new contract with the DEA tonight- several months later than it should have been settled. Superintendent Rhonda Corr claims she settled it single handily after her negotiations team failed (her words). What’s missing from this picture? The reality that there are 10 other bargaining units- and none of their contracts have been settled.

The real question that the board should answer today- is if they still have faith in the Superintendent and her capacity to lead the district.

Trouble coming Tuesday morning

Bus routing for 14,000 students plus isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a pretty difficult math problem.

I suck at math. Most Americans do. Even smart people don’t understand how you do this. The classic story was that of a business school student who turned in a business plan for an overnight shipping company- where everything wen through one hub. His name was Fred Smith, he got a C. You may have heard of his company though- it’s FedEx.

Dayton Public Schools has been struggling with these issues for years, despite having less schools, less students and now 4 bell times up from 2 long ago. I watched in horror as Dr. Sheila Burton gave a single slide “presentation” on how she’d solved our bus problem with 4 bell times, new rules and cuts- that the board didn’t ask the superintendent to fire her for incompetence on the spot was beyond me.

Boston Public Schools on the other hand have a much more complicated system- with over twice as many students. They chose another way to solve this:

“A trio of MIT researchers recently tackled a tricky vehicle-routing problem when they set out to improve the efficiency of the Boston Public Schools bus system.
Last year, more than 30,000 students rode 650 buses to 230 schools at a cost of $120 million.
In hopes of spending less this year, the school system offered $15,000 in prize money in a contest that challenged competitors to reduce the number of buses.
The winners—Dimitris Bertsimas, co-director of MIT’s Operations Research Center and doctoral students Arthur Delarue and Sebastien Martin—devised an algorithm that drops as many as 75 bus routes”

from “How Do You Fix a School-Bus Problem? Call MIT” subscription required

FedEx, UPS, USPS all spend millions on figuring out how to do their door to door routes more efficiently. UPS software saves millions in fuel costs and works at refining routes in real time.

But here’s the thing- packages don’t walk. Door to door delivery is essential for them- but, not for students. For some idiotic reason, DPS still insists on trying to route buses down one way streets in historic districts that just aren’t wide enough for buses. My whole office stood and watched- and laughed – as a new DPS bus tried to turn down Adams street- I know, I should have grabbed a video camera.

Why neighborhood collection points aren’t in the solution is idiotic. Other than special needs kids- who may be physically challenged, pickup and drop-off points can be moved- and, as an added benefit, kids get some exercise.

Unfortunately, we aren’t smart enough to ask MIT or even UD to try to help. Nope, we’ve got Dr. Sheila Burton, who’s last day should be Tuesday if this doesn’t work.

Additional resources: 2 non paywall articles:
Here is a free article on MIT on public transit issues: https://www.citylab.com/…/inside-bostons-bus…/522726/
And here is a great one- with all kinds of links from NPR http://www.wbur.org/…/07/27/mit-quantum-boston-bus-routes