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The DCSS is a grease fire right now

Photo by Jim Hendricks

Photo by Jim Hendricks

After having covered the education beat for slightly more than a year, I have watched the Dougherty County School System stumble from one crisis to another without solving even one of the quickly mounting major problems facing it and an increasingly overwhelmed administrative staff.

There’s really no easy way to say this, but right now the DCSS is a grease fire, and no one in charge seems to have a clue how to dampen the flames.

Much of the blame has to fall at the feet of system Superintendent Joshua Murfree, who last night at a special called board meeting recommended the nonrenewal of 24 teachers and two principals named in the governor’s CRCT cheating report.

The decision to nonrenew was not a surprise, but the night was filled with others.

The board broke down into an acrimonious exchange between Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Goseer and board members Carol Tharin and David Maschke in regard to the DCSS reimbursement of $404 in bail money to the parents of a Dougherty High student who was arrested and jailed by school police for disrupting a classroom and cursing a teacher.

Tharin, Maschke, Chairman James Bush and system attorney Tommy Colemen stated time and again that the reimbursement was an illegal use of school system funds.

Yet an agitated Goseer refused to acknowledge that simple fact, instead claiming the DCSS has used general fund money in the past to pay other claims “for the children and to protect the Dougherty County School System.”

At one point during Monday night’s board meeting, Tharin pointed at Goseer and said, “You are not a lawyer.”

To which Goseer responded, “And nor are you.”

The answer to the question of who actually authorized the checks was never answered Monday night, and fingers were pointed all around.

But much of the blame seemed to fall on former DCSS Executive Director of Finance and Operations Robert Lloyd, who was demoted to director of supply services.

Lloyd’s demotion was a stunner. The system is facing an anticipated $9.6 million shortfall in FY 2012-13, and a balanced budget is due in Atlanta on June 30. Now the man who has put together the last 10 or more DCSS budgets is somewhere counting pencils.

Why?

Several board members would not go on the record, but opinions ranged from Lloyd being the fall guy for the bond reimbursement fiasco to the fact the system is looking at yet another budget year with 10 teacher furlough days.

Another shocker was the demotion of Assistant Superintendent Diane Daniels from director of curriculum to social studies coordinator. Daniels is no stranger to controversy. She was fired last year, then rehired days later.

That’s the way things seem to work at the DCSS.

So, when the smoke finally settled at the end of the evening, 26 teachers and administrators had been nonrenewed; two members of the superintendent’s cabinet were sacked, and an assistant superintendent displayed a stunning lack of knowledge in regard to state law.

So where does the school system go from here? Anybody got a fire extinguisher handy?

Email Terry Lewis at

terry.lewis@albanyherald.com

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

Where's all our comments from earlier today????????????????????????????????

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 5 months ago

On my blog. The story was also used as a column on the editorial page.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, snap! now B_R will see this and put all his "copy & paste" comments in!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

OK denn........let me re-iterate my position from the aspeck of a Major Prophetess:::

Sister_Ruby3 hours, 41 minutes ago

Terry: YOU are doing God's work. Somebody ax me "what God?" Here's the answer...the GOD that say "Ain't no Liar Gonna Tarry" and that Personally Carve on them Tablets of Stone "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness" (that mean LIE).....the same God that send his Holy Son Jesus Christ who say continually "Truly, Truly I say to you....." and then He say the Truth at all Times. That's the God I speak of. He also say "I am God.....there is no other!" That God.

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waltspecht 2 years, 5 months ago

I for one believe some Board members have the same attitude as expressed by the Head of the NAACP in Sumter County. He feels the Minority members of the Board are free to do whatever they want, because when the Board was White dominated, that is what they did. As to the Assistant Superintendant, his statements and lack of clear understanding indicate he has been promoted beyond his capabilities. He doesn't need to be demoted, he needs to be removed. As should have occurred with the other two, because they will keep the salary of the position they were demoted from, unless I misunderstand the way those things work. It's time someone like the Govenor took action to assure the qualifications of folks elected to the Board. The biggest problem with many of the local Boards is the lack of understanding of just what they should, and should not do. There needs to be a training requirement, just like for a Sheriff. Because our Schools, in all Counties, are very similar to prisons, housing, feeding and training students for eight hours a day.

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 5 months ago

If brains were dynamite, some of the members of the school board couldn't blow their noses!!

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TheMember 2 years, 5 months ago

oh yes they could, cause they don't have any "dynamite" to explode.

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myside 2 years, 5 months ago

Disfuntional groups are that because too many of its members have no idea of what their function is.

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nativealbanian 2 years, 5 months ago

All citizens of Dougherty County and even surrounding counties are directly affected by the quality of the DOCO school system. What company or business wants to locate in this area when a school system's leadership is so dysfunctional??? It is an embarrassment to those of us who were educated and worked in the DOCOSS. Black and whites must unite and demand qualified personnel. I challenge Fox 31, Walb, the Albany Herald and the all other newspapers to work together to do an investigation. It could not be a 60 Minutes show---it would have to 60 hours ...maybe even 60 days to cover it all!

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justme 2 years, 5 months ago

Wonder why Goseer was so adament about the bail bond money? Was the bail for some one he knows, maybe a family member, a paramour, or maybe the kid's parents have some do do on Goseer or Murfree?

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TheBoss 2 years, 5 months ago

A prime example of a disfuntional group will be the members of the finance committee in their meeting today with Murfee leading it.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 5 months ago

Only Dougherty County voters... right?

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rorschach 2 years, 5 months ago

Shouldn't the position on the petition be listed as Dougherty County School System (DCSS) Superintendent?

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ittibittime 2 years, 5 months ago

These are my points: 1. Fire Murfee 2. Fire Goseer 3. Vote for Lane Price to be on school board. 4. Keep Tharin on board. She is doing an excellent job. 5. Get rid of Rev.(if you can call him that, what a joke) Bush. 6. Yes, Lloyd is the fall guy. Put him back in his position so the budget can be completed. 7. Throwing money at the school system does not solve these problems ,DO NOT RAISE THE MILLAGE RATE.

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

I think Rev. Bush is starting to see just how bad he is looking so he is somewhat shifting to the center a little. Kind of hard for him to PUBLICALLY AGREE with all of the lawbreaking ways of the DCSS. Even when they are told by Tommy Coleman (and I don;t like him either) they are breaking the law they Old #34 Murfree and his sidekick puppet want to blow it off. It is the Murfree and Goseer Puppet Show,

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AnotherMom 2 years, 5 months ago

To Kaos in Albany: please correct the spelling of "terminatation" to "termination" on your petition to oust Murfree; then I will sign it! I do think this is a good idea as well as some of the other ideas mentioned here. Unfortunately, I don't know how we will ever dig ourselves out of this mess. We have a dysfunctional school system because it represents the majority of the people who reside in Dougherty County. There aren't enough functioning adults & students to carry the load of the dysfunctional ones in our City & school system.

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Cartman 2 years, 5 months ago

Good article, Terry! It conveyed the concerns of many here.

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boyoboy 2 years, 5 months ago

You give them an inch, they will take a mile. Good job Terry.

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daddiemoon 2 years, 5 months ago

While watching the game... My mind wonders... How did we (Albany) manage to get so many misfit dummies at the same time on the same board ???? We have the G.S. cookie & lunch thief (Riggins)The assistant who applied for every position open in the school system, while Dr.Whatley was super, and never hired for one position, (Gooser), ...( Dr. Whatley is a very smart lady) the super who is a jack of all trades, mastering none, but how to manipulate his way, thinking we cant see that he knows absolutely nothing,(Murfee) and lets not forget our 2 divine ministers.........(Bush & Brown),,, what a joke.

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Clif 2 years, 5 months ago

What a mess!!!! If any city and county deserves it, it is Albany & Dougherty!!!! Just a small slice of the national picture in Washington, D.C....... OH!! for the days of James H. Gray!!! There are no more James H. Gray's & Ronald Reagan's....I remember when Albany was tied with Ogden, Utah for 2nd. place for economic growth in the entire country. Now Albany & Dougherty County can't even tie with Ty Ty.

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gotanyfacts 2 years, 5 months ago

daddiemoon... We have a significant number of voters who are afflicted with the scarecrow syndrome. If you remember the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, upon receiving a "diploma", miraculously became "educated". The "proof" of his education, and implied intelligence, was saying "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side". In spite of being incorrect, the use of such terms and the authority with which it was given proved impressive to his clueless listeners.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

Right, the rule only applies to an isosceles RIGHT triangle. As a Major Prophetess, I have to reveal the truth at all times.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

......and the rest of the formula is "the sum of the squares of the two equal sides is equal to the square root of the hypotenuse". So if the equal sides have a length of 1, the hypenuse has length "square root of 2", or 1.414....

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Clif 2 years, 5 months ago

That is FAR above me. I failed first year algebra twice in HS. So I'll take the word of all of you who figured all of that out. It is well to know all of that information, and I admire those who have that knowledge. But, I did acquire enough common sense along the way to know that Albany & Dougherty County is beyond help. There is NO leadership worth their salt, not just on the School Board, but from mayor down through the commission, and from chairman of the Dougherty County commission down through the individual commissioners. Nobody seems to know what they are doing and I don't believe any of them cares as long as they get re-elected.

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Trustbuster 2 years, 5 months ago

Someone should have checked into Mr. Goseer's employment history. You will find that he had problems in previous school systems especially Worth Co. Mr. Goseer often preferred to do things his way there. As a result he didn't come back the following year.

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

Just remember there are no minimum qualifications to run for election to the board. While some members appear to have a both an educational and business background to run a multi-million dollar operation some don't have any of the basic qualifications. That said when you mix the two together of try to it is like trying to mix Grease and Water. What you get is a gooey mess and that is just about what we have now a DCSS GOOEY MESS. YOu have that aspect with the DCSS Board and then this disfuntional board goes out and hires #34 on the ranking list to run the DCSS day to day operation and what you see in the news is what you get. An unqualified leader who hires unqualified assistants that cannot understand or comprehend basic law. If they want to use my tax money to bail out students that the DCSS Police Dept arrested then the fixing the system without cleaning house of the board and DCSS offices is hopless. Apparently Greg Edwards is in too many personal conflicts here in Albany due to all the high ranking officials he knows. I think Greg is a good man he is going to have to start passing the investigations off to Special Prosecuters who have no ties to Albany, Who would have thunk the DCSS would need a Special Prosecutor to keep up with day to day law breakers.

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

I know a lot of different people run for the Board but there should be a requirement to at least publically post like your highest level of education and maybe work or business history. June Bug is the only board member that does not list any level or education on the DCSS Bio. I am sure he has good intentions but he is totally unqualified to be running a multi-million dollar school system budget. His claim to fame was he did Fish Fry's for his neighborhood during the flood of 1994. Great and honorable gesture but still does not qualifiy him to make decisions on millions of dollars in tax dollars and the educations needs of our children. The system is broke and needs and overhall.

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

I know a lot of different people run for the Board but there should be a requirement to at least publically post like your highest level of education and maybe work or business history. June Bug is the only board member that does not list any level or education on the DCSS Bio. I am sure he has good intentions but he is totally unqualified to be running a multi-million dollar school system budget. His claim to fame was he did Fish Fry's for his neighborhood during the flood of 1994. Great and honorable gesture but still does not qualifiy him to make decisions on millions of dollars in tax dollars and the educations needs of our children. The system is broke and needs and overhall.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 5 months ago

These are just problems you know about. Don't get me started on the payroll. Some subs do not get paid for over two months. One was going to spend the night if she did not get paid. There are many problems under that building that should not be there. Look at human resources. Look at some of the other listed. Just wonder how 16,000 students are educated as well as they are. Thank to God for some leadership in the school they go to. Even the bad ones are better than this mess. And DHS needs to be looked into with bail practices. The kids have taken over DHS and do pretty much what they want. Most are good kids, but it only takes a few to disrupt a class.

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