July 10 and Dayton Public Schools

thumbnail of Human Resources 7-10-18 (3)

The HR report should just be called “Ch-ch-changes” and makes for fascinating reading. Click to download PDF

July 10 is the magic date to re-sign your contract with Dayton Public Schools. Sign it, and then resign after that, and the board tries to vote properly to sanction you for breaking the contract. Since Rev Harris has been elected, they rarely get the vote right.

However, it means this is when we see the churn. Typically about 20% of their employees bolt every year, which is high. Compare that to top performing schools like the one David Lawrence is taking over in Northmont- where no one leaves, you start to see a pattern.

Since the 48 hour rule precludes them from having a complete list before the “review session” tomorrow- but we still get a few glimpses on what’s happening.

Belmont gets a new Principal from Texas- probably thanks to Dr. Donetrus Hill, one of the few smart guys still left in the district. Welcome Dr. Toron Wooldridge, who seems to have a gap in employment since 2016 on his Linkedin. Quick notable fact, he was signed as a 6-0, 232-pound Inside Linebacker from Houston, TX to Texas A&M. He’s come a long way from  being a “Redshirt freshman … who sat out the regular season because of academic problems” to Ed.D. The gap in employment, may have been due to the loss of family members due to a distracted driver. Wooldridge made a push in Texas to adopt no-text while driving laws.

Change 2 is that Nelson Stone, formerly principal of the boys school, has now been assigned to Ponitz. This after he was first supposed to go to Meadowdale. Ray Caruthers went to be the Trotwood Madison HS principal.

Change 3- is that Norris Cole’s uncle is the new Dunbar Basketball coach. I don’t know if Lyle Cole can fill Pete Pullen’s shoes, but he sure can fill a whole teams worth of Chuck Taylors without much work. Amazing that Taylor still hasn’t been brought up on charges for perjury or to pay the district back the copious amounts of cash it wasted because he lied. Not sure if Cole is a teacher, which only seems to be important if your name is Powell and you’re part of a winning football program.

Change 4- the district let Jim Cole, the man who rebuilt the Dunbar Women’s Basketball team and was coach of the year last year- go. No replacement yet, and Cole was snagged by Fairborn. Watch the Lady Skyhawks take off.

In the good news department, Dr. Bob Buchheim got the message loud and clear after his second demotion in less than a year and left town.

The Office of Exceptional Children seems to be getting cleaned out after Dr. Roberson left with two more resignations.

There are a bunch of new supplemental pays for already well paid administrators- including District AD Shawna Welch- and Erin Dooley- but, we can’t tell if these are in addition to, or replacements for. Lolli likes handing out money to people at the top, and to lawyers.

There are also some new “Dean of Students” positions- which could just be a new way of putting people into assistant principal positions without having an actual principals license. Some superintendents have done this in the past- others wouldn’t.

And as a last insult to injury- when the last school board claimed it was broke in November of 2016 they fired Marijane Recob who had been running the Challenger Center at Kiser since it began. Now, they’ve hired 2 people for $40K each, to do what she did solo for about the same money. I’m guessing Marijane would have continued doing that job for $20K if it had been offered to her because she loved it that much.

We’ll see by the business meeting how many others decide to ditch the good ship Lolli-pop.

 

 

Chuck Taylor lied in court

Evidence, in the form of a video, has made it’s way to the Ohio  High School Athletics Association commissioner that proves Dunbar Basketball Coach and Dayton Municipal courts Bailiff Chuck Taylor lied in court. The basketball player who was claimed to have not been on the bench- or left the bench for the brawl, who was supposedly, passing Taylor “in the hallway” has been clearly identified as on the bench, and involved in the altercation.

The Commissioner, Dr. Dan Ross, made Acting Superintendent Libbie Lolli aware of this evidence last week, although she claims in a conversation with me, this morning, to have not seen the video yet. She has requested a copy, and is “working collegially” Ross to sort things out. She will not comment on personnel issues when pressed, she did admit that Dunbar Principal Crystal Phillips is back in the building, but only that District AD Mark Baker and Chuck Taylor are still under contract.

Internally, there are clans forming, blaming various people for this whole fiasco. Some even blame me. Others that fingers are being pointed at by the people who couldn’t follow the rules and properly benched players- are former Coach Pete Pullen, former District AD Jonas Smith, former school board member, state representative and convicted felon Clayton Luckie (who is cousins with Smith).

The reality is, since Mark Baker has been Athletic Director and had his contract hastily renewed last year, and the district was under sanctions and scrutiny of the OHSAA, competent leadership would have immediately stepped in and made sure all the t’s were crossed and i’s dotted after the bench clearing brawl in January. They weren’t. And, now, after spending considerable money defending Dunbar- just so they could play 2 more games in the tournament, the district now risks being banished from state play.

Why kids should have to continue to suffer at the hands of incompetent adults is beyond me.

It’s time for the board to replace Libby Lolli, Associate superintendent Sheila Burton, staff attorney Jyllian Bradshaw, PR Chief Marsha Bonhart (who was Bakers boss), District AD Mark Baker, the Dunbar AD, Principal and the entire coaching staff of the basketball program.

It’s time to sue Chuck Taylor for the court costs.

And it’s time for Taylor to resign from not only coaching but working for the courts, where he routinely is expected to administer this oath multiple times daily:

Oath: I swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Affirmation: I solemnly affirm that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Only when these things have taken place, can this district start back on a road to recovery.

And, as an aside, Lolli refuses to publish her presentation on school closings in advance for the review session where the public is allowed to comment, and says she hasn’t given it to board members either. For something as important as school closings- for her to not allow more than 7 days of review of her findings, is further proof that this is not an administration that works for the public- but for itself. It’s this kind of thinking that has them in the paper with a crisis of the day.

She’s also unable to estimate how much the district spent with Attorney Brian Wildermuth on his trial to get Dunbar back in the tournament.

 

Kids get punished for stupid adults: Dunbar BB forfeits playoff game and season ends

Because Dayton Public Schools doesn’t hire professionals, act professionally, follow procedure, pay attention, get the details right, etc. The Dunbar Boys Basketball team just learned that they had to forfeit their win on Monday Feb 26th in the tournament vs. Thurgood Marshall- giving Thurgood a  shot to the division II playoff game against Bishop Fenwick on Sunday March 4th at UD Arena.

Apparently the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who still is keeping a close eye on the district after the Dunbar/Belmont thrown game fiasco, got wind that players who were involved in the brawl at the Thurgood/Dunbar game a while back- weren’t punished, the school gets punished now.

Why does District Athletic Director Mark Baker still have a job? Why was it a good decision to unceremoniously remove Pete Pullen, one of the winning-est coaches in Ohio High School Basketball history to replace him with rookie Chuck Taylor?

At what point will the people who make these command decisions- the Superintendent and the Board, be held accountable?

Because this isn’t good for the kids. It’s not all about the kids. It’s just a string of failures to which there is no end in sight.

It’s time to cut losses. You now have a fireable offense to use to terminate Mark Baker’s contract. You have reason to fire Chuck Taylor. You have a reason to fire Dunbar Principal Crystal Phillips- after all, this is her second failure to implement policy. But then what? The people downtown STILL don’t seem to understand what it takes to run a school district.

In other district news, former treasurer Craig Jones won his appeal on his case against the district on wrongful termination. The thing that caught them was their failure to properly follow the Sunshine laws for notification of their impending planned action in executive session. The board hired the same lawyer as they have on my sunshine case, Brian Wildermuth of Subashi & Wildermuth. He’ll soon have another loss on his hands.

Maybe they need a better lawyer too, in addition to a Superintendent, Athletic Director, Principal at Dunbar, Basketball Coach at Dunbar…. the list goes on.

Dayton Public Schools still out of control under the carpetbagger interim Superintendent

Rome Burns- a metaphor for DPS under this board and Dr. Lolli. From Mr. Ripley on Deviant art

There is a reason the DPS superintendent usually lives in the District. The operation runs on an 18 hour a day schedule, from opening the transportation department to the closing of the gym after a basketball game. There is the possibility that the current interim superintendent is first reading about the following events here, because she wasn’t at the Dunbar game on Friday night, which is where she should have been after the Dunbar/Thurgood game a few weeks ago. Instead, she was probably at home in Middletown prepping for her board retreat on Saturday morning.

Today, I was going to write a nice story about an amazing event hosted by two DPS employees and their students last night. Instead, I’m going to explain why this school board needs to pull their collective asses out of the fire by fixing past wrongs. This district can’t survive the current level of incompetence.

So far, the first actions of the new board have been to allow a semi-secret task force to take over their responsibility for running the district. There was no official vote taken to empower this task force or to appoint the three board members to it- or to give the superintendent, treasurer etc authority to work on it.

Closing buildings next year for efficiency is not job number 1. It’s not even job number 2 or 3 or 4. But, they wouldn’t know that. If they actually knew anything about the district- or had a superintendent that did, they would clearly know that job number 1 right now- is student safety, to include orderly buildings where education can take place. Number 2 is instilling confidence back in the community that DPS can actually teach. Not just “Drill and kill” on the computers to a goal of improving test scores- but to teach. Make kids interested in learning and going to school and achieving.

That isn’t happening.

I didn’t write about it when there was a stands clearing brawl on January 10th at Dunbar High School when Thurgood came to play basketball. I have video. Facebook has video. It was a mess. Board members didn’t know, didn’t demand action, and haven’t investigated it even after being told. #FAIL

I was chastised on Facebook for not writing about the group hug the two varsity teams had before their game after the brawl (there was the JV game first- and that’s when the brawl happened). If you want to read good news puff stories- you can either watch the 20 minute videos Marsha Bonhart is making for the district- and being well paid, or read the occasional article in the Dayton Day-Old news.

Friday night, DPS reached a new low. After a Dunbar player committed 2 turnovers in 20 seconds according to multiple reports- the rookie coach, Chuck Taylor pulled him out. The players mother decided to come down and tell the coach what she thought. Taylor called the woman a bitch. The player got up and punched Chuckie in the face twice.

This, folks, is not how you run a basketball program.

If former coach Pete Pullen had pulled a player for committing two turnovers, the parent wouldn’t have dared to question his actions. The last board, approved the non-renewal of Pete Pullen and the hiring of Chuck. By the way- the candidate pool for the job- was just Chuck or Pete- because no one else would apply – because Pete Pullen is a coaching legend with a long list of championships- Chuck is a Bailiff for a local judge who sucks at the political teat of the Democratic party and hands out $10,000 bails on homeless people.

Still, choosing between Pete and Chuck should have been a no-brainer, except that’s the problem- the District AD is a no-brained former pro-basketball player who can’t figure out a players eligibility and brought shame to this district at the center of the thrown game between Dunbar and Belmont in 2016. He was also given a two-year contract by the former Superintendent (still not fired) and the former board- despite the investigation into the thrown game being incomplete at the time.

As the board has an emergency meeting on Tuesday to go into executive session, we could hope the following transpires:

  • Rhonda Corr is terminated.
  • District AD Mark Baker is terminated.
  • Chuck Taylor is terminated and Pete Pullen returned to coach the remainder of the Dunbar season.
  • The board opens a search for a new superintendent.

The task force is disbanded and DPS board announces that they are closing Valerie elementary, selling off HQ and the building across the street, closing Longfellow at Jackson Center, and beginning a planning process to institute a consistent alignment of schools (grades served), bell times, and transportation options for the coming school year that is focused on reducing transportation costs, improving building utilization and aligning resources properly. They also announce a downsizing of administrative staff, including the firing of their expensive PR department that still doesn’t know how to update a website in a timely manner without help (the upcoming meeting isn’t listed on the meeting schedule). Yet, one has to wonder when at the Board Retreat yesterday, the agenda included documents that still listed responsibilities that were assigned to Corr, Winston and even Jill Moberley.

There has still been no investigation and punishment for anyone other than the two teachers who actively tried to stop the riot at Ponitz (the story broke on this blog). No students were held accountable, no building administrators punished, and no questions asked on why the district was willing to let another incredible asset leave the district (Football coach Jim Place resigned).

Competent leadership from the board and superintendent wouldn’t be distracted by building use efficiency while the buildings are on fire.

It’s time for a shakeup.

And, last but not least, thanks to YouTube changing their monetization rules, I need to get the youtube channel up to 1000 subscribers to be able to help support the costs of producing video for this blog. Please go to www.youtube.com/c/electesrati and subscribe. It doesn’t cost anything. We had 100 subscribers on Thursday, we’re up to almost double that in two days, but if you want me to keep going to task force meetings and shutting them down, we need 1000 subscribers asap. Thank you.

 

DPS Board wastes 4 hours to move backwards

Once again, Dayton Public Schools believes rose colored glasses will somehow solve their public relations fails. In an epic 4 hour meeting, first we handed out awards for showing up to bus drivers, awards for janitors for cleaning and a real award from the State for Teacher of the Year to a Stivers teacher, Rachael Murdock.

Then it was into a presentation first by Dr. Sheila Burton and then Dr. Elizabeth Lolli about how there was some good in the state test scores- which put us as the second worst district in the State (behind Trotwood). While this kind of information is great, it’s not really useful as “good news.” It’s like saying “we got shutout, but, at least we didn’t fumble the football” (and by the way, the score was 654-0).

It also shouldn’t be presented by administrators.

The proper way to present this, by a competent PR staff, would be a presentation outlining the steps we’re taking over the next 3 years, in order to remedy the issues. What best practices have we implemented that caused things to move up, how we compared to the State in areas we didn’t move up, and what are the performance goals for the future.

While identifying that Horace Mann got 5 “A”s is nice – without knowing what the “A’s” were in, or why, or how- is useless information and a waste of our time. How are we going to replicate those “A’s” across all the other schools is more important. It’s not what grade you got, but what you learned- and how you will improve that counts.

This set up the first fireworks. After Burton and Lolli finished, Baguirov had to blather on about schools getting “A’s” and how we’re not all failing. It was a ramble- unchecked. Joe Lacy had a totally illegible slide to show his analysis- and was promptly cut off by Walker. Rudely. Joe, stormed off the dais. When he returned to vote on an unscheduled Exec session midway through the meeting- he asked if he was allowed to vote now- after he’d been cut off.

The discussion in executive was obviously about the upcoming decision to replace Pete Pullen with Chuck Taylor as the head boys basketball coach at Dunbar. The public comments were dominated by people singing Pete’s praises. The only one to not talk about Pete, was the poor girl who was a DECA student who had cheered for Dunbar for her entire high school career- only to be told she couldn’t finish her senior year for her school, with her friends- and was risking her chance at a scholarship.

Sheila Taylor took a roundabout way of explaining how this was all the Ohio High School Athletic Associations fault and sorry. “We tried to appeal” was Taylor’s line- nevermind the fact that had she not given district athletic director Mark Baker a 2 year contract- this probably wouldn’t have happened.

The fireworks finale was the vote on Taylor/Pullen for the coaching job, but slipped in-between was the board voting not to pay Huffmaster on the contract they signed for Strike Prep. $35,766.78 will be cited in the lawsuit Huffmaster files- and then throw in fees, and penalties and this will cost even more.
The board should be held personally liable for the breech of contract. The superintendent as well, since she didn’t bother explaining that this wasn’t an optional payment.

The Taylor vote had a lot of BS attached. First and foremost, Baguirov announced he’d abstain. Why, not sure. Reality- dereliction of duty. He did this after Lacey actually made a competent case for why the board should reject the recommendations to not rehire the legend for a rookie coach.

He cited 20 years experience, the winning record, the loyalty, and the scoring system which seemed more subjective than objective- especially when you are talking a coaching legend with a record that’s unmatched- compared to a rookie with zero high school coaching experience. But his most damning point was that only 2 people applied to be head coach at one of the states premier programs.

There could only be one reason- insider information and bias. Why wouldn’t we have more applicants? Probably because no one that knows anything about the program and Pete’s legacy would apply until Pete resigned- what idiot would think they’d get picked over a coaching god?

And there lies your problem- only a system run by idiots would toss away one of the best coaches in the State- and possibly in the country – and that’s what we have. Only Chuck Taylor had the inside line on the plan, and here we are.

Lacey walked off to talk to the Dunbar parents, former players, coaches and of course the media- because he’s running for reelection, and because, he’d already been disrespected by the board that evening. This one vote isn’t a good reason to keep him, but, for the first time in a long time- Joe was actually right on the money. That should scare us all.

Until next meeting of the circus clowns, stay sane, and send your kids to CJ or the Miami Valley School. No signs of intelligent life emanate from the puzzle palace on Ludlow.