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PSC withdraws prinicipal's suspension pending hearing

ALBANY, Ga. — The CRCT saga of Monroe High Principal Valerie Thomas took a different twist late Thursday when the Georgia Professional Standards Commission reversed an earlier ruling that had ordered her suspension for 90 days.

In a Thursday email to Dougherty County School System interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, PSC paralegal Nancy Teele wrote, “Within the last week you should have received a copy of the ‘Final Order’ of suspension for Mrs. Valerie Overstreet (Thomas). It has come to the attention of the Commission that Mrs. Overstreet (Thomas) had requested a hearing in this matter, but it was not received in a timely manner.

“In an effort to allow Mrs. Overstreet (Thomas) the full benefit of the appeals process, we have agreed to vacate her suspension at this time and schedule a hearing in this matter.

“Please disregard the suspension until further notice from our office. Mrs. Overstreet’s certificate will show in ‘pending’ status while it remains in due process.”

The PSC has not scheduled a hearing date.

Thomas’ 90-day suspension was set to begin on March 22. She said she did not repond to the PSC’s order within the 30-day deadline because she never received a copy of the order.

“My faith is strong, and I know God has a plan especially for me,” Thomas said. “He sent me here for a reason.”

When asked if she had retained a lawyer, Thomas replied, “Jesus is my lawyer, but I have hired one of his disciples.”

In August 2011, the state launched a massive probe into 2009 CRCT cheating allegations throughout the DCSS’s 16 elementary schools. The probe lasted four months and resulted in a two-volume, 294-page report that accused 49 teachers and administrators of either outright cheating or failure to supervise.

According to the PSC’s finding of fact in its orginal notification of suspension, as principal at Lamar Reese during the 2009 CRCTs, Thomas “had ultimate responsibility for testing activities within the elementary school in question including supervising all testing activities to ensure strict test security. Statistical analysis confirmed that cheating took place at the school in question. (Thomas) failed to supervise testing activities.”

After the governor’s report was released, the school system conducted 24 disciplinary tribunals. At the conclusion of those hearings, DCSS attorney Tommy Coleman was required by law to turn over all 49 case files to the PSC for final disposition.

Comments

Bulldawg 1 year, 7 months ago

Aw, I guess it got a little to political, so the PSC had to change its stance. Looks like someone is caving to pressure.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Having re-read the CRCT summary report yesterday, I believe this is the right course of action.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 7 months ago

It should have been that way from the very beginning.

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waltspecht 1 year, 7 months ago

This is starting to smell like a drug case where the defendant has a picture of the Judge with a Goat.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 7 months ago

No it's just a case of the state department putting the cart before the horse. Their system backfired and they got shot in the a--.

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TheBoss 1 year, 7 months ago

Walt, maybe in New York it would be a Goat. But in the south it would be a Sheep. So BAAAAAD!

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waltspecht 1 year, 7 months ago

I suggest you research the Bainbridge Goatman before you dump it all on the folks North of Maryland.

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RedEric 1 year, 7 months ago

Maybe a graduate of Brown University where they had a class on prostrate stimulation.

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Brother_Love 1 year, 7 months ago

Good for her, they made the right decision.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

All you have to do is look at the comparison of 2009 and 2010 wrong-to-right erasure analysis to know that cheating occured at Lamar Reese Elementary by SOMEBODY!! And alot of other schools as well.

In 2009 there were many, many classes with significant evidence whereas in 2010 the evidence of cheating was ZERO. How do you go from 1 in 30 billion to zero in one year? With proctors and monitors of course who kept the cheaters from repeating their antics from the previous year.

And if Valerie Thomas did not manage the documents to keep them out of the hands of cheaters in 2009.......well then she is guilty as charged of "failure to properly supervise".

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AuntieDee 1 year, 7 months ago

.."and a lot of other schools " is correct Ruby. I bet if they interview children at Lake Park, Live Oak, Lincoln. etc they will find that many of them were prompted on test. Therefore, they didn't have high erasures because they were probably given the answers before they bubbled in.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Nobody in this town understands "probably"

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dmyers80 1 year, 7 months ago

What I find very interesting Auntie is.... Sherwood was tied for the second highest number ( maybe 3rd) of cheaters but we never hear aout it , I was shocked when I read the report because when cheating is talked about in the paper and on the news, you only see Lamar Reese, Morningside, and Jackson Heights!!

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Ihope4albany 1 year, 7 months ago

I hope that a U.S. President such as the one who came up with the ridiculous, one size fits all fiasco of an educational policy, never comes up with anything like the No Child Left Behind disaster again.

Ever since Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, the public school system in America suddenly became dysfunctional. The U.S. needs to step back and re-evaluate its policy decisions since 1954 to determine if it has acted in bad faith in dismantling the free appropriate public education system.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 7 months ago

Would that be one of those Bushes? And OMG...Jed wants to run for president. Look out America. The last thing we need is another Drunken and Illiterate Bush in any governmental position.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 7 months ago

Seems like the PSC should have known better. You can't suspend a person without a hearing. Thank God Dr. Thomas had the sense and the nerve too fight this. I'm glad she's not missing a beat at Monroe. The kids need her. She's made great progress at Monroe, which it has not had in years. There has been no measurable progress there since Mr. James Cross.

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 7 months ago

The way the process works is the PSC issues a suspension intent letter and the educator has 30 days to respond by asking for a hearing. Thomas said she never got the letter from the state, but heard about it from the PSC. She then called Atlanta and they agreed to lift her suspension and granted her a hearing despite being beyond the deadline.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

“Jesus is my lawyer, but I have hired one of his disciples.”

Now that's pretty funny right there, I don't care who you are!

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pissedoff 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks auntie dee for your words...nice to have someone have an educated opinion...well well, it never amazes me how people in DOCO can be soooo jealous spirited about a person when they are successful and cleary making a difference. some were ment to be lawyers and doctors and then there are some ( people who made any negative comments on this blog) that were ment to be ignorant! if her daughter had a million dollar wedding, then what does that matter with anybody? and just for those who are curious, your so right it was a million dollar wedding....one that people are still talking about..... 6 months later...and the part about being a BOONE....damn right she is one. she will never have to worry about anything cause that is the privilege of being one! I am so sorry you people have nothing else better to do than to rejoice in something you thought was a failure but i guess the joke is on you!

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