Monday, May 19, 2014

Nancy Jester for State School Superintendent

I had the opportunity to watch live the School Super debate down at GPB yesterday.  As expected, we heard candidates, "those with experience" in education, forming an alliance to push the agenda that the next school superintendent needs years of experience in public education. One candidate compared the job to heading the agriculture department in Georgia.  He said something to the tune that we wouldn't put someone with no farming experience ahead of the state's agriculture.  Of course we are growing kids, not onions here.  

Vote Nancy Jester 

I might agree to vote for a former educator if past/current superintendents (with this experience) had Georgia ranked in the Top 10 in the USA.  Of course that's not the case - we are nowhere near a Top 10 state in education.  These educarats want nothing more than to keep things the way they are now.  Keep the central offices of school districts fat and happy, starving the classroom.  Buy cars for staff and build fancy central offices while students rot in trailers. 


I supported Nancy Jester for the Republican nomination for Georgia State School Superintendent long before she decided to run and for reasons more important than her understanding of math, spelling, grammar, and geography.

I first decided to support Nancy Jester after she put the needs of the students and taxpayers of DeKalb County ahead of her own interests. She uncovered fraud by the DeKalb County administration and reported it to SACS. Her letter and the evidence she uncovered led SACS to put DeKalb's accreditation on probation.

After that, Governor Nathan Deal had the choice to remove all or none of the members who were on the BOE at the time of the probation, and he rightly chose to remove them all. Nancy Jester's action of reporting fraud led to the investigation, without which DeKalb taxpayers would still be getting fleeced by the administration.

One member of the State Board of Education who voted for the removal of all members  told me that expressed his wish to the Governor's Office that Nancy could be reappointed but recognized the political reality.

For clarity, I wanted to resign from the board in advance of the hearing in February, but refrained from doing so because of the pending court case.  

If the ruling had gone the other way, the remaining board members would have remained on the board and they would select my successor. I wanted to prevent that. I am more comfortable with the Governor and his team selecting my replacement.

Additionally, it is a matter of public record that I voted "no" on February 1st, to the hiring of the attorney to pursue the board's legal challenges in the first place. I did not support in any way, the filing of legal action and I expressed my opposition in board meetings. Because the court has vacated their previous stay, the board members subject to the Governor's executive order are now, no longer on the board. Once the Governor appoints new members, the board will have a quorum and be able to meet. At that point, the board will be able to make decisions regarding the use of district resources.

So, for those of you who are hearing smears about Nancy Jester's service on the DeKalb County Board of Education, here are the relevant facts:

1.  Nancy Jester uncovered and reported fraudulent accounting practices by DeKalb County schools and reported them to SACS, the accrediting agency.

3.  Jester was the only BOE member who did not seek reinstatement to the Board.

mckoon"During her service as a member of the DeKalb County Board of Education, Nancy asked the tough questions that revealed the gross mismanagement which even now is resulting in positive change for children in DeKalb County." 

"As an actuarial consultant Nancy has the experience and knowledge to drill down into our state education bureaucracy and make it work for our kids. As a mom she has a passion that in my view is unrivaled to see that we achieve the goal of access to quality education so every child in Georgia can realize their potential."

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