The single greatest civil rights issue in modern America is the inferior quality of education that so many black Americans are receiving. If the KKK were in charge of the school system in cities like Detroit and Atlanta, the kids couldn’t be getting a much poorer education. But, as long as there are black, liberal Democrats running the show and wetting their beaks, nobody seems to care whether the children get educated.
DeKalb County contributed to what the New York Times called “the biggest standardized test cheating scandal in the country’s history” in 2011.
Now, the county is faced with losing its regional accreditation. Losing regional accreditation is, by any objective measure, a devastating indictment of a school board, with severe consequences for students and families within the district.
When nearby Clayton County, Ga., lost its regional accreditation in 2008, it was the first school system in the country to do so in 40 years.
The result in Clayton, according to the Pew Foundation, was that thousands of students left county schools, the district lost millions of dollars and hundreds of teachers were fired.
In response to the Clayton County crisis, after witnessing the fallout and the harm to the state’s reputation, the legislature acted to prevent a repeat. In 2011, the Georgia legislature essentially gave the governor authority to remove board of education members when a district was placed on probation by the accreditation agency.
Last December, DeKalb was placed on probation. Then, in January, the governor of Georgia used his new authority and removed six members of the nine-member DeKalb Board of Education.
This year, well after the accreditation issue broke open, DeKalb school board elections were held. Four of nine board members were up for reelection. Voters in one of the four districts returned their incumbent board member for another term, despite knowing that accreditation was at risk.
This week, a federal judge sided with the governor and agreed that the six suspended board members can be replaced. The decision places the dispute into the Georgia Supreme Court’s purview.
As the issue looms, the mere mention of losing accreditation has impacted the housing market in DeKalb, with at least one potential buyer directing his realtor not to search for homes in the county.
Recently, at the helm of the DeKalb school system stood Crawford Lewis. The former superintendent has been indicted on racketeering charges.
Along with several of his associates, Lewis is accused by the DeKalb DA of fraud, theft by a government employee, bribery and a web of racketeering. The charges arose out of Lewis’ practice of steering lucrative government contracts toward favored companies.
According to the indictment, Lewis also used government funds to pay for a hotel room, which he used as the venue for an affair. Lewis had this affair with a person who held the position of “Executive Director of the Office of School Improvement.”
One of the numerous complaints about the DeKalb school board was that it voted to pay for Lewis’ legal defense. There had been a $100,000 cap on the costs allowed for legal defense, but the school board waived it for Lewis’ benefit.
The CEO in charge
At the very top, the head of DeKalb’s government is the position of CEO. The current CEO, Burrell Ellis, is being investigated for a list of concerns, including alleged bid rigging. Police searched Ellis’s home and office recently, and local news outlets report that while no charges have been filed, search warrants are reportedly aimed toward potential extortion, bribery, theft, conspiracy, and wire fraud in connection with private vendors who contract with the county.
Most recently, Ellis sought approval from the county ethics board to establish a legal defense fund to benefit himself. The board rebuffed the request.
A corrupt school board becomes a civil rights issue
Instead of being treated as a story about rampant, inexcusable corruption, the school board fiasco has morphed into a civil rights issue. Atlanta’s NBC affiliate reports that the Georgia NAACP “accused Republican Governor Nathan Deal of being part of an alleged conspiracy to get rid of black office holders and deprive black voters of their rights.”
State Rep. Tyrone Books pointed out that criticism of the governor needed to include a word about black politicians who supported the governor’s removal authority.
“How can we complain about him when we have black folks standing there embracing the removal of black officials?” asked Brooks, D-Atlanta.
Basically, the attitude is, “These guys are black and well connected, so whether they’re honest or competent is irrelevant.” The sad thing is it’s not irrelevant to kids whose lives are going to be ruined because they’re going to graduate from school years behind kids educated in moderately competent school districts. They may spend the rest of their life playing catch up. Is that fair? Is that moral? How can even a group of left-wing hacks like the NAACP do that to children? How do they sleep at night knowing that they’re wrecking children’s lives? It’s wrong, it’s immoral and, yes, it is a civil rights issue because the children who are being hurt worst by this are primarily black children who are unfortunate enough to have the NAACP fighting to prevent them from getting a decent education in the name of politics.