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Dayton Public Schools still don’t understand R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Thursday night while I was being disrespected by the Trotwood board of education (the 3 minute timer begins once you start speaking most places- not when you get to the podium), the folks over at Dayton Public were having a town hall, except the town forgot to show up.

The staff outnumbered the citizens, and the citizens that were there were mostly people who come to board meetings already.
Of course, part of the problem is that this district has zero communications skills and doesn’t know how to work with professionals. Of course, Lolli is figuring this out a year after her rise to power after the putsch.

Dayton Public Schools insults their market [1]Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said new hires will help a fully staffed public information office communicate with families, and school principals will work to open their buildings to families.

Source: DPS seeks to increase parent engagement – Dayton Daily News [2]

The new hire, Tracey Hanlin [3], has zero experience in repositioning brands or crisis management, having worked for a non-profit, RTA, Cox, and printers.

It should be her job to coordinate with the Ohlmann Group, and get them to do work that isn’t mediocre phoning it in campaigns like the billboards that are up now.

This school board made a major mistake when they chose to keep Rev William Harris, as board president over the experienced John McManus, and to promote Jocelyn Rhynard to VP. If you need proof, Harris is quoted in the paper, once again, parent shaming with generalizations:

School board President William Harris said many current DPS students don’t have the structured home life that gets them off to a good start – from simply getting regular meals, to having parents reinforce the importance of homework or getting enough sleep.

A parent, got it right. The fundamental problem in DPS is summed up in her statement:

Karen Young said for single mothers, the simple challenges of life – giving their children meals and a home – can make them lose focus on other issues like school, when in fact, the school can serve as a resource center for parents as well as students.

“What I wanted from the staff and teachers that I met was to be met with respect and be reminded to encourage myself to build respect in my home and all across my life,” Young said. “A lot of the young women I work with have lost the ability to feel respected.”

And if you watch this video of McManus deftly handling the board meeting when I was number 30 of 50 speakers that night- you’ll see why McManus should be board president, and that Ms. Young and I are on the same wavelength, this is from the November 17th meeting of 2016.

For background- the long post was “The calamity named Rhonda Corr” [4], the alternate school board was the pre-school promise, and the person they should have hired was David Lawrence.

Here we are today, spending money on consultants like they are going out of style, hiring more administrators (mostly from Middletown) and with PhD’s, jettisoning in-house legal and hiring Frost Todd Brown to take on the multitude of lawsuits that are being filed (including the witch hunt on white female teachers at Charity Earley Girls Academy) and other lawsuits that are dragging on including mine which goes to oral arguments on January 15, 2019 in the court of appeals.

The real problems at DPS are fundamentally issues of respect. Administration toward staff, staff toward students, students toward parents and round and round. The first thing that Trotwood Interim Superintendent Tyrone Olverson instituted in Trotwood was split the management of each school with a principal in charge of best practices in teaching and a dean of students to manage discipline. If Lolli had a brain and the board had any actual expertise, they’d have done the same thing in DPS long ago.

My prediction is that the coming fiscal crisis and state threats of takeover will be reason for Lolli to “retire” and the new board will be in the hunt for a new superintendent after the prime hiring window has closed- much like the timing on Lolli’s ascendancy. There doesn’t seem to be an heir apparent now, but the one to watch is Dr. Donetrius Hill who is bringing order to Belmont, or to see if Erin Dooley is willing to step up as she’s stepped back from Stivers.

The other pressing question is will Trotwood ask to join the City League now that they’ve been voted off the GWOC island, or will their start of open enrollment suck so many students away from Thurgood Marshall, Meadowdale, Belmont and Wogamen that DPS is looking at more school closings?

The obvious thing to do, would be for Jefferson Township, Trotwood and Dayton become a unified school district and start a whole new clock and scorecard with the State. The savings in administrative overhead alone would be huge, DPS could have Trotwood’s Superintendent, and Dayton would have a pool for a swim team, and would win both football and basketball at State every year.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T comes when you do something really smart.

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