Don’t run a hiring promo crawl over a teachers resignation speech.
No other school board meets as much and does as little as the Dayton Public Board of Education.
Their agendas confuse the members, aren’t mobile friendly, provide almost zero usable information, and lead to massive confusion.
They have a “Parliamentarian,” Joe Lacey, who is a member of the board, which is far from ideal:
If the parliamentarian is a member of the assembly, that person has the same rights as other members, but should not exercise those rights to maintain impartiality, similar to the impartiality that is required of the chairman. In other words, the parliamentarian should not be making motions, speaking in debate, or voting.
This is only a part of the problem. But, at the end of the last board meeting, held on a Wednesday night (not the normal Tuesday- which makes problems for Mr. McManus who works second shift in Columbus) when “New business” came up- it wasn’t business at all- just speeches by the board. Rambling on about what you did the last week, while hourly employees wait is not in the best interest of the general public.
There are a million ways to run meetings. However, when a board of directors is meeting to review and guide an organization with a leader they’ve chosen to do a job, shouldn’t the leader do most of the talking? Explaining what the district is doing, why, and how its performance is improving? How initiatives are progressing, reviewing metrics? Updating on the status of directives she is given by the board? Never a public mention of posting the position of “Executive Director of Communications” at any meeting, but the posting was up and changed this week.
Nothing like that happens at DPS board meetings.
What an agenda should look like is something I’d love to show this board, but, since they refuse to investigate the eligibility of Dr. Adil Baguirov to be on the board, (he’s lived outside the district since November of 2015) I think the first order of business is to show this board the door.
That Corr didn’t know what meeting she was crashing the first time should make you wonder.
That two members of the board are meeting with a vendor- behind closed doors, should also concern you. Because, board members have no business conducting school business without a quorum in a regularly scheduled meeting- ever. We asked to film- but were told no.
There is no doubt the board needs marketing and public relations help- during the course of the Wednesday meeting when a whole big batch of teachers were resigning (a regular occurrence these days) and one of them got up to tell the board why she was leaving- the geniuses at DPS-TV were running a crawl across the bottom of the screen, asking teachers to come work for the district.
We have a technical term for this in marketing- it’s called cognitive dissonance, the rest of you would call this just stupid.
I have her “crawl segment” in the middle of my speech.
And as a final kicker, at the very end of the meeting, Rhonda Corr announces she’ll be introducing a student handbook at the beginning of next school year. This was directly out of our original marketing proposal to the district. We thought it would take over a year to create, with participation from parents, teachers, students and alumni. We thought it would be a tool to help explain the new values and focus of a newly rebranded district. So glad she’s just thought of this now, for next year. But, this is her Standard Operating Procedure by the seat of her pants. Remember the RIF? The Bus deal? Both rushed through as if a last minute afterthought. Sort of like holding a special meeting on a Friday morning, ostensibly to review a 5 year budget plan…..
When we bid to do all their marketing communications, it was to take over the responsibilities of the PIO and also produce the work.
Instead, the board hired, without reading the contract, the Ohlmann Group- and spent stupid money on a bad campaign.
Now- they are going to hire someone to try to direct the Ohlmann Group.
This from a district that was crying broke last year. Note- Jill Moberly didn’t make this much.
JOB TITLE: Executive Director of Communications
REPORTS TO: Superintendent of Schools
SALARY SCHEDULE: $94,500.00-$113,400.00
The Chief Communications Officer provides leadership, direction and strategic planning for news and information as well as marketing and advertising of DPS schools, initiatives and progress. The ideal candidate is committed to a brand journalism strategy, with experience developing and implementing internal and external communications strategies and managing the day-to-day operations of a busy Communications Department. As a member of the executive cabinet, this position provides counsel to senior leadership and serves the Office of the Superintendent as the chief media and communications strategist, crisis communications coordinator and official spokesperson for the District.
This is a district that is already suffering high attrition rates due to changes in the state pension rules, an aging staff, lower pay than surrounding districts, poor working conditions, a challenging student population, higher income taxes, and last but not least, the worst morale thanks to inept leadership.
It was just Wednesday, when once again the board was asking if the district was doing exit interviews to better understand why people are leaving in droves.
This is because they are incompetent and criminally inept. Just two weeks ago, a young professional, accredited teacher shared her struggle to stay in her beloved Westwood Elementary building. Note- Westwood is in the center of what the Dayton Daily has labeled the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. Here’s her speech- again:
If the district had competent PR advice, there would have been an internal communication to all staff about the postings and the reasons behind it. Otherwise, this is just another example of disrespect.
One of the things Rhonda Corr said in last Wednesday’s meeting was that when things are this broken, sometimes you have to break them even more to be able to fix them.
Hint: The district has been a tornado of broken since she arrived.
By making every DPS teacher re-apply for their jobs on the consortium website, Rhonda is sending them to the very place where you can look for other jobs in districts that aren’t failing, that pay well, that don’t disrespect their staff.
Prediction: Next year, DPS will begin the school year with 25% of their positions vacant. If they are lucky. It may be worse- even if they do manage to negotiate a contract before school starts.
As to signing your kid up for summer school right now parents? Doubt there will be teachers to teach anything.
They’ve spent money on coaching for the board and superintendent on how to run a meeting.
Unfortunately, they all must have failed the class. Last night, I filmed another 3 hour “strategic planning discussion” meeting, with most of it being pointless speeches by pompous board members (and Ron Lee and Dr. Hazel Rountree weren’t even there).
First question. Which board member suggested a newcomers/international academy? Rhonda Corr is very proud of her work in one with Cleveland Public Schools, which was a loving, caring, comforting, happy place. Of course, isn’t that what all of DPS should be shot back Sheila Taylor? We’ve now spent hours discussing some vague plan to put all the international students at Meadowdale, since the campus goes from K-12. However, we’ve not figured out what to do with kids who are already spread out all over the district. Nor, do we know what to do with programs like Ruskin which are immersive bilingual and doing well all on their own. No one in the room has any institutional knowledge going back to the old ESL program at Miami Chapel, or the dumping of all the foreign kids at Patterson Kennedy before they tore it down.
Not a single ESL teacher was asked to speak, and Dr. Roberson really didn’t have a plan to present. Corr keeps asking for guidance from the board- and gets none. Some numbers of enrollment in DPS were provided (about 150 new kids a year, and it’s been trending up). I just love it when board members sit at their seat and try to research things on the fly- Joe Lacey pulling up census data. Doh!
No resolution, no plan, no next steps. Just waste time and move on to next disaster.
Longfellow. Dr. Sheila Burton talked to an unspecified architect and construction person, and started bandying big numbers around on what it would take to fix Longfellow- which like all DPS property- is suffering from deferred maintenance. $6 million bucks, give or take. Remember, the school only has about 60 students. There is talk about consolidating them at Gardendale or Gorman, or who knows where, but they need work too. There is no one tasked to manage this project, there are no deadlines, there are no assessments, but people seem to think getting the building historic landmark status is a good idea- because, well, all of them are skilled developers with preservation experience. Doh!
No plan, no resolution, no next steps. Just waste time and move on to the next disaster.
A new bus schedule is in the works. Was anyone from transportation there to explain it? Hell no. We’re switching back to a 3 tier schedule, which means we’ll have three different route slots. This way drivers will run three schedules instead of two. They’ll also travel less. New restrictions that there will be no routes longer than 30 minutes in length, and then the kicker- we’re going back to four zones, with kids only being able to go to school in their zone. No discussion of what this means for specialty schools like the Boys Academy or Charity Early school for girls. No discussion of grandfathering in students so they won’t have to change schools. Bam, there it is. We’d like to promote the pay the parents option- we’ll pay you $250 a year to get your kid to school- something not many parents know about.
This wasn’t so much a waste of time- just unanswered questions.
Another discussion of “Sensory rooms” was given by Dr. Roberson who has found federal dollars to build these new solutions to misbehaving children. They are going to add 5 a year each year to elementary buildings for the next three years. By 2020 we should have one in every building. There was no description of what these rooms entail, what training goes with them, or what they bring to the table other than being a better option than handcuffing students. Yet, Corr still had to stick her foot in her mouth and undo all the good will by suggesting that from now on, we just call Dayton Police instead to deal with kids who are out of control- aye carumba- wasn’t that why we hired “School Resource Officers” in the first place? So we wouldn’t have cops in schools?
I still don’t know what these are, if they work, when they work and what’s involved. However, they are apparently the new alternative to handcuffs. ’nuff said.
Accountability Plan presentation for “transforming Dayton Public Schools Athletics”
Then the crown jewel. Even though District Athletic Director Mark Baker couldn’t calculate eligibility, we’re to believe that he and Dr. Markay Winston have been holed up together coming up with the new “Accountability Plan for Transforming DPS Athletics”- Winston was there- Baker, no where to be seen. After we learned all about the new org chart with straight lines and dashed lines (and looking a bit like spilled spaghetti) several board members gushed over it. Sheila Taylor thinks this is just great. Joe Lacey on the other hand, seemed to not care at all- as if he’d written off athletics altogether. He thinks athletics shouldn’t get any more attention than other part of DPS.
The plan really looked more like a Winston/Spurlock (Judy Spurlock HR Director) creation than a Baker one. New was the magic word since apparently we’d been running the organization without job descriptions, operations manual, protocols for OHSAA infractions/violations, employee monitoring or even financial controls. We’re going to create a new “Student Athlete Eligibility Warning System,” have mandatory study tables, a student athlete summer leadership symposium and a new 90-90-90 “non-negotiable rule for sports participation- which Dr. Winston couldn’t remember what it was. The new hiring process was highlighted- as were the board imposed conditions that aren’t visible until you start to apply.
There was also a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Lolli about summer school. It seems we keep moving the enrollment deadline later and later, and still don’t have the participation we’d hoped to have, despite dropping the fee to either $25 or free (I’m sorry- I can’t remember). They’ve sent out flyers and still don’t have near the number of students enrolled that they want. John McManus suggested consulting with their ad agency, The Ohlmann Group, but was shot down.
They’ve hired a private company to run the courses, but, the private company has to hire DPS teachers first. Since enrollment isn’t finalized, it’s making it hard to staff appropriately. There is also a big bill for transportation. Seemed to sound like it was going to cost at least $1000 per student without transportation costs factored in. Of course, since none of these documents or presentations were uploaded for the public on Board Docs- or even the details of any of these plans, and this was at a meeting where the public isn’t allowed to speak, one has to wonder WTF is really going on?
Three hours after the start of the circus, those brave souls who were in the peanut gallery were treated to an adjournment without them going into executive session for once.
Now we can look forward to the next meeting, on 5/9/17 where we have a “review meeting” where constituents can’t speak, before we get to the “business meeting” on 5/16/17 where I imagine we’ll have a huge turnout again to speak their minds about these latest brainstorms of Rhonda Corr and crew.
While the school board sits scratching their heads why they can’t keep staff (even after it’s explained to them over and over) and they do things that make no sense (failing to investigate Baguirov’s residency, giving Corr a raise and a 2 year extension, retaining Mark Baker as AD, the layoffs in the fall….) we now have a new rule which will further hasten the exit of staff from the district.
Currently, the coaching and building athletic director positions are “supplemental contracts” in addition to an employee’s pay. By being both a coach and a building AD, it’s possible to boost your pay by $15,000 a year – and have pay comparable to what a regular teacher would make anywhere else.
This new provision may be in violation of the current Dayton Education Association contract with the school, but my attempts to clarify that haven’t yet been fruitful.
A week ago Friday, Dunbar Coach Darren Powell was quoted in the paper, and a story ran the following Sunday that he still had his position for next year. Monday the board informed the paper that this wasn’t true, as they had not voted on any supplemental contracts. The paper ran a retraction on Tuesday. Powell was told to shut up and not talk to the media, at least until after the Mark Baker situation had resolved- which lead to the long executive session on Wednesday and the eventual 5-1 vote to rehire him- even though his contract, like the one for Superintendent Corr and Treasurer Abraha could have been voted on later. This board like to try to sweep it’s dirt under the rug as fast as possible hoping no one notices that the dirt is turning into a mountain.
Once again, coaches are in limbo. Conditioning for football has already begun for the fall season, without a contract, who is supposed to be in charge? And when you are both a coach and a building AD- which applies to about half the Football coaches- which job is more important to you? And, with the choice- is it time to take your skills elsewhere? Earl White has turned Belmont from a sports joke into a multi-sport contender in three years. Do you think he, with his 21 years experience, a masters degree in educational leadership, won’t be recruited to go to the suburbs? The postings expire in 10 days- leaving a very small window for the coaches and AD’s to chose their future path.
An anonymous letter has been circulating with serious allegations about other issues with Baker. It has been seen by members of the School Board, coaches, athletic directors. I do not believe in anonymous letters, but, since I can’t seem to get full transcripts of interviews with everyone involved on the Dunbar/Belmont fiasco- or the transcript of the OHSAA hearing, I’m running it.
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is out of deep desperation and my genuine concern for the students, coaches, athletic directors and all associated with the Dayton Public School District. I find that I must convey my disgust with what I have observed over the last seven months related to the Dayton Public Schools athletic programs and its appointed leader Mr. Mark Baker. Mr. Baker is under qualified for the job, and with each blunder, such suspicions are proving to be true. He was promised the DPS AD job before ever interviewing for the position by then Dayton Public Schools Chief of Schools Innovation, Mr. David Lawrence. Once evidence produced suggested that Mr. Baker was given an unfair advantage for the job, second interviews were immediately granted to all the candidates. The next time, a qualified candidate was recommended for the DPS district AD job, only to have his offer rescinded due to supposed public pressure and for the second time, Mr. Baker was handed the DPS AD job despite the fact he had no athletic director experience. Clearly, the fix was on.
The point of this letter of complaint is to bring to your attention a few major infractions that have occurred under Mr. Baker’s leadership, that to my knowledge has never been reported to the OHSAA. Mr. Baker on several occasions has purposely withheld significant violations that occurred in DPS from the OHSAA other than the Dunbar Early College High School football team using an ineligible football player in the fall of 2016, and he only reported that because it was self-serving. Also as a whistleblower, I must show how Mr. Baker’s gross incompetence has placed Dayton Public Schools and OHSAA at grave risk. Mr. Baker’s leadership style is confrontational and consists of intimidation and lying.
Mr. Baker proudly lets everyone know that he’s above reproach because he believes he has the complete backing of the Dayton Board of Education, Superintendent and OHSAA. Mr. Baker’s ineptitude causes him to call other athletic directors Statewide for answers to the simplest questions concerning eligibility and rule interpretations.
The following infractions and incidents occurred in 2016 and 2017 can be collaborated (sic) with any effort of a simple inquiry or investigation by your office:
In October of 2016, Ponitz ere High School, Freshman football team permitted a highly sought after private school seventh grader to play in their Freshman football game. The player in question is the son of the Ponitz assistant football coach, Mr. Derrick Shepard. When this incident began to leak to the public, Mr. Baker instructed the head football coach, Jim Place at Ponitz to handle the issue internally, and he wouldn’t report the incident to the OHSAA, and he didn’t. Coach Shepard received a suspension for the remainder of the football season, and it was one or two games with pay.
Mr. Baker permitted serval players from Community Schools in September 2016 to play football for Meadowdale High School without properly vetting their eligibility. After two games into the season, it was determined by the Meadowvale AD that the two players were indeed academically ineligible. Mr. Baker informed the Meadowdale head football coach that the players could continue to play because he didn’t want to punish the players for his mistake. Meadowdale lost both games in question but Mr. Baker never self-reported the player’s illegal participation to the OHSAA.
During Meadowdale High School 2016 Senior Football Night celebration Mr. Baker became furious once he learned the Meadowdale AD and football coach had failed to put a pre-game program together to recognize its senior football players. Mr. Baker entered the press box at Welcome Stadium and verbally reprimanded the Meadowdale AD. Mr. Baker then angrily came into Meadowdale football locker room before the start of the game and disrespectfully verbally lashed out on the head coach in the presence of his players and staff. Out of anger, Mr . Baker physically assaulted the coach in front of witnesses. Several Dayton Public School security staff had to separate them. Coincidentally, the head coach wasn’t rehired. The coach was informed one of the reasons was because he played ineligible players during the season, the very players Mr. Baker himself cleared to play.
In December 2016 the Meadowdale Head Football job was posted. In February 2017 Meadowdale High School granted interviews to fill the job. A selection committee selected Mr. Len Hampton. Mr. Hampton’s interview took placed (sic) without Mr. Baker’s knowledge. However, Mr. Baker wasn’t satisfied with the selection. He managed to persuade the committee to grant an interview to a candidate who was denied an interview because his paperwork was late causing him to miss the deadline. This person was Mr. Derrick Shepard, who didn’t score as high as others candidates during the interview process. Unbeknownst to most, Mr. Baker had secretly promised Mr. Shepard who’s an alumnus of Meadowdale the Meadowdale head football job, yes, the one and only Ponitz assistant coach suspended for playing his seventh-grade son in a high school game. Mr. Baker already reached out and formed an interview committee to ensure Coach Shephard’s selection which consisted of high profile Meadowdale alumnus and Mr. Sheppard, ex Hall of Fame high school football coach Pat Masters. Clearly, the fix was in.
Six days or so after earning the head football job Mr. Baker summoned Coach Hampton to his office at Welcome Stadium and told him he had to be reinterviewed for the football job by him and Mr. Keith Byars. Mr. Hampton informed Mr. Baker that he had already been interviewed, selected and named the Head Football Coach by the principal of Meadowdale High School. Mr. Baker told Coach Hampton that it was him alone that makes the final selections for all head coaching positions for DPS. Therefore, he would have to interview with him. Mr. Hampton, Who is a member of the teacher union excused himself from the meeting and immediately informed his union representative and principal of his dilemma. They in turned contacted Mr. Baker to let him know that his attempt to intimidate Mr. Hampton and interfere with their selection was a violation of union contract. Within 48 hours, Mr. Baker reluctantly apologized to Mr. Hampton, telling him it was all a misunderstanding, or was it?
Because of the entire 2016 Dunbar vs. Belmont high school football fiasco Mr. Baker failed to renew Coach Pete Pullen, former AD and Coach Darran Powell head football coach, basketball jobs cleverly creating a two-game in voluntary (sic) suspension at the start of the basketball season. Mr. Baker antics and power play worked to publicly embarrass and humiliate the Dunbar community and both fore-mentioned coaches. Because of a community uproar and a few newspaper articles both coaches were reinstated without explanation or apologies from Mr. Baker. As of the writing of this letter for reasons yet unknown the Dunbar head football job has yet to be filled and interviews delayed without explanation. Dunbar has currently four high profile Division I prospects, in which Mr . Baker has vowed if it’s left up to him Darran Powell will never coach them.
Mr. Baker arranged to have a female athletic trainer, Ms. Erin Cane, from Kettering Sports Medicine Center removed from Dunbar Early College High School when she refused to give him negative information about the Dunbar athletic program and coaches. Three weeks after Mr. Baker interviewed her he then implied to the Vice President of Kettering Health Network that he had reason to believed she was having sexual affairs with members of the Dunbar coaching staff. Without any proof, Ms. Cane without noticed, was assigned out of Dunbar where she had served for eight years. It’s clear this is nothing shorter than vicious slander aimed at Ms. Cane and every male coach at Dunbar Early College High School and speaks to Mr. Baker’s lack of character and unethical need to seek and get revenge against anyone who refuses to bow down to him.
Mr. Baker continues to try and convince people that he inherited a school district that was completely out of control and a total mess. He claims he inherited none loyal coaches across the district. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Mr. Baker started a staff meeting last week with building AD’s saying he has the power to replace them all and he will if they don’t start producing results. He was only giving the AD’s a year to turn things around, implying his contract will be renewed. Thus, unbeknownst to him AD’s are looking for other jobs outside our district due to his dictatorship style. Mr. Baker’s lack of decision making skills prove that he has no problem cheating and will cheat at every turn without conscience.
The school board hasn’t voted to rehire the Powell’s as coaches for football, although they have rehired them since the fiasco as track coaches. They believe because of the rehiring of Baker and new conditions in the contracts, they may not be the coaches next year. There is no evidence of any clause in the posting or in the School Board Policy manual (updated 12/5/16) that coaches will be ineligible due to being investigated or charged with any infractions of OHSAA rules as some had rumored.
The promise of a position in the future sounds like the work of Superintendent Rhonda Corr, who did the same thing to this writer when the RFP was out for the marketing contract (fully disclosed here).
There are still many questions surrounding the how much the board knows when making decisions. The main question is why was the Baker contract done while in the middle of the controversy? Rumblings of a tape existing that will damn Baker coming to light in the next week make this decision even more worrisome.
Seat of the pants decisions and timelines seem to be the new norm with Dayton Public Schools since Rhonda Corr was hired. At what point with the School Board realize that this isn’t how you build trust and respect with your employees? With the impending strike, forcing issues like a choice between coaching or AD, is just poking the bear at the wrong time.
Here’s the short video with me asking nicely on April 11th 2017, where it was “news” to Dr. Robert Walker, board president.
They knew full well what I had published, since I’d gone to both the head of security and to the board legal counsel by March 31st and given them the evidence I published on April 5.
That the board knew, didn’t do anything is yet another reason to remove them.
We’re in the process of asking the State Attorney General to remove Dr. Baguirov, and then will proceed to collect signatures to remove the rest of the board.
I’d cite the legal precedent, but- I’ve got to get to the board meeting which begins at 5:30pm
They will have a presentation by the Ohlmann Group- which should be interesting.
Here are the “media plans” of what they’ve spent already. I’ve yet to be given the invoices for the actual creative work- or to see the actual media buys- which they said they’d only mark up 10%. All I can say is, unlike anyone working for Dayton Public Schools, I actually know how to evaluate advertising campaign effectiveness, and I’m not seeing where the building of all these micro sites is the answer.
Here’s the links you’ll need to review:
Enroll DPS – because if you can’t enroll on the current site- build another.
Virtual DPS – because you don’t want to come to our school, and we will give you a computer at home and free wi-fi, since we don’t do that for the kids that do come to school.
DPS stories – because we don’t know where to look for stories ourselves- so we’ll crowd source them.
It’s been three business days since I published the post that clearly identifies a serious problem with the residency requirement for school board member Dr. Adil Baguirov. You’d think the local news would pick the story up, or that the prosecutors office or the board of elections would have a statement? Nope. You’d think other school board members would be calling for an investigation- nada.
However, when the Dunbar coaches played an ineligible player against Belmont, knowing that he had played the week before at Taft as ineligible, there has been no stone left uncovered. Fingers pointed everywhere- and now the Ohio High School Athletic Association has weighed in as well- with probation and a fine. Wow.
I requested both the report from the Director Safety & Security, Jamie Bullens, a former Dayton cop with plenty of experience, and the OHSAA report and read them.
DPS internal report
Reading them, all I can say is add another ring to the three ring circus, with the coaches, athletic directors, principals all looking like clowns on parade.
How do you have a star quarterback failing to maintain his C average in the first place? There are no excuses for this- once again, Dayton Public Schools fails a student- all the rest really doesn’t matter.
Not a single one of these people did what was right for the students, and this goes all the way to the Superintendent.
The reason I bring her in, is because previously, David Lawrence was the guy who was over the rookie athletic director- and was known for his attention to the details of eligibility. Once Corr had demoted him, she forgot to appoint someone else to keep tabs on athletics- mostly, because she’s too busy at the same time with the self-created budget crisis and RIF that turned the entire district upside down for the entire month of November.
Here is the DPS Organizational chart- having LaMark Baker reporting directly to Rhonda Corr- the chart was supplied to me on Feb 3, 2017.
Dayton Public Schools Org Chart 3 Feb 2017
For the people who worry about the $10K fine- really? Considering Corr and the board had no problem spending 20+x that to buy out Lawrence’s contract- as well as to pay off Lori Ward, as well as for unnecessary time clocks ($400K) or to hire the most expensive ad agency to do sub-par work, or buy buses from people who do business with Dr. Baguirov….
If Dayton really cared about the students, we’d end this circus by having a judge recall the entire board, fire the superintendent and treasurer for gross incompetence, and ask the state to install a professional team to supervise the schools and pick a new superintendent.
The best choice to run the district is Dr. Elisabeth Lolli, who seems both competent and has integrity.
In the meantime, we’ll wait to see if anyone has the gumption or brains to ask Baguirov to step down.
When you hire an ad agency that likes to buy media- of course, the first thing you do is buy media. Dayton Public Schools hired The Ohlmann Group, who bragged about winning the “Mercury award” for media buying all seven years the award has been in existence. Airing today, radio spots on 103.9- Clear Channel Alt rock station – directing people to the new landing page site www.enrolldps.com
Which starts off with:
GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
At Dayton Public Schools, good grades aren’t just for our students. The State of Ohio recently awarded Dayton Public Schools a grade of A for “value added,” recognizing the improvement we’re making in our students’ education. From our top-rated preschools to our innovative elementary and high school technology initiatives and career programs, the future is filled with tremendous promise. Enroll now and discover how Dayton Public Schools provides the teachers and educational resourcess (sic) that help every child thrive.
Please tell me one thing on this page that makes you confident that DPS is any different than it was last year – the year before, or the year before that? Should you really be bragging about “Award winning athletics- Committed to providing student-athletes with a healthy athletic experience designed to enhance their overall development” considering the district just got put on probation for 3 years by the Ohio High School Athletics Association?
Here we go spending money on radio, billboards, new bad websites, without addressing any of the issues facing the district.
My favorite is the part about the 1-to-1 computers: “Will my child receive a chromebook? As part of the district’s 1:1 Initiative, all students and content area teachers (including self-contained teachers) grades 1-12 will receive a Chromebook for the upcoming school year. Similar devices will be available for kindergarten students”- leaving out that they won’t actually have possession of said chromebook, or be able to bring it home, you just get to use it to drill and fill while in a classroom.
Considering radio reaches communities well outside DPS, one has to wonder what DPS thinks they are doing? Do people in Kettering really need to hear this message?
Another #FAIL brought to you by the fine folks at Dayton Public Schools.
His campaign literature was a bit over the top, and why he even needed any to run unopposed for Dayton School Board was a bit of a mystery. But when you take a closer look at Dr. Adil T. Baguirov he, not Austin Powers, is Dayton’s own international man of mystery.
The literature (which I saved but can’t find at the moment) had a photo of the young Turk with the pope and another with Joe Biden. Not your run of the mill school board candidate, but he was unopposed, had a PhD, and had the 300 required signatures. What could we do?
One thing has been clear in his tenure on the Dayton Board of Education, he’s been THE mover and shaker. He pushed hard for the one-to-one computer program and the decision to cut ties with former Superintendent Lori Ward and Treasurer Craig Jones. He was the loudest voice convincing others that internal candidates for replacement would be giving someone who got us in our current mess a promotion, thus starting David Lawrence’s oust. Most would say current Superintendent Rhonda Corr was his hand picked protegee (or maybe more appropriately, partner in crime).
And the uncharacteristic silence and tacit approval from the board about Issue 9: a play by Nan Whaley and the city to jack up the income tax, in part, to fund a competing quasi-public pre-school system. There was so much money behind issue 9 and we still don’t know the half of it, since the PAC “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” hasn’t filed their post election report. Any half-wit journalist would start to wonder why, but since Dayton is sort of short on journalists, you’re stuck with me.
For those of you not into the whole “reading” thing, here’s the video to whet your appetite.
What did I do? Well, what any mediocre journalism student is told to do: “follow the money.” What I find is a lot of smoking barrels which point to the personal enrichment of Dr. Baguirov as well as a spiderweb of shell corporations and business partners.
Sure, if we’d done our homework before he was elected, we’d have known this was coming, because Adil Baguirov is connected. Not just photos with the (previous-previous) Pope or Biden, either. It took months to put all the pieces together.
Dr. Togrul Bagirov is the Executive Vice President of Moscow International Petroleum Club (MIPC), a non-profit non-governmental specialized international organization. He is a Special Advisor to the Russian Prime Minister, the Russian Minister of Energy, Gazprom, LUKoil, and Transneft. In addition, Dr. Bagirov serves as a Deputy Chairman of the United Nations Forum on Energy Security.
Dr. Bagirov received a M.S. in International Relations, a Ph.D. in History from Moscow University (MGIMO), and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Institute of USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is an adjunct professor in energy security studies at MGIMO University. Dr. Bagirov also heads the public consultative center under the Russian Government for international projects in oil and gas.
Dr. Bagirov is a member of the World Economic Forum at Davos, a participant in Russia-U.S. and Russia-EC Energy Dialogues, and a Deputy Chairman on the Board of Trustees of the Russian-American Business Council.
And while all that sounds impressive, I’m not sure I can tell you much about Dr. B. senior. Other than, he’s done OK for himself.
Togrul Bagirov, Stephen Payne, Timur Kulibayev (son-in-law of the President of Kazakhstan & Chairman of the KazEnergy Association and VP of Samruk – the new state-owned holding company), and Adil Baguirov
The people he’s rubbing elbows with in this venture, Worldwide Strategic Energy, are a bit better known like the lobbyist Stephen P. Payne. In July 2008, Payne attracted international attention after being secretly videotaped discussing a $750,000 lobbying contract offering access to senior U.S. officials and suggesting a $250,000 donation to the future presidential library of U.S. president George W. Bush.
Dr. B. Sr. is also the chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage fund, which describes itself as a “civil initiative to restore the Nobel brothers’ heritage in Azerbaijan.” Apparently, the Nobel family were the movers and shakers who developed Azerbaijan’s oil resources at the end of the 19th century. Introducing innovations like oil pipelines and steam-powered tankers to transform Baku into one of the world’s leading oil producers. This leads into one of the stranger Baguirov connections. Adil has a Wyoming Corp, “Nobel Brothers Pictures, LLC”, which is working to make a big-budget Hollywood movie called “The Big Game” about the history of the Baku oil industry.
Recall that another movie about the history of Baku oil industry starring world-known actors will be shot in Hollywood. The multi-million dollar film to be produced by the chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund Togrul Bagirov in the frame of the Nobel project will show the history of Baku oil through the eyes of the Nobel brothers.
The film will describe mutual relations in the Nobels-Rothschilds-Rockefellers triangle of the great powers and the global role played by the Baku oil. All this will be shown in the context of the Nobel oil empire’s prosperity and fall, the communist revolution in Russia and political compromises of the early 1920s. The film presumably will be called ‘The Big Game’ or ‘The Oil Wars’ and will underline that the Baku oil has always been in the focus of international attention, being “an award” which superpowers were endeavoring to gain.
Dr. Baguirov Sr. (fourth from Right) with Dolph Lungren (fourth from left)
And the “world-known actors”- ready for it?
The large-scale movie, which will be filming in Baku and the U.S., will be made with the use of innovative technologies.It is expected that the film will star Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Monica Bellucci, Antonio Banderas and Dolph Lundgren, Bagirov said.
However, Dr. B Jr. is kind of a big deal on paper. He went to the University of Southern California with a degree in International Relations and Business Administration, graduating in 1999. By 2002 he’d earned a Ph.D in Political Science from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
His father’s status opened doors, and he served as a “Special Advisor on Russia and the Former Soviet Union” to Congressman Curt Weldon sometime around 2003. This was while was also serving as an “Executive” for “Worldwide Strategic Energy” out of Houston, which is where we got a lot of the info on his father through a leaked “proprietary and confidential- Placement Memorandum.”
Don’t ask why, but it seems almost everyone that Adil comes in contact with has some sort of international controversy, usually connected with Russia:
In 2006 Weldon faced investigation by the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section for suspected unlawful ties to two Russian companies and two Serbian citizens, when in a filing with the Federal Election Commission Weldon’s campaign committee reported that it transferred $70,000 to the “Weldon Legal Expense Trust”.
The co-founder of Karabakh Foundation, a 501(c)(3) in Washington D.C. with a mission statement to “preserve and disseminate the cultural heritage and traditions of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus area, and the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.”
And he’s also elected to the board of directors of the U.S. Azeris Network, an organization dedicated to coalescing the political power within the U.S. of Azerbaijani and Turkic diaspora communities. That’s a fancy way of saying lobby for the best interests of the legal immigrants, of which he is one.
Sevin Elekdag and Adil Baguirov wedding pix
In 2013, just as he started showing up in Dayton, he married Sevin Elekdag in D.C. She’s the daughter of Sukru Elekdag, the Turkish Ambassador to the United States from 1979-1989.
This is where we start running into problems. As you may know, Adil has to file a few things as an elected official.
The post campaign report
The pre-election report
Our first document is his campaign finance reports, to which you really do have to laugh. He was running unopposed, yet still printed literature and bought signs, with his own money. Specifically, he spent about $2,200 (no contributors listed) on printing, signs, and $92.75 on online advertising.
Adil made history as the first Ahiska-Turkish American to be elected to public office when he was sworn in to the Dayton Board of Education in January of 2014.
Since his election, the School Board hasn’t quite been the same. They meet more often, and cause more consternation than any other school board in the region. There are deep divisions on the board, and the one member who seems to be at the center of almost anything that has controversy attached is Dr. B. But, considering who he’s worked for in the past, is it any wonder?
Adil Baguirov Ethics Statement 2015
Cycling back to his listed home, 111 Cooper Place, it was bought by his undisclosed shell company, Metroplis LLC of Wyoming (the state, not the suburb in Cincinnati) just before the election, August 27, 2013. We know this because we looked at his Ohio Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure statement.
He lists no debtors, no creditors, and his only investment is in the Connor Group Fund. It’s also funny that he only lists ownership of two pieces of property:
1819 Troy St Dayton OH 45404, home of his trucking company, and 400 E. 5th St. Dayton Oh 45402. No residential properties at all. His income comes from:
Turbillion- which provides “Consulting”
Addison HHS- a “health care provider”
Dayton Board of Education- $5,229
American Power- Freight and Logistics.
Living with him is his spouse, Sevin Baguirov, and his two dependent children.
The businesses listed/offices/fiduciary relationships, add “Megapolis” and “Oregon Renaissance” which is 400 E. 5th St.
If asked what business he’s in, the standard answer is logistics. He owns “American Power LLC” which has offices on Troy Street. Interestingly, the last blog posts on their site are 2013… it seems once he got his $5000 a year job on School Board, the trucking company didn’t get the attention it once did. But, no worries, he’s got other ventures. Lots of them.
One that he’ll admit to is Addison Home Health Care [full disclosure, I did some work for his business partner Islom Shakhbandarov, printing some business cards, and working on a craptastic boxing event that was being done in a hurry] which has its offices in the Oregon District, above Salar. The building, formerly owned by shadow Mayor Dr. Mike E. Ervin, was originally owned by Oregon Renaissance LLC – a firm set up on 3/12/2008. On August 29, 2014 paperwork was filed to make Turbillion LLC a subsequent agent of Oregon Renaissance. Adil lists himself as a director in his 2015 ethics statement. What is the address of Turbillion? 111 Cooper Place of course. In the Ethics Statement, he’s listed as a director of Addison as well.
Businesses incorporated in Ohio by Adil Baguirov and his wife Sevin Baguirov
What’s more interesting is what’s missing from his disclosures. Two other medical firms, one in his name and one in Sevin’s. That’s a no-no. It’s why I contacted the Ohio Ethics Commission and asked them to investigate in the first place. Adil seemed, to me, the only one in the loop on both the CareSource sale of school-owned real estate and the denied sale to a private developer. He has companies doing business in the medical field, and both Premier Health and CareSource are the 800lb gorillas in the industry. This could be a conflict of interest, if Baguirov’s companies work with CareSource or Premier. Right after I brought up this conflict of interest in Millennial Medical LLC at the Dayton Board of Education Meeting on February 14th, he filed to “kill” the corporation. I was holding the knowledge of “Montgomery Medical Holding LLC” as my hole card. Metropolis Holdings LLC lists 111 Cooper Place W. as its mailing address, and its business address is the Troy St. American Power offices.
Remember, the Cooper Place house was bought by Metroplis LLC of Wyoming, so we have at least 2 Metropolis branded companies.
The problem is, we’re pretty sure that Adil and Sevin don’t live at 111 Cooper Place W. A quick look at voter records finds two things. Sevin isn’t registered to vote in Ohio and Adil isn’t registered to vote at Cooper Place.
If you think that Adil just crashes at 630 Maryland Ave home with his beautiful wife and two young children and Islom too, well, you’re about as gullible as the rest of the school board who has been buying Adil’s guidance hook, line and sinker.
Why is this a problem for Adil? Well, one of the conditions of being on the Dayton Board of Education is that you actually have to reside in the school district. His kids aren’t old enough to be enrolled in school, and it’s a moot point, he’d probably send them to a private school.
Vacancies in Board seats may occur as a result of many things including,
but not limited to: resignation, non-residence, removal from office or
The question of residency gets a little muddled in Ohio, thanks to our very own Secretary of State Jon Husted. He had a vacant house in Kettering while he lived in Columbus, when he was a State Representative. I don’t want to get into the legal quicksand on this issue, but there is a major difference. Husted actually owned the house in Kettering and no one else lived there. Really, it’s not much different than Tony Hall living in DC all those years as our congressman, while keeping a small bachelor pad here in town. Again, the house was his.
Now, this would all be great and fine, except, if Adil lives in 111 Cooper Place, which he owns, why is he registered to vote at 630 Maryland which he doesn’t? Is that voter fraud when he and Islom went to vote for president last year? Or, does he live in the mansion outside the district, 7077 Meeker Commons Lane Dayton OH 45414? Well, that would have to be his residence if he decides to run for State Rep Mike Henne’s seat when it comes open. Word on the street is that’s his goal.
The question is, who enforces the rules when it comes to residency? I talked to the Board of Elections, the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Secretary of State’s office, the BOE again. I put a call into the prosecutor’s office and then told a few trusted people within the school district. No one knew who would be the ones to investigate and prove the residency. It requires a court order to put a tracking device on his car. Frankly, I don’t have time or the inclination to start tailing him all over town.
It’s time to investigate not only his residency and his legitimacy on the Board of Education, but take a deep look at possible conflicts of interest. His many holdings in companies could be enriched by his actions on the board (eg. bus purchases and vacant land sales).
In the past, I’ve called for an elected chief ethics officer position in each county to help wage integrity in office on behalf of citizens who always get the run around when they bring issues like this to light.
And as always, I have to sit and wait for the Dayton Daily News to do their normal theft of my story and not give credit. Then wait for the people in the statehouse to move, if they even care.
With all the noise in Washington about connections to the Russian government and interference in our elections, this story of our very own International Man of Mystery surely won’t be discussed on the Sunday morning talk shows, but isn’t it nice to know that international intrigue can happen right here in Dayton?
Summer of 2016, Dayton Public Schools thought they needed a tax levy.
Then came Mayor Whaley- who needed a tax levy even more. For some reason, the board rolled over and played dead.
They’d changed Superintendents, bringing in the rookie Rhonda Corr to replace Superintendent Lori Ward- who they had to spend big bucks to get her to go away. September 14, 2016, they find out, Ward had pulled a rabbit out of a hat- getting the district an A in Annual Yearly Progress- the first A they’d had on a State report card in decades. This averted state takeover. It also gave Corr and crew breathing room.
But, since Corr didn’t like some of Ward’s people- she had a housecleaning- ostensibly a Reduction in Force, to get rid of opposition, and so she could justify bringing in her own team of highly paid assistants. The board, under leadership of Dr. Adil Baguirov, claimed the district was short about $4.5 million- although no one could provide real numbers. On the chopping block along with the opposition, were about 30 para-professionals (teachers aides) who were widely credited with helping get the A in AYP.
Along came Nan’s issue 9. A quarter percent increase in the city income tax. The board actually BACKED it- despite it creating a whole other quasi-public school board for pre-school only. These “Learn to Earn” folks even got to pay themselves big money- instead of the $5k a year the board members make. And, btw- get $4.5 million a year- without any stipulations on where it goes- charters, private schools, churches, as long as they are doing pre-school. There is a bit of a conflict of interest here, but, we’ll save that for another post that’s coming.
That levy, btw- was financed with big money- although we still don’t know the full extent, since the “Neigborhoods for Dayton’s Future” PAC that solicited the $1873 average donation still hasn’t filed their post campaign finance report.
Then the board has to finish doing Rhonda’s dirty work, buying out David Lawrence, who was Chief of School Innovation- and partially responsible for the A in AYP. They blew that buyout, but had the money to throw around.
And all of a sudden, after not buying any new full size buses since 2010, they are about to buy 30 and take 10 more on a grant. It’s an overdue $2.1 million buy. But, Dr. Adil Baguirov, who happens to be the only one who also buys trucks from the same dealers for his trucking company- all of a sudden jumps in with all the facts and figures and the district is ready to commit to long term financing of 110 buses.
The teachers union isn’t too happy. The paraprofessionals know they are toast. The deal Adil is talking about seems to have a 10 year service and maintenance contract attached- meaning the districts mechanics are probably going to lose their jobs too.
And, all of you voters are just along for the ride.