Dayton Public Schools takeover by the State can’t happen soon enough

Steve Jobs was purported to say “A” people hire “A” people. “B” people hire “C” people.

Dayton Public Schools is an example of what happens when “F” people hire.

Seriously. It doesn’t get any stupider than this:

Dayton Public Schools hopes a two-year, $537,000 advertising campaign will boost the district’s enrollment and attendance numbers, Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said Tuesday.

Lolli told school board members the campaign by the Ohlmann Group will include everything from billboards and RTA bus ads to radio spots and direct mail. The budget plan estimates $250,000 in spending this school year and $287,000 next year.

“We want the word to get out to everyone that Dayton Public Schools are changing for the better, and we want them to understand the changes that are happening,” Lolli said. “Our parents need to have their students in school every day. Students need to know that school matters, and we want everyone to be there.”

The hundreds of proposed radio ads, totaling $107,000 are the largest expense in the $250,000 campaign for this school year, with billboards ($32,000) and direct mail ($27,000) next highest.

Source: Dayton schools plan $500K ad blitz on attendance, enrollment

You don’t buy a media plan, before you have the campaign. And, what do people in Centerville, Piqua, Kettering, etc. care about DPS? Why would you spend money on radio? Oh, that’s because Ohlmann loves to spend money on media. And, I’m sure ads in the Dayton Daily news are well read by parents of DPS kids too- or is paying off Cox Ohio to leave them alone the idea.

And, btw- the amount of money for the actual execution of this brilliant campaign- a measly $5K. What a deal.

Dr. Lolli knows nothing about advertising- or what she’s buying and this board is too stupid to know any better.

Because, well, “F” people hire “F” people.

And speaking of “F”- Lolli keeps saying “we’re only an “F” district on paper.” Uh, you have a PhD and you don’t understand a scoring rubric?

And why are you an “F” district?

How about the fact that your IEP system is down, you’re pointing fingers- and kids aren’t getting services. That’s a violation of Federal and State laws.

For those of you who don’t know what IEP is- it’s an Individualized Education Program, a written document that’s developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. The IEP is created through a team effort and reviewed at least once a year. It’s also what gets the district a ton of extra money. There is this thing called accountability in Federal money- and right now, Dr. Lolli and this board are one step outside of a prison cell if they don’t get their system back online. DPS has at least a third of it’s kids on IEPs.

Now- some other things you don’t do unless you’re a flaming flying idiot. Remove staff from one of your top performing and most sought-after schools, and cause the principal to lose it. No, you can’t take kids on IEPs who are operating at functional levels of a 3 year old- and put them in third grade without disrupting EVERYTHING.

Or, walking into another school, and removing two teachers from the building, but fail to notify them in writing, as required by the contract, of what they did wrong. This causes lawsuits. It also kills morale. Of course, when one of them tried to make an EEOC complaint the day before getting hauled out of class, it starts looking worse. Especially when she was told there was no one to take her grievance. Remember what sank Rhonda Corr? It was Dr. Winston’s EEOC complaint, which started an investigation.

The Dayton Education Association President, David Romick, has decided he now works for Dr. Lolli, and not the union. He’s refused to push to get these teachers back in the classroom, or for clarification on why they were removed in the first place. Word is, Romick is looking to get a cushy $100K plus job in HQ working with the enemy.

Tuesday is the last duty day for Board attorney, Jyllian Bradshaw, even though they can’t have possibly fully evaluated their RFP for legal services. But, don’t worry, they are giving their law cleark a .49 cent an hour raise to manage things- like the ridiculous amounts of money they are wasting with Subashi and Wildermuth to lose the suit I filed against them for violations of the Open Meetings Act.

But, the prize of the “F” district – is having the board president send an email to the staff who came to the Sep 18 board meeting to discuss the screwed up state of the English as a Second Language program since Dr. Lolli put her nose into it. BTW- that was the very last meeting I will attend, until the State takes this mess over, or these idiots out in handcuffs. I’ll be there for that.

Let’s be clear- the teachers don’t work for the board. They work for the superintendent. If Bill Harris has a problem- the correct chain of command is through her. But, he’s an idiot.

On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 9:26 AM William Harris <[email protected]> wrote:

To Teresa Troyer and The Members of the ELS Team:

Yesterday, I received an email from the ELS team. After reading the email, I was shocked and appalled at the same time. First, It appears that this team has disregard for the structure and rank of employees at DPS. While, the team may have some questions about information, it is highly inappropriate to attack Ms. Mack, who serves as your Supervisor concerning a presentation made at the Board meeting on September 18. If you have concerns and or questions, you should ask her for a meeting to clarify matters. While many of you have worked in this department for some time, that does not give you the right to usurp the authority of Ms. Mack or Superintendent Lolli. You are well aware that the District is addressing the concerns of students and parents in your department. There are some challenges that exist and Dr. Lolli and Ms. Mack are addressing these issues. Obviously for some of you, solutions are too slow. However, it is inappropriate as well as unprofessional to leap over rank to address this Board, when the chain of command is in place. I would suggest that you decide to be a part of the solution and not add to the problem.
Also, I believe that is is also appalling to continue to come to board meetings to address the board regarding your department. For teachers too address the board is unprofessional and sends the wrong signal to the community. The ELS Team Members are a vital part of the overall DPS team, you are supposed to be a “cheerleader for the District.
Your work is valued and we would hope that you would join us in making DPS rise, not fall.
You have my permission to forward this email to the ELS Team.
Best Wishes,
Dr. Harris
Next thing- Sheila Taylor weighs in, also not her job:
From: SHEILA TAYLOR <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: Response to the ELS Team Members
To: William Harris <[email protected]>
Cc: Carolyn Mack <[email protected]>, Elizabeth Lolli <[email protected]>, JOCELYN RHYNARD <[email protected]>, JOHN MCMANUS <[email protected]>, Karen Wick <[email protected]>, Mohamed AlHamdani <[email protected]>, ROBERT WALKER <[email protected]>, TERESA TROYER <[email protected]>
As a Board Member I am available to hear any questions or concerns pertaining to DPS.  President Harris is not speaking for me.  Board Member,  Sheila Taylor  623-7466
Yeah, that’s right Sheila, Harris isn’t speaking for you- because, legally, he has no voice, unless 3 of the others agree with him, and have voted on it in an open meeting. If Harris is having illegal secret meetings with three other board members, we’ve got yet another OMA violation.
And then, more BS.
On Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 7:13 AM Teresa Troyer <[email protected]> wrote:

Please see from Ms. Taylor and Mr. Harris below.

Ms. Rhynard responded just to me, not to all, that she appreciates the work we do for the community.  Ms. Wick-Gagnet responded to me and forwarded the letter to Ms. Mack/ Dr. Lolli saying that she is confident in the team to address our concerns.
I thought you should all be able to see the responses.
Thanks,

Uh, Ms. Rhynard isn’t allowed to speak to you either. She should be talking to her direct employee- Dr. Lolli, no one else. Same goes for Ms. Wick-Gagnet.

This is why this board needs intervention now by the state. Not, next September when the next “F” comes out on the report card.

Fire Dr. Lolli yesterday

Dayton Public Schools were 607 when Dr. Elizabeth Lolli was handed the reins by a school board that had just fired their last trainwreck (Rhonda Corr). She looked like the best one available to them. Hint, you were 607 because the people you had in charge were all trainwrecks. Lolli was hired by the one you fired- Hello?

When you are 607, the first thing you think you’d do is immediately lay out a plan for change. Need to see how it’s done? Look at the posts on this blog about the new Trotwood superintendent, Tyrone Olverson. He had applied to be DPS superintendent when they hired Corr, but didn’t even get an interview. When Corr was fired, no consideration was given to bringing David Lawrence in for an interview- even though he was still on the payroll and was passed over for Corr.

Of the three finalists in the Corr pick, Roberson has left the district to be replaced by a white woman who sent out requests to all principals to fill out a blank spreadsheet on all their students on IEP. In Dayton, that’s well over 25%- and, a database already exists. Currently, the district doesn’t even have software to manage IEPs nor do they have a solution in place. Nobody seems to be in charge of IT since they RIF’d their last IT director back in November 2017 when the district lied and said they were broke.

Dan Schroer, went on to be the new Superintendent in Springboro. A district that had been in turmoil thanks to a dysfunctional board. Less than 2 years later, the district passes a levy on its first try (a first) and they get an A from the state. One of only 28 districts to do it.

Back to no plan Lolli. Since she’s been in charge, she’s spent money like a house on fire, giving teachers retroactive raises, hiring high-priced administrators, and spending money on consultants without explaining the value proposition. The board, sits there mute. No demands for projections on how this will payback- or bring students back. Just like Wright State, Dayton Public Schools is suffering enrollment declines the likes of which we’ve never seen. To further screw with things, Lolli runs an illegal school closing task force which only decides to close 1 building (Valerie) and move HQ across the street (waiting to hand the old HQ over to Sinclair for some sweetheart deal that’s been not-so-secretly pre-arranged).

Lolli has never completed a single contract as a Superintendent in her life. This has meant, she never had to renew a contract, or face public scrutiny. She won’t complete this 3 year sweetheart deal either- since she’s capable of retiring at any time, and incapable of passing a levy (which this district will need in 1 year or 2 thanks to her wild spending).

When the District got the F on September 13th, her immediate response was to blame a software company, which she plans on suing, even though it won’t change the score. She has proclaimed in public:

“The first thing that I will assure you here, as a City of Learners in Dayton, Ohio, is that Dayton Public Schools is only an F on paper,” she said. “We are not an F school district.”

Source: DPS seeking plan to avoid state takeover – Dayton Daily News

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck- it’s a duck. You don’t need a PhD to tell that Dayton Public School is an F district, it’s in black and white. Read the scores. You fail.

Dayton Public Schools State Report Card 2018Denial is not a turnaround strategy. Maybe, Lolli needs to stop thinking she’s another Republican who found themselves in a position of power accidentally, her Republican hero- Donald Trump. He’d call this “fake news” and get away with it. Lolli isn’t Trump- even though she behaves like him, without the help of Twitter.

Having a plan is something the board should have been working on since day 1. You were 607, you were facing “State Takeover” or on the cusp for the last 5 years, this is no surprise, yet:

School board members have long talked about a need for an updated, official plan laying out a direction for the district.

“Our hope is that we have a strategic plan that is measurable, that is attainable for the district focusing on what is most important – and that is academic achievement, graduation and preparing our kids for life after Dayton Public Schools,” said Board President William Harris…

In an interview, Lolli laid out specific areas that will likely be discussed: academics and instruction, finance, culture, safety and security, and technology.

“We will set some short-term and long-term ideas out there,” she said.

Source: DPS seeking plan to avoid state takeover – Dayton Daily News

Lolli has been superintendent for 9 months- and is just now putting out “some short term and long-term ideas out there”- excuse me, what have you been doing since you were put in charge?

Dr. Harris, Div., not PhD, or Ed, Or Md. Let's use truth in advertising.

Dr. Harris, Div., not PhD, or Ed, Or Md. Let’s use truth in advertising.

Harris is total fail. He still likes to call himself “Dr.” in a professional setting, even though he’s a Reverend, not a PhD or MD. And of course, he was put in charge by this board because he’s black. A move made by a dumb racist on the school board, Sheila Taylor, and followed by the rest of the idiots- including Mohamed Al-Hamdani, Jocelyn Rhynard, Karen Wick-Gagnet and Rev Walker. McManus, who should have been president, always being one to be a peacemaker went along with it hoping to bring some semblance of leadership from the VP chair. He’s failed.

Since Lolli has taken over, she’s had no problems spending money on consultants, including $1800 to local PR Firm Fahlgren Mortine. One has to wonder why, since the district already has a three year million dollar plus purchase order sitting open with The Ohlmann Group. Never mind that the board has publicly lambasted Ohlmann and wondered what they bought.

I brought the Ohlmann group contract up in my last speech to the DPS board on Tuesday.

Reportedly, Harris asked if it was really true I’d not be back, gleefully. You’re on your own dude. Enjoy the highway to hell.

Because, here is a perfect Libbie Lolli move, the reason she was hated in every other district where she served, after getting an hour-long dissertation on the why the district is now worst in the state, 608, her response, as if this was all new to her, was to announce that she was going to cut an instructional day for every DPS student and hold inservice training for staff. Because, well, you know, they don’t know what they are doing:

Each Dayton Public School will close for one previously unannounced day in October or November for mandatory staff training, as the district attempts to improve the quality of teaching in its schools.

A message Friday morning from Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli to school staff mentioned the threat of state takeover next fall if the district’s report card doesn’t improve.

“Great teaching, every day, is the only way we will be able to change the results. It is within our power and control to do that!” Lolli wrote. “Beginning in October, schools will be closed for one day in groups of 2 or 3, to focus on teaching strategies and expectations for DPS classrooms.”….

Lolli said she was not surprised by the state’s critical evaluation of DPS teaching. She said the district has been working to improve “instructional design,” but it’s not a simple or quick process, saying DPS is in the second year of a three-year rollout.

“We didn’t have an instructional framework when I arrived,” said Lolli, who is starting her third year in DPS. “We’re trying to get caught up. We don’t want to have our staff lack the quality instructional practices they need and want. They don’t want to be behind their peers in other schools. But you have to have high-quality professional development and time to implement it if you’re really going to make a difference.”…

Her letter to teachers called them “the hope of the district and the students,” calling for everyone to pull together and change DPS’ report card grade from an “F” to a “C.”

“I think we can make some impact with this,” Lolli said later Friday. “Will it solve the problems tomorrow? No. But we’re on our way.”

Source: Teachers face mandatory training – Dayton Daily News

Insulting your employees, with the support of the School Board is not a good way to go from F to C.

Any school board with an IQ of over 10, would ask where has a day of training ever lifted performance? And, if this was the case, why didn’t your training before school even start cover this material? You already knew the preliminary district data was going to bring bad news.

When I got to the point in my speech where I said I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the board review session because I couldn’t take being around idiots- there is a very faint noise from the audience on the video. It was board member Karen Wick-Gagnet’s husband exclaiming “What the fuck” as he sat behind a group of DPS ESL teachers who were there trying to get guidance for doing their jobs.

Yes, what the fuck.

Taking kids out of school so you can school your staff, because you have no plan, after three years on the job. It’s time Libbie Lolli be shown the door, along with the entire top level staff. Clean house. Oh, wait! That’s what the State takeover will do in exactly 1 year.

The question is, why do Dayton School Students have to suffer this clown show another day?

If you need to see what a school board that actually cares about student achievement looks like, watch one of my videos from Trotwood. As different as night and day.

and for comparison:

 

 

 

Why DPS will fail and Trotwood did not

The first and only call I ever got from the principal at Horace Mann was to request me to come to the school over an urgent matter concerning an 11 year old. She wouldn’t tell me what the problem was over the phone. I dropped everything, as did the 11 year olds mother and we arrived at the school within 20 minutes. Apparently, our daughter had done the unmentionable- brought “Dick Tarts” to school.

What’s a “Dick Tart” you ask? It’s like a cross between a “Tic Tac” and a “Sweet Tart”- shaped like a males anatomy. It was fished out of the trash by a kid who thought they were funny- my girlfriend had gotten them as a gag at one of those “passion parties” where women invite their friends over to drink wine and maybe buy some fun clothes and toys for the bed room.

I sit in amazement as I’m read chapter and verse out of the DPS handbook, that my kid is going to be suspended for 10 days for bringing sexually oriented material to school. And, risk expulsion. There was no negotiating, no discussion, no teachable moment or intelligent thought about the insanity of this remedy for a harmless piece of candy.

That was the only call we got from the principal.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. I run up with my camera to Trotwood Madison High School to hear their new superintendent talk about what escaping state takeover means and whats next. There was no patting ourselves on the back, there was no blaming software for our troubles, not a single mention of poverty holding our students back. Just a man with a plan.

Starting with remarkable ideas like parent engagement specialists making at least 10 calls a day to parents- not to tell them what their kid did wrong, but what their kid did right. There was the move away from Principal as disciplinarian- to principal as a lead educator focused on student achievement, spending time in the classrooms. They had a dean of students to deal with discipline.

And, after the first two weeks of school and working out the kinks, attendance is up. Way up. Because, when you care about kids actually being in school- they actually show up. Someone actually gets the idea that if a kid isn’t at school, they can’t learn. Rocket surgery thinking here folks. But, wait there’s more!

We know some kids aren’t in school because they have to work in order to eat. No worries, not only will we transport our kids home after school if needed, but, if they stay for after school activities or tutoring, they’ll get a ride home too- and dinner if they want it. Trotwood won’t allow poverty to be an excuse to miss school, or sports, or chess club. They’re all in.

And while they only moved up from 608, worst in the state to 603- the goal is to see how good they can be, how high can they go. Every single person working in the district has their sights set on student achievement. The superintendent, Tyrone Olverson is buying a house in Trotwood. He’s all in too. But what you have to admire most is he shares the spotlight, he walks his people up and lets them tell the world that they’ve bought in too. That they know what the challenges are. And the crazy thing is- he’s doing it with a lot of people who used to work in Dayton, people like Lisa Minor, who was part of the reason Dayton got an A in Annual Yearly Progress a few years ago and couldn’t repeat during the turmoil years of Corr/Lolli.

Back to DPS. Superintendent Lolli, is blaming software for their sorry ass performance and threatening to sue the vendor- even though the scores wouldn’t change enough to get them back to 607 from their now bottom of the heap 608. There was no talk of 608 to Great- like the kids are now chanting in Trotwood, there was no plan for transporting high school students, or making sure they are fed, or of calling homes with good news. No plan. Just more drivel about aligning curriculum with tests and structuring her forces. You’ve got a used up wet noodle from Middletown leaning on her friends and family to remake June Cleavers vision of DPS. There has never been an inspiring speech from Libby Lolli because there is nothing inspiring about her. One look at her track record of “leading school districts” shows a woman who has never completed a contract term in her life. She’s spending money with consultants and hiring high priced administrators at a rate like Donald Trump tells lies, and not having to worry how to pay for it in 2 years because that’s when she’ll bow out and retire. She won’t ever have a student high-five her, or a teacher hug her. Who wants to hug the ice queen?

My prediction is that Trotwood is going to leverage its state champion sports teams, it’s new-found swagger and structured approaches to education and start to grow. In fact, I see the day in the not too distant future when Thurgood Marshall High School, Meadowdale High School and the new Valerie at Meadowdale, are all acquired/absorbed by Trotwood as DPS shrinks below 10K students as DPS is taken over by the State, and parents get sick of the “plan du jour” of DPS, the ridiculous 2.5% Dayton income tax and the lousy service.

Compare Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald who is all smiles and positivity to Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley who flat out tells the entire nation (Frontline hit piece of September 11, 2018) that Dayton kids will never make as much money or have the kind of life she had thanks to her fathers union job. With Mayors like that, who needs to stay in Dayton?

While DPS says we can’t do pre-school 5 days a week, Trotwood says we can do pre-school and child care for you from 8-6 including 3 square meals a day. While Dayton is busy feeding the school-to-prison pipeline and switching winning coaches at Dunbar for losers, Trotwood is reveling in a new found confidence and feeding minds, bodies and souls.

Expectancy theory is a bona fide  management practice. You get the results you expect. Dayton still hasn’t a clue on how to transform itself, and I have a confession to make, last Tuesday, I stopped caring.

Not about the kids, who I wish and hope will manage to take advantage of the amazing teachers who put their heart and soul into trying to make a difference in the mad house. I care about them. I stopped caring about the “leadership” of DPS. I couldn’t find it in me to go to another board “review session” and spend time with stupid people. I’d had enough.

Over the last two years and a half years I went from having dreams of DPS turning around under the obvious choice for Superintendent, the home grown talent David Lawrence, to watching them pass him over for the train wreck of Rhonda Corr.

I did make a few friends out of that process. Dan Schroer a runner up, has become one of my favorite people to talk to over lunch. He’s now running the formerly raucous Springboro district like a Swiss watch, where he passed a levy on the first try- a first for Springboro. His district now has an A for a district grade, 1 of 28 in the state. When I called him to congratulate him, he spoke of how his staff is already planning visits to all the other 27 districts that got an A- to compare notes and learn how to improve. He didn’t take a bit of credit for the score himself, it was all about his team and their can-do attitude. And believe it or not, I made a friend in Rhonda Corr. Yes, even though I’ve called her some incredibly bad things on this site, I still like her as a person, and believe she was probably a great principal. She, as very few people could ever be, was just not built to take on working in a district that’s so dysfunctional. That eats its own, people like Darren Powell, Peggy Burks, David Lawrence, Pete Pullen, real people, who bled DPS right up till they had their throats slit by the very district that they loved.

With that being said, DPS has a retreat today. They should video it, but won’t. I won’t. I’m done. This coming Tuesday will be the last time I go to a meeting and record it. The last time I’ll speak. They’re on their own. Because, after 2.5 years of trying to lead a horse to water, I’ve realized they won’t drink anything but their own kool aide, and it’s the Reverend Jim Jones special blend.

My mind was made up before I went to video Olverson on Friday. But, what sealed the deal was Mrs Howard. Every time I’ve stepped foot in a Trotwood school public meeting she was there, sort of like our Mario Gallin. She made an effort to come over and thank me for what I do. She said it was important work, speaking truth to power. She bleeds Trotwood- but understands Dayton has to succeed if Trotwood is to survive. But, she wasn’t the only one. The president of the school board, the superintendent, at least half of his staff, all pretty much said the same thing as they made their way to me. The only people making their way toward me at DPS meeting is the security staff, John McManus, Jim Fowler and his team from Kiser, or Dr. Hill. The rest fear me, and the truth.

One last fact- Tyrone Olverson applied to DPS when they were looking to replace Lori Ward. They didn’t even give him an interview. Boy did we miss out.

 

A confederacy of dunces – Meet your Dayton Public Schools leadership

The Review session last night lasted less than 45 minutes. It included long pregnant pauses while the board took time to review the documents- for the FIRST time. Stuff they should have seen 48 hours in advance.

Apparently, I missed that they’ve decided to hire Fahlgren Mortine – an ad agency out of Beavercreek (and part of a much bigger network based in Columbus) to advise them on “Strategic Planning and Development” – whatever that is.

The new “Chief of Schools Special Projects” made her debut- she’s the woman with her back to the camera. Can’t say she sounded remotely like an agent of change. You want to hear that- go listen to the new Trotwood Superintendent- who can spell out his entire plan- without having to hire consultants for $475K

One other question comes to mind- is how much would it cost to transport all the high school students in Dayton- and might that make a bigger impact on graduation rates and educational outcomes? Is it less than the $475K plus the $360K we’re spending for the next three years on this contract plus the new “chief”?

I’m going to swipe the rest of the analysis from Mario Gallin who attends all the meetings and was a school board member. Dayton voters screwed up when they didn’t put her back on this board. Harris, Al-Hamdani, Wick-Gagnet and Rhynard are absolutely clueless judging by their lack of questions. Walker is brain dead. McManus is too nice- and Taylor- a no show.

From Mario:

“The board review had its moments (see previous post), but beyond that it was business as usual. So many items and they were done in under 30 minutes.

Among the things they did not inquire about –

Who is this new Belmont principal, what makes him the guy, and how are we going to introduce him to the school and neighboring community, all of whom have a keen interest in what goes on there.

Ms. Spurlock gave a detailed analysis of recent hires for the district, include 9 SROs to be added to the current SRO roster. Mohamed Al-Hamdani did ask if some of the new SRO positions would be assigned to Belmont (answer – we don’t know). However, the opening for a new principal at Meadowdale High School wasn’t mentioned and no board member asked. In their defense they need a large piece of paper with diagrams to keep track of all the changes and shuffling around of personnel.

There are two positions listed for Challenger Flight Specialist. One member of the DPS Concerned Parents Facebook page who was connected to the Challenger Center in the past questioned Jocelyn Spencer Rhynard directly about their credentials. She did not ask at the review session, but again, in her defense, she may have asked outside the meeting. Hopefully she will respond back to that person. Once more, a great opportunity to talk about what an asset the Challenger Center is to not only to DPS students but to students throughout the Miami Valley, not taken.

Supplemental contracts. Top level administrators are getting supplemental contracts for the month of June. Academic Coordinator CTE – $3725, Academic Coordinator Fine Arts and Phys Ed – $3333, Executive Director Athletics – $4450. Most interesting was Chief of Schools- Secondary. She was awarded a supplemental contract last month for $2600 for the period 6/11-6/30 and is back on the agenda this month for an additional $2600 for the period 6/25-6/30.

Not even a raised eyebrow.

Messrs. Jackson are on the agenda to become Directors of Transportation along with Ms. Ludd. A perfect time to discuss how Transportation has weathered the sudden death of a dynamic Director last December. Also, I come to think of it, why they are replacing 1 director of transportation with 3. And—nothing.

Moving on to Contracts. Last month the board approved the sponsorship contract with the Dayton Business Technology High School and this month they are approving the sponsorship contract with the Dayton Business Technology High School. Again, curious? No.

Catapult Learning West contract for $1.57 million dollars for nonpublic schools. No cost to DPS General Fund, but since the Board has to approve it, what will Catapult provide? In addition, they did the DPS summer school program. How did that turn out and is that a recommendation for this contract?

They are on track to approve Fahlgren Mortine  to serve as the facilitator for strategic planning and development. The Board needs a plan to fully make informed decisions about staffing, buildings and programs. But I looked at their website and am confused as to how this fits. Apparently, they are an ad agency. Another opportunity to inform the community about their plans missed.

You all are going to have to go to Contracts, number 6 yourselves. I’m running out of incredulity.

South Community for $900,000. There was a contract for $250,000 in the review agenda on June 12 but appears to not have made the Board meeting agenda on June 19. Still don’t know what they are going to do for this amount. And possibly neither does the Board.

On the plus side, congrats on supporting the Neighborhood School Centers.

An additional shout out to Denise Gum, Board Assistant. She has begun to annotate changes to Board Docs so the general public can see what changes are made to agenda items. She also uses Board Docs to publish Policy Committee agendas and discussion items under Library, Policy Committee. Check it out.

I also appreciate that DPS Facebooks and broadcasts the review sessions and board meetings. It is not easy to put yourself out there for criticism every time, but they have not flinched. It would be nice if they expanded to committee meetings as well.”
And her earlier post: “So today, during the board review of next week’ voting items, John McManus asked for information on a contract for Partners for Leaders in Education (a group out of University of Virginia) in the amount of $475,000 over 3 years. Conveniently, the new Chief of Schools – Special Projects was on hand to explain.

This is a turn-around program for failing schools. It is a 3-year contract with an option for an additional year. The goal is to develop principal and teacher leaders, with the result that academics will shoot through the roof (sarcasm added). She has used this in Cincinnati and thinks it is the bees’ knees (my words, not hers).

The Board announced the five schools that will be involved in this endeavor, which are coincidentally the 5 (previously unnamed) schools referred to in the job description for her position.

Fairview, EJ Brown, Belmont HS, Louise Troy, Ruskin.

I am infuriated on behalf of the staff, students and families which make up Ruskin PreK-6 school. I am beside myself because I have spent the last 10 years of my life working with some of the most successful, yes, successful, teachers, administrators, community partners, after school staff, and don’t forget students – people who have taken the Ruskin mission to heart and have made it work in many ways, but also and importantly, in ways that outsiders judge education – test scores. Room for improvement -of course – but Ruskin has consistently been in the top 5 for test scores overall in the district, student attendance, and discipline issues (actually lack thereof).

Rather than say, “We have a new principal and an exciting opportunity to improve on what already is going well”, we are now out there before God and everyone as being among the worst of the worst.

The administration and board talk frequently about sharing “the good news” of the district but they have just put one of the successes of DPS in the dumpster.

Makes me want to cuss out loud.”

Thank you Mario. We should all be cussing out loud.

School board to meet illegally tonight

6/22/18, 12:24 PM, Denise Gum, “Confidential Secretary to the Board Office Dayton Public Schools” sent out an email on behalf of William Harris, board president announcing a “Special Meeting–Fiscal Year” to be held this afternoon. Despite multiple warnings from me, the Superintendent et al have not published an agenda in advance of this meeting. It is, if they hold it, an illegal, improperly noticed meeting.

I highly recommend anyone who cares about DPS to go to this meeting and pack their tiny conference room- and force this meeting to be rescheduled properly, with proper notice.

Her notice said:

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 Friday, June 29, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. in room 6S-116 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 superintendent and/or treasurer.

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

6/27/18, 11:01 PM I sent an email to Superintendent Libbie Lolli, Cherisse Kidd, Denise Gum, John McManus, Jeremey Kelley, Jocelyn Rhynard

Dr. Lolli,
It’s 11pm on Wed.
Your meeting is scheduled for 4 on Friday.
No posted agenda on board docs.

No meeting.
Or I’ll haul you into court again.
This isn’t rocket science- but it is the law. Publish your agenda 48 hours in advance.

If you can’t hire competent people, you should quit

This morning, I sent another email- to everyone on the superintendents distro list:

As of 8:23 am this morning, there is no agenda posted.
This illegal meeting of the board should be cancelled.
If you can’t tell the public what you are discussing 48 hours in advance of a meeting scheduled on June 22nd.
If you don’t understand how notification is critical to the duties bestowed upon you by the state, either resign, or get educated.

If this meeting continues- as planned, you will be facing another lawsuit.
This mickey mouse game needs to stop.

I notified the Superintendent of her failure to post an agenda on Wednesday night around 11 pm.
That would have been too late to meet the 48 hour rule.

I would suggest she be held accountable and given a reprimand by the board.

The public is being insulted by their malfeasance.

If the meeting isn’t cancelled and is held today, I will be adding to my court case, or filing a new one against this incompetent school board.

Wick-Gagnet shows her ignorance of current events online

On another note, in a Facebook war, I posed a comment on board member Mohamed Al Hamdani’s wall.

(it saddens me that I’m following in the footsteps of the Dayton Day-Old news and turning Facebook posts into news)

Al-Hamdani’s original post:

Not surprised by the SCOTUS decision to uphold the Muslim Ban. As a people and as a country we have a long way to go to reach a more perfect union. We will be disheartened for a day and reenergized tomorrow. The fight continues…

And while that issue is very real, SCOTUS dropped another bomb, one that will affect our political junkie Al-Hamdani even more (I couldn’t call him a political beast because it wouldn’t be PC), and I commented-

David Esrati And now you won’t have a union sugar daddy to get you elected either.

This was a reference to JANUS v AFSCME, and stops the forced donations to unions by people who benefit from Union bargaining. It’s a serious blow to labor, and the generally liberal political clout that Unions have.

Board member Karen Wick Gagnet, who has become Al-Hamdani’s puppet, blindly following his lead, responds:

Karen Wick-Gagnet David Esrati … this is a totally bigoted statement. You are a bully and your comment in no way reflects any spirit of humanity in a manner we need to move positively forward. You have again shown your ugly, hateful side.
She is literally clueless. My is this the pot calling the kettle black. This is a woman who was my friend for over 2 decades, and a long time client, who fired me because of my continued scrutiny of a school board in chaos in the hope that they start acting ethically and honestly. The conversation continues

(I have no idea who Kristin Todd is, but she thinks she has something to contribute):

Kristin Todd This attitude is why you never get elected. You’re no better than Trump and equally need to seek counseling. I can provide you with many resources.

David Esrati Karen Wick-Gagnet you think this is bigoted? The ruling to stop unions from collecting dues from all members is going to flip liberal politics on its head, leaving the wealthy to run citizens united full tilt, with no opposition. As to my ugly hateful side, I find it fascinating that you’ve yet to do anything as a school board member other than support fighting losing lawsuits. And, it’s also interesting that when the hose next to you burns down, it’s cleared away in record time. Talk about privilege.
sequential comment:
David Esrati And I’m pretty sure Karen that you had no clue I was talking about the decision Janus vs AFSCME, because you aren’t that bright. Mohamed understood what I was talking about. Maybe, he should give you instructions on Facebook just like he does on the school board. You are good at playing follow the leader.
sequential comment:
David Esrati Kristin Todd who are you? What have you done? You don’t even know what the hell is going on here

sequential comment:

David Esrati Karen Wick-Gagnet read this, maybe you will understand: After Janus, Unions Must Save Themselves https://nyti.ms/2lG0TiA?smid=nytcore-ios-shareManage
nytimes.com
Wick then admits she had no clue what was going on- but continues her bullying with calling me hateful.

Karen Wick-Gagnet David Esrati … I may have not totally understood the issue and for that I apologize. However, the undertones of your original response to Mohamed and your response back to me is full of ugliness (nothing we need more of today). I may not be as “bright” as you, but I would trade any amount of brightness for kindness, love or compassion which is what I wish for you.

David Esrati Kindness is not calling someone a bigot, a bully, and denying my humanity. You don’t do your homework, you don’t read 2 newspapers daily, and you obviously don’t understand free speech, the sunshine laws, or the art of discussion. If I also mentioned  Kennedy resigning, you’d probably have to look it up. Good luck with your “free hugs” approach to everything. And, you aren’t as kind as you think you are. Reread what you said.
Kristin Todd David, darling.. It doesn’t take a “bright” person or someone who has done what you consider success to recognize a person filled with hatred and narcissism. The enire city knows that of you. You throw tantrums like a child behind your computer screen and we all feel very sorry for you. Thankfully no one has been ignorant enough to vote you into public office. Keep trying.
David Esrati repeat: who are you? What have you done? You don’t even know what the hell is going on here.
You don’t know me. Karen actually does.
And, no one knows you.
Cheers.
Kristin Todd David Esrati I hope whoever bullied you in elementary school apologizes because clearly you’ve carried that into middle age.
David Esrati You mean like you are bullying now Kristin?
Back to the main thread-
Karen Wick-Gagnet You’re right, I should not of used those harsh words. I’m sorry. Out … no more need to use this form of communication, it’s not healthy or productive for me. Best to you as you continue your journalistic practices.
If DPS had competent PR consulting, board members would know better than to engage in this kind of BS with a critic. However, they hired Marsha Bonhart and the Ohlmann Group. You reap what you sew.
I will have a camera at the board meeting this evening, despite my being out of state on business.